And I thought my nonagenarian grandmother had her act together! As it turns out, 95-year-old Ida Keeling might be Superwoman. She set a world record at a track meet in northern Manhattan last week, running 60 meters in 29.86 seconds. Did your eyes just bug out of your head?? I thought so!
Ida's the oldest woman to achieve this record. Measuring in at only 4-foot-6 (wow, way to make me feel tall at 4'11, Ida!) and 83 pounds, she says she's always been the oldest person at her meets. (She also always wears a trademark T-shirt and yellow sneakers.) When ABC News sat down (and ran around) with the great-grandmother from the Bronx, it said of Ida:
She takes only one prescription drug, and recalls names and dates with the speed of someone half her age. Active and healthy and living alone in her Bronx, N.Y., apartment, she could pass for 75. She says she feels even younger.
"Like a puppy," she declares. "I feel younger now than when I was in my 30s and 40s and had all those problems. Then I was aged!"
Okay, I, for one, LOVE this story! What an inspiration. Ida started running when she was 67 and trained with teenagers! She told ABC News how she felt after that first experience with running:
It felt good, and I felt uplifted. I said, 'Well, gee, this is for me!'
That's just so cool. I've heard people in their early 30s whine and complain, "Oh, man, I could never go back to school/run a 5K/make a film/change careers -- I'm just too old to start something new at this point." First of all, they really need a reality check ... and clearly, they could take a tip from Ida. Wow!
She also told ABC News that when she's in the flow of a run, she just closes her eyes and repeats:
Count your blessings, Ida, count your blessings. Stay alert, stay focused, and that's it ... My secret is, feel good about yourself [and] have a good attitude about yourself.
Hearing that, I can't help but be reminded of my grandfather, who I called Papa, who passed away several months before he would have turned 95. He used to have mantras of his own, like, "So, this is your life!" He would also rarely miss a chance to go for a walk or use his hand-weights. Fitness went hand-in-hand with his optimistic view on the world, and I think it contributed HUGELY to his long, healthy life.
Just goes to show that happiness and health at 95 years old is completely relative! In fact, Ida says she wants to "make it to 108," and I don't doubt she could!
What do you think about Ida Keeling's success as a runner?
Image via ABC News