Duty Of Love

71 year old Sprinter, Joan Sampson

Duty of love makes 71 year old retired school teacher and Olympian Joann Sampson of South Florida say, “I can do that!”  And she did.  This fast, naturally beautiful, and strong woman likes to say that age is nothing but a number, “It’s what’s in your heart that matters.”  That’s what she said in the 5th issue (July 2011, page 18) of a local magazine called 55+.

What I also found beautiful about this superb woman is that she started her sprinting career at age 62 competing in sprinting events, and that without any training or knowledge of how to run!  She does not recommend this to anyone because she has since, in 2004, suffered a herniated disk which was pressing on her sciatic nerve and causing her more grief than Palin cause John McCain in 2008!  Joann said that because of this injury, she could not walk for one entire month.   Yes, my friends, this to a runner would be the nearest thing to living in hell!  Take it from someone who has been on the same course, but only suffered two consecutive bone fractures.  The pain from not being able to engage fully in what you love doing is more hurtful than the pain of the injury—so I think.  Joann refused surgery to fix that herniated disk and instead grabbed her a Chiropractor and a Personal Trainer which has worked well for her.

Joan with her coach who devotes his time only to her.

This morning, before the crack of dawn, I caught up with Joann Sampson and her coach at the 24 Hour Fitness Gym in Pembroke Pines where she faithfully attends Three days a week to do weights and train with her favorite master trainer Doneall C. whom she says is the reason she is stronger because for years “he has challenged me to build my body from the time I had gotten injured.” According to Joan, Doneall has also helped her reach a higher level of conditioning.  Ever since, Joann has increased her stamina and strength and, according to her, for the past 6 years has maintained the No 1 spot in the state of Florida for the 100 meters sprint, she also ranks 4th in the Nation for the 100 meters sprint, and she ranks 4th in the 25th Huntsman World Senior games  in the 50 Meters.  You tell me if this grandmother is not powerful!  Here are her 2010 stats for the Seniors games: Age 65-69 * 1.Sampson, Joann, Hallandale Beach, 20.03 (but according to her, the official time is actually 17.56).  The 2011 records have not yet been posted on this site–which reflects the opinion that seniors ain’t got nothing to be in a hurry for!  You may visit her site here.

Joann was recalling when she began noticing the impact she was having on her community, especially in the Seniors community.  This was when the Sun Sentinel Newspaper caught up with her to inquire how and why a grandma from the area is causing so much fuss.  At the time that blessed sciatic nerve was… well… getting on her nerves too, but Joann managed to get out of running as they hoped to see her run that day.  She told the reporter that she had not had a chance to warm up properly for a complete demonstration of her running skills.  She did not feel well to tell then that she was injured at the moment.  Being the person of great faith, Joann prayed, “Lord, you chose me to do this!  I want people to know about the Seniors games.”  After this prayer she was able to demonstrate a quick run which kept the reporter pacified, and Joann managed to do so without any pain whatsoever.  I tell you, Granny’s got faith and game!

Get up. Get out. Do something...

OYE!  People can be very talented when it comes to finding excuses as to why they cannot get physical and do something as good and meaningful as moving their body.  I’ve heard it all.  You have to trust me on this one.  I’ve heard creative excuses such as, “My dog ate my tennis shoes and I have nothing to run in.”  I said to this person, “Have you noticed that barefoot running is becoming very popular nowadays?”  I’ve heard excuses like “Well, I’ve had knees, hips, and ankle problems for the past 15 years.”  My response was, “Yeah, ’cause you haven’t moved the body for so long that rigor mortis has set in!” This is not a laughing matter, but many have crippled themselves and brought on faster aging…on the quantum level for some…because of immobility, and of course other factors as well.  Not Joann Sampson.  This lady has got serious game and she has no know health problems at the moment and neither does her coach.  They are “Soldiers,” as she calls it, and it only takes dedication, discipline, and determination.   You can either be dedicated, disciplined, and determined to be well, or use these same  principles to stay there sitting on your tush, shuffling like you would rather crawl, or coasting in a nice cushioned wheelchair from the renown Scooter Store for the rest of your life!  And if you are a nurse and find yourself many a days huffing and puffing within the hospital walls because your weight is putting a strain on your heart and lungs,  then it’s time to do something about it.  So get out there and get the body moving, if even one leg!

Keep up the good work Joann!