She started doing track and field at age 60. Now, at 84, she's a competitive pole vaulter.

There's a new Flo on the field, and she's proving that age really is just a number.

While many of us hope to make it to our eighties in relatively good health, Flo Filion Meiler is setting a new bar for aging well. The 84-year-old from Shelbourne, Vermont is currently at the World Masters Athletics Championship Indoor in Poland, where she is competing in track and field events including the 60-meter hurdles, 800-meter run, 4 x 200m relay, triple jump, long jump, pentathlon, and pole vault.

That's right. Pole vaulting at 84 years old.


She's guaranteed a win in the pole vault since—perhaps unsurprisingly—she's the only competitor in her age group. Four years ago she set a world record for women's pole vault at age 80.  Talk about #AgingGoals.

Meiler started doing track and field at age 60. Sixty. Six zero.

The petite athlete has always been physically active, playing competitive tennis with her husband and water skiing. But she didn't start doing track and field events until a friend suggested she try the long jump at the Vermont Senior Games. Twenty-four years ago. When she was 60.

She didn't take up pole vaulting until she 65. (This is where we all go, WHAT?! Who on earth takes up pole vaulting at 65 years old? Flo Filion Meiler, that's who.)

Pole vaulting, as a reminder, involves running full speed with a long, fiberglass pole in your hands, sticking it in the ground, and then using said pole to fling yourself over a bar hoisted above the ground. “You really have to work at that,” Meiler told the Associated Press. “You have to have the upper core and you have to have timing, and I just love it because it’s challenging.”

Meiler turns 85 in June, which will push her into a new age category in track and field competitions.

The senior wonder shows no signs of slowing down, and she plans to just keep on setting records.

"I do train five days a week," she says. "And when I found out I was going to compete at the worlds, I’ve been training six days a week because I knew I would really get my body in shape.” Again, this woman is 84 years old.

Dr. Michael LaMantia, director of the University of Vermont Center on Aging, told the AP that Meiler’s athletic achievements are remarkable and should be celebrated. “She can serve as a role model for other seniors,” he said.

Ya think? She's already my role model, and I'm forty years younger than she is.

You go, Flo. Thanks for the reminder that age really is just a number.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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