My Journey to The Senior Games

Hello, my name is Madonna Hanna and I am a Washington State Senior Athlete training for the 2021 Washington State Senior Games and the 2022 National Senior Games in Fort Lauderdale Florida! I compete in track and field in the 50- and 100-meter events, and was selected as the National Senior Games Athlete of the Month in January of 2020.  I am going to share my training experience with you through blogs and various social media platforms, giving your insight on what it takes to prepare for the Washington State and National Senior Games. 

I hope to spark your interest in the Senior Games, and moreover, I hope to inspire you to embrace the fitness lifestyle! I’d love for each of you to experience the increased strength, greater energy and renewed confidence that I have found through my athletic training.      

Let me make it clear—I was NOT an athlete in my youth! Yes, as a child, I had Olympic dreams—I watched the 1960, 1964 and 1968 Olympics with my parents and I imagined myself being America’s best sprinter! I played 100-yard dash in my back yard. Alas, the junior high and high school I attended did not offer track and field sports for girls. 

I grew up, enjoyed a long and fulfilling career in the fashion industry and teaching fashion marketing, and yet five decades after those inspiring Olympic games, my day dreams of running FAST still persisted. In 2011, when I was in my late 50s, I decided to turn my childhood dream into reality. I decided that I wanted to compete in a 100-meter event!  My husband Steven, a former high school and college sprinter and high school track coach, agreed to train me.  

I started out strong, training for two hours a day, five days a week. After five months of training, I entered the Washington State Senior Games, and my first time out, I won Gold in the 50 and 100meter events! I was hooked!

I went on to qualify for the 2013 National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio and happily returned with a Bronze medal in the 4×100 relay event.  My first time ever competing in a 4×100 event! I had 15 minutes to learn what to do. That is a story I will share in another blog.

While competing in the 2014 Washington State Senior Games, I was fighting to keep my lead in the 50-meter event when I heard a loud “POP”! I thought the starting gun had gone off again! I collapsed over the finish line in second place. The good news was, I had qualified for the 2015 National Games. The bad news was that the loud popping sound I had heard was my left Achilles tendon rupturing! Surgery and months of rehab were in my future. Worse, due to my age and the severity of the injury, my doctor was convinced that my days as a competitive sprinter were over.  

Enter, Deb Kristovich, physical therapist and Owner of One to One Physical Therapy. Deb believed that I would be able to race again. Through months of rehab, Deb pushed and challenged me. In 2017, I made my comeback and won gold in the 50- and 100-meter events. I was happy to stop by and show Deb “our” medals. Deb was so proud– Rehab for senior athletes WORKS!

In July of 2018, I competed again in the Washington State Senior Games and qualified for the 2019 National Games in New Mexico. In November that year, my husband Steven, my coach, passed away. Before passing away my husband asked me to continue competing. I committed myself to do so. 

I turned too Deb for help.  I would need a new coach, and Deb had once introduced me to Martha Mendenhall an award-winning USA Track and field Master athlete. I reached out to Martha, who was unable to coach me herself, as she had just opened a new business, The Flop House, but Martha reached out to others on my behalf. That is how I met Marcus Chambers, a 2021 Olympic hopeful. Marcus had coached high school track in Tacoma, but he was intrigued by the idea of coaching a senior athlete!  

Marcus agreed to coach me and with his help I competed in the New Mexico National Senior Games in June of 2019 as well as the Washington State Senior Games the following Month. 

 As Marcus pursues his own Olympic dream, he has agreed to continue coaching me to compete in the National Senior Games in Fort Lauderdale in May 2022.

 The rest of Team Hanna, includes my fitness trainer, Erik Waterland, Waterland Performance and Dana B, Massage therapist, One to One Physical Therapy. Check out my blogs for tips and advice to motivate seniors and anyone of any age who wants to MOVE!  Stay tune as I give you updates on my athletic journey!

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