Ready, Set, Go!

It was hot in Greeley, Colorado last Friday. Mid-90s. We turned out to watch the events at Rocky Mountain Senior Games where athletes age 50-plus compete in events from Bowling to Pickle Ball. Swimming might have been nice—or something indoors away from the sun.

Wanting to be supportive of a visiting friend, I trundled off to watch him compete in Track and Field events. It was encouraging and interesting and inspiring. Some athletes make the national circuit of these games and travel from one state to another. They make everything look smooth and effortless, they have the right clothes, expensive shoes, and win medals. Others look like they are on their last breath, run humorously, and shoot to the finish line with amazing speed. Some limp along with blistered feet, slipping knee braces, and purple faces. All are medal winners from my perspective.

They got out there and  tried. They took the steps. Like the photo below. The woman was ninety years old. The 50-meter run began with “Mark, Set, Bang!” Within a few seconds, everyone was across the finish line. All but this woman, who calmly walked with her trekking poles. Unhurried, unworried by her speed–or its lack. Step, step.

She finished to applause. Tears dribbled down my cheeks and off my nose.

Wonder what we could do if we gave up on the excuses?