There I was, back on the track after a six-month hiatus caused by trying to heal an ankle injury. Facing a row of hurdles at my age can be daunting, especially if you haven't attempted to jump over even one, since last summer. As I went to attack the hurdles, mostly just to see if I still could, the phrase below kept repeating in my head. Rules to live by for 2019, perhaps? See the results in the video below.
Benjamin Mee: “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” (We Bought A Zoo, 2011)
My New Year’s Resolutions...more stretching, less stressing, more weights, less worrying.
I got injured this year. Learn from me, dear reader, and the mistakes I made. I over-trained. I got so excited to add new events to my roster (pentathlon newbie) that I didn't know when to stop. Masters athletes need to pace themselves gently -- and that goes for all their training. I didn't stop when I hurt myself. I kept going, kept competing through it, and that put me off the track for much of the season. Not good.
But I capped off my 2018 outdoor season by winning silver in the women W55 high jump and bronze in the W55 80m hurdles at the 2019 USATF Masters National Championships in Spokane, Washington. I am ranked in the top ten in the USA in the pentathlon, high jump and hurdles. Woo-hoo!
I also thought I'd share that I spent much of year worried about not being skinny enough. There's a lot of talk about body image and I feel I must weigh in, pardon the pun.
Why be critical of this equipment? Well, I "run," literally and figuratively, with lots of very skinny women athletes. My events are powerful, explosive and strong -- and I am guilty of forgetting that sometimes.
But, enough of that! This strong body can do amazing things — run fast, jump high, hurdle quickly, throw a shot -- and do it all while balancing life, marriage, work, kids. It has won me three national championships and countless medals. Like many masters athletes, I've gotten a second chance at competition and representing my country. So bring it on, baby, let's stop worrying and get at this!
So, what about you? What are you stressing about? What gifts do you have that you take for granted? In 2019, let’s work on focusing on what is good, rather than what could be — “more soul, less show!” Who’s with me? Happy New Year!! #behappywhereyouare @bemorewithless #stretching #usatfmasterstrack #mastersathlete #injuryrecovery
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.