In What Makes Olga Run? Bruce Grierson explores what the wild success of a 94-year-old track star can tell us about how our bodies and minds age. Olga Kotelko is not your average 94-year-old. She not only looks and acts like a much younger woman, she holds over 23 world records in track and field, 17 in her current 90 to 95 category. Convinced that this remarkable woman could help unlock many of the mysteries of aging, Grierson set out to uncover what it is that's driving Olga. He considers every piece of the puzzle, from her diet and sleep habits to how she scores on various personality traits, from what she does in her spare time to her family history. Olga participates in tests administered by some of the world's leading scientists and offers her DNA to groundbreaking research trials. What emerges is not only a tremendously uplifting personal story but a look at the extent to which our health and longevity are determined by the DNA we inherit at birth, and the extent to which we can shape that inheritance. It examines the sum of our genes, opportunities, and choices, and the factors that forge the course of any life, especially during our golden years.
©2014 Bruce Grierson (P)2014 Tantor
"Exhilarating.... A stimulating and inspiring read for all." (Library Journal, Starred Review)
I have told a half dozen friends about this book. I can't stop talking about it. It was so interesting and fascinating and I'll go so far to say life changing.
The genius of this book is the how fun it is to get to know Olga as a person while you learn a ton about the scientific reasons why some people age better than others.
This book is dense with facts, studies, and scientific theories that are interesting. I learned a lot--facts and information that I can apply to my own life. But all that denseness is lightened by Olga.
Olga is just fun to know. She's awe-inspiring as a person and it was truly entertaining to learn about all her feats.
The narrator was great.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Olga is in her nineties, and has the body and athletic abilities of someone much younger. With hundreds of medals in her closet, no one is disputing that she is a super athlete - the only question is, why? Olga wants to know, too, and she and the author set about to find the answers, looking at everything from muscle fibers to diet to psychology. The importance of exercise comes up again and again,and this book is the very embodiment of the carrot-instead-of-a-stick approach to get us all moving. Like Born to Run and the ultra marathoners, Olga made me realize humans do not necessarily have the physical limitations we may think we do. The book has a lot to say about how to get a better quality of life, too. Olga is an inspiring person, and this is an inspiring, helpful book.
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