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Don McGrath


Bill Hansbury – A Miracle?

Correction: When I originally posted the profile of Bill Hansbury, I was under the impression that Bill owned the “Boston Bill” sunglass company. I was recently informed that this is not the case and that Greg Chewning owns the trademark and the sunglass company that goes by that name. To avoid this  dispute, I have removed the reference to “Boston Bill”  from the post. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Bill Hansbury and his Friend Jake


The story that Hansbury has to tell is a testament to the power or being receptive to opportunities. Bill is a 72 year old cyclist and runner, who lives in Saint Petersburgh, Florida. Bill became active late in life, at the age of 28, when a friend he hadn’t seen in couple years visited him, and Bill thought he looked great. Bill asked him how he managed to look so great, and his friend told him that he had taken up running. Bill went to his bedroom, put on some sneakers and said his friend, “let’s go!” Bill stopped smoking and lost a lot of weight, and has been running regularly ever since. Bill went on to run under three hours for the marathon, run ultra-marathons, and take up cycling. A couple of years ago, Bill lost a leg to an aggressive, anti-biotic resistant infection, and he shared with me how he has begun helping others with disabilities live a better life by helping them get prosthetic limbs.
Bill has a touching story to tell and the best way to understand it, is to watch the following video. You judge if it’s a miracle. 


John Mattson – Dancing on the Edge

I attended an independent publishers meeting today and happened to meet an interesting guys by the name of John Mattson. John, whose age I don’t know, but definitely over 50,  recently published a book of adventures he has had over the years around the globe.  The title is Dancing on the Edge of an Endangered Planet, and he tries to tell his stories in the context of the grandness of the planet on which we live.

John has done rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering all over the globe and has some fun stories to tell and good pictures to show. He also has kayaked rivers and creeks all over the place, and skied volcanoes and other wild places. You can find his website, which has some of his stories and pictures on it, at.


Seeing Old Age as a Never-Ending Adventure

Check out this New York Times article about some well-seasoned adventureres.


I want to be these folkes when I grow up. A 90 year-old wing-walker…How wild?

I’m getting ready to launch into a final edit and organize marathon, that starts tonight around 6pm mountain time and ends Sunday at midnight.

I plan on starting final formatting and editing for 50 Athletes Over 50 Teach Us How to Live a Strong, Healthy Life, and I need this final push to sweep up all the little details. I’m very much focused on sending the book for print the first week of February, with first copies available in early March.  I have two talks scheduled in March and I would like to have the book in hand for them. Wish me luck!

Some interesting books and articles

Over the holidays I read three books that align well with my 50 athletes over 50 project. The first one I read is by Sandy Scott, a 69-year-old cyclist who has made a remarkable recovery from a neck breaking bike accident when he was 65. His book From Broken Neck to Broken Records tells his story of recovery, and he also passes along lots of great training information for cyclists. I am not a cyclist, so it’s hard for me to judge the training information, but given Sandy’s success, I assume it is sound. As I read his story, I marvelled and was thankful that he is still among us on this earth. His story is shocking and I think you will find it inspiring. You can find out more at http://www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com/

The second book, Let’s Talk Fitness, is by Tony Naturale, a 77-year-old ex-police officer, who strikes me as a modern-day, East Coast Jack LaLanne Junior. A self proscribed “fitness-nut”, his book is a collection of short summaries of active people, mostly friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, which range from age 17 to 100. What I liked most about Tony’s book is that the people featured are for the most part, real people and not super-athletes. From talking with many active people over the age of 50, it appears that people like Tony features are just as inspiring as Uber athletes. Tony is also a funny guy. You can find out more about this book at http://www.tonynatch.com/

The third book I read was Lee Bergquist’s Second Wind. This book has in-depth features of 18 athletes, who are for the most part, very accomplished. Lee presents some inspiring stories of athletes over age 40. Featured are runners, skiers, lifters, bodybuilders, cyclists, skaters, as well as athletes from other sports. The story that I liked most from Lee’s book was one of a heart transplant patient who took up running and eventually ran a marathon. You can find out more at http://www.humankinetics.com/2009-releases/2009-releases/Bergquist-Second-Wind-Press-Kit

One way that my upcoming book, 50 Athletes Over 50 Teach Us How to Live a Strong, Healthy Life differs from Tony and Lee’s books, is that, aside from telling the stories of the athletes I interviewed, I am focused on distilling out lessons to share with the reader with the hope of helping you develop habits that lead and sustain a strong, healthy life that is full of fun and adventure. I hope you will enjoy it.

Eric Biedermann, age 77, talks about what sports mean to him

This video is from an interview with Eric Biedermann of Fort Collins, Colorado. This is my first experiment with video interviews and I hope you like it. Eric is a retired Lutheran minister and has lived in Fort Collins since he retired. His main sport is badminton, although his main form of conditioning is swimming. Meet Eric.

I hope to do more interviews like this, so I would love your comments and feedback.

OK, so how lazy can we get?

In general I try not to judge what others do, but I was so struck by this invention that I had to turn up the contrast on how lazy some of us have become. I can certainly understand how this system, which required significant R&D investment, would be useful for the disabled, but the suggestion of use by those with fully capable bodies strikes me as ludicrous. Check out the link below.

Brain Powered Laziness Gizmo


Scientists Unveil ‘Thought-Controlled’ Smart Home System
Brain-Computer Interface uses electrodes attached to the scalp to read the mind of the user to activate lights, turn channels and open doors.
06.01.2009 — Scientists in London are close to perfecting a smart home system that is controlled by the user’s thoughts.

The Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) uses electrodes attached to the scalp that allow the user to turn lights off and on, change the channel on the TV or open a door “by just thinking about it,” according to Science Daily.

g.tec, an Austrian medical engineering company, developed the (BCI) to assist the disabled. But it could have applications for the general population. g.tec teamed with several international universities to test the BCI technology in a smart home created in virtual reality.

“[The virtual smart home] has a kitchen, bathroom, living room … everything a normal home would have,” says g.tec CEO Christoph Guger. “People are able to move through [the virtual smart home] just by thinking about where they wanted to go.”

Let me now contrast that to the typical workouts done by some of the 50 athletes over 50 that I interviewed for my upcoming book “50 Athletes Over 50 Teach Us How to Live a Strong, Healthy Life.”  You can become a facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Don-McGrath-Author-of-50-Athletes-Over-50-Books/227125064913?ref=ts

Sandy Scott


Sandy Scott (69 years young):

Monday        73.35 miles – moderate

Tuesday        35.6 easy spin ride, afternoon:  weight training: chest, shoulders, triceps, abdominals

Wednesday    35.04 miles – interval training – half mile repeats at maximum effort

Thursday        76.45 miles at a comfortable pace

Friday            35.28 miles – easy spin ride, Afternoon: weight training:  back & biceps

Saturday        76.19 Very fast group ride

Sunday            32.92 Easy recovery ride

Total mileage for the week:    368.83


Jane Welzel (4rth from Left) and Friends


Jane Welzel (54):

Monday:  easy 30 minute run

Tuesday: morning 3-4 miles, pm track workout (see attachment)

Wednesday:  7-8 mile run

Thursday:  7-8 mile run

Friday: trail run, 8-10 mile run

Saturday: 6-8 mile run

Sunday: 12-15 miles on trails


Who do you want to be in the new decade?

Happy New Decade!