If you want to look at the new face of aging, try catching up to Flo Meiler... if you can.
Reporter Kristin Carlson: Why start track at 60? It's not an easy sport.
Flo Meiler: KC: No, but I guess I've always been active and I've always liked challenges.
The Shelburne woman started competing at the National Senior Games after her friend and now-training partner Barb Jordan saw her playing tennis and thought Flo should try track.
Kristin Carlson: What is Flo like as a competitor?
Barbara Jordan: She is very competitive. She likes to win.
And she does win-- a lot, bringing home the hardware, more than 750 medals.
"I do this for the challenge and to keep healthy," she said. "It's keeping me very healthy."
An amazing athlete who is also 79-years-old.
"Proud of it," she said.
And get this, her favorite event is the pole vault.
Kristin Carlson: What does it feel like when you have a good vault and you are flying over?
Flo Meiler: Oh, feels great. Especially when you set a world record. I have a world record in 75 and older and that was just fantastic.
Flo competes in more than a dozen events. Right now, she is training with Barb for the National Senior Games in Ohio, which attracts about 13,000 athletes.
Kristin Carlson: Do you think you are in the best shape of your life?
Flo Meiler: I'm in the best shape I've ever been.
The two have several trainers, including Bill Nedde, a former UVM track and field coach.
Kristin Carlson: What is it like coaching these guys?
Bill Nedde: It's fun, not only do they have talent, but they are fun people!
Camaraderie on the track to keep going.
"Catch your breath and think about making your body do what you want it to do," Nedde advised.
Flo admits she has to work harder to stay at the same athletic level. She and Barb train 5-6 days a week. Barb is a former phys ed teacher, also tearing it up on the track at 77-years-old.
"I think the body is a lot more resilient than people think," Barbara said. "People can still get better as they age."
Flo Meiler: You have to keep your body in motion.
Kristin Carlson: Has that been the secret to your success?
Flo Meiler: Yes.
Kristin Carlson: So, how much longer do you think you will be competing?
Flo Meiler: I'll be competing forever, as long as the good Lord gives me my health, probably until 100.
We have no doubt.
There are only four people in the country competing in the over 75 age category in hurdles and two of them are Flo and Barb. We wish them luck!
Pole vaulter competes in National Senior Games
PO Box 4508
Burlington, VT 05406-4508
Primary Phone: 802-652-6300
Primary email: firstname.lastname@example.org