Playing Games in Retirement

When we are young we love to play games don’t we.  Any kind of games from ones we have made up to more formal ones.

Then as we get older and more serious we stop playing games in lieu of more serious stuff.

But in retirement, I have found that myself and other retirees love to play games!  I started playing bocce ball at our senior center and had a great time, playing as much as three days a week.  It was just fun!

Then I started race walking and enjoy the competition of racing again.  I never thought I would be in a race again!  It is exhilarating.

Card games and table games are extremely popular with retirees, so it doesn’t have to be all about sports.  Rather than watching the Wheel of Forturne or Jeopardy on TV, more and more retirees are playing games themselves. There is so much to choose from.

Playing games keeps your mind active, makes you more creative, is great for social life and can add to your physical fitness.

Where can you find games to play with others?  I would recommend getting started where I did and that is to find your local senior center and go visit. Ask for their activity schedule and just go and take part.  Don’t worry, someone is there to show you how to play and they would love to have you join.  It is free also.

Moving to a senior community or especially an active adult community is a wonderful opportunity to play games.  They have the facilities like a club house and the ball fields on which to play games like softball, pickleball, bocce, tennis, horse shoes and more. Plus the residents are looking for new friends to play these games with and would love to have you join them.

There are other organizations that I discovered that provide great venues for getting involved in senior games. I attended The National Senior Games in Minnesota last year and saw people over age 50 compete in everything from track and field, basketball, pickleball, archery, and many more.  They have a state senior game in every state and local meets too.  Find your state senior games here.

The USA Track and Field has a Master division for athletes over age 30 up to over 100!  I just returned from the USATF Masters Indoor Championship in Albuquerque NM and saw a 98 year old man set a national record for his age group.

USATF’s Masters programs offer a variety of competition and fitness opportunities in track & field, long distance running, and race walking. Competitions generally take place in 5-year age divisions. Age divisions begin at age 30 for track & field and race walking, and at age 40 for long distance running.

So if you want to have fun again playing games, do a little exploring of these resources and you will be very glad you did!

Retirement Activities: Petit LeMans Race Series

Retirement Activities: Petit LeMans Race

Since retiring I have really enjoyed going to the Petit LeMans sports car endurance race series with two of my buddies.

We have attended the Petit LeMans race at Road Atlanta for the last five years now and it has become an annual event that we look forward to. The series is in about 15 cities beginning in January and ending in November.  Check the  Petit LeMans schedule for upcoming races. Class winners in our race automatically received an invitation to race at the 24 Hours of Lemans (France) next year.

I am not a car person but I like it. I did attended some races when I was in my 20’s and maybe even 30’s.  Then got busy with my career and stop going.  Now I see many if not most of the 100,000 in attendance are in their 40/s, 50’s, 60’s and higher age bracket. Lots of groups of men with gray hair like I have and some couples.

The paddock area is open before the race and fans and go down on the track and look at the cars, drivers and crew.  These are very sophisticated operations, that is for sure.

Last year, two of us got invitied to take a pre race ride around in the track with a professional driver. The driver of the Viper I was riding in got us up to 125 MPH and that was quite exciting. They go much faster in the race of course.

It is a spectator sport but there is some activity just getting your chairs set up in a good viewing position after you have been to the paddock area.  Bring ear plugs. There are large screens set up along the track for viewing also.

The race is 10 hours or 1,000 miles. There are four classes of autos and they all race at the same time. There is a prototype named the DeltaWing that you have to see. Several others too.

The three of us left my Johns Creek home at 8AM, had breakfast and was at the paddock area by around 9:30AM.  This race we left for home about 3:30PM but have stayed until dark.  Sometimes we pick up the wives and go get bar-b-Que after the race.

We are already talking about going next year. It is fun and we enjoy it. Isn’t that what retirement is all about!

DeltaWing
DeltaWing

Race Walking – Great Activity for Retirees

Race Walking – Great Activity for Retirees

I think I have found the perfect activity for retirees to stay in shape and to provide a retirement activity they can do to improve their health without injuring themselves. It is called Race Walking.

According to popular site eRaceWalk.com which focusing on race walking technique, race walking is  the world of people who choose to regularly walk much faster and/or much farther than is required for mobility or basic fitness.

In my case, I got interested in race walking after walking two mornings a week with my two buddies at Park Place Adult Center. We participated in our senior center’s local Golden Games amongst 4 or  5 other senior centers and I won the competition in the half mile walk for my age bracket.

That got me thinking about the next level up, which is our state competition the Georgia Golden Olympics. Then if you qualify there you can go to the 2015 National Senior Games which will be in Minneapolis Minnesota.

To make it all the way, I needed to learn race walking and at age 67 I have been learning to race walk.  They say it takes 2 months to 2 years to learn race walking and I have only been learning for 2 months, so I hope I am a fast learner because I leave for Georgia Golden Olympics in exactly one week.

So far I have enjoyed learning to race walk.  It has got me in better shape already, much more than just the casual social walking I was doing before. I still plan to walk with my buddies a couple of times a week but if I qualify at the state games, I think I will get a little retirement travel in and go to the National Senior Games in Minnesota next year.  (update 6/23/15 – I did qualify and will be competing in the National Senior Games in Minnesota on 7/14 &15. Excitied, just want to do my best and not get disqualified – Robert).

I am thinking more baby boomers will be joining me in learning race walking as it seems to be a perfect activity for us older boomers (or anyone of any age too). You can visit eRaceWalk.com and find a local track club to get more information.

91 year old Helen race walking a 3K
91 year old Helen race walking a 3K
Boomers Race Walking
Boomers Race Walking – Robert is in blue shirt