She stands just 4 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs just 83 pounds, but Ida Keeling is a true heavyweight. On her tiny shoulders, the 100-year-old fitness fanatic is carrying all the possibilities of what we’re capable of as we age.
Ida recently captured the attention and adoration of the world when she set a new world record at the famed Penn Relays in Philadelphia. As a crowd of 44,469 cheered her own, Ida lined up against other competitors in the 80-and-older division and walked her way to a new world record for women 100 to 104 in the 100-meter dash, finishing the event in 1 minute and 17.33 seconds.
Watch her record-setting event:
After her race, Ida, who turns 101 later this month, wasn’t ready wowing the world. She quickly dropped to the ground and did five impressive push-ups and showed how flexible her legs still are with some stretches.
Fresh on the heels of her world record, Ida called in to the Growing Bolder Radio Show to share her secrets of longevity and to reveal how exercise isn’t just her Fountain of Youth, it kept her alive following the tragic shooting deaths of her two sons 40 years ago.
Plus, find out the harsh words she has for anyone who thinks they’re “old” at 50. Her attitude will inspire you to rethink what you think about aging.
“Thank God that I can [still run] and I’m very happy to hear I can inspire people,” she tells Growing Bolder. “It makes me feel even greater than my height.”