Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tricia McGill Proves Age is Just A Number

You're never too old! That's my motto. If you can still do what you enjoy doing then go ahead. I've always loved bike riding and walking, but unfortunately due to two major operations within 6 months I was forced to give up both pastimes including my line dancing which I loved. But, since both ops were successful I am thankfully getting "back on my bicycle" as they say.
I have little time for people who say, "Oh, I can't do that, I'm too old." Age is just a number and there's truth in the old saying that you're as old as you feel. I'm not recommending we all get onto bikes or go skiing or whatever, but as long as you are active then go ahead and make the most of the golden years.
Just before I had to temporarily give up my riding a friend and I packed our fold-up bikes in the boot of my car, caught the ferry across to Tasmania and had a ball cycling along some of the most beautiful tracks in Australia. The pic was taken in Strahan on the west coast. We stayed overnight in a lovely little cottage that I knew was haunted as soon as we went in the front door. Needless to say I saw the ghost that night--but that's a story for another day.
I do volunteer work and go into the homes of disabled people to help them with their computers and internet access, so see a lot of those less fortunate than I because they are unable to get out of their wheelchairs and enjoy active pastimes. But that's not to say they don't make the most of their lives doing what they are able. I have the utmost admiration for them, especially the seniors, as they surf the net, enjoy communicating with their friends and family, and generally enjoy making the most of their time.
Tricia McGill 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

John Wills Shows Retirement is Not For Sissies

I’ve been writing professionally since my retirement from the FBI in 2004, but that’s not the sum of what I do. At 62 years of age I still have a lot of living to do. I continue to involve myself in law enforcement, teaching classes concerning use of force and firearms to police departments, federal agencies, and military personnel.
Having been a SWAT/Sniper, fitness, defensive tactics, firearms and tactical instructor with the FBI and Chicago Police Department, I continue to leverage that knowledge in retirement.

 I hold a personal trainer certificate which allows me to train individuals, as well as author articles on training and fitness. Some of my career was spent working undercover in the FBI. One of the long term undercover projects involved steroids. For nearly three years I travelled around the country buying steroids from unwitting individuals at gyms, nightclubs, from veterinarians, doctors, and athletes. Based upon my experiences in that case, I became an NCAA authorized speaker on the dangers of steroids and drugs. I deliver my presentations to student-athletes all over the country.
I’ve found that writing and teaching in retirement ensures mental acuity. But challenging yourself mentally isn’t enough. In order to prolong one’s life chronologically you must also exercise your body as well. I routinely do some form of exercise for one hour each day. This regimen enhances the quality of one’s life.
The old axiom, “Retirement is not for sissies,” is true. Maintaining good health requires putting in the work, not just sitting on the couch watching television. I am embracing the golden years, not ready to collect Social Security.
John M. Wills

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Thrill of Free Fall at 70 by Pat Bean

Here she goes!
 Skydiving was one of those things on my To-Do List for an long as I can remember, but it took me a long time to finally get around to it. George Bush doing it, and Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman's roles in "The Bucket List" were the final straws that made me realize how long I had let this goal escape me.

So, shortly after my 69th birthday,  on which I climbed to Angel's Landing for about the 30th time -- and this one being the toughest struggle to get to the top yet -- I decided to do something different for my 70th birthday, something that didn't include climbing. Skydiving immediately came to mind.

I made the Jump in Ogden with a half dozen friends, and would do it again in a heartbeat -- well if it didn't cost about $200 per jump. I smiled all the way down, feeling perfectly safe, lashed tightly as I was to my young, good-looking, expert jumpmaster.
I had thought the most difficult part was going to be stepping out of the airplane. My jumpmaster was way ahead of me, however. He said we would jump on the count of three, but by the count of two we had already left the plane. It was exhilarating.

We jumped from 13,000 feet, above the clouds hanging around Mount Ben Lomond and Mount Ogden. We had a full minute of free fall, with cold air blasting us as we dropped at the rate of 120 miles per hour, before the jumpmaster pulled the chute.

While I have to admit that age has slowed me down in some ways, it's opened up new worlds for me as well. When I do make that climb to the top of the mountain, or simply go for a mellow walk with my dog, Maggie, I see more wonders of nature than I ever did when in the bloom of youth.

While this country is addicted to youth, there are plenty of us glad-to-be-old-broads out there who have come to appreciate our years and our winkles.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spunky Maggie Toussaint Kayaks in a Rice Plantation Canal

Slow and steady wins the race every time. I’ve seen people flash in and out of churchs, careers, marriages, and hobbies because they were always in such a hurry.

They get so busy chasing a dream they forget about commitment.

In the picture of me kayaking in a Civil War era rice plantation canal, I’m relaxing on the water.

There’s no point in paddling fast in these backwater areas because you’ll miss something, a delicate flower, a fluttering butterfly, a soaring eagle, a solitary heron, or even a shy alligator watching you from across the creek.
When you take a kayak trip, you commit to the whole adventure – there’s no bailing out halfway. And if you’re multi-tasking like me, you’ll get to write off the cost of the fun as research for your next book. — Maggie Toussaint

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