by Debbie Sayers
The word that comes to mind when I think about training and competing as a masters athlete is “gratitude”. Gratitude that I have the support of family and friends to train and race, the opportunity and means to compete, and the physical health and coaching support to be able to continue to challenge myself physically.
Different stages of life present different opportunities and challenges; life as an athlete is no different. You trade one challenge for another, and those challenges limit or make more difficult what you hope to accomplish. Balancing endurance training with the demands of work, family, friends, and church make for a juggling act that is different than the demands I faced in my twenties, thirties, and even my forties. I’m more tired. I don’t sleep as well. My muscles are less flexible. I have daily aches and pains. I’m not as strong as I used to be. The leg power and speed of my youth are gone. I get injured more frequently. I have more doubts about my physical ability to do things. I can’t eat everything I want and still maintain my weight. I don’t recover as quickly. I’m always sore. I can’t wear fancy heels because I will throw out my back or make my hammertoes worse. I will never again PR in a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or marathon. This is not whining; this is the reality of life as an aging athlete. And I expect it to get worse. READ MORE