Lessons from 50 Athletes Over 50

June 24, 2012

In his unique book entitled 50 Athletes over 50 Teach Us to Live a Strong, Healthy Life, author Don McGrath not only introduces us to 50 active people over age 50, but summarizes for us some very important and surprising lessons he learned from interviewing them. The athletes featured in Dr. McGrath’s book span a wide range of activities from running and cycling, to surfing and even dancing. Some of the people featured are lifelong athletes but most of them are ordinary people who have created a lifestyle of being active.

You’ll meet “Banana George” Blair, who holds world records for not only the being oldest barefoot water skier (age 93), but was also the first person to do so on all seven continents. You’ll also meet Katy Okuyama, a surfer who got her start by stealing her older brother’s surfboard when she was 16 years old. Some of the athletes are going beyond doing their sport and are giving back to their communities.

Katy Okuyama

Beyond the inspiring, touching, and sometimes humorous stories of the athletes, Dr. McGrath presents some very important lessons he learned about staying healthy and strong as we age. Writing in a clear, engaging and fun style, he explains how he observed that the athletes he interviewed are not only healthy, but are living strong, healthy lives that are full of fun and adventure. He doesn’t stop there, but goes onto explain how the athletes do so.

Dr. McGrath explains how he discovered that there are four joys that are key to staying active; the joy of good health, the joy of movement, the joy of accomplishment, and the joy of belonging. He goes onto explain how these joys are powerful motivators that once tapped and harnessed, can lead to a sustained active life. He also provides written exercises following each chapter that are helpful in figuring out how to tap into these joys and improve your own activity level. One of the most popular exercises helps readers understand how to bring more play into their life.

Like Impowerage, Mcgrath strongly believes it’s never too late. It turns out that many of the athletes in the book became active later in life; a group McGrath calls Bloomers. There is also a group called Innovators, who change the activities they participate in throughout their lives, and Dr. McGrath tells us how he feels that this is a key strategy for those who are already active and want to stay active for their entire life.

The closing chapter explains how the term “over the hill” is preposterous, life is not a steady climb and descent, but rather a “raucous road” that we adventure down. Here, McGrath invites us to take the lessons he’s presented and join him in traveling this incredible road.

Win a copy of Lessons from 50 Athletes Over 50

If you’d like to win a copy of 50 Athletes over 50 Teach Us to Live a Strong, Healthy Life leave a comment under the article or on our Facebook page. We will choose a random winner on August 10th, 2012. Congratulations to Margaret M for winning a copy.

About the Author:
Don McgrathDon McGrath, Ph.D., is a lifelong athlete and a leading advocate for those who want to be healthy later in life. He lives with his wife Sylvia in Fort Collins, Colorado.

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  • Cindy Simpson

    50+ Athletes are awesome!  We are very aware of our bodies and heed what they say!  I will look for your book and hope there is a badminton player in it!  We 50+ badminton players are very fit!

  • Kbreeck

    what an awesome sounding book. We all  need more positive role models that aging doesnt have to mean growing old ! Looking forward to reading it !

  • Janet Garrison Burns

    This book would be so encouraging.  I do work out, but it’s a struggle to stay motivated.  Hearing from older athletes who continue to make fitness a priority is just what I need.

  • Julie Thacker

    I see lots of 50+ athletes who are very fit. And i see lots of age discrimination against us. I wonder if the book addresses that issue?

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