The three women share their later achievements


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As you know, I’m always on the sidelines late flowering, so I became curious about people who did something extraordinary in their older years. We talked to three women who did just that …

Ko: Evelyn
Where: Owasso, Oklahoma
What: I got my doctorate at 51 years old

“I’ve always loved the academic community – I feel like it’s stretching me. When I was growing up, my Aunt Geraldine got her PhD and started a charter school. She went to sitting benches and always separated social norms. I connected with her more than anyone else in my family. So I decided to start my PhD when my son went to college. I am now pursuing a PhD in leadership education and political studies because I know I have something to offer leading people and helping to make big decisions. There are major ways in which education needs to change, including the inclusion of people of different backgrounds. There’s a lot of movement in that, but I want to make sure it’s going to be over. For example, I never learned about the Tulsa Massacre at school, but students are now starting to learn more about their own history. I wanted this longing to sit at a table where decisions are made that affect students in color. I want my students to know that I see them and that whenever they interact with me that it meant something, if we are both people on this earth and living at the same time in time, then we both deserve each other’s respect.

Just before presenting the thesis, people were telling me, ‘Once you get to the point of presentation, it’s easy.’ But I wanted to blow their socks off! Blacks have been taught that you have to do twice as much to be considered half-good, so I knew I couldn’t do it half-heartedly. I was doing work and research, and my voice was shaking a little at first, but I was still doing it. They later said it was one of the best presentations they had ever seen. It made me on the first day of class. I was trying to arrive on time and I was out of breath from climbing the stairs and couldn’t find the right room. I kept saying to myself, ‘Can you even find a classroom? What are you doing? What are you DOING?? ‘Then I finally said,’ I don’t care if I feel crazy while everyone’s going out, I’ll move on. ‘ Be afraid, but do it while you are afraid! ”

Who: Sandy
Where: Arvada, Colorado
What: I became a professional triathlete at 60 years old

“When I was 55, I realized I had lost my spark. I wasn’t athletic at all and I wanted to change my life. One day I met a fellow speech therapist named Mark; we started a conversation and I soon learned that he had won Iron Man Hawaii in his age group. I didn’t know how to swim or ride a bike, but Mark and I started riding a bike together. He introduced me to all his triathlon friends and that was the beginning of taking risks for me. I had an excuse in my head that I didn’t want to do something, but I just did it all. I had to learn how to run, and that’s just 100 steps, and then running 100 steps. I joined a women’s triathlon group, and even though I was among the oldest in the group, it was so much fun. I was worried, but I didn’t watch anyone else play anymore. I had a group of women I would swim with, and after exercising we went to eat Mexican food, wet hair slicked. At 60, I competed in my first triathlon, in Silverthorne, Colorado, up in the mountains. I didn’t want Mark to come watch me because I wanted to do it alone. I won in my age group – and even beat someone who had a reputation for winning in the thin mountain air. I was hooked. One morning I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and drove to the competition, I rolled down the windows and started the music and thought, ‘This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. It’s just for me. ‘I’ve cared about people my whole life, but now I wasn’t on the sidelines anymore. From 60 to 70, I competed as a professional triathlete and I have never been happier. It was as if I had a secret in me the whole time. A few years ago I suffered a stroke, so I can’t do what I used to do, but I bought a recumbent bike and climbed the mountain roads near my house. I can still be free and that’s all there is to it – the feeling of being free. ”

Ko: Gail
Where: Columbus, Ohio
What: He joined the Peace Corps at the age of 58

“When my husband and I graduated from college in the 1970s, we applied for the Peace Corps. We were eventually sent to the Bahamas for two years. After that we returned home. Mike worked as a small business consultant, and I was a dental hygienist. We had kids and a job and a normal life. But after our kids grew up, we looked back and said, ‘We don’t need this big house anymore. What in the world is there? ‘The Peace Corps has no age limit for service, so at 58, after my husband retired, we decided to do it again. We are located in Swaziland (Eswatini) in Africa and after three months of training they have determined where we will best suit. We served at a local HIV orphanage on a dairy farm, teaching and teaching. I also started an income-generating project for some rural women who had connections to the orphanage. We would return to America on vacation days and visit our grandchildren and children. After four years in Africa, we returned to the United States, and for three years I became a Peace Corps recruiter at Ohio State University. In the meantime, we continued to go back and forth in Swaziland to volunteer, this time alone. Since 2018, we have been returning twice a year, every year. We both just got both vaccines and booked tickets! If I could give someone advice, I would say, listen to your heart. You can do more than you think you can. ”

Thanks to those who shared their stories with us. What have you achieved that you are proud of?

PS 7 women decided not to have children i 11 brilliant women share what they have learned about themselves.


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