It always kills me that in running circles, technically, I am a grand master. I won the grand master award in a race a while back, and I felt like looking around to see if there was another Debbie Voiles whose name they had called.
What? Grand master? Are you kidding? That just knocks me out. Seriously? Come on!
When I was still a teacher, teaching 9th graders, I was in far better physical condition than most of the students in my class, and I'm just as fit now, years later.
Yeah, yeah, I'm 58, but I run only a little slower than when I was in my 30's, and I do many things better. I couldn't run a marathon then and certainly not an ultra marathon.
I feel great, too. I think 50 is the new 40, and 60 is the new 50 and so on. Actually maybe 60 is the new 40.
I'm not even upset about turning 60. In fact, I'm looking forward to it. I try to remind myself that I'm not supposed to look forward to it, but my overwhelming thought is that it will be a cynch to qualify for Boston.
That's a runner for you. Always seeng the positive in every situation. I'll be darned if I just can't seem to get worked up over my age. The main effect it has on me is that it motivates me to take care of myself in every aspect, including eating well, getting the recommended checkups, making wise financial decisions, and, as you know, keeping very active. I am driven to do all this because I've still got an extremely lengthy bucket list, and while I'm pretty good at moving through it, I'm even better at adding to it. The longer I live, the more I realize I want to do with my life. My biggest worry is that I'll run out of time.
I am a work in progress. I wonder if all runners feel that way?
Frequently, people tell me they're too old to start running. They think 50 is old. For most of them, I'd say it's time to start living, really living. If they can't conceive of being that active, they need a mind reset.
Wouldn't it be great if people had a reset button? Oh, I'm not saying I want people to be like robots, but I do wish there was a way to get people to clear out cobwebs and give every part of their life a fresh look.
As I get older, I am more and more delighted to discover great stories of what older people are doing, and as a result, I've decided to start a separate page of this website devoted to master and grand master runners. Watch for it soon.
Today, I came across this video of an 86 yr. old gymnast. Love it!