The following is a brief profile of one of the athletes I interviewed for my upcoming book Dream It, Live It, Love It. Subscribe to see upcoming profiles by email.
Stephen Black is a 57 year old triathlete who lives in Lafayette, Colorado where he combines his passion for athletics with his profession as a physical therapist. In high school, Stephen dabbled in baseball, basketball, and football, but when he saw a gymnastics exhibition at his high school, he knew he found something he’d love to do. Stephen went on to enjoy great success with gymnastics in high school and college. Stephen took up running shortly after he graduated college and was introduced to triathlons by a friend. He considers his successful transition from being a college athlete to someone with a healthy, active lifestyle as one of his greatest achievements. Having his father die from a massive heart attack at age 62, and seeing how his mother bravely lived with rheumatoid arthritis gave Stephen the motivation and the will to make this transition, which has yielded a life that he loves.
A c0mmon theme I see in the over 50 athletes I interview is that they successfully make the transition from podium to lifestyle. By this, I mean that they make the shift from being very focused on performance in their sports, to appreciating how it completes their life. This is not to say that many are not very focused on performance, but that they gain an appreciation for the pure joy of their sport and what it does for their health, etc. I’ve observed that many experience a decrease in performance, yet they accept this and focus on what else participation brings into their life. Many take up new sports or activities as a way to remain on the upward learning curve, while others do not. I feel that the ability to successfully make this transition is what differentiates these athletes from most of us who stop participating in sports when we experience a slow down.
I’m super excited about the book celebration and 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge launch event I have this Saturday in Fort Collins, Colorado. I’ll hopefully have some cool stories to report in my blog next week.