Dara Torres' Ageless Inspiration

In today’s Healthy Hollywood feature: When you’ve got it, you’ve got it! And, Olympic champ Dara Torres has that special something that makes her an inspiration to women of all ages.

For starters, she never let her age limit her dreams. The 12-time Olympic medalist made history at the age of 41 as the oldest female swimmer on the U.S. Olympic swim team. At 45, despite the critics, she tried out for the London Games, and while she didn’t qualify, she had an award-winning attitude.

“There’s always been this myth that you have to be a certain age to do certain things. I know in my sport, people always thought when you get to a certain point then you peak. So, I guess, the biggest I learned, especially coming out of the 2008 games, was that if you put your heart and soul into something and you give it everything you never know where the rainbow might come out,” Dara shares with Healthy Hollywood.

Healthy Hollywood caught up with Dara in New York City at the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon Health & Wellness Expo. Now, at age 47, she loves to give motivational talks to women. And, at this event, she was speaking to a group and sharing how “age is just a number.”

“There’s a stigma with age, with doing certain things and so because of that I feel people don’t try things that they thought they can do but thought that people would think they’re too old to do so. I think it’s just not limiting yourself and not worrying about how old you are,” explains Dara.

And, for Dara, the most rewarding thing is helping women go for their dreams, adding, “The biggest thing is just telling your story. My story has so many different chapters in it and I feel like even though mine’s all related to my swimming career, everyone’s going to relate to it no matter what their situation is. Whether it’s overcoming obstacles, whether it’s thinking you’re too old and if I could just touch someone to realize not to give up on something maybe they thought they were too old for or wouldn’t be able to balance.”

And, the super-toned swimmer certainly hasn’t given up on staying shape. She still looks as lean and sculpted as she did back when she was competing. But, Dara tells me she’s very realistic about not trying to work out like she did in her 20s or 30s. “I still look lean and thin but I’m definitely not as strong and I don’t have the endurance I had. I don’t have the recovery that I had. So, when that happens you need to go with the flow. When you’re used to doing something and you want your body to go back and do that and you’re body is telling you ‘no listen to your body and you just learn to do stuff in moderation.”

With age, comes the wisdom to listen to our body and take care of ourselves in ways that we didn’t when we were younger.

For more fitness tips, check out www.fitnessmagazine.com.

-- Terri MacLeod

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