Every other year, athletes age 50 and older from all around the country gather in a new city for the National Senior Games. Athletes compete at state competitions in events including golf, swimming, and track and field for a chance to ultimately strut their stuff in the national competition.
On Monday, luxury fitness chain Equinox spotlighted six of this year's athletes in its editorial publication, Furthermore — and their stories left us feeling oh-so inspired (read: super ready to get back on track with those New Year's resolutions that have since fallen by the wayside). Watch the video from Furthermore above to see these inspiring athletes in action, and read on for their wise words on staying fit and living well.
1. Fitness doesn't have to be complicated.
"The mailbox is about 100 meters from the house, so I don't walk to the mailbox. I run," says Norman Meeker, 88, who will compete in the 400- and 800-meter dashes. "We also go dancing once a week."
2. The way you start your day changes everything.
"I get up in the morning and stretch the body for 15 minutes," says Norman's wife, 89-year-old Misako Meeker, who will compete in the discus event. "Instead of getting up or staying in bed, I stretch. I do that for 15 to 20 minutes every day, no question."
3. It pays to listen to that encouraging little voice inside your head.
"When I first saw the list of events [back in November 2002], I said to myself, 'Oh my god, I've never done any of this!'" says Joann Sampson, 76, who now competes in the 50- and 100-meter dash events. "A voice said to me, 'You can do this.' So, I've learned to listen to the soft voice now that speaks to you because that voice normally is the right voice to listen to."
4. Look at youth as motivation.
"I play three times each week at my local Y with a group of guys mostly in their 20s and 30s," says 73-year-old Harry Carothers, who will compete in the 3x3 basketball shooting event. "And then when I go and play against people in their 70s, I'm thankful, because I'm usually in better shape."
5. It's OK to take breaks.
"Maybe every two or three weeks, I will take one day off," says 71-year-old cyclist Carol Jean Vosburgh. "I really don't like to take a day off, but I know I have to."
6. Love conquers all — even achy knees.
"The training is where the big thing is. Somedays I don't feel like training because my knee hurts, and she goes so I'll go with her," says 70-year-old Eric Hill of his wife, Susan, 67. The husband and wife pair will compete in the heptathlon. "It's really nice."
The 2017 National Senior Games will take place June 2 to 15 in Birmingham, Alabama.