Living to 100 is a goal, a privilege, and, let's face it, a nearly impossible task. It's a destination few can reach or even imagine.
But for one of us, it's the starting line.
Fauja Singh, born in 1911, ran an entire marathon in Toronto over the weekend. That's amazing enough. He did it in 8 hours, 25 minutes, and 17 seconds. That's even more remarkable. But consider that Singh started running competitively only after losing his wife and son 11 years ago, at age 89.
When an old man loses a spouse or a child, many around him worry that he will soon give up on life. After all, what is the day worth without the companion to whom you have devoted every day since you can remember? What's there to look forward to?
Singh found something, and he put his whole heart into it. He didn't want to simply make it to 100. He didn't settle for a piece of cake and a nap. He wanted to break a record. And he did. Singh wasn't just the first centenarian ever to run 26.2 miles. He beat five other runners. He's now in the Guinness Book of World Records.
And he did it with a sense of humor, wearing a T-shirt that read "Sikhs in the City."
This isn't his first marathon, either. He's completed 10, running a 6:41 at age 89, a 5:40 at 92, and a stunning sub-five-hours at 94. Only days before his historic feat, he accomplished something just as incredible: He set eight world age group records in one day -- running the 100 meters in 23.14, the 200 meters in 52.23, the 400 metres in 2:13.48, the 800 meters in 5:32.18, the 1500 meters in 11:27.81, the mile in 11:53.45, the 3000 meters in 24:52.47 and the 5000 meters in 49:57.39.
Singh's story, which started on a farm in the Punjab, has captivated many around the globe, who refer to him as "The Turbaned Tornado." Now he wants to participate in the torch relay for the London Olympics next year.
"His will cannot be captured," biographer Khushwant Singh told the TV show Amazing Indians. "It cannot be trapped."
Singh has said, "I won't stop running until I die."
Words to live by.
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