If you’ve hung around this blog for a while, you know I’m a sucker for an active aging story. Thursday night I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch Age of Champions on Nashville Public Television (NPT). A few weeks ago I attended a partial screening/panel discussion at NPT studios and since then I’ve been looking forward to watching the program in its entirety.
Age of Champions follows several senior athletes who competed in the 2009 Senior Olympics National Games in San Fransisco. One must only be 50 years old to compete in the Senior Olympics, but this film profiled octogenarians on up to a 100-year-old tennis player.
The Senior Olympics is a serious business. These athletes are tough! They have coaches and they train. It was moving to hear the story of the African-American brothers who grew up in D.C. during segregation. They couldn’t swim in public pools so instead they used the Reflecting Pool at the National Mall. There’s no way that pool was clean enough for human use. But in the film they stood triumphant, wearing their medals. One of the brothers was diagnosed with colon cancer and he trained through chemo treatments, postponing his surgery until after the national games.
I happen to personally know two Senior Olympians, but both of them are youngsters in their 60s. I’ve wondered at times how long they’ll be able to complete. After watching Age of Champions, I realize they potentially have another 30 years in them, and I love that. While I’m not a Senior Olympian, I do love the active lifestyle and after watching Age of Champions, I figure I’ve got a good forty years left for 5Ks, half marathons and tri’s.
It also takes some pressure off me to know I don’t have to be in such a hurry to tackle a full marathon. 🙂