Once again I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:
Amazing over 50’s
I am inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride and open arms.
This month I introduce Terri Webster Schrandt as my twelfth guest.
I started following Terri a while ago as she caught my eye showing her great outlook on life and sporty lifestyle. Apart from being a keen wind surfer and stand-up paddle boarder, Terri is also a fabulous photographer, blogger and author. There’s also a lot more to Terri as I found out during her interview…
A Guest Post – The Amazing over 50’s
Welcome to Loving The Fifty Something, Terri. Can I start by asking you to tell us a little about yourself?
When Sam asked for guest contributors to her blog series, Amazing Over 50’s, I jumped at the chance, because, after all, I’m 50-something! And also, because I admire Sam for her wonderful leisure lifestyle!
The first image you see above is a graphic I created titled “Sorry can’t make it, I’m at a mandatory board meeting.” I shared this with my university students. I captured this image in Los Barrilles, Baja Mexico three years ago while on our windsurfing vacation. Also inspired by a short documentary film called Surfing for Life, I wanted to convey my own leisure lifestyle in this guest post.
But I’m much more than a leisure advocate! I am currently a part-time university lecturer, teaching these last 8 years in Sacramento State University’s Recreation Parks and Tourism Administration department.
When I retired from my day job after 32 years with the City of Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation in 2014, I took up blogging consistently, which led to an interest in photography.
From there the need to write a variety of non-fiction books reared its creative head, and I wrote a short e-book called “Better Blogging with Photography.” Bloggers have found it helpful, but I need to update it soon, perhaps creating a second edition.
I am also passionate about fitness and am back to writing “No Excuses Fitness” this year. Long range plans are to finish and launch this book by January 2020, just after I’ve turned 60! Being fit at any age is extremely important for a long, productive life so I hope you can continue this journey with me.
(All Terri’s links are added at the end of this post)
As I follow your blog and Instagram, Terri I can certainly say your photography is stunning! Do you remember what turning 50 meant to you and how you feel now in relation?
In 2009, I met the man who became my husband in 2013. Hans and I knew each other from our high school days in San Diego in 1974. We were both 49 and about the enter the decade of our 50s. I was finishing grad school at the time while working full-time for the city as the Aquatics Director overseeing 12 public pools and 150 full and part-time staff. I was busy and focused but was also inspired by Hans, who is a hard worker and dealt with on again-off again employment in the commercial construction industry at a time when the Great Recession was hitting the US.
Hans mentioned he was a windsurfer, having taken up the sport himself at age 42. In spring 2009, I got my first taste of windsurfing and shortly thereafter, stand-up paddling (SUP). Meeting other windsurfers, many who were Boomers like myself and observing their active leisure lifestyle, was incredibly inspiring.
Learning this sport at 49-50 is the hardest thing I have ever done. Thank goodness I’m a good swimmer. Almost a decade later, I’m more in love with SUPing rather than windsurfing, but I enjoy the challenges that sailing on the windy river in the Sacramento Delta or Sea of Cortez in Baja afford me.
In December 2009, just after I hit the big 5-0, I walked at my graduation, proudly taking the master’s cowl. There was something symbolic about graduating with a master’s degree at age 50, after raising two daughters on my own since 1995 with virtually no financial help from their father.
Honestly, in my head, I did not feel 50.
I felt young and had a lot to learn. My goal for obtaining the MS was to teach part-time at the university level and give back to recreation and parks majors entering the field. In January 2011, after completing a lengthy thesis on the Four Generations in the Workplace, I began teaching one evening class per semester, while continuing to work full-time.
Looking back from the perspective of my golden year (2019–age 59, born in 1959) on the threshold of age 60, shows me that my 50s decade, though not over, is a great launch into midlife! After studying the boomer generation extensively for my thesis, I recognize our need to be useful and continue into the next phase with meaningful “work”, hobbies and serious leisure. Having retired in 2014 and now working part-time in my capacity as lecturer, I have time to explore my writing and photography.
What are the things you are most proud of achieving after turning 50?
My short list would include obtaining the master’s degree, remarrying at age 53, retiring at 55, writing my blog and becoming a self-published author. Adding skilled photographer to that list is also satisfying!
Becoming a university lecturer at age 51 was a pinnacle as I started the downward slide into “retirement.” There is something so satisfying about teaching young adults the best practices of working in the recreation and leisure career. Students enjoy learning from those of us who worked in the industry and adding the real-world scenarios to the curricula gives them a well-rounded education they can take with them as they enter the professional world.
It has been exciting teaching the practical side of managing recreational facilities, because I must continually educate myself by reading the latest industry books, blogs and publications to keep myself relevant in this changing world.
I know you’ve already talked about your windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding but how else do you stay fit and healthy?
I’m glad you ask this question! Fitness and physical activity have been part of my life, since, well, ever. My mother raised show collies, those of which my brother and I walked daily. I played girls softball at age 12, joined the high school swim and track teams for all four years, and one year on a college swim team. I ran for 35 years to keep fit and continued to play recreational softball into my early 40s until I snapped a hamstring! In my 30s I participated in a short triathlon!
Once I arrived into my late 40s, I needed to be kinder to my knees and feet, so running was not an option any longer. In 2008 I joined a local gym and my regular work-outs include ellipticals, TRX/strength training, group classes and yoga. I also have a hybrid road bike and a mountain bike. We live close to the American River Bike Trail and cycling in the fresh air is a great workout!
I have already mentioned windsurfing and SUPing…being near local lakes and rivers in the heat of summer is motivation to get on the water on my boards. In addition to my 11-foot SUP, which stays at our delta campground all summer, I bought an inflatable SUP to use when I’m home. There is a lake a short 15-minute drive nearby. I’m able to load my SUP in the back of my Rav4 and inflate it there and be on the water within 20-30 minutes. It quickly deflates and I can throw it back in my car rather than try to tie it on to the rack. It can get hot here in Sacramento, up to 110 degrees some days, with an average summer temp of 90 degrees (Celsius ), so being able to get out on the water is a must!
Despite all this activity I often struggle with my weight. Weight Watchers, now known as WW, has helped me keep 30 pounds off for the last few years. My knee injuries and plantar fasciitis have all but disappeared, but I must still be careful with the activities I choose. I also continue to be active with WW because I do not want to gain back the weight that led to the pain in my feet and knees.
Of course, I try to eat right, but my weaknesses are coffee and chocolate!
I also have two adorable dogs, Brodie and Aero, who love our leisure lifestyle and can be found tagging along on our SUPs! Of course, they need to go for their “walkies” every day which works for me, too!
Which brings me full circle to the graphic at the beginning of the post. I feel I can say that I have reached that leisure lifestyle, being able to cancel plans because of a mandatory board meeting (surf board, SUP stand-up paddleboard…you get it, right?).
Are there any messages or advice you’d like to give to people who are about to turn 50?
I would encourage women and men to embrace the aging process with gratitude and hope. We are not going to escape this planet alive (unless you count space travel but I’m happy with Earth for now), so make the most of the life we have. Earlier I mentioned I still feel young in my own head, but I recognize the aging effects on my physical body, and sometimes the pain associated with arthritis and other mild medical issues.
All any of us can do is strive for happiness, make leisure your first priority, and enjoy the ride.
At the end of this year, my hubby and I both turn 60. Cheers to a new decade!
Here are Terri’s Links:
Amazon Author page Terri’s Bio, Author Central
Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is her blog about leisure, fitness and photography.
Thank you Terri for being another wonderful guest on my series – ‘Amazing Over 50’s’
If you’ve enjoyed reading about Terri, then you may want to catch up with my previous ‘Inspirational Over 50’s’ guests in this series by clicking Here.
If you’re loving your ‘Mid Life’ and would like to be a guest on my ‘Amazing over 50’s’ series please contact me Here and help me ‘Shout Out for the over 50’s’ 🙂
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