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Crow Wing Energized: My journey … my story

The online class runs for 10 weeks covering topics such as exercise, sleep, healthy eating, financial fitness, advance planning, healthy relationships, medication management, falls prevention and community engagement. For those looking toward retirement or recently retired, this class helped answer the question of a redefined “purpose” during the retirement years.

Women and a man sit in a line doing exercises.
When finding a class and investing time, make sure you have chosen correctly. Look for a class that fits your needs, is relatable and offers opportunities to improve life. Aging Mastery offered all of these components and more.
Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service
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Have you recently retired? Or are you thinking about retiring in the near future? Are you at least 50 years old?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we have a class for you. Aging Mastery is an evidence-based program developed by the National Council On Aging. It was offered for the first time in the Brainerd lakes area in the fall of 2020. Crow Wing Energized — part of the Essentia Health network and Crow Wing County — partnered with Juniper to offer this class free to community members aged 50 and older who were interested in charting their own path to age well.

The online class runs for 10 weeks covering topics such as exercise, sleep, healthy eating, financial fitness, advance planning, healthy relationships, medication management, falls prevention and community engagement.

When finding a class and investing your time, you want to make sure you have chosen correctly. You look for a class that fits your needs … one that you can relate to, learn from and one that offers opportunities to improve your life. Aging Mastery offered all of these components and more! It originally caught my eye with its title — ”Aging Mastery.”

As we age, our needs change.

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This class looks in depth at several dimensions of aging. Each dimension was presented by a guest speaker who specialized in that area. Getting correct information from a professional became the springboard for class discussions. We all agreed that getting the facts was important but the participant discussions that followed also added value to this class.

Each week, we were responsible for reporting on the progress we had made in an identified “dimension.” The sharing among class members added a unique quality to this class. Not only did these discussions bring about unity within our group but this also helped bring accountability. The goal of this class was to examine the dimensions of aging and make the necessary changes in one’s personal life to age well.

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The added value for me came from the wonderful friendships that developed. At the end of eight weeks, several in our class decided to go a step further together for an additional eight weeks. Class members stepped up to lead the classes by delving further into each dimension by adding additional resources for discussions. Leadership for future classes evolved.

For those looking toward retirement or recently retired, this class helped answer the question of a redefined “purpose” during the retirement years.

One of the goals established at the beginning of the class was to challenge each member to embrace these changes and, therefore, live a more healthy, productive life while aging. Additionally, the sharing by class members brought about trust and new friendships were created. This class was offered through Zoom so participation was not limited to just the Brainerd area but also included participants from the Duluth area, the Cities and throughout Minnesota.

One of the past participants shared the following: “Just wanted you to know how wonderful this class was. I was reminded of what I needed to change. I was a little worried about retirement but this class has given me courage to find my new purpose.”

Personal note: I am a retired educator whose career started in Brainerd. Ultimately, my career took me to military bases in Germany and the Philippines where I was honored to teach the dependents of the Army and Air Force personnel. I was also a school principal in both California and Arizona, but, as soon as I retired, I found my way back home to Brainerd. I was thrilled to be a part of the Aging Mastery experience both as a participant and as a co-facilitator.

Come and join us.

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Next session starts in September

Our next session starts Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, and meets for 10 weeks virtually from 6-7:30 p.m. To sign up, visit our website: https://crowwingenergized.org/events/

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