Location: Luna County
“I’ve always kind of been active. Whatever I do, I go at it full blast,” Beverly Wood of Luna County said. “When you’re active, you cope with things better. It helps your whole life.”
For many years Wood’s activities have centered on ranching. “Because my husband had a full-time job, I plowed, planted and irrigated, cut and hauled hay,” she said. At age 35 she joined the All Girls Rodeo and began team roping at 40. She was the first women ever to qualify for the state championship team roping competition.
Wood also spent a short time as an aerobics instructor, plays golf, and has attended body building and U.S. Olympics racewalking camps. She usually competes in 9 or 10 state Olympic events. Now 61, Wood said she has just so many hours in a day and has decided she needs to cut down and specialize her activities. This year she has registered for the cycling events alone.
In 1999, Wood won seven gold and two silver medals. She broke state records in the 55-59 year old category in standing broad jump, one-mile cycling, 400m racewalk, and 5k racewalk. In 2000, Wood broke her own 400m racewald records, though she had moved to the 60-64 age group.
“I was disqualified in the 1500m racewalk, but I gave it all I had and broke the record on the 400,” she said. “I like the competition and I realize there are going to be errors. If you quit or give up, you’re not a very good sportsman.”
Senior Olympics provides motivation to keep moving, Wood said. “So many people are gonna exercise tomorrow, are gonna start. You can’t put off if you’re running to compete and want to do any good. You have to exercise on a regular basis and keep fit, stick with it.”
Her great physical condition allowed her to to go ocean kayaking on a 1999 visit to Canada. She helped with the cooking, cleaning, and moving the camp site. She missed out on the best part of all, however. “It was the only time in history that the whales hadn’t gotten there yet,” she laughed.
Wood is also a talented painter. She began taking classes in her thirties to improve her abilities. “When I slow down, I can go back to painting.