Friday, April 19, 2019

Hard work

I'm just back from my hour at the gym and as usual, my muscles are overwhelmed by the whole experience. We go to a fairly large gym, but it does have a Senior Wellness program where you can use a limited amount of equipment and only 3 days a week, for 4 hours each day. All for a limited price. We decided to join about 7 years ago and it has become a good habit for us. Before all of my mishaps and hospital stays, I would use the gym for 2 and 1/2 hours and then the pool for water aerobics and another 45 minutes. 4 or 5 years ago I had become very fit and I was quite proud of it. "Pride goeth before a fall" is the saying I remember and it certainly applies to me. After attending a pulmonary rehab program for 8 weeks I knew I had to get back into shape. It has been challenging to say the least. I get onto the treadmill and begin walking. About 6 weeks ago I was walking at 2.4 mph for 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes on a device called a NuStep. All cardio/pulmonary exercises. I am finally up to 2.9 mph and have switched to resistance machines to gain some muscles. All the  time that I am exercising, I am monitoring my pulse and my blood oxygen levels. My pulse is coming back to its old levels of 80 to 85 after 30 minutes on the treadmill. Back when I was doing marathons, I was able to keep my pulse at 80 for close to the entire race. But that was 'then' and then was 13 years ago.

Gyms are funny places once you get past the intimidation period. Gym are usually crowded and noisy with some people sweating over weights while you hear the 'clang' of dropped weights. There's lots of 'posing' in front of mirrors while muscles are flexed. But, if you get past that and stick around for awhile, you see that there is a lot more to the gym. There are people in their 90's here along with a crowd aged 30+. There are lots of overweight and unfit citizens as well as people using walkers. And there's me; aged, long gray hair and using a cane. And, while you use the treadmill, you get an elevated view of the gym and its occupants for 30 minutes. If you are a 'people watcher' this is a great place for it. I think I could write a book about the people and their habits. For instance, there are the 'Fitness Flit'ers' that flit from one machine to the next, never staying longer than 2 minutes. I watch them, wondering if they will ever land on one they like. They usually travel in pairs and have headphones attached to their phones. At the same time they carry on a lengthy conversation with their fellow Flit'er. Some people come to occupy a machine while they fiddle with their phones, listening to music or a podcast. They never exercise. Then there are those that love to gather in larger groups, 4 or 5, and discuss world events or whatever, all sitting on or draped across the equipment and using very loud voices. And then there's me...I don't know what group others would put me in, but I'm sure I have been categorized by someone watching, just as I do.       

Monday, April 8, 2019

Very Colorful

My photos are being printed at Costco, even as I type. The 5x7 photos are the end product of my integrating Sketchbook and Rebelle software with my imagination. I have published a dozen or more of the 26 prints on my Instagram page, where I hope to get some favorable comments on them. Even unfavorable comments will be accepted gratefully; as long as they are not from any of the "Haters" that seem to infest the 'net these days.

I'm hoping to see what kind of a market there might be for some of these 5x7's to be printed on a 16x20 sheet of aluminum. The process of printing on aluminum seems to give the image a glow, not seen when processing on photographic paper.

Printing on aluminum is not cheap, so if I sell some of them that cost has to be covered as well as for my talent!

On another subject; my youngest granddaughter. She is confined to a wheelchair and has been for close to 2 1/2 years. She started her high school freshman year in that chair and she will graduate in it. She will have her drivers license this week or maybe it was last week? She does have an older Explorer with hand controls, so she will be just as mobile as her twin brother. About two weeks ago we were able to see her when the high school track team made the long journey down out of the mountains to compete in a local high school invitational meet. Yes, she is on the track team, a  junior varsity discus and shotput member of the team. At the end of the day she had her personal best discus throw but she was unhappy with her shotput attempts. A few days later we got the news that she had just received a grant for a racing wheelchair and had been measured for it. It will be built for her and she will be on the track team next year, as well as the field sports. She is one happy young woman. And she has plenty of reason for that; last summer, at the camp for challenged youth, she received a scholarship for a custom chair, built for sports such as basketball and indoor rugby. That's now her daily wheelchair. It's a good thing that her Explorer has enough room in it for her two chairs and all of her sports gear.