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Exercise Column

Motivational stories

There are so many stories to use for motivation with which to get you started or to keep you going. The possibilities are endless.

In terms of exercise and improvements in biological age you only need to look at some masters athletes. This year's Masters Runners of the Year recipients included 72 year-old female Ginette Bedard whose 1:45:53 half-marathon time and 3:46:34 are respectable for any age and when adjusted by current age-graded percentages are world-record performances.

There were three women in the 90 - 94 year-old age group who ran in races allowing them to be listing in the rankings.

Masters rankings include women and men ages 30-up who compete. Who knows the number of active individuals who chose not to compete but rather to exercise for health and enjoyment alone.

On the men's side for runner's there is 80 year-old John Kestor whose half marathon time of 1:39:28 is equivalent to a sub-7:45 minute per mile pace. In the 95+ year-old age group there was Abraham Weintraub who competed in the Niketown Run for the Parks 4 mile run and completed the distance in 1:35:38.

Masters in all sports continue to participate and compete well past the age of 100. Many centenarians compete in local, state, regional, national, and yes, international competitions.

One sad note for me this year was the passing of John Sinabaldi, age 91, following an illustrious career as a cyclist. He competed in two Olympic games (1932 and 1936) and raced for over 70 years. He won age-group masters national titles countless times. On the two occasions I won in my age-group, I was fortunate to see him bound onto the award platform in his age-group also - including this past spring in Salt Lake City.

He was an inspiration to myself and countless others and let us see what the human body is capable of and how being physically active allows one to maintain function late in life.

The list of motivational physical feats, and people, are endless. They are out there. Look at the possibilities.

Written by Dr. Sternlicht for on 2.18.06