The Aging Well Calendar Journal features 60 photos of active older adults in Northwest Colorado. The flexible design allows users to begin recording goals, accomplishments and reflections during any year or time of year while utilizing the entire journal.

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The Aging Well Calendar Journal features 60 photos of active older adults in Northwest Colorado. The flexible design allows users to begin recording goals, accomplishments and reflections during any year or time of year while utilizing the entire journal.

Aging Well: Calendar Journal offers motivation for all

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The Aging Well Calendar Journal is available with a donation to the nonprofit Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. It is available at VNA offices in Steamboat Springs, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101, and Craig, 745 Russell St. Checks and cash are accepted. For more information, call 970-871-7676.

Healthier Living Colorado

The Calendar Journal features tips from Healthier Living Colorado, a chronic disease self-management program for adults ages 18 and older and caregivers. Healthier Living workshops are held periodically in Routt and Moffat counties. For more information, call 970-871-7676.

Editor’s note: Portions of this article originally were published Dec. 28, 2009. It has been updated for accuracy.

It was a windy spring day when Nancy Smith and two of her Tai Chi students practiced their art barefoot in the park as traffic whizzed nearby.

It wasn’t an ideal setting for Tai Chi, but in a sense, that was the point — for the women to break out of their comfort zone just a bit while still enjoying themselves in the process.

The image capturing that moment is among 60 photos comprising the Aging Well Calendar Journal, a project highlighting active older adults in Routt, Moffat and Jackson counties. Their ages range from 50 to 100; most are ages 65 and older.

From playing tennis and hockey to branding cattle and gardening, the project emphasizes that a person never is too old to enjoy life’s many options.

“It’s just amazing how many different activities people are involved in … it shows that if you take a few lessons and get yourself out there, you can do anything, and because of that, people are improving their health,” Smith said.

The Calendar Journal was produced by Aging Well, a program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. It initially was made available late last year, but its flexible design makes it a special gift for family members and friends this holiday season and in years to come.

Months and dates have been left blank, and five weeks are allotted for each month. The Aging Well Calendar Journal starts during whatever year and time of year a person chooses to begin recording daily goals, accomplishments and reflections.

The Calendar Journal is available with a donation to the Northwest Colorado VNA.

Steamboat Springs resident Ann Ross spearheaded the project and saw it through to completion, recruiting volunteer photographers and models, taking photos and helping with photo shoots and working with the VNA on the many details involved in producing a 120-page color book-style calendar.

Ross’s idea was a natural match with the VNA’s Aging Well program, which promotes healthy aging through exercise and wellness programs in Routt and Moffat counties.

Aging Well also helps coordinate Healthier Living Colorado, a chronic disease self-management workshop for adults ages 18 and older and caregivers.

The Calendar Journal features helpful “Toolbox Tips” from the Healthier Living Colorado program, as well as humorous and motivational quotes from well-known figures.

Donations to the Northwest Colorado VNA will help ensure Healthier Living Colo­rado remains available to adults in Routt and Moffat counties.

The project was a daunting process, but for Ross, who keeps busy Alpine skiing, volunteering and trying new adventures such as ice climbing, going for it was the only option.

This attitude — not being afraid to try new things or adjusting life to remain active — is exactly what she hopes to instill in others.

“If you’re not willing to break out of your mold … you’ve kind of given up living,” Ross said.

The idea of helping out a worthy cause motivated professional photographer Gerald Hardage to contribute his skills to the project. He was among 21 photographers whose photos appear in the journal.

“It’s a worthwhile project and really meaningful,” he said. “I enjoyed it so much, and I love to meet people, especially people of that age who are so lively … and exercising life to the fullest.”

Meeting people that she wouldn’t normally meet was one of the most rewarding aspects of the project for Ross, who regrets she wasn’t able to include more individuals in the project.

“That was really rewarding — to branch out and talk to people and find out what they do,” she said.

Ross hopes the calendar journal encourages older adults to remain positive and, instead of dwelling on their limitations or what they can no longer do, to focus on what they can do.

“Write ‘no’ out of your vocabulary — find a substitute,” she said. “Go after it.”

The Aging Well Calendar Journal is available at VNA offices in Steamboat and Craig. Checks and cash are accepted. For more information, call 970-871-7676.

Tamera Manzanares writes for the Aging Well program and can be reached at tmanzanares@nwcovna.org. Aging Well, a division of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, is a community-based program of healthy aging for adults ages 50 and older. For more information, visit www.agingwelltoday.com or call 970-871-7676.

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