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My Hero

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Above is my hero, Rhonda Fosser. She turned 60 in May of this year. In the most recent 5K I ran, her chip time was 23:02. She is a phenom! She won the Grandmaster Female trophy for the Watermelon Series of four 5Ks this year as well as a big race in Jacksonville earlier this month. I also think she looks just great.

However, when she was awarded her trophy a young man behind me muttered, "Oh, great, the geriatric awards." I wanted to stick up for her - for me - for us - but I couldn't think of any snappy comeback.

It kind of sat on my mind for several days and I thought that eventually exactly what I should have said would come to me. I thought about a relative I just adore who was considering a career in pediatric physical therapy, but was no longer interested when she discovered her training would involve people of all ages, many of whom would be elderly. There just is a lot of prejudice about older people. I finally decided that I am unlikely to change this young man's mind and heart, so keeping quiet was probably not a bad choice.

The one consolation to this situation is that most of the people holding these prejudices will eventually become subject to the same.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yea for Rhonda - she was a winner.
    Boo for that stupid fellow who hasn't yet realized that each 24 hours that pass makes us 24 hours older (him included). Obviously his brain has a lot of catching up to do.
    2977 days ago
  • JOHAL52
    Smile and say "Yes, isn't it GREAT?"
    2977 days ago
    Next time, someone needs to mutter, "Oh, great, the baby awards."
    2978 days ago
    May the young man survive to still be running at 60 and looking fantastic. No comment was needed - he is young and naive. Or at least, that is the benefit of the doubt I would give him.

    Congratulations to Rhonda, who DOES look fantastic. 60 doesn't mean elderly and infirm.... but those in their early adulthood haven't had enough experience to know that yet.
    2978 days ago
    Grrrr! You don't have to do anything at all to "achieve" youth . . . but you sure do, to achieve such an awesome level of fitness at age 60! Oh, well. Maybe the young man will figure that out one day (or not).
    2978 days ago
    I think I would have asked him what his personal running time was. Why is it that he considers the age of 60 geriatric? What was he, like 12 years old - if not in age then in emotional development? It always bugs me what an obsession there is on youth. I don't consider 60 to be old. Old to me is a state of mind.
    2978 days ago
    My thoughts exactly; he'll be there someday and be blessed if he's still running! I think she's awesome; thanks for sharing!
    2978 days ago
    so he's terminally stupid & she is a winner. she's will always be a winner but i hope he gets over his problem.
    2978 days ago
    emoticon Stupidity comes in all ages and sizes.
    2978 days ago
  • BLUESKY_321
    Running a 5K is respectable at any age and chip time of 23.02 is indeed praise worthy!

    That fellow's comment is such a sad commentary about the state of respect today (regardless of age).

    Luckily we can choose a different attitude and celebrate with everyone's successes, no matter how they relate to our own!
    2978 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/25/2011 9:57:18 AM
    My hero is going to turn 90 this December. She is still somewhat active and very in tune with current events. We've been friends for over 30 years and she inspires me continually.
    2979 days ago
    Great blog! Did the person who complained about the geriatric award run?

    2979 days ago
    That person will come to realise how daft a thing that was to say someday.
    Less said the better, you say enough in your actions. emoticon
    2979 days ago
    2979 days ago
    Less said is often better! We know the truth. Keep being a wonderful example of a fit woman! Right there with ya!
    2979 days ago
    You are so right about the young man becoming a receipiant of the same as he ages....I like to call it "karma"! lol YOU are one of my heros! Go, Marsha!!!
    Theresa emoticon emoticon
    2979 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I would have never guessed that woman was 60!! Gawd she looks far better than me at my current 49 :P.. I would have loved to kick that young man's butt! My 75 year old hero, my Mom, probably has labored hard in her life far more than any young man could ever cope with. She does things, and for long hours that would leave most people dead tired, and STILL cooks and cleans house on top of it!! All her husband has to do is sit around the house all day and sleep and play games on the computer. She looks after the entire house and huge yard!! I could never hope to have the stamina and grit my mom has. It would be interesting to see that young man at a senior age and what he looks like (big belly, sleeping on the couch would be my guess -lots of examples seen around here).
    You have an awesome hero! But I think you are incredible too! You have come such a long way and turned your life around 360 degrees! I hope I can be like you when I reach that age!!
    2979 days ago
    I pray I look and move as great as your hero.
    2979 days ago
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