Ocean Eversley, as her name suggests, has been able to produce profound change in her personal landscape, using deep and powerful personal resources.
“I felt as if I were decaying, that I was incomplete,” said Ms. Eversley, 50, about her six physically inactive years following a successful life in track, body building and a personal training and Island business career. “Then last winter I decided to make a life change.”
Those changes produced a bronze medal and a fourth place finish in the 60-yard and 200-yard dash events at the United States Amateur Track and Field Masters Championships held at the Reggie Lewis track and field center in Boston last month.
The performance by an unknown stunned the Masters track world and has resulted in all-American status in her category, invitations to join track clubs and to compete in other events, even an invitation to try out for a TV reality show for Masters category athletes.
“It all caught up with me,” in 2001, she said of herniated discs in her back, the result of an ill-advised weight-lifting move that exacerbated injuries from an auto accident in her youth.
The longtime Vineyard resident took her doctors’ advice not to run or work out for six long years. She walked instead and developed plantar fasciitis, a painful neural foot condition.
”I had been completely shut down for four or five years. It felt like a life sentence. Then last winter, I decided to jog for five minutes a day,” the Oak Bluffs resident said. Ms. Eversley is the manager of Fancy That in Vineyard Haven.
Ms. Eversley scrupulously follows her self-designed rehabilitation regimen, including the stretching exercises she prescribes to personal training clients. As a result, she was able to extend her pain-free running sessions to five miles a day, five days a week, over several months.
Two months into her new regime, she decided to time her capabilities with her brother at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School track. It was on a Saturday afternoon two months ago. “We checked [masters dash] times on the Internet and I thought ‘Hey, my times are competitive,’” she said.
So the Rockland county, N.Y., native, a pioneer in women’s track and field at Boston University and Island entrepreneur (Diana’s restaurant at Winifred Inn, Summer Breeze boutique and Rising Sun horse ranch, all in Oak Bluffs), suited up and showed up March 29 and 30 after only six weeks of event preparation.
The resultant accolades and the possibilities excite her, and she is grateful.
“I have my life back,” Ms. Eversley said. “I guess the lesson is: if you want to do it, you can. Don’t accept no from anybody.”