The following are brief profiles of interviewees. The full interview as well as insights will be published in the upcoming book.

Bob Meluskey thowing the shot

Bob Meluskey thowing the shot

Bob Meluskey Sr. is a 57 year old discus, shot put, and javelin thrower from Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. Bob has participated in various sports his whole life, including baseball, slow pitch and fast pitch softball, football, basketball, track and field, motors ports racing, hunting, and fishing. Bob very much values his family, which includes his wife of 37 years Sandi, his son Bob Jr., and his granddaughter and fishing partner Samantha. He started competing in master’s track and field at the age of 51, when his wife kidded him that he was over the hill. Far from it. In 2007, Bob was nationally ranked 36th, 15th, and 11th in his age group for the discus, hammer throw, and javelin events respectively. Bob is an industrial maintenance mechanic who loves to work with his hands and mind, and enjoys the camaraderie of master’s athletics.

In our interview Bob shared with me the philosophies he holds that he believes have given him success and the joy that he has gotten from competing on sports over the long haul. I have no doubt that Bob will continue to enjoy success as a master’s athlete, with his family there to cheer him on for many years to come.

 

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Weia Jumping From Left and Right Legs

Weia Jumping From Left and Right Legs

 

Weia Reinbound is a 59 year old high jumper and javelin thrower who lives in the Netherlands. Weia was an 800 meter runner in her youth, and took a twenty year hiatus from sports before taking up the high jump. At age 45 she was in a sort of mid-life crisis, and was watching the European track and field championships on television, when she noticed all the lean, long, and slender athletes. Weia thought that maybe she would just try sports again, so she did, and got hooked. Not even being aware of the master’s athletics movement, Weia didn’t expect much in terms of accomplishments. She was surprised when in her first year, she had equaled the Dutch national record in the high jump. Within five years she had set the world high jump record. Weia has also achieved success in the heptathlon as well as the double heptathlon, where she still owns the world record.

Weia loves to learn new things and has studied sociology, philosophy, physics, graphic design, and nature photogtaphy. At age 55 she began learning to throw the javelin, and hopes to break the world records in both the high jump and the javelin, when she crosses into the 60+ age group next year.

Weia shared with me how she has managed to achieve her success, as well as keep her enthusiasm for continuing to improve and learn new events. Keep an eye out for my interview with her in my upcoming book.

 

Kim High Jumping

Kim High Jumping

Kim Williams is a 54 year old sprinter and jumper from Portland Maine, whose school while growing up didn’t offer much in the way of sports opportunities for girl. While Kim did play basketball and softball in high school, she didn’t discover her passion for track and field until she was in her fifties. Kim started running in her forties when she was inspired by a group of runners at work that would run at lunch time every day. She thought it looked like a good thing to do, so she one day she hopped on the treadmill and ran for 20 minutes. She remembers telling one of the women who ran that she ran for twenty minutes, and the woman told her that she was off to a great start. That small bit of encouragement changed Kim’s life. She started running and went on to do road races until in 2006, when she discovered the sprints and jumping events in track and field.

A fellow runner told Kim she would be a great addition to their company’s corporate track team, so she started running the mile and two mile races. Kim entered some shorter races to gain points for the team, and discovered that she was quite talented. She broke the team record for the 100 meter run in her fourth 100 meter race. Since then, Kim has taken up high jumping, hurdling, and even experimented with the javelin throw. Kim loves to learn and try new things, and hopes someday to compete in the pentathlon.