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At 102 Years Old, Ida Keeling Is Still Running

pushups while the people in attendance went wild. Did I mention Keeling is 102 years old? When she made that record-breaking run, she was a spry 100 and it was the fastest dash time ever clocked by a woman over 100 years old. Keeling has since raced all around the globe, breaking world records. To keep fit, she works out three to four days a week, alternating strength training with biking and dance, according to what she recently told Runner’s World. Her diet includes fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and orange juice, as well as cod liver oil and blackstrap molasses to maintain her joints. And, believe it or not, a bit of cognac in her coffee or water, three to four times a week, to help with circulation. But the path to becoming one of the fastest centenarian runners of all time wasn’t paved with roses. In her new book “Can’t Nothing Bring Me Down,” Keeling writes about growing up poor in Harlem, surviving the Great Depression, raising four children as a single mom and losing two adult sons to drug-related violence. The death of her boys sent Keeling into a deep depression at the age of 67. To get her mom back on her feet, Keeling’s daughter Shelley, a track-and-field coach, took her to a 5k. Though she apparently felt awkward at first, she quickly found running to be a reliable pick-me-up. As she told Parade magazine, “Running felt so good. I would come home after exercising and felt like it relieved me of some stress and bad feelings. After all these years, I can tell you that running is a good way to feel better, mentally and physically.” So, the next time you complain about getting older or getting out in the garden or going to the gym, just think about Ida Keeling. She’s living proof that age can be merely a number.

Setting the bar The story of Ida Keeling will be inspirational to many of us. Especially given she lived in Harlem and survived a deep depression. In overcoming all this she has set the bar for others to follow. I can hear you saying OK but not all of us will reach or would want to live to a hundred. So what, we could all lead healthier lives if we followed her example. I am not saying running will appeal to everyone but some form of exercise (if the experts are to be believed is good for everyone).

Summary From time to time a story comes along that is inspirational. The story of Ida Keeling is such a story of how through running she overcame stress and bad feelings. It has now been proven that a healthy diet coupled with some form of exercise can be of benefit to our health and wellbeing. I am not saying that we should all turn to running, what I am saying is that we could all learn from the inspiration that Ida has given us. As Ida says; “after all these years, I can tell you that running is a good way to feel better, mentally and physically.” Can you top that. Albert Cook Albert Cook BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute Managing Director Bettal Quality Consultancy

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