Motivation from a spunky 92 year old lady

Motivation can be difficult sometimes.  I thought I’d tell you about an incredible lady I was privileged to meet at a recent re-opening of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, tucked inside BC Place Stadium:  Ms. Barbara Howard.  She was one of the fastest female sprinters in the British Empire during the late 1930’s, and believed to be the first black woman athlete to represent Canada in international competition.  Ms. Howard will soon to be inducted in the Sports Hall this year as a Pioneer in Track & Field – long overdue!

This little lady stands barely 4 ft. 10” (for those of you that know me, I’m kinda small myself and I TOWERED over her!).  She was wearing gorgeous sparkly stylish evening attire, and fit as a fiddle at 92 years old!  I was wonderfully inspired that night, and had to ask her about her advice for a long healthy life:  “Oh!”  She said.  “I do my exercises at the gym EVERY day, I walk, and I read…”  Then she smiled mischieviously and said… “And I had lots of boyfriends but I never married”!

We did have a laugh, and I think laughter too is a secret for Barbara Howard – a lady ahead of her time in her independence and love of activity…

Remember, next time you’re out for a workout, you are way ahead of all those folks who are choosing to sit on couches at home instead of MOVING the way you are!  And

Barbara Howard in the middle

for the next while when I’m out for a run, you can but that as I’m headed home and about 100m from my doorstep I’ll think of Barbara Howard, sprinting 11.2 seconds for that distance when she was 17 years old over 80 years ago…still as active and spunky as ever! Thank-you Barbara.


About Lynn Kanuka

Olympian, Coach, StreetStrider, Corporate Challenge Coach, Event Organizer, Deep Water Runner, Motivational Speaker, Nordic Walking Coach.... My days as a serious athlete are long past, but I'll always be a runner. I love its simplicity. I'd love to help you discover how easy running can be: Walk — Jog — Run or Stride. I know you can do it.
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