Jessica Cassity – Fitness Editor Prevention magazine

“In his book, Don has found some of the most inspiring athletes around. The athletic feats many achieve are hard for most people half their age to match, but this book proves that it’s possible, and fun, to keep going strong at any age.”

Joe Friel – Author of Triathlete’s Training Bible

“As an aging athlete I find β€œ50 Athletes Over 50” to be both motivating and informational. I highly recommend it.”

Jim Davidson – Syndicated Columnist

“This book is jam-packed with useful information that will inspire any person, regardless of age, to maintain a great physical body. There is a wide range of sports or activities involved that are different from your typical sports jock. Here is a partial list: Distance Runner, Surfer, Outrigger Canoeist, Bodybuilder, Martial Artist, Triathlete, Mountain Unicyclist, Dancer, Rock Climber, Nordic Skier, Weight Lifter, Race Walker, Handball Player, Power Lifter, Snowshoe Racer and many more. Then there’s “Banana” George Blair, who is still water skiing, barefoot, at the age of 94. George has set several records, including being the oldest person to ever barefoot water ski and also the first to ever water ski barefoot on all seven continents.

This is a great book for anyone who would like to see the countless possibilities of either continuing a sport, either in competition or just to maintain fitness, and what it can do for you personally. The advice is simple. Consult your doctor, and if you want to lead a long and healthy life, get involved and stay involved in some type of regular exercise program. This book will show you and teach you why this is important. A lot of people think they are too old to start and that they are over the hill. The truth is, we can’t be over the hill until we first make it to the top.”

Robert C. Ross – full review
“This is a wonderfully motivating book for an OF like me, who tries, sometimes successfully [ πŸ™‚ ], to keep in shape, primarily by walking and hiking in the hills near my home in the Ramapo Mountains. Don McGrath has put together an outstanding collection devoted to 50 different athletes who are committed to maintaining their health through exercise.

Reading the book straight through is like my large wine tastings: there’s a kaleidoscope of impressions: some people stand out and their techniques and approaches resonate in many ways for me. Others sunk into the background and didn’t have much to say of importance to me. But, taken together, it was an exciting and rewarding “event”, especially under McGrath’s leadership. …”

Charles Ashbacher – full review

“The overwhelming message from the acts of these people is that determination is generally more important that the physical aspects of your body. In chapter 10, Dr. Vonda Wright M. D. makes statistical arguments to support the position that “Only 30% of how we age is determined by genetics, while the remaining 70% is determined by the lifestyle choices we make.” Furthermore, Wright also uses data supporting the point that, “Masters athletes’ performance declined less than 2% a year for both men and women from age 50 to 75. Then, after the age of 75, something else happened. Their performance suddenly dropped by 8% a year.”
These statistics point out that it is not only possible to remain extremely active after the age of fifty, but something that should be done. While it is true that not everyone can remain as active and competitive as the 50 portrayed here, together they are an existence proof that it is possible. Even old dogs need role models, and these are some very good ones.”

Krizia at – full review

50 Athletes over 50 is the brilliant creation of Don McGrath. Don is in his mid-40s and he set out to find inspiration to stay fit as he ages. To accomplish this goal, McGrath interviewed a whopping 50 ordinary people over 50 who were doing extraordinary things with their bodies. At an age when most people think they have to slow down on physical activity, these 50 athletes keep pushing boundaries and winning sports…

I must say that the introduction to chapter 3 really moved me. I love how Don was able to get the essence that made it possible for these athletes over 50 to keep going after their fitness-dream. This chapter should be mandatory reading for anyone celebrating a milestone birthday and that might be feeling down about aging.”

Hillary Topper – full interview

“Written by Don McGrath, Ph.D., the book includes a series of interviews of 50 athletes who are over the age of 50. Stories ranged from a 72-year-old amputee who was a runner and cyclist to a barefoot water skier who was 94-years-old and took up water skiing at 40.

These stories motivated and encouraged me, especially since I started a training program this past August. Although I’m not yet 50, I find that there are many obstacles in my way. However, I learned that I need to keep pushing forward, no matter how hard it gets.”

Karl Keltner (Koach Karl) – full review

“Do you make excuses not to workout? Are you over weight? Has your doctor advised you to exercise? Is it too late?! Not by a long shot!! As author Don McGrath leads us through 50 interviews with 50 athletes over 50 we realize that it’s never too late. Most importantly anyone can excel in sports regardless ofage, gender, handicap or circumstances. These stories will inspire you to get off the couch and get moving. If you are currently exercising you will find yourself asking “Am I doing enough?” All of these athletes are competitive in their own ways. From 50-year-old former pro triathlete Gale Bernhardt who has turned her sights to mountain biking to “The Ultimate Over 50-Athlete — Banana” George Blair, the 94-year-old water skier, you will see that anything is possible.”


“I had the privilege of hearing Don speak and was intrigued by this passion and knowledge. Clearly he is walking the path of fitness and although I’m several years his Senior, I was impressed by his example and intrigued by the interviews in the book. Don delivered a review copy personally and I could hardly put it down. I expected the stories, but was delightfully surprised by the fitness information, the experts he tapped for health, wellness and fitness support and the action plans appropriately position between chapters.

Reading through the book, it became clear that nothing stands in the way of our attaining fitness, stamina and healthy living. The choice is ours and although the book is full of exciting and outstanding examples, it is also clear that any progress is worthwhile and that anyone can make the choice to live better.

Thanks Don for bringing us this wonderful fitness tool. I hope you do produce it in digital/audio form so I can download and benefit from the message during workouts. I also hope that at some point you follow up on some of the great athletes as well as bring us more!”

Frank Forencich – Author of “Exhuberant Animal”

“Over the years, many of us have been struck by the powerful imagery of “Getting Old is Not for Sissies.”This cover photo stands as an enduring icon for what’s possible. At the time this photo was taken, John Turner was 67 years old. As a practicing psychiatrist, he spoke a refreshing philosophy: “I think physicians have a responsibility to sell health at least as much as they sell pills.” (He made this statement in the early 1980s, before the medical industry dove headlong into techno-pharmaceutical fixes for every human affliction.) Who wouldn’t want this man as a teacher, fitness instructor or physician?
In this same spirit, I’ve recently discovered a powerful new book called Fifty Athletes Over Fifty. Author Don McGrath has interviewed a series of rare individuals, athletes who are still in the game, still living a highly physical life well into what some people call “old age.” The individual stories are fascinating, but it’s the core idea that really carries the quest. For McGrath and his lifetime athletes, it’s all about developing the right relationship with the body, the process and the sport. In short, it’s about falling in love with movement.
McGrath sums up his findings in a simple paradigm: Love it – dream it – live it – powered by feelings of joy, fun, sensation and accomplishment. It’s a powerful formula, one that has been obvious to young, independent athletes for a long time. Surfers, skateboarders, rockclimbers and free runners have built entire lifestyles, sub-cultures and movement disciplines around quality life experience. For them, no extrinsic motivation is required. It’s the experience and the dream that pulls them into active, committed participation.
Sadly, this auto-telic approach has been largely eclipsed by linear thinkers who seek to reduce human health to spreadsheet-ready numbers and formulas, as if emotion and spirit had nothing to do with physical engagement. On the contrary, emotion, spirit and aesthetics exert a powerful pull that lasts a lifetime. If you fall in love with your practice, your art or your discipline, the technicalities are just a sideshow.”

Vicki – Reading by The Beach

“Think you’re to old to have an active life after 50? Think again! The 50 athletes in this book will show you just how untrue that is. This book is full of helpful information, inspiration and hope to those that are starting to have trouble with their bodies working the way they want, and even to those who are past that point. The best thing you can do to prolong or prevent the aging process is to be active. It is never to late to get fit. The athletes in this book are truly amazing and will give you the motivation you need to get off that couch, put that bag of chips down and MOVE.”

Paula Keltner

“Do you make excuses not to workout? Are you over weight? Has your doctor advised you to exercise? Is it too late?! Not by a long shot!! As author Don McGrath leads us through 50 interviews with 50 athletes over 50 we realize that it’s never too late. Most importantly anyone can excel in sports regardless of age, gender, handicap or circumstances. These stories will inspire you to get off the couch and get moving. If you are currently exercising you will find yourself asking “Am I doing enough?” All of these athletes are competitive in their own ways. From 50-year-old former pro triathlete Gale Bernhardt who has turned her sights to mountain biking to “The Ultimate Over 50-Athlete — Banana” George Blair, the 94-year-old water skier, you will see that anything is possible.

McGrath first leads us through his Performance-to-Lifestyle Transition Phases and the keys behind it. Dream it, Live it and Love it. From there he explains the Four Joys and how they help the older athlete stay focused and motivated to not only stay active but to stay competitive in their chosen sport. He wraps things up with the last two chapters focusing on the studies and statistics of older athletes–the physiology and psychology of the athlete over 50 and what happens as we age.

All of the interviews were interesting and moving in their own way. You will read about track athletes, swimmers, rock climbers–the list goes on and on. Gene GeBauer, a dancer, seemed full of life and not planning to stop dancing anytime soon. He is 75 and just recently had a tap jam session with one of the world’s best, Jason Samuel Smith, and held his own. Then you have of course “Banana” George Blair he 94 year old skier who did he start skiing until he was 46. Since the he has become a phenomenon in the skiing world. “Banana” George not only skies, he took up wakeboarding at 70, snowboarding at 75, race car driving at 81, skydiving at 82, surfing at 83, and he rode a bull at 85. This man can do anything he puts his mind to!! My favorite though is 53-year-old Terry Peterson from Redondo Beach, CA who in his late forties had gained weight and had high cholesterol and needed to exercise. None of the normal stuff seemed to inspire him–such as swimming, biking or running. He fond his passion at […]. Terry is now a sponsored and competitive rider with Mountain Unicycling (MUni). You can see more of Terry and what he does at his site […]. Checkout the videos! They are amazing.

This book was fun and inspiring no matter where you are in life, whether it’s 8-years-old or 80, I encourage you to pick it up at your local book store. Who knows, maybe you will be in the revised edition.”

Teresa Kanopka

“50 Athletes over 50 Teach Us to Live a Strong, Healthy Life” by Don McGrath, PhD is a great book. It has a wonderful format that quickly introduces readers to what it takes to be an older athlete mentally, physically, and emotionally. Then, it dives right into the excitement with the 50 athletes over 50. There are copious interviews that are written in a question-and-answer layout. Photos of the athletes are included, too, some of which are whimsically amusing. At the end of chapters, there are even questions for the reader to answer with spaces to write in. These questions serve as stepping stones for the reader to get more active and rekindle their inner athletic passions. What makes this book so great is that the 50 athletes are not all famous and well-known. Chances are the readers may have not even heard of one. Still, this makes the book more riveting as readers discover new stories that could be about them some day. Most of the athletes in this book do not do group sports, but the athletic endeavors will impress nonetheless. Athletes of all ages will enjoy this book.

Kevin Nensteil

“As I face turning forty, I’ve wondered what I can do to maintain health, wellness, and productivity. Apparently so has Dr. Don McGrath. He matches his curiosity with his research skills and outdoorsmanship to investigate how athletes maintain their edge past half a century. Most important, McGrath and his subjects don’t just focus on how to remain competitive; they explain how to live a fit, meaningful life.

Like many coaches, McGrath admits he stared with a vision of fitness based on what spry young athletes need. But as he researched, he learned that the model coaches use on young competitors doesn’t work in surmounting the challenges of age. He offers a new model, called “Dream It, Live It, Love It,” though it is much more sophisticated than that. It requires making joy as others around you grow glum and sedentary.

McGrath interviews cyclists, runners, swimmers, martial artists, bodybuilders, triathletes, climbers, a mountain unicyclist, a Paralympian, and a tap dancer. Ages range from fifty to ninety-five. The trait they all share in common is a simple pleasure, not in winning, but in remaining able to compete. Though the interviews are short, none longer than four pages, their enthusiasm is infectious.

More important, these athletes give us hope. Looking at their trim figures, great skin, and radiant smiles, I say that, if turning fifty looks like this, nobody should ever mind the march of time. Our society assumes that aging means getting fat, tired, and joyless, but these athletes prove that such a reaction is our choice, not an inevitable consequence. We have the power to age with grace and strength.

I finished this book feeling inspired to reclaim the joy I once knew in simple running and cycling. Just because I’m unlikely to set any world records is no reason not to care about my health, or to find pleasure in keeping myself fit and healthy. This book inspires me to care about myself and take control of my health, which I think is the author’s intent.”

Life Coach Christine

“This book provides a fresh look at athletes over the age of 50. Don, does not just dwell on the achievements the athletes have accomplished, he looks at the reasons why they persevere. His interviews encourage, even us non-athletic types to start asking: “Is it really too late for me to get more active, more healthy?”
The athletes reveal how they have transitioned from a performance focus to lifestyle focus. They have found a way to: dream it, live it, love it. Physical activity is a part of their everyday life. Learn from them how it can become a part of you everyday life. If you are a coach potato, this book will inspire to become more; To life to the fullest. If you are already an athlete, this book will show you the path taken by successful athletes before you. It will inspire and encourage you to continue in your path.
Read the book and discover if you are an innovator, a bloomer, or a groover. Each type of athlete approaches athletics from a different mindset and this impacts not only the sport they choose, but how they train.
Thank you Don for writing a book about athletes that even a non-athletic person like myself can not only read but enjoy. The interviews are personalized and engaging. I felt like I had a glimpse into the world of each athlete you interviewed. I am now even more inspired to maintain a healthy, active life style. After all, if they can do it at 50, 60, 70 or even 90+ years old, what is my excuse?”

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