On Thursday morning I had a conversation with one our master’s athletes that I found really interesting (and entertaining). I wanted to share it with the CFR blog readers!
Shirley has been doing a body-weight movement program for the past 4 years, 1-2x per week. Just pushups, situps, squats, lunges, core work and running. She is very driven and pushes herself in each workout.
Shirley, her husband, and a group of 10-12 fellow travelers were doing a pretty challenging mountain hike in China. Shirley decided early on that she was going to leave the group and pull ahead, employing a much faster pace than her traveling companions. This is not surprising, because Shirley is in great shape and the group she was with ranged in age from 60-70 years old.
It got interesting when she met up with two Chinese men in their 20’s. Shirley speaks both Mandarin and English, so she hiked and spoke with them for a few miles. They were curious about her life in America, but they couldn’t get over how easily she was handling the hike. They asked her how old she was and she asked them to guess. Politely they guessed she was 50. They could not believe when she told them she was 67 years old.
With about 2 miles left of the uphill hike, Shirley decided it was best to leave the 2 young men and finish the hike alone. “They were holding me up. They were both so nice and so supportive, but I wanted to finish the hike and they kept stopping to catch their breath. So I said ‘good-bye’ and continued on at my own pace.”
You can only imagine the look on the faces of these men when a 67-year old, 110lb female basically says “you're going too slow, bye!”
Shirley finished the hike and took some photos at the peak. She then took the trail down (alone) and waited at the bottom for a few hours for her group to return.
Shirley is trained. Thousands of squats and lunges made her legs strong and capable of handling the resistance of the uphill hike. Miles of accumulated interval runs made her cardiorespiratory system ready for the demands of a sustained high heart rate. Her story is a good example of how training can trump age. It’s a good reminder that our training does add up, and in a lot of ways makes our biological age work backwards.
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