Tidbits Over The Years

Please like our FaceBook page

With God's Speed - Out Run Breast Cancer

Note: Even though I have the most current year on top, I would suggest starting with the oldest year at the bottom and progress to the current. Track athletes normally do all of their warm up and cool down laps in reverse direction so consider reading this section as your warm up. Read from the Bottom Up!! Hope you enjoy reading these tidbits.

2014: This is a year to remember.  Very little competitive races due to my wife's fight against Breast Cancer.  I have struggled with many what appear to be simple things after this one.  I've been told that care givers sometimes have a tougher job coping with everything involved with the one inflicted with the illness.  Now I understand.  Both patient and care giver will enter into the 2015 season more focused and stronger for it.

2013: Refocus on What Worked Before:  Well if you stop what was working to see if you can get away with doing less, think again.  Starting the second half of 2012,  I was not doing my AM workouts with Karen and then I stopped do those AM Workouts.   Big Mistake - HUGH !!  You got to strengthen the whole body, hence pulled muscles for me in the  latter part of 2012, just as I did just before the Japanese TV ShowPlus in early 2013, now I pulled a calf muscle (never had one of these) and of course on the same side as the hamstring.  LESSON LEARNED - TRAIN THE WHOLE BODY BECAUSE WE NEED  TO STABILIZE  ALL CORRESPONDING  MUSCLE GROUPS.

National Senior Games Record: 50 Meter Dash @ 6.74 for 55-59 Age Group

2012: World Rankings 100 Meter 9th, 200 Meter 5th and 400 Meter 10th

           American Ranking 100 4th, 200 Meter 2nd and 400 Meter 5th.

Not bad for a Short Old White Guy.  !!!!!

2011: Discipline and Building Strength: Coach Campbell said that he was not worried about my speed but I needed to build the foundation to handle the speed.  I needed the discipline to train at 80-85% which built the strength.  I listen to what my body parts were telling me and I learned not to train hurt.  If  I felt something that was not right in warmups or during a training run I learned to shut it done immediately and I mean immediately.  Don't train through pain/injury.  Unlike a 4 year college athlete as adult we don't run out of ELIGIBILITY, there is always tomorrow.  Learn to be patient with you training and the results will happen.

2010: Coach Cliffe Campbell, I have the highest praises and accolades for this 70+ Jamaican Track Historian and Guru! Sometimes you just got to get your own butt out of the way and humble yourself and listen to the COACH! That is what I learned in the FALL of 2010 as a Master’s Track Athlete, “Build the Base for the Sport” which you desire to play while maintaining good health and avoid those nagging injuries. Not that I wasted 2005-2009 but through research from Bill Collin’s book, personal research, training partners input and ultimately, Coach Campbell’s deep knowledge of the sport; I finally understood what it took to participate at a higher level successfully while minimizing injury. "To Know and Not to do is Not to Know."  Thank you Coach Campbell.

2009: What Sprinter in their right mind (I am a Lefty- so I'm must be in my right mind) would walk away from a track meet HAPPY TO HAVE PULLED A HAMSTRING!  I was because it meant that I was able to run again. Next, was both physiological rehab and physical rehab.  The key for me to moving forward at a level which I desired was the need to strengthen the entire body to circumvent the lower back issues which of course contributes to hamstring issues. Running was something I thought I would never do again but through God’s good graces.

2008: Great Year BUT... While enjoying a good year on the track I learn life’s lessons: STUFF HAPPENS! Never "overdo it", never overdo anything including too many sports in too many repeat days. Weight lifters know not to work the same body parts and older athletes should not train every day. I discovered straight line running movements and twisting sport activities could lead to unforeseen injuries. Never sandwich a Friday track workout with one round of golf on Saturday, another round on Sunday and another track workout on Monday. Forward running and Twisting golf on multiples days may lead to muscle fatigue which caused my herniated disk L5-S1 of my lower back. The recovery and treatments were wide ranging but for the next 6 months the sciatic nerve pain was unbearable. Avoiding going under the knife was the right decision but the pain was grueling. I will cover this whole ordeal in another section. To Be Continued…

2006 & 2007: Bill Collins, why did you not write your book , “The Ageless Athletic Spirit”, earlier? If you desire to become active in your life style, please learn the lesson of building a base structure before you trying to conquer the world. Why do you think weekend warriors, pull muscles, tendon tears, twisted ankles, strained backs, etc? Fitness is a life style. Know where you are at your current fitness level before you perform any activity. From there, use what I like to call “The 10% Rule”. Your activity should not be greater this week than 10% of what you did last week. In other words, if you have not done anything active in many years then, only do a few sit-ups/pushups, because you need to work your way up to 10/20/50/100 reps over time. SLOWLY!!!!! People try high volume, high reps as if they were teens or early 20’s.  Only to fall into the trap of getting injured and going back to a sedentary life style. As for me, I did not stop but I was just as stupid as the next guy. You can’t correct stupidity, sometimes! I encountered plenty of pulled hamstring(s), quad, shin splints, and knee pain due to not building the proper overall body strength and flexibility. Then I read the book.

2005: Desk Jockey to World Class Sprinter: Note to Self, “You can’t do this in eight(8) weeks after a twenty-five(25) year hiatus!!! Smart Training to avoid injury will provide the best result. As you will find out it took me a few years to get it through my think head how to train. Be SMART! My beautiful wife, Karen, and I shared a wonderful ceremony this same year to renew our vows with our kids, family and friends. I guess thinking back I rekindled two loves at the same time.

1980-2004: Marriage , Profession, Kids, and paying for College Years: Nearly a quarter century of the rat race just running on the old treadmill of life as we all do one way or the other. During the 2011 World Master’s Track & Field Championship, I had the distinct honor of competing against Willie Gault.  I asked him how he was able to still run such amazing times (100 Meter= 10.88 at 50 yrs of age). He’s reply, he really never got out of shape, a healthy life style which people call diets, and he never stopped working out. During this 25 year period of time, I never lost control but you can say that I somewhat maintained a reasonable healhty life style with some physical activity. Sure I ran a handful of 5k runs like everybody else, did some minor weight training, basic situp/pushup, and eventually joined a gym.  Like many fathers I coached a little basketball and soccer which is unusual since I never played either sport.  From a sports perspective, one of my proudest accomplishments was having every player on the under 10 soccer team scored a goal !!!!

1976-1980: Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pa. Introduction to running meters and just a great guy the late, Coach Ray Gurzynski. Mr. Gurzynski was awarded two watches while competing in events at the Penn Relays; he later coached Ursinus teams there. When he retired from coaching in 1981, he was named an honorary referee for the College Division at the Penn Relays. Let’s talk flexibility from the early days to today. Calisthenics followed by Static Stretching was the norm back in the day but when I got to college the big change was the static hold from 10 seconds up to 20-30 seconds to avoid those nagging hamstrings. Today static stretch has been replaced by ballistic stretching as the preferred muscle warm routine. Never stretch either static or ballistic style with cold muscles. Always do a 5-10 little jog/walk to get the blood flow and warm up those muscle tissues, tendons, etc. It blows my mind to see someone walk onto a track, field, court, etc and immediately start stretching cold muscles.

1972-1976: Pottsville Area HS, Pottsville, Pa. This may be the reason why I still have the passion for the sport, I was a top seed sprinter my Sophmore-Senior year and never made the State Track Meet. The injury bug always seem to get me near the end of the regular season. Today’s track specific exercise programs would have work wonders for me back then. In the 100 yd District finals I was winning at the 75 yd mark when I pulled my hamstring which shot me straight up into the air and I rolled down the track. I was leading the field by 5 yards at the time and the winning time was 9.8. I still to this day wonder if I would have matched/bettered the 30 year old state record held by Johnny Neyer of 9.6 that day. Two(2) years latter Tony Dardon of Doyslestown broke the State Record.

1968-1972: Pottsville, Pa: My small town had a great group of adults who developed most of the developmental sports programs, including a four team 5th-8th grade track and field program. As a 5th grader I earned ribbons in Softball Throw, Shuttle Relay and Long Jump of 14’2” (record). The track bug got me the next 3 years running 100, 220, 440, 4x100, 4x220 & Low Hurdles. I found that the SCARY MOVIE developed a sprinter, as I recorded RECORD times in the100 yards 12.1, 11.5, 11.2 and 220 yards. 26.7, 25.7 during those years. The track at PAHS was an amazingly fast cinder track especially when the grounds crew would roll the cinders.  One time I had to go to the hospital to have the cinders removed from my shoulder from hitting one of those hurdles.  I remember going to Davis Sporting Goods (no relationship) and charging my first pair of those new “NIKE WAFFLE SHOES” to my dad’s business. When he got the bill he screamed at me for doing this without permission. That was not the last time he screamed but it paid off.

Scary Movie: How to Build Speed at a young age:

“The CREATURE OF THE BLACK LAGOON” (1954). Fortunately for me my family home had three (3) sets of steps with fourteen (14) steps leading to our front door. In this movie the creature is jumping out from  a swamp and trees killing people. Well near my house there were trees which resembled those trees in the movie. I would be coming home at night from my friends or grandparents and as I got closer to those trees my mind would take over. Of course, I would run as if those monsters were jumping out from the trees, chasing me, and at times those creatures were RIGHT BEHIND ME!!!! At first I would run up those 3 set of stairs one at a time (rat-a-tat), then 2 at a time and then 3 steps at a time. Not knowing at the time, but I was developing fast turn over frequency, stride length along with high knee and dorsiflexed foot position.  Everything a sprinter needed to develop. I believe that if I would past those trees today I would probably break my old record running up those stairs.