If you are planning on living out the rest of your life in good health, I highly recommend this book, “What Makes Olga Run?” by Bruce Grierson.
This is the story of Canadian Track and Field legend, Olga Kotelko, who took up the sport at age 77.
As I work primarily with people over the age of 50, I am deeply interested in hearing how the Boomers are redefining what it means to be a “senior citizen.”
My students are so fit that I constantly brag about their abilities to younger individuals. They are too shy to let me name them but Lady X, who is over 80, can hold a plank on her elbows and toes, using a stability ball, for 1 minute, in perfect form I might add.
I have clients well into their 70’s who can Step at 128 bpm for 30 minutes while performing complicated choreography. All of them have excellent balance and abdominal strength that far surpasses a lot of 30 year olds.
I have line dancers who can remember 64 counts of fast moving choreography, with tags and re-starts and spins! They often remind me when I have missed a move! Not to mention their flexibility! It is amazing.
Sadly though, this is not the norm.. Most people give up on fitness altogether once they hit a certain age and that’s when the quick decline happens in all aspects of health. If you are younger than 95 and feeling like you have missed your chance to be active, Olga’s story will be uplifting.
Olga’s achievements are unbelievable. Bruce gives us a candid look at Olga’s life in an attempt to try to figure out what exactly made her so different from the rest of us. She held over 25 World Records in her age category and won over 700 gold medals, which according to Bruce she liked to give away to special individuals as she had “so many of them!”
Bruce lets you in on what Olga ate, how she trained and what her routines were. It’s fascinating and some of the information may encourage you to “get off your butt,” as Olga would say. I do not want to give away all of her secrets, I want you to read about her life yourself. I will tell you that Olga’s main piece of advice is to keep moving.
My advice today, is to set physical goals for yourself. Goals that will keep you motivated to get off of the couch and move. How many times can you walk/run around the block? How long can you hold plank? How can you improve this? Set some personal goals this summer and have fun achieving them.
Olga insists that having goals gives us a reason to get outside and be with people. She lived until 95 in excellent physical health, beating records right up until the end. Olga was never a burden to anyone and is a wonderful reminder that age is just a number. It is never too late to take up a new sport or activity.
We are meant to inspire each other while we are here on this earth.
Set one simple goal today and get moving.
Maybe head to the library or the book store and get a copy of Olga’s story. She has truly inspired me to live my life to the fullest.