For the next few weeks, I will be glued to the television watching the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. During the Olympics, I find myself enthusiastically cheering on athletes in even the most obscure of sports. Even as a spectator at home in my living room, the excitement of the games can be palpable, making it nerve wracking just to watch. Just think: these athletes have committed their entire lives to training this one race or event at these games and their success can hinge on hundredths of a second. With all that drama playing out onscreen, it is inevitable that watching the Olympics gets my competitive spirit fired up.
Even if you haven’t played on a team or participated in an athletic competition since high school, chances are that you still look back fondly on those games and matches and there is part of you that wouldn’t mind reliving the thrill of competition. For some, the idea of matching skills against others is enough to give them the drive and motivation to get out there and get active again.
If you thrive off competition, it is never too late to participate in your favorite sport. The National Senior Games provides an opportunity for athletes 50 and over to show off their skills and compete against other seniors from around the country. The first step in to register for the games in your home state where you will compete to qualify for the national competition. There is a long list of team and individual sports including: cycling, softball, spin casting, tennis, track & field, golf, etc.
So if find yourself sitting at home watching the Olympics and getting that competitive itch, you might want to look into your state’s senior games schedule. Most qualifying rounds start this fall for the 2015 National Senior Games, which will be held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, so find a training partner, set up a schedule, and get back in the game.
Also be sure to visit the official website of the games for inspiring stories of senior athletes, like that of 90 year old Hazel Trexler-Campbell of Salisbury, NC who will be competing in several track &field events!