Saturday, June 23, 2012

America Needs Heroes

The Olympic trials for track and field are coming up and with them the chance of a life time for those athletes that have earned the right to throw down against the nations best.  I know that some of those athletes will see what this old man has to say and I'd like to put what this means into perspective as I see it.

This nation was battle born, against all odds we won our freedom.  We have throughout the years since been the nation of winners in every possible way.  We blazed the trail for the rest of the world to follow in industry, innovation, learning and making our dreams reality.  We also were the nation to beat in national sport competition. 

I've pondered the question for many years as an adult athlete, what does it take to be a winner, I have had that discussion with some of those athletes who will be competing in these trials.  We have some amazing athletes going to the trials this time.  Many of them have what it takes to stand on that platform and get the gold medal placed around their neck while the Star Spangled Banner plays in the background.

Our nation is in a slump right now and we need heroes, we need to reconfirm that we are still the great nation that can still blaze a trail for the rest of the world to follow.  Our elected politicians are not getting it done so maybe what we need is for our athletes to show what America can do again.  We need that!  We need heroes to rally us and get us thinking like winners again.

From the 20K race walk to the 100m sprints we have a strong field of athletes that will be competing in this years Olympic trials.  I believe that some of those athletes will be the heroes that we need to get us back to thinking like winners again.  We never truly know what our destiny is but please remember this when you toe that starting line, you are more than just someone competing in a foot race.

Good luck and God speed to all of you and to those that make the decision to hold nothing back, we will be cheering from our living rooms all across this great land when they place that medal around your neck.  Maybe then we as a nation can get our own act together and start moving forward again.

Thanks for reading

Friday, June 15, 2012

Racing for all the right reasons.

A dear friend mentioned on her Blog that she had ran a personal best at a 5K and had someone tell her that it didn't count because the course was mostly down hill.  That got me thinking about why we race or rather we do the group events that are commonly called races.

All courses are different, no two are ever going to be identical.  Some are measured by a certified race course official, some are measured by someone using the odometer of their car, others are simply guesstimated.  Some have a lot of hills and others are flat as a Denise Austin's tummy.  But every course has it's own personality and visual stimulus.  There are courses that are very peaceful, others with breath taking views, still others with nothing but urban streets.  What is important is that each gives us the opportunity to gather with other adult athletes to celebrate our hard earned good health and our fitness.

One of the best ways to gauge your speed is to go to a measured track like those at a high school or collage and do the measured distance.  You can also look at races you do regularly and log your time for that particular course.  Or there is absolutely nothing wrong with calling your fastest time at an event as your personal best, for that distance, like my friend did with that 5K. 

There is a wonderful 5K that I do annually in Franklin Ky that has a walk category and draws some good competition, but the course has changed 4 times in the 6 years I've been doing it.  One of those was my personal best for the 5K, I personally don't give a flippin frog whether the course that day might have been a little short or a little more down hill, I was awesome that day and I took home a second place trophy and $60 in prize money, I also took home a personal record.

My all time favorite was a race at our airport that went along with the annual Hot Air Balloon Fest.  The instructions went like this:  Y'all see that truck parked way over there?  You circle around it and then go to that man standing over there by the blue and white air plane, then you head straight back here.  This was a walk race and I race walked that "2 Mile" in 11 min and 34 seconds, I think it might have been a tad short.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Days to Remember

In the second movie of the Crocodile Dundee series, Dundee is talking to the leader of a street gang and asks, "What did you do yesterday"?  The gang leader responds, "We didn't do nothing".  Dundee, "What did you do the day before that"?  The gang leader, "We didn't do nothing".  Is that kinda how your life goes?  Is there anything special that you will remember from day to day or is life, except for some vacations and other significant events, just a blurry haze?

If your life is boring and your just going through the motions it's time to change.  Usually when we need a change we need a big one.  Lots of living wrongs need to be turned into living rights.  When we just exist we miss so much.  We shouldn't go through each day with nothing to look forward to except what's for supper and what show is on TV.  We shouldn't have to wait to have fun and adventure, we can make our lives so much more with just a few changes.

When you choose to follow a path to better health and fitness, each day becomes a new opportunity to get stronger and happier.  Yes happier.  We can wake each morning with a plan for the day, a plan as to what we are going to eat, what exercise we are going to do and what goals we are going to chase.  We live like we are finally in charge of our lives and not just a target for life to have it's way with us.

If someone asks you tomorrow what you did today, would you answer, "Nothing", or could you say, "I explored my limits, I experimented with a new recipe for a healthy meal and I went to bed with the glow of having had a full and productive day".  Choose well because once today is gone we have lost it forever.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Living Wild

There are those that live differently than most. There are those that expect more from life than just another day of breathing, working, eating and sleeping.  There are those that feel they have to earn each day.  There are those that must visit their limits.  Those people are adult athletes.

We may not all be as fast or as strong or as powerful, but within each of us burns a desire, a need,  a driving force to be more tomorrow than we are today.  We are all of us in training not just to be better at our chosen sports but to be a better person.

We may be the only one who cares if we have a personal best or reach a long awaited goal.  Doesn't matter, it's sweet and it empowers us to try even harder.  There is a difference in us, we are called crazy, fanatic or chasing rainbows.  But we know better, we know that the pot of gold, at the end of that rainbow, is real, it's the magic that keeps us young and strong.

We live a life that's wilder, because a part of us was never tamed, within us breathes a person that is a throwback to wilder times.  Times when we fought with the strength of our will and the muscle in our arm to live.  Times when we earned each day with our sweat and our courage.

Be proud brother and sister athletes, we keep the flame burning to light the way for others to follow and to hope.  We may never know who we inspire when we train, race and live strong.  But never doubt for a second how important our example is.  Some of us are already champions with bodies of steel, others of us are just starting out, but each of us are positive examples of a better way, a path to follow away from obesity and sickness.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Moving Forward

It's 5am and that old military guy that is inside has me up as usual ready for what ever the day brings.  I haven't used an alarm clock for almost 20 years now.  There are advantages though to getting up early, especially if you're a person that likes to get their exercise in early with plenty of energy to really let loose.  I can't wait to get up in the mornings and get started.  I'm like a child with hopes and dreams that need attention and laying in bed isn't going to make them happen.

I'm just recovering from a bad Achilles tendon injury and it was touch and go for a while.  But now that I'm back to training again, easy training with a lot of stretching and strengthening thrown in, I can't wait to get going again.  That demon had it's shot and I lived through it, they say, "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger" and in this case that's true.  I'm coming back stronger, more limber and smarter.  We guys tend to learn way to much by trial and error, but such is our way.

There is a song with the lyrics, "The future is wide open", that's how we should feel every morning when it's time to get up.  Each new day has the possibility to be day that you break through to a new level in what ever your dream is.  But that new level is never achieved if we don't go after it.

Thanks for reading.