There was a time I’m embarrassed to say that I was one of those women who was jealous of other women. There were always women smarter than me, prettier than me, more successful than me, and I wanted to be what they were.
Age, experience and being open minded enough to talk to these women went a long way to making me realize that we all struggle with something and not everything is as perfect as it appears.
As a kid, I didn’t really try because I figured that as accident prone as I was, there was no point in wasting my time. I was afraid everyone would laugh at my ridiculous attempts. However, starting my athletic career in the upper half of my 40’s, in a niche sport has been very eye opening.
Caber tossing is not your average “old girl” hobby, but it’s an interesting way to leap into sports. Carrying a 40-70lb log vertically while running and looking for the optimal time to flip it end over end is not something I would have even thought of 20 or 30 years ago. Add onto that another 8 events and you’ve got the makings of an exhausting but exhilarating day.
The beauty of this sport is really around the support system. Everyone is a coach, but not in a pushy, I-know-better-than-you kind of way, but in an I’m here to help kind of way. Sometimes the coach is so good, the student beats them on the next throw.
We compete for placings, but for a new thrower who is throwing against women half my age, or women who’ve figured out the technique years ago, I couldn’t have picked a better sport. We celebrate each other’s improvements, breakthroughs and personal bests. I watch the women beating me and learn from them.
I’m not jealous, but incented. I’ve made some fantastic friendships and am excited to keep working at it to kick last year’s numbers to the curb. I’m doing instead of watching. It’s kind of awesome.
Sandi is a feminist in the throes of what some would call her mid-life crisis, having gone from exercising only her mind to lifting weights and throwing heavy objects. Her natural curiosity and need to know everything serves her well in a career in research as well as all things health, science and well…life really.