“Don’t put an age limit on your dreams.” That’s a quote from Dara Torres, one of my heroes and an Olympic champion. At the age of 41, she dared to enter the 2008 Olympics and swim a “kids’ race,” the 100 meter free. It’s an all-out sprint. One length of the pool. Winner takes the gold medal.

Dara lost the gold by 1/100th of a second. That’s almost too short to measure.

She won silver. She beat the American 16-year-old who was swimming just a few lanes over. She beat her personal record set when she herself was a teenager. She smashed the American record. She bested her last Olympics, and the one before that, with a time that, except for a slight start mistake would have won her a gold medal.

Let me put that into perspective: Dara lost by 1/100th of a second to a girl young enough to be her daughter. In fact, ALL the other racers were young enough to be her daughters.

Dara is not “old.” She’s not even “middle-aged.” Those are terms that limit our ability to achieve. Dara is simply an athlete. A mom. A true woman of power. Someone who lives in the present. Dara is a champion, and there is no age requirement attached to the label “champ.” Even Olympic champ.

She beat her personal best, set almost 20 years prior, and did it in the toughest arena ever created. And Dara was not the oldest Olympian this year. John Dane III, 58, crewed a boat for the Olympic sailing team. Libby Callahan, 56, became the oldest U.S. female Olympian of all time. She competed with the shooting team.

So, I ask you: What do you think you’re too old to do?

[Ed. Note: Jon Benson is a life coach and nutrition counselor who specializes in helping individuals discover a life-altering mind/body connection. His work in the field of post-40 fitness and mental empowerment has helped countless thousands rediscover a youthful body and positive outlook. Discover how you can do the same by clicking here.]

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