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Albuquerque National Senior Games 2019

We have been building a tradition of partying all the way down and back to our senior games and this time was no different. The main group went in two cars, Rosaura and I in our forester and my aunt and uncle and three grandkids in another. We went through Arches National Park, Mesa Verde, and Four Corners on our way down, and Santa Fe, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone, and Craters of the Moon on the way back. My father flew down and an aunt and uncle drove with a trailer, making 10 is us in all at the games. Party city!!!


Chuck did great at the games, providing us with great entertainment and inspiration.  While running may not be his strongest suit, it certainly helped with the 4×100 team as they set an age group record in the National Senior Games. 

As usual they found a ‘ringer’ to run the last leg.  What was fun to watch was that each member ran well and then the last leg was as if a shot went off and the runner nearly made up the full distance to younger teams.  The Pole Vault went well for him, as he is demonstrating an ability to keep his skills up.  He had a hip injury the previous year and we had been worried about it.  He went through several physical therapists.  It appears that as you age, the common suggestion from doctors is just to deal with it because it is part of growing old.  Chuck and I are both learning that there are often exercises and techniques that may offset problems, so never give up!  He found a different physical therapist who gave him some new exercises and, after some work, his hip problem was dramatically improved.  Let’s hear it for good conditioning!  He came in second in the pole vault on misses at 5’7″.  Not bad for an 86 year old (87 for the Senior Games)!

In the high jump he came in third at 3’3″.  All in all, a good set of games for him.

As you can probably tell, the games weren’t quite as great for me, but I had a lot of fun.  I was a little down in the pole vault this year, doing 9’6″, which was good enough for 5th, though the final results are posted for 3rd (don’t think so!).  I like to tell people that the new blood is only a few years behind me, and sure enough, several great vaulters came into my age category.  My friend Larry Bonnett placed first in the next age division up, which I will join in the next Nationals, so I’m looking forward to some friendly competition.  I’ll be the new blood then!  I was a little down this year in the high jump, also, – must be old age coming up! What made it really fun was that there were so many qualifiers that they had two simultaneous pits at opposite ends of the stadium, so we had no idea how things were going on the other side.  My side had the higher seeds, so the competition was fierce and exciting.  I came in close to my overall place of 8th place just in my group, so I was surprised when I saw the final results.  I made 4’3″ and was pleasantly surprised that my friend Woody Deitrich tied me on the other pit!

Since the Nationals, I’ve pole vaulted 10′ a couple of times, which would have placed me on the podium at Albuquerque, so I know I’m capable. I found I have regressed on some basic fundamentals, so I guess I’ll have to give in and get a personal coach (sigh…). My biggest issue is not getting vertical to the pole, and it appears to show up most in competition, so I have to find some way not to revert when the pressure is on.

The trip home was great, with travel to Santa Fe, the Origami garden, Bandelier, Garden of the Gods, Yellowstone, and Craters of the Moon. All this helped erase the bitterness of not doing as well as I wanted.

In retrospect, I’ve shown a slight slide over the past 5 years, and the new guys coming in are showing signs of great performance. Makes for good competition!