93-year-old rower has cardio of a 40-year-old
While attending college in a small town in Iowa, one of my favorite professors was seen frequently jogging around campus.
She was a beast and one of the fittest people I’d ever met. She was so committed to health and fitness that apparently she had been part of research that determined her biological age was much less than her chronological age.
Until that point I didn’t know that was possible.
Recently, Richard Morgan has taken that frontier to a whole different level.
The 93-year-old is a 4x champion at indoor rowing and has rowed a distance equivalent to almost 10x around the earth!
In a recent study, scientists were shocked to discover he has the cardiovascular power of someone in their 30’s and 40’s. What’s even more amazing is he hasn’t been doing it for that long.
He started exercising at 73-years-old!
One day while watching his grandson’s rowing practice, the head coach invited him to come over and test one of the rowers. Morgan then started rowing on his own for 40-minutes per day in a shed in his backyard – and the rest is history.
When researchers tested Morgan, they were shocked on multiple fronts. For one, his lifestyle and exercise routine had led him to 15% body fat and 80% muscle (which challenges the belief that muscle loss is inevitable with age),
Also, when he exercised they were shocked to discover his heart rate climb to 153 beats per minute!
(Well beyond the estimated max heart rate of 127 for his age and proof of how strong his heart had become)
While there’s a lot to admire about this guy, one belief leaps out:
It’s never too late.
Wherever you are at.
Whether you believe you are in the second quarter… third quarter… or fourth quarter of life. It’s never too late to get started with an exercise routine. A routine that meets you where you’re at. And as your muscles and cardiovascular engine adapt - see where you can take it from there.
For much more on what’s possible with this type of possibility mindset:
Becoming a Mindful Athlete
101-Year-Old's Three Powerful Longevity Tips
Few things fire me up more than those who keep climbing the ‘mountain of athleticism’ despite the odds.
Dr. Howard Tucker is a prime example:
Tucker was born… wait for it… in July of 1922! He has been married to his wife for 66 years and has four kids and 10 grandkids. Plus…
This 101-year-old is still working as a neurologist!
(Not part time – full time!)
While many people are lucky just to break a hundred, those who do are rarely still working in their career.
What’s his secret?
Tucker believes they definitely play a role but they aren’t the only reason:
“Genetics is a head start, but no more than that.”
Outside of working each day, he simply runs on the treadmill a few times per week.
Besides these, he shares three tips for his unbelievable (quality) longevity:
#1: Don’t retire completely
Most of Tucker’s day consists of working as normal (morning is spent doing hospital rounds and afternoon is in his office).
“I think retirement remains the enemy of longevity”
He believes the more interested and curious we are about the world around us, and the more we can take pleasure in the work we do, the better.
#2: Think young
One way Tucker does this is by setting compelling, future goals. An upcoming one for him is to hike the Alps. He’s noticed that friends of his who started seeing themselves as old have been the ones who haven’t lived as long. Another way is ‘thinks young’ is he consciously spends time with people younger than him.
“I have good friends who are in their 70s and 80s, and they keep me young”.
#3: Loving relationships
Tucker attributes much of his longevity to his relationship with his wife and the connection that he has with his family. He stays involved in their life and has learned a crucial lesson in all relationships: let go of hatred. He says the tension, frustration and judgement isn’t worth holding onto and hurts us in the process.
While these tips may be simple, there’s something to be said about the power of each one (especially compounded).
And while not everyone may reach the centenarian milestone like Tucker, without a doubt our health, fitness and wellbeing would be greatly enhanced if we took his tips to heart.
P.S. If you combine Dr. Tucker’s tips with the 4 Warrior Spirit Mentality lessons from the September Mind-Body Breakthroughs you can take your athleticism to an uncommon level and truly be a force to be reckon with. Check out the latest issue here.
105 Triathlons in 105 Days
Sean Conway has chased (and broken) world-records across multiple categories.
#1: World’s first
#2: World’s furthest
#3: World’s fastest
In 2013, he broke ‘world’s first’ by swimming Land’s End to John O’Groats (length of Britain)… then world’s furthest by doing a 4,200 mile triathlon around Great Britain. And then world’s furthest with an unsupported bike ride across Europe.
He thought these would be life-long pursuits, but in 2018 he checked them all off his list. And that’s when he realized a 4th category of world records:
And that’s when he hatched the idea to do the most iron-distance triathlons in a row. The previous record was 101 by “The Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence.
And in July 20th 2023, Sean made history by doing 105 irons in 105 days.
What’s fascinating about Conway’s accomplishment is all the unexpected twists and turns it took.
For example, he thought it would be smooth sailing during the first handful of triathlons (since he was fully rested). But during the first week, he suffered from multiple knee injuries and shin problems and almost missed his time. For two weeks, he fought through these pains and was in a thick mental battle. He constantly was worrying about getting enough sleep and making his times.
Then something interesting happened:
“The first month was hard, and then suddenly it just got good. The second month I was flying.” – Sean Conway
He hit an unexpected tailwind and soared through his races… for a few weeks.
Then his body retaliated once again. This time his low back and hips started causing him trouble. So much so that he had to do rehab exercises (such as hip bridges and leg raises) during his mid-race breaks just to keep his glutes activated.
There’s a whole lot more to say about Conway’s incredible record-breaking journey.
But something that jumps out like a man in a gorilla suit is:
It’s hard to predict your fitness journey.
You may have all sorts of expectations and beliefs about how your fitness journey is going to go (or how it ‘should’ go). But more often than not, you don’t have a clue. You may crush it at the start and then month two run into some turbulence. Or you may find a slow start but then you break through and have wind-at-your-back momentum at month three.
There’s no telling what will happen. And that’s where if you think it should go a certain way and it doesn’t - then it can be extremely disappointing.
Instead, let your journey unfold.
Be open to it.
Be open to the challenges, and know that one thing is for sure:
There will be no straight lines on your journey. Things will ebb and flow in ways you may not see coming. Whether it’s previous injuries… unexpected injuries… old habits… or mental barriers that pop up out of nowhere.
Chances are, something will show itself.
And it doesn’t mean ‘game over’.
It means, time to adapt. Time to adjust your approach. Time to be flexible. And time to discover that you’re capable of handling so much than you realize.
I just had to readjust my perspective and my ambitions for the end. I felt a bit flat, but there was never doubt in my mind. – Sean Conway
P.S. For embracing that adaptable, flexible mindset that’s willing to take whatever challenges come your way and keep moving forward – check out the September 2023 Issue of Mind-Body Breakthroughs for a short primer into one of history’s most unique athletes. Their mindset was not only feared by their opponents but also brought greater purpose and meaning into their training.
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