‘It’s too late’.
My house mate wept into her morning porridge.
‘I hate my job. I have no savings and no place to call my own. I am single and I am nearing 30. My life is over’.
I sigh inwardly, a wisened 32 year old. How many times have I heard the despair of my ‘aged’ friends? After all, according to mainstream media, which focuses its energy on the young and beautiful, after 30 it’s all downhill. If you aren’t a fit, career-minded superwoman with many sprogs and a Diet Coke man in tow, it’s all too late for you, unfortunately.
Unless you simply change your attitude.
My twenties were a torrent of emotion and insecurity. I was a pro athlete for a time, but didn’t have the mental capacity to deal with pressure. I was impatient. I wanted results and I wasn’t getting them. It was all a bit miserable, so I stopped for many years. Once I hit 30, I got the chance to return to the sport I loved, and that’s when life took off, in terms of performance and self-confidence. I am stronger than before; both mentally and physically, and that’s empowering. Experience has taught me many valuable lessons about how to become a success on and off the race course, and in order to have these life experiences, you tend to be of a certain age!
It is purely your attitude that determines your altitude. Your age is irrelevant. Yoko Ono sums it up nicely: “Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90. Time is a concept that humans created”.
Not convinced? Here’s some examples of women who are achieving incredible things in sport. You’ll notice one recurring theme.
Known as the ‘Iron Nun’, Sister Madonna is the oldest person in the World to compete in Ironman triathlons. She started competing in triathlons at 52 and raced her first Ironman at 55. At 84, she is still going strong today and holds the 80+ World Record (for both men and women); a time of 16 hours 32.
Mimi Anderson/’Marvellous Mimi’: A 52 year old grandmother, and multiple Guiness World record holder, which includes running the length of Britain (840 miles in 12 days, 15 hours) and crossing Ireland (345 miles in 3 days, 15 hours). She took up running for the first time at 36.
Ernestine Shepherd: a bodybuilder and personal trainer. She’s 78, and says she feels better than she did at 40. “Being out of shape as we age is an option, not a mandate”.
As we get older, responsibilities take over and our priorities may not be ourselves. But age itself is no excuse. Changes for the better can be made at any time. Our bodies are amazing machines and stronger than we think. Don’t let society’s boundaries dictate otherwise.
Keep on trucking!