This is a short post to share the addition of a new tool/toy to the household. Recently celebrating a 60th birthday, honoring 12 years of running, wanting to support the workouts of OTF, desiring to skirt these bitter winds of long winter months, and feeling like it was now or never, hubby and I are now enjoying our new treadmill.
I haven’t written about health and wellness in awhile. It is not because I have been negligent rather, I wanted to collect some data to share and show that exercise continues to be alive and well in my retirement life.
When I retired, I said there were three things I wanted to focus on. They were and continue to be: knitting [of course], running, and writing/reading. In my knitting life, I knew I would be attacking the stash working up projects I had only wished/dreamed of finishing. UPDATE: I moved OUT a piece of furniture that was housing yarn as those bundled fibers are now finished objects!
The reader must be wondering, “Where is the knitting? I thought this blog was on knitting!” And, you would be right however, this blog also serves as a journal on related topics and I feel staying fit and making healthy choices interweaves in the kind of knitting I represent.
“How is staying fit and making healthy choices a part of knitting?” I’ll give you the top five answers that pop into my head. 1. (staying fit) I want to keep my shape for as long as possible for the fashion statements I make with my knitting. When asked why I knit, immediately I say, “for the fashion of it.” 2. (staying fit) We have a routine for exercise that is meant to help keep that shape. And, the routine is for two, hubby and me.
3. (healthy choice) Even retired, there are responsibilities and obligations that are part of my life. There is the enjoyable position as VP of the Buffalo Knitting Guild where I share my love and passion of knitting hoping to encourage and inspire as I go and there is a growing call for my time and service helping aging family members. I am beginning to take my knitting with me for waiting room entertainment.
4. And, full disclosure: (healthy choice) Don’t get angry, knitters, but I do find pleasure in other things that are not knitting related. When I take a break from knitting, coming back to it gives me a much greater appreciation of it. 5. (healthy choice) Did you know people who knit for too long a period of time can and have done bodily injury to themselves? If I sit for too long in one spot, my body get stiff and sore. The repetition of motion of one’s hand, wrist and elbow for extended periods of time can and does create injury that could take months, if not longer to heal. I purposely knit for short periods of time, involving myself in another activity in between. So, one reason why you haven’t seen any knitting is because I’ve spent time on a number of these other things.
Another reason is because I am attempting knitting more than one item at a time! Therefore, I am about 50% complete with two projects right now. If you count a quickie crochet scarf, then I am in the middle of three projects. ok, here is a sneak peak of the start of one and yarn (linen) for another.
I don’t think this multi-knitting projects is for me. I seem to have a certain guilt that arises when I am knitting on one of the projects and not on the other. I feel like I am not giving full attention to each project, like I am rushing through just to get them to completion. I notice I am not taking the time to appreciate the particulars like the detail, or whimsy of style, or innovative fabric. When these projects are finished, I will be going back to my mono knitting. Just call me a serial monogamist.
And, my last excuse why knitting has been missing in posts is because it’s been too blasted hot to knit! (We have no AC.) Even to have a photo shoot! I actually do have a beauty in queue for a fashion shoot but it is a turtleneck! It will have to wait.
So, enjoy some of these shots from our last bike ride. This is a bike path that is quickly becoming my favorite in the local area. I love how it follows a creek at times,
passes through a summer camp as it reminds me of my summer camp days, and winds in ever-extending trails through the University of Buffalo’s ‘playground’.
Feel the summer breezes, take in the fresh air, work those large muscles, and know that knitting is always in the forecast of the future.
With this recent third incident, I said to myself, “ok, now I need to write a blog post.” I am talking about our (hubby and my) morning outings for our daily fix of fresh air and exercise. They don’t always go smoothly and we’ve just had our third mishap. Me with my goals and hubby along for daily movement, we set out in the mornings either by bike, foot, or a combination of both, daily. This is meaning we are both biking, both walking, one running and one walking, or one running and one biking. I suppose it sounds confusing but there is a rationale for these combinations. The large picture for both of us is to have a daily dose of fresh air, to move our bodies, to be together, and to have fun. The main reason for the variety of combinations is due to safety, rest, and training.
Vignette one: About three weeks ago, we set out, both of us on our bikes. We got to our destination, were unloading our bikes, mine was unloaded first. So, I got on and was meandering in the empty parking lot behind us. We had not verbalized the direction we would take for our outing, so when hubby was ready he jumped on his bike looked both ways to see where I was but in so doing, twisted his bike and fell on the cinders and hard rock along the edge of the path. More unnerved and embarrassed than anything, we mopped up the bloody mess, attended surface wounds, turned around, and went home.
Vignette two: About two weeks ago we set out, both of us on our bikes. It was an absolutely glorious day. We do not always park in the same spot so as to vary up and keep interest in our activities. Also, we vary the mileage, both on the bikes and on foot as the more we go out, the stronger we become. Well, we were nearing the end of our ride, I was in the lead, and wasn’t even thinking of where we parked the car. This caused me to keep going. And, going. Hubby thought I would realize it, so he sat waiting at a nearby bench. But after some time, became worried and began searching for me. I got to a point that finally made me realize I was supposed to be looking for the car but by then, I had over shot it by miles! I turned around, he was in search-mode, I was sheepish and that was the end of that ride.
Vignette Three: I was running, he was on a different bike than he normally rides. He wanted to ‘try out’ this bike he hadn’t ridden in some time while being my safety guard. I took off, he took off, and I never saw him again until I reached the end of my run. He claims I must have started in a different direction; I claim the different bike underneath him distracted him and he forgot about me.
I say to myself, ok, three times is the charm. What are these stories telling me? What are we doing or not doing that we could change to avoid these minor mishaps that could indeed lead to major catastrophes?
I believe all three stories suggest a lack of focus on both of our parts and a lack of communication in the area of informing the intentions of the other. If I had said where I would be waiting for him in story 1, if we announced to each other where our car was parked in story 2, and if we reminded each other to stay near each other in story 3, these things might have been avoided.
Not a lack of communication in getting along rather a sort of reminder system realizing we are each getting older and need to say our intentions out loud. Then, we need to make sure the other received the message.
We notice that if a direction is said verbally, it tends to stay in our minds better. Much like counting the times around on a track out loud to know distance, or counting the levels in making coffee, hubby and I need to verbally remind each other of our intentions and desires more regularly and clearly enough so the other understands. And probably, waiting for a response from the other to ensure auditory contact is in order, as well.
Minor tweaks to a well designed routine ought to be just what we need. After all, Seniors, at least us, just ‘wanna have fun’, too!
If retirement is about revisiting possibilities for one’s body and mind, then let me tell you, EVERYTHING I just experienced fits into this category.
To alleviate some sadness with the new school year starting without me, I purposely planned a visit mid-September to see my daughter. Of course, it is always great to see her but I must say this trip did indeed fulfill the task of perfect distraction for me.
When I visit my daughter, I never know what I might be getting into. You see, she works hard thinking about her core values and belief system. This notion had its beginnings during the college years and seems to be continuing through these employment years. From teaching high school art, teaching yoga, working in art studios and for independent artists, working retail, and currently holding a managerial position at a fitness studio, she continues to seek what she believes in and what makes her happy. This creates surprises and unknowns when I visit.
“Pack a Backpack”, a community effort in preparing students for school, ads on TV for back to school clothing shopping, family and friends posting their children’s first-days on Facebook, like it or not the excitement is in the air preparing for a new school year. Just as obvious are the schools with parking lots filled with vehicles as re-energized faculty and staff are in full swing doing their best in preparing for another year. Anticipation of possibilities were always such a big part of August for me.
Well, here it is August, newly retired, and nowhere near where I have always been. Life feels very different because of that. Good, as in exciting as I can fill my day the way I choose and bad, as in scary as what will I do with myself?
So, one way I am combatting those scary and unwanted feelings is by getting a good dose of fresh air every day. I do mean every day. Today’s pick of fun in the sun was a bike ride with hubby on a bike path neither one of us had ever been on before.