Have you heard about the Washington State Senior Games?
You qualify to join the Olympic-type competitions if you are 50 or older by Dec. 31. Participants compete within their own age groups in many events.
You can be a serious athlete engaging in a sport that showcases your fitness and ability. Participants can use these events to qualify for the 2011 National Senior Games in Houston.
Or you can be a person staying fit over 50 and having fun.
But hold on: We encourage everyone to participate, but we also urge everyone to fully prepare and condition themselves before competing. To learn more about training opportunities, go to www. pugetsoundgames.com.
What type of events are featured? In alphabetical order: archery, badminton, 3-on-3 basketball, billiards, bowling, cowboy action shooting, cycling, dance (ballroom), golf, pickleball, powerlifting, racewalk, racquetball, rowing, running (road race), shuffleboard, soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field events, volleyball, and a 5K fun walk. Most of the events take place in Thurston County, but a few are in Shelton, Puyallup and Lakewood. The main events are July 22-25.
For many of us, reaching 50 is a milestone.
To some, it is a sign that you are reaching that “senior” status. To others , it is likely that by 50, you are becoming an empty nester and now have time to pursue your own hobbies and activities.
You like to be involved. You like to meet new people. You’ve spent years chauffeuring your kids and grandkids to sporting events. Now, it’s your turn!
When I look around the track at Tumwater High School when the sprinters race in the Senior Games, there is no old man or woman out there, just incredibly fit seniors showcasing their talents.
So what if you are not a natural-born athlete. Try some of the lower-impact sports such as walking, bowling or billiards. Meet us on the Tumwater High field on opening day July 24 for a 5K fun walk or get up and move around watching the athletes compete. There is room for everyone.
Rain or shine, I know that hundreds of active seniors will be out in force, moving, dancing, walking, bowling, running or swimming their way to their senior games medals. I hope you will join us this year. Get ready, get moving, get fit, and get over being 50.
This is your senior moment!
Dr. Diana T. Yu is the health officer for Thurston and Mason counties. Contact her at 360-867-2501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.