learn to accept the challenge

Accept The Challenge!

Do you remember a time when you met a tough challenge in life?

That sense of accomplishment when you conquered something that initially intimidated you?

We’re often faced with a decision:  Do we accept the challenge, or not?  Whenever possible, I encourage you to accept the challenge. Today I’ll tell you why.

I was recently offered a challenge that seemed impossible, but I decided to “take the plunge” (literally, given that the challenge was a long-distance open-water swim) and it reminded me of a lesson I learned many years ago.  While it’s easy to make excuses to avoid facing a challenge, the more rewarding path is often to accept the challenge, push yourself to be successful, and enjoy the thrill of victory that comes from achieving a goal. 

Accept the challenge.  Embrace the resulting sense of accomplishment.

Your life will be better as a result.

When faced with a challenge, don't avoid it.  Tackle it head-on.  That sense of accomplishment when the challenge is conquered is worth the effort. Click To Tweet

accept the challenge in retirement


Accept The Challenge

Today’s post is focused on “The Big Swim” (more on that in a minute), but it made me recall the challenges I faced in my working years and the lessons I learned as a result. I think of my promotion from Sales Director to Plant Manager as the biggest challenge of my career.  I was 38 years old. 

I was intimidated when offered the position but decided to face it head-on.  

6 months later, I was enjoying myself more than I had at any point in my career.  I was successful in my transition into the “stretch assignment,” and I gained a sense of accomplishment and confidence that, even today, makes me look back at that Plant Manager job as the one I most enjoyed throughout my entire 33-year career.

I learned a valuable lesson from the experience:

Meeting a challenge brings a sense of accomplishment that's proportional to the amount of stretch represented by the challenge. Click To Tweet

From that point on, I made a habit of embracing new challenges. 

Now that I’m retired, I’ve realized my eagerness to “Accept The Challenge” is my means of fulfilling that sense of accomplishment I once received through work.  And that realization is the reason I wrote this post.

Important stuff, this.


Finding A Sense of Accomplishment After Work

I’ve written how work brings many positive attributes into our lives beyond a paycheck, a fact that many folks fail to realize until they face an unpleasant shock in retirement.  These “soft side” benefits were a major focus of my book, and my advice is to recognize and plan for the loss of these soft benefits

  • Sense of Identity
  • Purpose
  • Goals
  • Structure
  • Relationships
  • A Sense of Accomplishment

I’ve consistently encouraged folks to think about how they’re going to replace these “soft benefits” in retirement

Those who do tend to have a much better transition into retirement.  Those who don’t often struggle.  The items on that list are intrinsic needs and finding ways to fulfill them when your working days are over is a critical element of a successful retirement.

“Accepting The Challenge” can be a rewarding source for fulfilling your sense of accomplishment in life.  I’ve found physical challenges to be particularly rewarding, but I encourage you to seek out challenges in all facets of your life. Writing my book would be an example of a “mental challenge”, learning to be a woodworker an example of the creative side. 

Your sense of accomplishment will be rewarded regardless of where you find your challenge.  I encourage you to seek out a new challenge in whatever area of life appeals to you.

Search far.  Search wide.  

Make it a habit to Accept The Challenge!

I just completed my latest challenge, a long-distance open water swim across Lake Blue Ridge, and it was the sense of accomplishment I felt in conquering the challenge that led to the writing of today’s post.  I hope you enjoy the story…


Can You Swim Across Lake Blue Ridge?

(3 miles and 2+ hours of non-stop swimming!)

accepting a challenge to swim across a lake
The map of the 3-mile swim route across Lake Blue Ridge.

When my friend Adri heard that I liked to swim, she excitedly stated, “You should join us in our annual swim across Lake Blue Ridge!” 

When she told me it was 3 miles (5 km), my initial thought was “no way!”  As an experienced swimmer, I knew the significance of that statement.  A 3-mile swim would mean I’d be swimming non-stop for 2.5 hours, a feat well beyond my capability. 

But…the seed was planted.

Could I really swim that far?  What would it take to accept the challenge Adri had presented to me?  

Normally I build up to a 1 hour non-stop swim by the end of the summer.  It’s “far enough” for me, provides a great workout, and is a nice compliment to my “normal” exercise routine (Spin, weights, and hiking).  What would it take to build that up by 150%, to a 2.5-hour non-stop swim?  

When I heard that the swim was scheduled during the time we were planning to be on our annual RV trip, the answer seemed obvious.  Since I would be in Ohio, there was no way I could participate in the swim.  So, I kept to my “normal” routine of one swim per week until the first week of August.

Then, COVID hit.


Training For The Swim

On August 12 we decided to cancel the entire RV trip due to the lingering effects of COVID. 

The Good News:  I would now be in town for the big swim on August 26th. 

The Bad News:  It was only 2 weeks away, and my longest swim of the year was 1 Hour.

I was 90% recovered from COVID and decided to “Accept The Challenge”.  Knowing I had only 2 short weeks until the race, I hit it hard.  I didn’t know if it was even possible to ramp up my endurance in 2 short weeks but decided to give it a try. My new goal was to swim 2 hours non-stop prior to the event, hoping the adrenaline would push me for the extra 30 minutes during the Big Swim. I did my first training swim the very next day.

Here’s my actual ramp-up for the event: 

  • August 13:  1.6 miles in 1 H 15 M
  • August 15:  2.1 miles in 1 H 38 M
  • August 18:  2.4 miles in 1 H 56 M
  • August 20:  2.5 miles in 2 H 1 M
  • August 23:  1.2 miles in 1 H 0 M (“taper”)
  • August 26 = The Big Swim  (results announced below…)

(Note:  I was in pretty good shape when I designed that aggressive “ramp-up” training plan, and have learned to listen to my body.  I would never encourage a reader to be as aggressive, and always recommend talking with your physician before tackling a physical challenge).


Here’s an example of how I tracked my training swims and shared them on The Retirement Manifesto Facebook page (this one is from the 2.1-mile swim on 8/15):

2.1 miles in 98 minutes, a 63% increase from my “normal” swim.  

The Big Swim – How’d It Go?

My wife’s on the far right in the kayak, I’m 3rd from the right, and Adri’s the one checking her watch)

We all met up at 8:45 on the morning of August 26th.  It was a perfect morning, with a glassy smooth lake, scattered clouds, and mild temperatures.  You could sense the excitement in the air.  The Big Day had arrived!  We took a quick group shot (above) before heading out. 

Adri did a great job organizing the event, with the requirement that we all have inflatable “swimmer buoys” and plenty of support personnel in case any problems arose. I was honored to have my wife, Jackie, join us in The Big Event with her kayak (though she was assigned the “sweeper” position at the back of the pack and I only saw her once during the swim, when she paddled up to my position to say hi and check on how I was doing.  That was cool.)  

At 9:10 am, we were off. 


The Joy of Swimming

accept the challenge of swimming
2+ hours into the swim, 100 yards from the finish. Tired, but ecstatic…
What do I think about during a long open water swim? Click To Tweet

People ask me what I think about during a long swim.

It’s hard to explain what it’s like to be immersed in water for hours, with the only noise being the rhythm of your breathing and the water rushing over your head.  With ear plugs in to block the water, you can’t hear anything else. 

Inhale.  Exhale.  The rush of water. 

Over and over and over again.

It becomes hypnotic.  Relaxing.  Enjoyable.

If there’s ever a time in life when you’re going to be “In The Present,” it’s during a long swim.  I focus on the moment.  My stroke.  My breathing.  In the shallow water off the points, I feel like I’m flying over the rocks and enjoy looking for interesting things on the lake’s floor.  When I’m close to shore, I love watching the trees drift by, or the small cliffs where nature’s fury has left her mark.  In the open water, I love the eye-level view across the water to the distant mountains.  

I savored every minute of The Big Swim, but I also realized this wasn’t just a practice swim in the lake.  

The presence of other swimmers added an inevitable sense of competition to the event.  And that, I learned, made a bigger difference than I ever imagined…


The Chase Is On

A photo my wife took from her kayak in the middle of the swim.

Although it was “not a race,”  I was determined to stay ahead of “Pink”, a persistent swimmer who always seemed to be 100′ behind me.  I was also motivated by chasing “Orange”, a faster swimmer who slowly widened the gap between us.  My motivation throughout the event was attempting to reduce that gap between “Orange” ahead of me and widen that gap between “Pink” behind me. 

I had no idea what impact this approach had on my performance until the end of the swim, but it was huge.  I had made a conscious decision to not look at my watch until the finish, focusing instead on being Present throughout The Big Swim and enjoying every minute of the experience. 

Rather than focus on time, I simply chased “Orange” and ran from “Pink”. 

A simple strategy, but incredibly effective.  

Fatigue set in as I rounded the final point of land at the 2.5-mile mark and made the turn for the final open water swim to the finish.  I’d been swimming harder than I had in any of my training swims, and I was feeling the impact. My arms were heavy, and the previous “smooth” arm strokes started to feel like I was slapping my arms forward against the water. My leg muscles were twinging and felt like lead, but I kept kicking.  Pink was still behind me, and I powered on.

Focus, focus, only 1/4 mile more to go.  

Knowing the swim was almost over, I gave it my all.  Focus on the stroke, and keep kicking.  Breathe.  Breathe.  

I crossed the buoy marking the swimming area, and I knew I was home free.  Only 100 yards to go, and I knew I was going to be successful in my challenge of swimming across Lake Blue Ridge.  Moments later, my feet hit the ground and one of the folks on the beach took the following “celebration photo” which I shared on my Twitter account: 


I was blown away when I looked at my watch.  3 Miles in 2 Hours, 5 Minutes!  My previous long swims had been 2 hours, but they had only been 2.5 miles long.  I had swum an additional 1/2 mile in essentially the same amount of time.  I had no idea I had been swimming that fast in The Big Swim, and it only added to my sense of accomplishment. 

This is the story of what I learned from the longest swim of my life, a 3-mile open water swim across Lake Blue Ridge. #AcceptTheChallenge Click To Tweet

Celebrating The Accomplishment

To celebrate the accomplishment of swimming across Lake Blue Ridge, Adri arranged a nice lunch at the Morganton Point beach where we finished the swim:

celebrate your achievements
Lunch on the beach following The Big Swim (Adri’s the one in purple)

It’s important to celebrate our achievements, and the lunch was a great way to wrap up a perfect swim.  I was particularly touched that several Freedom For Fido volunteers showed up on the beach to cheer Jackie and me on at the finish line.  We enjoyed relaxing in the shade after the swim with old and new friends.  We had decided to accept the challenge, and we were all enjoying the resulting sense of accomplishment. 

Take some time to recognize the successful completion of a major challenge.  

You’ve earned it.


A special note of thanks to Adri and her husband Rob for organizing the event.  I appreciate you inviting me to “Accept The Challenge”, and congratulate you on a successful event!  I look forward to joining you for the 2023 Swim Across Lake Blue Ridge, and appreciate your continued support of Freedom For Fido!

accepting the challenge of building a fence
Me, Adri (Swim organizer), and her husband, Rob at a recent FFF Build

Related Posts:

Celebrating a cold water swim in Lake Michigan. Same pose, different water!

Conclusion

To “Achieve A Great Retirement” (my byline), I encourage you to think about how you’re going to replace all of the “soft” benefits you once received from work:

  • Sense of Identity
  • Purpose
  • Goals
  • Structure
  • Relationships
  • A Sense of Accomplishment

For each benefit, challenge yourself to find a way to reproduce it in retirement.  For me, accepting a challenge helps meet “Goals, Structure, Purpose, and A Sense of Accomplishment”.  Hitting 4 of those marks with one decision (to “Accept The Challenge”) is huge, and the fundamental reason I wrote today’s post. What works for me may not work for you, and that’s ok. 

The important thing is to recognize the reality that we all have intrinsic needs, and finding a way to fulfill those needs will go a long way in making your retirement years the best of your life.

Isn’t that what retirement is all about?


Your Turn:  What have you found that helps replace the “soft” benefits you once received from work?  What challenges have you accepted, and what was the result?  Let’s chat in the comments…


 

48 comments

  1. Aloha Fritz and Jackie!

    Yes! My challenge of accepting a post in San Diego when I was not sure what the scope of work entailed, or if you can even do it…well, I was happy I accepted that challenge way back in 2006! In fact, one of the things most of us miss is the challenges of work tasks. Replacing that soft benefit in retirement may be challenging for some, I encourage everyone to seek out something to achieve that is outside their comfort zone. Like you swimming longer than you ever have. Or my wife and I building homes for strangers when we never possessed any skills in that dept. Attitude and flexibility are the keys to life, before and after retirement.

    My part of your story that made me smile was: “Jackie paddled up to check on me”. It truly is the small things in life that others do for us that makes our world spin more “softly” around. If you know what I mean. She is a peach. I am sure Jackie would answer back that you are her cobbler. 😉

    God bless you, your family and all of your readers. Long time reader, Steve

  2. Wow, that’s a huge accomplishment dude! I’m not a great swimmer even though I have a swimmers body, so the thought of swimming 3 miles is daunting. I could probably do it by backstroke as that’s my best method but it’d still be hard. As for stretching myself, for me it’s doing blog and brand logos for customers. It can be scary to have a deadline to produce something that a customer really likes, especially since art and design are very subjective and in the eye of the beholder. But the challenge helps to hone my skills and make me better.

    So when is your English Channel swim?

    1. Well, I’m not a great swimmer AND I don’t have a swimmer’s body, so I guess you win the duel. I have gained a HUGE respect for folks who swim the English Channel. As much as I like a challenge, afraid that one’s a step too far this old man. Yes, challenge yourself, but also know your limits!

  3. Great story and thoughts my friend, thank you for sharing it with us. Hummmm I guess my latest challenge will be the sail boat we purchased, needs some work however we hope to get it in the water in May, and I don’t know how to sail – Ha Ha but it’ll be great! I’ll tow it to Blue Ridge and you guys can help me sail it. Am loving following your posts – you’re doing fabulous!!

  4. That is a fantastic accomplishment to do that long swim! In my retirement, i have listed a few things to learn and a few things to improve. One thing i wanted to learn was pickleball. I started with lessons and continue to learn as i have challenged myself to play with better partners and opponents. It is still scary to play sometimes as I have the fear of not being good enough and embarrassing myself. But little by little, I am improving.

    1. Joanne, one thing I’ve found with pickleball is how many groups there are that are SOOO supportive of new players. It’s a great sport, I totally understand why it’s taking off like it is. Just make sure you “stay out of the kitchen”!

  5. Taking on what seemed like incredible challenges is exactly what changed my life for the better. It led me, the shyest and least athletic kid in school, to become a decent actor, public speaker, extreme skier, marathon runner, tennis champ and the leader and public face of the corporation I worked for. Nobody who knew me as a teen would have expected much out of me as an adult, but I had that one trait that not everyone possesses. The will to say yes to any challenge that holds promise, even if it holds significant risk. I had some spectacular failures but I had a lot of big wins as well, and my life is good largely because I said yes and continue to say it. I’ve always felt you and I were not so different, reading this reinforces that. Good for you, Fritz, I bet this post will be the thing that tips a few people into action on a challenge they have been considering. I hope so, because once you realize you can say yes to audacious challenges your whole life can change. It’s a superpower.

    1. “…once you realize you can say yes to audacious challenges your whole life can change. It’s a superpower.”

      We do, indeed, have many similarities Steve. Thanks for confirming the power that accepting a challenge can have on a life.

  6. Fritz – what an accomplishment- your swim time is about my time for several half – marathons I’ve run but the thought of swimming for that time period is mind-blowing! You have to be in great shape to do that – I always say you can’t cheat in training for these kind of events – you have to log the miles. Isn’t it funny how the tough challenges in life are the times when we grow as a person.

    1. Dusty, ironically, I’ve also run quite a few half marathons (PR is 1:56), and a marathon (3:56) I hadn’t thought about the correlation in times. I find swimming MUCH easier than running, also love that there isn’t a single hill! I was an avid runner for 25 years, but have mostly given it up in retirement. It worked great in a work environment (lunch runs for YEARS), but I’d rather do other things now to mix it up.

  7. This blog was “spot on” for me on a few different levels! Being a small business owner for 30 years, I truly enjoyed the challenge of competing with larger companies with more resources and sometimes winning. I miss that for sure. I’ve learned to channel those needs and focus that energy in other areas. Such as restoring my old Chevy and just tightening tasks up that I might’ve half way done during those working years.
    But sincerely congrats on the swim!! During my younger years, I did a few sprint triathlons and the swimming portion was always a struggle! I have tales to tell! Swimming at any distance is no easy feat! Again, congratulations!

  8. Dear Fritz, congratulations for this amazing accomplishment!!!! I am not a great swimmer even though I live by the sea,
    Before my retirement I took on many challenges when I had to change several roles in the Head Office of the insurance group I worked for 34 years following many organizational reshuffling. Sometimes it was not easy at all, but I have always tried to keep a positive attitude and learn something new.
    For me the biggest challenge was , and still is in some ways, to reinvent myself after retirement. Sense of identity, purpose and goals being the things I missed most. But after a period of depression, I started reading inspirational blogs (the Retirement manifesto is my number one) that gave me the energy I needed to overcome the negative feelings that were holding me back.
    Now I have a new identity, I have become a blogger myself thanks to your suggestions and advice, I have a new network of relations and share in turn others’ stories that can be inspirational for others.
    I love following your posts! And again, congratulations

    1. Number One?! You clearly need to read more blogs. Wink. Congratulations on your blog, I enjoy reading your work as well. It is a great hobby in retirement, and it’s a huge bonus to realize the impact your words can have on others. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. This was very inspiring! Thank you for the detailed account of your big day in the lake! This is a fantastic accomplishment.
    My initial challenge came in 2010 from a colleague at work – an avid runner – who convinced me to run with him and his group over the lunch hour (at the time, I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather NOT do than distance run). This led to running my first marathon in 2012, followed by nine more (including Boston).
    Then, after having moved to IN, my co-workers challenged me to join them in a sprint triathlon. The challenge for me was the swim (even though just 1/3 mile). Unlike you, I am not a fast or agile swimmer! But, I finished the race and kept the faith! Grateful to be able to do this at 61!

    1. Ken, ironic you mention being challenged by a colleague. When I was Plant Manager, I challenged every employee in the plant to participate in a local 10k (“walk if you aren’t comfortable with running, but see if you can go 6 miles!”) and had >20 employees finish the race!

      10 marathons in 10 years is impressive, especially qualifying for Boston! I ran one marathon (3:56), but could never commit the training time required to do that for 10 years. Impressive. Glad to hear the running stuck with you, you’re showing the benefits of keeping fit in your early 60’s. Run on…

    1. Haha, I KNEW someone would suggest an Iron Man. After 25 years of running, however, I just don’t have the love of it anymore. I could maybe be convinced to do a Sprint Tri, but never a full Iron Man. I have a TON of respect for folks who can pull that off.

  10. Dear Fritz,
    Thank you for one of the best “race” reports I’ve ever read! As organizer (and participant) of the swim, I am happy that your experience was a positive one on many levels. Congratulations on going the distance after minimal training. An endurance event like our Swim Across Lake Blue Ridge requires courage and enthusiasm, both of which you possess an abundance of. I knew that it was going to be a stretch but also knew that your enthusiasm would carry you through that last half mile while you could see the beach. While I was swimming, bringing up the rear, I felt very lucky to have Jackie by my side. I had asked her to stay with the slow swimmer(s) and am sorry I took her away from you.

    Accepting challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone is the way I’ve lived my life. Competing in marathons, triathlons and open water swims have been a source of joy and fulfillment. Thank you for expressing this truth so eloquently.

    Adri

    1. ADRI!!! Thanks for leaving a comment and organizing the event, I’m honored to have you as a friend and a reader! No worries about asking Jackie to hang back, we talked about it and totally understand the need for a “sweeper”. She really enjoyed paddling with you (more than she likely would have with me – wink) and was honored to escort you across the lake. I appreciate Rob keeping tabs on me (and “fueling” me) from you awesome mini-pontoon boat. It was a great event, and we all “win”. And to think, it never would have happened without you. Thanks for challenging me, I’m glad I accepted your challenge.

  11. WOW! What an accomplishment, and I could feel your excitement approaching the finish while reading! Thanks for sharing, very powerful!

  12. I’m currently 3/4 way through a “virtual walk” from home in Phoenix to my daughter in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (2724miles ) started on January 1. 8-9 miles a day pretty much every day.
    Getting in great shape and listening to lots of great YouTube vids (esp Retirement Manifesto!).
    Also learning a lot about self discipline.
    Congrats Fritz!

  13. Congrats Fritz, far more than I could do!

    If you are not at least a little nervous in your new position or job, you are almost surely underemployed. Of course comfortable can be fine for some folks, but many of us enjoy the ongoing challenges.

  14. Incredible, Fritz! Nice job knocking it out of the park – I think I would have sunk about 3/4 of a mile in! 😂

    Like you mentioned on my blog, it might compare somewhat to my climbing the volcano in Panama. Such a challenge but so rewarding when you finish!

    PS Next time you’re back in Ohio, we need to get together again!

  15. Fantastic and awesome achievement, well done, Fritz! I also think it’s important to keep challenging yourself, in a way that is simple and fun. For example, at the end of each year, I try to find a nice tree somewhere to sit, and write down 20-25 or so goals for the coming year. I then type/print those on large A3 papers, and hang those in my closet, for me to see every single day. Whenever I achieve one of those goals, I feel great ticking them off, and also make it a habit to celebrate that sometimes minor achievement! Example: I felt great when I reached by goal ‘Have your All-Weather Portfolio reach 500,000 USD in value! I am now getting about 2,000 USD per month in passive income, and feel great with it. Cheers from Singapore, Noah

  16. Fritz –

    You are one bad A.. dude!

    If you and that 3 mile swim group pulled up to me at a red light, I’d lock my car doors as if a biker gang pulled up next to me!

    Congrats to you and your equally awesome friends on the accomplishment – what a great story!

  17. Congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment Fritz! Sharing the journey certainly is inspiring.

  18. Oh Fritz this is awesome, I too am a swimmer….I sincerely commend you in your accomplishment. I’ve done 5 triathlons all in lakes, and its amazing how a 3 mile swim can easily turn into a 3.5 mile swim, as its easy to get off course when your in the middle of a lake! I may have to look into this swim next year, is it open to anyone? Great job!!

    1. Wow, you’re a much more accomplished swimmer than I am (though one of my few swimming strengths is being pretty good at maintaining a straight line…)

      The swim is absolutely open to all, free of charge. We’d love to have you next year. It’s usually in the last week of August. Mark your calendar and send me an email when we’re a few months out, we’ll get you the details. Hope to swim with you next summer!

      1. That sounds great, I will put it on my calendar, I am in Tennessee, so I wouldn’t have to travel very far either. Thank you Fritz!

  19. How do you swimmers recommend those of us that want to swim more to improve your stroke, and probably unlearn a bad lessor or two in the process? I love to swim in the ocean, and want to do more for a good cardio low impact on the body workout. Appreciate thoughts.

    1. Allen, I’d love to see some more experienced swimmers answer your question. I bought the book “Total Immersion” based on a recommendation from Tim Ferris and have tried to apply a few tips. It’d probably be easy to find some YouTube channels dedicated to the topic, as well. You could also ask around your nearest community pool, I’d suspect local swim coaches are available. Hope that helps.

    2. Allen,
      In order to improve your stroke, you first need to know what you’re doing wrong. The best way to find out is having a swim coach observe you and perhaps take a video of you while you’re swimming. It may take a while, but by doing specific drills to unlearn bad habits, you will Improve. Like Fritz, I’ve also practiced the Total Immersion method and drills and found it a good place to start. If there’s a Masters Swim program near you, join them for a few sessions to see if you like it. Personally, I have benefitted greatly from swimming with others.

      1. Thanks Fritz and Adri, great advice….and really appreciate it. Ordering the book now.

        My wife and I volunteered at the Houston IronMan last year. So much fun, such a good vibe from the athletes. They divide the nonpro’s up into age groups, so the 65 yr olds aren’t competing against the 25 yr olds. Unfortunately, I’ve destroyed my knees from High school football and rodeo, so not able to do the running, but I was really impressed there were so many 65+ YO finishers!

  20. Great accomplishment! I can hardly imagine swimming for over 2 hours. However, I have had a somewhat similar experience with running. Last year, being recently retired and at the age of 60, I decided to work my way up to running a 5K in our local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. I had not been very physically active for maybe 40 years. I started with very short runs and gradually worked my way up to 5K, initially very slowly, and gradually getting just slightly less slow. I did manage to complete the 5K last Thanksgiving, coming in about in the middle of the pack of 3000 runners. Coincidentally, 5K is a bit over 3 miles, so the distance that I ran, Fritz, was similar to the distance that you swam, although running is faster than swimming, so it takes me less than 2 hours — about 40 minutes. I now run 5K several times a week and have joined a couple of local running clubs so sometimes run with other people and have made some friends, so can add Relationships to the list of benefits. I am likely the oldest person in either club, but there are some members just a bit younger. I also enjoy chatting with some of the younger people, early in their careers, but some on a similar track to what I had done. I certainly would join you in recommending other retirees to accept their own challenges, whatever they may be.

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