Why Did “Training With Joan” Get Such a Massive Reader Response?

    Every once in a while, we publish something that goes totally wild. Last week we did a short post on the Instagram account of Training with Joan. The incoming email comments around Joan were unprecedented.

    As compared to the last five years of publishing articles, she crushed anything we have ever done. This is the sort of thing that focuses the minds of digital publishers- what did we do that so many people found so powerfully inspirational? What was it about Joan MacDonald that triggered the tsunami of incoming emails that nearly drowned our server?

    This is what 73 looks like today.

    We write and constantly speak about our “north stars hidden in plain sight.” It is the simple idea that there is a lack of aspirational role models our age. The ones that are out there tend to be celebs, and that’s a lifestyle that is unattainable to mortals without celeb resources.

    If She Can Do This, Why Not Us?

    Joan, however, showed a couple of things that we think hit the mark. The first was that she was not a gifted lifelong athlete. She was very much the opposite. Against all that bunk we are fed about “taking it easy” as we get older, Joan, at age 70, decides to embark on a journey of massive physical rebuilding. The message is that if Joan at 70 can do this, anyone can.

    The other is that she showed the creativity needed to tackle her quest. Doing what she did is no easy thing-it requires a creative and determined mind to make it happen. This is something we find to be so wonderfully modern about her story. It is the same impulse that has placed the creators in the culture ahead of the gifted athletes. We can’t all have won the genetic lottery like a Serena Williams or LeBron James, but we can all be creators at any age.

    You Can Create a New Reality: Build Your Best Life

    This is really the crux of the Joan phenomena. She created a new reality and a new body for herself. She made a decision and she found a way. Creativity is not just the Picasso variety; it is also about solving a problem. In this case, it was Joan determined to become the best version of herself that she could possibly be.

    Creativity is ageless, and as the saying goes, if there is a will, there is a way.

    David Stewart
    David Stewart
    David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

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