60 is the new 40 … kind of

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I’m in my early 60s and I’ll be damned if I’ll use my age as an excuse to be inactive. Not on your life … certainly not on mine.

Rattlesnake Ledge: 1100 ft elevation gain; 6/1/2016
Rattlesnake Ledge: 1100 ft elevation gain; 6/1/2016

Since my husband retired late April of this year, we’ve managed to go hiking every week. (It’s such a luxury being able to do so on the less-crowded weekdays.) Prior to coming down with the hiking bug, we would look for a trail with an elevation gain FAR below 1000 feet. To be more honest, we only chose trails with a couple hundred feet elevation gain.

Elevation gain = degree of steepness of the trail

Now we choose trails with at least a 1300 foot elevation gain.

Why?

Wallace Falls: 1300 ft elevation gain; 7/1/2016
Wallace Falls: 1300 ft elevation gain; 7/1/2016

Our goal is to hike Mt. Si, 8 miles RT and 3150 elevation gain, by the end of September. That’s 1850 additional feet elevation gain than the hike we completed on July 1st.

Lake Twenty Two: 1350 elevation gain; 7/3/2016
Lake Twenty Two: 1350 elevation gain; 7/3/2016

The hike we completed with my husband’s daughters on July 3rd was difficult because of all the massive rocks and boulders we had to maneuver through…I got a good bruise on my leg when my maneuvering wasn’t all that successful. (See below for the terrain.)

We have been training for the Mt. Si hike by walking in our very hilly neighborhood. We’ve labeled each training walk in the following manner: The Wall, The Monster, The Broadhurst Monster, The Figure Eight Double Monster. We’re very pleased with our increased physical endurance and lung capacity as a result of said training walks. And of course, each and every hike we take, we increase the elevation gain and the length of the hike, all the while enjoying the beauty Pacific Northwest hiking destinations have to offer.

You may ask, “Why in the hell is Irene boring us with her husband’s and her hiking exploits? Sure sounds as though she’s bragging.”

Oh, I’m not bragging, not in the least. I’m celebrating my husband’s and my decision to push through the pain and discomfort and to stretch the boundaries of what we thought we were capable of doing. Speaking for myself, being 60-ish has brought a few health challenges, not the least of which is pretty severe arthritis in both feet, several ruptured discs and tears in my lumbar spine area, and an internal issue or two that sometimes chain me to my house.

But you wanna know something? I had a good teacher when I was growing up in the form of my mother who had severe rheumatoid arthritis. She was diagnosed with RA as a teenager.

Mom made the decision early on in her life to keep moving.

Mom with Erin, 3 days after my daughter was born. 1976
Mom with my daughter, 3 days after Erin was born. 1976

My mother declared that she would rather be active and hurt more, than stay at home and hurt slightly less.

And that’s what my husband and I are doing. Let’s face it – we’re not getting any younger and every day we waste can never be retrieved and lived over. As the old saying goes, “This ain’t no dress rehearsal, folks.”

I’d rather squeeze what I can from every day I’m given … and then apply the multitude of ice packs we have at home to our various body parts when we return home to celebrate our accomplishments. What can I say, it works for us and it makes us extraordinarily happy being able to do these activities together.

 

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4 thoughts on “60 is the new 40 … kind of

    Theresa Hupp said:
    July 15, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Good for you!
    But I’m sticking with only flat walks. I’ll set my goals in some other direction.

    Like

      boomer98053 responded:
      July 15, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Any activity is good activity in my book. It’s all about staying engaged which you certainly do.

      Liked by 1 person

    Jill Weatherholt said:
    July 13, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Having had two back surgeries and living with Crohn’s Disease, I agree 100% with both you and your mother…keep on moving! I’m so happy you and your husband are enjoying retirement, Irene.

    Like

      boomer98053 responded:
      July 13, 2016 at 9:21 am

      So glad you agree – and you should know! Doing nothing just isn’t an alternative for me. Now, I understand that there are many out there that have no choice but to severely restrict their physical activities, but there are other options to staying actively engaged that don’t require hiking boots and poles. I guess what I’m saying is, there’s a whole other life out there, other than playing computer Solitaire or its equivalent. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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