by Wyndi Kappes, Photography by Elle Wood
Tecumseh Peete Age: 51
Sport: Track & Field
Atlanta Track Club Sprinter
For many years, running was just a side gig for Tecumseh Peete, as football was his main focus throughout middle and high school. But after a short stint running in college, he found his passion for sprinting 15 years post-graduate with Masters Track & Field and the Atlanta Track Club. The former college professor, now UPS Store franchise owner, clocks some of the top times in his age group and competes for the United States everywhere from Toronto to France and Austria for world championships and international meets.
Q: Why do you love running?
Tecumseh Peete: Sprinting keeps me young, and it fosters a competitive edge in me that I can transfer to my job. As a business owner, it keeps me sharp, focused and healthy, all things that help me deliver the best to not only my customers but everyone I interact with.
Q: What is the secret to running long-term without injury?
TP: The older I get, the more I see the importance of training smart, not necessarily hard. I put an increased emphasis on recovery and really listen to my body. If you want longevity, you have to make sure you are in shape to train. During the off-season, I do Orangetheory Fitness two days a week, which ensures when I am pushing my body to train, I am not at a high risk of hurting myself.
Q: How do you take care of your mental health to help with your overall wellness?
TP: Running is my therapy. Many track athletes, myself included, often train by themselves, so you have a lot of time alone with your thoughts. While I don’t meditate in the traditional sense, what I have is more of an inner dialogue with myself understanding who I am, what I stand for, and what I’m trying to achieve, whether that be athletically, personally, with my business or with my family.
Q: How do you think being an athlete makes you a better father?
TP: I have three kids, and I think sports model and reinforce a lot of things I wish to teach my children, whether that lesson is to be consistent, focused, or not giving up when things get tough. I always tell my girls if someone is better than you, don’t shy away from them but figure out what is making them the best! Then you not only come away with a friendship but also more information on how you too can be your best.
Q: When do you plan to retire or stop running?
TP: I hope to run until I can’t anymore, or I lose interest. I love the competitive nature behind the sport and what inspires me is that I see men competing in their 60s and 70s having a great time. In my mind, if they can still run, so can I. Regardless of whether I can run or not, I will always keep moving.
For more information on getting involved with the Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.