"It's good to be in the race, to be engaged with other people; to challenge your mind; to be curious; be inquisitive; always be willing to improve yourself."
This is one of the messages which resonated with me when I first spoke with Valerie Ramsey three years ago. She had just released her book, Gracefully Looking and Being your Best at Any Age, and I was on a new adventure to show other women how to live a full to overflowing life after age 50.
Valerie was so inspirational with a powerful message, Age should not prevent us from doing anything we desire to do. She became a professional model at age 63 and was fresh off of raising six kids, battling three major illnesses and beginning a new career path. "We tend to hit a crossroads in life at age fifty," she said in a recent interview, "We get frightened by new challenges whether they are physical or an empty nest or desire for a new career path. We are hungry at that time for motivation and inspiration."
So, at age 75, Valerie continues to inspire. I spoke with her last week about the release of a sequel book, Creating What's Next and a new venture sponsored by Orchard Brands.
In fact, Orchard Brands surveyed over 1,000 women and discovered 78 percent of survey respondents agree that a new breed of confident, modern women ages 55 and up is changing what it means to age for the better.
"The truth is, millions of American women are using the second half of their lives to ramp up, not wind down. They are the new norm, not the exception," says Robyn Mohr, digital marketing manager for Orchard Brands. "Our 'Live Beautiful at Every Age' lifestyle hub celebrates this modern attitude and brings us one step closer to redefining what the second half of life should be and could be for women everywhere."
Valerie's appearances on the Today Show and other television programs opened opportunities to speak and encourage thousands of women. "We must have resilience in order to persevere a reinvention," she said. "And understand younger women are watching how we walk through our later years. Our real beauty is seen through us as dynamic, confident, courageous, wise women involved in life."
She encourages those seeking new challenges to "know what you want to do and formulate a plan in your mind of how you are going to get there." She said, "We must be willing to start at the bottom. I started over working behind the counter of a pro-golf shop and worked up to be in charge of special events at the resort." This opened the door to modeling when she oversaw a photo shoot at the Pebble Beach resort and the road continued on with books and speaking engagements. All happening after 60 years of age. Her vitality is electric.
"Vitality is the essence of your soul: it drives who you are and where you are going. When your vitality level runs high, you're able to make friends in a room full of strangers." -- Valerie Ramsey
Has anyone else started a new career path over 60?