How to Embrace Your Age and Get Active

by | Jul 31, 2019 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

Author: Enid McDonough

Recently, 103-year-old runner Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins set a new U.S.A. track and field record as the oldest woman to compete on an American track. She began her running career when she turned 100, thinking it would be “neat” to run the 100 yard dash at 100 years old.

Jim Shaffer is an 81-year-old bodybuilder who actively competes. Shaffer says that he was never much of an athlete growing up, but he decided to get active when he quit smoking at age 54, and entered his first bodybuilding contest when he was 68. 

Gloria Struck is a 90-year-old great-grandmother who may be the oldest active female motorcycle enthusiast in the world.  She rides from New Jersey to Sturgis, South Dakota; from New Jersey to Daytona Beach, Florida. At 5-feet tall and 125 pounds, she handles her own 700-pound Harley Davidson just fine.

At Noom, we hear this all the time: “But I’m *insert age here*!”

What if age were an asset rather than a barrier. 

  1. You know what it is to fail (and keep going).  You’ve tried it all (maybe once, twice, or one hundred times.).  You have decided, after a few too many attempts, that a certain strategy isn’t going to work. So, you picked yourself up and moved on to the next one.
  2. You have a long list of successes to be proud of, and proof that you can do pretty much whatever it is you put your mind to.
  3. You understand that whatever your goals are at this point in your life, they have to be for you, even if that’s hard because for most of your adult life, your goals have been for someone else (your spouse, partner, boss, kids, parents, etc).
  4. You realize that looking a bit silly is ok and you’ve gotten more comfortable with that over time (you can bet it crossed “Hurricane” Hawkins’s mind that she could go sprawling on the ground in front of who knows how many people, but that didn’t stop her).
  5. You want to make the most of the time you have left (which hopefully is many, many years).

Your goal doesn’t have to be bench pressing your weight at 80-something, or running a track event to celebrate your 100th year. It can be anything! Whether you want to lower your A1C, reduce your pain, or just feel better, there are tons of ways you can be active now, and tons of goals you can set:

  1. Take a yoga class
  2. Bike with your grandkids
  3. Try a tap dancing class
  4. Get back to swimming
  5. Go on a camping trip
  6. Take a nature walk or go for a hike
  7. Revitalize your garden

Chase your goal!  Embrace your age! And, don’t ever let someone tell you that you are “too old” to do something.  You are just old enough to really know how to succeed.