Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, 2022 and indeed, it’s time to celebrate! In honor of celebrating this special day tomorrow, we’re highlighting seven amazing women. These women are not only role models, but prove that life can truly change course at any age!
International Women’s Day Role Models
How better to celebrate Women’s Day than by getting inspired by some amazing women?
Wendy Ida is 69 years old and in better physical shape than most of us. It wasn’t always that way; she spent the majority of her life overweight and out of shape. At the age of 43, she began an exercise regime that not only helper her to lose 80 pounds, but changed her life.
After time, she took her passion to a professional level, shifting careers from Corporate Accountant to fitness instructor. She currently resides and trains her fitness clients in California. She also holds two separate Guinness World’s Records in fitness! Learn more about Wendy here.
Dorothy Custer was an interesting woman, even in her youth. An amateur entertainer, comedienne and musician, she enjoyed living life to it’s fullest. Best known as “Idaho’s Grandma”, she was invited to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2011, for her 100th birthday, which solidified her celebrity status.
Not satisfied to rest on her laurels, Dorothy then went ziplining in the Snake River Canyon for her 101st birthday. On her 102nd birthday, she officially became the oldest BASE jumper in history, by base jumping off the Perrine Bridge into the Snake River Canyon. She also rode in a hot air balloon over Park City, Utah for her 103rd birthday. She was quoted as saying, “I never thought of age. I just went on living and having a good time.” Dorothy passed in her sleep in 2015, one month before her 104th birthday.
Not unlike many of us, Ida Keeling went through some dark times. Within two years, her husband and two of her four sons all died tragically when she was in her 40’s. Her daughter suggested that she start running as a way to help her manage her stress and grief.
In 2016, Ida became the first woman to complete a 100 meter run at the age of 100 years old. She was a Master record holder in 60 meters and 100 meters for women 95-99 years old and in the 100 plus age categories. She passed in 2021 at the age of 106 years old. Her remarkable memoirs Can’t Nothing Bring Me Down: Chasing Myself in the Race against Time can be found here.
Jacqueline Murdock grew up in Harlem in 1930’s and 40’s, loving to dance. She loved to dance so much so that she danced professionally on the stage of the Apollo Theater in her young adult years. After marriage and having children, she worked at NYU and eventually earned three degrees and even making the Dean’s List at NYU.
Her dream however, had always been to be a model. This came true for her at the age of 80 years old, when as a retired octogenarian, she was walking in her New York City neighborhood and was scouted for a high fashion magazine. When the photos were released, she was actually asked to be the main model (at 82 years old) for a Lanvin (French multinational high fashion house) campaign. It’s never too late for dreams to come true!
Evelyn Gregory had a wonderful life. Married for 42 years and enjoying many years with a career in banking, she just couldn’t let go of her childhood dream. She had always wanted to be a “stewardess”, but out of her father’s concerns for her future, she chose a career in banking.
After a long marriage, her husband passed, leaving Evelyn to ponder what would come next for her. Recalling her childhood dream, she pursued becoming a flight attendant. There were many rejections, but Evelyn finally earned her wings with Mesa Airlines at the age of 70!
Janice Lennard is a poster woman for International Women’s Day. She was always physically active, a trained ballet dancer as a young adult, she understood the benefits of training her body and mind. She is a shining example of taking a healthy lifestyle into her golden years.
As Janet moved into older age, she began to realize the benefits of yoga, Pilates and other forms of dance. Now 80 years old, she has been certified and has been providing personal training and instruction for many years. Her motto is, “Age is not an obstacle”. Learn more about Janice on her website.
At 59 years old, Flo’s best friend Barbara Jordan convinced her to try senior track and field sports. She’s never looked back and today at 87 years old, she’s running out of space to put all of her medals. She trains 5 days a week in high jump, long jump and pole vaulting.
She has more than 800 medals and in the USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championships in 2021, she set two new world records in her age group in the pentathlon and the 80-meter hurdle. And she shows no signs of stopping!
No matter where you are in the world, or even what age you are, take the time to look around and seek inspiration from the strong women around you. Knowing that we’re never too old to make a change or make a difference is the best way to celebrate Women’s Day that we can think of!
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