DENVER (KDVR) — Jenny Regan led a group stretch on the grassy infield of the track at Harvard Gulch Park in Denver. Each one of the 14 athletes followed her gruff command to switch, and slowly shifted their legs during the butterfly stretch.
At 43, she’s in the best shape of her life.
“I work out at home on a treadmill or on my bike,” Regan beamed.
That’s not counting her weekly track and field training sessions at Harvard Gulch Park.
“I want to do better with the 1,500 (meter) walk,” Regan said during a break in the action.
She’s also working to improve her distance in the shot put. Although Regan admits this track and field event is a challenge.
“Because (the shot) is so heavy,” she said with a laugh.
When she’s not training for her next competition, this dynamo does some heavy lifting as a part-time courtesy clerk at Safeway.
“I am a hard worker,” Regan said proudly.
She’s also a Hall of Famer. Regan was inducted into the Special Olympics Colorado Hall of Fame in 2013. The same year she was named Special Olympics Colorado’s Female Athlete of the Year.
“I had to write a speech and talk to all the people in the audience,” Regan recalled.
All told, Regan has been competing in the Special Olympics for parts of four decades. She says she has no plans to slow down.
“Maybe when I’m old,” Regan joked.
The Centennial native recently participated in the Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida. She was one of six athletes to represent the state of Colorado in bocce ball. Regan finished fourth in the individual competition.
Regan believes there are three keys to her longevity.
“Have fun, focus on your practice and don’t feel bad (if you don’t win),” Regan said with a smile.
That’s sage advice from an athlete who can’t wait for the next competition.