They call the great years , “The Golden Years,” those years in which you kick back and enjoy the fruits of all those previous years of waking to an alarm clock, staggering out of bed and responding to nature’s call.
Some refer to it as “The Back Nine of Life,” but for me, I like to think of it as the “Front Nine.”
Oh yea, I still get out of bed, or should I say roll out, each morning and do what I refer to as my Frankenstein walk for the first five minutes. That’s a result of all that I have put my body through for so many years, things like playing football and over 40 years of heavy weight training. So if my writings appear to be off-center at times, let's just blame it on all the concussive football hits I took long ago before there was such a thing.
Isn’t it comedic that upon your retirement, the last gift that you receive from your co-workers is box with a brand new watch.
I guess those co-workers don’t realize that as soon as you get home the first thing that you will do is throw out all your alarm clocks because your life will no longer be governed by a clock anymore. William Shakespeare once said, “I have wasted time, and now time doth waste me,” so whether you consider yourself on the “Front Nine” or the “Back Nine." do what makes you happy. Joy is not in the things that surround our everyday lives, it is something that lies within us and it is up to each of us to let it out.
My way of finding that joy, perhaps will differ from what you consider joy. Before my retirement, I would sometimes use my employment as an excuse to avoid a really vigorous morning workout and just do a light workout in the evening. I no longer have that privilege so I rise every morning, do my Frankenstein walk, take my vitamins, have a protein drink and hit it. The best part of that is, with no alarm clock, I do that whenever my eyes open. An hour of aerobic activity including time on the stationary bike, stepper, treadmill and elliptical strider, aerobic activity I never had to do in my youth but unfortunately as we age, our metabolic rate slows creating a greater need to move.
Most days I have a second workout with the weights in the evening, that is my joy. For most of you, I think you would not find much joy in that especially in your retirement years, but for me, because I have indulged in this lifestyle for so many years, it is almost like an addiction.
When we are younger, I don’t think we fully realize and benefit from all the experiences that we have encountered throughout our lives, at least not until we reach the “Back Nine.” When you are in the “Back Nine," you have more of a tendency to act less on emotion and more on reason. It is in the “Back Nine” that we fully have the time to actually contemplate and analyze all those lifetime experiences. Even with the bad ones, we are still presented with an opportunity to grow and learn.
Someone recently asked of me, “Would you go back to your youthful years if you could?” Only if I could erase all the mistakes I made in life and with that, I would need a big eraser. I am happy with where I’m at right now and will do all that I can to stretch out those “Back Nine” years with my daily workout routine. For now, I’m just going to go feel the ocean breeze on my face and perhaps even feel the sand between my toes.
All that I need is a cool drink, a nice lounger and some smooth jazz. You see, I can travel the world without leaving my home right on my own patio as long as my mind is still sound and my imagination is deep. I can escape to anywhere in the world because chill-laxin is the way to go and since I’m in the “Back Nine,” I’ve certainly got the time.
Charles Thomas is a lifelong resident of Lima and a guest columnist of The Lima News.