My friend Ruth, a true fitness guru, extols the virtue of finding something you love. You'll stick to it, she says and she is right.
From childhood, I have been a water-baby, so it is no small wonder that after retiring and moving to Uxbridge, I gravitated to the pool. I love water - fresh, salt or chlorinated - let me in! Little did I know that Uxpool would prove to be a daily ritual and even more important, the source of so many friendships. What has helped maintain my daily pool habit? Hah! Miss a session and answer to questioning emails from Anna, Marion and Cathy. Trust me, on those frigid winter mornings when it is a struggle to even think of swimming, it is easier to hit the water than respond to those where-the-hell-were-you notes. Thank you Anna, Marion and Cathy for being my fitness conscience.
And then there is the group I have lovingly dubbed The Lunacy League. Invited by creator Barb and encouraged by Laura, I have joined nine other women in a weekly 5-day Fitbit challenge, The Workweek Hustle. Sounded like a snap to me. I could easily do 10,000 steps a day. Phffft! Yah, well 10,000 steps a day for five days a week would put me at the bottom of the heap. That is something else I loathe.....being at the bottom of a heap. To remain in the top two or three of these ladies, a daily average of 20,000+ steps is more the necessary reality. Susan-Jane, Mary and Louise are my fiercest competitors, constantly pushing the bar higher. Sigh, is it Saturday yet? I have now developed a 5km and 10km daily route. The 5km route is only used when I have appointments, restricted time or pole walking. The daily 10km route just gets me in the top 4. But oh, do I ever feel strong! I have always loved walking, fresh air and me time for my thoughts. Thank you to my beautiful Lunacy League Ladies, especially to Barb and Laura for getting me started and to Susan-Jane, Mary and Louise for pushing me ever harder.
I happened to mention to Sue, a friend at the pool, that I had noticed the existence of an Uxbridge Nordic Pole Walking Club. Before I could catch a breath, I'm in, Sue chimed. Now Thursday mornings are spent pole walking up and down the grassy treed hills of Elgin Park. Nordic pole walking provides a 46% stronger cardio workout than simple walking. After the first session my upper arms, shoulders and back could attest to the fact that it wasn't just my heart getting a workout. Aaaach! Thank you Sue!
As parents we always hope that our children will gravitate to positive friendship circles. We should wish that for our retirement, too. Friends.....physically active, mentally curious and generous in giving back to their community. It does take a village to inspire us as we age. Well me, at least. No rest for the wicked, negative nellies would say. Personally, I believe that someone was watching out over me when we made the decision to move to Uxbridge. Hillary Clinton said, It Takes A Village, and I thankfully have found one.