Someone quoted a great description of my life at the moment. I have two teen boys who have schoolwork, interests, hobbies, after school activities and the daily grind of school to support. Each day, I end up spending the hours from 3 - 10 p.m. in the car, or supervising some type of work. Though I'm 58, I'm living the life of someone 10 to 15 years younger. I'm still getting down on the floor, wrestling with boys, or listening intently to a school social concern, rotating through tons of laundry, still never leaving the house without snacks, water and a clipboard and pencil to throw in the back seat as I support the guys going from activity to activity.
I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel blessed to still be in this "rush hour." I waited till I was in my forties to have kids, so we're in the thick of it now. I'll miss it when it ends. I hear the nostalgia in so many of my friends who had kids at "the normal time," and I know these moments are fleeting.
The season I'm living in, as someone described it, is "rush hour" for a parent. I'd agree! And that makes it hard to find time to train as a masters athlete, especially when you choose an event like the pentathlon that has five to train for.
We masters are so excited about our second chance at competition, if we find a moment to train, sometimes we push through injury in order to squeak in more practice time. I know I do. Earlier in the summer, I kept hurdling during a practice far beyond what was sensible. I had hurt my quads and stupidly thought the pain was normal. Nope. One was strained and one had a tear. Thus, I've spent a far bit of the summer licking my wounds and skipping meets. A trip out of the country, down time with family and telling myself this won't last forever have replaced rigorous practices.
I have one more chance to compete this year and it's a big one. The USATF Masters National Championships in Spokane. I continue to heal, but am not quite competition-ready yet. Wish me luck.
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.