Archive for July, 2007

  Survival of the Fittest - Flower on Crook’s Peak  Photo: www.summmitpost.org

Now you can learn the “secrets” to long-life which these extra-ordinary seniors have shared. I herald the super-seniors, and even this tiny flower shown here on Crook’s Peak, as they each show you the steps you need to overcome all adversity, thereby enabling you to triumph and to take your place in the sun! Now, just do it!

Most of the super-seniors are people of few words. This has made it hard for the reporters who interview them, but over a lot of articles, I have seen a pattern emerge.

No-one personifies all the needed qualities better than Hulda Crooks — so I’ll tell you her story and then synopsize the Qualities contributing to living your own Extra-Ordinary Life.

Hulda Crooks - legendary Grandma Whitney - mountaineer extraordinaire Photo: http://fermi.jhuapl.eduA Permanent Recognition of Hulda’s Legacy http://fermi.jhuapl.eduSurvival of the Fittest - Flower on Crook’s Peak  Photo: www.summmitpost.orgValley on the trail to Mt. Whitney summitPhoto: http://fermi.jhuapl.edu

Hulda Crooks – An Equal in Spirit to the Mountains She Loved

Hulda Hoehn Crooks actions reaped the benefits of a lifetime of centered-living. What is that?

Well, she lived her life with deep faith in her Creator, in tune with Nature, and lived in a quiet, daily Way that was Balanced by simple, healthy choices for food, drink, activity, rest and filled with Gratitude of heart.

A vegetarian from age 18, Hulda’s lacto-ovo vegetarianism helped to correct a childhood that had wreked havoc with her health.

She was born May 19, 1896, one of 18 children, and lived in a log and sod home on her family’s farm by the White Sand River, Northwest Territory in what became Langenau, Saskatchewan, Canada. At the time of her death at age 101, nine of her siblings were still alive.

On the farm, she had copious amounts of butter, milk, cream, meat and in her father’s store, easy access to eating pounds of candy at a time. By age 16, she was 5 feet 2 inches and 160 pounds.

In participating in this life-style, her body would have been incredibly acidic and protected itself by walling off the acids with fat. Cheese, cream and butter are very concentrated animal proteins and sugar is highly acid-promoting to one’s body pH.

When Hulda left to attend Loma Linda University in California, a world-renowned Seventh Day Adventist institution, in 1923, she was a physical wreck, but, by being open to new ideas, the Adventist vegetarian regimen and view of world changed everything for her.  Hulda was  a vegetarian from then on, until her life ended at 101 years old.

After she became healthy, she usually ate only 2 meals a day, with just a few eggs used over the week and she drank lots of pure water. The rest of her diet was some dairy, grains and fruit and lots of vegetables (an emphasis and abundance of raw, but cooked vegetables, as needed, were OK, too).

Her diet is about 25% fats and 3 or 4 times the recommended  levels of Vitamins A, C and E – all from the fresh food, without the aid of supplements.

Hulda completed her dietetic certificate in 1927 and nutrition and BS degree in 1943. Her training and vegetarianism finally helped her break the cycle of “being nervous and perpetually tired”. The alkalinity of a properly-balanced Vegetarian life-style returned her body and mind to its natural birth-right, alkaline pH, so her energy, body, mind and spirit could flourish — and they really did.

Hulda learned you need both diet and exercise and a positive mental attitude. She said, ” You can’t separate the two. You need both a good diet and sufficient exercise. The diet of course provides the materials for the body’s functions. The exercise is absolutely essential in keeping up a good circulation. If we don’t exercise, the circulation is sluggish and that affects the entire body, the mental as well as the rest of the body”.

In 1927, she married her high school sweetheart, Dr. Sam Crooks, MD, anatomy professor at Loma Linda University, who suffered from a congenital heart condition and who said he did not really have the “right” to ask her to marry him, when he could die at any moment.

Showing the independent and courageous spirit that she had, Hulda replied that she definitely wanted to share his life, and they had 23 special years years and one child before Sam died at 53 and then, their only child, Wesley, also a physician, died in his 30’s in 1969.

A little later, partly to help assuage her grief, in her 60’s, Hulda discovered that vitality does not just belong to the young, so she began to climb mountains!

Building on the healthful walking and hiking pursuits that her husband Sam had encouraged her to do, even while he could not, she made hiking friends and gained strength and endurance. Building upon her walking regimens, finally, she started on 11,500 foot San Gorgonio in the mountains of San Bernadino and then “graduated” to lower 48 states’ champion highest, Mount Whitney, in Southern California, at age 66.

 Over the next decades, Hulda Crooks climbed 14, 495 foot Mount Whitney a record 23 times. She is also the oldest person to climb Mt. Whitney. Her last climb on the 11 mile trail to the summit was in 1987, at age 91. She certainly was not a one-time wonder. This is also what makes her story so much more powerful and valuable.

 At age 72, Hulda even climbed the mountain twice in 2 weeks; the first time with a group of teens, and the second with two of her brothers, then aged 75 and 77.

Hulda began back-packing at age 75, carrying a 23 pound pack. She hiked the full 212 miles of the rigorous John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, over 5 summers. She always finished what she started, and she was never afaid of hard work.  

Since age 81, she climbed the 86 highest Southern Califonia mountains in addition to her annual Mt. Whitney climb. And, Hulda also finished the Kiabab Trail down to the Grand Canyon floor twice, as well as being invited, at age 91 (in 1987), to “officially” climb 12, 389 foot Mt. Fujiyama, Japan’s highest mountain. At age 80+, Hulda also held 8 world records in the Senior Olympics in marathon and road races. She also completed the 90 mile trek across the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

During the last years of her life, Hulda replaced jogging with walking and at age 90, she tallied an impressive 1,200 miles a year in walking exercise. Hulda definitely believed that the benefits of walking equal those of jogging, but with less chance of injury.

 She described the regimen she used at the beginning of 1976, while 80 years old, as the following: “Early to bed and early to rise. Out jogging about 5:30am. Jog a mile and walk it back briskly. It takes  me 12 minutes to jog the mile and 15 minutes to walk it. Do some upper trunk exercises, work in the yard, and walk to the market, and work.”

For 30 years, she worked with Dr. Marvyn Hardinge,MD, PhD,  Dean of the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University,  and then as a voluntary job there for almost the rest of her life. Her research skills were phenomenal. She was valued as a real member of the team. This kept her mentally strong.

On campus, she also used the stairs and fire escapes to run up and down long series of flights. Being tested at Loma Linda University’s renowned Human Performance Lab, Hulda showed she had the heart and lung health of a person 30 years younger than she was. And, even after that, by continuing her stair climbing and walking regimen, she improved yet an additional 7% when she was more than 90 years old. She proved anyone, at any age, can improve their Health.

She was also a work-in-progress; Hulda always desired and expected herself to sensibly reach for the next goal or the next level. When asked if there were days when she wanted to slack-off her regimen, she said, “yes, but I usually do it anyway”. Again, tenacity, perseverance. These qualities factor into the mix for a successful long-life.

Hulda often said ” I feel it is my privilege, my pleasure and my responsibility to care for the body the Lord gave me“.

Hulda also stated a valuable lesson when she said ” Sometimes I’ve had to battle high winds and icy trails. Some years it’s been so cold I felt as if my face would crack if I smiled” Crooks says of the many trips she’s made up and down Mt. Whitney, “But I always made it to the top and back down again. There’s a sense of satisfaction that you get when you’re not defeated by adverse elements.

 Like the tiny flower pictured here on “her peak”, Hulda braved and triumphed in conditions that were not hospitable. Their spirits triumph, and they are worthy role-models for us to attempt what seems impossible, by starting just step-by-baby-step.

The Congress of the United States honored Hulda Crooks by naming the peak second-most south of her beloved Mount Whitney as Crook’s Peak. Her many-times hiking partner, Representative Jerry Lewis (R – Redlands), officiated at the ceremony in 1991 when he and Hulda flew by helicopter to the summit of Crook’s Peak, which is a fitting, very challenging trail, adding about another hour to a Mt. Whitney hike. Hulda loved seeing “her peak”, and saw it last in October 1996.

Hulda believed that climbing mountains not only brought her closer to Spirit, but the lessons Nature taught her there, by the animal’s and plants’ ability to survive great obstacles, as well as the beauty of all Life, was the fodder which fueled her spirit and Gratitude, and thereby her own longevity.

So, as most of the Super-Centarians and Super-Seniors, Hulda most personified their common elements, which I think are the keys to their success. They include:

___   Rising above a difficult childhood and often it is one of deprivation.

___   Overcoming life’s problems with courage, tenacity and an iron will.

___   Being interested in new ideas and the people and world around them.

___   Not being afraid of Life.

___   Living a simple yet richly complex life — filled with excellent relationships.

___   Almost all of them eat a reduced-calorie but highly-nutritious vegetarian diet, with clean, pure water. No junk food.

___   Getting plenty of healthy exercise through chosen activity or hard physical work.

___   Staying active. Never considering retirement as an option.

___   Always resting when body or mind ask.

___   Attending to Spirit and feeling Grateful for anything and everything. Noticing the small details of Life and finding the Lessons there.

___   Caring about and respecting others. Meeting them half-way, or more.

___   Taking responsibility for their Life and Health.

___   Making goals and actively working to attain them. Then, setting the next goal.

It’s a great recipe. Start making it your own.

We’ll learn a little about the Science behind Longevity next time.

Best to all — Em

(c) 2007 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com If you desire to use or quote my article, please include the full copyright citation and my website’s address. Thanks

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Your Passion for Life Must Burn Strongly to Live Long. Photo: Chysanthemum - www.slide.com

Life needs to be Passionate for you to endure. Find your Passion so you can unleash the nascent Power you have, as these Elders have done. Follow their lead and you will find that later life can be filled with worthy challenges and endeavors. Make your life count and leave a unique Legacy. 

Young wizard Harry Potter, in “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows”, is seeking to gain the tools for immortality and uses solutions that have a magical aire, but here are several more Amazing Elders who are really creating and living these dreams!

All are succeeding by breaking down the concept and barriers of Agism. Through their brave exploits, new avenues of societal thinking and self-concept can open to us. Aim to grasp a longer more useful life, too. You control your Legacy to the Future.

 Who Is The Oldest Golfer To Get  A Hole-in-One?

Oldest Hole-In-One Golfer, Elsie Mc Lean   Photo: Associated Press

In April 2007, Elsie Mc Lean became the oldest person to hit a hole in one at a regulation golf course. In Chico, California, using her driver, she made her Ace shot at age 102.

Harold Stilson, at age 101, formerly held the record at a country club in Florida.

Who Is The Oldest Person To Fly A Loop-the-Loop?

Adeline Ablitt of Coventry, England accomplished this record in 1998, as a passenger in a glider at age 95. She now says she will ride in a hot air balloon. She had been one of the first women to ride a motorcycle in Coventry decades ago. Adeline says she does not believe in “old age”. At 102, Adeline jumped at the chance to take an Outward Bound survival skills course and completed the 3 day canoing trial with flying colors. As of January 2006, Adeline was still going strong at 103.

Who Are The Oldest Female and Male Astronauts?

Shannon Lucid, oldest female astronaut and veteran of 5 space missions. NASALt. Col. John H. Glenn on first space mission 1962, Friendship 7. Photo: www.historylink.org Senator John Herschel Glenn, US Marine Corps (ret) at 77 flew his second space mission. NASA

They are female astronaut Shannon Lucid, at age 53, on the Space Shuttle mission STS 76 Atlantis in March 1996. She is the first and only woman to make 5 spaceflights.

John Herschel Glenn is the oldest male astronaut at age 77 years, in a 1998 reprise of his 1962 pioneering space flight. Of the original “Mercury 7” astronauts, only Glenn, Carpenter and Cooper survive.

Senator Glenn also used his achievement as a reminder for older people everywhere. “Old folks have ambitions and dreams, too, like everybody else. And why don’t they work for them? Why don’t they go for them? Don’t sit on the couch someplace,” he said.

Who Is The Fastest, Oldest Female Marathoner?

Oldest Marathoner, Mavis Lindgren, RN and Patrick Roden, RN,PhD  Photo: www.2young2retire.com

Mavis Lindgren, RN at 100 is the most accomplished elder marathoner I’ve found. She has run 75 marathons in competition, in a career which did not begin until she was 70 years old and spanned until she was 90.

She began a walking regimen at age 62 as she was beginning to have lung problems from just sitting around in retirement doing the “usual”, sedentary “senior” pastimes. She had 4 bouts of pneumonia in one year, and as a nurse, she knew this did not portend well, for what had been a less-than-normally healthy life previously, beginning with pneumonia and whooping cough as a child in rural Canada.

She was encouraged “to take responsibility for her own health” during a lecture by Dr. Charles Thomas of Loma Linda University in California.

Her doctor sauggested she try an Early Bird Walking Program organized near her home. Mavis stated, “After I started running, I never had another cold” and “I was never sick another day.” 

Mavis is 5 foot 2 inches tall and 102 pounds now, but when she started her walking, it  needed to be slow to help strengthen her weakened heart and skeletal muscles, and she was 20 pounds over-weight from her sedentary retirement lifestyle.

All that incapacity was changed, and she lost the 20 pounds, too. As the months and then years rolled by, she experienced a rebirth of her Health. She ran her way back to Health and showed that the symptoms of “aging” are all too similar to the  consequences of “inactivity”. We are made-to-move, and it is the stagnation of inactivity which helps to cause illness.

Gradually, her endurance allowed Mavis to start “jogging”, but she found out that she really loved to run! So, gradually Mavis increased her time and built endurance, and by age 70 a Marathoner had been born.

She broke world records and blazed new pathways in the (26 mile) marathon for each age stage and for the 10 Kilometer race (6.2 miles). She trained an average of 50 miles a week.

Mavis underwent a series of tests performed at Loma Linda University’s Human Performance Lab to determine how much her body had benefited from the exercise. The [VO.sub.2] max test measures the health of heart, lungs and blood vessel fitness, and Mavis now showed that, at 80, she had the heart and lung efficiency of a normal 22 year old woman!

As far as her body composition was concerned, she tested out at 12% fat whereas a normal “healthy” college-age woman has 25% fat body composition and the average middle age woman has 32% fat.

Mavis was one fit, lean runner who was proud that in every marathon, the organizers let her wear the jersey number which reflected her age that year!

At 90, about 10 years ago, she hung up her running shoes, and what shoes they were — Phil Knight, CEO of NIKE, had special “Air Mavis” shoes made for her, which he presented to Mavis before her last race!

“Amazing Mavis” ran her last official marathon in real style, and many adoring fans in Portland, Oregon remember the inspiration she gave them, too, to change their own Health by regaining their strength and endurance.

One time world champion, oldest marathoner Jenny Wood-Allen of Dundee, Scotland   Photo: BBC

Recently, at 90 years of age, Jenny Wood-Allen of Dundee, Scotland  completed her last marathon — the London Marathon — in 11 hours, 34 minutes. Each marathon is 26 miles, 385 yards! She ran her first marathon at age 71 and has completed more than 30 marathons now.

At one point she was the world-record holder for the over 70 group. Over the years, racing for charity, Jennie has raised more than $70,000.

She had scaled down her marathons to one a year, but she still runs 50 miles a week.

Who Is One Of The Oldest Decorated Heroes?

Every year the Carnegie Hero Fund, established by tycoon Andrew Carnegie, awards medals to ordinary people for extra-ordinary bravery. Until recently, the oldest recipient was Carolyn Kelly, who at 82 years old, jumped into a pond and rescued her fellow retirement-home resident Nina Hutchinson, when Nina’s car drove into the water.

Carolyn held Nina’s head above water until help arrived.

 Ms. Kelley said she was surprised to find out that she was the oldest recipient at the then 99 year old award (this was in 2002), because she felt there are ‘many older, active people who are capable of such acts’.

Who Is The Oldest Known Person To Ski To The Geographic North Pole?

Jack Mackenzie, 77 year old Canadian skier to North Pole, 1999. Photo: www.canadianarticholidays.ca

At age 77 years, 10 months, 13 days old, Canadian Jack McKenzie made history as he became the oldest person to ski to the geographical North Pole (which is located in the far north of Canada, and is also known as the Magnetic North Pole). He skied 62 miles in 5 1/2 days as part of the team to reach the Pole.

Jack joined the 9 member expedition in 1999 to celebrate the “International Year of Older Persons”. He certainly added to the increasing annals of senior accomplishments.

Jack and his wife had visited 6 continents in their retirement, and never repeated a destination. Since his wife died in 1995, Jack has continued to travel and has joined adventure expeditions which finally included Antarctica.  He also took a more than 2400 mile journey across China. Now Jack has visited all 7 continents, and he continuing to travel.

A 52 woman walks to the True North Pole

Ordinary Women, Willing To Do Extra-Ordinary Things! www.msu.eduJournalism professor Sue Carter on her first women’s team ploar trek in 2001 from Siberia. www.msu.edu Journalism Professor at Michigan State, Sue Carter was also an Olympic Torch bearer for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics Photo: www.statenews.com

In 2001, Jen Buck, a 27 year old Canadian nurse and Olympic rower, who went along on the same expedition with Jack McKenzie, above, co-led the first all women’s team to go to the True North Pole with 11 other women.

The co-leader, Josie Auclair, age 38, is married to famed Canadian Arctic explorer Richard Weber (who along with his partner, Misha Malakhov) are the only humans ever to have walked to the True North Pole successfully 4 times.

Richard trained Josee in the tactics of survival, as the True North Pole is only a piece of floating ice, found with the help of a skilled GPS locating technician (Jen), and within 5 minutes, the ice has already sent you drifting away from the real Pole.

The expedition is fraught with danger at every second, as the 3 meter thick summer Arctic ice “leads” break away constantly, and requires massive re-routing and the danger of floating into isolation or being smashed or drowned, by the power of an 18-wheeler truck crashing down on you. With the mandatory extra re-routing, time, energy and food run the risk of running out, too. And. cold is your constant companion, yet sweat is even more deadly.

The eight other team members included a 52 year old un-named woman (possibly it is Professor Sue Carter, one of the teams’ organizers). With 4 Canadians and 8 Americans, each paid $11,000 each to finance the expedition. On Josee’s first led expedition, the women opted to pull the sleds themselves rather than use sled dogs, and were not re-supplied. They took everything with them from the beginning.

Along with tents, gear, and fuel they carried all their food. They required lots of water and 5,000 calories a day, eaten as concentrated bacon on a stick, pate, cheese, crackers, jambalaya and of course, chocolate!

High-fat food rules, as it burns long and is calorie dense. They had a hot drink on the hour, every hour in the last 48 hour “push”.

Other more experienced Danish male guides, trying at the same time, did not get their expeditions to the Pole.

In the last 2 grueling days, with only 4 hours sleep each night, the team had to cover the last 21 miles. Only when they had crashed through all personal barriers and were within 6 miles of their goal did they have the luxury of knowing that they would likely reach their goal. They did. Attitude, rather than physical strength, is what ultimately defined the group and secured their success.

They were also the first team to reach the True North Pole, whole, with no substitutes; in fact, no substitutes were allowed. The women went for 2 years of training — most just being ordinary women who believed they could do extra-ordinary things! They had a 5 day training in Siberia and then started their 2 week, 200 kilometer trek, slogging with the sleds over miles of house-high ridges. The whole expedition lasted one month, as they were marooned afterward at the camp at Ice Station Borneo.

Michigan State University journalism professor, Sue Carter, and Frida Warra, a documentary film-maker, initiated the idea for the all-women Quest. Their professed desire was “to foster in women and girls a sense of empowerment about themselves and their abilities”.

Who Is The Oldest Person To Graduate From University? Meet A True College Senior!

Oldest College Graduate, Nola Ochs, and grand-daughter, Alexandra Ochs - Photo: www.gulfnews.com

In May 2007, Nola Ochs, at age 95, became the oldest person to graduate from University. Not only that, but Nola is also the person who took the longest to complete her degree. Amazingly, she started her bachelors degree in 1930, went back to school at 75 and completed her degree 20 years later.

Her grand-daughter Alexandra, graduated with her, which is yet another record. And you can bet that her 3 living of 4 sons, and their spouses were all there for the occasion, along with 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, to see the Governor of Kansas present Nola with her diploma, to the applause of thousands.

Nola had to move the 100 miles from her farm and live on campus, in a dormitory for non-traditional students. There and elsewhere on campus, she made lots of friends. Nola said she was just like any other student, but Joleen Briggs, Nola’s college advisor says “she is the poster child of a life-long learner”.

Nola says that “I lived on a farm. I was a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I had plenty to do. But, the yearning didn’t go away.”

Along the way, Nola studied for her General Studies and History degree on campus, then by correspondence, then on the internet and finally, went back on campus again.

Other students were fascinated when she could give them first-hand, witness views of the History they were studying.

Now she plans to start on a Master’s Degree on campus at Fort Hays State University this fall.

Nola says she ‘wants to accumulate as many degrees as I can’. And, then she plans to get a job, on a tour ship so she can see the world!  

The previous world record holder was Mozelle Richardson who completed her degree at age 90, in 2004 at the University of Oklahoma.

Brava! And my sincere congratulations to both of you.

Use It Or Lose It – Intellectual Health Is Possible If You Continually Use Your Mind and Brain.

Who Is The Oldest Nobel Laureate?

Raymond Davis, Jr. Oldest Nobel Laureate, Physics 2002 at age 88 Photo: nobelprize.org

At age 88, Raymond Davis Jr. of the United States, received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2002, for his pioneering contributions to Astrophysics, especially for his detection of cosmic neutrino particles.

There are 9 Nobel Laureates in their 80’s who have received the Nobel Prize in their fields of chemistry, economics, medicine, physics as well as 2 more recipients of the most highly-regarded Nobel Peace Prize.

Now, You Can Help History Happen — Yes, You Can!

Gabrielle Simpson hopes to become the world’s oldest circumnavigator. Photo: www.gabriellesimpson.com

Gabrielle Simpson is a 64 year old Australian grandmother who hopes to become the oldest circumnavigator of the world while sailing as an officially chosen crew member in the Clipper 07-08 Round The World Yacht Race.

She still needs to raise funds, and you can help her on her website at www.gabriellesimpson.com .

Gabrielle is embarking on a 10 month voyage after an initial 2 months of intense training in London before the race begins. She has not been a yachting sailor before, but she has a huge affinity and love for the ocean.

Gabrielle will tackle 35,000 miles in this singular race available to non-professional sailors. The race will start from Liverpool, England on September 18, 2007.

Her yacht will be the Quindao Clipper, captained by veteran sailor Marcus Cholerton-Brown.

This single mother has already accomplished a great deal in her life — being a dental nurse for Australia’s world-renowned long-distance Flying Doctor Service, a model in England, and starting over at University, as a mature student, to earn another degree in Arts and Drama. She has already had a major art exhibition in Adelaide, Australia.  Gabrielle was also an Olympic torch-bearer for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Gabrielle personifies what the Race selector panel says is the spirit of this world’s longest sailing race — “it’s all about ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things”.

And, as I said at the start, we don’t need to live in the magical worlds of Harry Potter (although that’s fun and has its imaginative place in our psyche). We are powerful Be-ings who create or co-create our own lives which can be steeped with as much wonder and challenge as we can dream of, at any stage of our life!

Go for it!

Next time, we’ll begin to learn the “secrets” which some of these seniors share as the reasons they are able to accomplish all they have, and we will learn more about the science which is helping us understand lots more about longevity and having a quality life at any age!

(c)2007 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to use or quote from my article, please include the full copyright citation and my website’s address. Thanks!

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Burst Stereotypes About Age Wide-open!   photo: Allium from www.slide.com

In Part 4, we see stereotypes about age are falling as healthy elders emerge. Diabetes, heart disease and the rest are not automatic with age. These dis-eases are largely biochemical imbalances caused by life-style choices. Education can turn this daily choice into Health again, instead of infirmity. Grab your birth-right — a long and healthy life.


As I have prepared these articles, I have been struck by the apparent pomposity and snail’s-pace processing of these “oldest person” claims. The fact that Guinness will not approve anyone who does not have a legal birth-certificate as a candidate for being “oldest person” is preposterous.

I have read about at least a half-dozen people in third-world countries, mostly, who have not got the luxury of a birth-certificate, but whose national identity cards meted out decades ago OR unaltered church registers AND usually living in the same village all their lives SHOWS reasonably that these people are not lying.

More to the point, most often the person and even their family are often not even the ones applying to Guinness; others are doing so on their behalf. Why is Guinness SO wary? When they drag their feet, many of these elders die before hearing even an acknowledgment of their application.

So, I am going to list a few and let you draw your own conclusions. I think the far greater sin is not a recognizing their achievement due to bureaucracy.

I also think that, for the period of time, a century or so ago, before birth-certificates were always applicable, Guinness should have 2 categories – “fully-documented” and “reasonably-documented“, so both groups can be acknowledged.

Possibly, in some countries, even today, people are not being “issued” birth-certificates. Won’t their lives “count” either?


Who Was The Most Likely REAL Oldest Person In The Modern-Day ?!

Maria do Carmo Jeronimo, Brazil - died at 129 years photo: http://news.bbc.co.uk

After weeks of reading, I do not think Jeanne Calement, the 122 year old, fully-documented, Guinness “official” title-holder is correct.

I am inclined to believe the claim of former Brazilian slave, Maria do Carmo Jeronimo, who died in 2000 at 129 years old earned that title.

According to Catholic Church baptismal records, Maria was born on March 5, 1871 in the southeastern town of Carmo de Minas, in Minas Gerais state.

At that time, Brazil was a monarchy under Emperor Pedro II, and Jeronimo, who was black, was born into slavery. Slaves’ births were never registered in civil records, so her family and her “owner” were never issued a birth-certificate.

She was 17 when Brazil finally abolished slavery, but she never left Minas Gerais. For six decades of her life, Maria worked as a housemaid for the Guimaraes family, which recently had tried unsuccessfully to have her recognized by the Guinness Book of Records.

Guinness insisted there must be a birth-certificate. Baloney!

In this case, no one has altered the Church records; they are in proper chronological order AND she worked for the same family for 60 years and then they took care of her for all the succeeding decades after she could no longer work.

So, there are plenty of other people to verify Maria’s long life, and that should count! It is not her fault that Brazil did not afford her the human-right to have her birth officially noted.

Maria received a personal blessing from Pope John Paul II during a visit to Rio. And, at the age of 127, she finally saw the ocean. Local record books listed Maria as the world’s oldest person, and she was honored at the Carnivale parade in Rio commemorating the abolition of slavery.

Finally, on June 16, 2000, Maria succumbed after several strokes, but Thereza Guimaraes, her family’s spokes-person, said “We saw her go through many crises, many delicate situations and survive.”

“We ended up thinking that it would go on forever.”

Who Is Also Currently Deserving Of The Title “Oldest Human”?

Moloko Temo of South Africa seems to be 132 years old. Photo: www.limpopo.gov.za/prov_dept/health_socialdev/events/photo_album/photo_album.asp

Moloko Temo
Moloko Temo of Bochum, Mohodi Ga-Manthatha outside Polokwane in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province turned 133 years old this summer. She was reportedly born on July 4, 1874 according to a government identity document issued to her in 1988.

Temo has eight children, 29 grandchildren, 59 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. She has been blind for the last 54 years and is wheelchair-bound, though “healthy in every other way.”

The province’s Elderly People’s Forum applied in 2004 to Guinness World Records to have her deemed world’s oldest person, but so far their effort has gone unanswered.

Evidently, news24.com reports Guinness quoted “people rarely became older than 113 years”. “Present indications are that nobody has ever celebrated their 123rd birthday.” Are they looking?


Other long-lives I want to acknowledge, even if Guinness will not:

Cruz Hernandez
128 years old    El Salvadore    Died March, 2007

Ms Hernandez gave birth to 13 children and ended up with at least 60 grandchildren, 80 great-grandchildren and 25 great-great grandchildren.

At age 127, “national birth registry officials sent her documents to the Guinness World Records organisation last year, but did not get a reply.”

Fulla Nayak   
120 or 125 years old    India    Died November, 2006

Fulla Nayak, a resident of Kanarpur village in the coastal district of Kendrapada, Orissa died of old age. The grand old woman lived in a small mud-walled thatched house. She is survived by two of her four daughters and around two dozen relatives. Her eldest daughter, Jamuna, 92, lives in the same village. Her son applied to Guiness, but never had a response.

Pasikhat Dzhukalayeva
A Chechen great-great-grandmother whose passport states she was born in 1881, Russian state television has reported.

Pashikat has nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and seven great-great-grandchildren who call her ‘Granny Asi’.

“I do not know why I have lived so long. I have buried five brothers and sisters, and four children,” the wrinkled Dzhukalayeva, who moves around in a wheelchair.


Who was the longest-lived American?

That honor likely belongs to Mary Ramsey Wood. She was born on a farm near Knoxville, Tennessee May 20, in 1787, and she crossed the plains with her family to settle in Hillsboro, Oregon, where she lived until her death Jan. 01, 1908.

At that time, Mary was probably the oldest woman in the United States, if not in the world, as she was well past her 120th birthday.

Isn’t it amazing that a baby girl was destined to witness the marvelous changes that have since transformed the world and to survive out of the old time into ours?

Mary Ramsey is the child who learned to lisp when Washington was president in the18th century and then lived to talk of President Roosevelt in the 20th century.

To put it into historical perspective another way, Mary was a laughing school-girl of 7 when Tennessee was admitted as a state to the Union; she was a blushing bride when the Napoleon ceded Louisiana to the United States, and she was a proud young mother when Lewis and Clark trampled over the breadth of the North American continent to “where rolls the Oregon” next to the Pacific Ocean.



I am totally amazed by the accomplishments of the following people and I am grateful that, at 61, I am here to see stereotypes changing and “barriers” falling.

“Age” is Nothing!

After all, the original human cell is alive in all of us.

Technically, we are a self-renewing, always renewing life-form. Why would you ever subscribe to the fallacy of being “old”?

Who Is The World’s Oldest Champion Marathon Runner?

Fauja Singh - Adidas sponsors him. “Nothing Is Impossible” Adidas’ sign-board 2005Fauja Singh - official starter at the Edinburgh Marathon 2005Fauja Singh practicing with his coach.  Photo: BBC

(This information about Bhai* Fauja Singh is from 2005) – at 94 years old, Fauja is regularly spotted flying down the streets of Ilford, Essex in his spikes. Why?

At 94, 5 ft 11 inches and about 116 pounds, he’s run at least seven marathons, countless half-marathons and Fauja was recently part of the world’s oldest marathon team in Edinburgh, Scotland where the team’s combined age for the four runners was 397 years!

Fauja was honoured as the “starter” for the race. Their turban-charged, 4 Sikhs relay-team placed 730 out of 912 teams.

Bhai Fauja developed his jogging skills on a farm in Punjab, India and then, at the magical age of 81, when he moved to England, he found his love for the sport became more “serious”.

What’s next? He set his sights on being a record breaker.

At London’s Mile End Park Stadium this great man attempted to set world-best records for men over 90.

And Fauja came up with five new records in 94 incredible minutes. He decided to try his hand at shorter distances: 100m, 200m, 300m, 800m, 1500m, 1 mile, 3,000m and 5,000m.

In the senior category, he not only set a new 200m record, but halved it from 76.8 seconds to 49.28 seconds! He also set the British record for 400 meters, 800m, 1 mile, and 3000m.

“He is an inspiration because he has set five UK records. He has achieved more in one day than an athlete normally does in a lifetime,” said Bridget Cushen, Secretary, British Masters Athletic Federation. “If that wasn’t enough, he attempted all the records in under 94 minutes.”

And, he still officially holds the Marathon World Record for his age 90+ group, set in Toronto September 2003, at 5 hours 40 minutes 01 second. He races for Great Britain.

“Fauja” is the Sikh name meaning “Army General” and he is true to his proud roots as the Sikhs are famous for their military prowess. They turn marvelous skill to peaceful activities, too, and many are great athletes.

He is 180 per cent fitter than an average man of his age, with a bone density in his left leg of a 50-year-old and a “20-year-old’s right leg”. He walks or runs 7 to 10 miles every day and has a training session with his coach once a week, although, he confesses, “When I am tired I do use my bus pass.”

Bhai Sahib also is a great Humanitarian, and all of his Adidas sponsorship money is given to charity.

He also ran one of his 5 London Marathons for the British Heart Foundation and Bliss, a premature baby charity. Bhai Fauja said, “I think that it is a good thing for the oldest runner in the race to run for the youngest people in our world.”

What a wonderful sentiment!

Fauja has found the delicate balance aspired to by Sikhs between being a great Khalsa soldier and a great Khalsa saint.

Fauja also is very aware about being a role model, and it is inspirational for young Sikh’s the world over, to see their proud military heritage, ability and training can be transformed into other healthy past-times, too.

Fauja Singh hopes to return in 2009 to break the record for the oldest marathon runner – presently held by a 98-year-old Greek athlete.

I wish you well, Bhai Fauja Singh Ji !

*Note: Bhai and Ji are an honorifics of respect.


Who Hold The Senior Records For “Fastest Master’s Runner”?

Kozo Haraguchi - Master’s 100 m Dash Champion   Photo: http://memebers.aol.com/win4sports.html

Kozo Haraguchi of Japan is one of the fastest senior runners. He is holder of the official world record for the 100 meter dash set in Osaka, Japan for the 95 + year old group with a time now of 21.69 seconds.

Philip Rabinowitz of Russia is officially the fastest human in the 100+ year category with a 100 meter dash time of 30.86 seconds. Philip also holds the 200 meter world-record in his age group.


Third Japanese Holds Title to Being Oldest Person To Climb Mt. Everest (Sagarmatha).

Katsusuke Yanagisawa on Everest. Photo: www.abc.go.com

Katsusuke Yanagisawa, 71 years, 2 months and 2 days, has become the oldest person to scale 29,035 foot Mt. Everest, beating the previous record set by Takao Arayama in 2006. Both Mr. Arayama and the previous record-holder, Yuichiro Miura, were 70. Takao was 13 days older than Yuichiro when he gained the title.

The present title-holder to climb Sagarmatha (the traditional name for the mountain), is a former school teacher from Nagano, in the mountains of Japan. Katsusuke Yanagisawa reached the summit May 22, 2007, from the Tibetan side, and spent about 30 minutes on top of the world. He survived the rigorous descent, which often kills those who have summited, and at the time, he said it was the last mountain he’d climb.

In addition to Sagarmatha, he has also climbed North America’s tallest mountain, 20,300 foot Mt. McKinley (locally called Denali in Inuit).


Who Is The Oldest Woman To Climb Mt. Everest (Sagarmatha)?

Tamae Watanabe climbs Mt. Everest successfully at age 63. Photo: http://news.bbc.co.uk Tamae Watanabe climbs Mt. Everest successfully at age 63. Photo: http://englishpeopledaily.com.cn

One of the most famous Japanese conquerors of Everest was Junko Tabei, who in 1975 became the first woman on top of the peak.

In 2002, Tamae Watanbe of Japan, set a record among the 70 women Everest climbers, by becoming the oldest woman mountaineer to scale the peak. She was 63 years old.

Formerly, the oldest woman to climb Sagarmatha is famed, highly-regarded mountaineer Anna Czerwinska (born 7/10/49) who climbed Everest from the Nepalese side on 5/22/2000. Anna is also one of the elite who has climbed the seven highest mountains on our planet.

Next time, we’ll learn about more Amazing Elders.

Best to all — Em

(c)2007 Em http://diabetesdietdialogue.worpdress.com
If you wish to use or quote my article, please include the full copyright citation, and my website’s address. Thanks!

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 Longevity may let you hold your great-grandchild as Okinawans often do. photo: National Geographic Nov 2005

In some countries, people are living to amazing ages. What are they doing to increase their longevity? How can we use these techniques to live longer, too?  Wouldn’t you like to hold your great-grandchild, (or even a great, great grandchild), as Kamda of Okinawa is?!

And, other interesting questions to think upon are:

___ How is what promotes our own longer life integrally a part of the health of our planet and our human societies?

 ___   What do we have to change?

 ___   Can diabetics “compensate” and recover longevity that is at risk?

This series hopes to enlighten you on those topics.

This time we’ll be learning about the Oldest Married Couples (OMC)  in Part 3 and some Amazing Feats of Master Athletes and Scholars  in Part 4 of this series.

Although 97% of mammals are polygamous, having more than one partner, why do we humans tend to form pair bonds with only one partner?

It must satisfy some deep, instinctual need.

Even in current America, 91% of men and women form a pair bond and / or marry by the age of 45. Although the divorce rates are high – 55% in USA, 33% in Europe – even the vast majority of divorcees re-marry and are very willing to try it all over again. So is pair bonding or monogamy a basic part of human nature? I think so.

This leads us to the question about who is the longest-lived couple in the world?

There are two ways to calculate the winner(s) — by total years married OR by combined ages of the pair. And, of course, with two people involved, as with twins, the chances of one of the team dying, at this level of longevity, is quite high. So my candidates are the best information I have at hand, as this statistic is usually updated far ahead of the Guiness Book, via newspaper and TV reporting etc.

 Oldest Married Couple, combined Ages: Magda and Herbert Brown photo Washington Post July 2005

Magda and Herbert Brown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA were the oldest couple in the world, using Combined Age, as of July 15, 2005 with a combined age of 205 years and 293 days. Herbert was 105 years old at the time, Magda Fritz Brown was 100.

What’s even more amazing about this couple is that Herbert is a survivor of Nazi Germany’s extermination campaign against the Jews and he survived Dachau concentration camp!

He even survived a run-in with the successfully-prosecuted, notorious Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann.

Magda and Herbert’s long marriage began when “We met at a dance, and we fell in love right away,” Magda says. Her face looks transcendent as she recalls that time at finishing school in Vienna more than seven decades ago. They married in Hungary, Magda’s home, and their happy marriage lasted 75 years.

Then. they returned to Austria, Herbert’s family’s homeland.

But when the Nazis came to power in Austria in 1938, and they invaded the Brown’s home, stealing everything of value, and all their money, and then the Nazis sent Herbert to Dachau, which at that time was a slave-labor camp.

Amazingly, at that period of time, the Nazis could be bribed, and so with the help of many Christian friends and a Jewish charity,  Herbert was released. This was in addition to the Nazi’s taking literally everything Magda and Herbert owned, including their 2 department stores and all their possessions, in return for his “release”.

When Herbert returned to Vienna, he was required to report daily to a Nazi government office. One day a high-ranking Nazi official was at the office, conducting interrogations. Brown was forced to stand at attention, with his nose pressed to the wall, for two hours. And then he appeared before the official — who turned out to be Adolph Eichmann.

After that encounter, almost penniless, the couple fled to England, just as the courageous Baron Von Trapp did with his family, rather than continue to serve in Austria’s Navy under the Nazis. The von Trapp history has been told in the film “The Sound of Music”, and Austria as described there then was probably much like it was at the time of Magda’s and Herbert’s persecution — gradually coming under the Nazi thumb, as few people had the courage to resist them.

All of this Brown family history, and more, has documented and recounted on videotape for Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation by the Brown’s daughter, Trudie Solarz.

Next, Magda and Herbert came to New York and then Philadelphia in 1940; Magda worked as a seamstress, and Herb worked at a factory sewing the shoulder seams on tuxedos.

American life was a major economic and cultural shock, but they were at least glad to be safe from the Nazi threat, said Magda.

Economically, they never recovered what was lost by their persecution, as like many other Holocaust survivors, they have not been justly compensated by Germany, Austria or Switzerland (for those who had their private, “safe” bank accounts, in a neutral country, raided by the Nazis as the Swiss bankers either collaborated or acquiesced).

Magda said, “We were very happy to be here but it was very, very hard” to come to America with nothing.

The highlight of their marriage was the birth of their daughter, and she is their best gift from America, too.

Unfortunately, I have also found another, more local article, that states that Herbert died in December, 2006. But for a while they were the world’s oldest couple. I haven’t found who is now, for sure. The title has turned over at least 3 couples very quickly.

Those who were alive at the same time as the Browns and deserved the title in part or in whole were Percy and Florence Arrowsmith of Hereford, England who were within days of equaling the Browns; Percy has since died. And, after-the-fact, someone finally spoke up on behalf of Andre Debry and Marguerite Pingaud from the small French village of Argenton-sur-Creuse.

Andre and Marguerite had a legitimate claim to both the coveted titles: their combined age is two years greater than the Browns, and they married nine months earlier than the Arrowsmiths. I have not found an article to know whether both are still alive now.

Born on June 15, 1898, Mr. Debry, 107, and Marguerite at 100, born on October 10, 1904, were looking forward to celebrating their 81st wedding anniversary on August 12, 2005.

The most recent information I can find is in connection to the traditional Tibetan blessing ceremony for the Dalai Lama’s 72 nd birthday this month. The Tibetans venerate their elders and consider a blessing from them to be of such value that they have searched the world for a suitable couple to “bless” the Dali Lama. The chosen couple are the longest-married they could find and are a Sikh couple – a 103-year-old retired Army soldier, Thakur Pyara Singh, and his 101-year-old wife Hansa Devi. The Guiness Book staff verify Thakur and Hansa have been married for 83 years! So, they are probably the title holders of longest-married OMC.

Historically, who was the oldest couple by number of years married AND aggregate age!?

That amazing distinction belongs to a Welsh couple Thomas and Elizabeth Morgan, who were married May 4, 1809 in Caerleon, Monmouthshire, United Kingdom. Both born in 1786, they had a combined aggregate age of 209 years and 262 days!

This has still not been topped in nearly 200 years. Other long-lived historical couples, who have not already been described, have included 2 Dutch couples, 1 American couple, 1 Austrian couple, 1 Norwegian couple and 1 Taiwanese couple. Surprisingly, the first Japanese couple mentioned is fairly recent. Yoichi Gomi, 104 years old, and his 103-year-old wife, Kazono from Yokohama, who may now be the title-holders of oldest aggregate-age OMC.

Next time we will meet some amazing Master Athletes and Scholars who can show admirably that age is not a factor that automatically results in disease and being decrepit. These vibrant people put all those stereotypes to rest, forever!

I hope this series is lots of food for thought. Daily actions. Daily choices. That’s what determines our length of days, dear reader.

(c)2007 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to use my article or quote from it, please respect my copyright by including the full copyright citation and my website’s address. Thanks!

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