Age is just a number for Julia Hawkins, known affectionately as “the Hurricane.” At an unbelievable 107 years old, she continues to defy expectations and has recently shattered a world record for the fastest 100-meter run at the Louisiana Senior Games.
An Unstoppable Force
In November 2021, Julia Hawkins, then 105 years old, made headlines when she set a new world record for the fastest 100-meter run in a competition designed for adults over 50. Now, at 107, she remains a force to be reckoned with, showing no signs of slowing down.
A Lasting Legacy
Julia’s incredible journey began when one of her children suggested that she attempt the 100-yard dash in under 100 seconds to celebrate her 100th birthday. To everyone’s amazement, she achieved that goal and then some.
A Race to Remember
At the 2021 Louisiana Senior Games, Julia aimed to complete the dash in under a minute. Although she finished in just over 62 seconds, she took into account the harsh weather conditions that day. “It was windy and cold, cold. But on that day it seemed to be the best I could have done with the weather like it was,” Julia shared.
Cheered on by Former Students
Adding a heartwarming touch to the race, Julia’s old students, now in their 90s, were there to cheer her on from the sidelines. They were fourth-graders when Julia taught them, and seeing them by her side demonstrates the enduring impact of a teacher’s influence.
Breaking Barriers and Records
Though Julia didn’t achieve her goal of finishing the dash in under a minute, she emerged victorious as she secured the title for the fastest 100-meter dash in the 105+ years category. It came as no surprise to her or her family, who celebrated her gold medal and her record-breaking achievement.
“When I started running, there were only a few older women attempting to do something different. They weren’t really athletes. So I usually managed to beat the ones that weren’t really athletes,” Julia revealed modestly.
A Life of Passion and Love
Outside of her newfound passion for running, Julia devotes her time to gardening and cherishing moments with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She also fondly remembers her late husband, Murray Hawkins, with whom she spent 70 amazing years. Recalling the early days of their relationship, Julia shared, “He was from New Orleans, and I was from Ponchatoula, a little town. When I saw him and met him and saw how smart and good looking he was, I went home and wrote about him in my diary.”
Their unique love story continued when they tied the knot over the telephone, eight years after they first met. Murray was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the devastating attack, but distance couldn’t dampen their love. “He was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed, working for the Navy. We were married by telephone, which was unusual at that time. My father-in-law went with me to Baton Rouge to see if it was legal in Louisiana. And it was. So we were married by telephone,” Julia fondly recalled.
Words of Wisdom
As Julia continues to embrace her golden years, she imparts some sage advice to others. She urges everyone to seek out the “magic moments” in life, the awe-inspiring occurrences that we often overlook. A stunning sunrise, a captivating sunset, or even a shooting star—these remarkable experiences are accessible to all who take the time to observe. “You don’t have to be wealthy to get to see them. You just have to be observant and keep a watch on what’s out there,” Julia wisely advises.
An Inspiration to All
Julia Hawkins stands as a true inspiration, a testament to the indomitable spirit that resides within each of us. Her extraordinary achievements, boundless energy, and unyielding determination remind us that age should never limit our dreams or abilities. We can all draw inspiration from Julia’s remarkable journey and strive to create our own magic moments.
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