Meet a lady who is truly chasing her dreams

Meet a lady who is truly chasing her dreams

Edwina Brocklesby, 78, is a person that once you have met, you’ll never forget — and that’s not because of her fluffy red locks or colorful nails.

Nicknamed the ‘IronGran,’ Brocklesby is the oldest British woman to have completed an IRONMAN: the world’s toughest triathlon.

“I have done 10 Ironman so far and finished six of them. I would love to do another Ironman if possible. Ideally, she says, it would be in Lanzarote, which has always been Brocklesby’s favorite place to train. The water is crystal clear … the routes of the bike just take you through all the beautiful parts of the island. The run is always fun. You’re going past the bars late at night and, you know, another lap of the run and … the disc jockey plays ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ every time I come through,” Edwina Brocklesby said. 

Remarkably, Brocklesby didn’t practice any sports until she was 50 years old. But she has always liked a challenge, she says — like running her first half marathon at the age of 52.

“I can remember going up to watch a friend doing the Nottingham Marathon that was round the university that my husband and I had been up. I came back to my husband and said, ‘You know, I’d love to do a half marathon.’ And he said, ‘You couldn’t even go three miles into Northampton!'” And I think, ‘Yes, I can!’ was the challenge that got me going,” she recalled from the time she lived in Northampton several years ago.

After a few marathons — and a couple of injuries as well — Brocklesby started to become more aware of the benefits of running; not just physical, but also the social and spiritual benefits.

In her book, Irongran: How keeping fit taught me that getting older needn’t mean slowing down, Brocklesby says that her running group of friends helped her to deal with the premature death of her husband.

By the time she reached 60, Brocklesby thought that learning how to swim could also be therapeutic.

“At school, I’d done a tiny bit of swimming, but never a full length of the swimming pool. So I had a lesson and started to swim! And actually did a whole length for the first time,” she said.

Swimming, however, remains Brocklesby’s greatest challenge. Road cycling is her favorite of the three disciplines that make up the triathlon.

Although, as she admits in her book, there were some early teething problems in climbing steep hills.

Brocklesby’s pursuit of athletic development also inspired her to try and convince other people that age is just a number.

“It is quite a privilege to know that you’re able to, and that’s why I got Silverfit going,” Brocklesby revealed.

Silverfit is a London charity that promotes healthier aging through physical activity and social connectivity. “People meet up, sometimes have refreshments, then they do an activity,” Brocklesby said.

Silverfit now runs activities in 17 different venues across London with 46 different classes, including Pilates, Nordic Walking, walking football, Bollywood fitness and silver cheerleading.

Two years ago, Brocklesby was invited to the centenary celebrations of the National Council for Voluntary Organisation (NCVO) hosted by Queen Elizabeth II herself.

“I had absolutely no expectations that I would actually meet our Queen. We assembled in a large hall within the historic Windsor Castle. There we were greeted with champagne and the most incredible nibbles. A queue started to form from that room to go through an open archway into another large hall. Only as I joined the queue and moved up slowly to get within a few feet of the door did I realize the Queen was just on the other side, individually greeting each guest. I went through, her equerry announced, ‘Dr. Brocklesby, Silverfit.’ ‘How lovely,’ she said as she shook my hand, and I curtseyed before her,” Brocklesby revealed.

Brushes with royalty aside, Brocklesby’s life is now committed to sharing a more popular message.

“That you enjoy aging. You are encouraging other people that it’s never too late to start getting a bit more active and to have fun. I think it’s so important to make the experiences fun,” she said.

Source: Agencies 

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