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Old 03-04-05, 08:39 AM   #1
Red Baron
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nothing like the death of a mentor to get you biking

Notified of the death of a previous manager Monday. All business, Great leader, worked 60 hrs per week, smoaked cigars, retired (pushed out younger generation) in 1989, Died at age 69. Got to thinking of his 'deeds'. Never exercised, but highly respected, was my idol for corporate career growth, He liked to be called 'tank commander', Underwent 3 divorces. Thought about it, took off yesterday and did a 22 mile ride. 29 degrees but sunny, he would have thought me a fool. I'm in middle management, earnings YTD exceed $40,000, hard too quit (Velvet handcuffs) unhappiest I have ever been in my life career wise. BUT I'm married to a wonderful woman and personal life is great. (I said no to 'higher levels on Mgt. He'd of thought me a fool.)

Final thought in riding into driveway - wonder how he would have felt to be HAPPY in doing things away from work. He never achieved this. Also believe I will outlive him (in age) by several years. I'm not yet rertired, but took a long step closer yesterday. Just thought I'd share thoughts with a few close friends (Granted -I never met you folks).
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Old 03-04-05, 09:06 AM   #2
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Baron, I completely understand what you are saying. I have leaned a few things along the way, some may sound trite, but they are very true.
Work will always be there, family, friends won't.
We only have a finite amount of time, why not spend some of it doing things you like with the people you love.
I am in middle mgmt as well, with little desire to make the sacrifices necessary to advance, some may see this as ambitionless, but my goals are just in a different direction.
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Old 03-04-05, 02:04 PM   #3
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Spent 30 years with the same company before my bypass. That made me realise there is more to life than work or sucking up to the bosses. Post- bypass settled into an easier time at work in a different position, spent more time away from work, less time worrying about work, and more time doing the things that I wanted to do in the time that was now available. 2 years later my riding mate was talking about how just another couple of years and he could retire from his own business, and would I fancy a couple of months riding round Europe? He was the one that I had been riding with for 12 years, and really helped get me back riding after the bypass. We only gently discussed the trip, but it was on. Which countries we wanted to visit, possible routes, overrall costings, but still in early stages. then one evening I got the phone call that He was out on a ride and could I collect his bike from about 5 miles away. He had died on the ride of a heart attack.

It does not matter who you are, a great friend, mentor, or even yourself. Death will hit all of us at some time. What I am now trying to do is make certain that my own demise will be as far away as possible.
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Old 03-04-05, 02:24 PM   #4
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Just 11 months ago, without notice I picked up my stuff and walked out at the end of the day, never to return to an extremely high stress situation.

Best decision I have ever made, but wish I could have made it earlier. Due to being "handcuffed" to medical benefits, etc., couldn't. But 11 months ago I could, figured things out and just did it. However, the stress I went through BEFORE I was able to leave is in large part the cause ofsome of my current health problems. But, I did a 35 mile ride yesterday with no problems, so I guess things aren't looking too bad.

Get out while you are still healthy! Stress is TRULY a killer.
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Old 03-04-05, 05:09 PM   #5
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I've done many stupid things in my life, but the smartest thing I've ever done was retire at age 52. I spent 31 years with the same company, much of it under stress. Fortunately, my company offered full retirment plus benifits after 30 years of service; so I bailed out. My wife and I lived on my pension until last September when my social security kicked in, which made life a little easier.

The freedom is great...I think I was born to retire.

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Old 03-04-05, 07:53 PM   #6
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Life's a ***** and then you die, my bikeing has helped counter this. My dad had a stroke (bad life style) at 51 and died at 60, I am now 53 and in not too bad of shape. If I have a stroke or heart attack now it will be genetics and not a good for nothing lifestyle.
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Old 03-04-05, 10:46 PM   #7
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Everything that has been said here is all true, except for one recurring theme with people who are fitness addicts especially ones who are getting a bit long on the tooth (like us).

I workout more than most, take care of myself more than most, and value my good health more than most, however, I never think for one moment that this gives me the edge on "the other guy" or on life itself, in terms of translating my good health today into feeling that it will give me more years or more quality years.

I have learned the hard way from first hand esperience, that life is a crapshoot and that good health, quality years, etc. has as much to do with luck as it does with following a healthy lifestyle. Sure less stress, more exercise, proper diet, etc. etc. all are important, but you can do all that and still get cancer tomorrow, or drop dead, or have an MI etc., while the highly stressed overweight smoker we all think is somehow beneath us might live forever (in relative terms).

To me valueing what we have and not taking it for granted while we have it is very important. The future is very uncertain at best. Enjoy what good fortune we have while we have it.
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Old 03-05-05, 03:43 AM   #8
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My mom and I had a conversation tonight that was very much in line with this. She asked me if I realized that I was more than a year older than my father was when he died. I did.

She and I talked about his lifestyle and the major operations he had, how he ate, and what he did for exercise. In short, too many rich foods (she said at least I eat better, about half as well as she would like), exercise (shooting pool and drinking beer on the weekends) and so on.

Now mom's gonna be 83 real quick and she said she worries very much everytime I go out cycling (you call and let me know you're home okay) but did say she was happy that I did, at least, get my exercise and enjoyed getting it.

I know she wonders if he would still be around had he done what I am doing. So do I.


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Old 03-05-05, 06:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLane
My mom and I had a conversation tonight that was very much in line with this. She asked me if I realized that I was more than a year older than my father was when he died. I did.

She and I talked about his lifestyle and the major operations he had, how he ate, and what he did for exercise. In short, too many rich foods (she said at least I eat better, about half as well as she would like), exercise (shooting pool and drinking beer on the weekends) and so on.

Now mom's gonna be 83 real quick and she said she worries very much everytime I go out cycling (you call and let me know you're home okay) but did say she was happy that I did, at least, get my exercise and enjoyed getting it.

I know she wonders if he would still be around had he done what I am doing. So do I.


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Interesting, thoughtful posts, all.

With regard to what your mom says, it reminds me of when I was biking on the very mountainous island of Crete. A woman was planning to climb one of the mountains, and someone said, "You could die up there." And without a moment's hesitation she answered, "Maybe, but at least I'll die on Crete."
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Old 03-05-05, 07:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackberry
"Maybe, but at least I'll die on Crete."
That is beautiful.

I'm not over 50 (Just turned 35), so I hope you guys don't mine me replying to this.

When I was just 21 my Mother died from ovarian cancer. I grew up on a farm where my father worked sunrise to sunset (really earlier than that and later too, but there's no quaint little quote to cover that.) For all of my life I listened to my mother talk of all of the places she wanted to go, things she wanted to do WHEN my father retired. She was only 49 when she died. So all of those WHENS never occured.

I finished school and went into the Graphic Design field and started into the overtime and chasing the check. It wasn't long until i realized I was saying I"m going to ______________ WHEN I've achieved this much here. I packed my stuff up and drove across the country searching for everything I could find that had meaning and value in life. On my journey I ended up at Yosemite and (If you've ever been there you'll know what I mean) when I pulled through that tunnel to the famous lookout where Ansel Adams got some of his first views of the Valley, my life changed. I swore then and there that I would live a life of fullness to honor my mother. I would live so that I would never say if only. . . WHEN, but rather I would be able to say remember when. . .

I've become an art teacher now, and I try desperately to be an example to my students of how to sieze life. I try to show a passion for life that is rivaled only by my passion for them. And now I travel with the students to Europe (and in 2006, Russia) and travel the country during my off time over the summer.

Since that great decision to walk away from a healthy salary and great benefits to nothingness and poverty (that's how my friends saw my decision) I have: been to 48 of the 50 states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Found a career that fulfills me daily and allows me to pursue my passions for photography and cycling during their peak seasons. Met the love of my life (she's from North Carolina, I'm from Kentucky, we met in California, both seizing life.) and the only regret that I have is that my mother couldn't be here to see some of these glorious things with me.
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Old 03-05-05, 07:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLane
My mom and I had a conversation tonight that was very much in line with this. She asked me if I realized that I was more than a year older than my father was when he died. I did.

She and I talked about his lifestyle and the major operations he had, how he ate, and what he did for exercise. In short, too many rich foods (she said at least I eat better, about half as well as she would like), exercise (shooting pool and drinking beer on the weekends) and so on.

Now mom's gonna be 83 real quick and she said she worries very much everytime I go out cycling (you call and let me know you're home okay) but did say she was happy that I did, at least, get my exercise and enjoyed getting it.

I know she wonders if he would still be around had he done what I am doing. So do I.


jim
Jim,

I can relate. My father was an alcoholic and two pack a day smoker who died of a heart attack in 1977. His birthday was just two days before mine, so every year since then, around my birthday (and his), I'm reminded of the fact that he might very well have been around to celebrate those birthdays with me if he had just had a healthier lifestyle. He was 54 when he died; I turn 54 one month from now.
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Old 03-05-05, 08:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Bent
Jim,

I can relate. My father was an alcoholic and two pack a day smoker who died of a heart attack in 1977. His birthday was just two days before mine, so every year since then, around my birthday (and his), I'm reminded of the fact that he might very well have been around to celebrate those birthdays with me if he had just had a healthier lifestyle. He was 54 when he died; I turn 54 one month from now.
It is scary. My dad died at 61, I am 65. BUt he was in excellent health, didn't smoke, drank little, was trim, etc. !!
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Old 03-05-05, 08:33 AM   #13
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Yeh, the parents of many of us didn't have the awareness nor knowledge that we do now. They did the best knew how, and left most of us with a far better life and lifestyle. And I thank my parents for all those things.When I enlisted in the USAF at18+ they told me to take my leave time where ever I was stationed at the time and see those places because I might have only one chance to see those things, so I did.

Watching best friends, buds and S.O.s die far younger than I am now is a shocker. I'll do the best I know to keep myself healthy but as someone mentioned, death awaits all.My Dr. told me one visit.......look at it this way.....70yrs now is the new 50, and 50 is the new 30

I keep my will and living will up to date however
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Old 03-05-05, 10:47 AM   #14
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I had a quad bypass a year ago this month....after my "recovery" I returned to work. Now I am feeling like so many other folks here that its just not worth it anymore to deal with the recurring stresses and frustrations. I am in pretty good shape to drop it all and take a few months off for cycling this summer. I would like to find out from some of the folks on here what they have done to get medical coverage once they have left their employers. Any suggestions....thanks.
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Old 03-05-05, 10:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mdsteve
I had a quad bypass a year ago this month....after my "recovery" I returned to work. Now I am feeling like so many other folks here that its just not worth it anymore to deal with the recurring stresses and frustrations. I am in pretty good shape to drop it all and take a few months off for cycling this summer. I would like to find out from some of the folks on here what they have done to get medical coverage once they have left their employers. Any suggestions....thanks.

I don't have the answer re: med. coverage but I do know from my own experience and that of others that several months of a bike tour is likely to change your life in many positive and surprising ways. You won't be the same guy when you get back. Good luck!
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Old 03-05-05, 11:17 AM   #16
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blackberry...thanks for the positive info...I think its coming. Got one foot out the door, just looking for fall back plan because of medical history.
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Old 03-05-05, 11:19 AM   #17
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Staying healthy and fit sure makes the 'now' a whole let better. I'm a few years shy of 50, but I'm very motivated to stay on the bike to prevent the steep slide into physical decline, which I was in before I started biking.

The first thing I'm going to do when my kids are old enough to be left alone for a week is go on a bike tour!! (18 yrs old - so 2 years to go)
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Old 03-05-05, 11:43 AM   #18
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Crap happens...As we say..we realize it earlier,the better we are ...Instead of a co-worker I respected..Mine is the opposite...the mid-80's were tough...Reason I left Florida...A jerk boss who ran of 43 ! empolyees..I was the second..Divorce , terminal father, took 1 1/2 years to succumb..Ill mother...Then took up running...Later converted to cycling...
without that help, I would have flipped out...Not been a corporate climber ever since...My concerns are family and important stuff like vacations cycling, etc...being the over stressed work-obsessed, employee only gives you a heart attack..and most often they don't appreciate it anyway...
do whatever you have to do to ride on and learn from your friend...
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Old 03-05-05, 12:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaadDawg
I workout more than most, take care of myself more than most, and value my good health more than most, however, I never think for one moment that this gives me the edge on "the other guy" or on life itself, in terms of translating my good health today into feeling that it will give me more years or more quality years.

I have learned the hard way from first hand experience, that life is a crapshoot and that good health, quality years, etc. has as much to do with luck as it does with following a healthy lifestyle. Sure less stress, more exercise, proper diet, etc. etc. all are important, but you can do all that and still get cancer tomorrow, or drop dead, or have an MI etc., while the highly stressed overweight smoker we all think is somehow beneath us might live forever (in relative terms).

To me valueing what we have and not taking it for granted while we have it is very important. The future is very uncertain at best. Enjoy what good fortune we have while we have it.
Just as "chance favors the prepared mind [Louis Pasteur]," a healthful lifestyle will improve your odds SIGNIFICANTLY in the crapshoot of life. I do wholeheartedly agree with your final paragraph, however.
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Old 03-05-05, 01:13 PM   #20
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To me valueing what we have and not taking it for granted while we have it is very important. The future is very uncertain at best. Enjoy what good fortune we have while we have it.

Soooo true.

Everyone dies, but not everyone lives.

Most of us will be long forgotten in a few short decades beyond our death. Precious few of us be preserved in the pages of historical memory. I'll personally be a meaningless footnote in some obscure digital file.

I sometimes reflect on a choice as I look back historically: if given the chance to relive in the past, I'd choose the much shorter life of an adventurer and social contributor whose days were fulfilling over an old geiser who died an octagenarian but who never did much more in life than graze in the field.
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Old 03-05-05, 01:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by mdsteve
I would like to find out from some of the folks on here what they have done to get medical coverage once they have left their employers. Any suggestions....thanks.
Unless you have a spouse who can get you in under an umbrella at her workplace, it will be most difficult to find any affordable coverage. The Cobra laws should allow you to maintain your present coverage for 18 months at reasonable premium fees. It is a most difficult problem which ultimately gave rise to Medicare for no private insurance wants to take risks with the elderly or those with significant preexisting disease.
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Old 03-05-05, 02:50 PM   #22
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I would like to find out from some of the folks on here what they have done to get medical coverage once they have left their employers. Any suggestions....thanks.
For me it was Cobra for one month, then I qualifie for medicare. I pay a fair amount extra for "enhanced" medicare.

Otherwise it is most difficult. Our state teahcer's retirement program allows you to keep (but pay for) coverage if you retire early. Depending on how long you have worked under the state system, they contribute more or less to the pot. It is quite expensice.

Lots of folks just go "naked" trusting to luck.
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Old 03-05-05, 06:29 PM   #23
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Question in thread about medical after leaving work. I am 67 and have been retired since 2000. Only medical is medicare, but I found a local credit union that offers Dental(so-so coverage), very limited prescription discount, and very good vision coverage for about $30 a month. I understand a lot of credit unions have this type of insurance plans. Every year I have gotten back more in vision and dental benefits than the $360 yearly cost.

You may want to check credit unions for plans.

Tom
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Old 03-05-05, 07:21 PM   #24
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Outsourcing...Older workers are wanted gone by their employers..Yet, no medicare until 65...1.5 million Americans go bankrupt each year due to major medical costs...wonder how many are over 55...? I have talked to people who fly to England each year for dental coverage...Anyone here knowledgeable on that..Not free yet far less expensive than here...you can arrange with many travel agencies- dental vacations..
In fact, someone I ride with goes to Ensenada, Mexico for his dental work.says about 1/3 cost of US...just have to seek out the competent dentists.
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Old 03-06-05, 06:33 AM   #25
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Cyclezealot mentions the Mexican dental clinics.
Good choice which bears examing when you are looking for good but inexpensive work.And don't dismiss it out of hand. I have several friends who went there and ALL are well satisfied with the results AND the cost including traveling.
Comparatively, with the Fla Gold Coast costs were 1/4.
Plus the med school in Guadalajuarha(sp) produced, my primary care Dr., an orthopedist friend, who ranks tops in the SW city in which he practices and the cardioliogist who saved my life, so Mexican practioners are def worth investigating
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