Thursday, February 25, 2010

Boomer Appalled By Age Bias in Star Track Treadmill

This is my first in what could be a series of boomer advocate posts if I have more than one. As an advocate I am dedicated to the mission of ridding the world of age related bias. My target today is the Star Track treadmill at my LA Fitness center. I am hopeful that some "with it" marketer will be tracking "buzz" on his product and my blog will pop up because I have used the words Star Track treadmill several times.

My favorite machine at the fitness center is the treadmill (Star Track treadmill) because it is the only piece of equipment that will keep going even if I want to stop. I've been using the Interval Training program. It requires you to enter your weight and age and from that information the machine will suggest a lower and upper limit for your heart rate. For my stats the upper limit is 123. I discovered quickly that I can reach 123 just by stepping on the machine so I played around with the weight/age variables so it would give me a 130 HR upper limit. I learned that a 400 lb. twenty-year old will get a 150 HR upper limit while a 125 lb. fifty-five-year old will get a 123 HR upper limit.

Now I ask you, dear readers, who's more likely to have the heart attack on the treadmill, the 400 pounder or the svelte 55-year old? This machine totally ignores weight, relying solely on age to set its Heart Rate limits. And the older you are, the more the machine presumes you are likely to keel over. I consider this an outrage to all only slightly plump 55-year olds. And what's worse, it's asking for my weight information and not even using it.

I solved the problem by telling the machine I was only 45 and on a good day I might only weigh 115. Now that I think on this more, maybe I like this machine just the way it is.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Boomer on Fast Forward

Should have, could have, why didn't I, why did I? While doing my thing at the fitness center today my mind became clogged with questions along those lines. Boy, I should have started coming to the fitness center when I was still young and fit like that skinny girl walking by. Boy, I could have looked really good like that other grey haired woman if only I hadn't let myself eat from the candy bowl every time I passed by. Why didn't I spend more time on myself instead of at work? Why did I let myself get so out-of-shape?

Then suddenly the brakes engaged. Screech! Whoa girl. Stop that. We are only looking forward. We're thinking only about what we want to feel like, look like, do from this point on. Yesterday is yesterday. It was a good moment. A positive moment. One I did not expect I needed or would have yet did.

However, I am very glad I didn't buy that hounds tooth coat I saw someone wearing today. So yesterday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Boomer Refuses to Look Part of Retiree

I managed to get myself out of bed in time to see Teen head out the door for school. Determined to be friendly and approachable, I said "good morning" when I saw her. She did not respond. I tried again. Still no response. Then Hubby yelled at her, "Say good morning to your mother." She grumbled something. Ever the supportive husband, he gave her grief in the car as he drove her to the bus stop.

She's taking this mom retirement thing mighty hard. I've decided, for the sake of Teen, that I need to make an effort to not LOOK retired or old. First decision this morning, put on makeup. Second decision, blow dry rather than air dry hair. Then off to the gym.

I spotted a woman at the gym who got me thinking about looking old and my grandmas. My grandmas were always old to me. Each had the classic look of a woman who led a hard life and gave birth to a dozen kids. Flowery dresses that were belted at the waist, even though there wasn't much you'd call a waist there. Breasts that sagged down to that non-existent waist. And a bun in her hair. A mound of hair twisted into a knot down low on the head then pinned together with a dozen hairpins. The woman in the gym had a bun. It didn't matter what she was wearing or how old she really was. That bun put her in the 70's age zone.

I'm getting my haircut tomorrow. Cutting it short. No way am I even going to be tempted to put my hair in a bun.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Teen Faces Facts

Last night Hubby, Teen and I went out to eat. The restaurant was like most restaurants these days, a bit noisy. Hubby was admiring a painting on the wall but couldn't see the name of the artist. Teen had a better view of the name so Hubby asked her to read it. She said it's After. We both said "what?". She said it again. We said "what did you say..after?" Teen said, "Gahh dad, you're going deaf. You're old, retired and going deaf. You're both old, retired and going deaf. Most of my friends have parents a lot younger than you. " Hubby and I looked at each other with a somewhat amused smile. It is a fact, we are old, retired and going deaf. The retirement statement is a new addition, however, since it just happened.

Despite the fact that Teen has lived with older parents her whole life, she has never declared it to our faces in such a negative tone. Obviously only one new thing has happened, my retirement. I got to thinking. The answer to "what does your mom do" is now, "she's retired." That probably sounds really old to kids who have grandparents that still work. Is it embarrassing to have an older parent? Did saying "my mom works for General Mills" give her some cover on the age thing? Perhaps I can pretend to be doing some other kind of work. I can say "I write a blog." Then Teen can tell her friends "my mom's a writer." That sounds kind of cool as long as they never ask what I write.

When Teen made her declaration to us I didn't take it sitting still. I fired back, "well most of our friends have kids a lot older than you. So there!" Somehow it didn't have quite the sting to it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Boomer Ponders Pondering

I am about to retire from 28 years as a Marketing Researcher. Two days to go. I know that many things will change and I'm sure I'm not as ready for the changes as I should be. People ask me what I will miss. Few people ask me about what I won't miss. Perhaps everyone figures they can guess. But here's something I've been pondering. For 28 years I've thought about work. I've thought about it in the shower, before I go to sleep at night, when I wake up in the middle of the night, when I'm sitting at the dinner table. I have to work at occupying my brain with something else to turn it off. So what will I think about, when I'm not thinking about work? What's going to occupy that nagging little space?

So yesterday I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. Apparently even retirement is not going to solve that problem. I took a quick trip to the bathroom and when I settled back into bed, here's what popped into my mind. Who invented toilet paper? The great American Indian, Chief White Cloud? Perhaps it was Charlemagne ---Charmin, get it? I was so amused at my line of thought, I kept myself entertained until I went back to sleep.

So maybe this is what I will ponder in the future. Already I'm having fun. Think I'll go google it. I've got the time.