Growing up I was absolutely awe struck by health and fitness guru, Jack LaLanne. His energy, knowledge and passion for living a healthy lifestyle, primarily exercise, inspired me like no other. During the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s when cigarette smoking, acid trips and marijuana brownies were the cultural high, Jack LaLanne was onto something much bigger and certainly more sustainable. I sensed and understood his “knowing” of what it truly meant to be strong and healthy in every way.
He was on to something big, really big. And I was right there in front of my T.V. set daily to witness his brilliance while he gradually transformed a generation and inspired the next.
Throughout the years I have continued to be inspired by many amazing professional and non-professional athletes. A couple of these remarkable folks are my wonderful clients as well as people who live in my neighborhood. Walking, jogging and stretching along the way – no matter what the weather! And this is only what I see when they are out and about. They amaze and motivate me daily.
Dara Torres, with 12 olympic swimming medals, mother, model, and motivational speaker extraordinaire tops my professional list . WOW, is what I have to say about her remarkable story of overcoming an assortment of challenges; never giving up or losing site of her intentions and goals. Torres holds the worlds longest olympic swimming record. (Still swimming; this woman never quits.)
Elite athletes play a huge role in our culture. Not only are they gifted in their respective sports, but modern society has elevated them onto pedestals; molded them into role models; glamorized them as fashion icons; and given them hero status. They are usually relatively young people.
This month, IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL celebrates six superb athletes and lauds their physical strength, mental fortitude and training wisdom. It’s not the typical line-up of superstars, however. In fact, all of them are aged 61-81; all are master athletes who have reached deep inside themselves to reach a personal goal or dream. Best known among this impressive group of men and women athletes is world champion ultra-long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, who received the 2014 IDEA Jack LaLanne Award at the IDEA World Fitness Convention last month.
On September 2, 2013, Nyad achieved her lifelong dream of swimming the entire grueling and dangerous 110-mile journey from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida. She was the first person ever to do so without a shark cage. Yikes, talk about courageous!
Nyad had attempted the swim and failed in heartbreaking fashion four times over the previous 35 years; at 64 she finally did it!
In a recent interview, Diana Nyad stated that these days she is less interested in the accolades and recognition she received as a younger competitive swimmer/athlete. Her rigorous training programs are driven by a desire to be better connected to the world around her. “Top of the line, fitness keeps me fit at any age and plays a huge role in staying engaged,” she explained. “It keeps me 100% full-out living. I take care of this body first. I make sure that this machine is the absolute best it can be.”
We all need an occasional reminder that everyone of us is an athlete (yes, your inner athlete is in there, somewhere) and there are no limits to the barriers we can smash at any age.
Decide what your goal is and stick with it; no matter what! Put that goal in front of you each morning. Set a daily intention to reach your goal by being mindful and aware of your needs and desires. Positive thinking and making healthy choices that will keep you on the right path to reach your goals can be transformative. Remember, that the process of doing and being your best is no less important than the ultimate goal itself. That’s just the super-sweet frosting on an already delicious cake!
Set your intentions and go after your goals with gusto & grace.
Have a great weekend everyone!