Geezers Throwing Spears

    800 600 Terri Rylander

    Yesterday I competed in a track meet. Something I haven’t done since 9th grade when I sucked so bad I quit. I had done ok in 7th and 8th grade, competing in intramural track meets doing long jump and hurdles. I enjoyed these more athletic events — maybe it was the gymnast in me. But in 9th grade, we moved and I went to a new school and knew no one. Also hit puberty. I just couldn’t do what I used to do and it wasn’t fun being last. With no support, I stopped going and never tried anything again for nearly 40 years. 40…yikes…

    Fast forward to April 13, 2012. I decided to participate in the Mesquite Senior Games Track and Field event. Being somewhat athletic, I thought I’d see how it would go. Fortunately, they don’t have a hurdle event, so I didn’t have to embarrass myself. I tried the long jump in practice and actually hurt my tailbone, so decided not to do that either.  What I did sign up for were all new activities! Standing jump, discus, javelin, and softball throw.

    We needed to be at the venue (Virgin Valley HS track) early to get set up. I volunteered to help out. The day was cold and it had been raining. Second year in a row they had a cold, rainy day in April for the meet. Luckily the rain had stopped earlier, but we were all still bundled up. It was still chilly.

    D_01The standing broad jump was fun. You get a couple tries at it and I think I even fell back on one of them, but did alright. Next was discus. I’m a horrible frisbee thrower, though the form is a bit different. But I hurled it best I could and did pretty well on the second toss. I did get some grumbling from some of the older discus purists because I didn’t exit the area to the back. Apparently, it’s a foul if you exit out the front after you throw.

    J_02The javelin was my third event. You’d think it would be easy to throw the big spear. It’s actually quite difficult to do it well. The javelin is weighted pretty evenly so it was rare for me to get the tip to head down and stick in the ground. Most of the time, the javelin fell flat or skidded on its behind. Silly looking and doesn’t make you feel very capable but it was still fun and a challenge.

    SB_02Last event was a softball throw. Not something you’d see in a real track meet, but fun anyway. You get a nice run-up and have to throw the ball without your feet crossing the line. I did really well and soon the meet was done. It was pretty fun, not super competitive, and people were mostly very friendly and supportive. I’m looking forward to trying it again next year.


    Terri Rylander

    All stories by: Terri Rylander