Competition adds a social aspect to a fitness routine
Camaraderie is as important as competition when it comes to athletics, says Donald Webster, 64, of Atlanta, who is a runner and cyclist. Webster is a member of the South Fulton Race Club, Metro Atlanta Cycling Club, and Black Men Run. He says his teammates hold him responsible.
“If I miss a few races it’s ‘Hey, where’s Don?’,” He said. “It’s definitely what kept me consistent all these years – people.”
Webster competes in 5k, 10k and occasional half marathon duathlons. He even completed a few marathons. Last year, with races sidelined by COVID-19, Webster decided to participate in a “virtual road race,” in which people ran and entered their times online.
“It’s just not the same,” says Webster. “People are running on different terrains, different courses… I can’t wait to be post-COVID to hang out with the crowds.”
He has already registered for the 52nd edition of the Peachtree Road Race, which takes place July 3-4, via Atlanta. He considers himself to be an “age group” which means he competes with people his age. In December, Webster will be 65, which puts him in the 65-69 group. “I’ll be one of the youngest in this age group, something to look forward to,” he says.
Play sports later in life
You don’t have to have had a long athletic career to enjoy a little competition. Bill Cordes, 75, of St. Cloud, Fla., Is a late bloomer who recently placed third in the US Tennis Association’s 50+ 3.0 division in the national singles championship. Cordes only started playing tennis in 2018. Until then he had been an avid spectator, attending tournaments and following his favorites like Roger Federer.
Then he heard that the USTA was planning to build a world-class national tennis center in Orlando. The 64-acre facility includes a player development area for professional athletes, including those who compete in Grand Slam tournaments.
Indifferent to his age and inexperience – he played occasionally on weekends, but had never competed – Cordes persuaded his wife to move nearly four hours north to be close to campus “so I could play every day. days, ”he said.
A US Army veteran, Cordes enrolled in a USTA military program that provides free instruction to service members, took lessons, and began competing. His tennis career flourished.