Bronx resident Ida Keeling is literally in a league of her own. Keeling, who turns 101 this month, has been racing for over 30 years now.
This centenarian has been setting records, particularly women in the 95-99 year category and now just days before her 101st birthday, has set yet another record for a new age bracket.
“When she runs, Ms. Keeling occupies a lane all her own. She has held several track-and-field records since she began racing in her late 60s, and she still has the fastest time for American women ages 95 to 99 in the 60-meter dash: 29.86 seconds. In the week to come, she plans to compete in a 100-meter event at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, where she hopes to establish a new standard for women over 100 years old.
“You see so many older people just sitting around — well, that’s not me,” said Ms. Keeling, who is barely 4-foot-6 and weighs 83 pounds. “Time marches on, but I keep going.”
Ms. Keeling was not always such an accomplished runner. As a child growing up in Harlem, she preferred riding bikes or jumping rope. With Title IX half a century away, there were few opportunities for girls, let alone black girls, to play organized sports. When she did run, it was always to race, never to exercise.”
It’s always wonderful to see our seniors active but Keeling is truly a wondrous inspiration for all of us.
She epitomizes what we can accomplish through hard work and keeping an eye on a goal.
Keeling is an inspiration for me—I’m 60 years her junior and I like to lead an active life but seeing her shows me what’s possible.
In many ways, she’s a reflection of our borough through her resiliency and perseverance against all odds.
People like Ida Keeling is representative of the types of people whom we should be honoring on our Bronx Walk of Fame instead of so many celebrities our borough president seems infatuated by.
Let’s hope we can all live a long and healthy life like Ida and to Ms Keeling, Happy birthday and congratulations!