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post #11 of 173 Old 09-14-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing as a senior

Joints undoubtedly will degrade. Many factors determine the rate and severity. Joints are complex! Knees support I believe up to 3x effective (don't recall their actual value) body weight then they simply flex such as when squatting or walking down stairs. Healthy knees and strong enough muscles make us unaware of the effective load increase. You won't see many old folks squatting for this reason!

Strengthening leg muscles can provide more support and help compensate for the under performing knee joint. Unfortunately the exercise requires using the sub par joint!

There are number medial / surgical interventions for knee problems... but surgeons may be conservative in their approach to intervention.

++++

I was experiencing some problems with walking... stair use. It was very gradual and the orthopedist focus on the spine. Walking problems are often felt symptomatically as lower back pain. Of course I could have also had knees a the source for my walking issues. Lo and behold spine surgeon at perhaps the best hospital in the US HSS failed to do a comprehensive evaluation of my leg and foot... in addition to my spine and missed that I had arthritis. Don't look and don't see.

Back surgery hasn't removed my walking problems and not I am recovering from a huge surgery... which also damaged my sciatic nerve creating other problems like. Treat may have been worse that the "disease/problem". It should be noted that spine surgery is all about mechanical "fixes" for "nerve involvement. Out of whack spine bugs the nerves that are inside your spinal column.

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post #12 of 173 Old 09-14-2019
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Re: Sailing as a senior

Im 70 now, and have been sailing all my life. I have done several things to extend my sailing time:

I bought a boat with a roller furling main. It works very well, and keeps main reefing and furling as a one man job.
Roller fulrling jib for sure.
I installed electric jib winches. Yes, it sounds like too much, but wow, what a difference. I can tack and trim so easily.
Yes, the main sheet and halyard are on an electric winch. Bet you can guess that I have an electric windlass.
I spend a lot of time on maintenance. If I have less breakdowns, I have better odds.

Reef early and whenever I think about it. Funny how it often not only eases the motion, but often is just as fast, or faster.
I don't sail at night as much now. I went blind in my left eye last year, and my night vision suffers. So I adapt.
I don't go out as much if the wind is above 20 knots. The boat can handle it, but I try to have more margin for error.
I plan ahead. Lines ready, food and drink ready, clothes ready. I just try to plan out what I might need.
Mindfullness. Being in the now. I try to keep myself involved in the sailing of the boat so that I notice the things around me.

So I'm still sailing quite a bit - a few day sails per week, racing on Tuesday Nights, cruises for a few days or weeks when I (and my wife) can schedule it. I've difinately slowed down, but I'm still enjoying the hell out of it. When this boat gets to be too much to handle because of physical abilities, we've considered getting a run-about, or a Ranger Tug or some such thing. If I can't handle that, I'll just go down to the harbor and watch. I do plan to have a big smile on my face.

Last edited by Scotty C-M; 09-14-2019 at 02:36 PM.
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post #13 of 173 Old 09-14-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing as a senior

What stood out to me about @Scotty C-M 's post was the line about mindfulness. I think as we age our internal "auto pilot" is no longer working as it once was. We can't depend on it as we did. Short term memory is slipping... even maintaining balance is not working as well any longer so we have to PAY ATTENTION... and take over. Mindfulness is just that! More thought and planning/preparation. More conscious attention on the present moment. More acceptance / awareness of our evolving limitations and strategies for work arounds.

Great post Scotty!

Be here now!

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post #14 of 173 Old 09-14-2019
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Re: Sailing as a senior

I'll be 60 in June, and I haven't sailed since my teen years. My plan is to get a 17' - 20' boat with a small cabin so I can trailer it to lakes (maybe the Gulf of Mexico not too far from shore), and sail leisurely. No racing, I'm done with the frantic stuff.

My workout program involves exercises that help me do the household and yard work I want to do -- cutting dead trees, carrying wood, etc. Same with sailing -- it should be age appropriate.

When I'm too fragile to sail, I might just try to find a host so I can be a passenger (maybe my son if he gets interested), or sit on the docks and smoke a pipe while I watch the ships come and go.

At my current age, all I want is a small mental and physical challenge combined with a peaceful environment. I hope I'll have the good sense to know when to quit.

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Re: Sailing as a senior

Started sailing in late 50’s.

Retired at 65, now live aboard 6 months in Caribbean. Now thinking about what to do when we retire from sailing. But who knows when that will be. In no rush to return to the USA anymore.

I’ll be 69 in November, still single hand when necessary. Don’t have the stamina I used to. But I’m getting around. This whole idea of “death” is mind boggling to me. Yuck!
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post #16 of 173 Old 09-14-2019
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Re: Sailing as a senior

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Started sailing in late 50ís.

This whole idea of ďdeathĒ is mind boggling to me. Yuck!
I will be using this excellent quote, I hope you don't mind!
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Re: Sailing as a senior

I have read that gardening is the hobby that correlates most with long life and good health while aging. Probably because itís active enough to keep you physically fit without being so demanding that it actually damages you, and it keeps your mind active.

If sailing was a common enough hobby to be studied Iím sure it would have ranked high as well, for the same reasons.

Iím still in my 40s. If family history is any guide Iíll live till my mid-to-upper 90s, and have about a 50% chance of keeping my mind till the end.

I think yoga is good for aging, because it helps with strength, flexibility, and balance.
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post #18 of 173 Old 09-14-2019
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Re: Sailing as a senior

Iím a neurologist but will avoid a diatribe concerning AD beyond saying
Pick the right parents.
Use your brain
Exercise

I see many of my friends go over to the dark side. Iíve always have had an appreciation for trawlers. A Norhavn or lady Krogen May be in my future. I donít want to give up Caribbean in winter and New England in summer if I can. Perhaps it will be on my sailboat. Perhaps not. But last week had dinner with a couple in their 80s. They still run their Amel by themselves. I know two other couples in their 80 on sisterships. One has a live aboard crew to help out. The other takes on crew as necessary.
Many of my friends are as old or older than me and the bride but still sailing. Several have much more ambitious programs than us. I learned a lot of my sailing skills from an elderly town librarian when I was less than half my current age. She was <100lbs soaking wet. She told me ďif itís hard to do....you are doing it wrong ď. It was true then and is true now. Good body mechanics and an ergonomic boat takes the need for strength away.
Think you need to do different stuff. I row, kayak, fish, hunt and sail. Canít run anymore nor climb so figure out things I can do to remain somewhat active. Your menu should require different skills, new learning, some socializing, and use your muscles differently. Canít be the same old same old.
Recent studies say for men social isolation is now a leading direct or indirect cause of death. Forums help to a minor degree but true face time with another human remains key. Unfortunately among cruisers I see alcohol consumption as the excuse for getting together. That results in morbidity and premature mortality for some cruisers. Itís unfortunate so many people, especially men, need an excuse to get together.

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post #19 of 173 Old 09-15-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing as a senior

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Iím a neurologist but will avoid a diatribe concerning AD beyond saying
Pick the right parents.
Use your brain
Exercise

.....

social isolation is now a leading direct or indirect cause of death. Forums help to a minor degree but true face time with another human remains key. Unfortunately among cruisers I see alcohol consumption as the excuse for getting together. That results in morbidity and premature mortality for some cruisers. Itís unfortunate so many people, especially men, need an excuse to get together.
Isolation does lead to inactivity. Makes perfect sense. Older people get the less opportunity they have to socialize and "do things" outside. Decreased mobility doesn't help either. For those who live in a city there are all manner of events to attend... concerts, performances, theater, museums. sporting events, dancing, street fairs, window shopping, dining out, walking, sports, volunteering, even political demonstrations. If you have children or grand children this may also get you out.

I have never been a drinker social or otherwise and going to a bar to chat up the regulars is not even on my radar. Sad that this may be the things that people socialize around. I do go to one bar restaurant but to dine whether i sit a table or the bar and I observe how many drink there.

Being an audience member is not active. But it does get you out, you can meet and interact during intermission. Performances should be mental stimulation. Seeing athletes or dancers is a reminder of what a fit body is. It can be and often inspires people to be active. I encourage attending the arts as being therapeutic for seniors!

Boats operating and maintaining is an unusual type of exercise. I find that it involves brief periods of intensity followed by lots of nothing. It does / can be mentally stimulating... One should be constantly observing and thinking and not passive. Sailing can be therapeutic.

You don't realize what you had til it's gone.
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post #20 of 173 Old 09-15-2019
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Re: Sailing as a senior

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
.....Seeing athletes or dancers is a reminder of what a fit body is. It can be and often inspires people to be active. I encourage attending the arts as being therapeutic for seniors!
It's funny you mention this. I was fairly athletic years ago. Played multiple sports, Captain of multiple teams, played in college, etc. For many years, throughout my 30s and 40s, I would watch professional sports and get that emotional high that I could do that too! Now I watch and I'm reminded I can't do that. It's a very new consciousness that occurred long after it was actually true. I wish I could still do that.

For me, it's not depressing in any way, it's just reality. I'm way more comfortable in so many other ways than when I was 30, so other than mortality, I would not really make the trade to go back.

Dancing has never been my thing (to do or watch). Physically I put it in the same bucket as golf. All the twisting, torquing and making one's body do things that aren't natural, really isn't very good for the pros.

Quote:
You don't realize what you had til it's gone.
Amen.


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