Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why I'll Be Rooting for Dara

I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret.
I'm thinking about setting a new goal for myself. A way over-the-top kind of goal.
I want to earn my black belt in Tang Soo Do by the time I'm 40.
Crazy, right? I'm 34 years old. That's retirement age in the sports world these days. When Andre Agassi retired from tennis a few years ago at the age of 35, he was considered practically ancient. For whatever reason, people just don't seem to pursue physically demanding sports past their mid-30s.
But then, I read about Dara Torres, the 41-year-old, five-time Olympian (and nine-time medalist) who will be swimming at the games in Beijing.
Here's a woman who took first place in the 100-meter freestyle at this year's U.S. Olympic Trials beating Natalie Coughlin by .05 seconds. Coughlin is 16 years her junior. Then, Torres went on to break a couple world records. She's swimming faster now than she did in her 20s.
Did I mention she's 41?
And mother of a 2-year-old?
She also has asthma.
And a body that could stop traffic.
She is the oldest Olympic swimmer in history, on a team with kids literally half her age.
Naturally, there's speculation about drugs. But Torres has repeatedly and voluntarily been tested over a dozen times since March, and her results have always been clean.
I hope she's telling the truth because, for me, Dara Torres embodies what I think each one of us secretly hopes is true: being a mom and getting older is not the end of life as we know it. Just because I've given birth doesn't mean I have to give up. I can take care of my children while also taking care of myself. I can be a mom and an athlete.
Here it is in Dara's own words: "It's like I always say, 'you don't put an age limit on your dreams.' I haven't and I think I've proved that age is just a number."
Rawk on, Dara. Rawk on.


Threeundertwo said...

Her story is so amazing. I'm going to be rooting for her too.

Good luck on the black belt! I hope we get updates!

mah-meeee said...

you go girl! i can't wait until your post regarding you earning that black belt!

and we will also be rooting for dara here!

happy friday!

Kristen said...

She is so inspiring! I should put a photo of her on my wall next to my treadmill. Would that be more motivating than a photo of my "muffin top"?

Marc Middleton said...

Nice blog!. Dara Torres is the talk of the sports, fitness, health, and anti-aging world. I think you'll enjoy this interesting video that takes viewers back to the very moment the world first learned how Torres has been defying aging for the past 8 years. This is not a commercial or an ad. It's a very revealing news story.


heather said...

Girl, I know you can do it. I can't wait to see your belt progression!

Kellie said...

I agree with you 100% about Dara Torres. I'm pulling for her too.

You can TOTALLY be a black belt by the time your forty! Go for it!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Dara is AWESOME. I totally agree. And, you go girl. You can do it!

Mandy said...

Good for you! I am prod of myself for keeping up with three kids on bikes and a dog on the way to the park! I have also been following Torres. I think she is amazing and a true testament to moms everywhere!

Tina said...

Hey there! Lori sent me a link to your blog. Lots off fun! And I agree with you that Dara is totally cool.

Soliloquy said...


And if you don't make it to the 2012 Olympics, maybe you'll feel a tiny bit better about knowing you can kick all our butts!

For real.

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

I'm loving your goal. I've recently gotten back into running and I'm slowly remembering why I once loved it. Only now, it actually has less to do with my weight and more to do with my mind, if that makes any sense.