Monday, 12 April 2010

Never too old

Have you ever uttered the words "I'm too old for that"...?

Well here is an antidote.

Please allow me to introduce you to my husband's grandmother, Lil Ruffle (pictured far right). This photo was taken in India just two weeks before Gran's 86th birthday.

We were cycling from from east to west coast in January 2010 when Gran had an unfortunate accident, breaking her thumb and cracking her pelvis.

We aborted our Indian trip and flew to Singapore so Gran could recover enough to make the rest of her journey back home to Adelaide. Gran visited us last month and I'm happy to report she's back on the bike again.

I know of people decades younger than Gran who have said, "I'm too old to travel" and other's declare "I'm too old to cycle". Gran proves to us that we're only as old as we think we are, and that a healthy youthful attitude gives us a healthy youthful mind and body.

Here are a few remarkable feats that this super great, great gran has achieved:
  • Cycled 100,000km (62,137mi) in seven consecutive years during her 'prime time' - her 60's

  • In October 2004, she rode the 'Bay in a Day', cycling 210km (130mi) in 10-hours, just ten weeks before her 81st birthday

  • Cycled an official stage route of the Tour Downunder, a very hilly 134km (83mi) in the 2008 'Challenge Tour' two weeks after turning 84 years young

  • In November 2009, two months before turning 86, she cycled Adelaide's challenging 100km (62mi) Amy Gillett ride, which included climbing non-stop up the unforgiving Willunga Hill
So the next time you think you're too old to do something or learn something new (Gran was 68 when she learned to snow ski and 76 when she first rode a mountain bike), cast your mind back to this post.

Until tomorrow, may you continue to drink from the fountain of youth

Grace xx

ps. Gran also suffered from a rare life threatening autoimmune disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis (WG) in her late 60's to early 70's. It robbed her of her hearing and eyesight, paralysed her for several weeks, caused ulceration throughout her body and reduced her to less than 25kg (55lb). Gran insists that anyone who writes about her also mentions this illness to raise awareness. If WG remains undiagnosed, and therefore untreated, it can be fatal.

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  1. Inspiring stuff Grace - a fantastic woman by the sounds of it!

  2. So, life begins at... 60! Good genes or the will to live life to the full? It must it be both! I've got a friend who is only in his mid forties, yet refers to his childhood as being when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth! Well, there's a difference in attitude here! And to hear of this illness she overcame at that age- amazing. Many people retire from work in their sixties, but they should never retire from living.

  3. She's totally inspirational - and puts our woes into perspective!

  4. Grace I hope u r planning to compile a book of these nuggets of wisdoM

  5. You're the third person that has said that... who knows...???

  6. AMAZING!!! She rules!!! how great to have her by your side and remind you, "you never know!"

  7. oh my heck! i just read and watched your wedding post- soooo great! you put into words BEAUTIFULLY what a blessing and joy marriage is! and hello GORGEOUS bride yourself, LOVE the lovey picture, beautiful.
    i hadn't seen that youtube either and loved it! thanks for bringing so many smiles to my day.
    love you!

  8. wonderful, thanks Grace!

  9. Starting riding at 76 AND has ridden up Willunga Hill - she is a Super Gran!! Such a fantastic reminder that it's all mind over matter

    Jess xxx

  10. Hi Chanel, Emma and Jess... yes, she truly is amazing and it's great to share her story to inspire others.


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