Thursday, April 19, 2007

How Do People Actually Retire?

It's Wednesday so everyone around the office is watching their steps.
Why? It's game day for Judy Meador.
We don't want to get in her way. She focused. You can tell the minute she walks into the office. Game Face. No question.
Judy, the former owner now semi-retired, is attacking the many challenges of retirement the same way a Tiger attacks its prey: head on.
I've always wondered: What do people really do when they retire? Now I'm witnessing it first hand. They get a hobby.
Judy not only took on a new hobby, she's dived right in. Her hobby: ping pong. Oh, I'm sorry--table tennis.
It was a natural for her. After all, she was one of the most prolific ping pongers on the Caribbean Cruise circuit. Julie the cruise director is still telling stories about Judy's heroics back in 04. That was the year she dominated three tipsy Jersey guys and barely edged out a retired truck driver from Iowa. Although she couldn't take down that grandma from Florida, her efforts put her on the ping pong map.
That was when ping pong was just a game, though. Now, it all has new meaning. Judy's a gamer now. Retired, energized and full of vigor, she's out to win.
She signed up for a table tennis league, hired a coach and she now trains. Yes, she trains.
The first thing she had to do was buy a new paddle(again illegal). Finally, she had to buy that little paddle warmer. It does get cold in the winter at times.
She's made great strides with the help of her coach. Judy enjoys weekly sessions in the coach's basement. Along with other students (all under the age of 16--some even doing their homework), Judy vigorously practices forehands, backhands, serves...The girl's got stamina.
Then comes game night. Sometimes it's tough to communicate with her. You know she's focused on the big game coming up that night. Now she knows what those American Idols go through on a weekly basis.
With Judy as my guide, I'm already looking at what my hobby will be when I retire. Anyone for some lawn darts.

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