These blogs are my personal, idiosyncratic observations about aging, training, and sports competition.
To access previous blogs, click "Read Other Blogs" at the bottom of this page.
Paddling in Torino -- World Masters Games 2013
Winning - May 11, 2012
Can Too Much Exercise Be Bad for Your Heart - March 11, 2011
The 60 Minute Crawl - January 30, 2011
Playing Tennis Again - October 6, 2010
Why Compete? (2) - June 15, 2010
LOST - May 24, 2010
Happy Birthday to Me - May 18, 2010
Why Compete?(1) - April 30, 2010
Val Barnwell - April 14, 2010
Spring Training Day - April 4, 2010
Becoming Bionic - March 24, 2010
The Divided Kingdom - February 4, 2010
May 18, 2010
Today is my birthday, so I thought I would to say a few things about birthdays and Masters Sports. If you believe that age, rather than genetics or training or experience, is the critical factor in succeeding in sports and if you happen to compete in one of the many sports that offer 5-year age-group classes (e.g. tennis, swimming, rowing, racquetball, etc.), then you are hypersensitive about birthdays. You know that birthdays that end in 4 or 9 can be rather melancholy affairs. For example, 64 will be your final year in the 60-64 age group; 49 is your last year in the 45-49 age group. Competing at the tail-end of an age group means that you're among the oldest competitors out there. The youngsters, those four or five years younger than you are, are spoiling for a fight. Nothing to be done old silverback, but tough it out for this last year in the age group.
On the other hand, birthdays that end in 5 or 0 are full of promise. In this case, you are suddenly the rookie. What a concept! On your 70th birthday, or 55th birthday, you become the youngest competitor in your group. You're the "kid." There is this kind of rebirth every five years and this alone may be reason enough to compete in Masters Sports.
Today, I am 69. "Happy Birthday to Me" in a minor key. But there is a tiny bright spot. To eliminate issues over when an athlete's birthday falls, USA Triathlon declares everyone a year older on January 1st. So even though my real birthday is in May, for the purposes of competing in triathlons, I'll be 70 on New Year's Day 2011. Rebirth is only seven months away.