Point to Ponder:
Is there something that you have been putting off that you have been wanting to do?
by Neissa Brown Springmann
Like me, I’m guessing that prior to last Thursday you had never heard of Orville Rogers. It wasn’t until iGnite leader, Alli Phillips, sent our team a video of Orville, at 99 years young man racing and beating his 92 year old competitor in the 60 meter sprint during the Masters Indoor Track Championship that I learned who he was. The now viral video is certainly inspiring, but on Saturday morning, while doing my mundane weekend laundry folding and listening to the national news, I saw an interview with Orville and heard his hardly mundane and impactful story.
In this 3-minute interview, Orville revealed that as a result of reading the book Aerobics by Kenneth Cooper when he was 50-years old, he began running. Incredibly, in the almost 50-years that Orville has been running, he has logged over 42 thousand miles! When asked about his workout routine, he said that 3 times a week he warms up with a lot of stretching and time on the Elliptical machine followed by slowly running 3 miles. Even more impressive are the 2, 100 meter wind sprints that he tops off his 3-miles with. In addition, he strength trains, eats fish and chicken 6 days a week, red meat 1 day, and plenty of colorful fruits and veggies. He also added that he takes a daily multivitamin and gets a physical once per year at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. When asked what gives him his spiritual edge, he said he believes in God, considers himself blessed and has a wonderful family who he plans to celebrate his 100th birthday on November 28th with after he participates in the Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championship this summer in Baton Rouge. His motto is “You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running.”
Every bit of this World War II pilot and world record holder’s story is inspiring, but the part that made the greatest impression on me was that he didn’t begin running until he was 50 years old, which is typically when people end their running routine. In addition, he sees his commitment to his health as a means of honoring his temple so that he can serve to his greatest ability. Furthermore, when he was 90 years old old he went skydiving for the first time and at 93, he went hang-gliding.
Besides the word “stud”, there’s only one other set of words that best describes Orville and that’s a fearless go-getter. That being said, I really wonder which came first–the chicken or the egg? Was Orville born eager and fearless or did his life experiences create a can-do fearlessness spirit in him? Did he become this was after surviving World War II and flying for many years as a commercial pilot? I guess we’ll never know, but I can’t help but think that environment has something to do with it, as his “go for it” attitude was a part of his daily life and it continues to be.
While some fear and hesitation is healthy, by in large, fear really ticks me off because I believe that most of it is bogus, irrational and unfortunately, grows with age. Research from the National Institute of Mental Health found that 60% of the things we fear will never come true; 90% of the things we fear are considered insignificant; and 88% of the things we fear about our health will never happen. As this relates to our daily lives, fear and not being willing to “go for it” single-handedly prevents us from trying new things, creating new relationships, exploring new careers, and therefore living the big and bold life that I believe God created us to live. Ultimately, it undermines faith and puts God in a box.
When making the bold decision to regularly put ourselves our there and go for something we’ve been putting off or have told ourselves we can’t do, it will be deliciously terrifying. However, just as passing up opportunities is addictive, so is going for it and saying “yes”!
No one knows, at least I haven’t found it in an article or heard in an interview, if Orville Rogers was nervous or hesitant to go on his first run. I assume he considered that it would be uncomfortable, probably hurt and he likely would not be able to complete the whole distance. None-the-less, his decision to go for it at 50 years old has now bloomed into him being a 99 year old You Tube sensation who is getting to share his inspiring story on television and on the internet and making the case that no matter how old we are, if we want to do something, we should go for it!
Pick something that you have been wanting to do, take the first step and and go for it!
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