Does growing older mean getting weaker? No, it definitely does not. Some will disagree, and they would probably point to the fact that they have lived a great life in their younger years. But no, growing older absolutely does not mean that you physical strength also deteriorates. If you live a healthy life in your 20’s and 30’s, you can be sure that your older years will be pretty easy compared to those who chose to “live for the moment.”
Of course, this does not mean you be a party pooper and fun-stopper. By all means, live for the moment. It’s what we all have, after all. But living for the moment does not always mean doing the unhealthy stuff. There are other things to do where you can yell “YOLO,” but you still consider “YOLO-ing” longer. That’s by doing sports and other great physical activities that could expose you to nature, while you test your limits.
That can be proven right by some of the most popular athletes in the world. These are athletes that, despite the increase in age, still show the strength and health of a horse. Here are 15 of the famously aging athletes that will show you age is just a number, and growing old is just a phrase.
1. John McEnroe
John Patrick McEnroe, Jr. is a former number one professional tennis player from the USA. He is often dubbed as one of the greatest tennis players in history.
He won several Grand Slam singles and nine doubles from Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. McEnroe is well known for his volley skills.
Now at age 56, McEnroe still plays a little tennis here and there. Although not on the professional leagues, but he’s still on his game.
2. Carl Lewis
Frederick Carlton “Carl” Lewis: the man’s a legend in American track and field. He won 10 Olympic medals, nine of them gold; and 10 World Championship medals, eight of them gold.
Heralded as the greatest track and field athlete in America of all time, Carl Lewis has had many accomplishments not only in the sport, but to his name. He was dubbed as Olympian of the Century by Sports Illustrated and three times Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News during his time. Now at age 53, he looks young
and as if he has never aged a day. He owes that to running.
3. Nancy Lopez
Nancy Marie Lopez is the Tiger Woods of her time. She won 48 Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tours that included three major championships.
Started at age 12, Lopez worked her way to the top of the women’s golf throne,and joined leagues and championships until 2008. She plays non-professional golf now, at age 58. Her famous swing is still very much alive.
4. Diana Nyad
Diana Nyad is a legend, among other things. She is an American author, motivational speaker, journalist and a long-distance swimmer.
You might be surprised at just how “long” this long-distance is, and in fact, Nyad has been known internationally for swimming coast to coast distances. She swam around Manhattan in 1975. She also swam from the Bahamas to Florida, which is a 102 mile stretch.
Here’s the highlight: She is the first person to swim the stretch of Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, from Havana to Key West. The distance was 110 miles, and she did that at age 64. Yup, we see you just dropped your jaw there.
5. Dan Marino
Daniel Constantine “Dan” Marino, Jr. is an all-star American football player that reigned in his time, not because of the number of Super Bowls he won, because that never happened, but because of the football skills he showed to the world, which gained him a name in the NFL industry. He made throwing a football seem so easy, with his level of accuracy, pocket presence, speed of release.
Have you seen him lately? At age 53, Dan Marino looks more like in his late 30’s.
6. Arnold Palmer
Arnold Daniel Palmer or “The King” to his followers up to now, is regarded as a living legend in the world of golf.
Inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, Palmer won numerous leagues in the Champions Tour and PGA Tour. He is a third of The Big Three in golf who is composed of Jack Nicklaus and Gray Player.
Palmer proceeded to be the most popular because of his media exposure where, with his humble and plain-spoken attitude, he changed the masses perception of golf as a sport only for the elite.
Now at age 85, Palmer has white hair, but the spirit is still there and he continues to be an inspiration to all aspiring golfers out there.
7. Chris Chelios
Christos Kostas Chelios was “The Terminator” on ice during his ice hockey prime. All those who watch and know hockey know that he is a tough player to go up against.
He is one of the most tenured athlete in the National Hockey League.
Now retired, he is the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, pursuing his passion. At age 53, he still has it.
8. Dorothy Hamill
Dorothy Stuart Hamill is a retired and accomplished American Figure Skater. She won gold on the 1976 Olympics in the ladies’ singles and the 1976 World Champion for figure skating.
Her determination and positive personality gained her the goodwill ambassador title of the sport ever since she won. Now at age 58, Hamill does not look a day older.
9. Eric Heiden
Eric Arthur Heiden is a horse in speed skating races, long track division. He won five gold medals, one world record and four Olympic records in speed skating.
He is dubbed as the most successful Olympian in the Winter Olympics because of the records that he set. Now at age 56, Heiden’s physique is still tough and strong overall.
10. Tony Hawk
Anthony Frank “Tony” Hawk is the “Most influential skateboarders of all-time.” He is nick named “The Bird man” and is known for his skate boarding skills, among other things.
Tony Hawk is an American professional skateboarder who is also known for his philanthropic activities,such as developing skate parks in small, urban areas. He also appears in video games and even in some films.
At age 47, Tony Hawk can still do those flips and jumps with his trusty skateboard. A real physical man, he continues to be.
11. Magic Johnson
Earvin “Magic” Johnson is a retired professional basketball player of the NBA. He was point guard for LA Lakers for 13 seasons.
He started playing the sport in his high school years and proceeded to become one of the best basketball players of his time. He won the All-Star MVP Award in the 1992 All-Star game.
Now at age 55, Magic still maintains a strong and tough physique as he continues to inspire those aspiring basketball players.
12. Larry Bird
Larry Joe Bird is another popular name in the world of basketball, specifically the NBA. He is now a retired professional basketball player.
He played for the Boston Celtics and was hailed as Most Valuable Player for three consecutive years, from 1984 to 1986, as an NBA All-Star.
Now at 58, Larry Bird pursues his passion for the sport by being a part of the Indiana Pacers organization, currently serving as the president.
13. Sugar Ray Leonard
Sugar Ray Leonard is a former professional boxer who is a hall of famer for his wins and accomplishments. He is also a motivational speaker and does the occasional acting job. He was hailed as the “Boxer of the Decade” in the 1980’s. Now 59, he maintains a strong physique and looks young for his age.
14. Michael Jordan
Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a living legend in the world of basketball. He is the chairman of the Charlotte Hornets and an entrepreneur.
Jordan played for 15 seasons in the NBA and has contributed a lot in the popularization of not only of his name, but also the sport as a whole. Michael Jordan has contributed so much into the sport that his name is attached to it. Now at age 52, Jordan continues to be an inspiration to young basketball players who wish to be as good as he was.
15. Muhammad Ali
Hailed as “Sportsman of the Century
” by Sports Illustrated, Muhammad Ali remains to be the most iconic American athlete of all time, bringing fame and enthusiasts to the world of boxing. Nothing else can describe Ali when it comes to the ring except for “the best.”
As you can see, these athletes still are prime of their time, even though they chose the disciplined way in maintaining health. It does not always mean you have to aspire in becoming one of them – although there is nothing wrong with that. But take them as an inspiration. Their age may add up in number, but their spirit and their legacy only amplifies because of what they did and still do in their respective sports.
Test your limits the right way. In the end, you will know that age is indeed just a number, and it is never too late to start moving and improving yourself.