Keeping Up with Jerry Patten

Professional Home Building has been in Jerry’s family for years. But, when he’s not building homes, just try to keep up with this inspiring Masters Athlete who takes on pretty well any sport and shows everyone, age is no barrier!

When did you know you wanted something different? I’ve always been willing to try any sport. I raced motocross for years and totally loved it. But after 25 years on and off racing bikes the injuries do add up. Luckily nothing too bad. So that’s when I started to focus on finding something new.   I started tournament water skiing at 38 and ramped up my mountain biking and road riding. I picked up white-water kayaking at 45 and started racing sport bikes then too (what could go wrong at 320 kph?). I joined Crossfit to help my downhill ski racing, which I was new to and had some catching up to do. Of all my sports, I would say ski racing is my favourite.  As of today, that is.

What keeps you motivated? I wake up motivated every day. I’m very competitive with myself and am constantly pushing myself to improve. And the younger athletes really motivate me; I never want to fall too far behind (or behind at all, I’ve never liked being there).   And I have had, and still have, a few great mentors.

How did you get started? As I tried to wean myself off biking, I filled in the free time with waterskiing. I would hit the course 4 times a week, sometimes going straight from the track.  It was a great transition sport.  Then at 44, I was at a party and a couple of my friends talked me into joining our house league ski racing. After that, I went to every race available. By 46 I was doing 25 ski races a season and skiing with some amazing skiers. I had always skied but never raced until then.  My friends Jeff Sutherland and John Mealey helped me improve every week.  Three years ago we did an amazing full downhill race out west with speeds up to 123 km/hr.   This was my favourite race of my ski racing career so far. I was on the podium with 2 ex-national team skiers and my smile was so big my face hurt.

How has your life changed since you decided what is next? It has been so much fun and so social. We race so hard and then always have time for a beer or two afterward. I started CrossFit to help keep me in shape and it has definitely done that. I may be a little competitive some days there too. But lots of fun with great friends. I can’t say my life has changed, because I have always made sport and competition a part of my life. But I have to say I’m happy that nothing has changed because I can’t imagine being a couch potato.

Tell me about your nutrition? I definitely watch what i eat but I’m not afraid to have a slice of pizza or a beer. Right now I’m on an 80% Paleo diet. And the way I feel I’m happy with my nutrition – it is working well for me. I’ve tried tracking all of my macros and I found it very difficult while I was working, and busy doing the things I love to do. But it did help me to really understand what I eat every day, and that awareness has improved my diet.

What is your definition of old? Age is just a number and when I’m doing my sports i never think that I’m 50. I just keep trying hard and enjoying it. As long as you stay active and healthy, ‘old’ will never apply.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? I’m starting to compete with my horse, I should still be doing that in 10 years! I plan to still be ski racing, and am open to any other activity that comes my way.

What do you do to stay Young? I stay very active and social.  I think you need both to stay young.

How old would u be if you did not know how old u are? I think around 35. Still strong, but much smarter than I was at 25.

What were your parents doing when they were the age you are now? My mom has always been active, but she was never involved in organized sports.  At 50, she was keeping the house and looking after my dad.  He was not active at 50; he only watched sports on television (Nascar, mainly).  Their lives then were very different from what mine is now.

There is a saying…”the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why you were born” Most people eventually find out their “why” which answers why they are here…do you know yours? If so, when did you find it and how did that change ur life? I don’t spend much time thinking about my purpose, I just try to be the best person I can every day.

What is NEXT? I plan to keep doing what I’m doing and loving every minute of it.  I’m in it for as long as my body and brain are.

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