Lately I’ve been doing a lot of research on Master Sprinters and training techniques. I’m filling up a notebook on the value of plyometrics, book titles by sprint coaches and physical therapists, and writing down every sprint workout I can find. Why on earth would a 47 year old, stroke survivor, MS patient, mother, wife, orporate attorney also going through menopause, be looking to become a master level sprinter? Well, in short, because I can’t let it go.
After the stroke, I asked God to tell me if I should give up the dream of recapturing this particular part of my youth. I prayed, “Pease send me an electronic marquis! don’t whisper, and don’t write on the walls. Say it plain. If I should give up running, just say it and I’ll find another way to be an athete!” That was my prayer, but I didn’t get the marquis.
In fact, God’s response was emphatic. He repeatedly presented opportunities for me to start running again. As heavy as I was – as out of shape as I was. I was given the green light to pursue my dream – at least a version of it. One situation after another presented itself. I went from being overweight and out of shape, to back in the gym and training for my corporation’s track team. I was bound for the USCAA Corporate Cup Relays. I made the team. Admittedly didn’t run very fast by my standards, but the victory for me was in making the team and showing up. And this year I did it again, and a little bit faster.
But I want more. I want to win a medal. I want to sprint faster. I want to participate in the USA Track&Field Master’s events. And let me be clear. I’m not trying to regain my youthful, high school state 100m hurdle champion speed. I’m not trying to regain my youthful NCAA-Division I track & field prowess. I’m not even trying to regain my youthful overall athletic coordination. What God said was, “go for it! But try to be the best for what you are today! Be the best in this moment”.
So, I’m doing the research. I’m working out differently. I’m engaging in plyometrics – something I knew nothing about as a young athlete. I’m literally ‘learning’ how to sprint again, something that simply came naturally as various coaches guided me along the way. I feel rejuvenated. I feel an internal peace that has escaped me in recent years since the stroke. I don’t think about MS. I don’t think about daily injections. And I don’t worry about the next 2 hour session in an MRI machine.
All I think about is being the best for what I am today. A 47 year old, menopausal, wife and mother of 1, who has decided that if I’m going to grow old, I’d prefer to do it in shape, happy and at peace with the world and myself…