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.