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George and Louise Thornton – Last 50 Athletes Over 50 Profile

by Don

Over the past eight months I have shared with you over 50 profiles of athletes I will feature in my book, 50 Athletes Over 50 Teach Us How to Live a Strong, Healthy Life, due out in March, 2010. This is the last profile of athletes featured in this book that I will post. For those of you who have enjoyed these posts, don’t despair. In the upcoming weeks I plan on bringing you profiles and videos of other over-50 athletes that may be part of a future book or other compilation. I will be experimenting with video interviews, which I’m very excited about. I will also begin posting the complete interviews for the athletes in the book due out in March. These interviews form the material that I used to distill the lessons presented in the book. Stay tuned.

George and Louise Thornton Working Out Together

George and Louise Thornton Working Out Together

“Do now what others won’t, so later you can do what others can’t.”―George Thornton

“I love it because I feel good as I train; I physically feel good and I mentally and emotionally feel good.” ―Louise Thornton

It can be challenging for a couple to dedicate themselves to active lives.  Time and energy can become scarce and the demands of training can put strain on a relationship.  Despite some of these issues, George and Louise Thornton have found that their life together is enhanced by the physical activity that they share.  George is 69 and Louise 67, and they currently enjoy triathlons, including the grueling, full Ironman distance. 

George is a retired college professor who participated in many sports in his childhood, but focused on swimming, his strongest event, until he went to graduate school.  In grad school, he picked up handball and played regularly until his mid-forties when he saw a newspaper article about a masters swimming event.  Feeling a bit burnt out on handball, he decided to rediscover swimming.  A couple of years later he did his first triathlon and since then has completed more than 90 of them.

Louise, who has master’s degrees in audiology and theater, played golf, tennis, and softball in her youth.  As an adult, for fitness reasons she began running with a friend.  She discovered that she really enjoyed running and went on to compete in masters track and field sprint events.  Having always loved golf, she tried to get George to take it up, but to no avail.  She decided that if she and George were to spend more time together, she had to take up triathlons, and she did. 

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