In racquet sports, running, swimming, and Senior Olympics, we have seniors, super seniors, masters, grand masters, golden, silver, over 40, over 50, over 60, over 75 — more divisions than Ford Motor Company has cars. Such is the nature of lifetime sports. In Atlanta this weekend, I found that I could probably play varsity college squash, albeit for the women's team. And I can still beat most men, providing they are over 60 years old. The bad news is that I am cannon fodder for younger players.
He didn't play tennis in high school or college, and didn't play much at all until he was 25 years old. His first NTRP rating was 3.5, roughly the equivalent of a 20 handicap in golf or a 6-minute mile. He's 5'8" tall and weighs 150 pounds and the only way his serve will top 120 miles an hour is if he counts both of them. At 46 and married with two kids, he still looks about 17. Half the hackers in Memphis can remember beating him 20 years ago.
So what's he doing as the U.S.P.T.A. pro — that means certified — at Memphis Country Club and now Tunica National Golf and Tennis? The answer has to do with ping pong, hard work, hard knocks, getting better as you get older, and helium balloons. And being nice, don't ever forget nice.
Club sports and intramurals, that is. Do something for the 19,800 students who are possibly somewhat athletic but are not "student athletes."
The combination of sweat, shorts, tan legs, competition, road trips and alcoholic beverages is a recipe for something, and it isn't marital harmony.
Golf, already overexposed, will get even more exposure. Rugby will get some of the attention in America that it already gets in Europe and Australia. And women's boxing — well, the Tunica casinos were on the leading edge once again.
Now the question is, does anyone care? One of the arguments for including new sports in the Olympics is that coverage of elite athletes will boost participation in general. But I'm not so sure.
He was 16 years old that year. He was certainly not muscular or exceptionally coordinated. Years later, his friends would still kid him about his inability to catch a football. But on the track at Memphis University School or at the Mid-South Fairgrounds, he was a running and jumping fool. He leaped 20 feet that year in the long jump without much training or technique, just barreling down the runway, slamming that last step on the board and taking off, arms and legs windmilling through the air, flying over the sand pit and landing two or three feet farther than anyone else.
In his senior year he jumped 23 feet 6 inches, which was a local and state record. MUS is a wealthy private school with some of the best coaches and facilities in Memphis. It attracts more than its share of athletes who go on to play varsity sports in college. Records are routinely broken as 18-year-olds train harder, lift longer, and specialize in one sport from the time they are eight or nine years old. Forty-four years later, Keltner still holds the school record in the long jump. His 23-6 in 1965 would have won the 2009 Tennessee State Division II championship by almost two feet.
Or by the end of August will some of them be dropping like flies in the heat and unable or unwilling to make it to the starting line on race day? At least that's what I'm betting the woman who trains them, Star Ritchey, who says group training, positive thinking, and incremental goals will get them all there.
There's the mother of all Memphis "stairmasters" on the south bluff across from Tom Lee Park that helps urban athletes like Liza Levin (see photo) stay buff. And it doesn't cost a cent.
“Kick ‘em while they’re up,” is a good rule of journalism, blogging included.
I’m not sure if Myron Lowery is up or down, but I figured writing about his weight would draw fire.
On the one hand, he’s up because he is the new mayor, if only the longest-serving interim mayor in recent history. On the other hand, he’s had a rough first week, and in the opinion of some friends and foes, didn’t need what they saw as piling on.
Swimming is the latest but not the only recent example.
When should you get a cortisone shot for aching joints so you can keep playing sports?
How long will the benefits last, and how long before you plan to compete should you take it?
The short answer, I would argue, is yes. And it involves no supplements, power shakes, club dues, or exercise equipment.
Tennis is booming. Skateboarding is booming. Lacrosse is booming. So are soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, cycling, rock-climbing, extreme kayaking, running, yoga, crew, ju-jitsu, and Pilates. Oh, and football and basketball are doing pretty good. And Americans of all ages are really getting in shape.
Except they're not. And we're not. At least not all sports and certainly not all Memphians.