Julia “the Hurricane” Hawkins doesn’t feel her age. Sometimes she feels 60 or 70, sometimes as young as 16. She has been active her own whole life and she was not about to quit any time soon. So, at the age of 100, she entered a masters-level world championship meet and broke the world record for Centurions (those over 100). Two years later, as a 102-year-old, she broke the world record for the 60-meter-dash. At 103, she became the oldest person on record to complete a competitive 100-yard-dash. At 104, the national championships were cancelled due to covid, and she was upset about it too.
Julia reflected on her experience by saying, “The adrenaline you get from doing sports is hard to express, but it’s a wonderful feeling, and as I say, it’s powerful and worth working for.”
Joe’s Perspective: I think Julia Hawkins is inspiring. I think her story is inspiring. I think sometimes we have preconceived notions about what it means to be old – how we should behave, how we should slow down. It’s bridge parties, watching television and retirement centers. Julia reminds us how important passion is; she reminds us how important activity is.
Unless we die early, we all will get old. And the truth is, we get to decide how we age. We get to decide what it looks like. I prefer to think of my elderly years as active ones with hobbies and passions. After all, we are the authors of our own story and each year, we get to start a new chapter. So, I thank Julia Hawkins for reminding us all what is possible as we get older.
Your Turn: Julia reminds us that we should all have passions throughout our lives. At your age, what is your passion or passions today?