How fast is Angela Myers? Fast enough to place eighth in the 400-meter dash at the World Masters Athletics Championships held in Málaga, Spain in 2018. She wasn’t always that fast. Or athletic. She was cut from her high school soccer team and never really got into sports growing up in rural Lancaster County. But at some point, after the birth of her third child, something clicked. The click led to a report from a starting gun. She was off and running and a new hobby led to a new endeavor in life.
“Just as part of staying in shape I started to run,” says Angela, seated on bleachers overlooking her oval office. That’s what runners nicknamed a track, the oval office. The sun is out, and she is in her element having grown up a few miles from Lampeter-Strasburg High School. Staying in shape led to participating in the Red Rose Run, which she ran pushing a double stroller. “I did fairly well, and it put the thought in my mind, ‘What if I started to train?’ So, I got a coach and did 5ks for two or three years, but I really hated it. By mile two I would think, ‘Why am I doing this?’”
She started doing mile races. Part of her training included running 800-meter races.
“Then I realized the shorter the distance, the more I was enjoying it,” says Angela. “I discovered by default I was a sprinter.”
She soon found USA Track and Field Masters, which is organized for athletes over the age of 35 years old. In the USATF Masters, men and women compete separately in five-year age groups (35-39, 40-44, etc.) The local and regional meets can include a variety of track and field events, like sprints, distance running, hurdles, and relays. There’s even competition in throwing events with shot, discus, hammer, and javelin. She immediately excelled at the 400-meter sprint and qualified for the team representing the USA. At the 2018 international event, Myers joined three other runners to post a bronze medal winning 50.41 in the 4×100 meter relay and win gold in the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 3:58.45.
“Worlds happens every two years… and it brings the best people from all over the world,” explains Angela. “It was such an amazing experience.”
The experience of becoming a world-class athlete as a seasoned adult empowered her to pursue a career as a life coach and publish her first book, Living Younger. Subtitled “Discover the secrets to enjoying a young body, spirit, and mind at any age!”, the book was published in May, 2019 and is available in paperback and digital formats.
“The main point of the book is to empower people to really take control of their life,” says Angela. “There are specific, easy things people can do preventatively to take charge of their health and their fitness.”
The self-empowering book involves the reader, encouraging them to reflect and self-assess. The book leads to an eight-week Living Younger Program designed to “make the changes you’ve been desiring” with the support of a coach and an organized game plan. The result is feeling more energy and vitality, body improvement, and younger looks, says Angela.
As a life coach, Angela understands human beings operate on feelings. If somebody doesn’t feel like doing something in particular, like working out, it often does not happen.
“When you want something, you sometimes have to put your feelings aside for the higher goal. With track, if I know what I have to do is going to be really uncomfortable I can’t just feel it; I have to put my head down and put the work in. We need to honor the feeling for a minute and then let it go. You can’t sit in it or it will stop you from taking action,” says Angela. “Helping people achieve their goals, that is what really gives me joy. That’s been part of who I am since I was a kid.”
That helping nature led her to majoring in the field of social work and attain a degree from Eastern Mennonite University.
“Running is just one segment of who I am, but it gives me so much back in turn,” says Angela, and she offers a bit of advice for kids wanting to run competitively. “If it feels good and it is something you enjoy, go out and do it. Running is something people sometimes think you just go out and do, but it is actually a skill. You have to develop form and mind-body coordination. It takes practice just like any other sport.”