Keep Moving: Inspiration and Motivation from National Senior Athlete Nancy Brown
It’s tempting to slow down as you get older. But don’t tell that to Nancy Brown, winner of the silver medal in her division of women’s volleyball in the 2022 Senior Olympics. Her motto, “Keep moving,” is a simple encouragement for people of all ages to rediscover their love for sports and to know it’s never too late to start playing. We spoke with Brown to discuss her return to women’s volleyball after a 20-year hiatus and how Arnicare has helped her stay in motion.
Q: When did you first get interested in athletics?
A: It was softball when I was 7 years old, playing with ‘down the alley’ teams. Then, I moved on to traveling teams at 10 or 12 until I had to join the real world. I got a job as a secretary out of high school and did that for many years. I met my husband and played volleyball for fun. We did that for a few years until we had two children.
After the kids grew up, some of the same group I had played volleyball with 20 years ago invited me back to join. I joined the Senior Olympics when I was 57.
Q: What do you like most about playing?
A: I learned an awful lot from these women. I love the competition and the camaraderie of our group — it’s like another family.
Q: Did you ever imagine that you would still be so active later in life?
A: No, I never thought about it. I was too busy raising two active kids! My daughter played soccer, and my son was in motocross. Now my goal is to keep moving as long as I can.
Q: You had been managing a degenerative hip for five years, then had hip replacement surgery in August 2021. Tell us about your recovery.
A: I am very lucky to come back better than before my surgery. I managed for five years with physical therapy and injections before having the replacement. And I was still playing my sports — I played pickleball a week before my surgery. Afterward, I popped back quickly with just a few days of discomfort.
I was so bruised after hip surgery from the inside of my thigh down to my calf. It looked worse than it felt. I bruise easily, so I’m always dabbing Arnicare Gel on somewhere. I like that it’s a gel, and it doesn’t smell — it dissipates. It’s not greasy and you don’t have to worry about your clothes getting stained.
Q. What inspires you to keep going every day?
A: My motto is to keep moving. If it hurts, just do what you can do, but keep moving.
Q: What advice can you give other older people who want to start being active?
A: Just give it a try! Our team practices every Saturday. We have a Facebook page, and people always ask, “What if I’m not good enough?” I tell them, just come out and try and see if you’re a fit. We encourage them during the practice not to be afraid. Just take it slow and do what you can do.
I’m so happy to do what I’m doing, and I’m so blessed to continue moving. So use your gifts and keep going. Don’t give up even if you have minor setbacks.
The Senior Olympics is a multi-sport competition for men and women over age 50 held every two years by the National Senior Games Association (NSGA). Arnicare by Boiron is an NSGA sponsor and partner of the 2022 National Senior Games in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. For more information, visit NSGA.com.
Nancy Brown rediscovered her passion for volleyball after many years off the court and while managing hip pain. Now in her 60s, she competes nationally in women’s volleyball tournaments. Her motto in life is to “keep moving” and she encourages all types of folks to do what they love, especially members of the Senior Olympics of Western Pennsylvania. She serves as the club’s president overseeing sports teams for women 50+.