Forty-one-year-old Elaine says she has gotten stronger over the past 10 years—both physically and mentally. "I don't feel like I've aged. I just feel like I've expanded," she says. A self-described "late bloomer," Elaine says she decided at age 25 that it was time to change her body, so she took up Tae Kwon Do. "I was married at the time. I was working on my doctorate. I was a pianist. And I was experiencing a lot of stress and personal unhappiness…discontent, but I didn't know what it was," she says.
Elaine says her physical training in the martial arts helped her to improve her mental and emotional life, as well as toning her muscles. "As I was getting stronger physically, I realized I was getting stronger mentally," she says. "I think because I had been training physically to build a stronger body, I felt confident enough that I could actually take physical action to change my life." Elaine decided to leave her marriage, put her belongings in storage and travel the world for a year and a half to follow her dreams.
Now, Elaine continues to take care of her body and mind by exercising and watching what she eats. She says she eats only when she is hungry and likes to drink Kombucha tea. In addition to the martial arts, Elaine continues to participate in athletic events around the world. She did a triathlon in Hawaii, a marathon in Paris and the annual Empire State Building Run-Up in New York City. "To me, 40 means a beginning," Elaine says. "I feel like I can do anything now."