Don’t Settle For Stereotypical Ideals – Nancy, 56

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It’s Sunday and time for our sixth installment of ‘Share Your Story; the Women the WSJ Missed!‘ This week I share Nancy Hopf Sintes with the Kuel Life Community.

At 56, Nancy is just getting started. An avid mountain biker and off-road triathlete; she is a wonderful example to us all that it is never too late to pursue a dream.

This is her story:

KUELLIFE: What are you pursuing now, at this stage of your life, that surprises  you or might appear to others as if it comes out of left field?

NANCY: I am going for the State Mtn bike championship win in my age group (the last race is this weekend and so far I am leading), as well as the Xterra off-road Triathlon Regional Champion, which qualifies me for the World Championships where I get to represent the US in my age group (I won this last year and went to the Worlds).

KUELLIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?

NANCY: Get up at 6AM, go to work, come home around 5:30, and train for 1 to 3 hours (depending on my training calendar, which means it could be a bike ride, or lift and swim at the gym), then come home and wait for my husband (who also does these events) to finish his training, and we sit down to eat dinner around 8PM, then to bed around 10PM.

KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?

NANCY: My time, to try to fit in everything I want to do, and still get done what I need to do. I wish there were more hours in day.

KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?

NANCY: I love challenging myself, and new adventures, plus I love the feeling of accomplishment with hitting new goals, and I love the feeling of being in great shape. 

KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?

NANCY: Aging comes when you slow down and stop moving, and stop challenging yourself. Age comes more from a sedentary lifestyle than from the number of years on this earth.

KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?

NANCY: Vulnerability for me are things out of my control, such as the health and well being of the people I love, my family. I cannot force them to make good choices and take care of themselves, but only hope they do.

KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?

NANCY: The birth of my daughter, and meeting my husband (he came into my life about 8 years ago, and understands my world better than most). My third would be a lot less significant than these two.

KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?

NANCY: My father. He taught me about the realities of life. He was a great businessman as he understood so much about the world, and he also taught me I alone am responsible for me, and what I do with my life. Yes, you can have support along the way, but in the end it is up to you… you have to make the right decisions that will get you to where you want to be in life.

KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?

NANCY: Don’t settle for the stereotypical ideals of what a woman is supposed to be, they are created by a culture/society, not by genetics.

KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?

NANCY: I have a lot of women in mind, mostly my fellow triathletes, who are competing in the same races I am in their 70’s, and rocking it. They are in better shape than most women in their 20’s.

KUELLIFE: Are you grown-up?

NANCY: Depends what your definition of grown up is…

KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?

NANCY: Eat right (stay away from processed food), exercise (of course😊,) and get enough sleep.

KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?

NANCY: To Mtn bike all across the nation, hitting as many National Parks as possible. To win my age group someday at the Xterra World Triathlon Championships. And once my body cannot handle the rigors of Xterra anymore, to do a full Ironman Tri…;-)

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