Little did septuagenarian, Anne Bruinooge, 71, know that when she completed her goal of doing a headstand in all 50 states that she’d be challenging other women in their seventies and older, to set their own records.
Bruinooge, an avid yoga-enthusiast, has been working at her goal for the past decade. Every time she visited a new state, she made sure to do a headstand. Her motivation was simply the fun of doing headstands.
While on a cruise, Bruinooge completed her last headstand in Ketchikan, Alaska. She didn’t have any information if she qualified for the Guinness Book of World Records or not, because that wasn’t important to her. It was the act of head standing in each state that mattered to Bruinooge.
While Bruinooge’s headstand was simple when compared to such record holders as the Longest Headstand with a bird on foot (49.13 seconds,) Longest Headstand while moving stomach in and out (21 seconds,) or the Fastest Time to Stack 9 Tuna Cans while performing a headstand, (12.94 seconds,) her family was relieved that she didn’t try to beat the record for the Longest Headstand While Riding a Bicycle (2.22 seconds).
Those other record holders mean nothing to Bruinooge’s fans because they’re inspired to set their own records in their own ways.
Mary Pat O’Donnell, 75 of Fort Wayne, Indiana, set the world record for having the most items in one purse, while Mabel Jackson, 71 of Greenville, South Carolina set a record for being the oldest skateboarder. Kurt Chang, 84, of Boise, Idaho set the record for having the largest collection of T.V. Guides.
Goals don’t always have to be huge to mean something to those who achieve them. Sometimes accomplishing the tiniest of challenges can be beneficial.
“People laughed at me when I started collecting T.V. Guides,” Chang said. “they’re still not considered valuable, but whenever I wonder what ABC was showing on September 23, 1966, I can find out. Who's laughing now?”
Having goals is good for anybody because it helps you to continue to grow and move forward. So, while the general public may not understand the elation that Inez Cordova, 79 of Fremont, California felt using the restroom in every state, the process gave her something to look forward to every day and motivated her to keep going.
“We all gotta go, but when you’re a senior citizen you gotta go all the time. I thought that since I always have to go to the bathroom, I might as well make it a game. My husband and I enjoy traveling the country in our motorhome, so I decided to combine sightseeing with urinating. Every morning I got out of bed, and thought, “Where am I going to pee today? And you know what, turning it into a creative challenge and a goal, made it fun. The states that we couldn’t drive to, we flew, and I started another goal of using the bathroom in as many planes, trains, and buses in as many places as possible. I was happy that when I finished one goal, I already had another one waiting for me to complete.”
Here’s to never letting age stop you from achieving your goals and having a good time while doing them.