So you’re over 50 and you’re thinking that your best days as an athlete are behind you. Well in all honesty, it probably is too late to mount a career as an NBA forward or a boxing heavyweight champion, especially if you’re just getting started. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still accomplish amazing things.
The human body is remarkable and if you take good care of yours, it can reward you by being capable of remarkable things at any age. Take it from these older athletes.
World’s Oldest Female Bodybuilder:
That’s right. Septuagenarian Ernestine Shepherd earned entry into the Guinness Book of World Records by competing in her first bodybuilding competition at 71 years young. What is perhaps most remarkable about Ernestine’s accomplishment is that she didn’t begin on her path to fitness until the age of 56. When her sister died suddenly of a brain aneurysm, she committed herself to fitness. Today, her regimen includes daily 10-mile runs and strength training before the crack of dawn. She calls exercising an ‘anti-aging pill’ and her accomplishments seem to back that claim!
The Ageless Track Star:
At age 67, German-born Philipa Raschker continues to defy expectation. As the winner of no fewer than 71 Gold Medals and the holder of 10 separate records at the World Masters Athletics Championships, Raschker is a consummate track and field competitor. Winning her most recent medals in 2011, she proves that age is only a number.
The Baseball Legend:
Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige threw most of his innings before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. This means that much of his career was spent in the Negro Leagues. As a result, Paige became the oldest rookie in major league history when he signed with the Cleveland Indians at the age of 42 in 1948. At an age when most players are retired or close to it, Paige was just getting started in the Bigs. It should come as no surprise then, that in 1965, he would become the oldest man ever to take the mound, doing so at the age of 59 for the Kansas City Athletics.
Long In the Tooth Distance Runner:
Ernie Andrus is 89 years old but he’s only a 25-year veteran of long-distance running. Ernie was inspired by the arrival of the 1984 Summer Olympics to his own Los Angeles area. He marked the occasion by running a 10K with a group of local torchbearers. Since then, Ernie is a regular participant in 5 and 10Ks. Remarkably, Ernie’s running ambitions have only gotten greater with age. In 2011, he ran his first half-marathon and just recently, he participated in a 200-mile overnight race!
These inspirational athletes show that you’re never too old to get started. Of course, nobody’s telling you that you have to run a 200-mile race. But these amazing accomplishments should energize you. Get out there and do something you love. Don’t let your age get in the way!