Reinventing Your Life

The video below tells the story of 70 year old marathon runner Ed Rousseau. Ed has run more than 80 marathons and more than 70 ultramarathons. His longest run was 384 miles over the course of six days.

It is impressive to see someone running marathons in their 70’s, but it is even more impressive considering that Ed did not begin running until reaching his 40’s. Prior to running, Ed was an alcoholic and smoker. In one interview, he described the point when he finally decided to change his life for the better.

“I was carrying a beer belly, had just quit smoking and I’d just lost my mother to emphysema due to a lifetime of smoking. As a practicing alcoholic, progressing over the years, the consequences (physical health, social, and legal problems) came to a serious point…”

This a great story as it demonstrates our ability to reinvent ourselves. Ed spent the first half of his life as an alcoholic. Exercise was the last thing on his mind. He’s now completely changed his life.

I’ve met people in their 20’s and 30’s who have already given up on life. Meanwhile, here is an example of a man who began in his 40’s. Stories like that of Ed Rousseau demonstrate that it is never too late to change. Each day offers an opportunity to improve. The opportunities do not fall out of the sky however. An active effort is required.

In the words of John Lilly,

“Our only security is our ability to change.”

If there is something you wish to change, get up and get started. The most important step is often that first step. Get it over with and then refuse to look back. I’m sure Ed Rousseau had some difficult days after deciding to change. Look what a consistent effort has done for him. He elected to change and never looked back.

He’s still moving forward.

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9 comments:

  1. Me too. I needed my dose of inspiration.

    The amazing thing about this guy is that he does not sound or look like he’s 70 at all. A lot of people don’t realize the positive effects exercise has on the mind. It keeps you sharp.

  2. speaking of age related, they need to do a piece on my grandma. She is my inspiration because she played tennis all the way into her 80’s. Her eyesight deteriated and thats what stopped her. She lives alone and is still active between yard work and all the stairs she climbs. I hope to have the level of energy she and Ed have when I get there.

  3. This is a great story. There are too many people who believe that change is impossible, even that it’s somehow bad. I’ve had friends who’ve accused me of being disloyal for wanting to change my life. Needless to say, we’re no longer friends. It’s never too late to change. Every once in a while, we all have to reinvent ourselves.

  4. …”I’ve had friends who’ve accused me of being disloyal for wanting to change my life. Needless to say, we’re no longer friends….”
    Environment is stronger than will: the price of change often requires to take a hard look at who is around you too, Pete Davis.

  5. Started at 40?? Geez….I know so many people who have let their health go, or feel like they have already “peaked”….well they’ll benefit from this man’s story(and I plan on sharing it with them). Very inspiring story that supports the line, “It’s never too late!”

    Great post, Ross!

  6. I am in agreement with you all, and the story is incredible. I find it interesting that some of you have had the same experience as I. Good friends upset with you for changing your life for the better, or worse, trying to hold you back.

    Keep doing positive things, and you will attract more positive friendships.

    Hoping to complete a half marathon this summer… not exactly the accomplishment of this man, but for me its gold!!

  7. Ross,
    You should write a book on the mental aspects of fitness via meditation, visualization, quotes, inspiring stories, etc. People train the body so what not the mind and the soul? Your blog and products are the best. You were born to be at the cutting edge of fitness/training and show others wise, jive free methods. If a 15 year old with talent followed your methods he could be a World Champ in 5 years. Look at what a great trainer did for Tyson.
    All the best

  8. Hell Yeah! It’s never too late and nothing is impossible! We’re all making decisions every day about where we will go next and this guy chose to turn away from what would certainly destroy him to something that has enriched his lives and no doubt countless others. Thanks for sharing and I’m really enjoying what you’ve put together here overall. Great work.

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