If you haven’t guessed by now, we consider the word “senior” somewhat slanderous. Not only does “senior” somehow span decades of thriving life, it also is used to imply incompetence or lack of ability. It’s quite easy to see how people in their 50’s and 60’s continue to break the mold and challenge common beliefs, but the opportunities to live life to the fullest don’t stop there. Plenty of people have not only done amazing things for their own age, they’ve also done them for any age.
Here are a few of our favorite stories of people who refused to let their negative, inaccurate label stop them from living their best life:
Fauja Singh is a British Sikh centenarian marathon runner. In his life he has beaten a number of world records across many age brackets, but none of his times have officially set a record. Currently his personal best time for the 2003 London Marathon is 6 hours 2 minutes. His marathon record is 5 hours 40 minutes. This was, at the 2003 Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and he was 92 years old.
Yuichiro Miura is a Japanese alpinist who became the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 2003, at age 70. That record was broken, but it was he who broke it! Miura had two heart surgeries for cardiac arrhythmia, in 2006 and 2007. On May 23, 2013 Miura again became the oldest person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest at the age of 80. This achievement is listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
Roger Allsopp, a retired breast cancer surgeon, achieved his goal of becoming the oldest person to swim the English Channel. On Wednesday 31 August 2011 he set off from Shakespeare Beach in Dover, Kent, at 8am and swam for 17 hours and 51 minutes. In doing so he claimed a new Guinness World Record. At 70 years and four months, he beat the current record holder, George Brunstad, the uncle of Hollywood star Matt Damon.
Sumiko Iwamuro is Japan’s first octogenarian DJ and she can spin a mean beat! At 82 years old “DJ Sumirock,” is a monthly fixture at a club in the heart of Shinjuku, Tokyo called DecabarZ. She fell in love with music because of her father, who was a jazz drummer. During World War II, she would listen to jazz records, muffling the gramophone with a cushion so others didn’t know that she was listening to music from enemy Allied forces. After a career in the restaurant world, she found her way back to her passion for music, sharing it with the club scene.
Jeanne Socrates has sailed 160,000 ocean miles to circumnavigate the world seven times. She has already been recognized by Guinness World Records and nautical associations, like the Cruising Club of America, as the oldest woman to circumnavigate the globe in a non-stop, solo, unassisted sailing trip. She completed the trip in 2013, Victoria to Victoria in 258 days.
Whether your passion is music, sailing, climbing, running, swimming, or anything, you should never stop pursuing it. Labels like “senior” are meant to hold you back, but we believe it challenging and empowering you to move forward. That’s the essence of inspiring wonder. Wonder what you can do, and you’ll find the inspiration to do it.