2012 TN Senior Olympics: You just never know what’s going to happen…

Anne and I were very surprised when I was nominated for Most Inspiring Athlete at the Tennessee Senior Olympics banquet during the state finals. What Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN has decided to do is a sweepstakes where those VOTING in the “Choose Your Champ” can win $500. All of a sudden there was a two-minute vignette featuring me chatting about my transplants and all I’d had to overcome to get there. Wow.

This year’s Senior Olympics was a challenge as I’d had to wear an elbow brace and doctor’s orders, along with Anne’s special brand of gentle persuasion, kept me out of cycling and my beloved basketball events. My team, the Time Benders, had won gold at Districts in the 55-59 3-on-3 and your’s truly earned a silver in Free Throw shooting although I “baumed” in Three Point as the elbow had begun to bother me. The next day I tore a tendon in that elbow during my first softball throw. Thank God it was before the shot put or who knows?

Still ended up with a bronze in the Powerwalk, silver in the Triple Jump and gold in the 10K. Special thanks to the two best distance runners in my age group that no-showed leaving a few of us mere mortals to slog out the 10K!

Always a pleasure to chat with and support the other senior athletes. You cultivate friendships and “The Games” is like a big family reunion for most. Many inspiring stories as not everyone was a natural athlete who had remained active throughout their lives. Many, like me, were just happy to be there. As I said in the :60 spot that will be used to promote future games it’s simply “In One Word? Joy!”

So then on to the “Choose Your Champ” sweepstakes:

Vote for Steve? I’m hoping you can help me:

 “I have been nominated by Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Tennessee Senior Olympics as one of their Most Inspirational Athletes in their “Choose Your Champ” sweepstakes.

Some background: I received the Second Gift of Life with a liver and kidney transplant 11/11/09 after being ill and physically inactive for over eight years. Literally dying. As a part of my paying it forward I sign new donors and to honor my own I participate in athletic events and speaking engagements.

Two half-marathons, a sprint triathlon, basketball in the Transplant Games and now, most recently, a Gold, Silver, and Bronze in track and field at the 2012 TN Senior Olympics show just how truly blessed my family and I have become.

Go to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN facebook page, “like” it, and vote for Steve Baum: the old fart with new parts on the bicycle. You could even win $500 for you or your organization! You can vote weekly!

 My family and I thank you for your consideration!”

So, as I walk into the registration area one of the young volunteers says “Look! It’s the guy in the poster!” Hmmm…didn’t see THAT comin’!

The TN Senior Olympics state finals are here…

Here’s a link to the :60 TV spot we shot to promote. Don’t blink or you might miss a familiar-looking cyclist:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2990797348392&set=t.1815888470&type=3&theater

And other media:

http://www.brentwoodhomepage.com/forget-london-senior-olympics-get-under-way-friday–cms-9469

Forget London; Senior Olympics get under way Friday
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 10:53 pm
Forget London; Senior Olympics get under way Friday

2011 Tennessee Senior Olympics’ Cycling medalists in the 55-59 age group, Jay Swafford (silver), Greg Clark (gold) and Steve Baum (bronze)

Almost 2000 athletes will compete right here

By NIKKI KOCINA
Brentwood Home Page
Williamson County is getting a head start on the Olympic Games 2012 by hosting the Tennessee Senior Olympics, which kick off Friday and run through Thursday, July 19. This year’s number of registered athletes is record-breaking, surpassing 1,962 athletes in all. All participants live in Tennessee and are at least 50 years in age.

Williamson County Parks and Recreation athletics department, Battleground Academy and sponsors BlueCross BlueShield and Walgreens are providing over 300 volunteers to facilitate the Games.

Brentwood will play an important role in the games, hosting a variety of the events which include swimming, track and field, horseshoes, table tennis, bowling, badminton, tennis, basketball, archery, racquetball, cycling, volleyball, softball, shuffleboard, golf, pickleball, 10K and 5K races, a fitness walk, and a one-mile power walk.

For the first time ever, the state games include a 50-meter dash heat in track. Approximately 100 participants signed up to take part in it.

Brentwood’s Indoor Sports Complex and the Maryland Farms YMCA will serve as competition venues. Other venues include Battle Ground Academy, Franklin Recreational Center, Franklin Entertainment Center, Fieldstone Farms, the Academy Park, the Ag Expo Center, College Grove Recreational Center, Christ Church at Arrington, and Pine Creek Golf Course.

The Tennessee Senior Olympics strives to “promote a healthy lifestyle among seniors through fitness, sports, and an active involvement in life.” TSO’s Executive Director Christine Dewbre says watching the participants compete is “very inspirational.”

One example of such inspiration is Williamson County’s very own Steve Baum. Baum, 57, battled liver and kidney disease for eight years until he received a transplant for both organs in November 2009. Until his surgery, everyday tasks like walking half a mile were unbearable.

After the two transplants, Baum faced a couple significant challenges: rebuilding his deteriorated muscles and learning to combat his obstructed breathing caused by the 21-inch scar across his stomach. Instead of focusing on his past obstacles, however, Baum set his sights on the future with the goal of playing basketball at the 2010 Transplant Games. He met that goal a mere nine months after his surgery.

Last year was Baum’s first year to participate in the Tennessee Senior Olympics. He entered in three open events and brought home bronze medals in each. This year, he signed up for a grand total of 10 events, but a recent injury to his right elbow, however, will limit his ability to compete in all of them.

When asked what the Tennessee Senior Olympics means to him, Baum summed it up in one word: joy.

“I’ve gone from dying to winning a bronze in the triple jump. It’s just pure joy.”

For more information, download the “2012 State Finals Athlete Program” at http://www.tnseniorolympics.com/

What I did on my summer vacation…

What I did on my summer vacation: Part 1

6/20-26

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2929944707114.99173.1815888470&type=3

1 Wed: Flew to Denver

2 Drove to Greeley and visited the dorms Anne and I lived in, took a photo of the stone wall where I proposed to her 9/73 (Yes, btw) and visited KUNC where I started in radio as a 17-year-old freshman

3 Drove to Denver and took my in-laws, Bob and Kathy Barela, out to dinner at a fine-dining independent Mexican food restaurant in The Highlands

4 Thu: Met my sister Marcia and Goddaughter Jennie and drove to and hiked to the top of Mt Evans @ 14,265 ft. Lunch in Evergreen, showed them the Bear Creek, and shared a bottle of wine at O’Fallon Park.

5 Home to Barela’s

6 Fri: Lunch in downtown Denver.

7 Then Wilco at Red Rocks. Wilco killed.

8 Late beer with Bear Creek HS classmates outdoors at Chad’s on Green Mountain

9 Sat: Walk in Stone House Park. Chill.

10 Bear Creek High School class of ’72 reunion at Fox Hollow. Forty (4-0) years. Really good time!

11 Sun: “Sounds of the 70’s” reunion of alumni singers of our high school show choir Sounds of BC. Multiple award-winning group that had 65 performances our senior year alone.

12 PM: Root for those poor, sad Rockies.

13 Mon: Hiked in Bear Creek Park. Lunch in Cherry Creek with old friend Dave Durham and his great wife Ann Davis.

14 Attend twilight Rockies game with brothers-in-law Mike and Tom. Rockies win!

15 Mon: Flew home to my honeybunch and crashed.