Today’s guest, Stan Ford, spent much of his life in sports, either competing or teaching it. He got into cycling a bit in his mid-forties. But at age 55, he decided to buy a new bike and really go for it. He was rewarded with a California State Championship. When he turned 60, he set his goals on the national and international levels. He currently has two bronze medals at the UCI World Masters Championships as well as four National Championships in USA Cycling disciplines.
Kyle and Lil also chat about Pickleball at the Huntsman World Senior Games.
Kyle Case 0:02
Hello and welcome to the Huntsman World Senior Game's Active Life. My name is Kyle case and I'll be your host on this amazing journey as we attempt to help you get the most out of your life. Joining me in our studio today is my co pilot Lil Baron.
Lil Barron 0:18
Well hello, Mr Case.
Kyle Case 0:20
Lil Barron. Good to see you. You know what I thought we would do today. The same thing that we've been doing for the last several weeks. Now we might as well just keep that ball rolling. For the past several weeks, those who have tuned in, you know that we've been highlighting, at least one of our amazing sports and today will be no exception. I want to talk today about pickleball pickleball. What a great sport it is. Yeah, it is the sport. Yeah. Right, that's what it is for most of us when we try something right, here's the thing I love about pickleball I'm just gonna say it right up front, I've said it before but it is so true. The great thing about pickleball is its accessibility, right, if you have just just marginal coordination, you can walk onto a pickleball court, and you can play the game. That is not true of everything sport. Marginal coordination. Great. But the reality is is that you can't walk up to a tennis court, and play tennis, you cannot, and I think you can attest to this, you can not walk into a golf course, and just play golf right now, those are specialized skills they take time to practice and develop and once you've practiced and developed them great sports, right, there are tons of fun, but Pickleball is, it's a sport that it's the kind of sport you can just go and have fun on your very first day and that's one of the things I love about it. That being said, the more you play, the better you get right, then like every sport Pickleball is really evolved into a highly competitive event. According to USA pickleball, which is the governing body of the sport pickleball was invented in 1965 Did you know that yeah it's been around for a while. It was invented on Bainbridge Island, which is just a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington, then that's where three dad's greatest inventions always come from three, Three names Joe Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCollum who whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities. They're the ones who are credited with creating the game pickleball, as I said it has evolved from its original handmade equipment and civil rules, really into this popular sport throughout the United States and Canada. The game is growing internationally. A lot of players in European countries and Asian countries are building courts as well. The growth, really has exploded especially I would say over the past 15 or 20 years, and I will lil. This might sound pretentious I don't mean it to be but I will humbly submit that the husband World Senior Games has been a significant part of that growth. The games added pickleball, in 2003, and it was a fairly unknown sound at the time, not a lot of people knew about it. But Don Odle who we affectionately call the godfather of pickleball here and he approached the staff at the time, he also at the same time convinced southern river which is the community where he lived, to build a few courts and the rest as they say is history, its history right, so we added pickleball in 2003. This year we have registered nearly 1100 athletes to play 1092, to be precise. We offer four different events within the sport. We have aged doubles, which is where partners of the same gender play against opponents who are in that same age group skill level is a secondary consideration but but still, Oftentimes ends up being a consideration skill doubles, which is where partners of the same gender play against opponents who are in the same skill level and the age is a secondary consideration. We also offer one of our most popular ones actually is the mixed doubles, and that is where a partnership of one man and one woman play against opponents who are in the same age group, and then skill level again is a consideration but a secondary consideration. And then finally our singles event is where the opponents are the same age group and skill is a secondary consideration so lots of options to play pick them off the worlds in your games, we still play on those original courts and some river, and since then we have also added an amazing pickleball complex called the little valley that are more complex. We combined together with SunRiver we have 38 courts, and just a ton of fun.
Lil Barron 4:41
Kyle Case 4:42
It really is is one, one of our just, I mean, all of our events are great Pickleball is one of the great ones. We just have a ton of lines that fill up fast. I was gonna say unfortunately registration is closed for pickleball we've actually reached our participation cap, but you can still find rules and schedules if you'd like to watch or just learn more about the event at Senior Games dotnet. Today's guest will sign up. Yeah, Stan Ford spent much of his life playing a variety of different sports either competing or teaching them, he got into cycling, a bit in his mid 40s But at age 55 He decided he was going to buy a new bike and really go for it. He was rewarded with a California state championship that year, when he turned 16 He set his goals on the national and international levels. He currently has two bronze medals at the UCI World Masters championships, as well as four national championships in USA Cycling disciplines, Stan, welcome to welcome to the show.
Stan Ford 5:43
Hello, nice to be here.
Kyle Case 5:44
Yeah, we're looking forward to visiting with you. We're going to get into the sports that you've done and we're going to definitely spend some time talking about cycling. Before we do, though, I'm curious if you have played or know anything about the sport of pickleball.
Stan Ford 5:57
Oh yeah, absolutely. one of my best friends in fact dieting or control over the bicycle level forever before retired, and very good friend longtime surfing buddy and avid golfer close pickleball really got he doesn't play the ball, and he turns for his wife and his wife retired, and she struggled and it took away from this, both time and as soon as she started. He is one of the greatest football fans in the whole world because now she's off playing pickleball and so playing golf, and he's playing. Sounds like you asked him, there's nothing better than a
Kyle Case 6:43
It's a match made in heaven. it sounds like she's playing pickleball. He's playing golf. Sounds perfect. Well it is a fun sport and, you know, it's kind of a big deal around here at the games we love it. The, the, the athletes are wonderful and just, just a ton of fun is a really fun sport. So, in my intro as I introduced you I alluded to the fact that you've played a wide variety of sports, throughout your life when you first got into sports as a kid, what were the things that caught your imagination the sports that really spoke to you.
Stan Ford 7:19
Yeah, I got lucky I grew up across the street from elementary school playground. So I could look out the door and baseball go under. No basketball or don't pick up football game and I run over there. I just really always gravitated to some type of activity and competition or isn't that awesome. That sounds a little late so on. Yeah, sounds like you enjoyed it so much that you kind of wanted to stay in it, you spent some time as a PE teacher, is that correct, no not sometimes. I have right on your right. You know I got a love for sport and athletics and finally keep participating so I started becoming a teacher and high school coach, and that going on that right away, hired right out of college and stuck with it.
Kyle Case 8:25
That's awesome. That's that's that's a ton of fun. I feel like most of the PE teachers and coaches that I know feel the same way you know and they wanted to stay in the sports and they found a way to, to make it a profession we can't all be NBA basketball players or, you know, the PGA golf or playing tennis at Wimbledon, that's that's not going to be available to all of us but people who are, you know, committed to stay into sports, find a way to make it happen and teaching kids how to enjoy themselves and enjoy the sport and the rules and the camaraderie that comes with that and live an active healthy lifestyle is a great way to go so congratulations on a wonderful career there.
Stan Ford 9:06
I was on type of thing where I, I, frankly believe passionately in the educational value of athletic participation, and so many, you know, I'm through and now I bump into unity and they're in their 40s but their own families and all coach man is the head was great experience, I learned so much. So I really, I know that it, it's a valuable part of our education.
Kyle Case 9:34
Absolutely, I couldn't agree more. We want to talk a little bit with you about cycling, it sounds like that's kind of an area where you specialize and had a tremendous amount of success. You got into it a little bit later as as far as a competitive event goes, what, what brought you into cycling you're in your mid 40s And you're like, here's a new sport or here's something I'm interested in like how did I write
Stan Ford 10:01
Yeah, it was. No, that obviously is part of my personality I enjoyed, you know, activities, a lifelong surfer and coaching football, you know, Southern California high school football, highly competitive. Yeah level, I was that athletic director and very involved in all of that, and was kind of a jogger, you know, just interested in staying fit, you know, random weekend 5k Once in a while. Exactly. And so, but mountain bikes first came on the scene. My wife said, Well, I'd really like to have one of those flights. And so Christmas time I bought her a bike, no intention of riding myself and right. One thing led to another and she liked riding bikes and I said hey can I try you by the way, I liked it, I said some about, you know, coming up right in that or it's swim and ride with him back down to the bike shop. When you know, at a very, very slow progression. Of course, at the beginning the equipment was pretty nowhere near as sophisticated as it is now i right now hooked up with a bike shop with to their skills classes, but with their group rides, said last Friday.
Finally, the owner of the shop said something about hey why don't you play a race, and give it a try. I was I think four to six the oldest age groups are five right well are you into right.
Kyle Case 11:44
So you were in the 35 Plus,
Stan Ford 11:46
yes. And, but you know I, I jumped in and raced, got a flat tire and had a run in my life across the finish line browser, it was like, Okay, this is something I do. And I think the thing that makes it interesting for me is, as a young athlete you know I was playing high school, college football was involved with Track and Field at random sprints and definitely not genetically a lowly type athlete. So if I was just to go out and compete I can go to the sites late, you know like the road races. I would have a hard time being successful, biking, there's a lot of skill involved. And so I was able to compensate for my non genetic ability to be pretty skilled as a bike rider just because I've been at so long, and really surprised myself because I was just, if I could just not get the flying you know half an hour and be great, actually a little closer a little closer or more quiet, or they got better equipment. No more knowledge, yeah, started working at it in our progress. That's awesome.
Kyle Case 13:11
So you never really got into road cycling you just stuck with the mountain biking.
Stan Ford 13:15
Yes, correct. I have a road bike and I do use it some for training. There are some things you can do, especially the long following jurisdiction. It's hard to do on the mountain bike, because of their terrain, as you're either working real hard to go up and posting on the downhill shirt and whereas on the road bike you go out for two, three hours and just pedal the whole time, and builds that base to your own stitch, but no, I've never done a road race before it's been a crazy.
Kyle Case 13:48
No, that's awesome, I love it. So you have a friend, he says, Give the competition to try and we kind of jumped into it. I love I love a couple of things that you said that I think are worth emphasizing and pointing out one is that you, you went to the bike shop and you actually took one of their skills courses. So that's exactly what I want to learn the right way to do it which I think is not all of us do. That's
Lil Barron 14:10
Kyle Case 14:12
We start out doing it the wrong way and then we just keep doing it the wrong way, though I appreciate that, from an educational standpoint and you jumped into it and figured out how to do it. When you turned out, you had a significant birthday at 55 and you kind of said to yourself, hey, I'm doing well I'm winning some competitions, we're having some fun. But I think there's more in me.
Stan Ford 14:35
Right, well what what was happening is in mountain biking, and with the USA Cycling levels, and we're talking about pickleball but the skill level right right yeah and so it's based on age groups. And typically, they're anywhere from big races, it's five year increments, and then the local regionals and might be can in your implementation, but we also have categories so cat three is kind of your entry level beginner type cyclist and then cat two is pretty competitive pretty competitive now it's people that, that do more than just show up and hope to get around the Porsche cat one it will be the elite level, your high level, and so I've been working my way up and started cat three and I've been in the gap juice forever, never want to raise, or whatever. But I noticed that I was starting, it flows. I was in pain. Being I guess it'd be 45 to 55. And I noticed that I wasn't that far behind. You start creeping up on it. And I thought, that's when I paint a little bit more serious, and got my first really competitive bike and started really putting more hours in, on, on the site. And so I certified I won my first epic a championship that California state championship. So, that is progressing and setting higher goals.
Kyle Case 16:16
Yeah, I know. Cycling is like most sports equipment can make a difference and you kind of, it's kind of a commitment by the time you, you say, Okay, I am committed I'm gonna do this there's investment there. But there's just so much that you can do with the right equipment right
Stan Ford 16:33
yeah the, there's kind of a level of equipment that is necessary to eat at the elite level. You don't go beyond that spend money to spend money but there is definitely a financial commitment to get a competitive bite. Once you're at that level. It's, it's sweat equity. Train practice. And, you know, work hard at it.
Kyle Case 17:04
So that's the next question I wanted to visit with you about for a couple of minutes and that is what what does your training regimen look like do you do you set a goal for a certain number of miles. Are you looking for time. Are you making sure you're getting up hills down hills like what what are you doing to make sure that you're in peak physical condition,
Stan Ford 17:21
or I am, I think, adventurous, is that as a self coach athlete. I've really progressed over the years and he started out just when she said I started out. Oh, no I will find my progress from that. And then I transitioned into more in the heart rate monitors came out, you know, and that in the heart rate, and, and, and time. So time, at a certain heart rate. I know a metric that I use, and then power meters came on the market. They were horribly expensive, and no one knew how to use them and I kind of ignored it, but eventually I got a power meter, and I've done a lot of study, reading, so on and they're on the machine
Kyle Case 18:14
now for the for the uninitiated, tell us what is a power meter.
Stan Ford 18:18
Sure. I think the biggest difference is between power meter and heart rate, I think most people are familiar with heart rate already what do you feel your heartbeat beats right, the heart rate is really just the body's reaction. And there's a lot of factors such as, you know, it could be hot or cold or dingy or you didn't sleep, and art reflects all of those things, not just the work you're doing on the bike, whereas Power Meter, get a wattage readout, which is basically just a metric of work. And so, if you're doing 100 Watts, that's, that's what the wheel is doing the wheel doesn't care if you're tired and Todd was tired wants a more consistent way of training, and then all of that whether use heartbreak or power is so what. So you have different energy systems. In terms of how you produce energy anaerobically anaerobically, and these are just like a switch, they go together. So you may be working in ignorance again, primarily a replay, but you're still especially in mountain biking for a little walks you got to get over a line where it's almost like a sprinter, you have to really push hard on the pedals that requires animals. So my training is based pretty much on zone work so much percent and anaerobic zones and some of the seven in a row zones, there's a science out now. And then the trick is to try and be rested in shape for the event so if you're, if you're overtraining you're gonna you're gonna be too tired, or too risky. You're not gonna it's not gonna work. That's been a real challenge in a lot of part of the hobbies, learning about.
Kyle Case 20:19
Yeah, absolutely. Well, it sounds like you've really jumped into an embrace to it and, and, you know, credit to some of your success. What's the last race that you were able to race and how'd that go for you.
Stan Ford 20:30
Well, that was a national championship. It was a Winter Park, Colorado, and that was in a cross country discipline, and I won my age group, and national champion my fourth national championship jersey. So, as, as cool as
Kyle Case 20:53
that is cool Stan it's really cool.
Lil Barron 20:55
So how far was it.
Stan Ford 20:57
Well, people always ask how far mountain biking is not so much how far, it's the time. And so a typical races are in our 50, to, hour and a half, whatever. And I actually, it was a rather short race for me was it, our seven minutes. And just so when you say it's time does it go as far as you can within that time though, it gets it gets a lap race, and collaboration, be honest, I'm thinking maybe the chorus goes seven mile for last mile, something like that. And, but with mountain biking. You really can't look at the distance because if it was just a flat horse on a gravel road going for a long time a short period of time, but most of all the races are on steep climbing obstacles routes for access, that's right during the man riding on a paved road.
Kyle Case 22:08
Sure, sure. So we got about a minute left. If you were to give somebody advice who's thinking, wondering if mountain biking might be for them what what would you say to that person,
Stan Ford 22:18
I think, I mean if you're really interested in doing more than say right around the block. I recommend going to a local independent bike shop, as opposed to being going online or, you know, Amazon or Kmart or whatever, sure, because you're gonna have people there that are knowledgeable and interested and passionate, and just like I got started with people that helped me that you're going to get directed hey yeah there's a group guys anyway I don't know. Here's the type of bike you need, and you can help me help you learn how to ride the bike and so on.
Kyle Case 22:58
Yeah, that makes a ton of sense and like I said, a lot of us see the Olympics that just, you just been watching, see a friend or whatever and jump into it. I like your approach. I mean, get some knowledge, get a foundation, obviously you can grow from there, but talk to the experts, get some, get some great information in your back pocket before you just jump into it and then see where it can take you, like
Stan Ford 23:21
Yeah, I think, in our age group, too. People are real friendly and they want to help anybody interested in getting started in an equity group like that better entrepreneurs.
Kyle Case 23:33
Stan, national champion, Stan Ford, what a great visit that's all the time that we've got to spend with you but thank you for spending some time with us and best of luck in all your upcoming events.
Well thank you very much. All right, good stuff. That makes me want to get a mountain bike. Does it make you want to get a mountain bike?
Lil Barron 23:49
No, no. I'm still
Kyle Case 23:52
Fair enough, fair enough. That's fair enough. So just a couple of things wrap us up here registrations open for them so we'll send your games but it closes on September 1 which is just around the corner. Don't dawdle Don't miss out, we blasted through 10,000 registered athletes just a few days ago, you can check out all of our schedules rules dates as well as our COVID-19 dotnet. It's also worth mentioning, as well that you can register now to volunteer for the games, and we need a bunch of volunteers, it takes about 3000 volunteers to post cardiac, we have opportunities in sports. We have lots of opportunities outside of sports a bunch of areas where we can, you know, frankly, we just need the help and it's a great experience so it's a fun, you can register by day or by interest so whatever works the best for you very easy to do. And again, you can register there at seniorgames.net, and this year for everybody who registered you're entered into a drawing for a brand new e-bike from Charge Bikes, which is very exciting. I want to remind you to tune in live next and every Thursday at 5:30pm Mountain Time on AM 1415 or FM 93.1 for the Huntsman World Senior Games active life. And you can also subscribe to this show on a podcast pretty much anywhere the podcasts are available. We also put the shows right on our website as well. Senior Games dotnet so check that out today's inspirational thought comes from the inestimable whatever thatword is inestimable Dolly Parton. This is what she says. The way I see it. If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain. Until next Thursday, stay active.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai