If you watch the news, you may be as sick of hearing about Lebron James and Lindsay Lohan as I am. Mary Harada, on the other hand, is another story -- one worth hearing about. Her story is actually inspiring; it will lift your spirits. Mary is one of four septuagenarian athletes who have put in record-setting performances this summer genuinely worthy of headlines.

First up, is 70-year-old Dr. John Williams of New Brunswick, Canada. Dr. Williams, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter, got in a cage to fight former pro-wrestler, Larry Brubaker, 49, as part of the "Wild Card" event for Elite 1 MMA Productions on July 24 at the Casino New-Nouveau Brunswick in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. This was not some publicity stunt; this was a real cage fight which Dr. Williams won in the second round with ankle-lock submission. This makes Dr. John Williams the world's oldest MMA cage fighter.

Dr. Williams started his martial arts and boxing career back in 1947 as a seven-year-old. Over the years he's continued to study and master various martial art forms, including Kodokan Judo, Tani-Ha Jiu-Jitsu and Taekwondo, Hapkido and Kyokushinkai Karate. As a young man he did strongman demonstrations in which he bent spikes, tore telephone books and performed other impressive feats of strength. In his late fifties he set a Guinness world record for breaking an 11-inch thick stack of ice slabs (a record that still stands). AND, all the more impressive, in an interview for this summer's match he said, "I'm just as strong as I was 40 years ago." Now, that's saying something.

Dr. Williams' fight was a test of his martial arts skills. It was a chance for him to show the world that "age is just a number." He could show us that falling apart as we age is merely an option, because he has continued to train in his later years as he did in his earlier years.

Now let's shift our focus to middle distance running where we'll look at what some women in their seventies have done this summer to push back the limiting boundaries of age. At the Hayward Classic track and field meet in Eugene, Oregon earlier this summer, professor emerita and grandmother, Mary Harada, 75, set a World and American Record in the mile run. Her 7:55.74 annihilated the former record of 8:16.3 set by Suzi MacLeod just last year. Speaking of Suzi MacLeod, at this same meet, Suzi bettered the 21-year-old American Record for 800 meters (3:37.19 by Pearl Mehl in 1989) with a time of 3:35.22 -- a 7:10-per-mile pace -- not too bad for a 75-year-old!

A little more about Mary Harada is in order. She's had a good summer of running because besides her mile World Record run, she set a new American Record in the 5000 meters, too. At the USA Outdoor Masters Championships in Sacramento, California in July, she posted a 26:55.11 in this event, crushing the former record which had stood for 19 years (27:10.76 by Algene Williams in 1991) by over 15 seconds, and averaging 8:39 per mile for the 3.1-mile race. Oh, and she does all this despite having asthma, for which she must take medication; during a recent one-mile race she wheezed and gasped her way through the last three laps to a new World Record she's since broken.

Mary is able to break these records because she takes care of her body and trains intelligently; that is, she doesn't try to overdo, which she has found leads to injuries. In this light, she only runs four times per week, with a long run of eight miles. Her runs include some speedwork on the track and maybe a little hill work. Hitting the gym for some strength work is also a part of her typical week, as are core work (Pilates ...) and some stretching at home. Her diet includes a lot of white rice and vegetables (she's married to a japanese man), small portions of meat and fish and dark chocolate (desserts, however, are not a regular fixture of their meals).

Mary's 75-79 age-group records may not last long, because 73-year-old Fayetteville, Georgia's running phenom Jeanne Daprano will be aiming at them in just two years. Meanwhile, Jeanne, at the Bob Boal classic in Raleigh, North Carolina in June, ran a blistering 7:01.29 mile. That time turns out to be an age-graded 100.29% (in this rating system, 100% is equivalent to a World Record in one's prime). This was the highest age-graded performance score of the whole track meet.

There you have it -- four men and women athletes in their seventies who are really deserving of headlines and challenging the rest of us to get off the sofa and live life to the fullest. They are all having fun -- the time of their lives -- smashing through age barriers that the rest of us think are real. They are faster and stronger than people decades younger, something which is -- due to the edicts of "aging" -- not supposed to be possible.

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From Ed Mayhew -- the author of Fitter After 50, Fitter For Life and other books, CDs, videos and articles on how you, too, can make falling apart as you age merely an option -- NOT a mandate. Why not make the rest of your life the BEST of your life? http://www.FitterforLife.comand http://www.amazon.com/Age-Blasters-Steps-Younger-You/dp/1598589083/ref=s... (click here for paperback or Kindle editions of AGE BLASTERS)