All the “kids” in my ukulele group, The CC Strummers, are living courageous and Technicolor lives, whether they (or we) know it. The truth is I could write a blog about every one of them. I could write a blog about YOU and I bet I’d be plenty inspired.

Well let me introduce you to Miss Isabelle.

She walks into our ukulele class and brings a swath of sunshine with her. This woman. Like two allowance-challenged teenagers, she and I commiserate about the latest colorful frock we snagged at The Goodwill. Just about everything she wears looks good on her.

Including her latest medal…

Isabelle ran in the L.A. Marathon this month. And Isabelle FINISHED the L.A. Marathon. Did I mention it was a thousand degrees that day. Okay I am exaggerating. It was in the 90’s. NOT marathon weather. People were falling over or at least stopping and staying “stopped.” Men and women who are much younger than Isabelle gave in and gave up.

Happy 80th Birthday Isabelle!

She was determined to finish the race. All 26.2 miles! It took her almost 9 hours. Yes she stopped and rested a few minutes here and there… After mile 17 she decided to walk instead of trot. She took her time and enjoyed the scenery.

Did I tell you that she has completed lots of marathons and has the hardware and ribbons to show for it? The class gave her a big round of applause.

I walk my “marathon” three times a week. That would be a mile and half or 25 minutes (whatever comes first) around my neighborhood. Then I sprint up four flights of stairs to our condo. I’m winded and pooped. A jock I am not. Never have been. And then I think of beautiful Isabelle and…I go back to sleep.

It’s treacherous waters, comparing ourselves with others, so I give myself a metaphorical pat on the back for just doing what I do. “Consistency” is good enough in my air space.

But Isabelle does more than run… She flies. She goes to places that I happily visit on the National Geographic Channel but know I will never see in person. Last year she and her tennis shoes explored Machu Picchu in Peru. A couple years back she made it to the base camp of Mt. Everest. 17,000 feet UP.

“Where do you go to the bathroom”? I ask her. Because I always ask that question. Because if I go anywhere, I need a bathroom that is fully furnished, functional and private with a toilet that flushes. End of story. Isabelle tells me she squats over a hole in the ground. She describes the scene with such equanimity that joy washes over her face.

I tried squatting over my toilet once, just for fun. Just to see if I could do it. I sure “felt it” in my thigh and calf muscles. And other places. “Wow, this is good exercise,” I groaned to myself, just before giving up.

Ah, exercise….

Which brings us back to running our own marathon–saying “yes” to a body that keeps us moving along the asphalt highways of our life. Thank you Isabelle for loving the scenery and for showing us what is possible. At any age!