Give the Gift of The Games This Season
It’s been a long wait, but it will only be a few short months until we gather again for “A Reunion for the Ages” at the 2022 National Senior Games presented by Humana! We know that most athletes are ambassadors and like to share the opportunity for fitness, fun and fellowship with others, and we have a novel suggestion in this season of giving.
This is the first time that NSGA has offered Open Registration due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic. It will only be for the Games next May as we will return to our normal qualifying process in 2022 on the road to Pittsburgh in 2023. Since anyone 50 and over by December 31, 2021 can participate this time, it’s a great opportunity to give the gift of The Games to more senior games athletes. You can gift a friend directly, or you can help us grow and expand opportunities for others with a contribution to NSGA.
Any support provided to NSGA helps us spread our mission to promote healthy, active lifestyles. We are very grateful to the athletes who make charitable contributions as part of their annual giving. As you complete your year-end planning, please consider a gift to support NSGA at the link below. Thank you!
The ‘Hurricane’ Gets Worldwide Attention – Again!
David Begnaud and the CBS Mornings crew get the grand tour of Julia Hawkins’ home and garden. The historic 100-meter record run by 105-year old Julia Hawkins in Louisiana last month has amazed and inspired millions in the U.S. and around the world. More than 100 outlets posted stories and many more shared photo and video images of the ‘Hurricane.’ We thought our athletes would enjoy some of the best coverage from the event. Click to find the stories below.
Open Registration Period Begins
The one-time Open Registration Period has now begun as part of NSGA’s efforts to include all athletes who could not qualify in 2020 or 2021. This means that in addition to Qualified Athletes, anyone age 50+ as of December 31, 2021 is now eligible to enter any of the 22 sports being offered in the 2022 National Senior Games presented by Humana.
Registration continues at a steady pace as athletes complete plans to compete in sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale from May 10-23, 2022. Make sure you complete your travel and hotel plans once you register to get better choices close to your competition venue. Please be advised that once the NSGA Group Contracted inventory (NSGA Rates) is sold out, J Team Management and NSGA has no control of the best available rates being offered by the hotels. Please note that hotels will only offer a certain % of their rooms at the discounted rate and once those are sold out – they will not give any more at the discounted rate.
As a reminder, the maximum number of registrants is limited for certain sports and could reach capacity at any point during the registration period. All registrations close on March 1, 2022.
HELPFUL REGISTRATION LINKS
- NSGA Hotels and Lodging Page – find guaranteed low-price rooms.
- NSGA Registration Webpage for registration dates, entry fees and deadlines.
- Competition Schedules Page with Age Specific Schedule (which provides dates for most events and age groups) as well as Golf Course Assignments, Racquetball Schedule, Track & Field Schedule and Swimming Order of Events.
2022 Venue Spotlight: Veltri Tennis Center
The Veltri Tennis Center, located within Plantation Central Park, is home to the prestigious Orange Bowl International Championships as well as many other state and national tournaments. It has 26 lighted Har-Tru Clay Courts that will be used for the National Senior Games competition. There is ample parking for both athletes and spectators.
The Veltri Tennis Center first opened in 1981 and has expanded three times to its current configuration capable of hosting championship events. The tropical landscaped facilities are well maintained and there’s a pro shop with friendly and helpful the staff.
Greater Fort Lauderdale is a Shopping Mecca
Whether you’re looking for something to stand out on the beach, something stylish for a boat/yacht excursion, or to make a fashionable entrance on a night out, you’ll find it in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
If you like an easy mixture of dining and shopping, stroll Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale for a range of brand-name stores like Lilly Pulitzer and Tommy Bahama, along with locally owned boutiques, art galleries and eateries with sidewalk seating. Step inside the idyllic Ann’s Florist & Coffee Bar for antiques and collectibles or peruse the unique gifts at the bookstore inside the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.
For those who prefer the traditional shopping experience, peruse The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale (reachable by Water Taxi from Las Olas), or slip on your comfiest shoes to navigate the maze of 350+ stores and premium outlets at sprawling Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise.
For inspired gifts for your loved ones (or to treat yourself), visit the SistrunKollective in Fort Lauderdale to peruse wares and goods from 20 local artisans. After you’ve completed your shopping, take a few steps to the Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery for the ultimate food hall experience.
In Pompano Beach, don’t miss the European-style Festival Marketplace, a shopping paradise with over 250 stores offering brand name items at bargain prices.
Head to Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood for the Shoppes at the Guitar Hotel. The luxe indoor shopping center features unique storefronts and specialty shops with the casino floor nearby. In Hallandale Beach, explore The Villages at Gulfstream Park for luxury specialty boutiques such as Rene Ruiz Collection, Lilly McKay, which is rich with European brands, and Atelier Couture for men and women.
December Athlete of the Month
Games Provide Pathway Through Midlife Challenges
De Shann Schinkel, 57, Rawlins, Wyoming
Many senior athletes have used “midlife crisis” to create midlife opportunities by starting or returning to competitive sports. After dealing with the difficult loss of both parents in her early 50’s, De Shann Schinkel got back into the game and could not have dreamed where it would take her in a few short years.
The Rawlins native is no stranger to sports, having been a multisport athlete and state champion swimmer in high school. During a 20-year Air Force career, she traveled and competed for four years with the Air Force women’s basketball team. She then served with the Wyoming National Guard while simultaneously coaching youth sports. “I fell in love with coaching when I coached a boys’ basketball team at Hill Air Force Base,” she recalls. “That led to me becoming a high school coach in 1993.”
When she turned 50, De Shann had big plans to get in shape and had two goals – to do an Ironman event and compete in Wyoming Senior Olympics. “I was busy coaching others, so my weight would yo-yo up and down. I was ready to compete again.”
Then life got in the way. Her father was diagnosed with COPD, and then within a month her mother was found to have inoperable stage four lung cancer. De Shann shelved her immediate plans to help care for her parents.
De Shann did work in some training during this time and cherishes how her mother would drive alongside and cheer her on during long bike rides and runs. After a year delay, she was delighted to complete the Ironman Texas in Houston and then win gold in 14 of her 16 events at the 2016 Wyoming Senior Olympics. She was also pleased to be competitive in swimming and triathlon at her first National Senior Games in Birmingham.
However, the eventual loss of both parents hit her hard after her father passed in 2017. “They were my best friends, and I wondered ‘Where do I go from here?’ I slipped off my training. I didn’t know how hard I was taking it and gained my weight back, and my liver, kidney, thyroid and cholesterol numbers were all high.”
That brought the reality check. De Shann decided it was time to retire from full time work as aquatics director for the county school system in 2018 to focus on her own goals. She retained a personal trainer for the first time and her son Kerry Ray provided advice as a registered dietitian. She also had encouragement from her siblings to help lift her out of the funk.
At the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Albuquerque, she competed in eight swimming events, earning gold medals in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays. She also earned sixth place in the triathlon.
De Shann was surprised and humbled this year when she was named executive director for the Wyoming Senior Games. “I fell in love with everything about the Games in 2016,” she says. “The past president Bill Stone and everyone drew me in. I was hooked and there was no doubt I would continue with Senior Games for the rest of my life. To be running games in my home state is gratifying and personally motivating for me.”
De Shann now splits her time between Wyoming and San Antonio, where her partner is still in active military service. “It works out perfectly for me because I get to participate in both state games.”
“I’m in a better place now because of the Games,” she confidently concludes. “I don’t want to go back to those dark times, and I have the tools in my toolbox to do what De Shann needs to do.”
What’s YOUR story? To submit yours, or to nominate a fellow athlete, Please Click Here.
Health and Well-Being
Time to Train Smart!
The path to National Senior Games is a journey with multiple factors contributing to preparing well. This has never been as true as it has been within the context of the pandemic, which as you know has disrupted sports participation and training routines.
Now more than ever highlights the importance of having a smart training plan.
As we shared in a previous article, consistent training has to be maximized in order for you to have your best Games. We stressed the importance of changing the intensity and frequency of workouts. In addition, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) suggests that you progressively build fitness with ingredients like alternating workouts, managing fatigue, and observing well-being.
At this point in your preparation for May of 2022, you are ideally monitoring your progress and may be starting to notice your body’s ability recover effectively after a workout. Alternating workouts (high intensity followed by lower intensity work) helps make sure you don’t strength train on consecutive days unless you are working different body parts.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a well-researched strength and endurance method that has been applied in running, cycling, and swimming with excellent results. Most HIIT training involves a short interval of near maximal effort, followed by a longer (two to three times the duration) interval of low intensity. The high-intensity interval should be performed at approx. 80% of a person’s maximum, and the lower-intensity at approx. 40%. Approaching HIIT in this manner helps with workload management and is key to injury free training. Learn a HIIT workout here.
Excessive fatigue contributes to injuries. Alternating between light, moderate and hard workouts are smart, natural, ways to maintain your optimal workload. Find more workout advice on this video.
Moreover, it is important to make the connection between a good sense of overall well-being and having good self-monitoring skills. Self-monitoring can include using a basic self-scored wellness inventory as a method to measure overall well-being, which will help you look more holistically at training factors that contribute to injury and overload prevention.
Finally, we hope you are you making space for enjoyment because having fun is important to keeping things fresh. It is important to maintain a sense of balance in your training so you will arrive in Greater Fort Lauderdale ready to experience your best Games yet!
This article was prepared by Andrew Walker, MPH, NSGA Health and Well-being Director
Using Mantras to Boost Physical and Mental Performance
This informative article comes from KOHLER® Walk-in Bath, a proud National Senior Games partner.
We all want enhanced physical performance, and there’s no shortage of ways to try to get there. One practice often used by professional athletes to get through tough times, or even just deal with pre-event jitters, is mantras. By leveraging a repeatable, positive affirmation, you can move away from negative thoughts that physically hold you back and potentially adopt a healthier mindset.
The benefits of mantras are even backed by science. One at Stanford showed that there was a positive correlation between self-reinforcement and athletic performance. Another at the Harvard Business School showed that a mantra like “I’m excited” can be used to recontextualize pre-situation “butterflies” into something good. The benefits of mantras can carry through to one’s entire life, with the potential for greater calmness, confidence and motivation overall.
When it comes to choosing a mantra, you want something that will help you reorient and shut down negative thoughts. It should be brief, positive and actionable, but how it’s structured or what it covers is really up to you. The most important thing is finding something that connects with you, your personality and your goals. You can even have a pre-event mantra and another version for during events.
It can be anything from a brief message (Duke University’s basketball coach, Coach K, uses “next play” to keep himself and players focused on the future), to a phrase that repeats itself (American marathoner Desiree Linden uses “Calm, calm, calm. Relax, relax, relax” to keep composed).
Adding a mantra to your routine can be a game-changer. For even more ways to keep mindfulness top-of-mind, read this blog on creating a mindful bath experience.
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