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The Only Thing Holding You Back In Retirement Is You

The Only Thing Holding You Back In Retirement Is You

By Mike Drak

I broke out into a big smile while reading that a retirement rebel by the name of Hiromu Inada had just became the oldest man to finish an Ironman at age 87.

He has established a benchmark for other retirement rebels to shoot for, and we should thank him for that. For the record the oldest women Ironman finisher is Madonna Buder aka the Iron Nun who finished hers at age 82.

Just think about what Hiromu was able to accomplish – Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run and he was able to complete the race in 16 hours, 53 minutes and 49 seconds.

Old people aren’t supposed to do things like that and after watching some of his training videos I think Hiromu has a legitimate shot at finishing in the 90 + age category – a new age category that will have to be created just for him. Just the thought of that makes me laugh and I for sure will be cheering him on in the years ahead.

It important to understand the retirementality of people like Hiromu.

They are growth-oriented retirees who like to keep challenging and testing themselves. They remind me of the energizer bunny. They just keep going and going until one day they run out of gas and can’t go anymore, and that is the day they will finally hang up their running shoes and retire. Sure makes sense to me!

Whenever I read about a retirement rebel accomplishing the seemingly impossible I’m reminded of the story of Roger Bannister the first human being to run a four-minute mile on May 6th, 1954. Runners had been chasing that elusive goal for many years and all had failed. Experts thought that the human body was simply not capable of a 4 minute mile and that trying to break was dangerous and could result in a tragic outcome.

But when Bannister was able to break that barrier all the old excuses about why it was physically impossible and how dangerous it was went out the window.

Soon other runners who had previously failed started to break the 4 minute barrier as well proving that the limit was mental not physical.

Runners had been held back by what the experts had said that it was physically impossible to surpass the four-minute mile. But when Bannister was able to break through that barrier other runners now believed there was no reason why they couldn’t do it too.

There is a lesson here for retirement rebels – just because (you fill in the blank) hasn’t been done yet doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Maybe it’s because no one has found the courage and determination to try it. Why not be the first one?

Retirment Rebels like Hiromu don’t accept the limitations, tradeoffs, and middle-of-the-road sensibilities that define conventional retirement wisdom. Through their actions they transform the sense of what’s possible in retirement to other rebels.

That’s what makes retirement rebels like Hiromu so unforgettable — and so important.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing – you’re right!”
-Henry Ford

Many retirees have accepted the story that we can only go so far, that we need to play safe and take it easy or we might get hurt. They frequently say they can’t but what they really mean is that for whatever reason they are unwilling to try.

Just like in the Bannister story the limits or truths held by our minds determine how successful and happy we will be in retirement.

Not everyone can run a four-minute-mile or finish an Ironman but there are other things that you can accomplish that are just as challenging like writing a book, regaining your health, taking up a new hobby, or starting a new business to name a few and they are all within your reach if you have a strong enough “why’ for getting there.

So stop saying to yourself;

  • “I’m too old to learn that.”
  • “I’m not good enough to find a new job.”
  • “I’m not smart enough to start my own business.”
  • “I could never run a marathon.”
  • “I’m sure to fail.”

We can talk ourselves into or out of anything. We can logically create reasons why we should aim lower than the heights that voice inside us is calling us to.

If we want to enjoy an awesome retirement we need to rid ourselves of all the lies and disbelief that we have grown to accept about acting old because as retirement rebels like Hiromu have proven to us they simply are not true.

Retirees are all capable of much more than we think, and we need to grab hold of that truth, unshackling ourselves from the mental mindset that blocks us from realizing our true retirement potential.

You can learn more about Hiromu and his Ironman accomplishments in the following video. It’s also interesting to note – he didn’t start training for this until he was in his 60’s!

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Mike Drak

Author, Retirement Coach and Public Speaker at Victory Lap Retirement
Mike Drak is a thirty-eight year veteran of the financial services and lives with his wife Melina in Toronto, Canada. Mike is the Author of the best-selling book Victory Lap Retirement and also an award winning blogger, retirement coach and public speaker. Mike has also appeared on BNN, CBC Radio and iHeart radio.