Nels Glesne ziplining on his 100th birthday. Photo courtesy Skyline EcoAdventures, Hawaii
Summertime has a magic all its own, and we are never too ‘adult’ to feel its pull. When we’re kids, running, playing and eating ice cream is what summer is all about – so why leave that behind as an adult? This month, we bring you an octogenarian record setter, another octogenarian who’s sold a million ice cream cones, and a centenarian who celebrated his birthday with the escape scene from a movie. These seniors know that keeping things fun is the best way to live a happy, active and long life, and this summer they’re excellent role models for the rest of us. Caregivers, home care aides and loved ones can check out what these playful seniors are up to, and get inspired to have a fun and festive summer!
Ed Whitlock doesn’t just have rock star hair, he’s kind of a running world rock star. He holds more than 80 world running records in distances ranging from 1500 meters to the marathon, with 11 single age records in the marathon alone. In April, he ran a half-marathon in a blistering 1:50:47, which isn’t just the new world record for 85-year-olds, but a great time for a runner of any age. Does he owe it to his unusual training regimen, which finds him running loops around a local cemetery for 3 hours a day? We don’t know, but rumor has it that he has his sights on the current record for age 85 in the marathon, which was set in 2008. Run, Ed, run!
As of this May, Sandor Foldi of Great Britain has been selling ice cream from an ice cream truck for 54 years. He just turned 86 years old, and calculates that he’s sold over one million ice cream cones! Sandor emigrated from Hungary in 1956 to escape political turmoil, and found work as an engineer. But the lure of the open road, and the joy of bringing ice cream to children, was too strong to resist, and in 1966 he took up the ice cream lifestyle. If an ice cream truck is the symbol of the season, then it would be easy to call Sandor Old Man Summer – if there was such a thing. He doesn’t care about labels, he just plans to keep selling ice cream cones out of his truck until age 99. That’s a whole lot of cones!
Nels Glesne, centenarian resident of Maui, celebrated his recent milestone birthday with some adrenaline-fueled fun. He went kiteboarding and ziplining with nearly all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren tagging along with him. After two hours in the surf, he completed a zipline course in Haleakala composed of five separate lines, including a swinging bridge and a 90-foot drop! Nels admits to a ‘need for speed’ and enjoys the take-off and acceleration part of the zipping the best. He wore a helmet equipped with a GoPro, and managed to hang on to a handheld camera too, taking zipline selfies while zooming through the forest!
You and your loved ones may not be ready to kitesurf, run a marathon, or even take up a career as an ice cream truck man. We are all different, so every senior has to find their own summer adventure. But summer is the time to add some adventure, some indulgence, and some bucket list stuff to your life! So get out there, strap on your helmet, and fly!