Last week’s blog was about feeling flat and a bit depressed. So much has changed in just a week. I reached out to my friend Dorian. I wrote about her in the blog 5 years ago. She was training for an ultra marathon at the time. A few weeks ago, I saw that her store, Shore Footed, was closing. She has been a great sneaker resource for years. I was sad to see the liquidation sign in the window. I asked her about the store and what was next. She told me she was training to beat the National record for her age in the mile. She is now 63 and needs to run a 5:37 mile! Training for the mile is totally different from training for a 100 mile race. I told her I wanted to train with her. I love Dorian’s enthusiasm, so I thought why not give it a shot? I need to do a sub 5:55 mile for my age at 68! I could run that 35 years ago but, it has been a long time since I have been on the track.
It is so exciting to be working at something that you are not sure if you can do it or not. Last Friday, we met at a high school track. She asked me if I have been running. No, not really, except for a few short trips around the neighborhood with Sophie the dog. Our first workout was 9-200’s. We ran them slow, medium and fast. OH MY! I did it and I felt good while doing it. The soreness set in quickly. My whole body was SORE for 5 days. I spent the weekend foam rolling, stretching, napping and taking epsom salt baths. I also plunged twice in the ocean. Tuesday, we met again. Our second workout was 6-400’s. We ran them slow, medium, and fast. My fastest one was a 2:05. If you do the math, it is a 8:20 mile if I could possibly keep that pace going. It is a long way to 5:55. That’s okay. It is all about the process, and I am doing something fun with Dorian. Dorian is an amazing athlete and I appreciate her running tips and encouragement. It feels great to be doing something different. I am eager to see how my body changes and how much faster I can go.
Tuesday, I plunged after the workout and then had a massage. I have no time to feel flat or bit depressed.
I do have my limits with Dorian. After the workout, she likes to warm down with a few hand stands and flips into the pole-vault pit. I told her that I wanted to finish the workout standing up and to be able to walk out to my car.
I also attended a Native plant workshop at our local library. It was very interesting. I am not sure how much time or energy I will have for gardening this year. I am working on being a 68 year old track star!
What have you been up to? I encourage you to try something new. It is exhilarating!
I love being a 68 year old plungette! My friend Andrea took a photo of me in my bathing suit, so I could post about it. 50 years ago, I never would have had the confidence to have my photo taken in my suit, let alone post it. Of course, there was no posting back then.
Today was another great plunge. It was 65 degrees and partly cloudy in February. I picked up Andrea and headed to the beach to meet Lauren and Elena. I have the beach car. I don’t care if my car gets full of sand because I belong to the car wash club at the Shrewsbury car wash. As we drive over the Sea Bright bridge we can see the water. I check for white caps, hoping that it will be calm. It always feels surreal to me and is unbelievable that we are about to get into 40 degree water. We do it. We stay in for 5 minutes and 30 seconds. We talk, laugh and sometimes have waves crashing over our heads just to add to the excitement. Being in the water is not the difficult part. The hard part is getting our wet bathing suits off, and dressed as quickly as possible. Your hands stop working well because they are so cold. We all have big coats, so we can get changed under them right on the beach.
My brother Paul gave me snack packs of seaweed. He couldn’t believe that anyone would enjoy eating seaweed. I brought them to the beach to share with my fellow plungettes. Can you think of a more appropriate snack? Everyone loved them.
This is all so much fun! What are you doing for fun this winter?
It is January. It has been a cold, dreary, damp month. I have been listening to podcasts about enthusiasm and optimism. It is a push to feel that way. I am taking baby steps every day to choose what feels better. This morning, I started my day with OutdoorFit. I had two new ladies join the workout. Last Friday, I did a Fit and Fabulous… Aging Optional presentation at the Little Silver Library. These two brave souls decided to give the class a try. It is not easy to start during Winter Warrior season, yet it is the best time. It is empowering to do things that most people won’t do. Be The Exception. It made me feel good to introduce the new ladies to the seasoned OutdoorFit athletes who are in their 60’s,70’s and 80’s!
I am still plunging with the Plungettes! Plunging in the ocean with your friends in January really boosts your spirits. One of the ladies suffers from seasonal depression. She has been fine this year. We are still able to stay in for 5 minutes and 30 seconds. 11 minutes per week is the magic number to receive the optimum benefit from cold plunges according to Andrew Huberman, PhD.
In order to feel enthusiastic and optimistic, I need to feel strong and empowered. What I eat is very important. I am increasing my protein intake and decreasing my snacks. We will see how this goes! This is what I had for breakfast today.
What are you doing to feel good? Any inspiration to share? I love simplicity. Are you inspired by eggs and cottage cheese?
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 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.
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!
Let me know how it goes! If you are interested in joining us online or in person, please CLICK HERE to learn more.
Who knew I would need to put Fun on my to do list? I am seeing a Health Psychologist and she suggested I find time to do Fun things. I am a homebody. No one ever called me the Fun one. When I was a kid and visiting my Grandparents in Saint Louis, my family would be going out to do something Fun on the last night and I choose to stay home with Pop and Gram and watch TV. I never liked going to my friend’s house for sleepovers. Once, I was invited to a party and I told my friend that I wanted to stay home and pull dandelions.
I am beginning to feel like I need to get out and do more. My tendency is to say no. I guess I need to start saying yes.
“What would Julia do?” I am asking myself this question more and more. Julia is my niece who is living an amazing life. I blogged about her before. She said her secret is to fill her day with Fun things. I am starting out with the goal of doing one Fun thing a week, and see how it goes. Baby steps for me. This week I have been invited to a neighbor’s pool. I met her walking in the neighborhood. I am connecting with someone new. I think there are bonus points in that!
Vicky Perry and I got together for 2 Grandmas and A Microphone. The topic was doing Fun things! We talked about jumping into the ocean, riding bumper cars at the Fair, taking tango lessons from a Russian instructor and Pickle Ball. Maybe, I am becoming the Fun one!
I am so grateful when I have a good night’s sleep. I know it is so important if I want to feel my best and have sustained energy throughout my day. It is frustrating when I don’t sleep well and feels like a waste of time laying in bed at night, not sleeping, and waking up tired. I was talking about sleep at OutdoorFit last week and one of the ladies suggested I take a Benadryl. I knew it wasn’t the answer for me but I had gone too many nights without sleeping well so I decided to take one. I slept better but I woke up groggy and had to rely on a cup of coffee to get myself going. I have been reducing my caffeine consumption so I don’t want to wake up feeling like I need a cup of coffee. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. I know alcohol is a sleep disruptor. I am now drinking 5 ounces instead of my usual 8 ounces. I am making small changes which are making a difference. I didn’t give up the wine and coffee completely because that would make me cranky.
I have been trying different routines to help me sleep. Here is the latest one that is working!
A hot cup of Mineral Calm and a scoop of collagen protein.
(Protein is great for immune function and muscle repair. It is good to take it at bedtime. There is regenerative work going on while you are sleeping.)
1 Stress Relief (Ashwagnda)
1 Chewable Calcium Magnesium
1 Pure Rest (Melatonin)
2 doTERRA Serenity
It might seem easier to pop a Benadryl but I don’t wake up groggy with my new bedtime routine.