WHEN Donnazione Cargill visits the doctor, she's elated to see her blood pressure is the same as her 20-year-old daughter's.
She's often mistaken for said daughter's sister, or her son's girlfriend, and finds the whole thing hilarious.
At 50, Donnazione, a mother of three and the grandmother to a four-year-old, claims to be America's most youthful granny.
And she credits it to prioritizing her health above all else.
A seven-time Illinois track and field state champion, the grandmother and athlete makes sure her fitness is front and center as she subsists on a strict clean diet and runs five-kilometer races on weekends.
"I don't eat red meat, I do eat chicken and fish… I drink a lot of tea, I'm constantly drinking tea, I have glasses of tea in my fridge because I believe that keeps me youthful," she told The U.S. Sun.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Donnazione explained that she discovered running in high school and had kept up the hobby ever since.
Although she's no longer in school, she regularly trains to compete and keep herself active.
"A typical training session is I'll go to the track, do a 15-minute warm up, then I'll do my stretches and my strides and do four 600 meters, four 400s, four 200s, and four 100s," she said.
The track star also dabbled in Korean taekwondo, taking home a silver medal for Point Sparring at the Amateur Athletic Union Nationals in 2022.
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However, she was forced to take a hiatus from the sport thanks to a meniscus tear at the tournament.
"I hopped out of the ring due to the tear and that caused me to lose my gold medal and I haven't done taekwondo the whole year because I'm nursing my knee," she recalled of a championship.
Although the grandmother is temporarily retired from martial arts, she has picked up other hobbies to keep her youthful, such as thrifting for vintage dolls with her granddaughter.
"That's one of our favorite things to do, our bedroom is made up of all old dollhouses, it's like a fairytale world in there," she joked.
Donnazione credited her drive to succeed and her youthful spirit to her love and adoration for her motherland.
"I live in the mentality of the little girl that left Jamaica, I was 15 when I left. And I'm still 15, I'm still that little girl that left Jamaica because I miss Jamaica so much," she said.
"When I go back to my family, I'm still 15 because they way I look and the way I dress, I dress like a kid and act like one.
"Even though I have kids that are older now, when I'm not with my kids they think I'm the child and they're the grown-ups.
"It's funny because when I go out with my 25-year-old son, they think he's my boyfriend or my daughter is my sister," she laughed.
The 50-year-old believed that the key to looking and feeling young all started with a healthy and happy mentality.
"Mentally, you are what you think, I don’t think old, I don’t think anything old, I want to live to be very old, yes, but I’m constantly thinking youthful," she said.
"I don’t get sick because I pay so much attention to my own health and I do love myself, I know I’m not what everyone wishes and desires but I’m what I wish and desire."
At 50, the grandmother also added that her dreams were eternal and that she's constantly striving for something down the road.
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"One day, I'm going to open up a Taekwondo school, especially for girls that have been through domestic violence because I too have been through that," she said.
"I want to empower girls and I think girl fighters are the coolest."
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