Here’s a story from outside of trading everyone will find inspirational.
It’s about a cyclist setting records. Not just any cyclist and not just any record. The man is Robert Marchard, a Frenchman who was born in 1911.
If you are quick with math you will know he is 105-years-old.
He set the world record in his age group by cycling 26.9 kilometers in an hour. If you are a couch potato in any age group, you are likely to find that hard to do.
Here’s What’s Really Inspirational
Even more remarkable than the world record, is a study done on him and his Vo2 max rate. Vo2 max is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen that one can utilize under the stress of all-out exercise. It is correlated with aerobic endurance and cardiovascular fitness, and it is a measure of an athlete’s ability to perform sustained exercise. Elite athletes have high Vo2 max values.
Mr. Marchand was tested at the University d’Evry-Val d’Essonne in France. He did the testing at 101-years-old to establish a baseline. He then trained for two years cycling 5,000 km per year with polarized light and hard cadence (in other words, in each of his training sessions, he would alternate between comparatively easy and intense efforts). He was then tested again at 103-years-old.
He not only broke cycling records during this time, he increased his Vo2 max and his performance. The researchers conclude: “It is possible to increase performance and Vo2 max with polarized training focusing on a high pedaling cadence even after turning 100-years-old.” (The study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, 29 December, 2016, and may be found by clicking here).
Notably, Mr. Marchand was not much of an athlete as an adult. He did cycle until about 35, but then gave it up for the next three decades. He didn’t return to cycling until he was about 67-years-old.
Although his genes likely play a role, they are only part of the story and likely not determinative. He eats a healthy diet (mostly vegetables and fruit, with little meat and a little wine), gets an hour of exercise in every day, and has a good social life—the three key components continuously seen in the scientific literature on longevity.
I am always interested in stories like this. They show that human potential has few limits. Obviously, we must do the right things and work hard, but the rewards are available for anyone who applies themselves. This includes trading.
So get inspired and apply it to your trading … and “Vive Robert Marchand!”