Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting a beautiful lady who was 103 years old. Yep, you read right, 103! Gladys (that is such a wonderful name for a centenarian) was very well spoken, walking quite well with the aide of only a stick and giving the other ladies in their 70s and 80s that she was with a run for their money. She was a true treasure. Her age was such an accomplishment.
So that got me thinking about other ‘golden oldies’ that were achieving some amazing accomplishments and proving to themselves and the world that age is no barrier.
I heard a story last week about a man in his 80s or 90s (I can’t quite remember) who was caught out lying to his wife about one of his pastimes. It became apparent – as the story went on – that this elderly man had been lying about running in marathons! How funny?!? His wife was concerned for his health but he really loved doing it so he just didn’t tell her. The not-so-juvenile jogger was busted when his recent run was captured on the news footage of the event.
Lies aside, this was a marvellous achievement! I can barely run 5kms and I’m about one-third of his age.
Recently, an American doctor turned 100. Yes, ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD and he is still practicing. Dr. Ephraim Engleman joined the faculty at University of California San Fransisco over 60 years ago and was the first Director of the Clinic for Arthritis – and no, he does not suffer from the disease personally. Dr Engleman’s advice on longevity includes not exercising, not flying in planes and not retiring. I like the sound of that!
And on the education front, a few years ago, Colonel Michael Cobb was the oldest person to be awarded a PhD at the Cambridge University – at the age of 91! The former soldier wrote an atlas which records and maps every station and every line ever built by the railway companies of Great Britain between 1807-1994. It is called The Railways of Great Britain: A Historical Atlas.
From start to finish it took 18 years to complete and 25 years in total before it appeared in print – thanks to the generous financial help of friend and benefactor James Colyer-Fergusson.
What about the beautifully told story of Mr Holland’s Opus, a film made in 1995? Have you seen it? Whist fictional, it tells a lovely account of a 30 year career of a musician who (perhaps unwillingly) becomes a music teacher. It is a movie filled with inspirational music and some poignant reminders of real happiness and success in life. Check out the trailer below.
The Composer of the film was so inspired by the story that he went on to set up the Mr Holland’s Opus Foundation – a charity aimed at keeping music alive in disadvantaged schools by donating musical instruments and equipment.
Click here to visit the website of the Foundation.
So, have you got any wonderful stories about someone you know who is achieving marvellous things at a great age? I call this aging great-fully. And I look forward to doing it myself one day (a very long time in the future). How about you?
‘Til next time,
P.S I also discovered Colonel Cobb sadly died last year, about two years after completing his PhD. But if you or someone you know has a fascination with railway, you might be interested in purchasing his book for £120. Click here to do so.