If you’ve ever worried that you’re getting ‘old’ waaayy too fast, or worse, other people keep telling you to act your age, then we’ve got some serious ammunition to quiet those annoying voices and prove that you really are never too old to do something.
There’s a ton of actual scientific research that shows it genuinely is never too late to start learning something new. And that the old adage of ‘age is just a number’ really is true. (If you missed our post on how you really can teach an old dog new tricks, definitely check it out here.)
But here, we’re going to introduce you to some truly inspirational people who didn’t get the memo that once you reach a certain age, you have to stop doing anything physical and sit around all day drinking tea.
And these just aren’t your average ‘my uncle ran a marathon’ or ‘my nan goes to Pilates’ stories. We’ve got daredevils and record breakers galore, as well as people that would probably put your average 17-year-old gamer to shame!
Meet Tao Porchon-Lynch
Tao, who is 98 years young, was recently awarded the title of “world’s oldest yoga teacher”. And we think old people can’t be flexible! Tao has been crazy about yoga since her childhood, and has been teaching yoga in different countries for almost 50 years. She certainly embodies her motto of ‘there is nothing you cannot do’.
Meet Hidekichi Miyazaki
Japanese sprinter, Hidekichi, has been setting world records in the 100m sprint since he took up the sport aged 90. Yes, you read that right, he didn’t start running until he was 90 years old. He recently took the 100m world record for 105 year olds and still holds the 29.83 second record for centenarians. He says he thinks he’s still got a few more years of running in him, and wouldn’t consider giving up yet to show gratitude to all his fans. Such a legend!
Meet Doris Long
Abseiling isn’t a sport you’d usually associate with the older generation, but that hasn’t stopped Doris abseiling down the 94 metre Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth every year for the past 16 years to raise money for a local hospice. Doris did her first abseil when she was 85, and has been awarded an MBE, as well as the nickname Daring Doris. She said it gets harder every year, but it’s well worth it. And she has no plans on stopping any time soon, saying she lives in hope she’ll still be able to do it next year.
Meet George Neal and Ernest Smith
Canadian Pilot soared into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2015 as the world’s oldest, active pilot at the grand old age of 96. He spent more than 15,000 hours flying over 100 different types of aircraft. But George isn’t the only golden oldie cruising through the skies, the new record holder, Ernest Eli Smith is 98 and still regularly flies light aircraft in Iowa today.
Meet Larry Macon
Although Larry is quite a bit younger than the rest of our legends, we can’t talk about inspirational older people without mentioning Larry’s incredible achievements. He’s broken the Guinness World Record for most marathons run in a year, not once, or even twice, but FOUR TIMES! His most recent record was 239 marathons in a year. And he did it at the age of 69. That’s 6,261.8 miles in one year and more than one every other day! He didn’t even start running marathons until 1996 when he was 52.
So, next time you catch yourself murmuring that you’d love to do something, but that you couldn’t possibly because you’re too old now, or because it’s for young people, bookmark this post, re-read it, and then start making a plan to get it done! Need some help? We’ve got your back. Join us and start doing today!
Also published on Medium.