103-year-old Julia Hawkins likes to have a flower in her hair—even while she is running a 100- meter dash.
Two years ago, when Hawkins was 101, she ran the 100-meter dash in 39.62 seconds. They dubbed her the “Hurricane.”
Hawkins made another appearance this week in Albuquerque, running the 50- and 100-meter dash races in the National Senior Games. It has been said that she is the oldest woman to formally compete on an American track, according to the organization. The National Senior Games hosts events in Olympic-style for athletes 50 and older.
There is not much competition in the centenarian age group, so Hawkins was mostly competing against herself. Although she finished her 100-meter dash about six seconds slower than her record time, Hawkins did not let that dampen her spirits. “I’m two years older, remember?” she said, as reported by The New York Times.
Hawkins started running late in life, but she has added it to her list of passions. She resides in Baton Rouge, La., where she goes on daily walks and looks after the trees on her property. She has four children, three grandchildren and one great-grand child. She married her late husband, Murray, over the telephone during World War II. They were married for 70 years.
Hawkins loves flowers. When The New York Times contacted her for an interview on June 19, she was taking it easy in a botanical garden.
“I would rather be the ‘Flower Lady’ than the ‘Hurricane Lady,’” she said.
When Hawkins looks back on her life, she is grateful for her family.
“I’m most proud of my children and my husband,” she said. “They were the wonderful things in my life — and the grandchildren, and the great-grandson. Those are things, you just can’t beat that. This other (the running) is just a little icing on the cake.”
Hawkins bestowed her life advice.
“Have many passions,” Hawkins said. “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.”
To read the full interview by The New York Times, click here.