From Oregon to Here

Joe and Sharon Gorman never imagined how good daily life could be until they really settled in.

Spend a little time driving around Reynolds and you’ll eventually see deer grazing and Joe Gorman walking. “My nickname has become ‘Walking Joe,’” he says, taking a seat on the porch that seems to spill into the surrounding natural views along the Oconee Golf Course. He lets out a relaxed sigh. Joe’s wife, Sharon, translates. “No stress,” she says. “It wasn’t always that way, though, was it?”

Are you saying Joe didn’t used to sit? Sharon: Only on weekends. We bought the house in 2005, knowing this is where we’d retire. But Joe was still working. He’d wake up at 4 a.m. to drive to Atlanta and get home late. He was too tired to enjoy what we have here.

What changed? Joe: I retired in 2008, and went from driving and working 80 hours a week to … zero. It was a dramatic change. So I got into volunteer work. We started spending more time with golf friends, tennis friends, church friends. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was missing.

What about the walking? Joe: Well, I’ve lost 80 pounds since retiring. I walk my rounds of golf, which is eight miles. Sharon and I will also walk four miles round-trip to dinner or eight miles to the movie theater and back.

Eighty pounds? That says a lot. Sharon: Our lives just became more enjoyable when Joe was able to settle down. We always liked sports, but I’d say we’re a lot healthier too. Did he tell you he’s training for his sixth marathon? Oh, and we have a tennis tournament early this afternoon.

When do you have to leave? Joe [looks at his Fitbit]: Pretty soon. We’re walking to the tennis center.

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