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ERs in training
Old 12-31-2005, 11:21 AM   #1
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ERs in training

The kid & I just finished a week of tae kwon do camp-- five days of four hours each day. We learned a lot but it brought pain back into the perspective it used to have when I was still on active duty.

Some of the parents hung around for the entire time and we got to talking in between butt-kicking sessions. Most of them were on vacation, others were taking afternoons off, and all were complaining about what they had to do to escape work to watch their kids. During these parental sessions I found not one but two aspiring local ERs-- more than I've found during the last three years.

One man is turning 40 next month and with embarrassed pride admitted that he was unemployed after selling his family's catering business. His wife is a working nurse and they have a couple rental properties so he's planning to stay home and raise the cash flow kids. His daughter is 12, an up & coming almost-black-belt who'll be spending a few weeks of 2006 at Mainland national competitions, so he's quite happy to have control of his time again to travel with her. He's extremely overweight (by at least 250 pounds) so he's promised his family that he's finally going to lose the weight. We'll have to see how that goes, but now that he's ER'd he's truly motivated to make it to his 50th birthday. He has no problem figuring out what he's going to do all day. He says that he wasn't too unhappy with the catering business but he got the unrefusable offer and he has no desire to sniff around for more money, even if they have to sell a rental or two for cashflow. Both he & his spouse worked their way up from the bottoms of their careers-- he as a dishwasher and she as a candy-striper-- and they never brought home more than $45K/year to raise two kids. They saved vociferously and started buying distressed real estate in 1995, and those decisions have taken care of everything else. He's local (three generations now) and we'll be spending some more quality time together. Maybe we can promote a few more ERs in our group.

Another guy is wrapping up a 20-year Air Force career next May. His family's been in the islands for a couple years but he's eagerly anticipating returning to northern Minnesota (redundant?) where "it's not so hot" (yeah, I'll bet) and he can "spend more time ice fishing". (Which apparently has nothing to do with capturing frozen water but can be done for the majority of the year!) He flies the USAF version of a G-V and is excited about becoming a corporate pilot for 3M where he'll get paid for what he'd happily do for free. His teenage son is a naturally talented black belt with a mean hook kick (ouch) and his younger son is working hard on his own black belt. The kids are a little unsure about their "home" state (they've only visited) and not at all sure about the quality of the tae kwon do instruction. (The surfing sucks too.) His spouse has never worked for pay (she homeschools the kids) so he's not unhappy at flying for another couple decades and then spending the rest of his life freezing his assets off fishing. He's found his avocation but he'd never even realized that he wouldn't have to work until Social Security. It'll be interesting to see how long he decides to keep flying for a paycheck, and he'll "win" whichever he decides to do. The ER lightbulb has blazed into life over his head now and I can see that we're going to spend a few more months discussing cash flow & safe withdrawal rates in between sparring sessions.

At least five of these TKD teenagers are going to be nationally-ranked black belts in 2006. One of the 20-somethings is going to national team qualifiers next week and may be training for the Olympics. She's short & only 115 pounds but no one can lay a hand (or a foot) on her.

My kid had a great time and we both dramatically improved our sparring. One of her arms developed a smiley-face bruise pattern but she's much more agile & mobile (she already has the hostile part down) and she's finally learned that it's much better to dodge than to block. She also got to spar with a 16-year-old who absolutely slaughtered her in the last tournament, and while she still didn't win she was happy to narrow the score.

I was the slowest & creakiest biggest & oldest guy there so I was helping some of the younger fighters develop a more physical style. They learned that cunning & deceit can triumph over youth & speed just about every time. It also turns out that many graceful TKD moves, as well as the fighter executing them, can be stopped short with a well-timed left hook. By the end of the week they had no reservations about trying to head-kick the ol' surfer dude, so my agility also improved considerably. The master and I had an interesting talk about sparring through our 50s, and I'm looking forward to spending more time with the humble beginnings of a tiny local ER club. And JB, if you're looking for TKD on Maui, I met a couple of great teachers living there.

Life is good.
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Re: ERs in training
Old 12-31-2005, 12:28 PM   #2
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Re: ERs in training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

(The surfing sucks too.)
Not necessarily.



I slip into my wetsuit, give them a friendly Hawaiian Shaka sign (a kind of Hawaiian “thumbs up” with thumb and little finger raised) and then I watch the water. A nice set of smooth, crystal blue waves pitches and peels down the rocky shoreline toward me.
Surfers, like fishermen, are territorial when it comes to their home-breaks (our fishing-holes), and I know how they feel as they watch me paddle and punch my way through the waves to the outside water peaks.

I smile to myself. As a surfer, I don’t have to worry about the crowds here. In 25 years of bringing my board to this rocky point break on the shores of Lake Superior, I have yet to see another surfer paddle out.

http://www.lakesuperior.com/online/226/226surf.html
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Re: ERs in training
Old 12-31-2005, 01:42 PM   #3
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Re: ERs in training

Took a PADI diving instructor course in Lake Superior in 1978. Pure pain.

Nords, I think your dad-daughter tae kwon do "partnership" is great. I could never get my 15 year old overly excited about that "old man" windsurfing sport but kitesurfing is another story (sort of the like the kids choosing snowboarding over skiing). We're going on a dad-daughter kitesurfing trip to Holbox Island (Yucatan Penninsula) for 9 days over spring break. We'll spend a few days checking out the Mayan ruins and she'll get a chance to put 5 years of spanish class to work. We're both countin the days.
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Re: ERs in training
Old 12-31-2005, 02:41 PM   #4
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Re: ERs in training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
During these parental sessions I found not one but two aspiring local ERs-- more than I've found during the last three years.
Nords,

I'm curious how you 'connected' with these aspiring ERs. Was it simply because you had more time to socialize when not kicking each other in the the head?*

I, too, have had my eyes peeled for any ER candidates, but I don't seem to find many. I think I've 'converted' one person in 5 years of looking.

Many of whom I think might be RE candidates express an interest when they hear that I'm FI and could RE (but am targeting a few more years of work to significantly increase my pension). When I tell them about the basics for FIRE and forward them the links to this site and several other key RE sites, that's the last I hear from them regarding RE.

Just curious,

omni


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Re: ERs in training
Old 12-31-2005, 03:09 PM   #5
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Re: ERs in training

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
When I tell them about the basics for FIRE and forward them the links to this site..., that's the last I hear from them regarding RE.

Just curious,

omni
My theory is they read a few posts, come upon something like dex's "In Praise of Large Women" and the desire to FIRE is quickly doused.

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...46.90#msg94485

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Re: ERs in training
Old 12-31-2005, 05:41 PM   #6
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Re: ERs in training

Quote:
In Praise of Large Women

I love a large woman
with generous hips and size D cups
a female not afraid of dresses that cling
or shorts
tank tops that show
the upper arm jiggle
and pyramid thighs
connected to deep-dimple knees.
Not the timid trying to shrink
into a tent of anonymity
my affair is with a Juno who stands
in front of the mirror and enjoys her image
in patterns and colors big and bold.
She may corset and cosset
for special occasions—but in the bedroom
I imagine husband or lover
drowning in her pool of amplitude
nuzzling nipples and
covered by waves of loving flesh.
No need to ask what dex does all day.
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Re: ERs in training
Old 12-31-2005, 11:46 PM   #7
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Re: ERs in training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Not necessarily.
Uhm, any water activity requiring 3/8" neoprene hoods is for a limited time only. But I guess he's got the best surf within a thousand miles!

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
I'm curious how you 'connected' with these aspiring ERs. Was it simply because you had more time to socialize when not kicking each other in the head?
Pretty much. While I was working I was always running around getting business done and not interested in idle chitchat. But now I have the time for both idle and chitchat. I'm still amazed at what I learn talking to people and I regret that I didn't make more time for it when I was working.

I think another part of it is that I'm one of only three parents in our dojang that's stuck with TKD this far. One woman is testing for her black belt this month and another guy has a couple levels to go, but the rest of the parents just don't have the time or the work schedule. They're still at practice watching their kids, though, so people want to talk and find out what their kids are getting into.

I put up this post is because I found two ER wannabes in one week and neither one asked me what I do all day. I've been retired for almost four years and, aside from my spouse, I haven't found anyone else around here who's ER. Heck, I've only found one other guy who plans to ER and he's still about five years away.

But I keep working at it. A high-school friend just quit her job and is taking a month or so off to think about what she wants to do next. I gave her this board's URL a couple days ago. Are you here yet, Karen?
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Re: ERs in training
Old 01-01-2006, 05:57 AM   #8
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Re: ERs in training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords


I put up this post is because I found two ER wannabes in one week and neither one asked me what I do all day.*
I don't get this question much any more either, although as someone
pointed out, I am now more just "retired" rather than "ER". I posted before
that (outside of this board) I only personally knew once actual
honest to goodness ER. He is my age now so maybe he is no longer
an "ER" either.

JG
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Re: ERs in training
Old 01-01-2006, 07:45 AM   #9
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Re: ERs in training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

He flies the USAF version of a G-V and is excited about becoming a corporate pilot for 3M where he'll get paid for what he'd happily do for free.

Boy, what qualifies for "work" for some people?? I'd do that for free too

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Re: ERs in training
Old 01-04-2006, 08:46 AM   #10
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Re: ERs in training

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9

Boy, what qualifies for "work" for some people??* ** *I'd do that for free too
I envy people who would perform their "job" for free. That shows a true love of what one does for a living. Unfortunately, most of the things I enjoy as hobbies don't pay very well as careers.
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Re: ERs in training
Old 01-04-2006, 11:21 AM   #11
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Re: ERs in training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
I envy people who would perform their "job" for free.* That shows a true love of what one does for a living.* Unfortunately, most of the things I enjoy as hobbies don't pay very well as careers.
I am with you Jay. I would love to love what I am doing to make a living. I don't hate it but I don't love it either. I am still looking for my "dream job" but in the end, it is still work and when I ER again it will be to play.
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