If you’ve been making excuses about why “at your age it’s too late to get fit” this book will shatter all of your preconceived beliefs and notions about staying strong and fit as you age.
50 Athletes over 50 is the brilliant creation of Don McGrawth. Don is in his mid-40s and he set out to find inspiration to stay fit as he ages. To accomplish this goal, McGrawth interviewed a whopping 50 ordinary people over 50 who were doing extraordinary things with their bodies. At an age when most people think they have to slow down on physical activity, these 50 athletes keep pushing boundaries and winning sports competitions.
The book starts on a high note because it actually gives a solid explanation of why people over 50 would still be motivated to push their bodies further and further as they age.
This is my kind of book because not only will you never catch me sitting on a rocking chair as I age, you’ll see me adopt “Bloomers” attitudes and keep engaging in new sports.
McGrawth defines “Bloomers” as people who found their sport passion later in life. That brings joy to my heart because it supports what I’ve been saying all this time: “there is no such thing as being too old to start getting into better shape”! I’m already quite active, but there is a long list of fitness activities I’d love to try and it’s refreshing to know that I can still keep trying until my 90s.
I also enjoyed reading the stories of athletes Jane Welzel (who’s been involved in distant running since the 70s … she’s now 54!) and Ward Smith (a 60-something surfer who’s been doing water sports since he was 6) who discovered their sports of choice at an early age and have never stopped.
The story of Terry Peterson impressed me to no end. This 53-year-old mountain unicyclist is cool beyond words.
Don’t think for a minute that most athletes in Don’s book are in their 50s.
I must say that the introduction to chapter 3 really moved me. I love how Don was able to get the essence that made it possible for these athletes over 50 to keep going after their fitness-dream. This chapter should be mandatory reading for anyone celebrating a milestone birthday and that might be feeling down about aging.
>>> These examples of how to age and still remain fit and strong will blow your mind (I know I was seriously impress about how far I will be able to push my body as I age):
* Former firefighter, Dave Dyc is a 71-year-old outrigger canoe paddler.
* Merrill Schwartz a 67 year old cyclist and triathlete who is still working as a lawyer. Merrill is one of those guys who really redefines aging when you read his story.
*You also will want to read the inspirational story of Sandy Scott who at 69 is an avid cyclist with a mean body.
* Helen Geoffrion is a 70-year-old triathlete (no that was NOT a typo)! This high energy 70-something is the type of woman I want to be when I get to be her age.
* Jerry Smartt will surely have an impact on you when you read how this 77-year-old-runner has maintained his passion for his favourite sport for 62 years!!!
* Gene GeBauer is a 75-year-old tap dancer who shows us all that you can dance at any age!
* Jean Aschenbrenner is a 61-year old rock climber who honestly shows how women can really do anything they want to do at any age.
Chapter 6 is a particularly inspiring chapter because it highlights athletes over 50 who are active in their community and volunteer their time to help others.
You’ll find stories of people like:
> Bill Hansbury who at 72 still cycles and he also helps amputees.
> Myrna Haag helps people break free from food addiction. Myrna is over 50 and she’s a thriathlete.
> Loretta Claiborne work with the Special Olympics.
> Linda Quirk is a 56-year-old marathon runner and who helps people recover from addiction.
Just in case, this review has not yet gotten you as excited as I am about this book, I think you’ll find the story of George Blair to be the most inspiring of the all. George is 94 and his still water skiing barefoot!!! Can you believe it??
Another message that is clear from this book is that all these athletes set goals for themselves when it comes to their fitness. It’s not something they leave to chance – you know what I mean “I’ll go train if I have time”. Nope, they plan their fitness and guard that time jealously.
Throughout the book, you’ll find Q & A sections to help you rethink the way you’ve been viewing exercise as you age. You’ll find loads of insightful questions that will really make you think and challenge you to keep moving forward and keep your level of activity as you age.
The book ends with advice from medical experts explaining in further details the benefits of keeping active and fit as you age. This section is quite interesting because you get to compare the scientific facts versus the benefits from keeping active as you age (that’s the message all the 50 athletes over 50 have shared in this book).
>>> Here’s another thing I love about this book: Don asked these athletes over 50 about their diet … and it’s refreshing to read that they eat real food and don’t worry will the mumbo-jumbo of “eat this, not that”.
I really enjoyed this book a lot and I do believe it will be a great inspiration for so many people. 50 Athletes over 50 is the type of short and easy read that really can inspire you to change the way you perceive your own set limitations. I’ll go as far as to say … this book can surely change the course of your life.
I think Don’s quote really sums up his philosophy about fitness and the reason why he embarked on this quest:
A strong life is powerful and courageous; one where we take on challenges and adventures without undo anxiety. A strong, healthy life is the combination. Is this the kind of life you want to create? It’s certainly what I want.
I could not agree more! You have the power to make changes in your life at any point in time. If you’ve always wanted to know more about a particular fitness activity, don’t just sit around and wonder about it. Take the first step by going for a few trial lessons and see if this might be a sport that you’ll want to practice for years to come.
>>> My own interview with an athlete over 50!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Cheryl Ragsdale from That Girl is Funny . Cheryl’s story is incredible because I’ll be honest, I’ve rarely met women over 50 who were still boxing and doing other fairly hardcore exercises.
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