Why do I want to post this photo? It is not very flattering. I just finished a 5 minute plunge in 56 degree water and I am feeling amazing! I am wearing my plungette cap, which apparently can make my ears stick out. I am hunched over because I’m a bit chilly. My arms have sagging skin on them in spite of bumping my weights up to 15 pounds for my OutdoorFit exercises. I have skin bulging out of the top of my bathing suit and I am thicker around the middle than I would like to be. I am 68 and pretty much go by how I am feeling rather than how I am looking. It is better that way! I am also growing my highlights out. It feels like my hair no longer goes with my face. Can you relate? I don’t feel bad about all of the above, and I am not giving up. I feel a sense of Freedom. I want to have great energy and strength. I want to feel fabulous!
I woke up this morning, the day after Thanksgiving, with a sugar hangover. I didn’t sleep well and I felt very achy. I decided to start a Free 30 day Feel Fabulous Program. I will be sharing daily Fabulous tips on Instagram, Facebook and my You Tube Channel. Why not do December differently this year so you won’t need to start a detox in January!
I hope you will join me. It is always more Fun with Friends!
It has been an emotional time. My Dad passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 5, 2022. He was buried last Friday, November 11, 2022. Dad had a traditional viewing and a lovely funeral. My brother Paul gave an amazing heartfelt and funny eulogy. There was not a dry eye in the house. When Paul finished, everyone stood up and applauded. He received an impressive standing ovation in a Catholic Church. We had a funeral procession through town with a Mountainside and Westfield Police escort. We left the church, drove through town, went through red lights, and stopped traffic. The procession paraded past the house we all grew up in, and drove through Mindowaskin Park on the way to the Cemetery. It was a spectacular send off. I am sure my Dad loved it!
Saturday, my nieces put together a run to celebrate my Dad. It was so healing. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. It was only 2.25 miles, but I haven’t run that far in years. We ran from my brother’s house, which is the house I grew up in, over to my Mom’s. We high fived Mom and then ran back. My niece was my running partner. She had a baby 6 weeks ago, but she’s in the Army and very tough. We ran at a very slow, a ten minute pace. We were in the back, and lost the pack, but it felt great! I was so happy that I could run that far in my Xero Minimal sneakers without stopping. Afterwards, I stayed for a cup of coffee and a scone. It is interesting how you want sugar at times of emotional stress. It is very soothing in the moment. It is too bad that pecan pie is not good for you. I went home and plunged in the Atlantic Ocean with my friends, the Plungettes, in the afternoon. It was a great day! I will stick to exercise and movement to soothe my soul and stay away from the sugar.
I come from a big family. We will all grieve in our own ways. We will take care of Mom. Her house is very quiet now. I will continue to take care of myself and look for signs of Dad’s Love. I have seen them already. Thomas sees Grandpa in the sky. I know he will be a powerful comforting angel for all of us.
Don’t worry, Dad we will give you a few weeks of Resting in Peace.
I am running with Mom and Dad at the Maple Leaf Half Marathon in Manchester, Vermont.
What does it mean to be in your sixties? It feels surreal to me. I am 68, which is pushing 70. The OutdoorFit ladies are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I gear my OutdoorFit workouts to how my body feels. It is important for my own well being, and the well being of the women I coach. . We have one youngster in her 50’s. I have gotten very good at listening to my body. I have shifted our workouts to less burpees and more joint mobility work. I was having issues with my right shoulder and it was affecting my pushups and weight lifting. Since I incorporated mobility work into the workouts, my shoulder and arm are now pain free. I think it is so important not to keep pushing through pain, which I would have done in the past. I now investigate why something is hurting, fix it and carry on with my pushups! I know so many people give up as they grow older, and just stop working out. They might walk in their neighborhood and think that is enough. Strength training and flexibility are so important as we age.
It is exhilarating to try new things. I am so happy that I have found a group of women in their 60’s, and that one youngster in her 50’s, who are willing to jump in the ocean with me! We call it plunging. It sounds crazy, but it has so many benefits! Talking about aches and pains, a 5 minute dip in the cold ocean does wonders by reducing inflammation and making you feel better. Plunging also boosts your neurotransmitters; Gaba, Serotonin and Dopamine! There is an added bonus when the sun is shining. you really appreciate the warmth of the sun. Cold plunges are a great way to boost your metabolism and lose a few pounds! Of course, I love the touch of craziness. The Fall is a great time to start. The water temperature is manageable and your body can gradually adjust to the cold. The weather forecast is for a beautiful Fall weekend. Do you want to try something new (and slightly crazy)? Come plunging in the ocean with me.
Sunday, I walked the CROP walk with Rosanne, the minister’s wife. She said, “Mary, I think you are being way too hard on yourself. Enjoy your glass of wine with dinner.” It felt like divine intervention. I am happy to say I am back to one glass of wine with dinner. Thank you, Rosanne!
I am a little embarrassed. Last week, I posted that I stopped drinking. I reached out to many friends and trusted family members for support. After stopping for 9 days, I am back to my glass of wine. My one glass did not turn into a bottle. It was turning into a glass and a half. The 9 days off was a good thing to do. I took really good care of myself. I meditated, did Wim Hoff breathing and jumped into the ocean a few times with Rosanne.
Saturday night, I went to my husband’s high school reunion and didn’t have a glass of wine. They were handing out champagne as we were waiting to sign in and get our name tags. I said no thank you. I had a nice time at the reunion. I set the intention to have fun, with no drinking and enjoy a nice dinner without overindulging. It was fine.
Have you heard of gray area drinking? My friend Jessica sent me this video which I found very helpful and maybe you will too.
Jolene Park, the Functional Nutritionist in the video, talks about gray area drinking. It is the area of drinking where there is no rock bottom. You use alcohol to manage your stress and anxiety. You feel bad about how much and how often you drink. She also talks about how naturally boosting your neurotransmitters, Gaba, Serotonin, and Dopamine, can help you if you want to stop drinking.
Here is my plan, and I have had a great week! I am focusing on boosting my Gaba, Serotonin, and Dopamine levels. Gaba has a calming effect. Serotonin increases happiness, and Dopamine is associated with pleasure. I plunged in the Atlantic Ocean with Rosanne 3 times this week. It absolutely makes you feel better to be outside in the sunshine at the beach and jump into the 62 degree water for 5 minutes! It feels like a new day. Every night, I enjoy one glass of wine in a beautiful crystal glass and I feel all is well.
Go out and Boost your Neurotransmitters! OutdoorFit will boost your Gaba, Serotonin and Dopamine!
I was not sure if I was ready to go public with this because it is so new. I decided to go ahead and post in the hope that it will help someone else. I stopped drinking my daily glass of wine or two. It was slowly creeping up to two glasses. I can find studies that say one or two glasses are good for you, or that a lot of centenarians have a glass daily. I could easily continue with my daily glass for the rest of my life, but I know it is not the right answer for me. Wine is starting to feel toxic in my body. Alcohol is also a sleep disruptor. Last night, I slept a solid 8 1/2 hours. A good night’s sleep is the best! I want to be the Best Version of Myself. and a good night’s sleep is important.
This is just the beginning. I am on my 6th day without alcohol. I can feel the anxiety building in my body and wanting to sabotage myself. 5:30 pm, is the beginning of the witching hour for me. I start feeling aggravated because I need to make dinner that is the prime trigger for the urge to have a glass of wine. I am really good at sabotaging myself. I stress eat when I am not drinking and then I tell myself this is not working, and go back to drinking wine again. Yesterday, when the urge hit, I decided to jump rope for 8 minutes and take a cold tap water bath. I felt much better. I poured myself a fancy glass full of kombucha and I got through it. I made dinner without overeating.
I have a great support system. I have a few friends and family members who I can text or call. Thank you to my friend Ivone. I can invite myself over to her house in the late afternoon. We sit on her beautiful porch, and have a cup of Calm tea. I am embracing tea in my life. Listening to the Rich Roll podcast with Dr. Jud Brewer. Breaking Bad Habits while making dinner, has been so helpful. Dr. Jud and Rich Roll, who is a recovering alcoholic, say it is not about willpower. I need to sit in the discomfort and figure out how to do this with ease and grace.
Thanks for reading. I hope this was helpful to you.
I have been struggling with how to grow the OutdoorFit program. The majority of the OutdoorFit ladies are in their 70’s and 80’s. I wouldn’t be attracted to what is typically described as an older population workout . That sounds like a low impact senior aerobics class. So how can I promote OutdoorFit? I decided to meditate on it. The other morning, I woke up at 6am, made myself a cup of coffee, and set my phone alarm for 10 minutes. I sat in the darkness. What came to me is that I need to embrace the OutdoorFit women. They are exceptional! I am proud to be promoting them. And, I am 68, which is getting pretty close to 70! So, why not?
There is an image issue that I am struggling with. Do I call OutdoorFit a bootcamp? What 70 year old is going to say yes to a bootcamp that includes mountain climbers and burpees? Last Sunday during my church’s coffee hour, a group of people were talking about the CROP walk. It is a 5 mile walk to raise money and awareness about hunger in our area. A women said she has been walking 2 miles but at “her age” she doesn’t think she can walk 5 miles. She mentioned her ankles, knees and “her age” several times. I usually don’t say anything in a social situation about what I do . I could feel the emotion rising up in my body. I had to say something! I pulled her aside and asked her if she knew what I did. She said,”no”. I said, “I run an outdoor bootcamp”. Her immediate reaction was there is no way I am going to a bootcamp. Do I need a new description? Senior Fitness with Mary just doesn’t cut it. I sent the church women my website and a video of an interview with Elaine. She is 84-1/2 and comes to OutdoorFit 3 times a week.
OutdoorFit is an exceptional workout because of the ladies that show up. We are a very special bootcamp. You can be like Jane at 78 and still be doing pushups off the ground. You can come back to OutdoorFit after a hip replacement like Mary and Meredith. You can be like Elaine who keeps showing up and is in amazing shape with her 8 pound weights! In the video, Elaine talked about Sissie, another OutdoorFit regular, who at 83, still plays a mean game of tennis and pickle ball. Andrea and Elena, the OutdoorFit youngsters love a great workout and are inspired by the older women. We also have a fabulous group online that I know are thriving as well!
Strength training and muscle building is so important as we age. The ladies bring their own weights. They quickly advance from using 5 # weights to 8’s, 10’s and 12’s! I am there to help every step of the way.
The workout is outside all year long. The cold or heat does not stop us. We do go in for rain or snow. I also live stream the workouts if you are not in the area or just like working out in your basement.
We are Fit and Fabulous…Aging Optional!
Reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Come give us a try!
I started OutdoorFit 16 years ago in the back parking lot of a local gym. I wasn’t a trainer at the time, but I knew how to work out. I was in my early 50’s, and I was winning some of the gym’s fitness challenges. The owner asked me if I would like to work there. I didn’t want to be a personal trainer that focused on one on one workouts. I have always loved running and being outside, so I decided to start an outdoor class with a few brave women from the gym. The ladies were up for doing something new and different. They all loved that we were outside all year long. It is now 16 years later. A few of the originals are still training with me with me today at 70 and 80 something!
I have made some changes as we have gotten older. Recently, I have introduced mobility exercises to the program. I am taking classes with Petra Fisher, a movement coach. It has been so helpful. I am noticing a difference in my body already. This morning at OutdoorFit, we did wrist flexion, extensions, and circles. It feels like a dopey thing to do, but it was amazing. I didn’t have discomfort in my wrists like I normally do when we did our pushups. AND, I could hold my hands in the proper position without pain.
My intention is to be the best version of myself. I want to feel strong and energetic throughout my day. I can’t do that if I am in pain. I am constantly searching for new ways to bring more mobility to my body which is so key to feeling fit and fabulous. I am honored to be still teaching the OutdoorFit ladies to do the same.
My sister Kathleen, has started taking ice baths. She’s been adding 30#’s of ice to her bath water. She sent me a text on Saturday. “Just got out. Thank you for this. I am the best version of me when I do things like this.” Kathleen lives in NC. I wished she lived next door. We would have a great time together and I could send Thomas over there to hang out.
This is my morning prayer on the way to OutdoorFit.”Please help me be the best version of myself today.” It is a good reminder to do my best work. I know the importance of taking care of myself to allow the best version of me to come out.
September is my birthday month. I am now 68. I am strong, healthy and fit. I am not accepting getting slower as I age, I am getting better. There are so many things we all can do. I am taking a joint mobility class with Petra Fisher, which has already been so helpful. I started with the cervical spine and I am working my way down. I want my joints to be healthy, and have committed to moving them daily. It will help eliminate and prevent so many muscular aches and pains. Of course, I am sharing the movements with my OutdoorFit ladies.
I am focused on reducing inflammation in my body. It was my birthday and I enjoy indulging in special treats. Who doesn’t love a big bowl of Butterfinger ice cream? After a few days of overindulging, I wake up with a sugar hangover, I feel tension in my face and jaw, and I have itchy patches that make me feel like I am going to jump out of my skin. The sad story is that too much sugar is toxic to my body.
Here are 7 things I focus on daily to reduce inflammation and support my health.
Eat organic balanced low glycemic meals.
Eat 80 grams of protein.
Get a Good Night Sleep.
Have a good attitude.
Take my supplements.
Practice Wim Hoff breathing.
I get in a cold plunge when I can. Cold plunges are an excellent way to reduce inflammation! I usually end my shower with cold water. I am easing back in to the season. The water will be getting colder soon! Kathleen joins me in the ocean whenever she comes back home to NJ. It is always a crazy fun time.
Were my tips helpful to you? Are you aging well? The OutdoorFit ladies are aging well. We are all in this together. Please reach out. I would love to hear from you.
Last week, my friend and former OutdoorFit partner, Christa Lippert asked me if I wanted to go kayaking or get together for lunch. We managed to do both on our adventure! It seems like it would be a lot of fun and I felt I was in shape enough to do it. I kayaked once about 25 years ago. I really don’t know much about it. I live by 2 rivers and an ocean. It is about time to take advantage of that.
I met Christa at Victory Park in Rumson to launch the kayaks. Christa had everything! She was unfolding two kayaks, that she learned about on Shark Tank, when I got there. I thought there is no way I am getting into that thing. But of course I did, because I trust Christa. She always has a good system in place for everything! So, I tried to help her strap the kayak together along with snapping the paddles together. Christa is always prepared. She had a waterproof bag to put my lunch and towel in. She had a waterproof case for my phone and a whistle to wear around my neck in case I was in trouble. Apparently, I was going to get wet. We threw the lifejacket in the back of the kayak just in case.
I pushed the kayak into the water and got in. Christa is an excellent teacher and a great trainer. She googled how to kayak and was teaching me! She said, it is all about your legs and core. I would push the foot bar with my right foot and then push the paddle with my left arm. I tried my best to stay focused. We went under the Oceanic Bridge and kayaked over to an island where we had lunch. It took us 45 minutes to paddle to the island and 15 minutes to get back to Victory Park. Once we got back to the park I was a little stiff from my adventure and felt like I had a second workout for the day. Getting out of the kayak was a bit of a challenge. I got out and back into the kayak okay when we were at the island. This time I ended up to my waist in the Navesink River. I need to google how to get out of a kayak with Grace.
I am going to stay strong, healthy and fit so I can plan more exciting adventures! Are you in shape for the adventures in your life? You can be strong, healthy and fit at any age. I can help you. Click here to learn about OutdoorFit!
We went to Hyde Park, New York this week to visit the home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. It was so nice to be there. I enjoyed stepping back in time and getting a glimpse of how the Roosevelts lived in their beautiful house on the Hudson River. It was an amazing feeling to be in the space where they once lived.
We also enjoyed the Franklin Roosevelt Library and Museum. I came across a copy of one of my favorite photographs there. The Migrant Mother, Florence Owens Thompson, photographed by Dorothea Lange. You can see the hardship and anxiety on her face. It is an amazing photograph. It makes me stop to appreciate my own life.
We stopped by Eleanor’s stone cottage on the way home. I was sorry it wasn’t open to tour the day we were there. What a beautiful location, and I am sure a perfect place for Mrs. Roosevelt to get away from it all! I loved that Winston Churchill would come to visit. It also made me think about Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and big steering wheels. It was another time.
I had a wonderful day at Hyde Park. It was very inspiring to me to see what amazing things people can do with their lives.