Whole-hearted Living~Mary Stroebe~August 18

For awhile, Thursdays will provide a Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Stories

“I think I’m young, so I act like it.”~ Mary Stroebe

There is a picture on my office vision board of tulips, Huntington Beach pier, the rock I climbed on my birthday, and Mary Stroebe.

In 2006 Mary Stroebe, took part in her twelfth triathlon.

                                                                      …at the age of 88

The silver-haired great-grandmother from Wisconsin competed in at least twelve triathlons, an event that combines swimming, biking and running. She competed despite a titanium rod in her left shin and you know, being on this earth for nine decades.  In her first triathlon in she joined her son Bruce and her granddaughter in a three-generation team. Each one competed in one leg of the race.

“I just watched them and said that looks like fun,” she said. “I can do that.”

Despite doctors’ orders that she not participate, in 2006, Mary, with the titanium rod firmly in place, competed anyway. Maybe it was her life-long athleticism or her training in the Navy Waves or as a public school teacher. But Mary Stroebe competed until

“Each year I think it’s my last,” she said. “Sometimes I think it’s time to hang it up. Then it comes and I think it’s fun to do it one more year.”

And so she did, until 2008, when at age 90 she retired.

“It’s been nice – more than I deserve,” she says of her notoriety. “I won’t let it go to my head. I just think it’s something other people could do if they put their minds to it. You have to train for it, but that’s part of the fun.”


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