FRANK SINATRA CROONED A GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING TUNE, “It Was a Very Good Year” back in the early 1960’s, that was included in an album titled “September of My Years”, released in 1965.
The song’s lyrics wistfully recount younger years of a singer’s life at ages 17, 21, 35, and then when older, “in the autumn of the year”. The sentiments expressed seems to come from a man who recalls his life by remembering his relationships with women of those earlier time periods, and who compares his present life circumstances to “vintage wine”.
It’s a look back that is celebratory rather than bitter, viewing later years as “sweet and clear”.
Without knowing the exact age of the person reminiscing through the lyrics, it’s possible that athletes of variable ages look back at their competitive lives in a similar manner. That the very best days are not of necessity in the past, but can be lived in the present and extend into the future.
Hopefully, that’s the message Earned Runs is transmitting through its online materials and posts. That each period in our physical activity history can be memorable. That what we are able to accomplish in the current year and into the future can allow us to view our athletic lives as “sweet and clear” regardless of age.
Each era has ups and downs. The fast and furious training and competing of the 20’s and 30’s may lead to regular PR’s but can increase injury risk and likelihood that weeks and months might be spent in recovery and rehabilitation. The steadier 40’s and 50’s may allow a comfortable rhythm of athletic participation, although somewhat constrained by family and career demands. Beyond this time period, after ‘masters’ identities have been defined by decades of sport participation, bodily wear-and-tear issues can threaten to prevent enjoyment of favorite recreational pastimes.
Regardless of where athletes find themselves on this timeline, there is always the potential for change that permits the development of sporting lives that are not necessarily better, but different. There’s so much variety in outdoor and indoor recreational activities that, when forced by circumstances beyond our control, unintended upheavals can lead to discovery and enjoyment that was unimaginable in the years of status-quo participation in the go-to sport of choice.
Even so, why wait for forced change to look back and appreciate the year or years gone by? Why not look back each athletic year and see how good it was? The Earned Runs ‘method’ is to use competition bibs to document activities and accomplished goals. Log books or training diaries can serve the same purpose.
This year, consider a planning system that permits you to easily recall and appreciate the efforts made and successes enjoyed; what’s been earned by setting personal challenges and then training to meet them. Over the years, the accumulated records will write the lyrics to your athletic history song.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOTE: Request bibs for 2019 to get started! Look for an more information about bibs in an upcoming post.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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