I strongly believe we are going to see a lot of age-related records fall. This generation or next, those records will not be just in the realm of youth and speed.Arthur Muir, oldest American to summit Everest
Lately, I have been forwarded articles and videos featuring amazingly athletic centenarians – mostly women. With a website called “Age Is No Barrier”, I am more than eager for a chance to speak with these women, but I am finding it is much more difficult to get in touch with people who do not have a social media account.
I have reached out to two of these incredible athletes, and hopefully will be able to connect soon. In the interim – if I cannot interview these women, at the very least, I can honor them. Their stories are inspiring for any of us who hope to age well, and remain active all of our days. Whether or not we walk this earth for the same number of days, we can certainly strive to extend our healthspan; enjoying more time with friends and family and the hobbies / activities in which we participate and find community.
Below, you will find a few brief introductions to older athletes who are completely rewriting the rules of active aging. If I am able to connect in person with any of the athletes featured in this blog, I will post the interview in the portfolio section along with the rest of the 50+ athletes.
Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins
Today, Julia Hawkins is 105. When much younger – only 103 – Julia became the superstar of the National Senior Games where she won gold in the 100-meter dash and the 50-meter dash. Born in 1916, Julia may be the new benchmark for senior track and field. Her hometown of Baton Rouge filmed this wonderful local feature of this amazing woman.
Diane “Flash” Friedman
Another centenarian track star, this one from Ohio. Diane did not start running competitively until she was in her 70’s. Now 100, her coach and friend Bruce Sherman believes her master’s records will be difficult to surpass. In this video, you can see Diane set a new record at a senior games event from this summer. A local Ohio affiliate provided this wonderful introduction to Diane and her engaging personality.
And thank you to Dr. Bruce Sherman for bringing this incredible athlete to our attention!
Then we have Edith Murway-Traina, the 100-year old powerlifting sensation. You may have seen her story floating around Facebook over the last few weeks. If not, here’s a link to an article from her hometown of Tampa, including a link to her Guinness World Records lift. You may also be interested in this accolade from Men’s Health featuring another video of this amazing athlete. I have reached out to her daughter to hopefully schedule a conversation with this former dancer who is now the world’s largest female powerlifting competitor.
As my friend Hillis Lake likes to remind me, “as long as you safely and appropriately challenge the body, the muscles will keep responding”. Edith – who entered her first sanctioned powerlifting meet at the age of 92 – would probably agree.
Honorary mention has to go to this “Future Centenarian”, and only man on the list so far. The 95 year old Dave Keggy. Dave’s workout routine was captured and shared in this video by a local financial advisor. He sounds and moves like someone 20 years younger – at least.
Keep going Dave, I can’t wait to speak with you after your 100th birthday!
The Boomer generation is showing us that Age Really Is Not a Barrier to remaining healthy and active all of our days. I am positive this inspirational list will grow quickly, maybe faster than I can add their stories. However, I would like to try! So, if you know of a centenarian athlete who’s story should be shared, please let me know.