|My new friends|
Today, finally, I will get to travel down to Snohomish with my friend Terry, who is going to make a skydive to celebrate and mark her 65th birthday. We were scheduled last weekend, but the weather wasn't cooperating, so today it will be. Our fine blue skies have returned, and there seems to be nothing that will keep us out of the sky today. I'll jump out with her, while she goes out with her tandem instructor. I'll land before them and hopefully catch a picture of her on landing. It should be fun.
I just finished reading the book, What Makes Olga Run? by Bruce Grierson. I got it from our local library, and I had to wait awhile for it to become available, since Olga recently died at the age of 95 from a brain hemorrhage. I wrote a post about her here, since I knew nothing about her before learning of her death. She competed right up to the end of her life, turning 95 in March and setting all kinds of records for her new age group just a month before she died. I had to put down the other books I was reading, because I only had it for a short time, as others wanted to read it, too. (There is a video of Olga at 93 on my other post, for your enjoyment. Or just type "Olga Kotelko" into YouTube and dozens of videos will come up.)
It is an interesting book. The subtitle is "The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives." It was written when she was 93, and although she did inherit good genes, it was not the only reason she was so active right up to the end. She began to compete in track and field at 77, after five years of playing slow-pitch baseball. During her fifteen years or so of competition, she set dozens of world records for her age groups. Every time she got into a new age group (every five years), she set new records. How many of us know women in their nineties who can throw a javelin, run the 100-meter dash, or perform the shot put? She simply amazes me.
In the book I learned not only some of her secrets of keeping fit, but also those of her competitors, mostly male, who traveled to Finland to compete in 2012. Bruce Grierson went along with her to write about her adventures. He interviewed all of the masters competitors and writes about their secrets. Some are very picky about what they eat.
Bruce went to dinner with her and wrote that she pretty much ate everything, not a picky eater at all. Plus she always wants to enjoy what the locals eat, and he said she put away prodigious amounts of food, at least for someone her size. She was five feet tall and weighed 130 pounds. Not exactly skinny. But she also slept nine hours every night, as most of the masters competitors do. That was interesting to learn. I also require about that much sleep every night to feel good the next day.
One of the men Bruce interviewed talked about his "fountain of youth" secret, the Five Tibetan Rites. Curious, I looked them up online (the Wikipedia link I've provided gave me my first look into what they are). Basically, they are five exercises that were written about in the 1930s by a guy who had learned about them from a British Army colonel who had traveled to Tibet. They are simple if you know anything about yoga, and not unfamiliar to me at all. I used to do yoga daily, although I haven't for years. I tried them out and have decided to see if I can incorporate the Rites into my morning routine. For one thing, they do help me feel less stiff in the morning when I first get out of bed. Who knows if I'll keep it up, but for now it's easy and only takes a few minutes to do a series of 7. You are supposed to work up to 21 but that's for later. I'm curious if any of you had ever heard of them before. I sure hadn't.
The other thing I learned yesterday is that my downstairs neighbor is being evicted for keeping the cat I have learned to love. So not only will I be losing my kitty, but also my pretty darn perfect downstairs neighbor. These apartments don't allow even outside cats, it turns out, and she is unwilling to lose them, so things will be in flux around here again. I will continue to keep my cat food outside, along with a bowl of peanuts, for the crows. I take the bowls in at night to keep the raccoons from discovering the food. I'm sad about it, but it is in the lease that we will not keep any pets. I'm sad, but I also understand where the owner is coming from. Sort of.
Anyway, I've got to leave in less than an hour for Terry's house, so we can travel in one car down to Snohomish. Her class is scheduled for 10:30, and we have an hour and a half drive. I'll need to get up and get started with my day. I do hope that you will have a wonderful week, and of course I'll let you know how it all went with the skydive. Be well until next Sunday.