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New York Times author Elizabeth Olson writes about the growing number of people using triathlon as a tool to stay healthy at an older age.
Last year, at 66, Jenny F. Scott was not an obvious triathlete. A retired special education teacher, she had suffered a stress fracture running decades ago and took up serious bicycling only when she was 64 years old.
But Ms. Scott, of West Columbia, S.C., and a friend decided to “bite the bullet last year, with no expectation other than we wanted to live through it,” she said of the swim-bike-run training needed to participate in the triathlon held locally each July.
“I didn’t win any prizes,” she said of last year’s race, adding, “I’m not about speed, just about finishing.”
She signed up for training again this year, and like growing numbers of people in their 50s and 60s — and some older — she has found a new challenge in triathlons and other sports that test discipline and endurance. Some opt to train for competitive swimming, or the senior tennis or golf circuits.
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“There’s a dramatic shift taking place because more older people are adopting the attitude that I can—not that I’m unable because I’m older,” said Colin Milner, an expert on aging, who urges physical activity to stave off disabilities that often trouble seniors.
Read more: Nytimes.com