What A 100-Year-Old Marathoner Can Teach You About Stickability

CoachMel Exercise 10 Comments

Sometimes we find ourselves making excuses as to why we don’t exercise.

One of these excuses may be that we are “too heavy,” “too unfit,” or even “too old” to take part.

If you’ve found yourself using any of these in the past, deep down you probably know they are little more than an excuse.

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My husband came across an inspirational story recently, about a 100-year-old man, Fauja Singh, who just ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 8 hours, 25 minutes, and 16 seconds.

He only took up running 11 years ago… yes, he was 89-years-old when he started. Amazing!

He actually began running when his wife and son passed away, and now trains every day by running 10 miles.

Just before he came around the final corner at the Toronto marathon, he is reported to have said,

Achieving this will be like getting married again.

He currently holds the world record for the over-90 category, after running the 2003 Toronto marathon in 5 hours and 40 minutes.

So, what does he put his stamina down to?

Ginger curry, tea, and being happy apparently! 🙂

Mr Singh stated,

The secret to a long and healthy life is to be stress-free. Be grateful for everything you have. Stay away from people who are negative. Stay smiling. And, keep running.

What an amazing story.

You see, nothing is impossible when you put your mind to it.

Fitness Motivation: What’s Yours?

So, how can you find that inspiration to make exercise part of your everyday life, too?

I read an excellent quote recently, which said, “Inspiration is 99 percent perspiration.

In other words, anything which you’d like to become proficient at, whether it’s playing the piano, or sticking with a workout routine, requires practice, patience, and perseverance… even when you don’t feel like it.

When you find yourself saying, “I don’t feel like exercising.” Just go right ahead and put your workout clothes on anyway. Then at least make a start with your routine.

I usually find when I do that that I will keep going, and ultimately feel so much better for it afterwards.

Remember, fitness is truly non-negotiable.

Don’t think you can get away without moving your body regularly in the long-run. You won’t. There will be a consequence of some sort.

Being fit is critical for your health and well-being.

You can make the time for it every day.

Have you found something that inspires you to keep at it? What’s your fitness motivation?

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Comments 10

  1. cathy in NZ

    my response is not about running a marathon but about the timely article you have posted…

    i have been “trying to find myself” since I graduated a few months ago from University. Over the last few weeks I have “working” etc through issues…

    and finally I have made a decision that what I’m most happy doing is “learning” so I’m going back to Uni to carry on moving up the ranks of academia…

    and your 100yr old mention plays directly when yesterday a Graduate Centre advisor said words to that effect that they had a PhD student who was 90 and I was certainly old but not that old…so carry on!

    At this moment, you and me (+ a few at Uni, I have spoken briefly to) are the only ones to know. I will probably tell my network when I have sent the paper work through…

    1. Melanie

      Your message is so encouraging to me. I am so pleased to hear about your decision, that is really wonderful. It can sometimes be so difficult to make decisions like that. Also, I’m so pleased that this article was helpful to you 🙂 Thank you again for sharing that, I do love to hear from you. Looking forward to hearing more about the next chapter in your life 🙂

  2. Tom Parker

    Gotta admit Melanie this week I didn’t go to the gym and made the excuse that I was “too busy writing”. It’s true that I am busy but I will not be any less busy next week so need to get back on it ;-).

    My motivation for exercising has changed over the years. When I started my main motivation was to bulk up. This is till a goal but now I would say my main motivation is to be able to get through life without any major health issues. By exercising regularly and eating right I am hoping that my later years will be just as enjoyable, pain free and disease free as the years I am enjoying now.

    1. Melanie

      That’s a great motivation to have. My fitness goals are very similar actually, although at the minute I am also trying to strengthen my back with certain exercises, as being pregnant seems to give me a little back pain.

  3. cathy in NZ


    You know it’s alright to fall off the wagon occasionally and you have admitted it – congratulations

    Even though you are busy writing, you need to factor in some time out…just for thinking or reviewing where you and your writing are going.

    even though you have a gym and have used it – you could make a small change for a few weeks. Take a brisk walk in your “thinking” time…even something small like this may well show you

    you could increase walking and forego the gym
    you love the gym, walking is boring

    don’t forget to breathe and whilst you are off the wagon change the food/water requirements to suit things.

    Cathy, who isn’t trying to be Melanie, just adding some sage advice 🙂

    1. Melanie

      lol Cathy… PLEASE feel free to comment and add your thoughts at any time. That’s wonderful, and I’d love more of my readers to do the same 🙂

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