An unexpected result of the quarantine: I had a yoga class with my yoga teacher Anu, and I didn’t have it for two years! It was a sixteen-years long story, as she pointed out today – I started to attend her class in the YMCA, and I liked her a lot. Then she stopped teaching at the Y, but her former students have found a place to get together on Sunday mornings. Then that place became unavailable, and some of us had switched to online classes. Then there was just me with my friend, and then it all stopped after my back surgery, and we could not find a time that would work.
Last week, I thought that maybe now, when there are no live classes, and when I am working from home anyway, I will be able to find a slot. I emailed Anu over the weeked, and today I was in a semi-private class. Although I am doing yoga for a very long time, and although I can do it myself, it is such a tremendous difference when you are doing it with the teacher!
I stretch as I haven’t been doing for a very long time! Also, under current circumstances, we did a lot of breathing exercises (which I could never do on my own), and also a long meditation. I am so happy I have this back in my life!
My local Anytime Fitness closed Wednesday night. Since March 13, every morning, I was walking there and thinking: please let it be opened!
I have a mini-gym at home, which I gradually assembled for the days when the weather is so awful that I do not want to step outside, or when I am in a real hurry. And usually, I work out at home one or two days a week.
But all these days preceding the closing, I was going to ATF in the morning because I was afraid that each time could be the last time.
On Thursday, when I was unable to open the door with my key card, it finally happened. The lights were on, and it felt so sad that I could not get in. For the record, since March 13, there were very few people in the gym. The instructions on the walls requested each piece of equipment to be wiped from top to bottom after each use. And at the time when I go (5 AM) there were from zero to three people in addition to myself.Ironically,
.Thursday was the day when at work, we were going to share with coworkers our in-home exercise routines. I thought I would need to fake it, but I was legitly exercising at home. Here are the pictures I made for our office slack channel
My birthday was on Saturday, and I spent most of it in transit. Started it with a birthday breakfast of hot-smoked salmon sandwich on rye bread at the Vantaa airport and then boarded a flight to Frankfurt. That flight and the subsequent flight to Limassol were extremely uneventful, being operated by Lufthansa :).
I didn’t know that we have to cross the border going to Cyprus. Cyprus is an EU member, but not a part of the Schengen agreement. However, they acknowledge Schengen visas, so it works at least one way :).
Upon arrival, we met our driver (we had a prearranged transportation to our hotel) and got into the car. Once again, I didn’t know that Cyprus had left-side traffic, so you have to be super careful. The highway from the airport was one-way, and the reverse route was not visible. Citing my surprise that nobody asked us at the border, how long we are going to stay, Boris joked that that’s because there is no way out anyway :).
This time of the year is off-season on Cyprus, so hotels are dirt-chip, and the first two days it was raining. We won’t do much sightseeing anyway, because it falls dark right after five. But here is the view from our room 🙂
I also managed to get an hour in the gym, hence I have my usual in-the-gym birthday picture:
I heard a lot about people “showing off on Instagram,” posting the “perfect bodies which do not really exist,” and so on. Also, and this is not what people are saying, but what I observe – in their “End of the year” posts people often say that they dropped X pounds, finally started to exercise and practice yoga regularly, and so on.
I am posting my picture, not for the show, but motivation. And I consciously did not photoshop the imperfections (except I’ve chosen the photos with the most intelligent expression on my face :)).
I will turn fifty-seven in less than three weeks. My weight is stable for ten years, so nothing new here:). I practice yoga for about 12 years and work with personal trainers for approximately the same time. Nothing new.
Almost two years after my back surgery, I am continuously getting better. I do not think I will ever feel “like new,” but I can walk and stand longer than many other people even without surgery:). Although I can’t lift heavy weights anymore, I’ve almost rebuilt my muscle mass to the pre-surgical period.
I was not an athletic person neither in school nor in college. I started to take good care of my body pretty late in life. And what I want to say – it is never too late. You should not “feel old” just because of your age. It is not natural :).
Yesterday, I came across a question in one of the blogs I follow: why people are posting selfies and how you react to somebody posting lots of selfies.
I can tell you how I reacted: I immediately remembered that I took several selfies in our office gym after I was done with my personal training. Now, why I made these selfies in the first place?
I like to post my selfies in the gym not because I want people to admire me (eeem… for this as well :)) but mostly to demonstrate that even way after 50, you can be fit and active. I am fifty-six now, and I had very serious back surgery less than two years ago. I still have some limitations, and most likely, I will never be the same person as I used to be, but it does not mean that I should “accept my age.” Actually, thirty-five years ago, I was in the worse shape :).
This morning our office gym was empty; it looks like half of the people started their vacations earlier. So I was able to take these pictures without disturbing others.
When Boris was in town, I finally talked him into getting a new bike. Actually, I wanted really badly to give him a new bike for his birthday, which was in June. I already had two bike-related gifts for him, but this didn’t feel enough for me. Fortunately for me, the gear-switching mechanism on his old bike finally broke, and I told him that I do not like to listen to this noise when we are biking together.
He said he wanted a bike as traditional, as possible. Thank goodness, they do not manufacture bikes with foot brakes anymore; otherwise, he would get one! I’ve ruled out the more expensive models, and we ended up with this one, also pretty traditional.
While we were in Mike’s Bike Shop, a salesperson asked me whether I wanted a matching bike for women. And I am not going to lie – I was already looking at one of those!
The one which was on display was hopelessly pink, but the salesperson said, that there is a variety of colors, including (he said, looking at me) my favorite color! The bike also had a basket in front. Two years ago I rejected the idea of having a bike with the basket, but now I knew for sure that there are situations when I need exactly this! The advantage of having a wired basket as a part of the bike is that you do not need to unbuckle it each time you leave your bike at the bike rack. You just pull the actual basket out and go around shopping.
We took a time out till Sunday. And then on Sunday, we were busy, and the weather was not great. And I was not sure whether I want it. Then I got sick. And then the day he was leaving, I finally made my decision – I want a second bike.
We went to the shop, and it turned out that my favorite color has to be ordered, so I still had to wait for several days. It was only last Friday that I finally took my new bike home. Look at it! Isn’t it gorgeous?!
I often talk to people who are about my age or older, or a little bit younger, trying to motivate them to be more engaged in physical activities and overall, to have a healthier lifestyle. I am an excellent motivator :), so most of the time there are some positive outcomes.
Some time ago (about six months, to be exact) I came across the article in the Chicago Tribune, which I liked a lot. I decided to paste it’s full text here because people do not like to click on the links, and there are way fewer chances somebody will read it, if it is not copy-pasted.
The reason I often post my pictures with all the muscules exposed is not that I like to show-off, but because people believe more in what I am saying when they can see results not on TV, but on the real person. Most importantly, I try to draw people away from the preception, that their health should decline with age, that this is normal.
It takes moxie to flip an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one particularly for folks 60 and older.
Here is the article:
Most baby boomers approach retirement age unwilling to follow basic healthy lifestyle goals established by the American Heart Association, said Dr. Dana King, professor and chairman of the department of family medicine at West Virginia University, referencing his university’s 2017 study comparing the healthy lifestyle rates of retired late-middle-aged adults with rates among those still working.
I’ve already posted some pictures of our new outdoor gym in this post; now I’ve decided to show more pictures to demonstrate all the equipment we have there.
I took these pictures last Friday morning between 5-40 and 6-10. At that time of the day there is nobody except me over there :). Now as the summer rolls into its second half, the sunrise is later and later every day, which affects the early raisers like myself. I am up before 5 AM every day, and most of the year, I head to the Anytime Fitness facility right away. But during summer months I try to do as much outdoors, as possible, and this new gym equipment was exactly what I needed. Now and probably for another week or two, I will only go to ATF if there will be raining. Otherwise, I start at my home gym, and in about 30-40 minutes, I walk to this outdoor gym and exercise there for another 20 minutes. I love the fact that I can work out when the sun is rising.
The playground, located very close to my house, the one my kids used to play when they were little, was under construction for the past couple of months. Also, there was some new construction going on at the opposite side or the road.
I went biking just a couple of hours after I’ve returned from my vacation, and when I was turning left to go to Lake Louise, I saw that this new part was completed.
Only ten years after I saw similar “sports- grounds” in Helsinki for the first time, and marveled them, they made their way to Palatine :).
Granted, they won’t substitute a gym, but it’s great to have such “sports- grounds” on the road and to be able to make a power-stops.