Sports: Part 3–The Adult Athlete

Most of us don’t go pro after playing sports in high school and/or college.  Many people who have wrapped up their identity in being a high school or college athlete struggle with finding a role as an adult athlete.  Others, who have never played an organized sport in their life, thrive in the arena of “adult athletics”.  I have found that, while the “glory days” are over, it is a new beginning and the world is full of opportunities to achieve all kinds of fitness goals.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got a picture on my phone a few years ago of my mom completing her first 5k at 60.

My brother-in-law, Phil, since graduating college has participated in competitive rowing, is an avid hiker, has run 12k’s, and has lifted 450 lbs.

My husband participates in ultimate frisbee, frisbee golf, church softball, and plays tennis.

I have a friend, Amy, who recently completed her first marathon at age 40.

While working at a retirement community, I worked with people in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s to participate in a triathlon of stair climbing, recumbent bike riding, and walking.

I have witnessed all types of people rock the zumba stage at the gym.

I remember a distinct feeling of excitement while training for a sprint triathlon a couple years ago.  After feeling unsure about my athletic identity after my soccer, basketball, and softball days were over, I didn’t think I could call myself an athlete any longer.  I soon realized that there was a whole new world of athletics beyond what I knew.  

I have two final thoughts:  challenge yourself to do new things!  As C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  And finally, teach the next generation to enjoy sports and remind them that there is life afterwards. 

Previous posts about sports:
  • Part 1: The Little Athlete
  • Part 2: The School-Aged Athlete


  1. Amy Glass · May 26, 2013

    Great post!


  2. · May 31, 2013

    You go girl. It is great how all the people you are related to and such are working hard too. I work out once a week and it kills me and I also do a lot with the youth group and here and there I do ballet in my living room. I'd love soooooo much to have a membership to a gym with a pool so I can swim on a regular basis, but that's not happening. I am really glad when I see adults keeping in shape.


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