Fitness in every stage of life

Two triggers motivated me to start running. One, I was tired of standing at races (impatient!) waiting for my husband to cross the finish line, and the other was while I was watching, I saw women in my age-zone at these races, and I determined, “I want to be strong and fit like that!”

We were both in our early forties. My husband was in a mid-life change, and good for him, he was ‘doing the work’, supporting his goals to lose weight (stop eating doughnuts!) and to get fit. For me activity started a kid – we didn’t have television so our entertainment was baseball, skating and riding bikes. Later when I had kids I made sure to walk and take gym classes because I did not want to gain weight! But by the forties, those two kids had grown up and moved out – more time for me! I had my picture of that ME – a fit and strong woman  and running was going to be my adventure to get there.

Making these fitness goals absolutely changed our lives. It happened for us that the timing and mutual inspiration was a good fit for us both and discovering our inner runners we jumped all-in. We:

  • did a lot of talking while logging a zillion running miles
  • gained confidence to set goals and worked SO diligently to reach them
  • encouraged others to join us in this sport so we could all go for coffee after
  • participated in many races, including with our daughter and family – such a thrill quite apparent in the photo below.

Other than the occasional injury??!! – we loved it all.
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Now in my sixties I look at the photos and old running journals with nostalgia and yes, a wee bit of longing! When the emotions tempt me to get out and go for a run to repeat those feelings of freedom and the adrenaline high, I have to quickly flip on the mindset switch. I would be so bummed-out if joint pain or injuries sidelined me from living out the daily-ness of my longterm goals for  fitness and mobility!

Now staying fit is hiking with a backpack for a day or more ( hiking adventures here ), paddling my kayak, cycling the back roads, snowshoeing if the weather’s right, strength-training in the pool to help me do all of the above! Movement makes my heart sing  and so much of the energy for my fitness comes from being in nature – where I love to be! The decision my husband and I made to move cross-Canada in 2007 placed us into a totally new area of Canada – with so much beauty and to explore while staying fit!

 

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I’m very blessed my spouse also enjoys hiking and cycling. But although he’s my favourite (smile), he isn’t my sole fitness companion. The good thing is we’re okay with getting rejuvenated in our individual ways – for which I am SO thankful as I have no desire to go on motorbiking trips! I don’t mind the solitude of a paddle or hike through the woods, but through my connecting with other active women, I have great fun sharing a week-end backpacking hike (a first time experience for some!) or kayaking somewhere new. We learn together, and my circle of friendships and fitness companions gets bigger!

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The view in my ‘crystal ball’ for the far future?

  • walks with grand-kids and their kids
  • paddle strokes even if they’re shorter
  • less gardening and more bush-whacking (which is more fun)

And for the present?

Stay connected to my fitness purpose: know what I want to do for physical activity and how that fits for longterm wellness.  Be safe, accept new challenges, be grateful.

Mindfully navigating social media

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I am a big fan of Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, Instagram, etc. – these tools have helped shape the landscapes of my personal and work lives into “substance and space”  I’m happy and comfortable with. Connecting with long-distance family and friends (without a two-to-five hour flight!); working with women anywhere in the world  reaching out to rescript their life; inspiration for discovery and growth for a vibrant inspired life. I love it all!

Yet, there are challenges in stearing our way through the attraction (addiction) and management of the whole digital arena. If you’re feeling caught ‘in the web’, I invite you to try the following tips to help shift from automatic reactive  responses, to practicing mindful actions . Let’s give it a go!

Healthy navigation tips for social media.   Stop. Look. Listen.  

STOP

  • Do you tell yourself “I can’t stop myself from clicking in and travelling down FB trails – some that no longer even  fit my interests or stage in life!”, or feel disgusted after “wasting hours” watching another webinar or YouTube just because someone shared it with you? If you’re ready to acknowledge face-on, this is not what I want visualize yourself carrying to the curb any guilt and shame about it. We all struggle…and we move ahead.
  • Changing/making/breaking habits IS work: Gretchen Rubin, author and expert on habits (referral link) has great recommendations based on your personality. Going cold turkey or making small steps – if your desire is to gain control in this area, my suggestions are write down three reasons why you want to better manage social media, followed by three things what you will do instead during the time you’ve given back to yourself. Why not include something fun; something that feeds your well?!
  • Whether you follow a conscious pattern, or an erratic hopping and jumping from one site to another – regularly pause. Pay attention to how you’re physically feeling – holding your breath, getting anxious, feeling a need to justify your actions?  Wait a few seconds before deciding whether or not to click the next link.

LOOK

  • It’s impossible not to like some of those LOL quips (laughter is better than medicine) and enjoy the photos of the people you love celebrating birthdays a province away! But some of the other stuff warrants a closer look, i.e. “is this post presenting encouragement to believe in myself and the path I’ve chosen to reach my goals”, “does following this site or message align with my values”, “do I really want to opt in with a comment”?
  • Be aware of the clock. Instagram’s photos might flood you with creativity and joy – that’s awesome! Some of that happiness might dissipate, however, if a deadline isn’t met, or the day is stressed-out later with playing catch-up. Easy tip: set the timer!

LISTEN

  • Are you energized – or drained – by the latest news clip added to your internal real estate (yikes!)? Will precious emotional, mental energy be wasted wondering how your comments are received after clicking SEND? Oh, this one can be tricky, I regularly need this listen up reminder!
  • We can’t hide from all the harsh realities of life and the pain of our world. But maintaining awareness of how much content, and especially what kind, can protect your heart, mind and spirit.
  • Tune in to messages flashing “social media overload”! Life will go on if you unplug; true friends will remain your friends.
  • We get to choose the essence and energy of our messages; we can listen to, follow our hearts and bless social media with hope, healing and love. Let’s do it!

I have loved connecting with you here….and I do welcome your comments how you navigate, manage social media: do you often un-plug, is it a love-hate relationship?

See you again soon, probably through social media (smile)! And remember, I’m available at ketoews@gmail.com or here.

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(Affiliate Disclosure: I am a participate in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you click on my blog, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale.)

Journey of the heart

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“Your world can depend upon the small beating in your heart.” The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd

In May, 2007 my husband and I, in our fifties, moved from our home in Alberta to Nova Scotia. The why for our cross-Canada move is a story bigger than this blog: but importantly – though it was triggered by my husband’s desire –  moving was a mutual agreement, both of us willing to walk into this unknown journey. After our moving truck arrived, my husband helped position the household belongings in our house, then returned West for the next five months to complete work projects and wrap up our construction company.

I didn’t know a soul in my new community; after jammed-full weeks of packing, meeting with friends and families for last good-bye’s, driving for several days – I honestly felt relieved and excited to have a blank day-timer!

But really, what was I going to do with my time – how do I start building a new life after  fifty-plus years of living in the same community?

I was fortunate to be without pressure to find a job, and the way it played out me being temporarily “single”, I had the freedom to arrange my own time. I settled into the rural subdivision that was now home; drove around my new province; took care of our extensive yard; attended local fund-raising salmon suppers (this was new to me – met our dentist at one of these); I engaged with people!!

Not being aware of it I was giving myself permission to listen to my heart: in nature discovering the joys of hoisting a backpack for an overnight hike; meeting, traveling and staying with *strangers* at running events; exploring beaches, small communities or Halifax, the province’s capital. I was positioning myself with curiosity pointed outward and in –  ignited by a “why not?” attitude.

After getting my bearings, I trained for a diploma in natural nutrition which provided tools for consulting people in holistic health – facilitating my passion to help people not stay stuck in poor health due to dietary, lifestyle and mindset choices. A new dream.

Step by step I rescripted my life, energized by that small beating in my heart: I believe a central part of God’s design, helping me renew purpose for the next stage of my life.

The real story of our lives is written from the journey of our heart. C.S. Lewis termed the heart’s secret signature as “..here at last is the thing I was made for…”. For me, the huge move in location activated awareness of my heart’s small and quiet beating, connecting from the who and what I had been, to listening to the longings of my heart.

Was this reframing easy, everything simply adjusting? Not at all. We didn’t move because of unhappy or dysfunctional relationships; I’m still dealing with the unjust irony that, since moving, my four siblings now live within minutes of each other! And missing poignant touchstones of family get-togethers, Friday breakfasts with my sister.

My rescripting is in progress – that process is different for each of us, but life brings changes to us all.

Maybe you haven’t made a major move, but it could be a career shift; or (early) retirement; perhaps a divorce, or a death; children leaving home; illness of a spouse or partner. You want a purposeful, challenging life- but you don’t know what to do.

It takes time and work. I believe the circumstances and the courage of the heart affect how vibrant rescripting will flow and take shape. But it can. If you are stuck, please reach out, ketoews@gmail.com, for guidance, inspiration and encouragement.

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(top photo credits to my daughter, Renee Tougas)