I heard about this book on the Today show the other day and ordered it immediately: What Makes Olga Run. It’s the story of Olga Kotelko, a 94-year-old Canadian woman who is a track and field champion—she’s broken 26 records and won 750 gold medals! What’s especially amazing is that Olga didn’t even begin competing until she turned 77, proving that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself and accomplish big things.
I think this book is a must-read. It provides a fascinating look at the science of how we age through the inspiring story of this former schoolteacher and mother of two. The good news: Scientists think that about two thirds of how long we live and how well we age is based on our habits (the other third is genetics). So, there’s a lot we can control.
Some of Olga’s healthy habits: She’s obviously very physically active, she avoids processed food and eats lots of fermented foods like sauerkraut and yogurt, she plays mind games like Sudoku to stay sharp, she gets eight hours of sleep a night (but wakes up in the middle of the night to stretch and meditate—interesting detail, no?), she doesn’t stress out and she maintains strong friendships.
I was especially interested to read that one of Olga’s daughters died of cancer when she was in her fifties, so Olga has known heartbreaking tragedy, but managed to keep going nonetheless.
This book, and the woman who inspired it, are truly inspiring for women of any age who want to push themselves to live their most energetic, powerful, vibrant life.
Images: Random House of Canada