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A man has to know his limitations.

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A man has to know his limitations.

 
Old 03-06-2019, 05:29 AM
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Default A man has to know his limitations.

If you are an action film junkie you'll recognize that line from a Dirty Harry movie. One of the less memorable offerings of that franchise, but a good line none the less. It comes to mind more and more as I get older. I tell myself I can still do all the things I love, but in reality I cannot. I know I can't lose weight like I used to. If you are following the "I'm Fat" thread, you know I've been trying to lose weight since shortly before the new year. While I'm pleased that I have lost 20 pounds, I'm very much aware that the rate of loss is the slowest it has ever been. Related to the slow weight loss is the limits on my physical activity. I really can't just run. The planters fasciitis will act up and I'll be totally side lined if I try to run. I know this because just 50 minutes on the elliptical and treadmill at walking speed can result in some soreness that makes me take a day off. Maybe if I get down to the 160s I'll be able to start jogging. We'll see.

At the same time, one ought not give up too soon. Boating, fishing, sports cars and DIY maintenance and modification are still hobbies I look forward to in retirement. But they all require a certain level of physical capability that a younger man would take for granted. I find I really enjoy myself when I break out the tools and start working on a boat, car or fishing project. Yet I don't rush to do these things any more. Once upon a time I had a number of projects all lined up for after dinner and the weekends. Now, I'm more likely to just look at the parts or the cars or the boats, and say "maybe tomorrow" as I slouch down into the couch. Work, exercise, and that is it for the day. I tell myself that when i retire I'll fill the work hours with my projects and hobbies. But I know that I'll have to overcome inertia and my level of fitness will play a very large roll in that battle.

It is not lost on me that my hobbies all have an relatively high element of risk. Boating, fishing, driving fast and working underneath heavy things or with power tools are all activities that result in a higher percentage of injuries than the average occupations. And so I enter a phase of my life where I must be mindful of my physical ability to do these things. It really is a balancing act, and you don;t want to get it wrong. Too much caution and you have given up on life. Too little caution and you might lose your life. I've seen many people walk away from hobbies long before they were incapable of enjoying them. They felt it wasn't worth the risk. In fact, I pretty much abandoned bicycle riding about 15 years ago after seeing a number of friends suffer some pretty serious injuries. Can I still do it? Sure! But for me, that risk was too high. The same goes for skiing. I have not put on a pair of skis in over 15 years.

So I thought I'd ask you how you approach life as you age. Do you have risky hobbies? Do you plan to keep doing them until you just can't anymore? Do you know your limitations?
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:47 AM
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Bill,

One of the reasons that I refuse to fully retire is that I'm not quite ready to stop working, nor am I ready to lose the relationships that I've established over the years. I did want to slow down a bit so now I'm once again on my own, working out of my home with a smaller following and less pressure.

I feel a little like you when it comes to hobbies. I haven't had the S out of the garage since October. I like to blame the weather, but there have been some nice days. I just am not up to fighting the cold like I used to. I used to love driving top down in the winter. Now I'll do it but only once in a while. There are other projects and interests that I have, but the fire doesn't burn as hot as it used to. I understand exactly where you're coming from.

The other day we got 8 inches of snow. Years back I'd have been out at 5:30 in the morning with the snow blower so that I could clean off the driveway and get to work. The other day I was perfectly content to stay in bed until 7:30 and not get out to the driveway until 8:00. For the first time in my life I really didn't care what time I got to my desk.

I still do most of what I used to do, just without quite as much passion and certainly at a little slower speed.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:50 AM
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Like you Bill I've given up both skiing downhill and X country(though I still have them). Also quit ice fishing about 10 years ago....just tired of the cold.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ralper View Post
Bill,

One of the reasons that I refuse to fully retire is that I'm not quite ready to stop working, nor am I ready to lose the relationships that I've established over the years. I did want to slow down a bit so now I'm once again on my own, working out of my home with a smaller following and less pressure.

I feel a little like you when it comes to hobbies. I haven't had the S out of the garage since October. I like to blame the weather, but there have been some nice days. I just am not up to fighting the cold like I used to. I used to love driving top down in the winter. Now I'll do it but only once in a while. There are other projects and interests that I have, but the fire doesn't burn as hot as it used to. I understand exactly where you're coming from.

The other day we got 8 inches of snow. Years back I'd have been out at 5:30 in the morning with the snow blower so that I could clean off the driveway and get to work. The other day I was perfectly content to stay in bed until 7:30 and not get out to the driveway until 8:00. For the first time in my life I really didn't care what time I got to my desk.

I still do most of what I used to do, just without quite as much passion and certainly at a little slower speed.
I was smiling while I read your your post Rob. You just described my reaction to Monday's snow storm, almost to a T. Due to the time of the storm, I waited until 10:30 to snow blow and then blew off work for the day. My practice makes it much easier to just walk away. The clients are all corporations and the individuals I work for are all salaried employees. Yes, they care about the outcome, but it isn't personal and at the end of the day, I'm still an expense item even if I save them money in the long run. I lingered on this year just to help the younger people in my firm get ready for life without me.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:01 AM
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We are the Neugenix Generation!

Okay, just kidding.

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Old 03-06-2019, 06:19 AM
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Getting my hips fixed has given me a renewed outlook. I was considering getting out of motorcycling and autocross, two things that define me. Now, I sit here counting the days till the weather breaks and I can get the toys out again. I've set a goal to keep riding until at least 75. I may have to give up my sporty motorcycle and get something more comfortable, but I'm willing to adapt. I still contemplate quitting autocross. I'm getting too old for the long days, long drives, hot sun and standing on pavement for 8+ hours. The issue is autocross is where my friends are. I do find myself with less energy/enthusiasm for projects. I changed the oil in my Civic the other day. Rolling around on a damp salty garage floor at my age is not fun. It is comical watching me try to crawl out and get back on my feet. Wrenching on cars has lost some appeal. My back aches from working under the hood. I can't see as well as I used to in the garage. I miss the days, like you, when I couldn't wait to get out to the garage and start a project. Now it seems like a chore rather than something fun. Snow blowing? I'm looking out the window right now at my 500' driveway that has a fresh 4", (and still coming), and I don't feel like getting out there. Problem is...I have a delivery coming later today, so I have to. I used to enjoy getting out in the crisp air and the satisfaction that came from a freshly cleared driveway.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Legal Bill View Post
So I thought I'd ask you how you approach life as you age. Do you have risky hobbies? Do you plan to keep doing them until you just can't anymore? Do you know your limitations?
You might consider me riding my ElliptiGO as a risky hobby/exercise because I'm out on two-lane roads here in Colorado most of the time, although I am on bike paths sometimes. I drive a car and see how invisible bikers can be when they wear black and grey. I drive by them and think they're stupid. I wear bright red, bright pink or fluorescent yellow tops/coats and a screaming green/yellow helmet. I don't hog the road or insist on my right of way. I am very aware of when the sun is in a driver's eyes and turn on my lights if that happens. I do plan on riding my ElliptiGOs until I can't anymore. I used to love to jog but I can't do that anymore because my vertebrae and discs are degenerating. I'm so glad the ElliptiGO exists so I can still get that feeling of flying in the wind and the contentment after some good exercise.





My other hobbies are taking shit loads of photos and stained glass. No risk there.

I do still have my off-road motorcycle but it's in California. I don't have the desire to ride like I used to. I may ride it this weekend in California. I'll be flying there tomorrow and Ricky and I may take our bikes out for the day to Cuddeback Dry Lake to see how wet it is with all the rain Cali has been getting this winter.



Last edited by Kyras; 03-06-2019 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:47 AM
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It happens...I don't have risky hobbies, but I have learned there are just some things I don't want to do, as I fear getting hurt.

About 13 years ago, my grandaughter had a roller skating birthday party. I was one of the very few adults that put on a pair of skates and I was the oldest. I'm not that good at roller skating, but I had fun. A few years later she had a party at the same place, by then I had had shoulder surgery x 2. I put on a pair of skates, rolled around the rink once and took them off. I was too afraid to fall and screw up a shoulder. Felt old! I don't see any roller skating in my future.

Lately I've been the oldest one at one of my classes at the Y. It makes me feel good that I'm there, even if my intensity level is not the same as the younger ones, but it makes me feel a bit old that I'm the oldest one there. If we use a step in class, I limit the number of "risers" that I use and I don't jump on it, or over it...I'll "walk" the activity. I don't want to break a hip. I use light weights in class and don't care if I don't move up to heavier ones. I don't want to risk shoulder issues.

Once I'm retired, (17 more work wake ups) I plan on making sure I get in another activity each day, beside the Y. Walking, keeping busy, anything but the sitting I've been doing for so long. However, I know the aches and pains will likely appear, and I'll have to adjust. I'm annoyed with the changes in my body...but I guess that's really just something I need to accept. No point in biatching about it. Things could be so much worse.

As far as winter activities. We never got into skiing, never had interest. It's cold out there! I've made an effort to bundle up and go out a bit more when it's cold, but I still have my limits. Rick hates the cold. Just doesn't tolerate it these days. He was still out there clearing snow and clearing off my car the other day, early enough for me to get to work on time. Once I retire, if I want to head out earlier than he feels like clearing snow, I think I'll have to clear the snow off my car myself.

He is doing more exercise than he used to, but has had to adjust to due foot issues.

The weight thing. We can all relate. Just this AM I said to Rick I used to have candy on my desk at work, I'd grab McD's for lunch, we had a favorite restaurant and we'd eat some rather large meals and I'd have dessert. And I still weighed less than I do now without much effort to maintain. Gain weight on a weekend, it would be gone by Tuesday. Not anymore.

The aging thing is annoying, it's OK to switch gears and move on to a different hobby. It's OK to sit and read a book and watch the birds. If we are fortunate to be healthy enough to enjoy our time, doing something that gives up pleasure and peace, we will be thankful for that!
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:58 AM
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Bill, please remember that it takes a year to get over any major surgery (or longer). You will get your zest for life and hobbies back, it just takes time.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Kyras View Post



That is a great pnoto.
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