Fitness is all
We considered that we lead relatively active and healthy lives before retiring and for this reason we felt we were fit enough to do what we wanted to do – to cope with the physical demands of a life aboard on and off the sea. Living on board at sea can be a very good form of whole body exercise and can keep you in trim almost without you realising it.
But we are conscious of being able to go sailing only so long as our health lasts. This is something that was brought home to us very suddenly when Kate broke her elbow only six months before our retirement was due to start. We were fortunate indeed that the accident has not resulted in permanent incapacity. We must accept that we inevitably become less and less able as we age and that there will come a time when we can no longer live the way we do now. This led us to two conclusions:
Firstly we must try to extend the time we are fit enough by maintaining our fitness and health. For the lifestyle we have chosen, fitness is all important and we know that there is a basic lesson we must never forget – use it or you lose it! What this means is that our bodies are machines that need constant maintenance. Leave them idle for too long and they will no longer be capable of performing for us.
Secondly, our planning for retirement had to include a plan which looked far-ahead to the day when going to sea on a sailing boat will be too much for us to cope with. Our plan is still to live on water but the water will have to be flatter and the boat require less muscle effort to get us around – touring the many miles of inland waterways in Europe is our next retirement plan. We know that recognising that the day we need to implement this plan will be hard but at least our plans are already laid so we can look forward with pleasant anticipation rather than with dread.