Until the Heart Stops Beating

Now I know what I want to do if I live to be 100 years old. I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride my bicycle like Robert Marchand. Never heard of him? Well he’s just the 100 year old man who set the hour mark on a bicycle at 15.1 miles. We know he set this record because it seems noone else has even tried in his age category. The UCI had to invent a category for him. Now that’s special!

Cycling gets so much negative press these days for all its bad boys that it’s really nice to read something positive. It’s truly inspiring to read about a man who hasn’t lost his joie de vivre. At his age, so many people have passed on before him and the few that remain are waiting for their turn. And here is a man who travels to the land of clocks and rides with a heart that keeps on ticking.

Professional cyclists are considered old by the age of 35 and ancient by the age of 40. They burn bright but they burn quickly. We marvel at their physical condition, their stamina, their ability to suffer for long hours day after day. We often discuss how amazing it is that they’ve been able to perform at such a high level for the better part of three decades. And yet all this pales in comparison to a man six or seven decades their senior who still pushes the limits of his maximum heart rate.

There are so many lessons to learn from this achievement. Keep your body in motion everyday. Don’t allow yourself to become sedentary. Continue to have goals. Always be open to trying new things. Know your limitations (a man has to) but push them anyway. Your life is not what you decide it’s going to be, it’s the summation of all the things you do when it’s over. Imagine if Mr. Marchand had given up even ten or twenty years ago.

So what’s the secret to his success? Balance. He overindulged on the things that made him better (work, exercise). He avoided excess in the things that bring you down (smoking, drinking). The true secret to living right is balance. We struggle to find it our whole lives and if we do, we struggle to hold on to it. Mr. Marchand found that balance and he’s kept it as steady as the bike he set his record on.

Never stop until your heart stops beating.

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