Catching up with Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Like other 50-year-olds, Jackie Joyner-Kersee aches a bit the day after a vigorous workout.

But Joyner-Kersee, who still holds the world record in the women's heptathlon, isn't pining for her Olympic glory days. Instead, she lives by the motto “fit for life” and spends her time working for humanitarian and philanthropic causes, including mentoring young people and families in her hometown, East St. Louis, Ill.

We recently caught up with Joyner-Kersee. Excerpts from the conversation are below.

Q: How has your perspective on fitness changed as you've aged?

A: I'm a realist, and I always have been. Quality training is what I do now; before it was a combination of both quality and quantity. Now I'm not trying to be a world-class athlete; I don't need to train at that level. It's about being fit, fit for life. If I can only get in an hour (of a workout per day), sometimes it's disturbing, but it's better than nothing. If I can go longer, I try.

Q: What's your typical workout now?

A: I try to get a 4-mile walk in — which should take about an hour — then do some weight lifting. I like doing 200-meter intervals on the track, a circuit in the weight room or anything dealing with cardio or pumping the heart.

— Chicago Tribune