The following is the full interview I did with Bob Meluskey that I used in writing my book 50 Athletes Over 50 Teach Us to Lead a Strong, Healthy Life. I will be posting the full interviews with all 50 athletes in the upcoming weeks and months.
Bob Meluskey Sr. is a 57 year old discus, shot put, and javelin thrower from Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. Bob has participated in various sports his whole life, including baseball, slow pitch and fast pitch softball, football, basketball, track and field, motors sports racing, hunting, and fishing. Bob very much values his family, which includes his wife of 37 years Sandi, his son Bob Jr., and his granddaughter and fishing partner Samantha. He started competing in master’s track and field at the age of 51, when his wife kidded him that he was over the hill. Far from it. In 2007, Bob was nationally ranked 36th, 15th, and 11th in his age group for the discus, hammer throw, and javelin events respectively. Bob is an industrial maintenance mechanic who loves to work with his hands and mind, and enjoys the camaraderie of master’s athletics.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment in sports?
A: It is finding out that I am able to be competitive at high levels. I especially enjoyed when I competed in drag racing, where I won consistently. I also consider myself better than the average bragging bar room Joe when it comes to hunting and fishing.
Q: What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
A: I do intense workouts keyed to my lifestyle and work ethic. I usually train before I start my work shift, which seems to help with the stress involved in a high end manufacturing business, where production is the only goal. It’s hard being on call 24/7. When it stops being fun, its time to give it up.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: I’ll be happy to make one masters world championship, and have my family there to watch.
Q: How do you set your goals?
A: When I compete, it’s not for the medals or ribbons. It’s about the personal satisfaction that I’ve tried and done my best, hopefully a personal best. If I medal, that’s the icing on the cake.
Q: What is your biggest challenge and how do you mange it?
A: I have been diagnosed with Vertigo. In the discus, hammer throw, weight throws, and shot put, I’m a twirler, so vertigo is hard to deal with.
I have limited my spins to two or three. I also sacrificed my flexibility in the javelin by working out heavy to really bulk up my upper body to use pure power instead of finesse. I adapted and overcame.
Q: What is your diet like?
A: It’s nothing special. I enjoy Sandi’s home cooking, but I do love Burger King, Taco bell, and subway too. I use creatine for recovery, as well as glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM for my joints. I use whey protein also, and drink a lot of Gatorade and water.
Q: What 1-2 things do you believe differentiates you from your contemporaries who have tailed off in their athletic?
A: I don’t like sitting on my butt watching the boob tube, and my work ethics has me constantly moving, not sitting behind a desk. I use my hands and mind.
Q: Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, seminars, websites, coaches)
A: My fellow master’s competitors and I share information on training. Tom Petranoff sent me his training program, and tailored it to suit me as a master athlete. It is no wonder he threw 327 feet 2inches. I also like Bob Sing’s book The Dynamics of the Javelin Throw.
Q: Have you experienced a breakthrough, and if so, what led to it?
A: My breakthrough was overcoming my fear of failure at my first track meet in 2003. I had my wife, my aunt, and a few friends watching, and I didn’t choke. In 2004 at the Keystone Games I earned my first two medals in competition. I got a bronze metal in the javelin and another bronze in the discus. I had never thrown the discuss before in my life. My son, my granddaughter, my wife, my cousin Carol, and her hubbie Carl were on hand to cheer me on. Carl video taped me, and gave the tape to me as a present.
Q: Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
A: “Just do your best.” If I can look at the guy in the mirror and say I did my best, mission accomplished.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: My old track Coach Vince Wojnar, and my dad who died of cancer in 1999 from. My dad never saw me make my return to track. When I played competitive softball, he never missed a game.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: To all masters athletes, remember this, you have to have a little bit of that kid left in you. Without that, it’s no longer fun.