When I first got serious as a competitive runner back in junior high, I remember saying to myself I would compete until the age of 30. I’m not sure why I chose that age, maybe because I’d read somewhere that runners peak around that age, or maybe I figured that was the age to stop, and focus on other things like a family. Either way, competing as a runner on the track only lasted until I was 24 years old due to an injury. With no regrets I switched to mountain bike racing, and then Xterra triathlon racing at age 29.
In my late twenties I thought I would race seriously until I felt it was time to try to start a family….of course slowing down after a baby didn’t happen thanks to the support of the LUNA Pro team….and then I thought maybe I’d want to call it quits after two children….but here I still am training and about to start another competitive season! It helps to be inspired this week at the LUNA team camp surrounded by my amazing teammates, most of us all in our thirties now, still pursuing our athletic goals, among other things!
I also read an interview with Clara Hughes, a multiple summer and winter Olympic medallist, this past week. She is about to compete in cycling in her fourth Olympic Games this summer in London just before she turns 40. In that interview she talks about being in her prime physiologically as an athlete, and how she is still improving and stronger than ever. One of her goals is to show women and girls what is possible and to “bust the ridiculous imposed limitations”.
I know now I will always have training and competitive goals as long as I am healthy enough regardless of my age because I love physical exertion, pushing my previous limits in some way, and working towards new challenges. One day when I stop competing at the professional level my training and racing goals will move down my priority list but that day will come when I stop having fun, lose my competitive fire, or my body tells me it is time to slow down. And that’s the important part – to listen to yourself, be true to yourself, and follow your dreams, no matter what your age, and no matter how many children you have – physical limitations, imposed by yourself or the status quo of society will only get in your way if you let them!