That national meet in July 2014 taught me a few things. First, there are some very cool personalities doing Masters T&F! Secondly, this summer track meet business in the south can be a VERY hot business! Balancing your energy conservation, your hydration and timing your visits to the restroom is an art.
Most importantly, I learned that focus during a meet is critical. It's okay to completely tune out the world and concentrate on yourself. As a mom, it's hard to do that. My default role is to always scan the landscape to see who needs help, who needs food, who needs homework help, who needs something to do. I try to anticipate the needs of others, quickly -- TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY! I didn't have my kids with me that weekend, but experiencing the hyper-focus needed to compete in a large meet, I knew it would be hard to bring them along to many of the big competitions. I can't help but think of them first, and that's okay. So, they don't come to every meet, but they do come to some. The bottom line is quite simple. I am a mom first...and...an athlete second. And I feel lucky, for that.
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.