You’re Only Old Once
I’ve always joked about how I’ll run the Boston Marathon someday … like, when I’m 80, and I only need to run a 5:25:00 to get in. I figure, by then, I’ll be retired, done rearing children and have oodles of time to really really train for a marathon. Makes perfect sense, right?
Well, before you laugh, consider Fauja Singh, who ran April’s London Marathon at the ripe old age of 101. That’s triple digits, folks.
I find this guy awesomely inspirational on a number of levels. First of all, I’ve always been humbled by my elders, and I hope I’m still kickin’ it for weekly runs when I’m bouncing grandkids on my runner’s knees. Those old birds always look fit and happy and wise and prophetic, and dammit, I want to grow old like that.
Secondly, Singh ran a marathon in 6:54 when he was 89, and then ran a 5:40 when he was 92. That’s over an hour of improvement! So if you think you’ve already surpassed your glory days, think again. Running defies research about the capabilities of the human body and for years has left scientists scratching their heads. Know that no matter how old you get, the spirit is always willing.
And for all of you out there who think you’ve missed the boat to pick up running as a habit (whether you think you’re too old, too fat, not athletic enough — whatever), look again to our centenarian friend, who started running at age 86.
“I’m proof that anyone can run a marathon,” he said. “I might be old, but look at all the people with disabilities who do it. It’s difficult, but it’s only those who haven’t run one who say they can’t do it.”
Preach on, Fauja, preach on. — Aidz