Today, I headed to Woodrow Wilson High School and the track around their practice field. Rubber coated and in fair condition, it was a perfect place to do some wind sprints.
Now, Usain Bolt is not quaking in his Puma track shoes; of that, I am certain. But I do know that it’s good to shock the body into performing at a higher level than normal.
The only sprint that stood out in this morning’s run was the first one. After stretching and warming up a bit, I found a place at the end of the turn coming into the near side straightaway to call my own, dropped off my pocket contents, water, and phone. Giving myself one last rolling stretch of the shoulders, I suddenly flashed on a vision of myself running as fast as I could. I began my approach to the “start line” a few yards away. Within a few steps, I was up to speed, headed to the opposite end zone.
I remember, about halfway through the sprint, thinking, “WTF?!? How the hell am I running so fast?” And then it felt like I sped up. It was startling, truly. Here I am, 66 years old, and I feel as if I just ran the fastest 100 yd. dash of my life. Now, let’s be frank: I know that this was not my fastest sprint ever. The point is, it FELT like it. I had a brief moment where I had a body memory of my childhood, a time when we ran everywhere as if our lives depended on it. Like the wind.
It was a sweet moment.
But after several sprints, it became apparent that unending wind of my childhood was a thing long gone. And that I have a slightly weak ankle I need to start taping so it doesn’t give way. Really, the only reason I stopped this morning was the lactic acid buildup in my upper thighs, which made my legs heavy.
Here’s my point, just to be clear. As we age, we don’t have to give in to the limiting beliefs of a lifetime that say we’re old, we’re decrepit, slow, and feeble. It doesn’t have to be that way. Our “dotage” can be much different than we have always imagined or believed it would be. We can lead healthy, active, lives and not be held back by our own beliefs. Try it. You might just find yourself running like the wind.