86,400 Seconds

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86,400 Seconds

Each day, we are to practice gratitude. However, this is the week (Thanksgiving Day) we set aside time with family and/or friends to give thanks in a special way.  What are you thankful for?  I say give thanks for everything:  the good and the bad.  For example, today, my right hip/leg is still aching from that last half marathon. Yet, I remain grateful that I was able to accomplish such a phenomenal task especially when I think of all those women (and men), no matter the age, who can’t even walk a mile– not to mention run13.1 miles. 

This week’s superwoman is my running friend Donna D’Agnostino. On Sunday, Donna ran the St. Pete Women Half Marathon. Her unofficial finish time: 2:05. Donna is 60 years young and just keeps getting better. For her, it was another PR.  She ranked #5 in her age group (60-64) out of 100 women. What an accomplishment. I can imagine that she is still saying thank you. I know I would be.

Happy Thanksgiving! Other than taking a few of those 86,400 seconds to say thanks, how will you spend Thanksgiving Day?  

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you’, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhardt

207 Women Who Are Aging Beautifully

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207 Women Who Are Aging Beautifully

On November 5th, I ran the Savannah, Georgia, Inaugural Rock N Roll Half Marathon. I set a new personal record (PR).  I broke my old PR of 2:34:37 and set a new PR of 2:23:39. Out of approximately 15,000 people registered for the half, there were 207 women in my class (60-64 year olds). I placed at #32. The 1st thru 4th place runners in this category all finished in less than 2 hours. WOW!  I was again reminded of the number of everyday women who are aging gracefully.  It further reminded me that age really is just a number. And, with preparation, the right attitude, and a little bit of luck (of course, you make your own luck), we can accomplish things we never dreamed possible.

If I interviewed all 207 women, I am confident that they all possess many of the qualities and characteristics mentioned in previous posts describing women who are aging well. However, without interviewing even one woman, it’s safe to say that they all have at least three things in common.  They are all fit, fabulous, and fearless. How else could we run 13.1 miles? And, get to talk, brag or write about the experience.     

So, this week rather than highlighting one woman, I am highlighting all 207 women in my class (age 60 -64) who finished the Savannah Rock N Roll Half Marathon. I am also giving a special shout-out to two of my fellow Sarasota runners (in the over 70s class) who finished this race: Adine Wittig (74) and Matilda Lowe (79). These two women, who are biological sisters, are simply amazing. They truly represent women who have aged gracefully and beautifully.

Do you have women who are aging gracefully or who have aged gracefully?  I would love to hear from you.

Here’s Another One…Isn’t She Lovely?

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Here’s Another One…Isn’t She Lovely?

For the next few weeks, my goal is to highlight everyday women (non celebrities) who have embraced the aging process.  From reading about and talking to these women, they have several things in common. For example:  they are physically active (i.e. they engage in some form of exercise regularly); they have strong family, social, and/or community ties; they are spiritual; they make use of technology; they are positive and optimistic; and they exude confidence. It also struck me that these women do not deny who they are. They make no attempt to “hide” their age. They celebrate birthdays; and see them as blessings.  To these women, age is just a number. They all seem to have the belief that “I can age, but I don’t have to get old”.

Last week, I introduced you to Ms. Ernestine Shepherd (www.ernestineshepherd.com). This week, I am introducing you to a woman I met on my last visit to Ghana, Ms. Brenda Joyce. When I see her, I am reminded of Stevie Wonder’s hit song, Isn’t She Lovely? I can use many words to describe Ms. Brenda, but “diva” comes to mind. For Ms. Brenda is definitely a diva (glamorous and talented). This woman, in her early 70s, is amazing. She knows who she is, what she wants, and where she is going.

Just looking at her and listening to her, I assumed that she was about my age or younger. However, I soon learned that she was almost 10 years older than me. Of course, I wanted to know her story. Here is a snapshot of Ms. Brenda’s life. She started her career as a lobbyist in the oil and gas industry in Washington, D.C. In her late 50s, she relocated to South Africa. At age 58, she went back to school for a degree in gemology. Her passion is and always has been entertaining. Today, she is a gemologist and jazz singer. When not exploring diamond mines in Ghana, she is living life (jetting between South Africa and Ghana) and performing.      

Meet Ms. Brenda Joyce.  No, this is not an old photo. This was taken in November, 2011 at the Living Legends Banquet in Accra, Ghana, where she was performing.

Brenda_Joyce_at_DAF_Living_Legend_Banquet1.JPG

“You're never too old to become younger.” – Mae West

Do you know of women who are aging gracefully or beautifully?  If so, please let me hear from you.