How many times do you hear someone say that theyíre just too old to make any changes? That it just doesnít matter anymore, or that itís about time they accepted reality and that itís not going to change. I must confess that this is sometimes a tempting thought, even for me.
But I just read an internet article that has completely changed my mind. Kozo Haraguchi of Japan just set a world record for his age group in the 100 meter dash. 22.04 seconds. Seems slow to you? The man is 95 years old! And whatís more, he only took up running when he turned 65. According to the news report, it was the first time he had run in the rain, and his main thought was that he musnít fall!
Talk about life-altering transformations! We are left wondering if he added years to his life by taking up running.
Now, we all know that there are some things that we simply canít change. For example, the only way Iíll ever run is if I grew some cartilage in my knees. But that doesnít mean that I canít challenge myself in other ways, like doing hills on my bike. Your challenge might be anything from walking for 5 minutes, to running a marathon. The sense of accomplishment, and the progress you make, are what count, not whether other people might think it too insignificant.
Whatever it might be, itís never too late to start transforming ourselves by doing something different, like this pair of elderly ladies I sometimes see at the gym. They show up once or twice a week, with their hair done, work on the machines, and flirt with a few of the young men for about an hour, and then go out to lunch. They are 85 and 90.
Mr. Haraguchi has made it to my personal Portraits In Courage gallery, along with anyone in his age group who remains active. If a 95 year old man can get out of bed, first of all, and then, not only run in a race, but set a world record doing it, I can find the time to ride my bike. And if those old ladies can giggle while they work on the machines, flirt, and then go out to lunch, who among us can have a real excuse?
If these old folks can remain active, I can. And trust me, if I can, anyone can!