Thursday, August 30, 2018

Reliving the Hawaii Ironman 20 years later

Reliving the Hawaii Ironman

Diane McCary, 76 and her husband Pat, 78, used to live in Kona, Hawaii. Now they live in the Colorado mountains, but they have never forgotten the years they spent running, biking and swimming on the Big Island. They worked too, she as a high school math teacher and he as a psychologist. Whenever they could, they indulged their athleticism, so much so that it became contagious. Their daughter Kristen and son Mike became triathletes as well.

In October 1998 the McCary family did the Hawaii Ironman together. They each swam 2.4 miles in the ocean, biked 100 miles and followed up with a full marathon-- 26.2-miles.

In October 2018 Diane and Pat will be back in Hawaii to watch this year’s Ironman. And while they are there, they will do their own event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their milestone family accomplishment. They’ve given themselves a week to do the above distances at their own pace. Because of work and family obligations, the kids won’t be there in person to join their parents but they will be cheering them on.

Here’s how the McCarys are preparing. They work out 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes every day, increasing their running, walking and swimming as the time draws closer. Pat spends hours on the stationery bike. Diane bikes weekly. In June they did a two-day mountain biking trip together. They also work out regularly in the pool.

Pat has had prostate surgery, a hip replacement and lives with bone-on-bone in his ankle. Diane says, “I function with a lot of worn out parts. We do the best we can with what we have left.” She quoted her father-in-law who said “I’d rather wear out than rust out.”

Stay tuned. I plan to report on their week in Hawaii in October.

By: Libby James

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Grocery Bags

I like my grocery bags heavy.  The heavier the better.  I take my own bags to the store and they can handle being overloaded.  Also this cuts down on the trips between car and house.
Because I have white hair and wrinkles, I think the clerks think I can't handle the weight
But I am strong and I consider carrying heavy bags to be a good workout.
I have recently learned that not all folks of a "certain age" like heavy bags, so I am wondering how you feel about this issue?

Written by Jess Sue Kerchenfaut

By: Kirsten Hartman

Monday, August 20, 2018

”May I help you?”

At the service desk at a familiar big box store, a young man asks “And what can I do for you, young lady?”  Since I have talked about this type of comment/question recently as rather patronizing, I blurted out “do you call everyone young lady?”  

I consider it irritating not cute.  A friendly “may I help you?” works fine for me.  He did answer yes to my question, but doubt it is true.  I did say “well, good”.   Am I being too sensitive here?  What have you experienced and how do you feel  about it?
By: Meliss Anderson

Monday, August 13, 2018

Do you want my seat?

“Here Ma’am, you can have my seat”, said the young fellow on the crowded Max the late the other night.  Well, I hesitated, looked at all the people standing, and with a reluctant sigh sat down.  Then I went thru all the other thoughts. Thoughts such as, maybe the very over weight person standing nearby could use the seat, or did I look as tired as I felt? 

I appreciated the tone and the way the person offered the seat to me.  I almost took the seat as a way to thank the person. Then I felt “privileged” to be offered a seat. Privilege and respect can go a long way, but am I really in a privilege class? Does being a healthy, fit senior with a little grey hair make me a “privilege” person?  If the bus had come to a sudden stop, if I were standing and holding a bar above me, would my arm/shoulder get more damaged than the young twenty something standing next to me? Possibly.  Again with grace and gratitude, I enjoyed my Max ride! How do you feel when offered a seat on the bus?

By: Kirsten Hartman

Sunday, August 5, 2018

No Time to Spare

The first essay in Ursula Le Guin’s book, No Time to Spare, a collection of her blogs, is called “In Your Spare Time.” In it she describes a questionnaire she received from Harvard in 2010, prior to the sixtieth reunion of the graduating class of 1951. She was a graduate of Radcliffe, affiliated with Harvard but not yet officially a part of it because of gender issues.

It asked some interesting questions, among them:

1. If divorced, check the box for once, twice, three, four or more times. Are you: currently remarried, living with a partner, or none of the above. She asks, how is it possible to be divorced and still be none of the above? Well, it is technically possible, I think, but the point she makes is that it is doubtful such a question would have been asked on a reunion questionnaire in 1951. And she points out that we have “come a long way baby.”

2. Given your expectations, how have your grandchildren done in life? She finds that one hard to answer as she has a 4 year-old grandchild who she says is doing just fine. She does not have expectations for him but rather hopes and fears for his future related to the way she says the environment “has been screwed up by profiteering industrialism.”

3. Are you living your secret desires? “My desires are flagrant,” she responded. She failed to answer the question with a yes or no.

4.”In your spare time, (now that you are retired) what do you do?” Check all that apply (a list of 27 items followed) beginning with golf and followed by racquet sports, shopping, TV, bridge and creative activities such as painting, writing, photography.

I love her response to this one. LeGuin is a well-known sci fi writer, has a stellar reputation and has made a comfortable living at her work. She says, “I am not retired because I never had a job to retire from. My life work has been those creative activities, categorized by the questionnaire as hobbies.”

LeGuin asks, “When all the time you have is spare, that is free, what do you make of it? The opposite of spare time is occupied time and all her time is occupied, she says—by living. That includes sleeping, daydreaming, keeping in touch with friends and family on email, reading, writing poetry, embroidering, cooking, eating, cleaning up the kitchen, shopping for groceries, walking, travelling, watching a movie, exercising, snoozing with her cat in the afternoon—none of this is spare time, she says. “I can’t spare it.”

"What is Harvard thinking of," she asks? "I am going to be 81 next week. I have no time to spare."

By: Libby James