Olympic athlete Usain Bolt can run the 100-meter dash in less than 10 seconds. He’s also 26. Tack on seventy years, and then let’s see where he’s at.
A recent episode of Our America, a documentary series with reporter Lisa Ling, delved into the secret lives of seniors. One segment featured Ida, a woman who set out to beat the 100-meter dash record (for her age group) on her 97th birthday.
Though Ida wasn’t feeling her best the morning of the race — her blood pressure was on the fritz — she laced up her sneaks and hit the track. Despite the summer heat, or that her competitors were decades younger, Ida crossed the finish line 8 seconds under the previous record. How did she do it, and why? While other women stick to book clubs and bingo, Ida trains hard. Her daughter Shelley coaches, but Ida coaches herself with mantras like “Go girl, go. You can make it.”
We can’t help but be inspired by Ida’s go-getter spirit (and those dance moves she pulls at her birthday party). Ida’s story is also a moving one. She’s living out her twilight years right — with a great attitude, and family by her side. So next time your legs feel like taking a break, picture Ida with those shades and trendy yellow sneakers cruising along that track.
How do you plan to stay fit as you age? Let us know in the comment section below, or tweet the author @nicmcdermott.
Also check out Greatist’s Complete Collection of Weekly Viral Videos!