Now in my 40s, I am re-challenging myself at tennis. In my twenties, I participated in the Pro Tour, but for a while, I have distanced myself.
After being assigned to Los Angeles, I began to compete in amateur tournaments. As there are regional representative tournaments, I began training off the court as well. From cycling in the darkness to Special Forces muscle training, the variety has been abundant and enjoyable.
Many people also exercise under the blue sky. Last month, I met an extraordinary woman, Bonnie Frankel (63). With close-cropped blonde hair, she repeatedly practiced sprinting. She formerly was active in “Masters” track and field. She spoke of re-entering college in her forties, where she helped change an NCAA rule preventing student-athletes from competing more than five years after the start of matriculation, allowing her to race against her younger classmates.
Now, she says she wants to participate in the 100-meter dash qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Although to the untrained eye it might appear difficult, Bonnie insisted, “the important thing is not whether I win or lose. It’s about how close I can get to my goal.”
I felt my own ambitions rise upon hearing her words. Self-satisfaction is enough. My rival is not my twenty-year-old self, but rather the “me” of yesterday.
From The Mainichi Newspapers
By Hiromi Nagano
Published October 18, 2018