Thursday, June 19, 2014

You're Never Too Old To Do Something Amazing

Every once in awhile I get kinda blue thinking about how old I am. Yes, I know I'm not that old in the grand scheme of things, but since I am older than I once was, I feel I'm entitled to some mental moaning and groaning about time wasted and lost opportunities.

But then my husband gave me this article  - "This List Proves You're Never Too Old to Do Something Amazing" (Business Insider, March 2014.) I was blown away by what people have accomplished at all ages and stages of life! Here are a few of my favorites:

At age 39 - Sharon Sites Adams became the first woman to sail alone across the Pacific Ocean.

At age 40 - Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run. 

At age 47 - Kent Couch attached 105 helium balloons to a lawn chair and flew 193 miles.

At age 49 - Julia Child published her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

At age 57 - Frank Dobesh competed in his first 100-mile bicycle ride - exactly 10 years after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

At age 75 - cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people, and the first black woman, to reach the North Pole. 

At age 92 - Paul Spangler finished his 14th marathon.

At age 96 - Harry Bernstein published his first book, The Invisible Wall, three years after he started writing to cope with loneliness after his wife of 70 years, Ruby, passed away.

At age 100 - Frank Scherer seems to be the oldest active water skier in the world.  

Boy, does this list snap me out of my pitiful little pity party! What have you put off doing because you think you're too old? Anyone on this list particularly inspiring? Do you personally know people like this? 

I've got lots of living yet to do…and so do you!

36 comments:

  1. We still have a long ways to go and so much we can accomplish!
    I'm not sure I'd want to see a hundred year old skier, but good for Frank.

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    1. Good for Frank is right! I've never even tried water skiing. Not on my bucket list but I wouldn't rule it out. :)

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  2. I opften wonder why we always point out our age as a deterrent to things. We all do it (myself included). But then sometimes I think "who says you have to be a certain ago to go to college, change careers, travel the world, etc?". I mean, who makes these rules? Nobody. Kudos to you for realizing that :)

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    1. Excellent comment, OE. It's up to us to change those "rules" and to find others - like the people on this list or those in our lives - who are already living this way, "rules" be damned. :)

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  3. I often feel like I'm too old to accomplish the things I'd like to do. Thanks for the inspiration. You're right: we all have lots of living still to do!

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    1. I think there are a lot of us out there, Dana. I'm learning it's a matter, to some degree, of letting go of some of those old dreams and/or changing them up a bit, and also creating new challenges and goals. I don't want to stagnate - mentally, physically, or creatively.

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  4. Oh so true! Whenever I get the chance, I talk about going for your dreams, at ANY age and I have a few favorite quotes about accomplishing those dreams. I particularly love this this one because it is so true of who I "was" and who I "am" now! "We did not change as we grew older, we just became more clearly ourselves.” – Lynn Hall
    That's not really about accomplishing things, but I didn't know I was a writer until I was 48 years old....and then I knew who I was! I end almost all of my blog posts with some kind of quote, either inspirational or humorous, etc.

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    1. What a great quote, Becky! Thanks for sharing it. :)

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  5. I agree about never being too old, but I've long since excluded age from the equation of life. My biggest thing is how a person chooses to approach life. The song Here's to Never Growing Up by Avril Lavigne kind of makes me cringe. She's not much younger than me, but I have no desire to live an irresponsible life. That may work for her, but if that's her definition of being young, I don't want it.

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    1. I love this - "My biggest thing is how a person chooses to approach life." That is so incredibly important - at any and every age!

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  6. Thanks for this uplifting post, Madeline. It is especially inspiring because I recently had another birthday. My hope is that I'll still be enjoying life and writing for many years to come. Hope you will too!

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    1. Donna, I certainly hope you will be doing all that and more for many years. Every time I read your blog posts and see all that you do, I am inspired. :)

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  7. I'm turning 30 next month...so these guys make me feel unaccomplished! LOL But hopeful!

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    1. I know what you mean about feeling "unaccomplished" but let's focus on "hopeful" instead. :)

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  8. Water skiing at 100? That's pretty amazing!

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  9. These are so inspiring! I just recently heard of the woman (can't remember her age, but elderly) who started running marathons late in her life! It's amazing. :)

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    1. I think I know the story you're talking about - she started running in her 70s and is now 90-something! :)

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  10. Those are some awesome people. I hope I'm still able to do plenty of things as I age.

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  11. This is great advice and amazing facts! You're right- age doesn't matter! Just start and DO IT! Never give up!

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    1. It definitely made me feel better after reading this list, knowing those amazing people are out there, doing their thing. :)

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  12. Wow, wow, wow! Running marathons at 92 and water skiing at 100. That's truly amazing, really.

    I was thinking I was getting too old to ever run a marathon. I guess I was wrong...

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    1. You keep logging in as many of those walking miles as you are and you'll be able to run a marathon easily. :)

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  13. Wow, what a great list! I'm not sure I'd trek to the North Pole at my age, let alone 75. I am completely in awe and inspired by all of these people - thanks for sharing it.

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    1. You're very welcome. And I hear you about that whole trekking to the North Pole thing. :)

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  14. Thanks for reminding us that the human spirit is indomitable. Although I'm not sure attaching weather balloons to a lawn chair for a ride is a smart idea - I heard he gave some airplane pilots a scare!
    Growing old is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's nice to know we together in this.

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    1. It's important to recognize that aging is/can be hard, but I believe that if we have the right attitude and supportive, inspiring, energetic, positive people around us, we can age gracefully and thoughtfully.

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  15. My brother accuses me of "starting over" every 15 years or so, and it's sort of true. I didn't start the writing gig seriously until I was about 60 and retired from real world work. I'm not sure what I choose if I decided to quit that in 3 or 4 years and start something new, but it sure won't be running a marathon! Once I get my knees replaced, though, I'd sure love to finally learn to tango. :D

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    1. I love the idea of "starting over" every so often. Why not? And who needs to run a marathon when you can dance the tango! :)

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  16. I think Harry Bernstein is my favorite. And I thought I started writing late! That's amazing. What a fun list. :)

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    1. Out of something so sad, something amazing bloomed. :)

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  17. We had our local marathon not too long ago and there was a 92 year old who did the 5K. Granted, he walked, and very slowly, but still. That was totally awesome. And inspiring.

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    1. Wow! I'm not sure I could even manage a 5K. Hmm, maybe some day…. :)

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  18. Great post. I've just turned 50 and that puts it into perspective!

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    1. So much of it is really a matter of perspective. I just read an article about a woman who was teaching hula dancing until she turned 101!

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