2021 Games Logo!
The Official Logo for the 2021 National Senior Games presented by Humana has been released! The logo features palm trees beaconing athletes to sunny south Florida. Greater Fort Lauderdale and NSGA continue to lay the groundwork for The Games that will be held in Broward County from November 5–18, 2021. Mark the dates and watch for more details and sport-specific information in coming months!
Relive the “Enchanted” 2019 Games
One year ago, the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana was ramping into full gear with a record number of athletes and a host city with an amazing “One Albuquerque” spirit. The Land of Enchantment lived up to its name as New Mexico embraced us all.
This is a great time to bring back the memories and good feelings that were generated at this historic event. Check out our daily story pages, photo gallery and video archive at the links below to relive the moments as we anticipate the 2021 National Senior Games presented by Humana coming to Greater Fort Lauderdale.
#StayFitSeniors Video Page Added to NSGA.com
As our followers of the National Senior Games Facebook page know, we have been sharing athlete home videos every week during the stay at home period to offer advice, encouragement and entertainment to help us all feel like we are in this together. We thought it would be fun to archive them for everyone to view on our website, which you can find using the link below.
We also would LOVE to see more videos! They don’t have to be elaborate, just use your phone camera with video mode to record your message to your fellow athletes. One minute or less is ideal for social media. You can post the video on your own Facebook page, and remember to put the hashtag #StayFitSeniors so we can find it. You can also email the video from your phone to News@NSGA.com. You can use a free service such as wetransfer.com if the file is too large to email.
If you are unsure about what hashtags are, we recommend you watch this short YouTube video to learn more. Using and searching hashtags will greatly enhance your social media experience!
June Athlete of the Month
“I’m Not the Type to Sit Around”
Carol Hicks has had, by her own estimation, a blessed life. Now 75, the East Tennessee native has raised a family with her husband of 57 years and enjoyed her work career, including more than a decade with Junior Achievement before retiring a couple years ago. She has also been playing Volleyball and running in the National Senior Games since 1991.
But there was one thing that nagged her – she never went to college.
“I was the oldest of six children, so that was a big reason why I didn’t get to college,” she explains. “During my life, I have regretted not going and felt I had missed something. I thought about it at times but didn’t have the nerve. When I retired, I decided I had time to give it a try. I’m not the type to sit around.”
In January of 2018, Carol decided to enroll in accounting at Northeast State Community College in Blountville. At first, she was understandably self-conscious, being the white-haired lady in dress pants in a classroom where everyone else is 50 years younger and wearing tank tops and shorts. But it didn’t take long to fit in.
“They were very accepting and supportive,” she recalls. “After I was doing well in class, I had several of them come to me for help, and I was happy to do so. The kids were impressed and even bragged on me. It made me feel better about looking so ignorant!”
Entering college at 73 is daunting enough, but life threw another curveball when COVID-19 closed physical classes on campus in her final semester. Carol had some online class presentations, but says she adapted. “Besides, most of the teachers I had did not do Zoom teaching. I had my textbooks and I just had to take all my tests online.”
This was not the first time the spunky ball setter and track sprinter has taken on something new at an older age, as she started competitive sports in middle age. Church activities gave her the opportunity to play Volleyball and Softball, and Carol and her husband helped organize leagues for several years. “I had no sports in school growing up,” she says. “We played sandlot baseball with the boys – it didn’t matter, you played with whoever was around.”
In her 40’s, Carol decided to go take a real volleyball class. “My first serious competition came when I started Senior Games in 1991. I haven’t missed Nationals since then.” She’s proud to have been part of earning Gold in Volleyball, and also in the Womens 75-79 4×100 Relay, plus Bronze in the 100- and 200-meter races at the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Albuquerque.
Now that she has earned her Certificate of Accounting, one might assume she is going back to work, but that was not Carol’s goal. “Everyone laughs at me when they ask what I’m going to do with this and I answer, ‘Absolutely nothing!’ It was just that spark in me that told me to try and take on the challenge.” She was sad not to have a graduation, although she did get her cap and gown before the pandemic hit. “But I really feel sorry for the high school and college kids this year. This may be their only opportunity to walk on stage to get their degree.”
Carol enjoyed interacting with the students, and her experience has allowed her to offer advice to her young classmates. “Every avenue that you try, that’s just another added benefit you can use sometime in your life,” she says. “That’s one of the things I encourage young people – try anything! You will learn if you like it, and you will learn if you don’t like it. Either way, it will be a valuable experience.”
Got a great story to share about yourself or an athlete you admire? We want to hear from you! To submit yours, or to nominate a fellow athlete, Please Click Here.
Senior Health and Wellness
Social Isolation: Silver Linings for Mature Adults
This guest article is by Hongdao Meng MD/MPH, Associate Professor in the School of Aging Studies, College of Behavioral & Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. Meng is also the Editor of Home Health Care Services Quarterly, and the Director of the Positive Aging Lab. The mission of the lab is to translate knowledge and innovations in integrative health into practice to benefit people across the life span in Florida and beyond.
If life is a journey, then we are collectively going through a very cold, dark, and seemingly endless alley, with hundreds of thousands died, millions infected, and billions isolated.
How long is this thing going to last? What happens to our personal, financial, and social life? How can we live like this? Is there a way out? The answer is a resounding yes (at least to the last part). Why, you might wonder?
In the 5000-year recorded human history, there have never been a hundred years without a major crisis, famine, war, or plague. In fact, it is almost equally as shocking that we have largely avoided any global disasters since the 1920s! I know this doesn’t make the pandemic easier to swallow. But what I want to share with you is this: “This too shall pass.”
The venerable Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” To that, I paraphrase: “When you found yourself in a pandemic, keep finding.” Is this the worst of times? To some, maybe. Could this be the worst possible time? Hardly. The key to transcending this mess is to first say to yourself: I can take this (or anything else). Then, you should take this time and reflect upon your life’s journey thus far: Who am I? What is the most important thing in my life? What do I want to do next, given the situation?
There is a pop song by Selena Gomez, named Live Like There’s No Tomorrow, which paradoxically offers both the young and the young-at-heart a sliver of truth and wisdom into the journey we call life: When in doubt, find meaning. This is precisely the time to take all the time in your hands, take stock on your physical, mental, and spiritual life, and examine the unfinished businesses. At the end of the day, you may want to keep being active as much as you can, learn something new everyday (nature, art, history, or whatever you are curious about). The human body is built for movement, the human brain is built for learning. Never stop moving and learning, not even in a pandemic.
In my work with a brave group of caregivers of persons with dementia in Tampa, FL, I often quote Nietzsche (1844-1900), the German Philosopher: “He/She who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
New Partner Offers Opportunity to Join Heartline Study
How well do you know your heart? Johnson & Johnson, in collaboration with Apple, is offering eligible U.S. adults, 65 years and older with an iPhone, the opportunity to join the Heartline™ Study, a nationwide heart health research study that you can participate in right from your home.
The Heartline Study is designed to explore if the Heartline Study app on iPhone and heart health features on Apple Watch can potentially improve heart health outcomes, including reducing the risk of stroke, with earlier detection of an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation (AFib). Individuals with and without a diagnosis of AFib are eligible to join.
Through the app-based approach of the heart health engagement program, the study will enable participants to engage in the study remotely, right from their iPhone and in some cases an Apple Watch, rather than travel to a clinical trial site.
“Heartline is a study that has the potential to fundamentally change our understanding of how digital health tools, like the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch, could lead to earlier detection of AFib, helping patients understand and directly engage in their heart health, prompting potentially life-saving conversations with their doctors, and improving health outcomes,” notes Dr. C. Michael Gibson, @CMichaelGibson, Co-Chair of the Heartline Executive Committee and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and CEO, Baim Institute.
Despite the fact that AFib is a leading cause of stroke, people often do not experience symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. More than 33 million people worldwide and up to six million Americans live with AFib. Up to 30% don’t even know they have it until a serious cardiovascular event, such as a stroke, occurs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AFib, the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, results in 158,000 deaths and 454,000 hospitalizations each year.
Participation in the Heartline Study will span a total of three years with two years of active engagement, followed by one year of additional data collection. During the active engagement period, participants will receive heart health education, wellness tips, surveys, and questionnaires across multiple topics related to overall heart health in the app each week.
There are a variety of ways to participate in the Heartline Study. All who join will need to have an iPhone 6s or newer. Some participants will take part using only their iPhone. Some participants will also be asked to wear an Apple Watch. Those asked to wear a watch will be offered two options: purchase one, or get one on loan for the duration of the study and return it when your participation in the study ends. Johnson & Johnson and Apple are committed to ensuring that participation in the study is not limited based on financial need.
If you’re 65 or older and interested in being a part of the study, visit Heartline.com to see if you’re eligible to enroll.*
*Key eligibility criteria include: you must be 65 or older, a U.S. resident for the duration of the study, own an iPhone 6s or later (with iOS 12.2 or later) and have Original Medicare. Other eligibility participation requirements will apply.