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nbc sportsIda Keeling is not your typical 100-year-old great-great-grandmother. For the most part, anyone 100-years-old or greater is normally sitting in a chair somewhere, knitting and telling stories of when they were “a youngin.’” But Ida is far from that.

As a matter of fact, Keeling made headlines recently for setting the world record for the fastest 100M by a woman 100 years or older — clocking in a time of one minute and 17 seconds.

But that’s not the only record she’s broken.  She also holds the title for the fastest 60M dash (ages 95-99) and has competed (and placed) in international meets.

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READ: How Running Acts As Real Therapy For People

You’d think with all these records broken, Keeling has been running all her life — WRONG. She didn’t start until much later in life.

“The competing started when she was 67 years old,” her daughter, Shelley explained, adding that Keeling’s introduction to running “came on the heels of a tragedy.”

When Keeling lost both of her sons, to murder. One was murdered, then 2 years and 8 months later the other brother was murdered. Shelley, who is a long-time high school track coach, knew she had to do something to help her mother fight through the painful time and ensuing depression.

(Photo from NBC Sports)

(Photo from NBC Sports)

Shelley explained: “It was a dark time. She was distressed, really distressed… So one day I called her, I said, ‘I’m taking you for a run’ … It was a 3.1 mile run… And that was the beginning of her running career… It was a great medicine for her.” That “medicine” has since kept Keeling happy, healthy and full of life.

But when she crossed the finished line, she felt completely different

“So happy!” Keeling exclaimed. “I said, ‘I didn’t come out here to be a loser.’ Even though I felt tired, I just push on the best I can, and that was at my pace… and when I passed that finish line I said, ‘Thank you God, thank you for everything and all of your blessings.’”

TAKE A LOOK: When Ida Was 99-Years-Old She Did This Amazing Thing Too!

So what is this energectic woman’s secret to not only living long, but being in full control of her body and mind?

“Love yourself,” she said. “Also, eat for nutrition, not for taste. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do,” and “get some kind of exercise–at least 10 or 15 minutes every day.”

Well, here’s to you Ida. Happy birthday and Happy Mother’s Day!

For more information

100-Year-Old Ida Keeling Breaks World Running Record Then Does Push-Ups!  was originally published on blackdoctor.org

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