Since my last post was about a runner who thought of herself as nothing more than ordinary when she completed the Chicago Marathon last week and gave birth just hours later, it seems appropriate to write about another extra-ordinary marathoner, Fauja Singh, who finished the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Sunday at the ripe age of 100, setting a world record.
The centenarian finished the 26.2 mile race in 8 hours 25 minutes, nearly two hours longer than Amber Miller’s time in Chicago a week earlier. Neither are impressive times. What is remarkable is that a hundred-year-old man and a woman who is nine months pregnant can move continually for 8 and a half and 6 and a half hours, respectively. It is mind-boggling because it challenges the conditioned belief that we are capable of such feats only in our prime.
If you think Fauja Singh has been running endurance races all his life, think again. Sunday’s race was his eighth marathon. He completed his first at 89. Mr. Singh attributes his agility and longevity to having abstained from alcohol and tobacco and following a vegetarian diet all his long life. While I am sure that those healthy lifestyle choices have contributed to his astounding accomplishment, I would venture to say that it has as much to do with what he’s put into his head as what he has put into his body.
We as humans, inherently lazy by nature, look for excuses to justify why we don’t challenge ourselves, not only physically but also to achieve greatness in general. These two amazing athletes are testament to that which we all know to be true deep-down inside, that we can do anything we set our minds to if we believe.
So, put that in your head, and get moving… toward physical fitness and your personal greatness. No excuses!