First Year of Early Retirement (2) – Health/Sports & Love/Romance


This is the second chapter in four posts about how we’ve spent our first year of early retirement, which started on April Fool’s Day last year.

Click here for last week’s update on Travel/Play & Arts/Creative. 

This week, I’m reporting in on two more segments of the Life Wheel: Health/Sports and Love/Romance. I established 13 goals in these two areas and so far, I’ve made good progress – or are continuing to focus – on more than half of them.  Now that I am retired, my health is my job and I’ve given it a lot of focus.  Additionally, my wife and I are doing well as a couple – which feels great in a year I quit working and our son left home for college.

Here’s the play-by-play for these two areas …


  • Workout 4-5x a week – I did very well on this goal and have definitely seen the results.  I adopted a daily goal to reach the equivalent of 12K steps a day.  I hit that number from the day I left MegaCorp and am off to a good start in 2017.  I’ve lost almost 15 pounds in the last year and losing another 10 pounds would put me in great shape, so I’m now tracking my calories in as well as my activity level in 2017.  CONTINUING
  • Get back in 5K shape (been a while) – While I’m much more fit than I have been in five years, I didn’t get back into 5K shape.  I hurt my back last summer golfing and gave up my running program.  When it warms up enough, I will probably need to get back on the running path and see how it feels.  OPPORTUNITY
  • Play tennis/tennis league (summer) – I played a LOT of tennis this summer and loved it.  I played almost 2x a week with my brother and friend Russ all over town. Russ and I typically capped off a match with a beer at one of a number of fun craft breweries/tap rooms around town.  CONTINUING
  • Take a fencing class – My wife and I talked about this last year, but never pursued it more than looking up a couple places online.  We watched a little in the Olympics, too – but that didn’t get us going.  OPPORTUNITY
  • Take golf lessons / improve game – I’ve never golfed enough in a summer to ever really improve.  I golf only once or twice a month and have never really gotten any instruction.   I probably only golfed 4-5 times last summer, although I did go golfing on a warm February day a few weeks ago.  That’s almost unheard of in Minnesota.  Some guys retire to golf – that’s not me, so far.  OPPORTUNITY
  • Continue curling (fall/winter sport) – Thursday nights are my curling league nights and while we feel like our skills are improving, it has taken a long time to start winning games. The good news is we are now on a four-game winning streak. I even recently served as a timer for the US National Championships where are the winners advance to the 2018 Olympic trials. CONTINUING
  • Learn scuba diving – I haven’t even looked into this yet.  I had a chance to do it when we were on vacation in Mexico, but I’ve been told by friends that are certified divers not to take a ‘resort course’.  They say it is not up to a safe standard and requires more precautions.  OPPORTUNITY
  • Go skiing more often – I hadn’t gone skiing the last few years, but it is something I really enjoy.  We’ve been out just once this year, due to a short snow season. A future goal would be to get out west for at least a long weekend come spring break.  We’ll see.  CONTINUING

Additional:   I just got signed up to play in a weekly softball league this summer, starting in April.   While it’s been 20 years since I played in a regular league, I’m looking forward to stepping on the diamond again.  I’ll definitely have to spend some time in the batting cage between now and the season opener.


  • Not drive my dear wife crazy at home – This hasn’t been as big as an issue as I might have thought before retiring.  My wife already had a routine to go to the gym each morning and now is working part-part-time, so we haven’t been staring at each other over the morning paper, mid-day news, and dinner hour everyday.  MrsFireStation wrote an article about having me home last May and actually went back to work herself (part part time) in the fall.   CONTINUING
  • See more theater & concerts as a couple – We went to three ‘big’ concerts last year – Paul McCartney, Adele & Amy Grant – but nothing at the theater caught our eye.  We have tickets for Wicked, Billy Joel and Steve Martin/Martin Short already booked for this year.  CONTINUING
  • Monthly Valentine’s Day dinner out (the 14th of every month) – This idea never really got off the ground.  My wife did notice a “12 Dates Coupon Book” idea and we put together a list of 12 fun things to do together over the next year.  OPPORTUNITY
  • Go shopping / lunch in small towns together – I thought this would be a great idea, but we just didn’t get out and really do it at all.  The summer/fall would be the best time, but we always found ourselves quite busy all the time.  We took one trip in our convertible to a country winery last summer, but it remains an OPPORTUNITY
  • Empty the dishwasher now & then – Yep.  And take out the trash, make the bed, mow the lawn, put in some laundry, and do lots of other chores around the house.  No problem by me.  Most of these are easily handled in 30-60 minutes a day. While it would be easy to say “I was an executive – what am I doing?” – I instead think, “I’m glad I’m not in a budget meeting or doing performance reviews right now.”  CONTINUING

That’s the update from this part of our Life Wheel in Early Retirement.  Next week I’ll tackle two more segments of our new lifestyle.  

Image Credit: (c)


13 thoughts on “First Year of Early Retirement (2) – Health/Sports & Love/Romance

  1. Sounds like you are finding the right balance. Give scuba diving a try. You will not be disappointed. I used to dive all the time, such fun. I’ve been to some WWII wrecks off the coast of Long Island. Diving is warmer water is much better. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s funny – as I read your comment I was thinking about how cold that stare would be. Then you say “warm water is better”. For sure – living in MN, finding a warm water spot is crucial!


  2. I really like your Life Wheel concept. It provides a good framework for accomplishing other important things in your life, which can be hard when we are focused on our careers for so long. I think it can be healthy to have some goals/ plans and push yourself a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you are looking for something to do, just go to another spot on the life wheel and you’ll find something interesting!


  3. This is a fantastic series. I too had defined a structure (not really a “plan”) for my LifeInFIRE. I based mine on more of a weekly structure. Some weeks I email myself a status review to give me a tracking history. Your posts almost fit into the “job review” format with your “job” being enjoying your FIREd life. It’s much better to review your goals when they are your own.

    SO many of your goals mirror mine (and I hope other happy FIREs) like fitness, wife activities, 50states/50countries (I’m 50/26), sports/muscle car, water time, daytime movies, new computer programs, meetup, etc, etc).

    It’s awesome to see others loving their days/weeks as much as I do. That’s important because they just zip right by…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the great comments. Yes – I hated performance reviews too. Both writing and receiving them. This is much more fun.

      I’ve found that my ‘schedule’ is a lot different from season to season. What I am doing now is different than the fall, which was very different than summer and last spring.


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