"I've learned other life lessons along the way, but the ones that I'd look back and tell my twenty something self now are: It's not what you say, it's what you do; don't pay attention to how old you are, only focus on how old you feel (...)"
Marie Dorothy Buder, also known as Madonna Buder and the Iron Nun (a title she earned after completing the 2005 Hawaii Ironman at 75 years old), is a Catholic religious sister and Senior Olympian triathlete. She was born in 1930 and currently holds the world record for the oldest person to ever finish an Ironman Triathlon, i.e., for finishing the Subaru Ironman Canada in 2012 ... when she was 82 years old.
Madonna Buder started training when she was 48 after Father John had told her that it could improve "mind, body, and spirit". When she was 52, she completed her first triathlon; at 55 her first Ironman (via and via). But more about her in Nike's clip.
"I don't know what I'd do without running! I love the feeling I get when I whiz past people younger than me and they say, I want to be like you when I get to your age!"
Nike's wonderful new clip with/about Madonna Buder:
Behind the scenes:
"During those days, there wasn't any organized races, (including marathons and triathlons) for women. Those races came out for women eventually, but what she had was just organized by schools. Sister Madonna was 48 when she started running for fun — "Father John told me it would be good for my body and mind" — and it wasn't until 1977 that she actually ran her first race who wasn't really sure if it was OK for her to be running races, since she was the only nun doing so realizing the public wasn't used to a nun running. So to avoid creating slanderous conditions, she checked this all out with the bishop in advance. She told him she wanted to run for the cause of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but that she wasn't sure how the media would handle it, so she wanted his blessing. He said, "Sister, I wish some of my priests would do what you're doing." (via)
"Asking how she trains for these triathlons, she says she runs to church every day and bikes 40 miles to swim in a lake near her home. She also jogs to her regular visits at the local jail, when it's nice out to talk to the inmates about Jesus and read scriptures to the them - an activity which she says makes her feel "so blessed" to come home from. As for her diet, Sister Buder sticks to a mostly raw diet of fruits and vegetables, but incorporates carbs and protein powder into her meals, and she says she 'listens' to what her body tells her it needs. Last year she had a biking accident where she fractured her pelvis, so while her body heals, she has been water jogging at the YMCA and going in the hot tub to let the jets and heat treat the nerves that are tender, and then she does the elliptical even though her doctor probably wouldn't advise that." (via)
Images via and via and via