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

FREE Learning Opportunities in Retirement

Learning is FREE

Being the publisher of Retirement Media I read a lot about retirement and live the retirement lifestyle since I am age 66. Something that does not get too much press is lifelong learning.  You may click that link to see a good article explaining what the term is and why it may be useful throughout your life and especially  in retirement.

There are plenty of free opportunities to learn. You really don’t need too much to learn, just be observant;  however taking a class is a excellent way to learn.

When you learn for free it is even better. Here are some free classes listed below that I have taken this year. This may give you some ideas.

FREE Learning Opportunities in Retirement

1. Free Dance Lessons – Many dance clubs give free lessons not only to beginners but advanced also.  Some feel the dance lessons are the most enjoyable part.

2. YouTube Videos – I am convinced you can learn to learn how to do anything watching YouTube Videos.

3. Smartphone lessons – My wife and I just took a two hour class covering all the features on her new Galaxy 5 phone at our Verizon store. Just go to your provider’s web site to find a class.

5. AARP TEKAARP TEK provides all sorts of workshops to learn about technology. We took the workshop on tablets and smartphones.

6. Senior Centers – We attend the lunch & learn once a month.  I liked visiting the 911 call center to learn how that works. Adult learning centers are also good places to learn.

7. Book Clubs – Join a book club that will select a book of the month and then have a discussion about the book. Reading is a great if not the best free learning tool. Libraries have author lectures.

8. Meetup.com – Tonight I am going to a free two hour course on how to use Instagram. They also give free classes on Facebook and Twitter. For almost any subject you are interested in learning about, there usually is a group on Meetup.com that will help you learn.

9. Colleges – Many have free audition classes for seniors.

10. Free on-line courses – Get 1000 free online courses from the world’s leading universities –  Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more.

11. Free Computer Classes for Seniors – available at senior centers, libraries and other places. Kids love teaching seniors about computers. Professionals volunteer their time teaching also.

12. Free Day at the Museum – I went to Atlanta’s High Museum on the first Saturday of this month because they offered FREE admission for that day.  Ask your museum if they have a free admissions day or evening.

13. Volunteer – Volunteers get some free training. My wife volunteers at a hospital and they have a auxiliary meetings with guest speakers too. You can also volunteer to usher and see free shows and lectures.

14. Hospitals – have free health fairs and health screening where you can learn how to improve your health.

15. Arts in the Park – We just went to a free concert by the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra in Newtown Park.  Funded by the Arts Foundation. Your area park probably has something like this.

16. Book TV – I love watching Book TV on the weekends on TV. They also have free videos of their authors talking about their books on the Book TV website.

17. Free Arts Classes – I signed up for a free arts class “senior to senior” where they match you the senior with an arts senior in high school.  Check with your arts center for free classes.

Well I was able to come up with these 17 free learning opportunities from my own life. I hope there are ideas that inspire you to check them out.

If you think of other free learning opportunities you should comment below.

More Retirement Activities