As I plod along another week of some gradual training. It has been a week of 2 steps forward followed with one step back. Nursing a chronic foot injury today.
I think to myself, when I was younger, the weather, minor injuries would not stall my efforts to get me out of the door. Then I think to myself I'm not as young as I used to be. Turning 40 a couple of months ago has elevated me to more than just another age group (40-44), but I've been put into a more distinguishable division.
That of the "MASTERS" division.
So by a group of pure "runners" I ran with occasionally last winter I was reminded what rules I should follow and along the way be a better runner for it.
"We should review a few rules of masters competition:"
1) None of us is as good as we used to be. Masters is a competition of who gets slower slowest, an understanding that should keep all of us humble.
2) The competition ends when the race is over, and the camaraderie begins (again!).
3) We root for one another - always! - because we recognize that without our peers we have no sport.
4) Having been through open competition, we recognize that "winning" is a momentary, fleeting accomplishment - that it won't bring any lasting happiness the way family, career, and friends will - but that staying healthy and competing with like-minded people in the sport that we love
will make our days much better.
5) Winners shouldn't gloat - ever. We're always one step away from a hamstring pull, plantar fascitis, or some wicked sprain/strain that we never even knew existed until we turned 40. We spend 4 out of every 5 years getting older and slower while new "young" blood spills into our age division. And, most importantly, it's disrespectful of the effort every one of us old fogies has to make just to be here.
6) Finally, our fellow masters athletes are some of the best people I know. Why would any of us want to do anything other than make our peers feel as great about themselves as we want to feel about ourselves.
Here is to being in the Master's division.