WARNER ROBINS -- Many people half Mary Ealers age would end up in the hospital, or worse, if they tried to do what she has done in the past week.
The 71-year-old Warner Robins resident flew to California to compete in a triathlon Sunday in Malibu. That included a half-mile ocean swim, an 18-mile bike ride and a 10-kilometer run.
Back in Warner Robins, an event close to her heart began on Wednesday. That was the Georgia Golden Olympics, in which people 50 years old and up come from around the state to compete in events that range from Wii bowling to a 40-kilometer bike ride.
Ealer has been involved with the Golden Olympics since she moved to Warner Robins in 2001, both as a participant and a volunteer. She wasnt about to let the fact that she had just run a triathlon stop her from competing. When she got back to Warner Robins, she was surprised to see she had signed up for so many events, but she has gone through with every one.
Im a believer in the Golden Olympics, said Ealer, between competing in the discus and the shot put Thursday at McConnell-Talbert Stadium. As long as I have the ability to come back and do it, I wouldnt miss it.
She is competing in events all four days of the games. On Wednesday she ran the 50-meter sprint. After discus and shot put Thursday, she competed in shuffleboard with her husband, George. On Friday she was set to run the 100-meter sprint, then compete in five swimming events, ranging from 50 to 500 yards. On Saturday she will run a 5-kilometer race.
Ealer said she has always been active but took it to another level after getting involved with the Golden Olympics. Sunday marked her fourth triathlon, an event she likes because of the variety. She works out regularly and teaches an aerobics class for seniors.
My body is in better shape now than when I came here in 01, she said.
Her doctor is OK with her activity. She said other seniors who want to become more active dont have to be like her, and even the most non-strenuous activity can be beneficial.
Wii bowling, for example, requires more activity than people might think. In the video game, players use a controller to simulate the act of bowling.
You have to get up. You use your arms. You use your fingers, Ealer said. You sit back down. You are socializing with others.
Although swimming and bicycling are her favorite events, she likes to try new sports. When she competed in the discus Thursday, it was the first time she had ever touched a discus.
Its stimulating to be able to see what you can do, she said.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.