Category Archives: 50 athletes over 50

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

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

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

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.

Cheryl Ragsdale – Yes or no, but never maybe

The following is a brief profile of one of the athletes I interviewed for my upcoming book.

Cheryl Ragsdale Working the Matt


While writing my book, I had put together a slide show, showing pictures of the athletes I interviewed, each with the athletes name, age, and location, as well as a quote from the interview. The most common reaction when Cheryl Ragsdale’s slide emerged was, “She can’t be over 50.” She most certainly is, and is a great example of the magic in leading an active life and having a sense of fun. Cheryl Ragsdale is a youthful 51 year old boxer and martial artist who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. At age 46, Cheryl began working out, taking aerobics classes and lifting weights. She enjoyed working out ,but her life was changed one day when, she joined a new gym, her future boxing trainer told her that she had a long reach. Cheryl didn’t understand, so she asked him what he meant. He said, “Hold out your arm, look how long your arm is,” and went onto explain that he operated a boxing gym in town. He invited her to visit and the first time she tried boxing, she lit up. A little over a year ago, Cheryl took up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing, and someday would like to knit the skills from these disciplines together. She loves how martial arts allows her to bring out her girl warrior, and how it has unexpectedly increased her gentleness.

Happy New Decade! yes, not just a new year, but a new decade. What will your life be like when you hit 2020? I plan on being an athlete.

Check Out The Cover Design!

I am feverishly shoring up the copy and editing my new book entitled, “50 Athletes Over 50 Teach Us How to Live a Strong, Healthy Life.” Below is the front cover design.

50 Athletes Over 50 Teach Us How to Live a Strong, Healthy Life

Front Cover of Don McGrath's New Book

This book will not only feature profiles of 50 athletes as well as some featured interviews, but will also summarize observations and lessons that I learned in the interview process and in the process of analyzing the interviews.

I will share how these athletes have successfully transitioned to where the sport they do is not something they do, but is part of who they are. I will also share other key lessons from their more than 2800 years of collective wisdom, allthewhile passing on their inspiring and fun stories.

I also have included written exercises meant to aid the reader in applying the lessons these athletes will teach us, with the hope that this will help more people lead the strong, healthy lives that these athletes lead.

Stay tuned. I hope to have first copies available in March, 2010.