Who is the Fun, Fit and Healthy Grandma?

My name is Ute Goldkuhle and I am the luckiest Grandma  who belongs  to the Pre-Boomer senior group, age 65 and above. I feel fit and healthy and have so much fun with my six grandchildren between the ages of four and ten at this writing. They are learning sponges, eager to discover the world around them. They call me Oma which means Grandma in German, my native origin.  One day my five year-old granddaughter said:  “Oma, you are sooo old!”  I thought to myself: “Am I really that old?” “I will show them!”  And Fun, Fit and Healthy Grandma was born.

It has been my long-time dream and passion to combine my professional expertise developed over 40 years in Primary Adult Health and Wellness with life experience. I am an Adult Nurse Practitioner and have a Doctorate in Public Health. Education, practice and research formed a sound knowledge base.  I have developed numerous health programs in senior adult communities and designed Primary Health Systems. After my retirement from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, I launched a few small business endeavors in financial services. But I soon realized that Community Health and Adult Wellness remain my passion.

When I became a Grandmother, I asked myself: “What kind of a grandmother do I want to be?” I wanted to be like those awesome Grandmas we read or hear about who are fun to be with and appear fit, healthy and well. But I questioned how to get there, be there, and sustain that upbeat spirit? I soon realized that my professional tools were not enough. I needed a community of kindred spirits of Grandmothers, so we can support each other to be that awesome Grandma we want to be.

How Fit and Healthy Am I?

I love to have Fun and also create it with the kids in so many simple ways just to elicit hearty giggles. Little do they know that it is my bribe to nurture my soul and kindle the spark once more of that innocent joy. On good days I feel I am a Fit Grandma, not in any way an athlete. I just enjoy being active in the outdoors: hiking, biking, swimming, gardening and jogging/running. Within the last ten years I have run a few races: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and my first Marathon at age 63. Though nobody was clapping anymore when I arrived at the final destination, I completed all 26.2 miles! And three years ago I enjoyed a marvelous 135 mile biking tour with a special friend and my little Dachshund Turby along the California Coast.

Every day I appreciate being Healthy and feeling well. Though I do not take that for granted. I pay attention to a healthful life, the things I eat and drink, and what brings me joy. But I have to confess, my sweet tooth nags me all the time. We have a daily fight going.

Sounds Perfect, Right? Not so fast!

You just read my profile about my best days, weeks, or months if lucky. But then come the downfalls and setbacks we seniors cannot escape:

  • Nagging aches and pains here and there,
  • Struggles to open a can,
  • Exhaustion from activities that used to be part of normal life,
  • Recuperation is slower, to name a few.

These setbacks often impose a struggle to get back to a sense of feeling well. Add to these an occasional cold,  illness or injury, knee and/or hip problems, arthritis flare ups, effects of a weather change . . .  then I easily forget what it feels like being healthy and well.  And, loss of a loved one can throw a bombshell to our sense of well-being and roll us into a deep depression. I know those struggles and setbacks too well.

Invitation to a Community of Kindred Spirited Grandmas

I invite every Grandmother or Grandmother-To-Be to join this community of Fun, Fit and Healthy Grandmas. And any woman who senses the signs of aging sneaking up on her may find useful information. But of course, everyone can join us as we might have good things to share and show.

Ute Goldkuhle, DrPH, RN-ANP

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