Started running at 100, is setting records at 105
When we find ourselves thinking that it’s too late to start something new, it helps to look to other late-starters for encouragement.
Personally, I look to folks like Lee Child, who began his career as a novelist after the age of 40, and artist Grandma Moses, who started painting in her 70s. Author Susan Gabriel wrote a list of 16 artistic late bloomers, and included filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock, who “made Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Trouble with Harry, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Psycho between his 54th and 61st birthdays.” How awesome is that!
For inspiration in the land of running, we have Julia Hawkins. Nicknamed “Hurricane Hawkins,” Julia proves that it’s never, NEVER too late to start running.
Julia ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins
As I write this, Hawkins is set to become the first woman and first American to set a Masters Track & Field World Record in the 105+ Age Division.
How she does it
Managing her attitude, and tending to her physical health has been her two major strengths throughout her life.
Physical health: She has been an avid bicyclist for many years, eats well, and has been diligent about her medical care including receiving her COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021.
Attitude: She’s always motivated to push new boundaries, to continue to test herself, and to “please her family.” From a Washington Post article:
“I just like the feeling of being independent and doing something a little different and testing myself, trying to get better. I want to please my family is the other thing,” Hawkins said. “Having a momma that can do this pleases them, and it pleases me to please them.”
She’s been fitted for a proper running shoe — New Balance, gray with coral accents. Her sons have measured out the 50 meters in front her house, marking the distance with little white flags tied to the bushes.
Their youngest son, Warren Hawkins, 69, said he is in constant awe of his mother.
“I wish I had my mother’s positive attitude. I think that’s what drives her. You’ve never met anybody that’s better at taking a positive outlook,” he said. “The glass is never half empty. It’s always half full and it’s always going to work out and something good is always going to happen. She’s just determined.”
Other inspiring runners: