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“Don’t let your age be an obstacle. Remember: It’s never too late to start. Thus we never get too old to experience something new. Be patient. Your body is a very faithful instrument and will respond to your commands.”

Sister Madonna Buder, Nun and Athlete

Our Series on Women of Extraordinary Greatness continues. Please enjoy this excerpt from my book, The have It All Woman

Sister Madonna Buder is not your average nun – she exhibits extraordinary greatness.

At the age of 23 she entered the convent and dedicated her life to Christ.

At the age of 48 she began to run, bike and swim, at the behest of Father John, who said that it would allow her to calm her mind.

By age 52 she entered her first triathlon.

Today, in her eighties, Sister Madonna has done well over three hundred triathlons, including several Ironman’s (a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 42-mile run).

In the triathlon world she is known as the “Iron Nun.”

Many women will claim that they are too old.

I have heard women in their early forties speak about how their bodies are aging.

Conversely, I have observed many women jealously lament that some women can do things simply because they are younger.

The truth is that age is what we make of it.

The second truth is that just because someone is of a certain age does not necessarily make them more or less capable of an achievement.

There are many younger people who are sick, stricken with diseases such as heart disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis and multiple sclerosis – diseases that were previously associated with older women.

By taking care of our bodies, fueling our health with whole foods, getting adequate rest, exercising and taking care of ourselves we can truly define our age; in other words we can make of it what we choose.

When I was in my early thirties my doctor informed me that I had the blood panel of a ninety-five year old.

I felt tired, I ached, I was depressed, I couldn’t sleep and I was sure that this is what it felt like to be old.

Today, I feel younger than ever – the result of a careful diet, bio-identical hormones, daily meditation and spending more time listening to my body.

There are many advances in the “youthful aging” movement. By investing in your health now you will most likely not have to invest in illness later.

Our bodies are truly miraculous and regenerate every seven years.

Even if you have been a smoker, abused your body with drugs and alcohol, consumed foods that contain artificial ingredients or harmed your body, you can come back.

Health is absolutely the foundation of our lives, and it is imperative that you value your body so that you can truly live into the have it all woman you were destined to be.

Susan Sly is a best-selling author, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur.  She specializes in helping individuals, and organizations, become more productive.  She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, Chris.  Susan is the mother of five children and loves her life! To connect with Susan, visit



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