Meet Julia Hawkins, The 101 Year-Old Who Has Recently Joined Competitive Running

Julia Hawkins is a lady unlike any other you may meet. The reason for this is because she is 101 years of age. That’s not the only amazing thing about this lady. At 81 Julia took up competitive cycling, and when she turned 100 she decided that she needed a new challenge. She took up running!

Julia registered for the 50 meter dash at the Louisiana Senior Olympic Games, and finished in an amazing 19.7 seconds. Soon after that Julia added the 100 meter dash and the 5K bike race to her list of accomplishments.

A retired teacher and a great grandmother, Julia is a four times participant and two times cycling gold medalist in the Senior Olympics. While she loves riding around Baton Rouge, Julia feels that running has given her a different type of freedom. She feels that she can just go out and run her best.

“I’ve always liked competition,” says Julia. “With running, it’s just me and my body. I can just go out and do the best I can and not depend on anything else to help me.”

Julia Hawkins
Hawkins competing in the 50-meter dash at the 2016 Louisiana Senior Olympic Games at age 100. WARREN HAWKINS

Julia has no concerns about whether she will be any good at running as she leaves the phone in the house. When she is in the garden and it rings, she runs inside to answer it. One of her sons set up a marked area in the back yard, with 50 and 100 marks, so when she gets the urge, she can run the distances.

“I knew I could run because I’m always in the yard working, and when the phone rings, I go running inside to answer it,” she says.

“I thought it’d be fun to run 100 meters since I’m more than 100 years old,” she laughs.

Although the race may only be a few months away, Julia has yet to begin training, she says she will get around to it, and nearer the time, she will run every day. She will also add a stretching routine. Right now she does not have anywhere to lift her leg onto to bend ‘like you’re supposed to’.

“I’ve never trained before and I don’t have a trainer,” Julia explains. “Nearer to the time of the race, I will run every day and get myself in better shape, and I may ask some of my friends who also run for advice.”

“Nearer to the time of the race, I will run every day and get myself in better shape, and I may ask some of my friends who also run for advice.”

“Right now, I don’t have a good place to put my foot up high and bend like you are supposed to,” she explains. “I am going to get something to help me do that because I know it’s good for you.”

“My friends are mostly too old to even watch me, but I’ll get a younger friend who can come out and time me every day.”

Hawkins competing in the 5K cycling event at the 2016 Louisiana Senior Olympic Games.
Hawkins competing in the 5K cycling event at the 2016 Louisiana Senior Olympic Games.

Julia says that she hopes she will not disappoint her cheering public, which is made up of her four children plus some friends from Birmingham.

“It would hurt my self-esteem terribly if I let them down,” she says. “I am going to try as hard as I can. I will give it my best shot.”

“I want to spend it all but have a little bit left to stand alert at the end and still wave to my friends and family.”

Perhaps the most inspiring thing about Julia is her state of mind. She says that even though she is 101 years old, she feels like 60 or 70. She admits that she is not perfect at that age but nothing stops her doing what she loves.

“Keep in good shape, try not to be overweight, get good sleep, and keep exercising and training.” This comes with a warning: “There is a fine line of pushing yourself and wearing yourself out,” she says. “You don’t want to overdo it. You just want to do the best you can do.”

“I don’t feel 101,” she reflects. “I feel about 60 or 70. You are not going to be perfect at 101, but nothing stops me.”

Source: Runner’s World

Inside The Secret 19th-Century Tunnel Under Naples, Italy That Used To Be An Escape Route For The King

If you enjoy secrets and history, you’ll love this article. It tells how a secret 19th-century royal escape tunnel in Naples ended up full of vintage cars and motorbikes.

Naples is a fascinating city with a rich history. But most people are only aware of what lies above the ground. 100 feet below this ancient city lies a 1,740-foot set of tunnels that were carved into 16th-century aqueducts by King Ferdinand II of Bourbon. The king build the tunnels in 1853 as a secret escape route for himself. During the Second World War, the tunnels were used as a bomb shelter and a military hospital. The tunnels were used to store impounded vehicles from the 1940’s until the 1960’s. and then they were forgotten.

But in 2000, locals discovered the tunnels and turned them into a tourist attraction. Now adventurous visitors can tour the tunnels and see all the amazing vintage vehicles.

Accessed via an 18th century staircase not far from the Piazza del Plebiscite in central Naples is a mysterious warren of tunnels. Inside visitors can find the rusting relics of vintage cars, above
Accessed via an 18th century staircase not far from the Piazza del Plebiscite in central Naples is a mysterious warren of tunnels. Inside visitors can find the rusting relics of vintage cars, above
Impounded retro motorbikes languish 100 feet below ground in the 16th century aqueducts
Impounded retro motorbikes languish 100 feet below ground in the 16th century aqueducts
The intriguing Bourbon tunnel was originally designed for King Ferdinand II of Bourbon as an escape route connecting the royal palace and the army barracks in 1853
The intriguing Bourbon tunnel was originally designed for King Ferdinand II of Bourbon as an escape route connecting the royal palace and the army barracks in 1853
The secretive passageways were designed in response to the spate of revolts the monarch faced during his volatile reign
The secretive passageways were designed in response to the spate of revolts the monarch faced during his volatile reign
The king died before the tunnels were completed but they served a number of purposes until the 1960s when they fell into disuse and were forgotten
The king died before the tunnels were completed but they served a number of purposes until the 1960s when they fell into disuse and were forgotten
The passageways and aqueducts offered refuge as a military hospital and bomb shelter during World War II
The passageways and aqueducts offered refuge as a military hospital and bomb shelter during World War II
Snaking 1,740 feet along the city, the structure was built into the volcanic rocks of the Bolla and Carmignano aqueducts
Snaking 1,740 feet along the city, the structure was built into the volcanic rocks of the Bolla and Carmignano aqueducts
The tunnels became a warehouse for impounded vehicles from the 1940s until the 1960s
The tunnels became a warehouse for impounded vehicles from the 1940s until the 1960s
Visitors crawling through the tunnels nowadays will be sure to encounter the dusty relics of vintage cars and retro motorcycles abandoned underground
Visitors crawling through the tunnels nowadays will be sure to encounter the dusty relics of vintage cars and retro motorcycles abandoned underground
Rows of discarded vespas line the passageways - a treasure trove of historic wonders
Rows of discarded vespas line the passageways – a treasure trove of historic wonders
In the early 2000s locals re-discovered and transformed the passageways into a quirky tourist attraction - Galleria Borbonica
In the early 2000s locals re-discovered and transformed the passageways into a quirky tourist attraction – Galleria Borbonica
Galleria Borbonica devised three different types of tours to satiate the curiosity of locals and tourists alike
Galleria Borbonica devised three different types of tours to satiate the curiosity of locals and tourists alike
On a standard tour, you can walk inside the tunnel, see the bomb shelters and water tanks
On a standard tour, you can walk inside the tunnel, see the bomb shelters and water tanks
This incredible image shows an exquisite picture on one of the rusting vehicles  
This incredible image shows an exquisite picture on one of the rusting vehicles
The speleo tour allows visitors to enjoy a hands-on gritty experience crawling through the tunnels wearing helmets with torches
The speleo tour allows visitors to enjoy a hands-on gritty experience crawling through the tunnels wearing helmets with torches
Layered with history, as mesmerising as Naples is above ground the ancient city is also home to a mysterious warren of tunnels. This image shows the grand scale of the underground city
Layered with history, as mesmerising as Naples is above ground the ancient city is also home to a mysterious warren of tunnels. This image shows the grand scale of the underground city
Tourists can take a raft ride through one of the flooded tunnels, with guides lighting the way with lanterns
Tourists can take a raft ride through one of the flooded tunnels, with guides lighting the way with lanterns

Read More: Inside the secret 19th-century tunnel under Naples that used to be an escape route for the king… but is now full of vintage cars and motorbikes

Lost Tourist Is Saved After Nine Days In The Amazon Rainforest After MONKEYS Led Him To Food And Shelter

Maykool Coroseo Acuna, aged 25, went on a trip to Bolivia Madidi National Park with a group of other tourists. The tour company was Max Adventures, who regularly run tours into the Park. It seems that this particular trip was to a remote part of the forest which is only accessible by boat, and is many miles away from towns.

Feizar Nava, the owner of Max Adventures said that the group had gone into the forest and on their return he had noticed that Maykool ‘looked strange’.

In the evening it is customary to attend a ceremony called a ‘Pachamama’ which it to thank mother nature for letting them go into the forest. The ceremony involves coco leaves, candles and cigarettes, and it seems that Maykool refused to attend. He went to his tent.

When a guide went to check, Maykool had disappeared. Nava was sure he had vanished because he refused to participate in the ceremony. Folklore says that those who do not respect Pachamama will be driven mad by Duende which is an evil spirit. The evil spirit then hides its victims in other dimensions and Nava was convinced that this is what had happened.

Maykool Coroseo Acuña, 25, was camping in Bolivia's Madidi National Park near the Tuichi River with tour company Max Adventures when he wandered off and got lost in the forest
Maykool Coroseo Acuña, 25, was camping in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park near the Tuichi River with tour company Max Adventures when he wandered off and got lost in the forest
Park rangers spent several days looking for Acuña but were unsuccessful. Six days after his disappearance, all they found was a muddy sock lying on the ground of the forest
Park rangers spent several days looking for Acuña but were unsuccessful. Six days after his disappearance, all they found was a muddy sock lying on the ground of the forest
Acuña was covered in bites and cuts when he was found, as a result of being in the wilderness for nine days
Acuña was covered in bites and cuts when he was found, as a result of being in the wilderness for nine days

Rangers spent six days hunting for Maykool, and only found one muddy sock. Shamans were called to the camp to pray for his safe return. Several items such as beer cans, cigarettes, cocoa leaves, wine bottles and a large wooden cross were brought in order to help breach the dimension.

The shamans performed many different ceremonies in order to breach the dimensions and bring him back. They believed that he was stuck in another dimension, because he had upset the Pachamama by not participating in the ceremony.

It was nine days after his disappearance, that rangers heard someone screaming from a riverbank less than a mile away. Maykool was found and rescued. He had to be laid on a stretcher and carried out as he was weak and had been bitten all over by insects.

Nine days after his disappearance, rangers heard Acuña screaming from a riverbank less than a mile from camp
Nine days after his disappearance, rangers heard Acuña screaming from a riverbank less than a mile from camp
Spiritual shamans were invited to the camp to take part in rituals in an attempt to locate the Acuña, and they even used the muddy sock to try to make contact with his soul
Spiritual shamans were invited to the camp to take part in rituals in an attempt to locate the Acuña, and they even used the muddy sock to try to make contact with his soul

Maykool then told the rangers that he had been kept alive by following a group of monkeys who threw fruit to him. The monkeys led him to water and shelter each day. Maykool had started out with shoes, cell phone and flash light, but had got rid of them as it had been too hard to run with them.

After running for a long time, he finally stopped. He wanted to get back to the group but had no idea of which way to go at that point. The night before he was found, Maykool said he prayed that he would be found. He was convinced that he would never see anyone again, as he was well and truly lost.

“I started running, I was wearing sandals and I said ‘no, they would slow me down,” he said.

“I threw away the sandals, then the cell phone and my flashlight.”

“And after running so much, I stopped under a tree and I started thinking. What had I done, what was I doing? And when I wanted to get back it wasn’t possible.”

Acuña had to be carried back to camp on a stretcher made of blankets and branches after he was discovered by the riverback
Acuña had to be carried back to camp on a stretcher made of blankets and branches after he was discovered by the riverback
Max Adventures owner Feizar Nava said that Acuña had signed up for a tour with travelers he'd met the previous day, and the group went into the rainforest for an afternoon of exploring with guides
Max Adventures owner Feizar Nava said that Acuña had signed up for a tour with travelers he’d met the previous day, and the group went into the rainforest for an afternoon of exploring with guides
Acuña thanked his rescuers and took a photo with the group that searched for him for days after he was brought back to camp
Acuña thanked his rescuers and took a photo with the group that searched for him for days after he was brought back to camp
Acuña said that the night before he was discovered by the riverbank, he prayed that he would be saved
Acuña said that the night before he was discovered by the riverbank, he prayed that he would be saved

After he was found, Maykool had a photo taken of himself with the group of people who searched for him, and found him.

Maykool says that while he appreciates the fact that cultures have their own different beliefs, he did not believe in the shamans, neither did he believe in the culture of the Bolivian Jungle People, when he was lost, he prayed and he believes that God saved him.

Source: Daily Mail

Parents To Face £120 Fine, Court Appearance and Jail-Time If Kids Are Late To School

A child who is regularly tardy to class may result in serious consequences for his or her parents.

Winter Gardens Academy in Canvey Island, Essex has notified parents that the council will issue discipline for parents of students who repeatedly arrive after 9 am.

The £60 fee is per parent, per child, and doubles if not paid promptly. As a result, a family of four would owe £240 if both children were late.

Refusal to pay could result in court appointments or jail time.

The reaction to this new rule is varied.

Grandmother Anne Bull said, “It’s bad enough them getting fines when they go on holiday. It is a step too far, people are struggling as it is.”

Gary Underdone added, “Absolutely ridiculous. It’s just a money making opportunity yet again.”

Others have lauded the school’s harsh stance on attendance.

One mum said, “To be honest I think people should be fined if they are late, there’s no excuse for lateness.

“It’s not as if you can just keep turning up late to work, how can you not get your kids to school on time?”

In a newsletter sent to students’ parents, Headteacher Catherine Stalham said, “Any children arriving after 9am will be marked as late on the register as from April 1.

“Continuous late comers may be issued with a fixed penalty notice.”

The Essex County Council’s ‘Missing Education and Child Employment Services’ department will issue these fines, along with the already-controversial holiday fines.

Parents will have 21 days to pay before the fee doubles, and delaying more than 28 days will result in potential court prosecution. Continued nonpayment can even result in jail.

However, a council spokesman said, “It’s not a case of being fined after just being 10 minutes late once, for example. It’s about when kids are turning up hugely late, regularly.”

This is hardly the first time a rule like this has been issued in the UK.

Ray Howard, a local councilor, has promised to assist parents in contesting fines. He said, “If a parent feels they are being unfairly prosecuted they should come to me as their county councilor.”

The council, who will be notified about late students by the school’s headteacher, defended the move.

Spokesman Ray Gooding added, “There are clear links between attendance and attainment, and every lesson really does count.”

Mother Accidentally Sends Her 5-Year-Old Kid To School With Vodka

Moms like to send their kids off to school with a nice, healthy, packed lunch. Normally included in the lunch is a drink of some sort. This is what happened to a little girl who opened her lunch, only to find a drink of another kind!

The Australian mom had asked her little one to help herself to a drink for her lunch box. Unfortunately, mom had not checked which drink the girl chose. On opening the lunchbox, the drink turned out to be a pouch of slushy vodka!

Mom was on the receiving end of a phone call from the school, about the contents of the lunchbox and had to admit that she had asked her daughter to select a drink herself. Not that she was blaming her daughter, the mom in fact felt very guilty about the incident.

To be fair on the child, the pouch did look exactly like her regular drink, so she is not to blame for choosing what looked like a nice, cold drink. Teachers did not see it that way, unfortunately.

After explaining how the incident had happened, the mom jokingly apologised for the fact that she had not included enough for all the staff, and fortunately they all saw the funny side of it. It was clear that mom did not send the vodka on purpose and that it had been a mistake.

“They were very good about it lol. I made light of it (it was obviously innocent on my daughter’s behalf). I apologised for not sending enough for the teachers and they just laughed thankfully,” said the mother.

Mom posted the incident on her social media page, saying that it was an ‘EPIC lunchbox fail’, when you ask your five year old to put a pouch in her box, and you forget that there are other pouches in the freezer!

So, while most moms feel guilty about sending a less than perfect apple in the lunchbox, moms the world over may be thankful that at least they sent the right juice for their children!

Source: Scary Mommy

Local Man Loses His Job After His Paul Weller Tattoo Goes Horribly Wrong

A 34-year-old man has been telling about how he has lost his job after he asked a tattooist for ‘that guy from The Jam’ and it ended in disaster – his leg now has an image of the racially controversial Golliwog from Robinson’s Jam instead of his music idol Paul Weller. 

The man told local news that he regrets not clarifying his choice with the head tattooist of the tattoo Parlour before he began.

He said: ‘I went in there last week and asked the guy for ‘that guy from The Jam’ and he looked at me like I was an idiot – I assumed it was because he hadn’t heard of Going Underground and That’s Entertainment.’

‘It only took him about an hour, and when he finished he covered it with a bandage and I went on my way. I took a sneak peek when I got home and my heart sank when I saw that my leg was emblazoned with the Golliwog character from Robinson’s Jam.’

‘I work for a community outreach program, and when my boss caught a glimpse of it I was dismissed on the spot as in his words ‘I would get lynched’ – I am now finding it tricky to get new work.’

Source

The Secret Ingredient To A Happy Life? Becoming VEGAN: Tibetan Monk Dubbed ‘World’s Happiest Man’ Says Eating Meat Is The Reason We Feel Unfulfilled

When a vegan tells you that it’s a good idea to stop eating animal products, you may ignore the advice. However, when this advice comes from a former genetic scientist, you may start to take note. Matthieu Ricard, now a Tibetan monk, has shared a video which was made for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and he is of the opinion that veganism is good for everyone.

“I am extremely concerned by the fate of the 8 million other species who share this world with us, and who, like us, wish to avoid suffering and live out their lives, ” Ricard said in a Facebook post.

“When you ask people if they are in favour of justice and morality, everyone will say yes. Do you think you could then ask that it’s just and moral to inflict unnecessary suffering on sentient beings? Everyone will say no.”

“And that’s exactly the case, because today this suffering is not necessary. If you love animals, watch and take action.”

Enlightened: Matthieu Ricard insists the psychological benefits of sparing animals matches the health pros and should be adopted by all
Enlightened: Matthieu Ricard insists the psychological benefits of sparing animals matches the health pros and should be adopted by all

There are 521,000 vegans in the UK, with some 1.68 million of people being vegetarian!

Ricard insists that not are the benefits good for the health, but also psychological problems which are associated with meat eating. The 71 year old monk, who is a close confidante of the Delai Lama, says he feels concern for the 8 million creatures who also want to live out their lives in peace and quiet.

Ricard said that a World Health Organisation study showed that eating meat increases the risk of some cancers. Eating meat means that we suffer, the animals suffer, and so does the environment. True happiness only comes when we as humans stop causing pain to others, and that includes animals.

“The animals suffer, the environment suffers and we suffer,” he adds.

“True happiness can only be attained when we avoid causing pain to others, so please become vegan like me.”

Popular: There are 521,000 vegans and 1.68million vegetarians in Britain - more than ever
Popular: There are 521,000 vegans and 1.68million vegetarians in Britain – more than ever

French researchers have also said that asthmas sufferers are more affected when they eat meat, as the nitrates in processed meats may cause added inflammation of the airways.

Paul Brousse Hospital in Paris studied 971 people and monitored the eating habits, compared with shortness of breath and other asthma symptoms. 22{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} of those who ate processed meat four or more times a week, saw an increases in their asthma. Meats that were used in the study included ham, sausage and dried sausage.

Guidance: The World Health Organisation has previously advised that eating meat can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancers
Guidance: The World Health Organisation has previously advised that eating meat can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancers

Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist, wired up Ricard’s skull to monitor brain activity. The results were amazing when Ricard was meditating on compassion. The level of gamma waves, which are linked to attention, learning and memory were the highest ever reported in neuroscience literature.

Another interesting fact that came to light was when the left side was scanned, it showed an abnormally large capacity for positiveness instead of a tendency towards negativity, which may explain why Ricard is literally the happiest man in the world.

Source: Daily Mail