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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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’.

Untitled (1)

 

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.

Pebble in the Water

Pebble tossed in the water does not move
yet its ripples reach wide and far

Sometimes decisions are difficult to make
While life continues in its fury.

So, the yarn stash remains still
Pattern overload in full throttle

Blog shows lifeless
While ideas are abundant

Running clothes neatly folded
Rather odd for ‘an athlete’ in training

The pebble in the water needs another toss
Who knows where it might land.

Renaissance

One of my goals as I entered into retirement was to knit from my stash.  The stash I am talking about includes patterns I have loved and collected over time and/or the bundles of yarn that were purchased at a time when I thought I could knit a particular project.  I suppose enthusiasm outweighs time, at least that is my case, so in my new state of retirement, I am addressing this.  This project is an example of that.  I don’t even know where I first saw this pattern as I do not subscribe to Interweave Knits but I have been following Teva Durham, the creative designer since being aware of her work through Vogue Knitting.  The pattern is called Renaissance Tunic, as you will see, for obvious reasons.  And, I am thrilled to finally be adding this to my wardrobe.

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Director of my Destiny

In preparing to write goals for my first year of retirement, I’ve been reading and researching the topic of a healthy lifestyle.  Not that I’ve just started being interested in living a most fulfilling life, but now with my own time on my hands, I am fortunate enough to be able to do so!  I am aware that I am now the director of my own destiny so I’m taking careful time trying to figure it all out.   Having good health on my side and an optimistic outlook on life, I see no reason why not to remain as productive this year as when I retired from employment just two short months, ago.  So, to this end, here are some lists that I’ve found or that people have shared with me that I really liked that will help guide and direct toward this end:

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Piaget Monday

Jean_Piaget

Jean Piaget, founder of constructivism

“Constructivism is a theory of knowledge that argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas. It has influenced a number of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, education and the history of science.” (from Wikipedia)

Niagara University, my alma mater (one of them), believes in this Constructivism philosophy and builds its programming around it (if similar to when I was there). I can still remember that my learning of experiences occurred during the process of writing those reflective write-ups AFTER the experience, not during the ‘doing’ of them.  And, I remember during the doing of them, you’re too busy doing!  I still remember enjoying writing those reflections and taking the time to craft them just so, finding it really important to capture my feelings in relation to the activity. So, because I realized the value of reflection, it is no surprise that I continue to operate in this way.

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To blog or not to blog, that be the question

IMG_0393To blog or not to blog?
Is blogging work or leisure?
I love thought-provoking questions such as these, recently seen on WordPress, and I’ve been contemplating how I might respond.

I think the answer to both questions is surrounded by one’s purpose.  And, what I mean is there are as many reasons to write a blog as there are bloggers. And, likely many reasons not to write a blog. Each blogger probably began with an idea or a unique purpose for their writing.  I mean you gotta have an idea!  In some cases, to share or chat or find commonalities to others or make connections. Maybe, even to find answers! Example of that is retirementtransition.  The author is carefully and strategically reinventing herself with a new sense of identity with her new phase in life.  In some cases, blogs are written to teach or inform like Live to Write – Write to Live.  I love that blog and am learning a thing or two.  (who vs. that, a common mistake of mine)  I think my favorite are the learning blogs.  Then, there are those who utilize social networking aka WordPress that is then linked to their Linkedin and/or Twitter accounts for their business as in Kate Davies Designs.  How lucky to have this resource in which to do so.  Her blog in particular, is so beautiful with its photography and equally compelling writing, whether you like knitting or not, it’s a treat.  Actually those blogs are the person’s business where patterns are sold, the author advertises the books they’ve written and the like. Oh, and I can’t forget the poetry blogs like O at the Edges I love to read them, too but admittedly cannot always interpret what the author is intending.  (And, no, I do not beat myself up about that.)

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Running Goal

from my running past

I mentioned that when I was ready, I would post my running goal here.

It happens that the well-known Komen Race for the Cure®, part of the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, is just around the corner and, of course, is beckoning for participants!  Teams are forming, t-shirts are being ordered, and the whole thing is dangling in front of my face offering opportunity.  And, it has been a ten year hiatus since my last run. Seems the perfect venue to serve as entry point for getting back into the running regime.  I have missed the routine of training, especially the rhythmic breathing of fresh air.  And knitters, let me tell you, one can do a lot of planning of their projects while on these fun runs!

So, with the decision made, in honor of loved ones, I will be taking this on.  With no other time frame in mind but to finish, wish me luck!   I do hope to get a picture at the end.

6/2015

Invitation

Sometimes, happenings in life linger in my mind to the point where I need to write about them.

The lingering moment was a conversation I had with teachers about a week ago regarding an upcoming narrative writing unit. We were sharing thoughts around the concept of memoir, what one was and how students might take on the work, and the structures a memoir might take when writing one.  One thing led to another as does naturally when in deep conversation and as we were surfing the net and our other resources, we came across this. A 6 word challenge.  Now, I am not saying that this would be the work of our students, however we did take time to pause to consider the following for ourselves.

Challenge:  To write your memoir in just six words.  Six words.

Fast forward to today.  Ok, now, on this day, the more I am researching this, the more I am realizing that this is not a new concept at all but one that I am revisiting.  I do believe it is important to take a few minutes in life to take stock, to appreciate, to reflect,  and to grow in knowledge of oneself as a person,  so I redirect this challenge to you.

So, on this festive weekend, I am asking, ‘What are you thinking about?  How has your life been?”  Take on the challenge below as a fun way to reflect upon your own life, dreams, and aspirations.

Mine:   Fashion first, goes her way, reflects.

images-2Have a great Easter.  I will be committing to my running and pushing through to complete my latest knitting project.

Featured in VK, 2014

Vogue Knitting has been alive and well in my life for over 30 years.  But, NEVER in this way!   I haven’t even looked at the sure-to-be-can’t-wait-to-knit  projects that await my future because I am bursting from the seams (LITERALLY) and have waited since this summer when that unbelievable email I received from Vogue Knitting came a-calling ME for an interview.  Finally, in this glorious issue (of which I am off to purchase many copies), is the result of that interview.  A 2 page spread!  My hubby and I do believe Christina Behnke, Associate Editor of VK grabbed the essence of who I am as a passionate knitter and as the table of contents says, “Vogue Knitting Fan extraordinaire!  The article looks like the  image below, can be found on page 20 and 21 and/or can be read in PDF format right here, Online Identity.

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From A-symmetric to Z-ipper

IMG_3247_medium2

Funny, when I receive a new Vogue Knitting magazine, I tend to have two emotions.  The first is, of course, excitement as anyone who follows my knitting knows that I believe VK stands well above any other publication for outstanding knitting fashion, photography, and inspiration.  The other emotion I notice is fear.  I hear myself saying, “Oh, No!!  How many of these projects am I going to fall in love with?”  With an already extended stash and plans for far too many projects in the future, it is frustrating feasting my eyes on more. The projects in this particular issue, Vogue Knitting, Collector’s Issue Holiday 2011 were posted with an alphabetical theme.

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