Martin Brower Blaze Out of The Blocks

In 2014, when I took up sprinting for the first time in my life, I tried to enter some Masters track meets. I paid my B.C. Athletics membership for the full year, but I really had no desire to go out and run in any meets. I had a hollow feeling at the thought of going out to run in a track meet. I had to ask myself, why am I doing this? Why am I wasting my time going out to a track meet by myself to run 100 metres? What am I going to get out of running as an unattached Masters sprinter? My time off from work is extremely valuable and limited. I work long hour--50-70 hours each week. I found it more enjoyable to just go out and sprint at my local track in Maple Ridge, enjoying the surroundings and all the different people who come out to the track.

I started to make acquaintance with the regular people at the track--couples, families, people walking their dogs, etc. The dogs are always happy to come up and greet me, get a warm rub down from me, some springing up as if wanting to run when they see me sprint. There are many elderly walkers who are full of life, always saying hello, young parents with their children playing on the field; some of the children emulate me by sprinting on the track. Children love to sprint and sprinting is infectious. I enjoy the crows that are regularly at the track and seem to always caw to me when I arrive, as if to say hello. The eagles glide silently overhead, hovering high above the old growth trees that sway in the wind. There are many different sports teams playing games at the field. I feel relaxed, and at peace with myself whenever I go to the track. It seems that time stands still for me, and no matter how much effort I put into sprinting on any day, it never feels like I am working. It is the place I want to be and I am fortunate enough to be there, experiencing pure enjoyment.

At this point in my life, I am still lucky enough to be able to sprint and what draws me to sprinting is the simple desire to sprint as fast as I can from point A to point B. The combination of training through speed drills, flexibility exercises, power workouts, along with healthy diet, proper sleep is a compelling way-of-life for me. It requires the discipline to be consistent in a proper regimen for days, weeks, months and years, in order to improve my time at any given distance. Sprinting is the most addictive and enjoyable sport I have ever done and I cherish every moment I get to be out on the track.

Over time I got to know Cody and Ty, both managers for my company’s customer, McDonald’s. All three of us discovered that we enjoyed sprinting. Both Cody and Ty were teammates together at Maple Ridge Senior High and together were one-half of the relay team that made it to the British Columbia High School Track & Field Championships finals. Ty actually finished sixth in the B.C. High School Championships 100 metre finals as well. As we talked more about sprinting, Cody told me that he never ran in the individual races, only the relays, because the team aspect of that sport was what he most enjoyed.

This is where the idea of forming a team began and it transformed into a reality. Having Cody, Ty and myself as the starting members, we would need only one more sprinter to form a relay team. Martin Brower has some really good athletes, in particular, one exceptional sprinter and a former Vancouver Whitecap soccer player, named Adama Dramé. Our work is physically demanding and our company seeks ways it can improve the health of workers; physical activity has proven to be beneficial in reducing injuries and time off work. This team activity would be a good fit for both the company and the employees, because the company gets to have workers with much-improved fitness levels, which reduces many potential injuries. The workers get an opportunity to compete at the top level for sprinters in the province, while taking their fitness to unprecedented levels. Belonging to a company team was something that really excited me! We had four workers sign up and we had three McDonald’s employee sign up, for a total of seven, which exceeded the minimum of five required for a B.C. Athletics recognized club.

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