When you first see the joint picture of Liu Yelin (50) and her son, the first thing that comes to your mind is that something must be wrong with it. It is impossible that this is the mother and not a teenage girl, many would say.
Liu Yelin is on the threshold of her fiftieth birthday. She lives in the Chinese province of Henan, and she used to work as a librarian.
When you look at her face without wrinkles and her tight body, you would never say that she is a 49 years old woman. And in her case, it is not really an empty phrase, nor a compliment, but the real situation.
“People are often astonished upon hearing how old I am, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m fifteen. If you think you look too old, it is because you have not sweated enough” Liu Yelin told in the interview.
When she appeared with her son at the friend’s wedding, many thought that he was her new boyfriend. They already got used to such reactions.
“I swim in the lake and do weight training every day,” she said. “My favourite thing is swimming outdoors in winter.
“When everyone was wearing down jackets, I had to strip down to my bikini and dive into freezing water. It’s a test for my will and perseverance. I often had to force myself to do it.”
Last year in March she decided to take on another challenge and swim across the Strait of Malacca, which is a few kilometers wide.
“It’s probably the hardest thing I have done in my life so far. I was used to swimming in rivers and lakes, but I had never swum in the sea.
“I struggled because my goggles were leaking and my tongue hurt so much from touching seawater.
“I felt as if there were dozens of cuts on my tongue, and when the salty seawater flowed into my mouth, it was unbearably painful.”
This incredible woman says that she will practice as long as her health allows it because she wants to look the same even when she’s 80.