Printed on recycled paper Volume 22 | Issue 3
PRIME TIME March 2012
FOR NEW MEXICANS 50+ SINCE 1990
Tennis Anyone? pg 8
Batting it Up With Softball Leagues Male & Female
Tennis Instructor Wendy Thomas
Silver Alert Here pg 4
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t’s no secret that all of us need to exercise to keep our mind and body healthy. But if you’re like me, it’s hard to find a program that you really like and want to make the commitment to go three to four times a week. Gyms can be helpful. We join and go a few times with excitement, but soon find ourselves trying to find reasons not to go. In order not to feel guilty, we throw on the workout garb (and for most men it’s not all that attractive) and head out to the gym. But you don’t have to join a gym to get a good workout. Many folks age 50 and up have found other ways to get their exercise which they actually look forward to participating in! In this issue we expose a fewof these programs. Some New Mexicans are actually getting in their weekly exercise and having a great time doing it! Toby Smith, a longtime friend and colleague of mine, writes about a tennis program that’s available in Albuquerque that many boomers and seniors are taking advantage of. Tennis is an excellent way to improve cardio and flexibility. If tennis is not your thing, Asia NegronEsposito and Barb Armijo write about
a couple of 50+ softball leagues, one for women and one for men, that are now forming and getting ready to kick off the season. I played softball for many years and always found it to be a good reason to get out of the house, get a little exercise and make some new friends. If you haven’t been to our website yet, you have been missing out on the opportunity to win some great monthly prizes. Each month on ptpubco.com we have a giveaway contest. So far we have given away theater tickets, $50 restaurant certificates and even $100 in cash! Don’t miss out on the next one. Go to ptpubco.com and register. You could be the next winner! Enjoy the issue!
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Silver Alert Here
he City of Albuquerque has launched a new program to help families with adult relatives who suffer from Dementia or Alzheimers with an Amber Alert-like service. This innovative program was developed by the Albuquerque Police Department and the City Department of Senior Affairs. The way it works is that it provides families with a thumb drive containing a photograph and vital information about the individual registered in the program. Should that person become disoriented or lost, the information is then readily available to police who alert the media. It is hoped that this will prevent stories, like a recent one where an elderly man in Ruidoso was found dead a mile from where he had last been seen, from taking place. With individuals living longer it is important to develop initiatives to help families protect themselves and their loved ones, said Jorja Armijo-Brasher, Director the Dept. of Senior Affairs. Enrollment Locations To enroll please schedule an appointment by calling the Senior Information Line, (505) 764-6400. How it Works When someone suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia goes missing, the Albuquerque Police Department will issue a Silver Alert. The alerts will also appear on electronic bulletin boards and on APD social media pages. The alert can be issued within minutes of a person being reported missing. Enrollment The Police Department and the Department of Senior Affairs will give jump drives with information and a photograph on it. The drive is then given to family members. In the event the family member goes missing, this USB drive is ready and available to be given to responding police officers. Criteria The Albuquerque Silver Alert
Police Chief Ray Schultz, Jorja Armijo-Brasher and Mayor Richard Berry announcing an expression of love with the formation of the City's Silver Alert Program on February 14th.
protocol is intended to assist law enforcement in locating missing persons meeting the following criteria. • Law enforcement has reason to believe the person reported missing is either suffering from dementia, or over the age of 60, and has a reported medical or mental condition that may threaten, or greatly reduce, their ability to make sound reasonable decisions and/or may diminish their ability to survive without assistance. • The person’s whereabouts are unknown and he/she is missing under circumstances not conforming to their normal routine or habits and may be in need of assistance or intervention. • Care should be taken to be reasonably certain the person reporting the missing person is not using the system to locate them for reasons other than to assure their safety. For example, some people may attempt to use the system to find an adult who has voluntarily and knowingly chosen to go elsewhere. • The investigating police officer determines if it is appropriate to request public assistance in locating the individual. The goal of law enforcement must be the safety of the missing person based on all known facts and existing circumstances and conditions.
Table of Contents Features
10 12 16
Racing in Alaska Silver Gloves Advanced Directives
20 21 29
Keeping Skin Moist Astrology Marc Simmons
24 25 26
Classifieds Crossword Calendar
Mayor Richard J. Berry Invites You to
Women Turn Stories
Book Signing Reception Turning Points in Women’s Lives From the 20th to the 21st Century Shirley L. Patterson and Susan A. Cho, Editors March 11 from 1 to 3 PM La Vida Llena Retirement Community 10501 Lagrima de Oro The 41 women, including two editors, are residents of La Vida Llena and will be present. Sponsored by the Full Life Foundation
urning Points in Women’s Lives” is a compilation of 41 stories by women, born in the early 20th century, telling how they were influenced by person(s) or event(s) that played a significant role in their childhood or adult lives and gave direction to who they were and who they became. These stories are about women who survived, persevered and came to terms with their one and only life. This is a book marked by extraordinary diversity: Women were born in every corner of the United States; Some grew up in the large cities and others in farming communities; Some of the women grew up in comfortable middle-class homes while others were affected by
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the Great Depression; Culturally the women represent Native American, Hispanic, European roots. The lives of the women were impacted by World War II, the 1950s, the 1960s, the sexual revolution, and the electronic age. These events influenced the direction and opportunities open to this group of 70, 80 and 90 year olds. They moved from a period of few educational opportunities to more than they could have imagined. None of the authors are, or ever were, famous. None made history with new discoveries, public feats of daring, infamous acts of defiance, or spectacular inventions. But they invented lives worth living, lives worth learning about, said Martha Burke, a well-known women’s rights advocate living here in New Mexico. A special thanks is extended to the Full Life Foundation and President/ Chairman of the Board, Bill Nordyke. He helped launch this book by hosting a “Book Signing” at La Vida Llena. The Full Life Foundation is an independent entity able to provide assistance to LVL residents who qualified for occupancy, but may experience financial difficulties during their tenure. Profits from book will be donated to the Full Life Foundation.
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Contributing Writers Barb Armijo, William Conner, Lily Curtis, Jeanna de la Luz, Dr. Gerard Muraida, Asia Negron-Esposito Slim Randles, Roxanne Scott Marc Simmons, Toby Smith, Charles Spalding, Teri Rolan, Shellie Rosen Melissa Walters
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Tennis Anyone? “Turn your body. Yeah, that’s it.” “Nice job! Keep doing that!” “Finish that swing, all the way across.” “Smack it now.” “You really nailed that one!”
t’s a sun-drenched Monday afternoon in February, and that non-stop voice you hear at one of the tennis courts at Highpoint Sports & Wellness belongs to Wendy Thomas. Thomas is standing on one side of the net and hitting a stream of balls to a group of 15 or so, mostly women, tennis players. She is pushing them through drills, never letting them slow down. As heart rates rise, so does the accompanying upbeat music. Even after they return a shot, students must run to the sidelines and bunny-hop through a rope ladder lying on the court or slalom through a field of cones. Welcome to cardio tennis, one of several tennis programs that the indefatigable Thomas runs
for Albuquerque boomers and seniors. Tennis for mature adults in the city took off in 2006 when Thomas and Gordon Gunn III, one of her first pupils in cardio tennis, began what became Silver Racquets. “Gordon wanted to get back to the game and was out of shape,” says Thomas. “When he did, he wanted others to get off the couch.” Silver Racquets has evolved into what is now simply SST, or Super Seniors Tennis. SST begins again in early April and remains, in Thomas’s words, “all about getting people to get out of the house and get moving.” What does it take for a mature adult to try tennis—especially one who has never picked up a racket or at least in several years? A basic cardio level will help, according to Thomas. “Even walking slowly is good.” Also recommended is side-to-side exercises, which can be done at
Photography Maria Elena Alvarez
By Toby Smith
Warming up drills
home. Thomas says interested individuals ought to build up their tennis arms, too, before hitting the courts. “Just lifting a full water bottle or a two to threepound weight will be good.” At the first meeting of SST, Thomas and other pros will
discuss shoes and rackets. Some individuals have shown up wearing Keds or training shoes. But “you need flexible sturdy court shoes,” says Thomas. SST has loaner rackets for individuals who don’t own one. Katie Coffee and Judy Smith, recent graduates of SST, now
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Tennis continued serve as “ambassadors” for the program. Coffee, 63, played one year of high school tennis in New Jersey. Following that, she did not play again until last year. Why? “My life just got in the way,” she says. When Coffee saw a notice in the local daily about Silver Racquets, she followed up. “I was surprised how much I missed tennis and how much I really liked it. I kept asking myself, ‘Why didn’t I get back to this earlier?’” Judy Smith, 68, took some lessons at the old Albuquerque Tennis Complex back in the 1970s, but then her life, like Coffee’s, became busy and left no room for tennis. Two years ago she jumped into the SST program. “I found I still wanted a challenge and tennis offers that,” Smith says. “Wendy is really good at reading your ability. She knows how well we play and is telling us what we could do better without being really critical. She gives you goals.”
Wendy: “I see potential in everybody.” Both Coffee and Smith now play weekly on an over-60 women’s recreation team called “EPL,” or Eat, Play, Love, coached by Thomas. They also compete in a United States Tennis Association senior league. Thomas, 52, got into tennis as a young girl in the Phoenix area. She played on her high school team and one summer coached at John Gardiner’s Tennis Ranch in Sun Valley, Idaho. Her three daughters played high school tennis and the eldest, Lindsay, played for the University of Hawaii. Thomas has coached the La Cueva High School girls’ team for six years. “You’re never too old for tennis,” is her mantra. Indeed, Bill Simpson, 78, took the SST program four years ago. “It’s a lot more fun than going to the gym,” he says. He is taking a cardio tennis from Thomas to prepare for a spring USTA Flex League mixed doubles team. “Wendy pushes you,” Simpson says. “You can’t rest with Wendy.”
“Wendy is the real spark behind the seniors program in Albuquerque,” Dick Johnson, the president of the Northern New Mexico Tennis Association, which helps support SST. “Because of Wendy, senior tennis just gets bigger and bigger every year.” Sign Up SST begins Sunday, April 1, with a kickoff party at 1 PM at
Four Hills Country Club. Lessons follow twice a week for six weeks at a half-dozen sites across Albuquerque. Round-round play for six more weeks culminates in a “graduation” at Highpoint Sports & Wellness. SST instructors are certified tennis professionals. To register or for more information, contact Katie Coffee at 505-898-6722 or Thomas at email@example.com.
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10 March 2012
Racing in Alaska
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By Slim Randles s you read this there are dozens of men and women and hundreds of dogs crossing a very cold Alaska: more than a thousand miles of it. It’s called the Iditarod by everyone who doesn’t drive a team in it. For those who have, it’s the Idiot Road. There are deadly serious mushers in that race who are after that prize money, and a few of them will get it. But there are also the taildraggers. They know they won’t win. What they want to do, really, is finish this most difficult of all races. And more than that … to find out exactly what’s inside them. Thirty-nine years ago this week, that was me. I had seven dogs. The minimum that year. And I had to borrow two to make the minimum. Most teams were in the 12 to 16-dog range. This translates to putting a VW bug in the Indy 500. Forget any prize money. The front runners have snow machines half a day ahead of them, packing trail. With packed trail, those teams can average something like 80 miles a day. Without packed trail, you’re lucky to get five miles, on snowshoes. And all it takes to turn a packed trail into snowshoe
time is half an hour of wind. There have always been “recreational mushers,” like I was back then. I lived 12 miles from a road in those days, and for six months each year, the dogs got us back and forth to the village. They were basic transportation and basic family. But this race, this monumental journey from Anchorage to Nome, makes a person want to hook up the dogs and head out. I wasn’t able to finish the race that year, 1973, because of an injury, and while I was on the trail, everyone passed me. And I guess it’s because of that, that each March I say a little prayer for all the mushers and all the dogs, but especially for the recreational mushers, for the taildraggers. They’ll be out in the cold and the lonely longer than the winners, looking to find that certain personal something. Packed trail and fresh dogs, people. It’s a very long way to Nome. Slim Randles has written a number books and to buy them visit: www.slimrandles.com
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Men's Softball Batting it Up
By Asia Negron-Esposito
he boys of summer are coming but their game is softball not hardball. The Albuquerque Senior Softball Association has begun practice of its 14-team league. Requirements for participation are having reached your 50th birthday. In addition, having the enthusiasm of a kid for the game doesn’t hurt. “We have new teams starting this year and we’d like more members,” says Richard Montoya, the former league president. “Everyone will play everyone else – we felt the competition was more equal that way,” states Montoya, who says there are varying physical capabilities among the members. “We have guys with knee and hip replacements, but everyone gets a chance at bat.” But how is that possible you ask, if softball involves running to bases just like baseball. “Well,” says Montoya, “we have designated runners. So if you can bat but can’t run, every team has a person whose job it is to run. This is one concession we made to older age so
everyone can participate.” Montoya, owner of Montoya Investigative Services, says the minimum age is 50, however teams can only play four players between 50 and 55 at one, the rest of the 15 members must be over 55. The oldest players are in their early 70s. As a player ages he or she can elect to move to an older senior league. These elder folks meet at Los Altos Park and can be 65 and older. The senior league is a transition to a more age equal game environment. According to Montoya, two years ago they had a 94 year old as a designated runner. “Some guys are very fast and can hit the ball over the fence. We had to move from Bullhead Park because the fence surrounding the park wasn’t deep enough. Now we play at Barelas Railroad Park where the fence is at least 300 feet
deep. What about injuries -- you’re wondering? “We use the early part of the season which runs from April 19 to mid-September, to get in better shape. You have to warm up slowly because otherwise you can get pulled hamstrings and muscle pulls. Most of the guys know how to get into shape so there is no formal program, but there are accidents. Last year a fellow was hurt by a batted ball, that bounced and hit him in the mouth. Everyone who plays, plays at their own risk, although the league carries a small insurance policy. Rules of the game are developed by the local committee of the American Softball Association. The form is “Slow Pitch” in which the ball must arc between six and 12 feet; anything below six feet or over 12 feet is considered a “ball.” They have a
three ball “walk” and two strikes and you’re out rule. Uniforms encompass a cap and a tee shirt with a number in front and the team name in the back, which are purchased by the individual in addition to the $50 per season cost. Within the league, there are teams that are sponsored by businesses. But what is the competition like -- you’re probably wondering. Would I be able to keep up? “Most guys like to win – but if we don’t, c’est la vie. It’s about camaraderie and having a good time. The players come from all walks of life so there is a mix of interests,” says Montoya. Montoya, who retired at 45 from the Albuquerque Police Department wanted to find something to put his energy into and that he could enjoy. “You can only go fishing for so long,” he says. Now besides playing softball Montoya is a private investigator. For those interested in joining the Albuquerque Senior Softball Association you can call Richard Montoya at (505) 344-8025.
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12 March 2012
Silver Gloves Swings for the Fences
By Barb Armijo
here’s a chill in the air at Los Altos fields in Albuquerque where the women of the Silver Gloves Senior Women’s Softball league gather for practice. Despite the cold wind blowing through the dugout at 11 AM women – ages 50 to 75 – are stretching, prepping and getting ready to hit the field for conditioning and drills. This isn’t their first time on the diamond and for many of them it has been their recreational sport of choice for practically their entire lives. These women, and many more like them, are in a league of their own, but they do not want to keep it to themselves. The Silver Gloves, players over the age of 50, want other women to join so that competition will stay within the senior ranks. There’s plenty of time to sign up as a team or get placed on one, said Pat Stanalonis, president of the Silver Gloves. “All you have to be is motivated to want to play,” Stanalonis said. “We’re all passionate about this
sport and that helps. But we want to generate an interest for players of all levels. This is the type of sport that you can play for your entire life and that’s what most of us intend to do.” The league sprouted from humble beginnings as part of the New Mexico Senior Sports
Foundation, which started in 1999. The foundation’s mission was to promote year-round senior sports, and the fun, fitness and friendship of the Silver Gloves certainly fit that bill. Stanalonis said Silver Gloves players have played in the Albuquerque City League for years, and often against teams with
Top row: Mary Sandoval, Jody McAdams, Bonnie Coleman, Edna Worf, Barbara Tegtmeier, Sharon Tregembo, Garilyn Ulibarri. Bottom row: Margie Allen, Myrna Beniash, Pat Stanalonis, and Joyce Helgesen
much younger players. The hope is that perhaps more teams over 50 will join the league in order to have the league self sustaining with its own teams of all women over 50. “The ultimate goal of Silver Gloves has always been to field six teams as required by the city, thus creating the first true Senior Women’s Softball city league,” she said. Players such as Garilyn Ulibarri, 75, said they hope more women will support the efforts. There is no need to feel intimidated, she said. “We’re all just out here for the fun and fellowship and some great games,” Ulibarri said. “I’m out here at 75 and I just love it. You won’t find me on a golf course; this is what I love doing.” Joyce Helgesen, 50, has gone from coaching a senior women’s team to playing now that she reached that magical age. “I’ve played for years and then coached and there is no other sport that can really keep me out there playing,” she said. “Women shouldn’t be afraid to give it a try
March 31, 2012
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Silver Gloves continued even if they have never played before. We are all out here to help each other. It’s like being part of something very special, really.” It’s a slow pitch format, but that doesn’t mean the action is slow. These women chase down fly balls, dig for grounders and can hit the ball to the fences at times. And yes, sometimes a knee injury or various age indicative aches and pains can keep them from diving or sliding, said Ulibarri. “We play to our abilities,” she said. “Plain and simple. Some of us have limitations, but there’s so much fun going on sometimes
that’s what makes us feel like we can just about do anything out there.” Silver Gloves teams play in the annual Senior Olympics games and travel to tournaments out of state and throughout New Mexico. Some of the higher level, competitive teams in the Silver Gloves are the High Desert Diamonds (50s team), the Jazz (60s team) and the Dream Catchers (65+ team). Stanalonis said she is hoping to get enough teams – at least three or four more – to create the first Senior Women’s League in Albuquerque. The season runs
A Few Tips for Healthy Aging
By William H. Conner
o, you did it. You made it to retirement. You have all the time in the world, and hopefully, a little money set aside. But now what? What’s next? You can fall into a lot of bad habits easily enough. Without a boss to answer to or clock to punch (and, honestly, a lot of clocks deserve a good punching), a lot of people find themselves somewhat lost. Luckily, finding your way isn’t so much a job as a journey worth taking. Tip 1: Volunteer One thing many miss after retirement is the sense of being part of something bigger than yourself and having a sense of community that comes from working for a business. Tip 2: Find purpose There’s nothing to hold you back now. Ever fantasize about becoming a pilot? Tip 3: Relaxation Learning to decompress. While
we work, stress is a powerful motivator. But now, it’s nothing more than a way to drive up your blood pressure. Tip 4: Find a holistic doctor Many people find that having a doctor who can combine the best of eastern and western medicine to be a better option. Tip 5: Eat Mediterranean Way They have a saying in Italy, “Pay the grocer or pay the doctor.” Tip 6: Think positive. Studies over the last 75 years have shown that people with positive outlooks also live longer, healthier lives. Granted, doctors and scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is true, but few disagree with the facts involved. There are a lot of ways to age healthily, but the biggest thing to remember is that, like everything worthwhile, it takes a little effort each day. But, if you put in that effort, the best years of your life are ahead of you.
from April 22 through Sept. 9 at Los Altos on Monday nights. There are modified rules such as ending an inning if one team scores five or more runs in one inning with the seventh inning being unlimited, unlimited runners who can come off the bench and having a scoring plate to the side of home plate in order to avoid collisions. Senior teams playing non-senior teams also are allowed 11 defensive players. Registration begins March 2. The city’s fee is $827 per team, which
costs each player about $65. The Monday night league needs you, even if you can’t play. They are accepting tax deductible donations through the affiliation with the New Mexico Senior Sports Foundation. There also will be a co-ed tournament May 5-6. To get more information on sign-ups or the league can contact Stanalonis at 505-298-7903 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional
Bruce Anderson, CRMP