Apr. 25, 2019

IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE A "GOOD SPORT" AT ALL AGES.

Rice University at Houston, Texas, was a rare occurrence that happened by “accident.”  One morning, out for my daily run, I rounded a corner and was surprised to see a classic and large structure known as Rice University  Stadium. Continuing to run while trying to “take it all in,” I nearly collided with  members of the Rice Football Team---also out for a run.  Before the day’s end, I’d visited with Rice University’s President and secured permission to use Rice University’s workout facilities.  The president also insisted I utilize the University’s professional staff of fitness trainers.

In a few weeks,after hearing about my workouts at Rice University, I was invited to receive high-altitude training at Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The exciting and quite-unexpected invitation came from the Athletic Director at the Air Force Academy. 

What a rare opportunity!  Unfortunately I was forced to decline the unique offer due to time constraints. Training at the Air Force Academy would have been a distinct honor but..the offer simply came at the wrong time.

Following a strict schedule set forth by Jeff Madden, Rice’s professional weightlifter, upper-body strength trainer,  and now my personal trainer, I ran 12 miles a day while three mornings a week, I worked out in the university’s training room.  

 In addition to an aggressive workout on the weight room's multiple machines, Jeff insisted  that I accept the football players’ persistent challenge to run Stadium Stairs-- at high noon--in 104 degrees temperature.  As he explained (when no one could hear) it would make me “one of the guys.”  He told me not to worry; no one would actually expect me to run all the stairs---from the bottom to the top.  

Jeff assured me that the football players  would simply applaud my willingness to be a “Good Sport.” Jeff quickly added that running Stadium Stairs would only be a one-time event.

Wanting badly to “fit in” I didn’t hesitate to accept the challenge.   Two days later, to everyone’s surprise --especially mine—I ran EVERY stadium stairs---every single one of them---from the bottom--- to the top! 

 I was no longer just the older woman the football players called  "Momma.”  From that day forward, my work-out buddies called me “Sally.”