Although I'm not in that photo above, some of you might know, I started a mid-life "career" in my 50's as a jock. I was a couch potato for 50 years until a life crisis got me up off the sofa and out in the streets walking to ease my misery. I walked and walked and walked and walked, day in and day out. It was fun walking. I got to know alot of my neighbors and learned alot about the life of my suburb. I remember going out one day, and one of the regular runners shouted out to me "you know Cynthia, you'll get there much faster if you run!!"
HA I thought----me run? I couldn't see that ever happening!! Well, soon enough, I got my first breast cancer diagnosis, and as a result, I got a downsizing of that part of my body, and the idea of running took on a new possibility. People in my life were also razzing me that I was spending too much time walking and that it was unhealthy (????) and I should become more moderate in my habits. Well, that really pissed me off, so I decided to tell everyone I was training for a triathlon to get them off my case, and off I went. I bought a competition bike, got myself a trainer, and started swimming, biking, and running, and I fell in love with the sport of triathlon.
So I've done my fair share of races in these past 8 or 9 years. I've done a bunch of triathlons both of the sprint distance and the olympic distance. I've done three half marathons. I've done a bunch of those 5-K races for charity. I even raced during my second bout of breast cancer, removing my wig when it got too hot and running bald. I even placed #6 in the nation at the 2007 National Senior Olympics in Louisville, KY. Often I place first in my age group, but honestly, I'm often the ONLY one in my age group---LOL!!!!!!
My second bout of breast cancer a few years ago was serious, but it was a completely different breast cancer than the first one, and it was of the slow growing variety. My doctors threw everything they had at it and as a result of all of that, my prognosis is excellent. I also managed to work out throughout my course of 32 chemo treatments. On my bucket list was finishing first in the National Senior Olympics in triathlon in Cleveland, OH this summer. I had to qualify for the finals last summer, and although I had finished my chemo, my hair hadn't grown back and I hadn't regained all of my strength, I managed to qualify finishing in the last possible position to still qualify. That part I got to check off the list.
I'd been training hard and feeling like my old self again when lo and behold, I developed a little bit of a problem in my right hip. I went to lots of physical therapy, but when it came down to it, I had to decide to either race and possibly mess up my hip for good, or forgo the race so I could continue running well into the future. I was really mad at that----after all, I'll be 61 on my next birthday in 6 weeks, and at this age, who knows what the future holds? I mean, friends start to retire, the aging process picks up speed, and some of your friends start to slow down and even die. And I've outlived both my parents by alot of years.
Well, I made the decision to fully heal and try again in 2015 in Minneapolis. And I still have that "impossible dream" goal of doing a half-Ironman. But I read an amazing article about the women competing in the 2013 National Senior Games and it is worth reading. What a triumph!! These are the women who were denied the opportunity to compete in athletics in high school and college and beyond who are making up for lost time in their 50's, 60's, and 70's and beyond. I am woman hear me roar!!!! Here's that piece-----enjoy!!!!!