My Aunty Gayle is 72 years young and she just won two Gold medals at the Senior Games Canada in badminton!
I hope her story inspires you, because when you find out how she got here you will realize that is never too late to try something new and become successful. She never played a sport until Badminton which she took up just a few years ago.
Growing up in Montreal my Aunty Gayle found a coveted career as a model until she married and became an instant step-mom and then had two children of her own. She always ate extremely healthy- no sugar, no pop, no processed foods – and she even told her daughter that she couldn’t have pop because she was allergic! (Her daughter DID realize the truth in due time, LOL)
Unfortunately, after only a few years together with her French prince she sadly lost her husband to the grave much too early. With their two children, she picked up and looked for the strength to go on.
Over the next 20 years Aunty Gayle taught many students piano lessons under the direction of the Royal Conservatory, watched her children grow up, re-married a brilliant engineer and moved to Nanaimo to retire the best years away.
She spent her 60’s developing a new way to teach piano to older beginners (The Keyboard Accompaniment Course), wrote books of original music and set out to make the piano more accessible to the average Joe. With that under her belt surely she was ready to retire!
However, in Nanaimo, B.C., in an ocean side custom built home, her husband and she were looking for ways to get to know others in their new neighborhood. Someone had mentioned there were some folks who played badminton for fun and having that as one of very few options they thought ‘why not give it a try?’
Aunty Gayle NEVER would have imagined playing competitively. As a model and young woman she didn’t like any sports and thought those who played just punished their bodies and she sure wasn’t going to wreck hers! But having a friendly game that could be enjoyed as a couple was not far off from sharing a dance together. Or was it?
Next thing she knew she was asked to be on a team, then playing in the Senior Games on a double’s team…. And before she even realized where this was headed she was standing on a podium her first year in 2nd place!
Well, having a competitive streak awakened in her in her 70’s she started doing yoga, exercising with a trainer and planning her next year at the Senior’s Games!
It is never too late to start a new dream, to make a new goal, to find a new love, to forgive, to amend, to enjoy the life given to you. In 2013 my Aunty Gayle won the Gold Medal in singles AND in doubles at the Senior Games in badminton. She had never played a sport. She had her career in modelling and then in music – she had retired on an island with her husband. But life had more to give her – what does life have for you? You don’t even know, so be open, and remember my Aunty Gayle.