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Inspirational Stories for Anyone Over 50

January 3, 2023

It’s Never too late to be Amazing

Older adults can be some of the most amazing people and at Pisgah Valley we witness that every day. They overcome challenges and take this time in life to focus on setting goals and actually achieve them! Here are inspirational stories of older adults that showed up, worked hard, persisted and accomplished some pretty incredible feats.

Felimina Rotunda

For some, their dedication to work is what keeps them going. Felimina is a centenarian from Buffalo, New York born in 1915. According to ABC News, “she attributes her longevity to her hardworking nature. She says it gives her a purpose, a reason to always wake up in the morning and a reason to always hustle.” Since the age of 15 she has been working and at 100 was still managing a laundromat and dry-cleaning business by putting in 11 hours per day. Felimina thinks a respectable age to retire is 75, but only if health becomes an issue.

Diana Nyad

You may remember Diana from 2013. She became the first person to swim non-stop from Florida to Cuba without a shark cage. The journey took approximately 110 miles in 53 hours at age 64. It took her four crushing failed attempts before successfully crossing the passage. According to her website, she spoke to a crowd upon arrival in Key West after 53 hours to say she “carried three poignant messages:

  1. Never, ever give up.
  2. You’re never too old to chase your dreams.
  3. It looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a Team.”

She is now the author of a book called, Find a Way about the inspiring story of her pursuit.

Yuichiro Miura

Yuichiro is the oldest person to ever reach the summit of Mount Everest at 80 years old. His father was a Japanese skier so Yuichiro was exposed to snow sports from the time he was a child. He competed at speed skiing and downhill skiing as a young man. In 2003 at the age of 70 he became the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. He broke his own record in 2013 by climbing to the summit at 80. Interestingly, he was unable to complete the descent and had to be airlifted out. Some alpinist question Miura’s achievement and say that a climb cannot be called “complete” unless one walks all the way back down. What do you think? Seems pretty incredible to me especially considering that he had had four operations for arrhythmia since 2008 and a history of hypertension and diabetes.

Minoru Saito

We hear about people that have sailed around the world and this man is no exception. Minoru is a Japanese tourist that circumnavigated the world at 77. That was his eighth journey worldwide and he even beat his previous record at 71– all solo! It took 1,080 days to complete the eighth circumnavigation.

Other Amazing Older Adults to Mention

  • Lucile Randon from France is currently the oldest living female at 118 years old
  • Juan Vicente Perez Mora from Venezuela is the oldest living male at 113 years old
  • The oldest ever Olympian is Oscar Swahn of Sweden. He was 72 years, 281 days old when he competed at the 1920 Olympics in shooting.
  • Lorna Johnstone from Britain was an equestrian rider who participated in 1972 at 70 years and 5 days old. She is the oldest female Olympian.

At the start of the New Year, stories of inspiration can motivate, spark joy and creativity. These impressive examples show that age is not a factor of limitation but a time in which people can focus and fulfill their aspirations. Happy New Year from all of us at Pisgah Valley Retirement Community and may it be your best year yet!

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Pisgah Valley

6 Rhododendron Way
Candler, NC 28715


Pisgah Villa

102 Holcombe Cove Road
Candler, NC 28715


Pisgah Manor

104 Holcombe Cove Road
Candler, NC 28715