It's been a great 2016 track & field season for me -- below is a wrap up. I won gold in the high jump in every meet I attended and got to travel to some fun places. I continue to be ranked #1 in the USA and #4 in the world for women's 55+ high jump. I am also the only American woman in the top 20 in the world. I've mentioned before, there's a depth of talent in masters athletes in Europe, and in many events they fill the top rankings as you can see in this image of the current W55 high jump rankings.
I'm not sure I'll get to anymore competitions this year with the family responsibilities I have. Correction, family responsibilities I choose to have. It took me a while to figure out that I'm a mom first, and an athlete second. With two middle-school-aged boys, that's all good, because in a blink of an eye, they'll be gone. I feel time slipping by every day as our hugs in the morning begin to approach my eye level. But I do know, they are proud of my work, and by competing, I am meeting the goal my husband and I set as parents -- to teach our kids to be life-long learners, and know that it's never too late to redefine yourself or try something new.
I want to give a shoutout to my great team at Neurosport Functional Training here in Marietta, Georgia. Dr. Paul, Chris Hanley and the crew there know how to "put you back together" when you break, whether that be physically, or emotionally. They are encouraging, focused on helping you get your best performance, and have a "no challenge too great"-attitude. They got me ready and out there on the track when I needed it.
I am determined to work hard, very hard, and employ all the things Ian Dube, my track coach taught me. In his memory I plan to kick some more butt next year. Yeah. I wrote that.
Onward and upward! (Literally, for a high jumper!) I'm looking forward to 2017. Hope my journey has inspired many of you this year. See you on the track!
March 4 - 2016 USATF NATIONAL MASTERS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS, Albequerque, NM W55 high jump, GOLD
March 26 - TRACKLAB, Atlanta, Georgia, W55 high jump, GOLD
April 13 - 2016 ALABAMA SENIOR GAMES, Birmingham, AL, W55 high jump, GOLD
May 7 - TRACKLAB, Atlanta, Georgia, W55 high jump, GOLD
June 4 - SE MASTERS TRACK CLASSIC, Greenville, SC, W55 high jump, GOLD
June 18 -2016 USATF GEORGIA MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIP, Atlanta, Georgia, W55 high jump, GOLD
July 15 - 2016 USATF NATIONAL MASTERS OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS, Grand Rapids, MI, W55 high jump, GOLD
July 29 - 2016 USA MASTERS, Greenboro, NC W55 high jump, GOLD
September 22 - 2016 GEORGIA SENIOR OLYMPICS, Warner-Robbins, Georgia, W55 high jump, GOLD, W55 100 meter, SILVER
Julia Curran-Villarreal is a three-time USA W55 national masters high jump champion. After a 35-year break from her favorite high school sport of track & field, Julia returned to competition in 2013 at the age of 53. Follow her journey on @juliajumping on Instagram and @juliacurran on Twitter.