I have never traveled with Ida Keeling, but I have traveled with people like her many times over. Whether it was on a hike with an 90-year-old retired teacher in the Galapagos or paddling in Mexico with an 84-year-old grandfather of "jeez, is it 18 now?" who was kayaking for the first time, I've been able to see the power in people pushing against the aging process.
Ida is a similar inspiration. One that takes that Churchill quote above to its highest heights. My takeaway isn't that someone can be a 102-year-old track star and world record holder (though that is of course unbelievable!). It's that she worked her tail off as a single mother, experienced devastating personal losses, and was suffering from depression at 67 years-old when her daughter (a track and field coach) encouraged her to participate in a 5K. From there, her will and choices made every day have made her healthier, happier, and have taken her around the world.
We can't plan to be running at 102 years old. But we can choose to be active today, tomorrow and the next day and see where it leads us. Go for a walk (in nature if possible!), a hike, a run, a swim--whatever activity makes you feel best. Just look at the video screen shot below. How can you not love this woman and all that she embodies? She got there one day at a time. As she says in this Runner's World interview, "Every day is another day forward."
Ida has a new book out too! I just added it to my list.