My 82-year-old grandma that runs marathons
My 82-year-old grandma that runs marathons
Do you find yourself in a vicious cycle of avoiding exercise and making endless excuses?
It’s time to remind yourself of the good old saying, cliché I know, ‘age is just a number’. You might currently be experiencing that daunting quarter (or mid) life crisis but believe me, it’s easier than you think to take the plunge out of your comfort zone and reach for that goal of yours.
To reassure and hopefully inspire you, my Norwegian grandma, Signy Rustlie, spontaneously decided to start running marathons at the bold age of fifty-five. Since then, she has run a total of 127 marathons and is still persisting at the age of 82! Yes, you read that right; she travels all four corners of the globe to do what she does best. Running is her life. Some of the famous marathons she has completed include The Great Wall Marathon, Tenzing Hillary Everest and Boston marathon. At the age of 74, she even ran a marathon in the Himalayas at an impressive 5,300 metres above sea level.
Claim to fame
Her dedication and passion for marathon running has been recognised over the years as she has appeared on various media broadcasts. One of her features included her appearance on the NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) sofa during a Frokost TV interview. Norwegian newspapers have also been keen to feature her as she has been papped during her runs with plenty of action shots in her local area that are illustrated in her articles. On top of this, she has also been a guest on various renowned radio stations across Norway and online podcasts.
As a humble reminder of her achievements, Signy has a collection of her medals, trophies, rosettes, plates, and other awards dotted around her house from walls to cupboards; her house is decorated as a reflection of her adventurous lifestyle. If I were to attempt to count them all, it would take me days. She even has a plethora of fridge magnets as souvenirs from all the famous cities she has visited during her travels.
Plogging is a modern phenomenon which hit off in Scandinavia in 2016. The word comes from the blend of the phrase ‘picking up litter’ and ‘jogging’ which is right up Signy’s street as she loves to do her bit for the environment. Perhaps a trendsetter, Signy has always had a habit of picking up rubbish around her local area as she finds herself on her 6am morning runs during training. Whether it be an empty bottle of coke or a mouldy banana, nothing stops her. Since she found out it has become a recent craze, it has motivated her to do it more than ever before to help save the planet- especially in the current climate.
Putting litter in the bin whilst on a morning jog adds an extra element of reward to my grandma’s running adventures, making them feel more worthwhile. She says, “it’s a good start to the day and sets me up well”.
“Just keep moving”
I feel very lucky to have her as a grandma as she never fails to inspire me and is always there to remind me to keep going and never give up on my goals. After all, if she can run marathons in her 80’s, there are no excuses to stay in your comfort zone in your prime years when you are at your peak; step out of it now and you’ll realise your goal isn’t as hard as you think it is to achieve. If you’re not happy in what you’re doing now and you’re not seeking enough enjoyment, don’t be afraid to make a change regardless of how drastic it is; attitude is usually the only thing holding you back, not your capability.
Another insightful aspect of her marathon journey is that she runs at her own pace. She doesn’t intend on beating others or running faster each time but says that “the most important thing is to get to the finish line”. She avoids the race-like mindset and is aware of her limitations by giving herself plenty of recovery time. As a result, she is sensible enough to prevent injuries from occurring although there has been scares as she keeps pushing herself. Experts are impressed by her performance as she manages to run them under six hours and doesn’t let age knock her back.
I once asked my grandma what her secret is to live a long, healthy life whilst remaining motivated and she answered: “There is no secret. It’s simple: you’ve just got to keep moving”.
Will this motivate you to get ROUND to that run you said you were going to go on or perhaps start training for that marathon? (I hope it has).