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Pedometer Chronicles — Creating the Good, Part 2

My people and I are into the fifth week of our 10-week pedometer walking program sponsored by AARP and their Create the Good Community Walking Program.

So far, we have racked up a little over 3,000 miles, which is the equivalent of walking to Maui, Hawaii. Impossible, you say, you can’t walk on water. We who are participating feel like we can.

This week I have been accosted with five unsolicited reports of increased happiness and well being. One gentleman reported his doctor eliminated his diabetes drugs because he has lost weight, increased his physical activity and improved his diet. He credits the walking program as the impetus for his success. One woman divulged that she can’t “wait to get up in the morning and put my pedometer on.” Another sweet lady is beyond excited that she has increased her steps by 15 every week with her walker and on oxygen.

Ming Steen, director of the PLPOA Recreation Center, and an amazingly driven athlete, spoke after a delicious lunch of crunchy baked fish. Her talk included the following salient points: 1) Use what you have physically, or lose it; 2) It is never too late to start a workout program which should include aerobics, resistance training and stretching; 3) Once you begin your workout program you should never quit it, even if it is difficult; and, last but not least, 4) “Learn new things to keep your brain fresh.”

Ming also brought Bennie Lohman with her to say a few words about fitness. Bennie is a 90-year-old Senior Olympic Champion in the 100 meter sprint. She works out at the rec center daily and has this to say about being a champion. “I found what I wanted to do (the 100 meter sprint), and I prepared for it.” Bennie practices at the high school track, in running shoes her over 60-year-old son bought for her. “I also strive to outlive my competition,” she laughs.

Our enthusiastic Create the Good Fox Trot T-Shirts are in. They are as red as the day is long and the logo is sporty. A veteran suggested that since our T-Shirts are red, we should all wear them on Fridays as a visual support of our troops.? Wearing red on Fridays in honor of our troops is a growing grassroots movement and we are going to wear ours on Fridays in the Silver Foxes Den.? Join us!

Jennifer Barter, a beloved county employee, brought my attention to another senior champion. Harriet Anderson, 74 years of age, finished the prestigious Ford Ironman World Championship in 2009. First, she swam 2.4 miles. Then she hopped aboard her bike and rode 80 miles, at which point someone rode into her and she broke her clavicle. She got back on her bike and finished riding the 112 miles and then ran a marathon, 26.2 miles. Where was this Ford Ironman World Championship? Hawaii. Where my people walked to, of course.

Quilt show

School is out for the summer and so is Art in the Den. Rebecca Pepiton, Pagosa Springs High School art teacher, and her husband joined the Peace Corps and will be working in China.

Doris Prior thought that our walls would look empty, so she called her quilting friends and asked them to lend us their quilts for a show. Doris and Helen Bartlett spent a Thursday morning lovingly hanging the quilts in our dining room for viewing.

Local quilters have sewn souls together with their work for generations. Come to the Silver Foxes Den at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. and see their work.

Thank you

Thank you, Ming Steen, for bringing Bennie, for your wise words and the day passes to the rec center. You are not only a super athlete, you are a super human being.

Thank you to Carol Schiff and her Therapy Dog, Gizmo, for visiting and bringing joy to our lounge.

Thank you, Doris Prior and Helen Bartlett, for bringing beauty to our dining room.

Fox Trot mischief

Our Fox Trot Challenge events this month are: June 4 — Gayle Tuggle, Senior Olympic skier, current super athlete, former wrestling coach, Zen Motorcycle Shaman and all around wonderful man, will reveal the secret to happiness. June 8 — Biz Greene, speed walking expert and trainer, will give a speed walking lesson in the Community Center gym. More steps for us! June 22 — The End of the Fox Trot Challenge Extravaganza Ice Cream Celebration. Come for ice cream and bragging. This walking program was hard, and we deserve a treat. All events begin at 12:45 p.m.

Pancake breakfast

Summer is here and so is our budget deficit. We are again hosting monthly pancake breakfasts to help support the many services the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center offers. Come Thursday, June 10, from 7 to 9 a.m. for delicious pancakes, with ham or bacon, fresh fruit, juice and coffee or tea. Enjoy it all plus great company for only $5. (If I don’t eat them all first. I love pancakes.) See you here!

Craft and jewelry sale

On Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., we are having a craft and jewelry sale in our dining room. Booths will be $25. Now is the time to make things and look through your current jewelry that you don’t need. We will also be selling refreshments, including cinnamon rolls. Interested? Space is limited and going fast, sign up early. Call me, 264-2167.

Services

Are you homebound or know someone who is? Let the Silver Foxes Den help you with your meals. We have expanded our service to the more rurally-isolated areas of the county and would like to help you help yourself.

These meals are the same meals prepared in our kitchen by the same cooks who prepare those scrumptious senior center meals. Our hot meal home-delivery program remains available to those closer to town four days per week, with frozen meals on Thursdays. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give me or Musetta a call at 264-2167 for further information.

Weekly activities at The Den:

Friday, May 28 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; book club 10:30 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; birthday lunch; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

Monday, May 31 — Closed, Memorial Day.

Tuesday, June 1 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m..; Nancy Dickhoff, fitness and nutrition, 12:45 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, June 2 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; poker 1 p.m.; Writing for Generations 1 p.m.

Thursday, June 3 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, June 4 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Gayle Tuggle 12:45 p.m.

ASI memberships

Is it time for you to renew or buy your 2010 ASI membership? You can purchase memberships at The Silver Foxes Den on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Folks 55 and over will benefit with discounts from many local businesses, including the local hot springs. This is one of the best deals in Pagosa Springs.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, May 28 — French Dip, potato salad, orange juice, mixed fruit, ice cream, cake.

Monday, May 31 — Closed, Memorial Day.

Tuesday, June 1 — Tacos, refried beans, salsa, lettuce and tomatoes, broccoli, peaches.

Wednesday, June 2 — Beef Stroganoff, parslied carrots, ruby beet salad, tropical fruit, bread.

Thursday, June 3 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, June 4 — Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli, roll, strawberries, whipped topping.