The Tampa Bay Times ran a nice article recently featuring Treasure Island triathlete Jackie Yost and her husband Larry. Jackie was recently inducted into the USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall Of Fame. Their home is filled with ribbons and trophies collected over years of competing in triathlons, Ironman races, 15 K's and fun runs. Jackie is 88. She and her husband have been married 66 years. She only began competing when she turned 65 like so many other cyclists I've met. She is very unassuming and expresses surprise people think what she does at her age is unusual. She believes anyone could and should do it.
She and her husband do long runs on the weekend and play golf. During the week they are up early. On Mondays and Wednesdays they swim and bike. On Tuesdays they do gym workouts and track training. They do longer runs on Thursdays along with additional gym work. But Friday she does open swimming. It's her favorite day.
Jackie probably had an advantage most of us don't have since she had a degree in physical education from the University North Carolina- Greensboro and has worked as a recreation director, athletic director and coach for many sports over the years.
Jackie and Larry may be unusual to many people but not necessarily so to cyclists. Our sport, like swimming, is filled with people in their 80s and even into their 90s who continue to ride and compete. I saw Ray recently at a Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club meeting in Ft. Myers. I've written about Ray before. Ray is now 90 and still rides weekly with the club and currently holds the speed record for his age, again.
I have a client in Tampa who is 87 and enjoys riding several times a week even after suffering his first cycling related crash last year. You may also remember Ruth of the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club who I have mentioned in the past. Ruth rode weekly with the club until she turned 90. I once asked Ruth how it was she remained on the bike all those years. Her response was so appropriate, "well I just never stopped." Hopefully, neither will we.