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5 Inspiring Thrill Seekers in Their Senior Years

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

Some seniors are true inspirations and proof it is possible to live a life full of adventures and excitement even in the golden years. Granite Bay, Folsom, and Placer County elder care experts discuss the lives and accomplishments of 5 incredible thrill-seeking seniors.

1. Sister Madonna Buder 

Known as the “Iron Nun,” Buder is an 86-year-old triathlon runner who starred in a popular Nike commercial where she showed off her impressive athletic ability. She began running when she was 48 years old, and is the oldest woman to finish an Ironman triathlon. In 2014, she was initiated into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame. Running in nature is Buder’s salvation. 

2. Morgan Shepherd 

Shepherd is a 75-year-old racecar driver who took his first professional laps around the track in 1967 at the Hickory Motor Speedway. He now competes part-time in the popular NASCAR XFINITY Series. Before every race, Shepherd has a ritual of strapping on roller skates and riding around the track for his enthusiastic fans. Racing is his passion and purpose in life.

3. Iva Barr 

Barr is an 88-year-old running dynamo who has been competing in marathons for over 30 years. This former nurse began running when she was 55. Before that, Barr was an avid walker who decided she wanted to step it up a notch. In 2016, she was the oldest competitor participating in the London Marathon. Barr’s enthusiasm for running and how good it makes her feel keeps her feet moving. 

4. Tan Kok Sing 

When Sing turned 90, he celebrated his birthday by jumping out of a plane while surrounded by his loved ones. He is Singapore’s oldest skydiver, and this was his fourth adrenaline-filled jump. Along with skydiving, he is also a fitness fanatic who regularly runs with the Tiong Bahru Garden Joggers club, which he founded in the 50s. Sing hopes the thrill he gets from skydiving inspires other older adults to try jumping out of a plane at least once.

5. Ernie Smith 

On December 21st, 2016, Smith turned 99 years old and celebrated this joyous occasion by taking a Cessna 150 plane for a spin around Red Oak, Iowa, where he lives. In 2016, he was also officially named the World’s Oldest Active Pilot by the Guinness World Records Book. He believes age doesn’t matter and that people should do what they are passionate about to remain young at heart. 

Even if your elderly loved one is unable to be as active as these seniors, they can still serve as inspiration to stay healthy and pursue his or her dreams. If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy lifestyle, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers can assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals and snacks, and help with a wide variety of everyday tasks. In addition to respite and live-in care, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care Placer County, CA, seniors can count on. Call 916.226.3737 today to learn more about our high-quality in-home care.

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