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At Age 86, this Ironman Triathlon Competing Nun is Shattering Aging Stereotypes

By Margaret Manning August 25, 2016 Mindset

Take a second to imagine yourself as the ultimate sportswoman. As you complete the 2.4-mile leg of your latest Ironman Triathlon, the salty waves crashing over your head, your body starts to setting into a comfortable rhythm… well, at least as “comfortable” as someone can be when they know that they still have a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.22 mile run ahead!

Despite the fact that I gave away the punch-line in the title of this article, you probably didn’t imagine yourself as an 86-year-old woman in this exercise. In fact, for most of us, competing at this level seems unimaginable at any age.

This is Exactly Why I Love Sister Madonna Buder’s Story

At age 86, she is one of the world’s oldest Ironman Triathlon competitors. And, since she has her own Nike commercial, she is also helping to shatter aging stereotypes around the world.

If you haven’t seen her video yet, I highly encourage you to check it out below. I actually found myself saying “You go Sister!” at the end of it. Take a look and let me know what you think. Then, let’s start a conversation.


What I find even more inspirational is the “Iron Nun’s” passion for life. In this second video, she talks about how she got involved with running and how she approaches getting the most from life at age 86.

As she says in her interview:

“There were a lot of times that I had to think about failures and not reaching the goals that I set for myself. Then, I realized that the only failure is not to try.”

I couldn’t agree more. You go Sister!


What do you think about Sister Madonna Buder’s story? What big goal would you set for yourself if you knew you couldn’t fail? Please join the conversation.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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