Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why do it? Because I can, and I'm still good at it...

Why do you do it? Are you training to compete? Aren't you too old for that? Those are some of the questions I'll hear from those who's been in the sport and have hung the spikes up to those who simply look from the outside in about this 'hurdle obsession' I have...and personally, I never thought once about the 'why' I do it, because I simply never stopped and I still can do it and do it pretty well at the age of 44.
NC State University
Elite hurdler and NC State Coach
That grimace on my face was extra, I was trying
to destroy the student behind me, All-American
110 hurdler Jason Perry, NC State 

Duke Twilight, month before 38th Birthday
Celebrating  44th birthday by running 60 meter hurdles

Oakridge High School, Orlando FL
From the day that I was introduced to the hurdles by my junior high school coach, Coach K, I'm not even going to attempt to spell his last name (I will give proper credit, once I find the spelling). Shaking my head, that I don't know how to spell the name of the one man who at every crossing of paths my 7th grade year tried to get me to try out for the track team. Why? Because I had an older brother, Kelvin, 4 years older than me who ran the hurdles and he was pretty good at it. Coach K was one of those that believed it's in the genes and whenever he cornered me, to talk me into coming out.. those were his words.. "Your brother Kelvin is an outstanding hurdler and I think you can be too." Well I turned down the opportunity to run my 7th grade year and honestly speaking, because I was too shy. I didn't like to be around strangers or a lot of other folks that's not in my family (Whoa!, that's still true to this day) I only let a few people into my circle I call a family. I grew up with 3 brothers and 1 sister so I didn't need anyone else to hang around, nor do I ever feel like I got to be in the mist of the 'in crowd'. Well, I finally stopped turning in the opposite direction when I saw Coach K midway through my 8th grade year and felt like I needed to step outside the box and try this thing. I felt pretty good about my athletic ability but never thought much about showcasing it to the world so to speak.

I like to credit and thank Coach K, Westridge Junior High for being relentless in his chase to have me added to his roster of athletes and the seed he planted in me as a hurdler/ coach. I admired him for his ability as a coach and an athlete. He was the coach that actually could do what he asked his athletes to do. And I can remember those days of student racing the teacher and yes, he won but eventually this student progressed and not only beat him but through his example became the same kind of coach who had a passion for it as an athlete and a coach.

Before I hop, skip and jump passed my high school and college years to the present, I like to thank Coach John Hemmer, Oakridge High School for ingraining 'hard work' is the absolute key to success, and NC State coaches during my time as a college runner, Coach Rusty, Curtis Frye for introducing me to the bent lead leg, Ron Foreman for putting me through some insanely workouts who by the way is still NC State School record holder at 400 intermediate hurdles, hence the INSANE workouts for a 110 hurdler. Laughing as I type! And I can't leave out Trevor Graham, who I feel is one of the best coaches in the business, in spite of all the negativity overshadowing his gifted eyes and mind as a coach. They all play a major role in the coach, the athlete, the man I've become who simply love staying fit doing my favorite track time activity.. Hurdling 42s!!!

Ups 6 @ 39 inches and Downs 4 @ 42 inches, hurdle set up for workout in video

My heath is great, my body feels great, I hadn't mistreated it with putting 'I want to be the world's fastest human' illegal substances in my body so I'm feeling good about my aging the right way well into my 40 something years on this planet we call earth. **Disclaimer** my statement about illegal substances isn't a shot at any one person or persons. I simply think that because I haven't done any out of the ordinary things to enhance performance other than, put in work off and on the track, eat fairly decent, and simply never stopped so I don't know what I'm suppose to be feeling <~ I say that because those my age or younger make me feel like I'm the odd one for not knowing what the heck they are talking about.. the I'm old, I'm falling apart stuff. ~laughing~ Yes, I'm aging.. but I'm aging nicely and giving a new meaning to what someone my age should look like and/ or can still do.


Because I can, and I still do it well... Oh yeah, I like the benefits.. Healthy body, mind and spirit!


  1. I ran the hurdles in high school and my first year of college. There was something about running and clearing those hurdles that made me feel like a "superwoman". I was never the best, i think because after participating in track for 4 years, i started the hurdles my senior year in high school. But, i enjoyed the challenge. I wanted to win, everytime. I did good enough to make it on the college team, but the practices started interfere with my studies and social life (lol) so i quit. I admire your tenacity! Keep striving! Keep enjoying!

  2. Mizreprent, Thanks for coming through and sharing your story.. Lmbo@ interference with social life. School, yes, but social life.. LOL! Glad you know the feeling of overcoming obstacles :-)