Hawkins photo

Julia Hawkins runs the 100-meter dash during the USA Track and Field Outdoors Masters Championships in 2017 at LSU's Bernie Moore Stadium. Hawkins, then 101, set the world record in the 100 for competitors older than 100 with a time of 40.12.

Julia Hawkins, of Baton Rouge, is such a miracle that it’s easy to take her for granted.

After years as an active bicyclist, she took up running at age 100. At 101, she set the record for the 100-meter dash in her age category at the National Senior Games, completing the race in 39.62 seconds. This month, at 103, she returned to the games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, taking six extra seconds in the 100-meter competition. Not bad, as even she agreed. “I’m two years older, remember,” she told The New York Times.

Hawkins is believed to be the oldest woman to formally compete on an American track. When the Times asked for the secret to her longevity, Hawkins’ advice was simple: “Keep yourself in good shape if you can. Have many passions. And look for magic moments. That is something that I have done in my life — think of the things that are magic moments that happen to you, like sunsets and sunrises, rainbows, beautiful birds, music and people’s lovely comments to you. All of those are magic moments, and they are free for all. Be sure to keep your eye open for them.”

Wise words, indeed. The world would be a better place if we all heeded them.

Congratulations, Julia. You continue to inspire us.