Tuesday, May 28, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 22, Humor

"Laughter is the best medicine."
by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

There's all kinds of reasons we should laugh, my favorite of which is that "laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone."

So, when Katey Legg and I send each other photos of ourselves with princess crowns Photoshopped in, because we just did something we perceive to be awesome, we laugh.

In fact, photos are the best indicators of the laughing.  When I look through the Virginia Senior Games photos, the laughing athletes are the most telling.  Like this one ...

... or better yet, this one.

Monday, May 20, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 21, Breaking Thresholds.

Get your suit on.
by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

The 2013 Virginia Senior Games are over, and we are busy tabulating and publishing results.  At least for now, I don't really have time to peruse them the way I'd like, but I did glance at some of the swimming results.

The fastest competitor in the 2013 Virginia Senior Games 50-yard Butterfly competition was Randolph Wise, a 71-year old swimmer, who finished in just over 33 seconds.  Butterfly.  Anybody who has ever swam knows that Butterfly is hard.  HARD.  And, it is heck on your rotator cuff.

Charles Erwin of Virginia Beach swam the 500-yard Freestyle in under 9 minutes.  He's 82.  You have to look three age groups up to find a competitor to beat his time.

Herb Levitan of Arlington and Joseph Kelleher of Richmond, after nine minutes of swimming, finished just 2-hundredths of a second apart in the 500-yard Freestyle in the 70-74 male age bracket.  Imagine the neck-and-neck battle and the cheering as they headed to the wall!  Joseph had extra incentive - his mom, 100 year old Marie Kelleher, was one of his cheerleaders.  Her own race, the 50-yard freestyle, came later in the morning.  I wonder if Joseph feels like he has to behave extra-good, what with mom nearby and all.

Marianna Berkley, 91 of Virginia Beach, and Mohammed Assareh, 92 of Ashburn, both competed in the 100-yard Breaststroke.  Anybody who has ever swam knows that Breaststroke is heck on your knees.

There are stories like this throughout every event in the Virginia Senior Games - not just swimming.  To say these tales are inspiring is a disservice.  We all get so comfortable in our lives and come to accept our personal thresholds, and then some incredible athletes come along and blow those out of the water, quite literally in the case of swimming.

The joke around the pool is that, at least for the women, getting into the swimsuit is the hardest part of the competition (at any age, by the way).  But they do.  And then they amaze us.

Stay Strong, Relevant, and Engaged.

Monday, May 13, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 20, Catchy Tunes

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

"Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match"

That catchy tune has been torturing me for the past three weeks.  That's because in the VRPS Central Office, we have done more than a little matchmaking - pairing up partners in Pickleball, Tennis, Bowling, Table Tennis, Badminton, Volleyball, Basketball, Racquetball.  Such a complicated schematic of names, age divisions, conflicting sporting event times ... but then we are rewarded with a "warm and fuzzy feeling" when a match is made.

"matchmaker is a person who engages in matchmaking, sometimes as a profession."

I must say, the senior athletes this year have been more than accommodating   There have been any number who registered for doubles and mixed doubles events without partners at all, or their partners didn't register, or their partners registered but then wanted to switch partners, or their partners registered but then cancelled.

So, on Friday, the final day before submitting the Virginia Senior Games rosters to the folks in Newport News who will be running the sporting events, there was one match left to be made.  ONE - after dozens!  And, lo and behold, Mr. Doubles Bowling came through!  In fact, with the exception of finding one more female badminton player, every time we needed a player, someone came through.  I think that says something about these senior athletes; they know the value of sporting competitions, and they did not want a fellow competitor who was looking forward to their event to be unable to participate and feel disappointment.

I found any number of the new partners by scouring the Singles registration lists and looking for viable candidates - sort of like perusing the singles ads on a dating website.  "Oooh!  Mr. So-and-So is available for Mixed Doubles and in the 60-65 age bracket - perfect!"

There were also a great deal of mathematics properties at play:  if "A" plays with "B" for Doubles, and "B" plays with "C" for Mixed Doubles, then maybe "A" is available for Mixed Doubles and can play with "D".  (This is called the Reflexive Property of Doubles Partners).

I'm curious as to whether there will be new friendships spawned from all this matchmaking.  I figure that if everything turns out well and a good time is had by all, they'll be singing our praises.  If the opposite holds true, well ... time to hang up the head scarves.

Thank you Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, and Joseph Stein for the Fiddler on the Roof references.

Monday, May 6, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 19, Oooo/Ahhh

Travel and Tours
by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Oooo.  Ahhh.  

Payments due:  7/31/2013

Trip dates:  9/15-9/21/2013
Details HERE.