Jerry Smartt is a 77 year old runner, who lives in Warsaw, Missouri, and who has been running for 62 years. Jerry, who is a retired english teacher, has loved footraces his whole life. He got his start playing tag, and hide and go seek, when he was just a child. His talents went untapped, until he was a senior in high school, and some friends of his who were on the track team, told the team coach that Jerry was one fast cat. Jerry joined the team, and with perseverance, went on to win many races.
Jerry joined the Air Force in 1952, and went on to have great success as a runner, and qualified as an alternate for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.
Jerry continues to run and compete at the national level, because he still loves a footrace, and because he feels it has given him the great health he currently enjoys. Jerry keeps a scrapbook with media clippings from his running career. It currently weighs 40 pounds, and in it he has eight aliases. His favorite alias is from Finland, where he is named as Josef Smargg.
I was working out at the climbing gym this past weekend, and there was a gentleman there who is in his sixties, and who had asked to go climbing for father’s day. He didn’t appear to be very athletic, but he was able to climb some routes, demonstrating some pretty good flexibility for someone who apparently doesn’t train. He was finding that he got tired pretty quickly, but enjoyed climbing. He had been inspired by his daughter and her boy friend, who climb in the gym regularly. It occured to me that maybe we all have the ability to Dream It, and be inspired. The trick may be solidifying that dream into a goal and acting on it. This may be what separates the dreamers from the doers.
If you are an athlete 50 or over and interested in being interviewed, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.