Thinking about throwing in the towel? Looking for excuses? Alice Hector tells you how to fire up your motivation and change your mind-set for the better.
It’s too late,” My housemate wept into her morning porridge. “I hate my job. I have no savings and no place to call my own. I am single and I am nearing 30. My life is over.” I sigh inwardly – a wizened 32-year-old.
How many times have I heard the despair of my ‘aged’ friends? After all, according to mainstream media, which focuses its energy on the young and beautiful, it’s all downhill after 30. If you aren’t a fit, career-minded superwoman with a brood of kids and a Diet Coke man in tow, it’s all too late for you, unfortunately.
Too late unless you simply change your attitude. My 20s were a torrent of emotion and insecurity. I was a pro athlete, but didn’t have the mental capacity to deal with pressure. I was immature and impatient. I wanted results and I wasn’t getting them. It was all a bit miserable, so I stopped for many years.
Once I hit 30, I got the chance to return to the sport I loved, and that’s when life took off in terms of performance and self-confidence. I am stronger than before – both mentally and physically – and that’s empowering.
I’m professional and mature enough to build a strong business around my sporting success, which provides the financial stability I never had. Experience has taught me many valuable lessons about how to become a success on and off the race course and in order to have these life experiences, you tend to be of a certain age!
It is purely your attitude that determines your altitude. Your age is irrelevant. Yoko Ono summed it up nicely: “Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90. Time is a concept that humans created.”
Don’t just take our word for it
Not convinced? Here’s some examples of women who are achieving incredible things in sport. You’ll notice one recurring theme.
Known as the ‘Iron Nun’, Sister Madonna Buder is the oldest person in the world to compete in Ironman triathlons. She started competing in triathlons at 52 and raced her first Ironman at 55. She’s still going strong at 84 today and holds the 80+ world record (for men and women) with a time of 16 hours, 32 minutes.
Mimi Anderson or ‘Marvellous Mimi’ is a 52-year-old grandmother, and multiple-world-record holder. Her feats include running the length of Britain (840 miles) in 12 days, 15 hours and crossing Ireland (345 miles) in three days, 15 hours. She took up running for the first time aged 36.
Ernestine Shepherd is 78, a bodybuilder, a personal trainer and says she feels better than she did at 40. “Being out of shape as we age is an option, not a mandate,” she says.
As we get older, responsibilities take over and our priorities may not be ourselves, but age itself is no excuse. Changes for the better can be made at any time. Our bodies are amazing machines and stronger than we think. Never let society’s boundaries dictate otherwise.
Find fitness motivation and more in every issue of TRAIN for HER magazine.