Centenarian Ida Keeling recently made headlines when she set a world record for the fastest 100M run by a woman 100 years or older.
When the average individual thinks of a centenarian, they are tempted to picture a slow and idle elder. That stereotype doesn’t apply to 100-year-old Ida Keeling, however.
Recently, the celebrated elder made headlines when she set the world record for the fastest 100-meter run by a woman 100 years or older. NBC Sports reports that she clocked in at a time of one minute and seventeen seconds.
That’s not the only record she’s broken, though. She also holds the title for the fastest 60-meter dash (ages 95-99) and has completed (and placed) in international meets.
The inspiring runner has proven that age is but a mental construct and that one is as young and as vibrant as they choose to feel. Of course, she has had to work hard for her accomplishments.
Black Doctor relays that Keeling didn’t start running until she was in her late sixties. Her daughter Shelley explained:
“The competing started when she was 67 years old.”
Reportedly, Keeling’s introduction to running “came on the heels of a tragedy.”
After Ida lost both of her sons to murder – nearly three years apart, she decided to take up running as a means to fight the depression.
“It was a dark time. She was distressed, really distressed… So one day I called her, I said, ‘I’m taking you for a run’ … It was a 3.1 mile run… And that was the beginning of her running career… It was a great medicine for her,” said Shelley.
That ‘medicine’ has proven to be incredibly beneficial, as not too many centenarians are still up and running around.
When Keeling crossed the finish line, she felt like a changed person. Reportedly, she also celebrated by doing push-ups.
“So happy!” Keeling exclaimed. “I said, ‘I didn’t come out here to be a loser.’ Even though I felt tired, I just push on the best I can, and that was at my pace… and when I passed that finish line I said, ‘Thank you God, thank you for everything and all of your blessings.’”
By now, you’re probably wondering what her longevity secrets are: She says:
“Love yourself. Also, eat for nutrition, not for taste. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do.” Also, “get some kind of exercise–at least 10 or 15 minutes every day.”
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