Here's yet more proof that falling apart as we age is just an option -- not a mandate. The three individuals you are about to meet, through their athletic feats, give the rest of us hope and the assurance that we, too, can live vibrant vigorous lives no matter our age.
Montana's Bob Hayes ran his first LeGrizz 50 Mile race at age 69. In 2006, now 80, he became one of the elite few to earn the coveted 10 Bears Award for completing ten LeGrizzes. Although in this tenth 50 miler he had outrun 13 of the 71 much younger competitors, Bob was disappointed with his 11-hours-4-minutes-and-3-seconds time because it was slower than the previous year's mark. More recently, in October of 2008, Bob outperformed 15 of the 89 runners, all at least two decades his junior, AND had the satisfaction of beating his time from two years earlier with an astounding 11:00:03. That means an 82-year-old, Bob Hayes, ran just over 13 minutes per mile for 50 MILES!
Then there's Florida's Tamara Savage, who at age 48 weighed in at 233 unfit pounds and had a lifelong cigarette habit. With a goal to get "Fit by Fifty," she deep-sixed the smoking and lost over 100 pounds. To celebrate her new-found fitness, Tamara ran the Javelina Jundred 100-Mile trail race -- a symbolic one mile for each pound she had lost. Now she's 55 and has a new goal: to run a full Ironman triathlon by age 60. As you may know, the Ironman is a daunting test of one's endurance and fortitude, as it consists of swimming 2.4 miles, then biking 112 miles and it finishes with a 26.2-mile run (a full marathon) -- all to be done in under 17 hours. A few weeks ago, Tamara completed her first 70.3 Ironman (a half Ironman) in Orlando, Florida in a little over eight hours; and then, the very next weekend, she ran the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, Michigan. That's a combined 96.5 miles of competitive racing in a six-day period -- not bad for someone who just seven years earlier was 100 pounds overweight and smoking one-and-a-half to two packs of cigarettes a day. To read Tamara's story in her own words and see her before-and-after photos, visit: http://BioIdenticalHormoneExperts.com/2009/05/21/BodyLogicMDs-Coo-Tamara-Savage-Is-Featured-In-Age-Blasters/
Finally, let's look at Keith McConnell, PhD. and his age-defying accomplishment. This past May, Keith decided to tackle the McDonald Forest 50K near Corvallis, Oregon. This just happens to be one of the most difficult 31-mile races anywhere due to its rugged terrain and seemingly endless string of steep uphill and downhill sections to the tune of 6700 feet of vertical climb and an equal amount of treacherous muscle-fatiguing precipitous descent. Although Keith has run marathons in recent years, this was his first ultra (longer than a marathon) in 30 years. Using a combination of Chi Running and Chi Walking (special techniques that make locomotion safer and more efficient), Keith traversed this very challenging course in 6 hours 49 minutes and in the process won the 60-69 age group. For most of us mere mortals that would be enough "exercise" for one weekend (probably the rest of the month), but Keith's story doesn't stop there. That night he enjoyed an evening of dinner and dancing and then the very next day he was competing in his weekly game of ice hockey. To read Keith's full story in his own words, and to find out how he withstood and enjoyed this amazingly active weekend with no negative physical repercussions (read that, aches, pains and assorted bodily discomfort), visit: www.ChiRunning.com and click on the current (June, 2009) newsletter.
It looks as if whether we're in our 50s, 60s or even our 80s, we can enjoy the vitality, energy and fitness levels most think are the exclusive domain of the young. Bob, Tamara and Keith and many more just like them (and really just like us) are proving that falling apart as we age REALLY IS only an option -- not a mandate. The question is: Are you going to be part of the proof?
Ed Mayhew is a speaker (Need one? A good one?) and the author of Fitter After 50, Fitter for Life and AGE BLASTERS: 3 Steps to a Younger You You can visit Ed at: www.YouCanGrowYounger.com www.FitterForLife.com Ask for your F*R*E*E* Fitter After 50/Fitter for Life e-newsletter