ISLM #2 | Dr. Vonda Wright | Masters Mythbuster

“There's never an age when we can't influence our future.”
– Dr. Vonda Wright

Dr. Vonda Wright is one of only a few female orthopedic surgeons in the country and an expert in sports medicine for masters athletes.

She is Medical Director of the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex and Associate Professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  As the founder and director of the Performance and Research Initiative for Masters Athletes (PRIMA), as well as research coordinator for the Summer National Senior Games (the "Senior Olympics"), she conducted groundbreaking research on maximizing the performance and minimizing injury in recreational exercisers over 40 and elite masters athletes alike.

Vonda is also a best-selling author of three books:  Fitness After 40, Guide to Thrive, and Younger in 8 Weeks.  She has been cited in numerous national news publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, and MSNBC; as well as in the national magazines AARP, Best Life, Maxim, Prevention, SELF and Runners World.

In addition, Vonda is a frequent contributor to the Dr. Oz show and has appeared on multiple occasions on The Doctors, CBS Evening news, ABC Health News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, PBS and more than 50 local TV affiliate programs.  Her programs for adult onset exercisers were the subjects of two mini-documentaries produced by AARP.

I had a great time interviewing Vonda in person at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex; we were off and running even before the record button got pushed.  Enjoy!

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Want to hear another episode from an expert in masters athletics and high performance aging? In this episode, we talk to legendary endurance athlete coach Joe Friel about what experience and research has taught him about the limits of performance as we get older, why the mind might be the most important training tool, and his latest book, Fast After 50.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY:  What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode?  Would you like a transcript of this episode?  Who else would you like to see appear on the show?  Please let me know in the comments!

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Learn more about Dr. Vonda Wright:

Website | TwitterFacebook  | YouTube



  • What were some of the early seminal moments that made an impact on Vonda's later success? [03:15]
  • How much do our own choices, rather than genetics, matter in aging. [06:08]
  • What are some of the big myths about aging that should be dispelled? [09:08]
  • What do we know "for sure" about aging and performance? [16:56]
  • What are the next most interesting questions that Vonda is interested in? [19:21]
  • Does technology have a role to play in positive behavioral change? [22:03]
  • What are "Blue Zones"? [24:20]
  • What's changed in our lives from just a few generations ago that's affecting healthy aging? [25:48]
  • What sets masters athletes apart? [29:15]
  • Why does it seem like premier masters athletes start so late in life? [36:35]
  • What's next for Vonda?  Changing the way we age in the U.S. and around the world. [39:31]
  • A typical day in the life of Dr. Vonda Wright. [44:16]
  • Sleep as the ultimate performance enhancing drug. [47:44]
  • When and why to meet with your primary care provider (PCP), even if you're not sick. [50:08]
  • Why it's important to get advice on health and performance from an expert. [50:53]
  • How to find out more about Vonda and her work. [52:19]