In the News: Run, Grandma, Run!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

There are lots of reasons why health and fitness are important, and we all have our own motivations for getting into shape. I always like to stress that getting fit now will help you stay healthy and independent as you age. After all, the physical decline and weakness associated with aging is usually a product of becoming less active, not aging itself. Speaking of staying fit, a surprising news story caught my attention today: Grandma gives thieves a run for their money.

Janet Lane, a 68-year-old British granny had just cashed her pension check. Waiting on a park bench, three young guys snatched her cash-filled purse and ran off. So what did she do? She ran after them, screaming at them as she went!

"I think those boys saw a little old lady and thought I was easy pickings, but there was no way I was going to sit there and let them get away with it," she told London reporters.

Turns out, Lane was a cross-country champ in her younger days and stays active by swimming and walking regularly. Her active lifestyle paid off. She followed them and caught one by the collar and he dropped her purse before wriggling free!

Even though police would discourage people from chasing a thief or attacker, I think that this is an inspiring story of how fitness can really make an impact on your lifeóno matter what your age! I hope that I can keep up with boys less than half my age when I'm 68! Go Janet!

Would you have reacted the same way? Do you think you could have kept up?

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  • 57
    I am getting back to fit, at almost 60 I have lots more energy and stamina than I did just a year ago thanks to SP motivating me. I know being fit and healthier will make aging nicer and less foggy. Exercise, proper eating and good health keeps so many things at bay, like memory loss, and fading into oblivion. - 10/19/2008   4:21:26 PM
  • 56
    I would have done the same thing! I am a grandmother of two and still run 3 miles a couple times a week! Getting old doesn't have to mean being out of shape. - 10/19/2008   2:25:35 PM
  • 55
    That's awesome and I would have done the same but right now, I couldn't have kept up. I could last at least a block or two, if I hadn't caught them by then - my cash would be gone. :(
    - 10/19/2008   10:05:24 AM
    How awesome is that! Keeping up with the purse snatcher and getting her purse back. I would never have tried running after them myself, if I could even keep up with them. Good luck to Granny, & I hope you continue to keep fit. - 10/19/2008   6:16:15 AM
  • 53
    Way to Go Granny! It might have been unsafe to chase those boys but sometimes its just a reaction to what just happen. - 10/18/2008   9:16:20 PM
    What a great story. I wouldn't want this to happen to me as I am not in good enough shape to chase
    after anyone, hopefully I will never have to experience anything like that but God bless that lady
    she was very brave.

    - 10/18/2008   8:13:17 PM
  • 51
    I agree, wasn't too bright to be carrying around so much cash. But I want to be just as active when I get older! No one better mess with me! lol - 10/18/2008   2:11:34 PM
  • 50
    Neat story, but another reason to have direct deposit of all checks and not carry much cash. - 10/18/2008   2:07:57 PM
  • 49
    Good for the Grandma! It may have been a reckless action, but shows the importance of keeping in shape for times when we may not have a choice, but to be physically strong and be able to run. - 10/18/2008   12:56:37 PM
  • 48
    I don't suggest chasing down muggers like that but hey..."YOU GO GRANDMA!" I'll bet those guys will think twice before mugging a "defenseless, old lady" again! - 10/18/2008   12:35:12 PM
    The story does make one feel good about fitness and age; however, I can't endorse such behavior, no matter what your age or fitness level. There are simply too many crazies out there with guns, knives, and whatever.

    The best advice I've gotten from the police is to keep my valuables in a pocket and carry a purse with a few inexpensives items--makeup and such, and a small amount of money (so the theives won't get cross at finding no money and take it out on you).

    I don't want to be paranoid, but I feel it wise to be alert and not take chances. - 10/18/2008   12:28:17 PM
  • 46
    I admire her courage. I must admit I might have been afraid to chase after them. Maybe she should either not carry cash or use a waist pack or body purse from now on. Brave lady! - 10/18/2008   12:18:17 PM
  • 45
    I had a similar incident a couple of weeks back. My friend and I were walking our usual route and a young man came up behind us. He seemed to come out of nowhere. He was very chatty, a little too much so, and kept his right hand in his pocket the whole time he talked. He wouldn't go ahead of us when we tried to let him by. It was strange. He had some story about visiting his nephew who had been in an accident and he had come by bus to the station and had to walk the rest of the way. He mentioned he was afraid of dogs and wanted to walk with us. We couldn't get him to pass us, so we kept him talking and in view. I must admit I was nervous but we sped up the pace and we were swinging our arms. He commented on the fact that we were walking so quickly. I think he thought we were easy pickings. We fooled him. He even commented that we should be in a Marathon. And he was surprised at how we swung our arms. I told him it was our Military training and that seemed to do the trick. My friend and I are in our 60's and quite fit. He finally left us. I'm sure he knew he wouldn't do well against us. I was worried about the hand he wouldn't take out of his pocket. Not a good situation. We have since changed our route, now that the days are shorter. - 10/18/2008   11:20:43 AM
  • 44
    I'm not sure how I would have reacted in a situation like that. I am glad she was not harmed in the process and glad she got her purse back. See, never underestimate the elderly!! - 10/18/2008   11:14:05 AM
  • 43
    I wear my purse around my waist, a definite deterent to purse snatchers since they would have to wrestle me to the ground to even get at it. Being able to catch a purse snatcher is great. Prevention is even greater. - 10/18/2008   10:17:44 AM
  • 42
    I might have tried to run after the purse snatchers, but I'm sure I couldn't have caught up with them unless they were really out of shape. I like the story, though. It's pretty inspiring for those of us who worry about losing optimum levels of physical fitness as we age. - 10/18/2008   9:15:31 AM
  • 41
    That's awesome! Go girl! - 10/18/2008   8:57:49 AM
    I run in 5 K's at 63. Their is a lady that passes me at times and she is 87. I didn't start running until I was 51. I'm not fast but enjoy the compitition when younger ladies have a hard time with it. - 10/18/2008   8:42:23 AM
  • MRDA40
    This is so cool! I want to be just like this when I am older. Love it and love that age doesn't stop her! - 10/18/2008   8:40:19 AM
  • 38
    Good for here, that is my goal to be that fit when I am older. - 10/18/2008   8:27:22 AM
  • 37
    Way to go Granny! I ran my first 10K this week and finished faster than my time from 14 years ago. Older AND better! I'm 47! A woman finished about 15 minutes behind me who they announced was 82. Now THAT was an inspiration!
    - 10/18/2008   8:23:30 AM
  • 36
    You're only as old as you feel, and I'm in my 30's at age 63. I'd go for 'em, too! - 10/18/2008   8:14:34 AM
  • 35
    I used to work with a woman that, at the time, was in her late 70's. A thief came into her second floor office and stole her wallet. To his surprise she chased him 1/2 mile down the road and almost caught him! She would tell the story with fire in her eyes and say she would have beat him to death if she'd caught him! I think she might have!! I remember thinking that I would really like to be that physically fit at her age. I'm on my way!!! - 10/18/2008   7:59:42 AM
    Proves never to judge a Book by its cover! I like the one locally that attacked a guy with a Samarii Sword for beating up her neighbor! - 10/18/2008   7:09:58 AM
  • 33
    It's not how OLD you are, it's how old you let yourself BE!
    My mother is only 65 and has become obsessed over the past 5 years with creating and recreating her will and her death wishes! I keep telling her that there is NOTHING wrong with her and that she's got at LEAST 20 years left!!! She is 'allowing' herself to become old before her time - and this was a woman who, up until about 6 or 7 years ago was CONSTANTLY on the move, swimming 50 laps each day and MORE!
    When I get OLD, and I mean REALLY old, I want to still be running like the lady in this blog! - 10/18/2008   6:53:18 AM
    oh heck ya, i'm always prepared to defend myself! Go, Grandma, GO! - 10/18/2008   5:24:03 AM
  • 31
    Right On Grandma! Reminds me of my Mom who is 75. She walked the Komen with my sisters...5 kids and she still can run circles around us. - 10/18/2008   4:07:18 AM
  • 30

  • 29
    As we grow older, it's such stories that keep you inspired. Gives enough motivation to stay on track and reminds you that AGE can never be an Excuse to stay idle. Wonderful story. - 10/18/2008   1:13:03 AM
  • 28
    Good job, Gramma! Go! - 10/18/2008   12:22:47 AM
  • 27
    I wouldn't have been that stupid to have CASH in my purse. - 10/18/2008   12:16:45 AM
  • 26
    I love stories like that. Reminds me of 20 years ago when I was 35. I was running a half marathon with a friend who was 1 week away from turning 70. She told me not to wait for her at the finish line, to go inside and keep warm and she would find me. Well, she not only beat me in by 10 minutes, she ran the last mile back, looking for me, then ran it in with me. She is still going strong at the age of 90. She walks ever day and is still young at heart. I want to be like her when I grow up.
    Ann - 10/18/2008   12:06:54 AM
    that is so cool. I want to be that fit. I just started walk and after reading this story I'm going to keep going - 10/18/2008   12:01:34 AM
  • 24
    I love it!!! Go grandma!!! - 10/17/2008   11:51:45 PM
  • 23
    I have some songs on my Ipod that I walk and run to. The Little Old Lady from Pasadena is one of those. I am 56 years old and not a grandmother, but I get so inspired running to "Go Granny Go!" . After reading this blog I think I understand why. - 10/17/2008   11:38:42 PM
  • 22
    GO GRANNY GO!!! I wouldn't have chased after him, but I would of dialed 911 real fast!!! - 10/17/2008   11:31:56 PM
    Well, I think anyone's reaction would be to chase after them..I commend her for her bravery and NO, I wouldn't have been able to keep up, but if you ask me a few weeks from now, I'd say "yes"...I'm getting more and more active as the weeks go on, however, I had knee surgery in June and to this day, I still don't have full use of my knee like I'd like.. - 10/17/2008   11:15:12 PM
  • 20
    That's great for any age, not just a Grandma! - 10/17/2008   10:46:09 PM
  • 19
    Don't mess with grandma, way to go! - 10/17/2008   10:44:44 PM
  • 18
    I heard of a Grandma who broke some punks nose when he reached into her grocery cart trying to steal her wallet. Awesome!! All women, of every age, should realize our strength. - 10/17/2008   10:22:54 PM
  • 17
    Way to go Janet. Many people would say it's to dangerous to "Take the law in your own hands". But in this case it paid off. I'm just glad she didn't get hurt by the attackers. - 10/17/2008   10:18:36 PM
  • 16
    Way to go. I hope I would be able to do that at that age. - 10/17/2008   9:20:02 PM
  • MICHAELA2780
    I want to be a Grandma like that!! - 10/17/2008   8:41:32 PM
  • 14
    Wow! What a Grandma! I hope I'm that fit when I'm a Grandma! - 10/17/2008   7:28:52 PM
  • 13
    I would have done the same thing probably even if they took someone else's. Probably not a smart thing to do. I would have tired out, but thieves are not always fit either. - 10/17/2008   7:03:31 PM
  • 12
    I'm 39 now and I don't think I could have caught them. I'm so glad she could. Maybe they'll think twice before doing anything like that again! - 10/17/2008   6:37:37 PM
  • 11
    Good for her! I am sure those boys weren't expecting her to run after them. I am glad she was able to get her money back. - 10/17/2008   6:35:09 PM
  • 10
    Go Granny! Awesome article! - 10/17/2008   6:34:39 PM
  • MS-CEE
    I would like to think I could be as active! I got some work to do! - 10/17/2008   6:02:41 PM
  • 8
    Go Grandma!!! Great article!!! Thanks - 10/17/2008   6:00:25 PM

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