Har­mony in Mo­tion

The Life Quest pro­gram's goal is to help you find the right bal­ance of mind, body and spirit

RSWLiving - - Features - BY MARY FRANKLIN

Adopt­ing a pos­i­tive ap­proach to well­ness and ac­tive ag­ing is the goal of the LifeQuest pro­gram at Shell Point Re­tire­ment Com­mu­nity. Find out what res­i­dents are do­ing to stay young at heart.

The best way to stay healthy as you age is to keep your mind, body and spirit ac­tive. Through a pro­gram called LifeQuest, res­i­dents of Shell Point Re­tire­ment

Com­mu­nity in Fort My­ers adopt a pos­i­tive ap­proach to well­ness and ac­tive ag­ing. By pro­mot­ing per­sonal growth and healthy liv­ing, LifeQuest pro­vides the re­sources, sup­port sys­tems and ser­vices that al­low res­i­dents the free­dom to be as ac­tive or as en­gaged as they choose to be.

You don’t have to be a Shell Point res­i­dent to ben­e­fit from adopt­ing this life­style ap­proach that feeds the mind, body and spirit. There are six di­men­sions to the LifeQuest pro­gram.

Phys­i­cal: in­creas­ing or main­tain­ing what one has for the pur­pose of keep­ing your body func­tion­ing to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial.

Emo­tional: en­joy­ing leisurely ac­tiv­i­ties, qual­ity re­la­tion­ships and op­por­tu­ni­ties to give back to oth­ers while find­ing time for one’s own self.

Spir­i­tual: em­brac­ing, strength­en­ing and grow­ing in spir­i­tu­al­ity.

Ed­u­ca­tional: chal­leng­ing the mind and seek­ing out in­tel­lec­tual ben­e­fits and life ex­pe­ri­ences.

Com­mu­nity and So­cial: build­ing new friend­ships, shar­ing gifts and seek­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­trib­ute per­sonal tal­ents.

Nat­u­ral En­vi­ron­ment: en­joy­ing na­ture through ex­plo­ration and ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

Find­ing a bal­ance among the six di­men­sions of LifeQuest en­sures a holis­tic ap­proach and a per­sonal sense of well­be­ing, hap­pi­ness and ful­fill­ment. The fo­cus is on what one “can do”– not on the re­stric­tions of what one “can’t do.”

A per­sonal- well­ness pro­gram starts from within, de­spite ex­ter­nal set­tings or cir­cum­stances. When in­di­vid­u­als in­ter­nal­ize and set goals, they are able to achieve great re­sults. Ev­ery­one can take a page from LifeQuest and ben­e­fit from its prin­ci­ples. Con­sider these in­spi­ra­tional suc­cess sto­ries and start plan­ning your per­sonal LifeQuest.

Rac­ing to Suc­cess

LifeQuest is the driv­ing force be­hind Shell Point’s new dragon boat rac­ing team. Last April, a group of 25 ad­ven­tur­ous res­i­dents joined forces to form a team to com­pete in the “War on the Peace” Dragon Boat race on the Peace River in Char­lotte County. The group came to­gether in just a mat­ter of a few weeks un­der the lead­er­ship of avid dragon boat pad­dler Min­nie Ostyee. Dur­ing the very first in­for­ma­tional meet­ing, Ostyee de­scribed the dragon boat ex­pe­ri­ence as a way to meet LifeQuest goals.

“Dragon boat­ing fits into ev­ery di­men­sion of LifeQuest,” she ex­plained. The most ob­vi­ous was, of course, the phys­i­cal chal­lenge of pad­dling the boat. Cer­tainly, the joy of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing South­west Florida’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment was had by all. The sense of com­mu­nity and so­cial con­nec­tion ex­pe­ri­enced by par­tic­i­pants re­sulted in new friend­ships bonded to­gether by team par­tic­i­pa­tion. For many, the ex­cite­ment of com­pet­ing in a team sport was very thrilling. The group ral­lied to­gether, and they fin­ished a re­spectable third place in three heats.

Liv­ing Life to its Fullest

Joy El­lyn Ryan and Ti­mothy Brady are an ad­ven­tur­ous, ac­tive and fun- lov­ing cou­ple. Af­ter set­tling into their new home at Shell Point, Ryan and Brady learned about the LifeQuest pro­gram. As soon as they re­al­ized well­ness was their re­spon­si­bil­ity, they got mov­ing. The cou­ple set many goals, some of them to­gether and some on their own. With a goal of walk­ing 5,000 steps each day, Ryan wears a pe­dome­ter on her shoe to track her strides. Brady walks daily; Ryan walks the dog. To­gether they at­tend three to four aer­o­bic classes a week, and they also par­tic­i­pate in line dancing, square dancing and ball­room line dancing. If they do not get their steps in, they hit the tread­mill at the health club.

To­gether, Ryan and Brady have cre­ated an in­spi­ra­tional gar­den. Brady main­tains the gar­den, weed­ing and wa­ter­ing it daily. Ryan med­i­tates there and posted a wel­come sign that en­cour­ages oth­ers to come in, re­lax and en­joy the beauty of be­ing there.

The cou­ple can also be seen at Shell Point Singers con­certs, ca­noe­ing along the man­groves and at­tend­ing en­rich­ment classes in the com­mu­nity’s Academy of Life­long Learn­ing. Both are start­ing to ex­plore work­ing with stained glass. Ryan en­joys story writ­ing and po­etry, while Brady ed­its all of her work. Both ride their bi­cy­cles every­where on cam­pus. Brady has even worked up the en­durance to ride his bike to Publix to pick up gro­ceries— some­times with 20 pounds in a back­pack. Per­haps what’s even more ad­mirable than their cur­rent level of ac­tiv­ity is the re­al­iza­tion that they had to over­come some pretty in­cred­i­ble chal­lenges to get to where they are to­day.

The dy­namic duo has seen rough times, with both of them con­quer­ing cancer and Brady deal­ing with heart and di­a­betic prob­lems. Yet, re­mark­ably, they do not let it slow them down. “We keep mov­ing to re­duce pain and main­tain mo­bil­ity,” shared Ryan. She finds that it is im­por­tant to main­tain an at­ti­tude of grat­i­tude. “If I stub my toe, with tears in my eyes, I say, ‘ Thank you for re­mind­ing me to slow down and smell the roses.’”

LifeQuest has given this cou­ple the in­spi­ra­tion to pur­sue goals, with a spe­cific plan of ac­tion, with an eval­u­a­tion within a cer­tain time­line. They both agree, “Our Quest means to live fully and freely.”

LifeQuest goals do not al­ways have to be achieved by the path most taken. Par­tic­i­pants are told to take a chance, get off the beaten path and try some­thing new as you never know what you may achieve.

These happy Shell Point res­i­dents cel­e­brate their team’s suc­cess af­ter com­plet­ing Dragon Boat races on the Peace River.

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