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.

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