Health Issues

In the last 6-8 months I have been working on my carpal tunnel condition and not doing as much computer work as I would like.  I have changed my home work setup to help facilitate ease of use and am ready to get back to working on this project full-time.

I plan to have the one hundred plus-page .pdf draft we have, printed, and spend an hour or two each morning working with it.  To help create a work rhythm, I plan to take the draft copy, my computer (and coffee) to a common area of my community to do my editing for the day.

I am planning to incorporate additional walking and chores relative to this project into my day to help with physical fitness.  Too, with spring and summer underway, I am working in my garden.

We are expecting a surge of Lyme Disease/ticks this summer in Maryland and I am loath to wander into the woods surrounding my community and will look for other ways to increase my stamina for walking in England.

Words and Deeds

I have taken the doctor’s words, “Quit eating junk,” to heart and am trying to work with my diet but I do not have any physical goads to get me walking more or stretching, weight lifting, doing more physical activities.  I am tempted to use the Nike, “Just do it!” slogan, that sort of worked over the weekend with getting the gardening done but I suspect there is some mental block that I need to remove so the physical in me can be more free.

The other day I got side-tracked by my Shakespeare course papers and was reading each one over and remembering (and being impressed) with my efforts.  I write papers, I write here, I work on the essays for the book — too slowly, it’s true, but I do do it.  Helen and I have been researching non-stop for six years now.  I went back to class and worked through my homework and studying issues and got to where I enjoyed the challenge of the mental work, got a couple more degrees, and I would like that for my physical self?

I remember when I bought my ten-speed bike and rode it to and from the Pentagon back in the 1970’s and my surprise the first time I made it all the way up the hill from Rock Creek Park.  There’s something there that I need to reclaim for myself, some physical self I have lost contact with.  The same self that identified with Cynthia Voigt’s, The Runner.

I have a pool now but I am afraid of it.  I do not have archery but I have not searched for that so I do not know that for sure.  I have a car and my time is all my own.  I have my pedometer and lots of places inside and out to walk to.  There’s a historic town just down the street.  Perhaps I could study Sykesville history as if I were studying Lewes and get some ideas from the physical that I have not gotten from internet searching?  Pattern recognition.  That’s what my body needs, pattern recognition.  That’s why I feel I would have liked boats and rowing, the repetitiveness.  There’s a thought:  Look for the pattern(s).

Creating a Physical Routine

When I moved to my new home here last November, I was using my pedometer to count my steps daily.  I found my steps had increased substantially from my townhouse use and set a goal of 3,000-5,000 steps a day and then, for a brief period, insisted I walk at least 5,000 steps a day.

I took the Senior Fitness Test from the physical trainer here and it said I was average (for my age) in everything except the 2-minute step; I have no stamina.  I was a little low on the back scratch (try to clasp hands together behind one’s back, one arm over shoulder, one coming up from the waist) but was above average for the chair-sit-and-reach (I can reach beyond my toes; standing, I can touch the floor flat-handed) and the “8-Foot-Up-and-Go,” where you jump up from a folding chair and race around an orange cone as fast as you can.  That score gained me an asterisk which, “indicates that you meet the recommended fitness standard and should be on track to maintain your physical independence in later years (age 90+) despite normal age-related declines.”

However, I gave up trying to walk 5,000 steps a day soon after I took the Senior Fitness Test; I was getting close each evening but then it would get time to go to bed and I’d have to wander the halls for half an hour getting bored out of my mind no matter my mood or what else I was doing.  I began to resent my insistence and an age-old will struggle with myself ensued.

But I want to increase my stamina so I can walk in Lewes easily enough.  I have asthma and am overweight as well as getting older and all that is not working in my favor.  Spring starts officially today and I want to get a routine of some kind going and believe thinking and writing about it at the same time might help me.

I have belonged to a lifestyle and fitness site, Spark People, for the last 8-10 years and it has all the tools one might need to help meet health, fitness, and other lifestyle goals, and now I have this site for this goal.  I suspect I will be working harder at getting to the SparkPeople site daily and working that site and its tools into my routine.

In addition, my new home location has miles of nature trails just out my front door that neighbors asked have I hiked any of them yet and I have two active grandchildren and their parents who I would like to physically be able to keep up with in the coming years, for as long as possible. Because this is a senior community, the nature trails have benches to rest on and easy paths, well-maintained, and some paved, to follow.  My curiosity is dying to walk the perimeter, ring, road of the community with my pedometer in my pocket to see how many steps it takes.

I took the Senior Test in December of 2015 and plan to ask to take it again this coming December, see if I can do that 2-minute step better. I think I have plenty of ideas to work with; websites like this one to keep me honest and enough small adventures like walking the ring road to mix it up and keep it interesting.