Monday, 3 December 2007

Christmas is a'coming. . .

There's dancing tonight! Salsa, to be exact.

I tell you, retirement is hard! There just isn't time enough in the day to get everything done.

First thing you do when you retire is join more groups, because now you have time to pursue your interests and learn about stuff. In my case, Yahoo Groups, killing two birds with one stone: While pursuing my interests, I get to play with the computer. Even more. So now I spend more time reading all the posts in all my Yahoo groups and answering them. If you're good about it, participate, and are faithful, the next thing you know you're a group moderator. I'm a group moderator.

I belong to one group about feeding your dogs. (Raw meat and bones, in general, but we're liberal.) The group also discusses things like dog well-being, health and behaviour. So the next thing you know, I'm all excited about training my dog.

Now I have to fit dog-training into my schedule.

We tend to get personal on the lists I belong to, so they're pretty high traffic. We chat. One consequence of this is that, being a firm believer in exercise, whether I do it or not, I have become a running coach -- well, more like a cheerleader. But that makes me feel guilty about not running, myself, so I have had to start running, again. Starting seriously after 15 years of "It's December; can I get in shape before ski season?" while doing B&B with evening meals is hard. So I got a new running book to help me. Which I have to read, one chapter at a time, before each running session, and practice the exercises.

Besides that, a real person (not someone on my groups) whom, in the beginning of my retirement I had time to visit occasionally, showed me the book she bought on strength training. I looked at the pictures of osteoporotic bones and quickly ordered the book and weights. Professional weights. Now I do strength training.

Someone else, whom I have to time visit occasionally, suckered me into to going with her to an introductory class for salsa. Hmm, my back feels better. I sign up.

Somewhere, dog training got lost in the shuffle, so we have just instituted a new system. Van-Ly and I go out before I run, but after I am in my running clothes, and practice. We take Nala with us, since Nala is afraid we're going walkies without her.

And, of course, there is walkies. On running days, we squeeze walkies in between runs. What I mean is that I run, usually toward the village, with or without Van-Ly. Nick drives to the village with a dog or two. We meet on the place. We walk the dogs. Nick runs back to the house and I drive the dogs. Notice that I have got my husband running, again, too. He doesn't have to read the books, though. He can run.

We usually manage this just before lunch, but that is supposed to be our coffee-at-the-bar time, which is getting harder to squeeze in. Coffee-at-the-bar is important because otherwise you don't know what's going on in the village. Or where you can get a new gearbox cheap. Or who can fix your broken refrigerator shelf. Or sign up for Irish night.

On non-running days, we do dog-walking after lunch. This doesn't count as exercise. Nala's pace barely counts as breathing.

I also have to make time to read the training book, one chapter at a time, do the exercises and review before each training session. This would be less time-consuming if I didn't have a mind like a sieve.

Oh, yes, Nala's baths. She has allergies and needs bathing every week. It started as twice a week, but we are, fortunately, down to once a week.

I've got it all scheduled, though. My Google Calendar shows Running in red, every other day, Weights in green on the alternate days, and Salsa on Tuesday evenings. It works out that one week calls for four days of running and three of strength training plus Salsa. The following week has four days of weights and three of running plus Salsa. In the weeks with four days of running, one of the running days falls on Tuesday (Salsa), so I skip running. If strength training falls on Tuesday, I do it. If we have to go somewhere during the day and I don't get to exercise, that's all right for one day of the week. It becomes my rest day. I try to make it a weights days because the book says two days a week is O.K. Oh, yes, we do dog training even if we're not running because we still have walkies.

Do you have all that?

Thank Google for Google calendars. And you wonder why I don't blog more.

By the way, our "dance" recital is this Saturday at the village Christmas market. We follow the children.