Some people believe that when an individual reaches a certain age, they should no longer try something new, or continue to pursue an activity they love.
Many seniors today are breaking down these former stereotypes, and living their dreams by achieving great physical feats. Let’s look at five special seniors who are defying the so-called rules about slowing down as they age.
Irish born Rosmary Smith is not new to car racing. She was quite a celebrated Rally race driver in the 1950’s and 1960’s. She formed a race car driving school after retirement from the track. A few years ago, an executive in the Formula 1 racing organization made the inappropriate comment that women were not strong enough to drive a Formula 1 race car.
To prove him wrong, the Renault Sport Formula 1 team asked Rosemary to suit up again, and take their 800-horse power Formula 1 race car out for some test runs. Admittedly, she was nervous, but accepted the challenge. After some training, Rosemary took her place behind the wheel, and became the world’s oldest person to drive a Formula 1 car.
At age 100, Charlie Montenero was still driving and living by himself. However, his independent lifestyle was not enough for the active World War 2 Veteran from Nevada.
At age 100, Charlie felt he needed to take the excitement in his life up a notch and go skydiving. Attached to a highly experienced instructor, Charlie jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and took to the skies!
Upon landing amid thunderous applause from well-wishers, Charlie’s smile was as big as the sky itself. Taking off his flying gear, he said he couldn’t wait to do it again for his 101st trip around the Sun.
Water skiing since the age of 13, 87-year-old Jon Holcombe has no plans to stop any time soon. As a young man, Jon set a record for non-stop skiing on the St. Lawrence River, near his home in New York. A photo of him at the time was also featured in an issue of National Geographic Magazine.
Today, Jon still rides the waves at the same boat speed, and jumps off the same height ramps he did as a young man. The main difference, however, is that now, he’s 74 years older than when he first started.
His love of water skiing has become a family affair. Jon has taught his children and now his grandchildren how to water ski. Everyone in the family loves seeing him enjoy a passion that has lasted nearly 75 years.
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Long distance swimming is not new to Diana Nyad. In the 1970’s, she swam completely around the island of Manhattan (28 miles), and later from the Bahamas to Florida (102 miles). At the age of 64 in 2013, and after five previous attempts, Nyad successfully swam from Havana, Cuba to Key West, FL, a total of over 100 miles.
Other long-distance swimmers had made this journey, but they used shark cages, fins, and climbed aboard escort crafts to rest. Nyad only utilized a protective jellyfish suit, and electronic shark-repelling equipment.
After her Cuba to Florida swim, Diana raised over $100,000 for charity by swimming 48 consecutive hours in a specially constructed pool in New York City.
At age 65, she was also a contestant on the 18th season of “Dancing with the Stars.” A movie about her life called “Nyad” was released in 2023.
For most of her life, Ida Keeling didn’t think about running. As a child, she actually preferred to ride her bike. During the Great Depression, she and her family did all they could to put food on the table. Widowed in her 40’s, she was left alone to raise her four children.
In her late 60’s, Ida lost two sons to drug-related violence, which caused her to sink into a deep depression. These devastating tragedies were taking a toll on her health. Trying to cheer her mother up, Ida’s daughter, Shelley, persuaded her to walk in a local 5K race. From there, Ida caught the running bug, and has never looked back.
Since her humble beginnings as a 5K walker, Ida has run all over the globe. She has achieved several world records in her age group, including the 60-meter dash. At age 102, she was still competing and running like a champion.
Frontier Senior Living Celebrates the Joy of Living
These seniors, who have achieved amazing physical feats, are an inspiration to us all. At Frontier Senior Living, we believe in providing our residents the opportunity to live their lives with purpose and meaning. If you would like to learn more about our services, we invite you to visit one of our beautiful properties, take a tour, and speak to our compassionate staff.
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Livingston Place at Southern Avenue4656 Livingston Road Southeast Washington, District of Columbia 20032 (771) 333-8279 Levels of Care:
Portside at Grande DunesMyrtle Lane Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29572 (843) 894-2355 Levels of Care:
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The Parc at Harbor View Senior Living46 Lincoln Street Winthrop, Massachusetts 02152 (857) 349-5044 Levels of Care:
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