Motivational Minute:Harriette Thompson

Have you ever felt that you were too old, too young, too out-of-shape, or not talented enough to accomplish something? You should rethink that. Oftentimes, the biggest obstacles we face are in our own heads. I was reminded over the weekend that all things are possible with a little bit of hard work, self-confidence, and the willingness to challenge yourself.

Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, N.C., completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego yesterday in 7 hours and 24 minutes. Thousands of others finished the race too. Most runners finished the marathon in less time. The difference is that Harriette is 92 years old. Ms. Thompson now holds the record for the oldest woman to finish a marathon.

Harriette has completed 17 Rock ‘n’ Roll marathons. This was the hardest one. “It’s harder every year, but this year has been a bad one for me,” said Harriette, adding that her husband died in January, and that she had been suffering from a staph infection.

We can all learn valuable lessons from Harriette. One – push yourself. Don’t accept the limits that others put on you due to age, sex, education, or a multitude of other reasons why they believe you can’t do something. Two – age really is just a number. I know young 90 year olds, and I know old 30 year olds. Be the youngest, most energetic version of you that you can be. And three – try something new and challenge yourself. Harriette didn’t begin running marathons until after she was in her 70’s. I want to be like Harriette – not a bad goal for all of us to strive for.