Saturday, November 12, 2011

If the wind isn't too strong

Here's a story to encourage you. Or put you off your breakfast, depending how you're feeling this morning. To encourage you, I hope.

Everett Penrod is an American. He was ordained to the ministry in 1942, became a US Army chaplain, served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, the Korean war and the war in Vietnam.

He has written 13 Bible-based novels. He teaches a Bible class at a local church. He's a trained pilot. Flying, he says, is one of his favourite hobbies.

For 35 years he competed in athletics. He had to give that up while he had hip and knee replacements and recovered from a brain injury - a subdural haematoma - sustained in a car crash. He got back on the athletics track last year.

Last month he joined 10,000 others in the World Senior Games in St George, Utah, where he won four gold medals and set two new world records for his age group in the 50 and 100 metres.

By the way, he's 96 years old.

"Usually when a competitor sets a record, the judges will test you for steroid use," he says. "When I finished the race and set a record, the judges didn't test me." He asked them why. "They said at my age I needed steroids."

Everett intends to continue running, he says, "if the wind isn't too strong."