I’ve never had the athletic ability to have aspirations of being in the Olympics. But I do love watching them. The human body and spirit is an amazing thing. Watching the individual and team events you’ll see triumphs and defeats, setbacks through injury, disqualifications from not following the rules.

The hurdles are a great visual of life. You know there are going to be obstacles to overcome. Sometimes you’ll clear them. Other times they get in your way and you’ll fall over them. You can start out sprinting and end up limping. Or begin with a slower start than you intended but end up clearing the finish line ahead of the pack.

Take a look at some of the rules:

Women's 100m Hurdles competition format

The basics
The women's 100m Hurdles takes place on the home straight of theAthletics track. Athletes must jump over 10 evenly-spaced hurdles in their lane, before sprinting for the finishing line. Hurdles are 0.838m high and are designed so that if an athlete hits one it falls forward.

Keys to success
The Hurdles races are sprints, so a good start is vital. Technique in clearing the hurdles is important in order to retain speed and momentum. An athlete’s stride pattern is crucial to ensure that he/she can take off with the preferred (leading) leg without losing pace. Clipping or knocking a hurdle can cause the stride pattern to be disrupted.

Breaking the rules
Although it is permissible to knock a hurdle, an athlete is disqualified if he/she misses a hurdle altogether.

As this competition relates to my life, I’ve learned that I can run at full speed for a short time, expect that something will be ahead that I will need to clear in order to move ahead. Hopefully, I can keep going strong to clear it but if I do run into something and am knocked down that I will fall forward. And, the hurdles are to be expected….I’m not allowed to miss any. 

In the first half of this year I’ve faced some big hurdles…..loss of my father, 2 surgeries, and my husband losing his job. So that’s just the first six months. There’s still the other half of the year to go. 

I’ll keep sprinting. I know that my stride might be disrupted and I may end up limping but with each hurdle I face I have God, family and friends supporting and cheering me on. I may not get a gold medal but I’m running the race and will finish no matter how many obstacles I face.  I am a winner.

Keep running the race and keeping the faith,

Nancy Nickoley

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