Two weeks since my last post, and in that time I’ve aged another year. I am now 62!
I remember that, throughout my life, I’ve heard people who are older than me saying how they don’t know how they got that old, that they don’t feel any different etc. etc. Very amusing thinking back to a friend’s 30th birthday when I bought him a walking stick and a bottle of Grecian 2000. Well, at that point he seemed old to me!
I’m fairly confident that most of the readers of my blog are younger than me and may wonder how one spends one’s time when one gets to that age.
Well, I don’t know how ‘one’ would, although I do see groups shopping and lunching together, but I do know what I’ve been doing.
So, in that last two weeks I have:
- read an inspirational book called Unbroken. The true story of Louis Zamperini, an athlete who was on track to run a sub 4 minute mile when he was caught up in World War II, shot down and drifted for weeks in a life raft with no provisions, survived being captured and being placed in Japanese slave camps, got over his experiences, forgave his captors and continued to be inspirational right up to his death. His experiences have been made into a film but I would really recommend the book, I learned so much about the war that I did not know. I love the photo of him skateboarding at 81!
- I’ve spent time in a men’s prison. As I’ve said before I’m on the Independent Monitoring Board of a Cat B men’s prison. It’s voluntary work (my medical problems and early retirement mean I’m not allowed to work) and it’s fascinating. There are masses of voluntary opportunities out there. You could help in a charity shop, do meals on wheels, help with youth organisations, visit housebound or elderly people or find ‘different’ things like I have!
- Talking of voluntary work, I’ve been out acting as a missing person (misper) for the search dogs both day and night time exercises. Now this is something anybody could do, you only have to stay put until the dog and it’s handler find you! Google search dogs and your county / area. They need new smells to look for so I’m sure you’d be welcome!
- This one is not something I do but only because I’m no longer allowed to and I want to make a plea for all of you to do it. DONATE BLOOD! Or better still donate platelets. A friend of mine’s two year old daughter has leukemia. She’s undergoing treatment which involves her needing a lot of platelets. Raising money is great (https://www.justgiving.com/hattieshaka) but giving blood / platelets doesn’t cost you anything but can make a huge difference to others.
- woken up at 4am to hear Ray grunting and shrieking. He’d fallen out of bed and was having a massive hypoglycemic attack. I tried to get glucose syrup into him but failed so it was 999 time. I love our emergency services! The operator took the details and immediately dispatched a paramedic but she insisted on staying on the line until they arrived in case of any changes. Chris, the paramedic, arrived very quickly, blue lights flashing, and established that, even after the bit of glucose I’d got into him, his blood sugar was only 2.3! The choices were: glucose gel (already tried and failed), injection in the bum or an intravenous drip (no chance of that!). Somehow we were able to get hold of him between us and hold him still for long enough for Chris to do the injection …… then we had to wait about 15 minutes for it to work! As Ray was very agitated we managed to get him sitting upright on the floor and I stood, knees bent, behind him so he could lean on me. The noises that were coming form my bad knee were unbelievable, well they kept Chris and I entertained for a while! Eventually Chris and I were able to get him back on the bed, remember Ray’s right arm is paralysed and his leg isn’t much use, it is so much easier when there are two of you! After persuading him to eat his blood sugar eventually rose to 5.7 when Chris felt he could leave him in my capable hands 🙂
- There was a four part series on television recently that I was completely hooked by, Walking the Nile. Explorer Levison Wood walked the length of the Nile (apart from a couple of hundred miles of active war zone that it was impossible to enter) from it’s source to the sea. The places he saw, the people he met and the experiences he had were amazing. The journey took him nine months and during that time I travelled through lush, green areas, areas that were almost impenetrable, deserts, war zones, you name it it was there! One of his companions died from the heat. They narrowly escaped in a gun battle. But the thing that stayed with me was the beauty of the country and the people. When I heard that he was doing a lecture on his experiences in London I had to go. My friends either could not come or didn’t want to so I went on my own! I’ve always been prepared to do stuff on my own, if I want to do something I’m not going to not do it just because nobody else wants to!!!!! It was fascinating to see ‘the man’ and to listen to what he had to say. You may remember in my last post I talked about JP Cole, Sierra Leone and how inspiring I found him. Both of these guys talk about the things they have done, seen and experienced in a matter of fact way and see the humour and humanity in situations. Neither of them over dramatise or sensationalise situations which makes their messages even more powerful. I’ve said before that if I didn’t have Ray I’d get a dog. Now I wonder if I would go to Africa???????
- There was another TV series I was hooked by, Lost Worlds with Monty Halls and Leo Houlding. I seem to be spotting a bit of a theme here! Whilst I have the commitment and sheer bloody mindedness to go on challenges involving walking and people I don’t think I’d have the skills and therefore the courage to do the stuff they were. If you get the chance watch both of these series!
- Last, but by no means least, my training! I love my training! Darryl’s just changed my programs again and I’ve got three new ones to do on my own at the gym. Getting new programs is always exciting because they push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me again! I can’t tell you what they are or I’d have to kill you (ha, ha, ha) but I can say they include kettlebells, dumbells, barbells, boxing, ViPR and TRX! One of the programs is intervals. Now I hate cardio …… unless it’s the right sort of cardio! This is the right sort for me! You may have heard of a formula to calculate your maximum heart rate 220 – your age. What a load of tosh! In that case I’m 40 years old!!!
- I trained with Darryl today and we were doing cleaning …….. Which is sort of like this but with a lighter bar!
- Last week was our first session on this and I was learning the technique. At the end of the session I tried the last rep with 20kg and failed. By the end of today’s session I was doing sets of 5 with 25kg. Nothing when you compare it to my hero Zoe Smith but I was thrilled for me and it can only get better!
- I feel the need to say that Darryl lent me the book Unbreakable and told me about Walking the Nile (I told him about Lost Worlds!) Personal training is so much more than beating somebody up! Time to plug Club One Hundred again!!!
- So, what can a 62 year old do?
- Anything she wants!!!!!!!