I have been dying to write this post because of the pure inspiration that I will be sending out to the masses. I love gangsta old people! Like the woman who started Crossfit.........at 60 YEARS OLD!.....................or the centenarian that RUNS MARATHONS. I actually know one personally and she's my Grandmother (Gege). I mean that is just amazing and though, not all humans are created equal, the fact that healthy lifestyles are associated with older folks being able to do things most older folks can't do (but should be able to), is incredible. That means I'll be right around there when I'm 90 and above if my 1 in 79, 746 risk of getting struck by lightning or my 1 in 5, 051 risk of falling 30,000 feet to my death in a plane crash or my 1 in 340, 733 risk of getting blown up by fireworks doesn't cap my life expectancy too early. So I've been made aware of a diverse list of gangsta old people who inspire me to keep living the good life. Truth is, it is more of an icing on the cake type deal because my motivation has been solidified already. It just makes me even happier to know that is what I can expect, ya know. I think you will like them as much as I do. Here we go:
1. Jim Morris
|Photo Credit: Frugivore|
2. Mimi Kirk
|Photo Credit: The Scrivens Post|
3. Annette Larkins
|Photo Credit: The Speach|
Now this lovely lady is actually on a completely different level. This 71 year old is probably the youngest senior I have ever seen. She has been a raw foodist for 27 years now. She is sooooo gangsta!
She does all of the following:
- Grows her own garden (outdoor and indoor)
- Converts rain water for her drinking water
- Designs and sews her own clothes
- Speaks three languages
- Maintains a 5,000 book library that keeps growing
- Created her own profitable business online
- Wrote a textbook specifically designed to help her grandson learn how to read.
4. Dr. Ellesworth Wareham
|Photo Credit: Spread Peace|
What a name! Sounds kinda like some Jamaican names I know.................Barrington, Benton, Clifton, Wilburn, Delford :) This is my boy right here. He is sooooo ridiculously gangsta! Why? He is 98 years old and he literally retired at 95 from his profession as a surgeon. He said he arbitrarily chose 95 as an age that he would put down he scalpel. Ha! Love this guy. He should make the Guinness Book for being the longest practicing surgeon to date. He's vegan and has been for half his life. He is still mowing his own lawn and pruning his own bushes. Please do absorb all the wisdom coming out of his mouth in 5.....4.....3.....2......1:
5. Bernando Lapallo
|Photo Credit: Mark W. Lipczynski|
I love this guy so much. Another sage walking the earth. He is currently...................wait for it..........................................112. 112 years old. I promise you, that is not a typo. He walks everyday and reads all the time. Then this is where we bonded. He uses olive oil as lotion, just like muah. Kindred spirits! He lives by 5 foods: Olive oil, of course, honey, chocolate, garlic and cinnamon.............in addition all the other edible members of the plant family. He attributes his long life to his bangin' bird food diet and faith in God. Check out the sage here: Bernando Lapallo. This is where I first learned about him:
6. Mike Fremont
|Photo Credit: Runners World|
I heard about this mister some months ago. He is 91 and picked up some airtime in Runners World by finishing his half-marathon in 3:03:56. Smh. Like seriously. A half marathon. What in the world am I really doing? I can hardly last 4 miles. It's probably because I do more HIIT than endurance exercise but still! I know he is putting many 20 year olds to shame right now including myself. This time of 3:03:56 was a world record for his age group but not for this seasoned......well-seasoned runner. Last year his time was 2:56:26 as a 90-year old. He attributes all of this to his vegan diet. In an interview with Running Times, he said:
“Training is important but when you get to be my age, you’re not going to able to train at all unless your body holds up. I simply cannot overemphasize the importance of the plant-based diet to my performance.”
Like many bird food eaters, he notes many benefits such as cold/flu protection and ease of maintaining your ideal weight. Here is an excerpt:
"Fremont explains of his diet. He eats primarily vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts, as well as soups of all kinds. He adds that he takes no supplements or medication, except for some Vitamin D in the winter. He stresses that in the 20 years he has been eating this way, he has not had a single cold or sickness of any kind. At 5-foot-4, he maintains 125 pounds, the same as his wrestling weight during his years at Yale University."
I, like my friend Mike here, find it very easy to maintain my high school weight. Once you start eating the things that the body needs and not what the mind wants, you will experience exactly what I am talking about.
7. Faula Singh
|Photo Credit: ESPN|
|Photo Credit: ESPN|
I just love these pictures. Continuing on the topic of runners, we have here probably the oldest marathon runner EVER. Faula Singh was originally a farmer from Punjab, India who moved to the UK in the 1960s. Faula Singh is 101. Or so has been estimated. He can't be officially recognized as the world's oldest marathon runner because he has no birth certificate (which Guinness specifically requires) though his passport indicates his age. I trust his account. He has run 8 marathons to date since 2000. He originally took up running at 89 years old after the death of his wife and one of his sons. He credits his vegetarian diet to giving him the stamina needed to run his marathons. This goes to show you that you are NEVER to old to start something new. I plan to have 6 languages under my belt by the time I leave this earth. Why not? Living the good life is what it's all about. Faula proves to me that this is possible, seeing what he has been capable of in his old age. Let him share with you some words of wisdom:
8. Marge Jetton
I first heard about Marge after watching a video clip about Blue Zones. If you have no idea what a blue zone is, it describes areas of the world where the inhabitants of that area live significantly longer than the average life expectancy. Most times these areas have a high concentration of centenarians. The only blue zone in the United States is nestled in Loma Linda, California, a predominantly Seventh-Day Adventist community. The Seventh Day Adventist faith encourages a healthy lifestyle primarily through a vegetarian and vegan diet, exercise, stress reducing activities, restful sleep and a solid faith in God. Daily, she bikes 8 miles on her stationary bike, completes a challenging weight-training circuit and power walks. Oh and she still drives! YOU MUST WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW. You will love her and I tell you, my girl knows how to rock some shades. The spunky, Minnie Agerson-Wood, is also featured in the video below. She is 97 years old and still teaching voice and piano lessons. You'll see what I mean by spunky.
9. Teresa Monge
|Photo Credit: MGD|
Here, we have on of my all time favorite gangstas, Teresa. I met her when I studied abroad in Costa Rica in 2009 as she was my Costa Rican great-grandmother. She was the most amazing lady. She had jokes for days and she was sooooo quick. Nothing passed her. Sarcasm was her weapon of choice and she knew how to laugh and have a good time. Sometimes I would come home from classes and find her in her rocking chair on the porch of her little house. I would just sit and talk with her for hours, listening to her stories and just enjoying being in her company. When I was with her, she was 98 years old and kept reminding everyone that she only had two more years until she would be 100. I'm so glad she made it there like she hoped before she passed away peacefully a year ago. She had the same routine everyday. Wake up early, go to bed early and eat just enough. She wasn't a bird food eater all the way but lived off of the land as her son (my Costa Rican grandfather) cultivated the large farmland behind her house. She was wonderful lady and I am so glad I had the privilege of knowing her.
10. Ruby Fray
|Photo Credit: Carolyn Edwards|
Last but definitely NOT least, we have my Gege, Ruby or Rubs as we like to call her sometimes. This lady is most definitely an original gangsta. At 83, she is still chopping wood in the back of the house with a machete, rearranging HEAVY furniture in her room, walking daily, reading daily, advising all her grandchildren and when you get fresh or "facety" as we say in JA, she won't hesitate to check you as evidenced by the following photograph:
She is one of THE FUNNIEST individuals I know. I can only laugh when I'm around her. I'm slowly bringing her up to speed on the plant life but she will always be G, bird food eater or not.
So what can we conclude from these amazing stories? Take great care of your body and it will take GREAT care of you. :)
Thank you for reading! My people, I appreciate you all so much. Be happy and healthy. Ciao!