Track athlete Kay Glynn: Five questions with the National Senior Games participant

Kay Glynn

Age: 60.

Sport: Track & field.

Hometown: Hastings, Iowa.

When she was 48, at the urging of her daughter, Kay Glynn resumed her track and field career. The former dance instructor had “no clue” how extensive her opportunities would be when this competitive journey began. Remarkably fit, she is an inspiration for senior citizens nationwide.

After having held the Iowa state high school long jump record for more than 30 years, Glynn won six National Senior Games gold medals two years ago in Houston and established a pole vaulting world record for her age (10-1 1/4). Four years ago, she won the USATF Masters Female Decathlon championship.

She has a pole vaulting pit as well as other workout equipment on her farm property in Hastings, south of Council Bluffs in southwest Iowa.

In 2009, after 20 years as a dance instructor, she closed her studio, and hasn’t looked back. Working part time with her husband in the insurance business, she also has pursued a career as a motivational entertainer. She has appeared on several national and regional TV programs performing acrobatic routines.

The family has had fun with its annual Christmas card in recent years — that’s if you call balancing 160 pounds of cement on your abdomen fun. With an especially strong core, Glynn is stretched over two chairs with four 40-pound blocks of plywood placed on her midsection. She said the toughest part was keeping the stocking cap on her head.

Now a grandmother of six, Glynn is scheduled to compete in eight events in Cleveland, starting July 27 (see July 27 schedule), but the bigger challenge will be hip replacement surgery next month.

“If I had a good hip, that’s worth at least a foot, isn’t it?” asked Glynn, lamenting a season-best 9-6 in the pole vault. “I will be able to do it all again.”

1. What is your hip surgery rehabilitation schedule?

“I’m actually having a hip resurfacing and I’ve been told there will be no restrictions after a year. All I know is I can’t tie my shoes for six weeks and I can’t jog for six months. I’m going to do the best job of healing I can.”

2. With your surgery upcoming, how will you be able to compete in Cleveland?

“Nobody has ever accused me of being rational. I won’t warm up the way I used to and am not planning on taking all of the practice throws and jumps.”

3. What is it like to compete (unattached) at intercollegiate meets with and against college-aged women?

“I’m an eighth-year senior. They all know me, and we’re all pals.”

4. How have you been able to stay on top of your nutrition?

“It all goes together. I’ve gradually learned better eating habits. I prefer to eat every two to three hours rather than three big meals a day. I like to get up from eating and feel like I can go out and run.”

5. On being inspired by 100-year-old athlete Harry Peppers, who lit the flame at the Games in Houston in 2011?

“He used to be in track when he first started. Then he went to biking. Then he went to bowling. Well, I’ll just be like Harry. That’s the great thing about the Senior Games. I will still be at the Games doing something.”


Kay Vaulter Magazine
Kay Vaulter Magazine

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