Y Notes

Running through a mid-life crisis

  • Recently, a friend shared a post about extreme exercise as the new mid-life crisis. Rather than buying a new sports car, people are turning to exercise and participation in extreme sporting events as they reach middle age.

    The article featured 40- and 50-year-olds who had taken up ultra running, usually 50 to 100 mile races, and Ironman triathlons, where you swim, bike and run for 140.1 miles.

    They were squeezing in countless hours of training between jobs, family and involvement in the community.

    But it’s the “why?” which is different than from mid-life crisis’ of the past when a husband would trade in his wife for a newer model to prove he wasn’t getting old.

    Today’s 40 year olds aren’t trying to reclaim their youth.

    Instead, they want to know that they can still accomplish something difficult; that you don’t have to be young to complete these extreme events; that they aren’t dead yet and still have a lot to prove.

    And at many of these events, the 40 year olds are posting faster times than the 20-year-olds.

    How is this possible?

    Maybe it is dedication.

    Maybe it is more time to train.

    Maybe it is a greater tolerance for pain.

    Or maybe it is simply because we don’t care what we look like in a swimsuit anymore so we spend less time fussing in front of a mirror and more time in the water.

    Faster times by the older crowd also hits close to home.

    As part of the Republican River Fitness Series, a collaboration between the YMCA and Community Hospital, the winners are routinely from the 40 and 50-year-old division.

    In fact, at Randy’s Run two weeks ago, a 60-year-old won the half-marathon. Yes, I just gave away Ray Chmiel’s age but he was so fast, he deserves the kudos.

    As I finished the article, I glanced at my schedule for the month of September and realized it could have been written about me and my friends.

    Over the next three weekends, my hubby, friends and I will participate in several long-distance events in three different states.

    We will travel to Kansas for a 70-mile gravel grinder, because riding 70 miles on a smooth, paved road just isn’t tough enough.

    We will complete (hopefully) a half-Ironman distance triathlon in Colorado.

    And then we will participate in a 60-mile bike ride from Omaha to Lincoln, to benefit MS research.

    We will actually stay home the final weekend of September for Heritage Days.

    (Here is my shameless plug for the Heritage Days Road Race, which is Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 a.m. near Norris Park.)

    And it is a reasonable, doable 3.1 miles on the streets and trails of McCook.

    Bring the strollers, your dogs, it is just a great way to start off a fun weekend for Heritage Days.

    Why are we putting in all this time training and traveling and discovering new aches and pains as we push our bodies to the limit?

    It is not because we need more medals and t-shirts or the recognition.

    Instead, we enjoy being among friends who understand the pain after you’ve been on a bicycle seat for six hours.

    We treasure that push of a tailwind after riding 25 miles into a 20 mph headwind.

    And we hope that leading a healthy, active lifestyle now will pay dividends down the road, so we are able to stay active when we are older.

    Especially, when we hit that late-mid-life crisis a few decades from now when we take up hang-gliding or bobsledding.

     Text

  • 31-Aug-2018

Recently, a friend shared a post about extreme exercise as the new mid-life crisis. Rather than buying a new sports car, people are turning to exercise and participation in extreme sporting events as they reach middle age.

The article featured 40- and 50-year-olds who had taken up ultra running, usually 50 to 100 mile races, and Ironman triathlons, where you swim, bike and run for 140.1 miles.

They were squeezing in countless hours of training between jobs, family and involvement in the community.

But it’s the “why?” which is different than from mid-life crisis’ of the past when a husband would trade in his wife for a newer model to prove he wasn’t getting old.

Today’s 40 year olds aren’t trying to reclaim their youth.

Instead, they want to know that they can still accomplish something difficult; that you don’t have to be young to complete these extreme events; that they aren’t dead yet and still have a lot to prove.

And at many of these events, the 40 year olds are posting faster times than the 20-year-olds.

How is this possible?

Maybe it is dedication.

Maybe it is more time to train.

Maybe it is a greater tolerance for pain.

Or maybe it is simply because we don’t care what we look like in a swimsuit anymore so we spend less time fussing in front of a mirror and more time in the water.

Faster times by the older crowd also hits close to home.

As part of the Republican River Fitness Series, a collaboration between the YMCA and Community Hospital, the winners are routinely from the 40 and 50-year-old division.

In fact, at Randy’s Run two weeks ago, a 60-year-old won the half-marathon. Yes, I just gave away Ray Chmiel’s age but he was so fast, he deserves the kudos.

As I finished the article, I glanced at my schedule for the month of September and realized it could have been written about me and my friends.

Over the next three weekends, my hubby, friends and I will participate in several long-distance events in three different states.

We will travel to Kansas for a 70-mile gravel grinder, because riding 70 miles on a smooth, paved road just isn’t tough enough.

We will complete (hopefully) a half-Ironman distance triathlon in Colorado.

And then we will participate in a 60-mile bike ride from Omaha to Lincoln, to benefit MS research.

We will actually stay home the final weekend of September for Heritage Days.

(Here is my shameless plug for the Heritage Days Road Race, which is Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 a.m. near Norris Park.)

And it is a reasonable, doable 3.1 miles on the streets and trails of McCook.

Bring the strollers, your dogs, it is just a great way to start off a fun weekend for Heritage Days.

Why are we putting in all this time training and traveling and discovering new aches and pains as we push our bodies to the limit?

It is not because we need more medals and t-shirts or the recognition.

Instead, we enjoy being among friends who understand the pain after you’ve been on a bicycle seat for six hours.

We treasure that push of a tailwind after riding 25 miles into a 20 mph headwind.

And we hope that leading a healthy, active lifestyle now will pay dividends down the road, so we are able to stay active when we are older.

Especially, when we hit that late-mid-life crisis a few decades from now when we take up hang-gliding or bobsledding.

 Text

Don't forget these activities in the fall

  • While we may be elbow deep in fall sports right now, we should not forget that there are other opportunities available for kids at the YMCA.

    For example, high school swim teams don’t start practice until November, but the YMCA youth swim leagues will kick off their first practices right after Labor Day.

    Registration is now open for the McCook YMCA swim team, which is open to anyone who can swim the length of the pool without assistance, using any stroke with fairly good form.

    There is some leeway on “good form” because anyone who has watched me swim, especially when fatigue has set in, may wonder if they should jump in and save me from drowning.

    The purpose of swim team is not teach someone how to swim, but to rather develop and improve their swim form.

    But swim team also instills a life-long love of swimming, whether for fun or competitively.

    While the season is rather long with practices and meets from September through March, the schedule is very flexible.

    Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

    But life does get in the way, so participants are encouraged to attend as many days as possible.

    After all, the old adage still holds true: you get of something, what you put into it.

    Because the swim teams travels to other YMCA pools for swim meets, participants are required to be YMCA members.

    But otherwise, there are no age restrictions or skill level requirements. Just a desire to get better and to have fun.

    After taking a hiatus for the summer, Rookie Sports resumes next week.

    The league is open to four- and five-year-olds as a way to introduce them to a variety of sports throughout the year.

    The skill-development program is designed to introduce children to the basics of sports in a fun and inviting environment, featuring a new skill and sport each session, which is one month long,

    The league is designed to teach the fundamentals of sports and other activities such as yoga and Zumba, while emphasizing learning, confidence building, socialization and most of all - having fun.

    Parents can sign up for a month at a time or for the entire school year or just for the sports they would like their child to try.

    Rookie Sports takes place every Wednesday from 5:15-6 p.m., long enough to cover a skill or two, but short enough to keep their attention.

    Well, keep it as long as you can keep a four-year-old’s attention.

    And another event taking place right now might be overlooked and seem out of season.

    Typically, lifeguard training hits high gear in the spring as kids and adults get ready for the summer swim season.

    But the YMCA is offering an American Red Cross lifeguard training session the next two weekends (counts as one session), as well as a second session over Christmas break.

    The YMCA pool does not close down just because the weather turns colder.

    In fact, the swimming pool is just as busy - if not busier - over the winter.

    Between swim lessons, fitness classes and swim team practices, the pool is scheduled every moment of the day with some sort of activity.

    If we could add another lane or two to the pool, I’m sure we would be able to fill it with something…and not just water.

    For more information about any of these activities, please check out the YMCA website, www.mccookymca.org.

     Text

  • 24-Aug-2018

While we may be elbow deep in fall sports right now, we should not forget that there are other opportunities available for kids at the YMCA.

For example, high school swim teams don’t start practice until November, but the YMCA youth swim leagues will kick off their first practices right after Labor Day.

Registration is now open for the McCook YMCA swim team, which is open to anyone who can swim the length of the pool without assistance, using any stroke with fairly good form.

There is some leeway on “good form” because anyone who has watched me swim, especially when fatigue has set in, may wonder if they should jump in and save me from drowning.

The purpose of swim team is not teach someone how to swim, but to rather develop and improve their swim form.

But swim team also instills a life-long love of swimming, whether for fun or competitively.

While the season is rather long with practices and meets from September through March, the schedule is very flexible.

Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

But life does get in the way, so participants are encouraged to attend as many days as possible.

After all, the old adage still holds true: you get of something, what you put into it.

Because the swim teams travels to other YMCA pools for swim meets, participants are required to be YMCA members.

But otherwise, there are no age restrictions or skill level requirements. Just a desire to get better and to have fun.

After taking a hiatus for the summer, Rookie Sports resumes next week.

The league is open to four- and five-year-olds as a way to introduce them to a variety of sports throughout the year.

The skill-development program is designed to introduce children to the basics of sports in a fun and inviting environment, featuring a new skill and sport each session, which is one month long,

The league is designed to teach the fundamentals of sports and other activities such as yoga and Zumba, while emphasizing learning, confidence building, socialization and most of all - having fun.

Parents can sign up for a month at a time or for the entire school year or just for the sports they would like their child to try.

Rookie Sports takes place every Wednesday from 5:15-6 p.m., long enough to cover a skill or two, but short enough to keep their attention.

Well, keep it as long as you can keep a four-year-old’s attention.

And another event taking place right now might be overlooked and seem out of season.

Typically, lifeguard training hits high gear in the spring as kids and adults get ready for the summer swim season.

But the YMCA is offering an American Red Cross lifeguard training session the next two weekends (counts as one session), as well as a second session over Christmas break.

The YMCA pool does not close down just because the weather turns colder.

In fact, the swimming pool is just as busy - if not busier - over the winter.

Between swim lessons, fitness classes and swim team practices, the pool is scheduled every moment of the day with some sort of activity.

If we could add another lane or two to the pool, I’m sure we would be able to fill it with something…and not just water.

For more information about any of these activities, please check out the YMCA website, www.mccookymca.org.

 Text