Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

February 21, 2012

The Right Age To Be Amazing.

At 1, Christian Friedrich Heinecken, the legendary child prodigy had read the Pentateuch. At 2, speed skater Bonnie Blair began skating. She should go on to win five Olympic gold medals.

At 3, Wolfgang Mozart, taught himself to play the harpsichord.

At 4, Brazilian Formula One race-car driver Ayrton Senna da Silva began driving.

At 5, Yo-Yo Ma, the world-famous cellist, began playing Bach’s “Suites for Unaccompanied Cello” before bed each evening.

At 6, Willie Hoppe, the greatest billiards player in history, began to play pool. He had to stand on a box to reach the table.

At 7, English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill had mastered Greek.

At 8, three-time Olympic gold medal-winning runner Wilma Rudolph took her first step.

At 9, Daisy Ashford wrote her bestselling novel, “The Young Visitors”. It sold over 200,000 copies.

At 10, Vinay Bhat became the youngest chess master in the world.

At 11, Pilot Victoria Van Meter became the youngest girl ever to fly across the United States.

At 12, Carl von Clausewitz, general and writer of “On War”, joined the army.

At 13, Jodie Foster wrote and directed a short movie called “Hands of Time”.

At 14, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first athlete in Olympic history to achieve a perfect 10.

At 15, Swedish tennis star Bjorn Borg dropped out of school to concentrate on tennis.

At 16, American sharpshooter Annie Oakley challenged and defeated the well-known marksman Frank Butler by hitting a dime in mid-air from 90 feet.

At 17, Pele won the World Cup final for Brazil, then passed out on the field.

At 18, Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel proved that it was impossible to solve the general equation of fifth degree by algebraic means.

At 19, Abner Doubleday devised the rules for baseball.

At 20, Charles Lindbergh learned to fly.

At 21, Thomas Edison created his first invention, an electric vote recorder. It failed to sell.

At 22, Olympic runner Herbert James Elliott, ranked by many as the greatest mile runner ever, retired undefeated.

At 23, English poet Jane Taylor wrote “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.

At 24, Ted Turner took over his father’s billboard advertising business. He later launched CNN.

At 25, Janis Joplin made her first recording, “Cheap Thrills,” which grossed over a million dollars within a few months.

At 26, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Chereshkova became the first woman to travel in space.

At 27, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. dropped out from his job at General Electric to become a full-time writer.

At 28, Jamaican reggae composer/performer Bob Marley recorded “I Shot the Sheriff.”

At 29, Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first complete sentence by telephone.

At 30, Physicist Armand H. L. Fizeau measured the speed of light.

At 31, French Egyptologist Jean Francois Champollion deciphered the Rosetta stone.

At 32, Alexander the Great had conquered almost the entire known world.

At 33, Walter Nilsson rode across the United States on an 8 1/2 foot unicycle.

At 34, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry, wrote “The Star Spangled Banner”.

At 35, Frederic William Herschel, an English astronomer, invented the contact lens.

At 36, Barthelemy Thimmonier developed the world’s first practical sewing machine.

At 37, Jersey Joe Walcott became the oldest man ever to win the world’s heavyweight boxing title.

At 38, Apollo 11 commander, Neil Armstrong, became the first person to set foot on the moon.

At 39, Sharon Adams became the first woman to sail alone across the Pacific Ocean.

At 40, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run.

At 41, Rudyard Kipling became the youngest Nobel Laureate in literature.

At 42, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the oldest NBA regular player.

At 43, baseball player Nolan Ryan pitched the sixth no-hitter of his career.

At 44, George Washington crossed the Delaware River and captured Trenton, New Jersey.

At 45, Andre Marie Ampere, a French physicist, discovered the rules relating magnetic fields and electric currents.

At 46, Jack Nicklaus became the oldest man ever to win the Masters.

At 47, Kent Couch attached 105 helium balloons to a lawn chair and flew 193 miles.

At 48, Umberto Eco, a professor of semiotics, wrote his first novel, “The Name of the Rose”.

At 49, Julia Child published her book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.

At 50, P. L. Guinand, a Swiss inventor, patented a new method for making optical glass.

At 51, The Marquis de Sade, imprisoned for much of his life, wrote the novel “Justine”.

At 52, Francis Chichester sailed around the world alone in a 53-foot boat normally manned by a crew of six.

At 53, Walter Hunt, an inventor, patented the safety pin.

At 54, Annie Jump Cannon, the dean of women astronomers, became the first person to systematically classify the stars according to spectral type.

At 55, Pablo Picasso completed his masterpiece, “Guernica”.

At 56, Mao Zedong founded the Peoples’ Republic of China.

At 57, Frank Dobesh competed in his first ever 100+ mile bicycle ride — exactly ten years after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

At 58, Sony chairman Akio Morita introduced the Sony Walkman. An idea no one seemed to like at the time.

At 59, “Satchel” Paige became the oldest Major League baseball player.

At 60, Playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw completed writing “Heartbreak House,” regarded by some as his masterpiece.

At 61, Charles Cagniard de la Tour, a French doctor, demonstrated that fermentation depends upon yeast cells.

At 62, J.R.R. Tolkien published the first volume of his fantasy series, “Lord of the Rings”.

At 63, John Dryden undertook the enormous task of translating the entire works of “Virgil” into English verse.

At 64, Thomas Bowdler released a cleaned-up version of “Shakespeare” with certain words and expressions omitted.

At 65, jazz musician, Miles Davis, defiantly performed his final live album, weeks before he died.

At 66, Noah Webster completed his monumental “American Dictionary of the English Language”.

At 67, Poisson discovered the laws of probability after studying the likelihood of death from mule kicks in the French army.

At 68, The English experimentalist, William Crookes, began investigating radioactivity and invented a device for detecting alpha particles.

At 69, Canadian Ed Whitlock of Milton, Ontario became the oldest person to run a standard marathon in under three hours (2:52:47).

At 70, Cornelius Vanderbilt began buying railroads.

At 71, Katsusuke Yanagisawa, a retired Japanese schoolteacher, became the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest.

At 72, Margaret Ringenberg flew around the world.

At 73, Larry King celebrated his 50th year in broadcasting.

At 74, Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps began an attempt to construct the Suez Canal.

At 75, cancer survivor, Barbara Hillary, became one of the oldest people, and the first black woman, to reach the north pole.

At 76, Arthur Miller unveiled a bold new play, free of the world-weary tone of works from his previous decade.

At 77, John Glenn became the oldest person to go into space.

At 78, Chevalier de Lamarck proposed an erroneous theory of evolution, claiming that acquired characteristics can be transmitted to offspring.

At 79, Asa Long became the oldest U.S. checkers champion.

At 80, Christine Brown of Laguna Hills, California flew to China and climbed the Great Wall.

At 81, Bill Painter became the oldest person to reach the 14,411-foot summit of Mount Rainier.

At 82, William Ivy Baldwin became the oldest tightrope walker, crossing the South Boulder Canyon in Colorado on a 320-foot wire.

At 83, Famed baby doctor, Benjamin Spock, championed for world peace.

At 84, W. Somerset Maugham wrote “Points of View”.

At 85, Theodor Mommsen became the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature.

At 86, Katherine Pelton swam the 200-meter butterfly in 3 minutes, 1.14 seconds, beating the men’s world record by over 20 seconds.

At 87, Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor.

At 88, Michelangelo created the architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

At 89, Artur Rubinstein performed one of his greatest recitals in Carnegie Hall.

At 90, Chagall became the first living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre museum.

At 91, Allan Stewart of New South Wales completed a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of New England.

At 92, Paul Spangler finished his fourteenth marathon.

At 93, P.G. Wodehouse worked on his 97th novel, got knighted, and died.

At 94, Comedian George Burns performed in Schenectady, NY, 63 years after his first performance there.

At 95, Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma, a degree in general studies with an emphasis on history.

At 96, Dorothy Geeben, mayor of Ocean Breeze Park, Florida, is the oldest mayor in the United States.

At 97, Dorothy Geeben is the mayor of Ocean Breeze Park, Florida, and may be the oldest mayor in the United States.

At 98, Beatrice Wood, a ceramist, exhibited her latest work.

At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.

At 100, Johannes Heesters was the oldest guest in a Saturday night show, Wetten dass.

It’s never too late to start doing something amazing.

It’s never too early to start trying.

The truth is that people are doing amazing things all the time.  There is no reason you can’t be one of them.

It’s just a choice for you.

To try something new.  To be vulnerable  enough to fail.  To care enough to believe in your dreams.

Will you choose you?

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.