Active Adult Living

Athletes For Life

This week on our cruise, I headed up to the ship’s gym at 7am when it opened to practice my race walking.

I was surprised to see 20 other passengers my age already there on the tread mills, recumbent bikes and exercise machines. After 45 minutes walking about 5 miles an hour, I could tell that out of the 3,000 of the ship’s passengers, these guys (and gals) were serious athletes.  They were still working at it when I left.

The same group of people, those who make it a point to include exercise in their daily routine, I have seen at senior centers, USATF Masters track meets, National Senior Games, local 5Ks and at my Active Adult Community. It’s a focused dedicated group that has made physical activity and competitions an important part of their lives.

Athletes For Life

As I talk with people at different events, I find a lot of them were athletes from early life at high school and even college. Many have run on track teams and run marathons. Many, like me, tapered off some of their physical activity after age 40, but in retirement, we have made a come back. Some kept up their physical activity but changed the things they now do. Either way, we are athletes for life.

Competitive Sports

The competitive spirit is alive and well in these athletes and is on full display here at Village at Deaton Creek on the softball field, pickleball court and during bocce play, to name just a few events.

That competitive spirit and game playing is what makes it fun and not just exercise.

Many advance to competition at local, state, regional and national and even international competitions. Here are some of the Senior and Master Games associations that have competitions for thousands of us 55+ athletes.

Competitive sports at all levels has many benefits. It is a motivating factor in getting us to train and practice. The competition is mental as well as physical. Personal pride also comes into play when you give it your best. You can amaze yourself when you do things you didn’t think you could do. Many of these competitions offer travel opportunities. You also meet other athletes your age with the same interest and commitment that you have.

It’s something to do, it’s interesting and even good for you. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to participate, just willing to give it a try. Pretty soon you will be looking forward to training and attending your next sports event.

As I write this, I am starting my training to compete at the USA Track&Field Masters National Outdoors Championship in Spokane WA in July.  I will be competing in the 5K and 10K race walking events.  Little did I know when I starting walking with Don and Lamont at Park Place Senior Center in Johns Creek five years ago, that I would be competing in a national walking event.

Active Adult Living Del Webb Communities

USA Masters Games

Mary Ann and I just returned from the first ever USA Masters Games. The Games are billed as the National Sports Festival for Adult Athletes.

Masters Games have been held around the world: in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Europe and South America. With the Games held this week in Greensboro NC, the plan is to have the USA Masters Games every other even year here in the US. Today at the closing ceremony, it was announced the host city for 2018 will be San Diego.

I attended and competed in the 5K race walk with about 27 people from all over, including the guy next to me who came from India. The track and field events were held at North Carolina A&T State University’s Aggie Stadium, which was an impressive venue.

In fact, the Games introduced us to Greensboro’s other impressive venues including The Greensboro Coliseum Complex, which features the largest seated arena in America.  Next door is the Greensboro Aquatic Center where we watched the diving and synchronized swimming competitions.

There were several thousand people attending these Games and I believe they were a successful start to what can become a major Adult sports event.

Having the USA Masters Games held every other year in the even years, while the National Senior Games are held every other year in the odd years, will give us adult athletes a major event to attend every year.

The great thing about attending these Senior and Master Games is that it gives you a chance to compete with some of the best athletes in your age bracket in the country and to show what you can do, after training so hard. You get to view other sports competition also, at no additional cost.

You get to meet and socialize with others with the same interests in the sports you love so much. Many of the people attending  these events live in Active Adult Communities and participate in the sports in their communities. This gives them a chance to compete at a higher level.

Another benefit is that it gives you a good reason to travel. You really get to know the host city during your stay. In addition to Greensboro, during the last 12 months, I have been to Senior or Master events in Minneapolis/ St Paul, Albuquerque, Florence SC and enjoyed each one.

Here are some pics taken from my phone of events Mary Ann and I attended after my competition.

First we watched table tennis. These guys were great and so fast! They were very serious about their competition.

Table Tennis at USA Masters Games 2016








Next we took in an Ice Hockey game at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Ice hockey at USA Masters Games

Next, we went to the Greensboro Aquatic Center where we watched the divers compete from 4 different levels. Wow,the high dive is really up there!


Next groups of ladies were doing a fantastic job with the synchronized swimming. They were having a great time.

swimming at usa masters games

Start of the 5k race walk. I am in the red shirt 6th from left.

5k race walk at USA Masters Games

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded. (Me on right).

medal ceramony usa masters games

There were many other kinds of sports at the 2016 USA Masters Games including Road Racing, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Field Events, Triathlon, Volleyball, Water Polo, Weightlifting, Golf, Martial Arts, Figure Skating and Pickleball. So after you compete in your sport, it’s great to attend some of these other events like we did.

For more information, visit their web site at USA Masters Games.

I think we may plan to go to the next USA Masters Games in San Diego in 2018. Getting a group from our Del Webb Community to attend together would be such fun!