In my 50s, I accidentally stumbled upon my sport. Growing up on the Monterey Peninsula, on the central coast of California, the idea of "exercise" essentially entailed throwing on my wetsuit and paddling out for a good surf. The idea of going to the gym and physically exerting myself for the purpose of staying in good shape was never high my agenda. As the middle child of three kids, I was pushed into more academic pursuits; computers, books, and in-depth conversations were all acceptable pursuits, but not sports per se. |
Despite the best intention of my absentee parents, I grew up a bookworm, lacking any discernible self-confidence. But as adulthood took hold, it brought with it opportunities for reinvention. After having relocated to southern Utah in 2002 with my family, I tentatively began jogging; I was amazed and flabbergasted the first time someone describe me as appearing athletic.
Following a surfing accident, where I shredded my ACL, my doctor explained that my jogging days (such as they were) should be rapidly curtailed. He suggested vigorous walking. As my physical rehabilitation slowly progressed, my stiff and sore knees progressively loosened, my walking pace picked up, and I could feel my body heeding to its primordial programming – eventually healing.
In the following years, I trained hard and worked at my craft of race walking, competing at events around the beautiful state of Utah. Eventually discovering the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George Utah.
Admittedly, at first I struggled with the events moniker. Over 50? Well, that fit the description. However, I didn't feel geriatric in any way, shape, or form. But since it did qualify me for "senior" status and allowed me to participate, I was willing to embrace the notion of being a senior for the sake of the event.
My wife Anya, a principal at one of Southern Utah's highly regarded charter schools, was anxious to participate in our local event as well. An avid runner and cyclist, she has participated in numerous events at the Huntsman Games since we relocated to St. George Utah in late 2002. Our first impression when entering the Dixie Center for registration was that of amazement. Seemingly suffering from sensory overload, we were now immersed in a crowd of physically fit baby boomers. Where did these thousands of older athletes come from? Appearing happy, fit, and eager to take on life… all we could wonder was, how could we participate, becoming part of their group?
You could feel the competitor’s camaraderie, and it was clear that a majority of the participants had been down this road before. Coaches, teammates and friends exchanged warm greetings and hugs, news of recent competitions, health issues, and in-depth updates on grandkids.
Thanks to the Huntsman World Senior Games, St. George Utah has become a destination of choice for those physically active senior citizens. Enticing older men and women who are self-aware and courageous enough to consider competing in an athletic event that would intimidate people have their age. Learn more about St. George Utah
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