Long Live the Challenge

by Jean Roesler

Long Live the Challenge! That’s the motto of the National Senior Games. Held this past June in Houston. I was privileged to be a participant in the 5k road race representing Wisconsin for my gender/age group, females 55 to 59.

I enjoy being part of the Sr. Olympics and the National  Senior Games because it gives me a goal to exercise and stay in shape. I usually do a competitive 5k a month as a little goal to keep me going strong between the 2 year time period between Nationals. One of our pastors once said, faith is a journey and we should keep plodding along, one step after another. So as I run, I keep telling myself, just plod for Jesus. One more step, then another.

I run to try to stay healthy and stave off feeling old (or perhaps more truthfully, looking old), but the jokes on me. Over the years my times get slower, my joints ache even more, wrinkles get deeper, more brown spots come and it just plain gets harder. But then I go to Nationals and I get so inspired to see the the other more senior athletes, the oldest of which is over 100. There they are plodding along doing their best (and many doing better than me). Even with their wrinkled faces they look  beautiful to me. It makes my heart swim to see them, thankful to be there,  ready to compete, enjoying every moment.

There’s swimming, basketball, table tennis, volleyball, track and field, archery, race walking, running, shuffleboard, horseshoes and more. You will see althletic looking bodies and wonder how they manage to look so good. And you will see some where you wonder if they will make it across the finish line and, thank heavens, the medics are standing nearby.

Roselyn reminds us in her blog that our tents are only temporary, but even temporary tents need looking after. On a recent visit to Disney World I noticed a significant increase in motorized vehicles being used by seniors–almost as many as parents with baby strollers! While I’m grateful that seniors are now able to be mobile and enjoy places such as Disney, I hope that our elder society does not become the picture of the world in the movie Wall-E, where floating platforms are the only mode of transportation.

The National Games give me hope and reassurance that even withered old bodies can still rise to the challenge and compete. So long live the challenge and kudos to all the seniors who competed at the games!

How is your tent doing and what are you doing to keep your tent going strong?

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