My vacation…didn’t go as expected. I got sick the first night we were camping and had to come home. So, basically I spent half of my vacation being sick and the other half at home staying unplugged from work and most of life.
I eased back in with ballet class on Saturday. It was pretty tough since I hadn’t been very active between illness and post-illness, but I’m really glad I went. It’s important to remember I rarely if ever regret working out and attending dance class, and I always regret missing it. Since I’m coming back from such a break, this week I’m just going to focus on getting back to eating properly, attending my dance classes, and preparing my environment to really get into and stick with my training.
While sick, I didn’t do much of anything and the Olympics were in full swing with two of my favorites (gymnastics and swimming), so I watched a lot of that. It was very inspirational in two ways: I want that top of the podium feeling, and there were a lot of “old” folks kicking butt!
In the spirit of working hard and focusing on my goals, I want to briefly profile some of my inspirations from the Olympics and other sports.
This is Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan. She competed in the Rio 2016 Olympics in gymnastics at age 41, her 7th Olympic Games. While she placed 7th in the vault final due to a fall on the landing of perhaps the most difficult vault in the world, she qualified for the finals at age 41 and she was ranked #1 in vault in the world this year. At age 41. In gymnastics. Where one usually retires by age 25.
Anthony Ervin is 35 from the USA. He has won gold in these Rio games in both the 50m freestyle and the 4x100m freestyle relay. The former makes him the oldest individual gold medalist in swimming. Ever.
And David Plummer of the USA has won a gold in the 4x100m medley relay and bronze in the 100m backstroke. At age 30, this makes him the oldest first time U.S. Olympics swimming qualifier in over 100 years.
Perhaps the biggest inspiration of all to me personally, Cathy Desmond of Ireland took up Irish dance at age 40. She qualified for Worlds at age 47, and she still recalled and medaled at All Irelands at age 50. While she did dance as a kid for 6 years (age 11 to 17), not taking it up again until age 40 and qualifying for Worlds is a huge confidence boost that, with hard work, this dream is possible.
Doreen Pechey of the UK has just passed her Grade 6 RAD exam in ballet. At 71, she is the oldest person in the UK to ever pass Grade 6. She decided to try ballet when she reached retirement and is looking forward to tackling Grade 7 of 8.
Finally, the most bad ass of all…Ernestine Shepherd of the USA. She just retired last year from being a figure competitor. She is 80, and she still lifts heavy and runs miles per week. Her commitment to fitness started when she was 56, out of shape and overweight. It is never too late, and you are never too old. But if you want to start…start today. Tomorrow, next week, next year, and ten years from now, you’ll be so glad you did.