Friday, 20 April 2007

Inspirational people

I had a great email from a friend in the USA, who comments that we seem to be leading parallel lives. Pat says:

I changed my eating habits totally last fall (actually following the South Beach Diet to some extent-- more protein, less carbs, no white food - flour, pasta, rice -- only whole grains, etc) and really stepping up my fitness -- YMCA cross-training, step class, Yoga, biking to work, long walks, etc -- and as a result have lost 40 lbs. since last Sept! How cool are we??

It's fantastic to have somebody across the Atlantic who is making a similar journey. Pat has been enjoying my blog, and in fact her partner Frieda is one of those "on my back" for the R4L as a survivor. In respect of the running, Pat goes on to say:

I haven't graduated to running yet -- about a city block now and then to see if I can do it, but I have 54 year old knees! I have a friend who is 58, though, and she ran the Twin Cities Marathon last year and wants me to run it with her either when she turns 60 or I do and to that I say, "Ha!" I just can't see it. But never say never, I guess.

This led me to remember stories of some older people who have achieved amazing things in the fitness line. I mentioned yesterday our friend Peter, who, at approaching 70, is fitter than many men half his age. The father of Kim, my PT, is another great example. Then there are a couple that I have come across recently in publications:

Renee Clarke (born 1926) - you'll find an article about her here on the Rosemary Conley website. She's based in Surrey, near where I used to live, and seems still to be taking part in events with her local running club, the Epsom Oddballs.

Jenny Wood Allen (born 1911) - here shown on the BBC website (scroll to the end of the article), but you'll find references to her in many places on the internet. From a quick Google, it appears that Jenny last ran in about 2001; since then, she's walked the London Marathon in 2002, received an MBE in the 2006 New Year Honours List, and took part in the 2006 Great Scottish Walk.

So for those of us in our 40s and 50s, there's very little excuse!

Here's to every one of us, young and old, who break through the boundaries of what we, or the rest of the world, thought we could do.

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