Why do I want to post this photo?

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!

Sophie is always up for a round of Mountain Climbers!

I hope you will join me. It is always more Fun with Friends!

Love,

Mary

I have been struggling with OutdoorFit.

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.

This video was filmed a year ago, still a great message from Elaine!

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!

Love,

Mary

I am so glad that I am OutdoorFit!

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.

A NEW SPORT AND IT INCLUDED LUNCH ON AN ISLAND!

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!

Love,

Mary

Christa in her Kayak!

I spent the day with Eleanor and Franklin.

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.

You can just imagine President Roosevelt driving down the lane in his 1936 Ford Phaeton.

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.

Love,

Mary

I am not a hot weather gal.

I have been struggling this summer. I am not a hot weather gal. It begins to wear me down and I have been feeling tired a lot of the time. I also declared the summer as Off Season for my cold water plunging. I take an ice bath only once a week instead of multiple times. I have been buying 32 pounds of ice on Saturdays after OutdoorFit. I fill the bath tub up half way and I can lower the temperature to 54 or so. I stay in for 11 minutes. I then save the bath water for a second dip in the afternoon. The temperature will be up to 68 or so, but it is still refreshing.

I have been going into the ocean once or twice a week. It doesn’t count as cold water therapy if the water temperature is 72 degrees, but it still feels good. Cold Water plunging is not an easy thing to do and yet I really miss it. It is so energizing and it changes my negative attitude quickly.


My last blog post was May 4th. I get up every morning, make myself a cup of bulletproof coffee and I sit down to write in my journal. I write my innermost thoughts and complaints down. I also write the list of things that I want to accomplish that day. I need to go back and see how many times I wrote down blog post and didn’t do anything about it. Do you have something that you tell yourself that you are going to do it and it continually ends up on the bottom of the to do list?

I am a member of The Little Bites of Joy Community. This month we participated in a habit challenge. I wrote I would publish a blog by the end of August. It has been helpful to have accountability. This will be published in August. I think I get three points for achieving my monthly goal. It is almost September and I am committing to a weekly blog post. There it is in writing!

Love,

Mary

Strong Legs and Glutes!

2022 has been a busy and stressful time. My Dad went into hospice and my Mom fell and broke her hip getting my Dad a beer. Yes, he stills enjoys a martini and an occasional beer in hospice. They are both, 91 and have been married 70 years. They have lived a wonderful life together. There have been so many special moments these past 4 months with my parents. Dad and I have liverwurst sandwiches for lunch while watching Gunsmoke. I spent time with my Mom in the hospital drinking tea and watching A League of their Own together. It has been nice in so many ways.

It also has emphasized how important it is to take care of yourself. I witness what a struggle it can become. Things, I take for granted like putting on your shoes and socks or going to the bathroom. These activities are now very difficult or impossible for Mom and Dad. I want to stay strong and fit for as long as possible. I have begun to work on some new exercises for myself and my OutdoorFit ladies. We are working on our glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. These are the muscles that you use getting up off the toilet. Do you want to stay out of the nursing home? Keep your muscles strong!

Here is an exercise to get you started!

LEGS AND GLUTES!

Let me know how it goes! If you are interested in joining us online or in person, please CLICK HERE to learn more.

Love,

Mary

Buckwheat Banana Bread

This recipe was originally called Buckwheat Banana Cake with Yogurt-Espresso Frosting from Bon Appetite. I have tried different versions. I reduced the sugar, I use oat flour instead of whole wheat and I add nuts and blueberries.

I made it yesterday, I came downstairs and my son Thomas had eaten the entire top off of it.

Here is my recipe.

Ingredients

3/4 cup oat flour

3/4 cup buckwheat flour I Love Big Bold Health Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat Super Nutrition Flour. It has super powers!

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 very ripe bananas

3 Tbs coconut sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 melted coconut oil

1/2 unsweetened Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup organic blueberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a bread pan with parchment paper letting it hang over on other sides. Wish the dry ingredients together.

Step 2

Mash bananas and coconut sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in eggs, melted coconut oil and yogurt. Mix in dry ingredients. Stir in blueberries and chopped walnuts. Scrape batter into parchment lined pan and smooth top.

Step 3

Bake bread 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let bread cool in pan for 30 minutes. Turn out bread on rack and cool completely.

Store air tight at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Mary

Addicted to the Plunge!

I started ocean plunging back in September. Unfortunately, since the beginning of January, it has been too windy, and the air too cold for me to do my plunging in the ocean. I have been taking 5 minute cold baths 3-4 times a week, to keep in plunging shape. Andrea, one of my fellow plungette takes a cold bath almost daily. I’m doing my best to keep up, but I don’t bother with the baths on the days I have OutdoorFit. Training outside in the cold is enough for me.

Sunday, Sophie, our golden retriever woke me up too early. She likes to get up at 6am and I wanted to sleep in. I was annoyed and cranky. I knew if I took a cold bath, I would have a quick change in attitude and feel so much better. I filled the tub with tap water. There is no need to add ice when the tap water is 40.8 degrees. As soon as you get in, you forget all of your problems except that you are sitting in frigid water. I sit upright for two minutes and then try to muster up the courage to get my upper body in as well. I stay in for two to three minutes more. I wash my face in the end. Andrea actually dunks her whole head in. I am not quite there yet.

My husband, Dan is getting tired of the noises coming from the bathroom. Sometimes, he will come in to talk me through. He coaches me to get to the next step. He encourages me with helpful phrases like, “Suck it up, Buttercup.” I am so grateful for his support.

I am obsessed with the plunge. I had an immediate shift in my attitude on Sunday. I felt so much better, Cold, but better. I know if I wake up achy, a cold bath will take care of the tension. I have lost weight. I am sleeping better, and a friend told me that I looked ten years younger. It is a powerful tool. I know it is crazy and that is part of the appeal!

I love the connection with Andrea and Rosanne, my fellow plungettes. I text them every time I am heading into the cold bath. I need all the support I can get. When we started last September, I told Andrea we are going to be best friends. We don’t need to eat or drink together. All we need to do is to jump into the ocean for 5 minutes. We have formed a strong bond. Doing something with a touch of craziness will do that. Do you want to read more about the benefits? Head over to the previous blog post.

I asked my fellow plungettes to share what they love about plunging.

From Andrea: “Plunging has a few fantastic benefits that keep me coming back to this seemingly crazy pastime. First and above all, it lifts my mood. Instantly. And after I do it, my brain feels sharper like when I’ve had a great nights sleep but better. When we go in the ocean as opposed to the tub, there is a feeling of connecting with the planet. And I believe it has sped up my metabolism a bit which is always nice. Finally, it has been a bonding experience with the two ladies who I do it with.”

From Rosanne: “I started to plunge this spring in my pond upstate as an entry into releasing fear around diving into a cold, sometimes dark body of water, after learning about Wimm Hoff and his ice baths.  I began his breathing methods and found it’s benefits very helpful which led to my interest in having friends do the plunging together in the Atlantic ocean.   The experience of being emersed in nature, with the brilliant sunshine and piping plovers encircling us was an amazing experience and has led me/ us to continue the practice.  The bathtub is getting me through the winter and I am excited to return to the ocean with my fellow plungettes once the weather improves.”

This is my from my sister Kathleen who plunges in North Carolina: “Addicted to the plunge. When Mary first told me she was going into the icy waters of the Atlantic for 5 minutes – I thought she was nuts but also knew I had to try it. I have not had the chance to go into the ocean but live near a lake and have been in the sound. It’s exhilarating. My body thanks me every time. The aches disappear and my senses come alive. I’ve been able to do it most weeks – sometimes twice a week.”

I encourage you to give it a try. You don’t need to start with a cold bath. Turn the shower temperature to cold at the end of the shower. Breathe through it for 30 seconds. You will feel invigorated! Let me know how it goes.

Love,

Mary

Temperature Check

Family, Home, Sophie and Creativity.

I love a good decluttering challenge. I have done a few of them, and I always feel better when my house is clean and tidy. It brings me great joy to open the door of the tool shed, and to have it in order. When I am stressed or agitated, cleaning out a drawer or decluttering the office brings me peace. I might not feel better when I am actually doing the project, but I am always grateful when I am done.

When Sophie the golden retriever came to live with us, I decided it would be best to pick up the area rugs. I feel so much better with them gone. She is not chewing on them, I don’t have to worry about her urinating on them, and I don’t need to vacuum them. I can just sweep the floor at the end of the day. There is something very therapeutic about a good broom in your broom closet.

Having the house in order makes me feel better, and messy surroundings make me feel agitated. However, there is a part of me that knows spending my days cleaning is not enough. I have been feeling flat. I need to be creative, but I have been avoiding writing my blog posts or promoting OutdoorFit.

So, here I am sitting at my desk writing. I need to find the right balance between taking care of my family, the house, Sophie the dog and my creative endeavors. Progress!

How are you doing? I hope you are finding happiness in your day. What projects are you working on? Have you started gardening yet? Are you spring cleaning? Are you writing a best selling novel? I would love to hear from you.

Love,

Mary

How cute are the three of them sitting on the stoop?

Meet Sophie the Golden Retriever.

We have a new puppy, and I am back into mothering mode big time. I decided to let some things go for awhile. I stopped 2 Grandmas and A Microphone and writing blog posts. I have not been posting much on social media unless it included a golden retriever puppy named Sophie. If you don’t care about cute puppies then it is probably best to sign off now.

This is the story of the arrival of Sophie. As many of you know, I have a special needs son named Thomas. He has always been around Goldens. We have had 4 Goldens and a wonderful dog named Kelly. Kelly was half golden and half Chesapeake Bay retriever. When Tom looks at dog books he is interested in Golden retrievers. 2 and 1/2 years ago, our last Golden, George died suddenly of cancer at the age of 7. It was very sad for all of us. Thomas talked everyday about how sad he was about George. My family and I had thought of getting another dog, but my husband wasn’t ready to move on from George. For me, there was something freeing about not having a dog. The house was clean. We could leave and not have to worry about George. Then the pandemic hit, and Tom is home all of the time zooming his programs. I thought this is the perfect time to get a dog. I told Tom that George is his dog angel and he needs to start praying to George to bring us Sophie. Thomas wanted a girl dog. He likes girls. There is a young lady down the street named Sophie. She got a golden a few years ago for Christmas and named him Tom. Tom the golden has the same birthday as Thomas. We thought Sophie would be the perfect name. Sophia means wise. It is good to have a smart dog. Tom started to pray to George, the dog angel and I started to look for a good breeder.

I found Jane Pappler from Redlion Kennels. I gave her a call and left a voice mail. I also emailed her to tell her about Tom and that we were looking for the perfect puppy. Jane called me back. Normally, I would not have answered the phone. I usually don’t answer a strange number. This time, I did. “Mary, this is Jane from Redlion kennels. Would you like to talk about Golden Retrievers ? ” She asked us if we could wait a year. She was receiving 30 calls a day since the pandemic hit. I said I could but I really wanted a puppy sooner. Well, guess what? She bumped us up on the list. George the dog angel was helping us find Sophie.

We picked up Sophie January 12th, at 7 weeks old. Our world has changed. I am so glad that I am not a single parent. My husband is in on the puppy parenting. She sleeps pretty well through the night and she is house broken. I don’t trust her yet but she cries at the door to go out. I started reading The Art of Raising A Puppy by The Monks on New Skete. I love their philosophy and it has been very helpful. The Monks are very grounding. It is so important to have a well trained dog and we are working on it. Sophie is sitting. She is a smart dog. I hope you get to meet her soon. She thinks everyone loves her.

Love,

Mary

Thank you George.