The year was 1983. In Australia, the long-distance foot race from Sydney to Melbourne was about to begin, covering 875 kilometers—more than
500 miles! About 150 world-class athletes had entered, for what was planned as
a six-day event. So race officials were startled when a 61-year-old man
approached and handed them his entry form.
His name was Cliff Young, and his "racing attire" included overalls and galoshes over his work boots.
At first, they refused to let him enter. So he explained that he'd grown up on a 2,000-acre farm, with thousands of sheep. His family could afford neither horses nor tractors so, when the storms came, his job was to round up the sheep. Sometimes, he said, it would take two or three days of running.
Finally, they let Cliff enter, and the race began. Theothers quickly left him way behind, shuffling along in his galoshes. But he didn't know the plan included stopping each night to rest, so he kept going.
By the fifth day, he had caught them all, won the race, and became a national hero. He continued to compete in long-distance races until
well up in his seventies. He was an inspiration to millions and a great
encourager of younger runners.
In his honor and memory, in 2004, the year after his death at age 81, the organizers of the race where he first gained fame permanently
changed its name to the Cliff Young Australian Six Day Race.
What was the key to Cliff Young's success? It goes by various names: determination, perseverance, persistence, tenacity. It means
keeping one's eye fixed steadfastly on a goal, and not stopping, no matter the
difficulties or the obstacles, until that goal is achieved.
This above story was written on a website Simple Truths. This is an amazing story of guts, courage and caring.
Thomas Talbott of Baltimore is ninety years old and he was only nineteen and a corporal in the Marines in 1941. A few days before December
7th, he purchased for himself in Oahu, Waikiki, Hawaii (we were
there in 1975) a Bulova watch which is still running and he was there when
Pearl Harbor was attacked on the 7th, seventy-one years ago. He saw
it all happening and he spent hours trying to rescue the sailors. Twenty three
hundred and ninety died there from the attack. Many are entombed on the ship
Arizona and we saw the ship when we were there and it is a pull on your heart
strings, when you see it and know so many are entombed in it.
He gave a speech on Friday there on the coast guard cutter named Taney, which is from then and it is here in Baltimore. Every morning, he a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, gets up and says “thank you God, I’m reporting for duty.”
He did his duty for his country way back then and is proud of his service time and the remaining veterans are dying off or are too ill to attend these observances. He is fortunate he is able to come and observe the honoring of that day and its veterans who served their country at that time with dignity, honor and love.
Seniors and even plus seniors like Thomas are still active mentally and physically and in the olden days when I was young, we thought of people over sixty as really old. We saw them sitting, relaxing, not exercising, not active, not doing much of anything that kept them vibrant and vigorous. Now seniors even at the age of ninety like Mr.Talbott are telling their stories, so that the rest of the younger generation can benefit knowing these things. These true stories are wonderful to listen to about it in person, from someone who was actually there and our lives are enhanced to hear about these times, from a person who experienced it.
We seniors have to get out, do things, experience new happenings and we should try to be a part of new adventures. Today, I had a new adventure happen that I made happen and I was proud of myself for doing it and conquering the difficulty of walking, I am going through.
I went back to my Weight Watchers class, not knowing they had moved many months ago to another building about three miles away. I went up
to the former place, and it was hard for me to walk the long path from the
parking lot due to my receiving the new shot on Thursday mentioned in another
article, a few days before. The shot will not take a real affect, perhaps to
the end of January. I was determined to go to WW and I was very disappointed
when I saw a dark room in the storefront it had been. I remembered seeing in
the Internet that there was a WW further out, so we drove there and it was
open, bright and very attractively decorated, all new. I did not have to wait
in a long line, because it was actually between classes. Now they keep open between 7- 3, which makes it much easier for the client to stop by, be weighed in and not have to wait for a determined meeting time, if you do not want to stay for
the lecture and just want the literature, a weigh in to see if you gained or
lost weight and either you stay for the lecture, which may be an hour in the
distance or you go on your merry way.
So it was a journey for me walking to the old place, which
is a long path for a person unable now to walk well, back to the car, up a few
miles by car and then to the new one. The new one will be a bit of less walking
to the building, which will be more comfortable for my old knee.
I weighed in after not having been there for eleven months, got all the paper work done, received all the brochures I was entitled to and since it was another half hour wait for things to begin and by then, the old and bad knee was feeling a bit not determined to stay another thirty minutes or longer, off we went. I was entirely satisfied with Elita for being able to do this chore, both WW sites, get the printed information, weigh in and know what she knew anyway from her scale at home; that a few pounds were added to her senior body from noshing at nights and not adhering to WW ‘s learning. That is OK for old senior Elita, because by
December 31st, she will be back to her former slim self and her old
right knee and the left one too, will be elated, excited and encouraged, that
with the added weight off, the old knee or knees will feel less weight and she
should be walking better.
So to the ninety year old veteran who is blessed to be around to honor December 7th each year, and to the memory of Cliff Young, who won the race way back then, they all showed perseverance, skill, and knowledge in knowing what they want out of life, regardless of their age.
I certainly do not think of myself in their league of being heroes; I think I can benefit from their stories on resoluteness, fortitude, and willpower to allow myself to again engage my thoughts and body with the rules and benefits of Weight Watchers and my knees will reap the benefits of less poundage occupying their sites. H.L. Mencken said “honor is the morality of superior men.”
Thomas Talbott and Cliff Young were superior men imbued with the idea of accomplishing superior feats, one in war and the other in peace
time and they enhanced their lives and others’ lives with their deeds. Both men
were heroes, in different ways and it is nice to be thought of by others as
heroes. Heroes can be in anything we attempt and that we do well.
Elita can enhance her life by losing a few pounds and then she will be able to embrace her life with hopefully walking easier, better, faster and with more comfort and therefore, she will be able to perform some tasks that were hard; thereby, showing others in the same way, that if she can do it, they can too, when she goes to WW each Saturday at its new location.
Women can become superior too in other ways and this benefits others you do not even know. I know I hear from my readers, all about my
articles on life now, life then, when I was young and hopefully, the near
future and they email me, that my stories assist them in their life too.
Honor is received in many ways and if I honor myself by returning to WW and succeeding once again there, then I too am a winner by also
being a loser (of weight) and therefore, I can be proud of me and also my WW
classmates, who accomplish the same thing. We will be a hero or heroine to our
self and that is plenty to be proud of at any age.
As Corporal Talbott says each morning, I, too, “am reporting for duty”, when I adhere to WW again and I make my old knee hold up my lighter
body with greater ease.