How to try throwing sports in middle age
August 13, 2012 6:23 AM   Subscribe

I am a deeply middle aged woman, have never been an athlete, and am suddenly consumed with desire to learn to throw a javelin. How can I make this happen?

I know I'm not going to the Olympics in this lifetime, but I would really like to try some of the throwing sports -- shotput, discus, javelin. They weren't offered at my high school, and my college was so sportsy that the people doing these events were already at international-elite level. I just want to have a few goes before I tip over into senior citizenry.

I am in central New Jersey, if anyone has specific recommendations. Thank you!
posted by apparently to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Call the college athletics departments in your area and see if there's a coach who will take some time (and maybe a few bucks) to teach you.
posted by xingcat at 6:39 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

xingcat has said what I'd say, although I'd maybe add any nearby high schools where rich kids go, and any nearby private schools to your search.
posted by gauche at 6:42 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

If I could make a suggestion, I might visit a sports doctor and get checked out first, and get some advice on how hard you can go on each of these sports based on your current condition. I (badly) did shotput and discuss in high school and those sports can be very punishing to the shoulders, elbows and wrists. I'm in my late-ish thirties and If I were to try to take them back up now I might very well find myself typing with my nose for a good long time afterwards.

YMMV, particularly if you are already doing upper body strength flexibility training.
posted by rocketpup at 7:11 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, discuss = discus. Sounds like I was in a very polite debating society.
posted by rocketpup at 7:12 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh yeah, watch out for your back, too.
posted by rocketpup at 7:14 AM on August 13, 2012

So according to rocketpup, you should make sure to discuss discus with your doctor.
posted by xingcat at 7:19 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

There's the Warrior Throwing Club in north Jersey. (Not sure if you need to be logged into Facebook to see that link, they offer javelin coaching and the main email is javcoach AT warriorthrowing DOT com).

You can look for other throwing clubs at the USATF website for clubs in New Jersey.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:27 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

And if I may piggyback, long have I wondered: where can one actually acquire a javelin?
posted by Rash at 8:18 AM on August 13, 2012

If it's a spear-thowing thing in general, you might look into learning how to handle an atlatl.
posted by jquinby at 8:20 AM on August 13, 2012

When you're looking at the very helpful USATF website that Snarl linked to, and generally googling, look for "Master's Athletics" clubs. You'll find you are not alone as a 'late bloomer' to track and field.

My parents got involved in Masters Games in early middle age and had a fantastic time - the clubs are generally very supportive and a great way to get to try out all the equipment without purchasing.

Rash, any sporting goods store that carries athletics equipment. Online, even.
posted by Catch at 2:47 AM on August 14, 2012

Here's the USATF Masters-specific site.
posted by Catch at 2:50 AM on August 14, 2012

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