On Fitness

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!

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When Seniors Exercise

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.

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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.

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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!

First Year Goal Check

Here I am, first year of retirement is in the books!  And, as my goal-oriented personality is reminding me, it is time to check in to see how I’ve done with the annual goals I set forth for myself.  The purpose of checking in is to see if these goals are still relevant and of interest.  Remember, in retirement each of us  is in control of our own destiny.  I will ask myself if I need to change any of them for the upcoming year, make any of them more challenging or less ambitious.  Have I put them into action?  If so, I will ask, “how is it going” and if not, I will ask myself “why not?”  Basically this is a review of where I am now in my thoughts, feelings, and well-being.  Another way to put it is, it is an effort to be the best me I can be.  There is no sense in posting goals if you don’t take the time to reflect, another reason why I am giving this some attention.  I will re-post my goals from a year ago and below each section, in pink, write a synopsis of success, failure, and thoughts.

Here is the blog post of goals and the how research I did to get them.  And, I DID say that knitting was only PART of the plan.  I broke my life into 4 categories:

PHYSICAL

  • running – minimum of running 10 miles per week
  • minimum of 3 (5k) running races this upcoming season, looking to challenge my own times
  • biking – enjoyment
  • snowshoeing – a new endeavor with hubby, to begin, enjoyment
  • ponder rowing for enjoyment, season is May – October
  • ponder skiing for enjoyment, weather and time permitting

There has been lots of good, healthy running this year.  I have either reached or surpassed the goal of running 10 miles per week.  Weather conditions are not stopping me/us.  We, hubby and I vary it up by going to the local track, park, and river.  

I am noticing an ever-growing love of running by the river with hubby biking alongside and around as I know he enjoys it.  Oh, dear . . . I did not participate in any races… yet however  I AM registered for the Turkey Trot in November and have my sights on the half marathon in May, 2017!  Registration is not yet, up for the half marathon.  I just looked.

I perceive biking as a sport in support of running.  We purchased a gorgeous new bike for me last summer and we’ve had many a splendorous outings together.  

Snow shoes were purchased for both of us last Fall and as much as we loved our times out, snowfall was record low, so our times out were minimal.  We will keep our fingers crossed for more snow this winter.  

Rowing is out.  There is not enough time to do it justice and the time frame for commitment does not work.  Skiing is out until we see where our snow-shoeing takes us.   

October 2016 I will begin classes at Orangetheory Fitness!  I have signed up for 1 class/week.  Orangetheory Fitness is a studio for classes of all types utilizing heart rate and data to grow one’s fitness. 

SPIRITUAL

  • knitting – choose projects from stash only
  • no purchase of new yarn through this year
  • plan, make, finish, and wear ~ VK’s mantra
  • attend churches for the purpose of familiarizing and ultimately joining to become part of its community

Ah, yes.  I do put knitting into the category of ‘spiritual’.  If you’ve ever knitted, you would see why.  I have completed 7 projects since January, 2016 utilizing much of my remnant stash and some from ‘project’ stash.  I did weaken, however and purchased some new yarn. Minimal bundles . . .  three.  But, for a full year and lots of temptation, I will pat myself on the back.

2016 collection  Honeycomb is in ‘photo shoot queue’.

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Church did not happen, that is attending one or becoming part of a membership of one.  There has been lots of talking with hubby about faith, which location, the idea of membership at one specific church.  Sundays (assuming we would attend on Sundays) rolled in and out, 52 of them to be exact and somehow, we are only in the discussion phase.  I will need to study why I am not putting this goal into action.

MENTAL

  • write posts on Holly knits ~ for enjoyment
  • find and choose at least 2 other venues for writing, i.e. My View in the local newspaper
  • read blogs, articles, books
  • ponder accepting invite into book club

I have been quite regular posting on this blog.  And, I have found another venue for writing!  Wow, I really met this goal!  The other venue is another blog attached to the website called The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo.  

Not only will I write regularly there (1x/wk), I took the old website and re-configured it, organized it, updated it, and brought it to WordPress!  

My reading continues to consist of non-fiction, I do read lots of articles, and I did finish reading Knitting Pearls by Ann Hood.  I am not ready for a book club at this time due to time commitment it requires.

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL

  • care take family members, as needed
  • join the local knitting organization 9/10/15
  • volunteer at least one task/job in that local knitting organization

Oh, it is fun to read goals written a year, ago!  Not only did I join the local knitting organization, I now hold the position of Vice President of that organization!  Yikes!  I believe by October I was Social Media Chairperson and my enthusiasm just grew and seemingly noticed by others.  What can I say?  

Regarding the care of family members is, of course, a more tender subject.  As we age, our needs change and sometimes our desires are effected.  The idea of housing, safety, and therapy are very much in the forefront of parent-care.  This is not easy, there are tears, and unwanted change is looming.  Retirement, by definition means the ceasing of.  Ceasing to work, ceasing to compete, ceasing to ______________ .  

Here are some images of family care of a loving kind.  circa 2016

I feel like I have met most of my goals.  In the next week, I will write goals for the next year or group of years, a decision I need to make.  I do not find this a chore, rather an opportunity to think deeply about who I am, who I want to be, and where I am going.

Retirement Identity

Retirement identity?  So, you thought you knew who you were?  Well, the truth is you knew who you were but part of the emotional preparation behind retirement is realizing you will need to find out who you are all over, again as everything in your life becomes upheaved the minute you begin your retirement.  Well, these items, below are helping me regain my confidence and identification of self.

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The Rhythm of Retirement

Some beliefs:  I believe setting goals for first year retirement is very important as doing so is evidence of self-direction and provides purpose, process, and production.  I believe there are a number of stages within the retirement phase of life.  I believe the very first stage of retirement is long before retirement actually begins.  I might call it the ‘Preparation Stage’.  These beliefs are firming up in my mind.

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Knitting, Nicky, and New

In keeping with the theme of “new possibilities” at this time of rebirth, aka retirement, I am excited to say there is more to report!  Actually, a few new things.  Odd as it may seem, I have never belonged to an established knitting group.  I felt what little time I had for knitting during the child-rearing and employment years could best be spent with actual knitting rather than traveling to do the same.  There are a few exceptions as I recall a year or two where a few of us colleagues met about 1x/month, rotated to each other’s homes and attempted to knit.  Attempted, I say because we were so busy chatting about school life as school life doesn’t allow time for such chit chat, the knitting needles barely came out.  And, then there were the sessions with the lovely neighbor who, to this day, I credit for my inspiration to knit.  Her beautiful stockinette suits with picot raglan sleeves and straight skirts sent me into a love affair I still have today.  Aside from these two experiences, it’s been a quiet existence creating my hand knits.

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