+
upworthy
Health

Belgian Olympic marathoner breaks down in tears of disbelief upon hearing she finished 28th

38-year-old Mieke Gorissen had only been training for three years and the Olympics was just her third marathon.

Belgian Olympic marathoner breaks down in tears of disbelief upon hearing she finished 28th

Imagine deciding to take up a hobby that usually requires many years to perfect at age 35, and three years later ending up in the top 30 in the world at the highest international competition for it.

That's what happened to a 38-year-old math and physics teacher from Diepenbeek, Belgium. According to Netherlands News Live, Mieke Gorissen has jogged 10km (a little over six miles) a few times a week for exercise for many years. But in 2018, she decided to hire a running trainer to improve her technique. As it turned out, she was a bit of a natural at distance running.

Three years later, Gorissen found herself running her third marathon. But not just any old marathon (as if there were such a thing)—the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics. And not only did she compete with the world's most elite group of runners, she came in 28th out of the 88 competing in the race.



With the heat and humidity in Tokyo, even completing the race was a major accomplishment. (Fifteen women competing did not finish the marathon.) But to come in in the top 30 when you just started focusing on distance running three years ago? Unbelievable.

In fact, Gorissen could hardly believe it herself. A video of her reaction upon hearing her results has gone viral for its purity and genuine humility. "No," she said when a reporter told her she came in 28th in the race. "That's not possible."

Then she burst into tears.

Her emotional disbelief is so moving. "I was already happy to finish the race," she said through sobs. "I do think I have reached my goal and that I can be happy."

"I also think I lost a toenail," she added, laughing.

Even after the English translation ends in the video, it's clear how much this finish meant to her. A remarkable accomplishment for a 38-year-old who knits and reads for fun and who has only run two marathons prior to competing in the Olympics.

According to her Olympic profile, she's glad she got started with distance running later in life. "If I started running in my teens, it wouldn't have been good for me," she said. "I wasn't really happy then, I would have been too hard on myself and I would have lost myself in it in a way that wasn't healthy. It came at exactly the right time."

Congratulations, Mieke. You've given us all the inspiration to set new goals and dream bigger than we ever thought possible.


This article originally appeared on 08.12.21

Community

Decluttering top of mind for 2024? This Facebook group can help

This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

With the new year comes plenty of resolutions we all vow to keep up with the best of intentions. But by February 1, our resolve has often waned as life gets in the way and things go back to how they were. What we all need a little more of is motivation.

When we participate in something collectively, it’s easier to meet goals and maintain the enthusiasm to get things done. While the support of a friend or two is great, imagine having the power of an entire online community cheering you on and offering advice along the way.

This is where the Daily Decluttering Challenge Facebook group comes in. This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

“By building a network of people who can support and encourage you along the way, you can make progress towards your goals faster and more effectively. Remember, no one achieves success alone, and having a strong support system can make the difference in a goal set versus a goal achieved,” says Kristin Burke, a goal achievement coach.

In addition to tips for tidying up around the house, members share advice on how to tackle one thing at a time, where to donate excess items, and what they do to exercise more willpower to avoid buying new things.

For anyone hoping to declutter their lives in the new year, this Facebook group has the perfect challenge to get you started.

Keep ReadingShow less

Seth Rogen on stage during the opening night of Collision 2019 at Enercare Center in Toronto, Canada.

Childless women in the public eye are often plagued by the question: “So, why don’t you have any children?” It’s a deeply personal question that cuts right to the bone, and there can be many answers. But, if the woman doesn’t want children and says so publicly, she is bound to face some judgment.

"[I don't] like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women—that you've failed yourself as a female because you haven't procreated. I don't think it's fair," Jennifer Aniston told Allure. "You may not have a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn't mean you aren't mothering—dogs, friends, friends' children."

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Artist creates amazing inflatable shower curtain to help save water

If you take long showers you’re in for a rude awakening.

Image via elisabethbuecher.com

Singing in the shower.

Are you the type of person who is always waiting on someone in the shower, or are you the one holding everyone up with your epic shower songs? Either way, Elisabeth Buecher has the perfect shower curtain for you. The London-based artist created an inflatable shower curtain that fills soft spikes with air if the shower is on too long. After four minutes of running water, a sensor on the tap triggers an inflator for the spikes, and the bather is immediately reminded that it's time to get out.

Buecher created the installation to raise awareness about water conservation.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

75-year-old ‘hip-hop granny’ impresses and inspires with her dance moves

Ms. Stephanie didn’t even start formal dance lessons until she was almost 30.

Ms. Stephanie bringing it at her hip-hop class.

Stephanie Walsh isn't your average hip-hop dancer. At 75, "Ms. Stephanie" is still able to hold her own on the dance floor, popping and locking with people a third her age, and she loves it.

When you see her dance—and her enviable muscle tone—you might think she'd been a trained dancer all her life. But she actually didn't take any formal dance lessons until she was almost 30.

Walsh told Growing Bolder that she had wanted her daughter to dance when she was little, so she got her ballet lessons, which the daughter hated. Realizing that dancing was her dream and not her daughter's, Walsh took her kiddo out of ballet and started classes herself right away.

She had always loved to dance and developing her skills only led to more and more dancing.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo from YouTube video.

Photo of Skylar.

Even though he was born "Katherine Elizabeth," Skylar lived like a regular little boy for most of his childhood.

He was happy.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

An open letter to men who will have sex with me but won't date me

"It's one thing if you're not into fat women — everyone has their preferences — but if you want to have sex with us without being seen in public with us, that's emotionally abusive."


Many years before I got together with my boyfriend, I had a sex thing with this guy that I thought was relationship material.

He not only had an amazing body but a great personality as well. I was honest when I met him that I was looking for something more than just sex, and he led me to believe that was what he wanted, too.

Between mind-blowing sex sessions, we ordered in, played video games, and watched movies — couple things but without the label. But when I tried to get him to go to a show or out to dinner with me, he refused. My frustration grew as the months went on, and one day I confronted him.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

A wild goose was taken to an animal hospital. His mate knocked on the door to find him.

"We opened the door and gave Arnold his flow-by oxygen in the doorway. His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door."

As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.

Keep ReadingShow less