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Aging Superstars – Do They Promote Inspiration or Inadequacy?

By Susan Williams

They are out there.

Some amazing older people doing some amazing things.

These aging superstars are definitely not sitting around in their rocking chairs reminiscing about the good ol’ days.

They are out there actively living them now.

Here are just a few examples;

  • There’s a 94 year old woman who just set a new half marathon record by being the oldest woman to complete the distance
  • A man was discovered at the age of 79 on a fashion runway in China and began a whole new career as a fashion model
  • Or how about the two 98 year olds who are the oldest yoga teacher and yoga guru in the world
  • There’s also an 85 year old man who became the oldest person to run 26.2 miles in under four hours
  • Plus the 94 year old gymnast who says “you’re never too old to roll”

We are also bombarded with highly publicized images of people who are “Aging Well“.

Did you happen to see;

  • Jane Seymour posing for a magazine cover in a bikini at age 62.
  • Christie Brinkley being featured in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated at the age of 63
  • Or the promotion of celebrities who have “only gotten better looking with age”

This got me thinking.

Are these stories and images of aging inspirational or could they possibly promote feelings of inadequacy?

Let’s be honest. Many of the people profiled in these stories often have some talent or drive that most of us don’t necessarily have.

For example, how many of us ran marathons when we were younger never mind even considering doing it in our later years?

That’s why so often we are in awe of these individuals.

They are doing something that we are not and at an age we never expected.

I think the trick is to make sure that we don’t shift to comparing ourselves to these individuals and the “I could never do that” or “I could never look like that” and generate feelings of inadequacy as a result.

I believe that if we keep the focus on the inspirational aspect that these stories offer it could be extremely valuable to us as we age.

They could inspire us to keep trying new things, to not bow down to the traditional views of aging and take a more positive view of what life could offer in our own aging process.

They may motivate us to focus on our own strengths and talents and inspire us to continue developing them.

They could help to remind us to pay attention to our health, to keep moving forward and live the best life that we possibly can – no matter how old we are.

If these stories can do that – then that’s inspirational…. and we can all be aging superstars.

This article originally appeared on Booming Encore and was reprinted with permission.

Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore – a website and social media network dedicated to providing information and inspiration to help Baby Boomers create and live their very best encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and personally tries to embrace Booming Encore’s philosophy of making sure every day matters. For daily updates to help you live your best encore, be sure to follow Booming Encore on Twitter and join them on Facebook.

 

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