Winter be gone!

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Foster Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Foster Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Sure, traces of snow lined my path this morning. Winter is reluctant to leave.

But the paved trail through Foster Park was clear. Neighborhood streets were clear, as well.

So the morning jog was about as safe as it could be. Despite my balance problems at 77, I felt stable as a 20-year-old. I didn’t trip or stumble once. Now keep in mind that my trail is about four miles, counting the few blocks from my house to the park.

My daily outings must be as cost-effective as anything. No gym membership fee. No hundreds of dollars for a treadmill to place in my study. Then, after the jog through the park, I perform push-ups and sit-ups. No cost there, either.

Of course, I’ve got the expense of a pair of running shoes. A hundred or so bucks. But that’s only an outlay of dollars every few months. I don’t think I’ve spent a dollar on a jogging outfit in years.

In winter, I just put on sweatpants, a jacket and stocking cap. If everybody followed my exercise habits, it would put gyms and sporting
goods stores out of business.

I don’t know if my exercise regimen is keeping me healthy and alive. Dad was physically active throughout his life. He played golf every day in warmer weather after work, walking and not riding a cart.

In high school, he played sports year-round. But he died at age 60. I’ve always assumed that his many years smoking had something to do with his relatively early death.

Mom, meantime, got her exercise playing bridge and gardening. She was ranked a “Master” bridge player and I gather from that classification she was pretty good. Like Dad, she also was a life-long smoker. Unlike him, she lived a long life. She died at 91.

If I reflect on my own habits, I can’t say jog or do push-ups to live longer. Or that I decline red meat at dinner to avoid dying of colon cancer as Dad did.

My jogs and my eating habits just make sense. Most days I feel good. I rarely develop a cold or flu. I’m reasonably active. Besides, the jogging and push-ups, I do the family shopping every few days. And I read. A lot.

One of these days, I might even tackle writing another book. So far, I haven’t thought of a topic or theme that excites me. Lots of authors have written books at age 77 or even older.

I don’t have any advice for people in my age group. I’m lucky that it seems everybody on both sides of our family is doing well. So I don’t worry about them. (I can guarantee that jogging and other exercise takes the edge off worrying.)

I do wish people would do more research about candidates during this election year. Listen to both sides. And listen with an open mind. Electing a new president, Congress and state offices is too important to base a person’s vote on whim or prejudice.

I don’t think I’d like living in a part of the country that’s warm year-round. I’m addicted to the change in seasons. Especially now, as we’re about to mark the unofficial end of winter, I’m ready to celebrate. And get moving.

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