Meet Two Amazing Late Bloomers
When Martin was growing up in Canada, girls didn’t exactly get first-class treatment in sports. If they wanted to play hockey, they had to wear the boys’ sweaty uniforms. She had no idea of her athletic abilities until, decades later, she went for a slow run on a whim—and wanted to die after the first ten minutes. But she loved the feeling of running, and so she kept at it under tutoring from her husband, an experienced runner.
For her part, Rogan practiced her craft of writing in secret over a long period of time. When her triplets were in school, she wrote. When she could have gone to lunch with friends, she wrote. Although she wasn’t getting regular feedback, she drew on what she’d learned in a creative-writing class. “One thing I picked up was just doing the writing every week…You learn not to be afraid of putting things on the page.”
Martin learned to be fearless, too. She was sure she couldn’t run a three-mile race. But she did, and though she doesn’t remember whether she won (probably not) she loved the feeling of competition and drove herself to improve.
Rogan also persisted through early discouragement, not hesitating to keep three novels she’d written out of circulation because she doesn’t think they’re good enough. But she’s still going strong and has written a fifth, post-“Lifeboat” novel. And Martin is looking forward to competing in the world masters championships in Finland this month.
Although the paths Martin and Rogan are walking couldn’t be more different, their stories show that success is possible at any age—and for the rest of one’s life. Says Martin, “I hope I do this until the day I die.”
That’s not a bad goal.