Happy Birthday to me and…to my blog Goggle Reflections!
Birthdays and milestones moments are meant to be recognized and celebrated. Often times we don’t recognize them as we should and for what they are.
This blog will attempt to fix that as this month was my 60th birthday (March 10th) and marks the 10th Anniversary of this blog. Time to party!
First, the blog. I started Goggle Reflections when I turned 50. My goal in that year was to swim in 50 different pools in my 50th year. My good friend Glen, suggested that I create a blog to chronicle that journey. Careful planning, re-arranged or extended business trips and with a bit of good luck (multiple pool cities) I met the task. The first blogpost was written on May 26, 2013 (see link- Better Late Than Never…). At that end of that year I decided to just keep blogging…I enjoyed it. It was good to be creative and importantly good to keep the old brain engaged.
Ten years hence, I have written 222 blogposts, swam in 133 different pools, in 26 states and 12 countries. I have changed blog platforms and templates. I think have I become a better writer (at least, more creative) and perhaps have attracted a few more followers (not many). Most of all it has been fun. That blog has morphed into an aquatic travelogue of water related activities with friends and family. What’s next for the blog? Well…just keep blogging and hopefully get a few more followers. Maybe Goggle Reflections will be a dairy of sorts for the kids of their dads aquatic antics when I finally take the final lap to the “big ocean” or maybe its a “big pool” in the sky.
Milestone birthdays (actually all birthdays) are meant to be celebrated. Sometimes just for the day, for the month and I dare say perhaps the year! It’s even better with surprises.
The goal for my actual 60th birthdate was to be filled with distances with 6’s in them-like swimming, biking, running and perhaps skiing. Mother Nature had something else in mind-a snow storm!
My morning started with the requisite swim your age plus one hundred for good luck. Jane was at the pool lap swimming and kept me company swimming beside me. The workout was 6 x 1000 + 100 = 6100: See workout below.
- 1000 warm up
- 5×200 odds middle 100 strong, evens outside 50’s strong
- 500 pull/ 4×125 pull
- 10×100 descend 1-4, one easy and repeat
- 5x(150 cruise + 50 strong)
- 4x(125 + 75 stroke +2×25 fast)
- 4×25 fly for good luck!
- Total 6100 meters (6000 meters + 100 meters)
The final 100 I hopped out of the shallow end and went to the deep end of the pool to swim the final 100 fly with my friend Robert. He always makes me happy and smile. What better way to end this celebratory workout?!
And now for the rest of the celebration…
My goal was to swim 6,000 meters, run home 6 miles and then bike back to the pool for 6 miles. That would have been a great trifecta of 6’s. Mother Nature had other plans as it snowed nearly 6 inches overnight. Biking was out of the question so I thought maybe 6,000 vertical feet skiing at Mt. Bachelor. That didn’t work as there was a driving snowstorm going up to the mountain and I would be late for a lunch date.
Sooo…I did something I hadn’t done in likely 5+ years I went for a 6.1 (.1 for good luck) mile run. It was cold and there was snow on the ground. I listened to positive music about “growing older” and enjoyed the beauty of the snow (in March!). It put me in a marathon training frame of mind. I actually kinda enjoyed it. Clearly, I must like Type 2 fun!
After lunch with my friend Jack I was kidnapped by Shannon. After a wild goose chase driving around Bend we were headed towards Mt. Bachelor in a blizzard. This was going to be interesting!
At some point there is a point of no return driving (no exits) so either we were going to Mt. Bachelor or…I didn’t know what!
We arrived at Dutchman Flats parking area and I noticed the cars of our friends. Surprise! The gang was going out to Elk Lake via snow cats to celebrate. After some momentary confusion over parking and whether we could pull it off in the storm we decided it was a go! Why not—It would be an adventure.
We separated into two snow cats and head out to Elk Lake Resort. It was so pretty, white with the falling snow in our snow cats. Upon arrival we enjoyed cocktails and had a fun low key dinner.
After dinner we piled back into the snow cats and eventually made it back to our house for champagne and cupcakes. Sven, even debuted his song he wrote “I’m 60 Dammit” for his 60th with modified lyrics for me. Very special.
I (we) are so lucky to have met some truly wonderful new friends in Bend that are very fun and up for adventure. It was for sure a memorable day to kick off my 60th turn around the sun!!!
I thought that was it but wait…there was more.
A trip to Seattle for a friends surprise birthday with a stop in Portland was a bit more “surprising” than anticipated. A simple dinner out with Shannon, my parents and sister turned out to be a surprise party at my sisters house with the Portland contingent of family members.
The Seattle visit was for my long time friend’s surprise 60th birthday party. It was a total surprise for him and a great time. It was also a bit of a surprise that I was sooo “tired” in the morning.
I was looking forward to a quiet dinner with Shannon, Courtney, and Ryan. Well…that wasn’t quite what happened. As I was walking up the stairs to our Airbnb with Ryan complaining about the over abundance of pizza that we had ordered…there was another surprise gathering of some dear Seattle friends.
So, that was my 60th birthday week. Lots of surprises, lots of laughs, and good times with old and new friends. Kudos to mi esposa for making it such a special week! Apparently, there are no more surprises left for me for a long time.
Where do we go from here and what have we learned along the way? First, as my friend Larry says, make it a full year celebration. So that is what I am going to do. Stay tuned for more adventure and fun in this year of celebration.
What have I learned in the last six decades? I suppose a lot, however relevant to this stage in life there are a few things to call out:
- My age doesn’t define me. It’s just a number
- Social connections and relationships are key
- Stay mentally engaged
- Just keep moving (literally)
- Celebrate the small stuff
- Do new things!
A lot happened in the last decade and I am looking forward to what the next decade has in store.
We are only growing bolder…onward!
PS-This is the pool I swam at the end of March. I couldn’t help but to share the pic!
Wow! I was lucky to be present at the 50 year birthday blowout. And all I can say is Shannon knows how to throw a bash! But honestly, the snow cat all the people and friends what a party. Lastly, the sexes and exercise sound awesome but what really struck my nerve was the concept of deciding that you need to celebrate your birthday all year long boy if that is something I’d like to lift a glass to and toast all right Bob we miss you in Boston, go on with your bad self ! Coach bill
Very fun accounting of the decade, mi esposo!
Happy Birthday, Bob!! What a 60th B-days Celebration–Wonderfull!! I remember the pic of you swimming–was it in Saucilito(sp) CA, when Tom and I were there? How the years fly by and it appears you are handling them very well. Wishing you many more delightful birthdays! Yes, Shannon is an event coordinator. WoW!! Blessings, Margaret Parker