‘Never past your prime’: Women share their later life achievements

It’s never too late (Picture: Shutterstock/Splash/Getty)

When Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis both picked up their first Oscars aged over 60 at this year’s Academy Awards, they reminded the world that meaningful achievements can come at any time – and there is never an age limit on winning big.

Michelle said in her acceptance speech: ‘And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime’.

This resonated with women across the globe – women who’ve gone on to make their own important achievements at a later age, or a time they thought life would ‘stop’ or slow down.

From sacking it all in to travel, or winning awards and career shifting, the new beginnings are everywhere.

Tricia Waller, 70, had always loved writing but never thought anything could come of it – until she turned 69, and decided to enter a poetry writing competition on a whim.

‘I have always loved writing just never thought about actually doing it for anyone else to read,’ she says.

Tricia entered her first poetry competition at 69 (Picture: Tricia Waller)

‘I had signed up to the Goldster site to take some of their online exercise classes as gyms were shut during lockdown and noticed they also had creative writing and poetry classes. 

‘Then the competition launched and I had the bones of a poem that I had written while taking the poetry classes which I hoped I could use, so I flushed it out more and submitted it.’

She went on to win it – much to her surprise.

She’s now entering more (Picture: Tricia Waller)

‘I thought that they had made a mistake to be honest. It wasn’t until I visited their office in Dagenham Library and received my award and certificate that it actually started to sink in,’ she remembers.

That later life achievement has made her now continue to submit more work elsewhere and get published.

‘I do feel people pigeonhole you once you get to a certain age and this is why I am usually reluctant to share my age because I am so much more than the sum of my years,’ she adds.

For Amanda FitzGerald, a PR coach, the rewarding change came in her early 50s at a low ebb.

Newly divorced, she took up cold water swimming – and now she’s raised thousands for charity through her swims.

‘On my 50th birthday I was given a wetsuit and took to the rivers, lakes and sea,’ she says, remembering this as the start of the journey.

Amanda hasn’t looked back since she began cold water swimming (Picture: Amanda FitzGerald)

Calling it ‘the best feeling’, she decided to join over 150 women in an International Women’s Day swim in Brighton, raising £2,508 for the charity Afghanistan & Central Asian Association in 2022.

‘It was my best memory of 2022,’ she says. ‘I felt so proud.

‘I now feel unstoppable. I am ready to take on more and more challenges and have now taken up sea rowing.

‘I will carry on taking up new sports and activities as age is no barrier. I am as fit as I was in my 20s.’

In a similar vein, Johanne Stimson, 55, took on Kilimanjaro aged 50.

‘I’d never done anything like it before,’ she says, ‘it was very out of character and my friends and family all thought I was joking when I said I was going to do it.

At the top (Picture: Johanne Stimson)

‘It was in support of a charity and for a family who sadly had lost their husband and father to very young children.

‘Without doing this I wouldn’t have been brave enough to have made future decisions – it changed my life and I would do it again tomorrow. 

‘I trained hard and realised, as I’ve never done anything like this before, that I could be that disciplined.’

Johanne had never been a hiker before (Picture: Johanne Stimson)

Going abroad for new experiences also appealed to Victoria, now a travel coordinator at WeRoad, who quit her job in the entertainment industry at 42 and decided to start over.

‘As cliche as it is, I was inspired by the film Eat Pray Love and went to Bali for a whole month,’ she says.

‘I just decided to just up and leave and gave up my house and everything, so I could experience work and travel. 

‘I’m just free to do whatever I like and age doesn’t even come into it. 

‘I did worry about being “too old” at first, but I embraced the challenge.’

Victoria feels like her new lifestyle is an important milestone in her life (Picture: Victoria)

A study in 2020 by Avalon Funeral Plans found that women start feeling old at 29, while for men it’s 58. But as these women show, there’s immense power in fighting against societal expectations.

At 61, Suzanne Noble is challenging the norms around the visibility of older women, by performing on the West End in London for the first time in her life.

‘I’m working harder now than I have at any other time in my life, which is not how I thought I’d be at this age,’ she says.

‘I used to sing as a child and throughout my twenties, doing backing vocals for various bands and singing jazz as part of a duo.

‘I stopped during my thirties and forties, bringing up my children.

‘When I was in my fifties, I realised how much I missed it but, as a result of menopause, my voice had dropped considerably, and I struggled to know what to do with this new unfamiliar sound.’

Suzanne is now performing across London (Picture: Suzanne Noble)

Deciding to work on this, she started to perform with other singers and musicians, and now is planning a tour of a new show, starting at Piccadilly Circus, then onwards to Margate and Brighton.

Aderemi Adejokun, 58, founder of Relief Africa, decided to set up her charity aged 45, after feeling she needed to do more work to support less privileged families.

The single mother says: ‘I remember saying “All I want to do is to put a smile on people faces” and that is something money cannot buy.

Aderemi Adejokun

Aderemi started her charity in her 40s (Picture: Aderemi Adejokun)

‘My charity has touched the lives of so many young and elderly individuals, not just in Nigeria but globally in the UK, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi to name a few.

‘One of my highlights was once someone meeting someone randomly on a plane who had supported Relief Africa by running a marathon to raise funds.’

Although she’s proud of these achievements, she still feels ‘there is always more to be done’ and sees it as her ‘mission’ to continue bettering the lives of those her charity supports.

After all, there’s no age limit associated with having a positive impact on the world.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

MORE : All the ways the London Marathon is supporting women this year

Source link

Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.