11 Jun You are never too old to achieve your next goal by Darcenia Teasdale
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis
When my mum turned 40 in 1977, I remember her crying because she would never climb Everest. She felt her best years were over and she would never achieve those huge dreams. She said to me “You can’t learn things the same as you could when you were young.”
My mum started to write poetry in her 40s, became a highly skilled embroiderer in her 50s and started to study at university in her 60s. We took a helicopter ride for her 70th birthday. During that time, she experienced very difficult health problems and seemed to use that battle as a stimulus to achieve and develop her skills. Despite a serious stroke aged 60, she continued to design, paint and then embroider her own pictures. Mum made books for her granddaughter, wrote poems for friends and family, and was learning Photoshop in the last year of her life.
We have a motto at Advance – “Every day above ground is a good day.” It is a really important motto to remember when you are having a difficult day and wondering if you can get through a problem. Even if you are very ill you can still appreciate a piece of music, a view from a window, a poem, a smile from a family member and share a memory.
But the key to a life fulfilled is filling your life with the great memories – and for some amazing people, age does not stop them enjoying life and setting and achieving new goals. They are inspiring examples who live the motto “Every day above ground is a good day.”
On 31st May this year, 92 year old Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, completed Sunday’s Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego in 7hr 24min 36sec. She became the oldest woman to complete a marathon, and looked joyful and brimming with vitality as she finished that race. Harriette is a cancer survivor who took up marathon running to raise money for a cancer charity in her 70s.
A retired concert pianist, Harriette visualised playing piano pieces to motivate her through her marathon. She clearly understands the power of visualisation techniques! She almost equalled her record from the previous year for a woman marathon runner over 90 when she knocked one and a half hours off the record!
Another fantastic achiever is Georgina Harwood who celebrated her 100th birthday by skydiving from a plane and then shark diving two days later! This was her third sky dive – she completed her first at 92! She said of her experience this time: “I was much more conscious of everything this time because I had a better idea what I was going to do.”
We should also celebrate 98 year old Gladys Weaver who recently became the oldest person in Britain to try the Segway at Go Segway in Devon – she was celebrating her birthday with her family on an active day out – Go Gladys!
And here’s one for my mum who thought she was too old to climb Everest at 40; in 2013, Yuichiro Miura, an 80-year-old Japanese, became the oldest person to make it to the top of Mount Everest and back down.
So..if you have had a lifelong regret that you didn’t complete a degree or studies in your favourite subject, remember it is NEVER too late. Just last week, 99 year old Doreetha Daniels graduated in Social Sciences at the College of the Canyons in California. During her studies the determined Doreetha has recovered from multiple strokes, hearing and sight loss. But she is now their oldest graduate and achieved her goal to graduate before her 100th birthday!
All of these achievers are a great inspiration. They live each day to the full pushing their limits, setting new goals and dreams and show the “Can do” attitude which we celebrate at Advance. Setting a new goal gives a person a purpose in life and the anticipation as they visualise their next achievement. There is no age limit to trying a new experience, learning a new skill, beating a record – it is up to YOU what you can achieve if you set your mind to the task.
Perhaps Georgina Harwood’s motto in life could be a motto for us all “Do it now! Whether it’s comfortable or uncomfortable, good or bad, relaxing or challenging – don’t delay.”