Sunday, March 31, 2013

From all ends a new beginning

All things have a beginning and an end. No matter how good bad or indifferent that's the way of the universe and all that is, was and yet to be.  That is never more true than with those of us who choose to be athletes well into our senior years.  We go through many stages and when each stage comes to an end then, if we are going to successfully continue, we must recognize that end and prepare to begin again.  Sometimes a break is needed before restarting to let old injuries heal, and sometimes the change is seamless.

My personal journey is a patch work of starting anew and then seeing that new path come to a fork in the road, where a decision is required.  Sometimes I, like most of us, have made the wrong choice, but that is just a part of living.  We are always successful in that trial and error experimentation if we learn form the mistakes and capitalize on the right choices.  If all our choices were right then it would make it much less meaningful when we did get it spot on.

Sometimes our ends are not the result of injury or anything personal with us but a change of our environment.  When I was in high school I ran track.  When I left high school and went off to join the military, running track just wasn't an option unless I wanted to do it by myself, so I took up martial arts and racquetball.  Later on when I moved again, distance running became my sport of choice, and again a move to the right area made triathlon racing an option.  My latest change, from distance running to race walking, was injury related.  I have some good friends that because of knee replacements have switched from being marathoners to bikers.  Others who, because of loss of their legs, have become wheelchair racers.

The important thing is not the choice of sports we make but that we made the choice not to give up on ourselves.  I would like to hope that if I were to lose the use of my legs that as soon as I got out of rehab I'd be out shopping for a racing chair.  Sometimes age becomes a factor.  There is an old saying, "We don't grow to old to play, we grow old when we stop playing".  That is so very true for an adult athlete.  I'm a big fan of the senior Olympics concept.  How awesome to know that no matter how old you are there is competition.  To compete at the state and national levels, in your senior years, helps you keep focused on the future.

When you reach those forks in the road and you are forced to take a new path, look at it for what it is, not a reason to grieve over the past, but a reason to start a new adventure.  You never get very far if you are always looking back so when decision time comes for you embrace the new path and make it yours.

Thanks for reading.


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