As I closed out 2016, I had a rare opportunity to get in an indoor track workout thanks to Rick Choppa of USATF Adirondack and local athlete, Ken Skinner. A group of masters athletes train at Union College, Schenectady, NY and I was lucky enough to grab a quick workout with the group. They are a speedy bunch of 60+ athletes, inspiring, and gave me a short sprint tutorial (one of my goals for 2017), too! Thanks guys!
I am super proud to be from historic Upstate New York. A highlight of my year was seeing this article in my hometown newspaper. The Gazette has been a presence in Schenectady, New York for over 100 years. Pretty cool to be featured! Thanks, Bill Buell! Click here: High jumper Julia Curran-Villarreal...
Anybody else rushing around this time of year? I find myself working on the fly with the kids home, year end projects to finish, a party to organize and Christmas cards to get out. This means I'm doing a lot of my work on my phone and my upper back and neck are so tight from focusing far too often during the day on a device. As a high jumper, staying flexible is a priority. Much of my work outs recently have included loosening up the upper back and neck. Can't wait for some time off so I can put the phone down!
Prepping for the indoor season at an indoor track will help me get a better feel for indoor competition. Here's hoping this 1/13 of a mile track will suffice! Just like a high jump approach, there are plenty of curves!
If you're like me, these next few weeks are a frenzy. Just like this snippet of training video, I am madly running up stairs, and then going back down, and then doing it all over again, ten times. Up, down, up, repeat.
But wait, what about enjoying the season? I have to remind myself to be thankful amidst the band concerts, robotics practices, finals, my training, photographer duties, rehearsals, a traveling husband and the filing of endless stacks of mail and paperwork -- so we all don't lose track of what's due or what we're doing. We're going a million miles a minute. So, are we getting anywhere?
I am so glad my choir puts on a Carols for Christmas concert each year. The theme this year was, "That's Christmas to Me." When our family takes part in this concert -- me singing, my husband ushering, the kids doing various parts --Christmas has arrived. It's become a family tradition for the last ten years, almost as much as the party my mom has had at her house for friends and family for the last 53 years. Yes, you read that right. Fifty-three years. That sure is Christmas to me, too.
Here's hoping you get right where you're supposed to be this season and that you're able to pause on the stairs and enjoy this time as you, "lean into the tape" to finish out 2016. Let's make it a good finish!
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.