Choosing To Live a Life Which Challenges the Norm

If you know anything about me it is that I'm is committed to staying fit doing things many of my peers assume they should have no business doing, like running, road cycling and mountain biking. That’s why I'm drawn to three amazing stories. I hope they inspire the athlete in you.

Gene Dykes described himself as a very average runner into his sixties. He is a retired computer programmer with a casual interest in golf, gardening and bowling. He was a competitive runner in high school and college (ok, so he got a head start). He hired a running coach in his mid-60’s and got serious. Keeping things in balance, the expression he used to describe his training: just run. In Dec 2018, Dykes set the new world record for his age group of 70-74 by running a sub-3 hour marathon at age 70. He beat the old record by 25 seconds!

Does anyone recall the marathoner Joan Benoit Samuelson? She was the first ever woman’s Olympic Gold Medalist in the marathon in 1984. She also won the 1979 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:35:15. Forty years afterward, she entered the 2019 BM with a goal of coming within 40 seconds of her 1979 time. At age 61 she crushed her goal and finished in 3:04, just 30 min slower than when she was 21. Amazing.

Here’s a non-runner story. Fred Beans is a Pennsylvania car dealer. He is 80 and giving no thoughts of retiring. He enjoys working and making fitness challenges to his employees and himself. He says he was never a fitness specimen but is a big believer in setting goals. For his 80th birthday he worked with a fitness coach and knocked out 125 consecutive pushups. Try doing 20, or 15, or 10! His workouts with his coach are all after work in the evenings when most people are watching TV. Go Fred.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.
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