I was at a Memorial Service in August. Afterwards, I sat outside eating wraps and cake with Andrea, a fellow church lady. We started talking about having your kids go off to college the first time and the stress and anxiety that it can cause. She said she had been working on some breathing techniques to help calm herself. I asked her if she had heard of Wim Hoff the “Ice Man”. She said yes and that it was working for her. I said we need to start jumping into the ocean. Wim Hoff is a big believer in cold water plunges. We waited until after Labor Day when the beach crowds had left, and started plunging for 5 minutes. This was a huge deal for me! I have lived 5 miles from the Atlantic Ocean for the past 40 years. I never really cared too much. I have never gone in the ocean without a lifeguard sitting on the chair watching over me. The whole plunging routine was making me so nervous. I would start getting anxious waiting for a possible text from Andrea, asking me if I want to plunge, and get worse from there. It felt like the old days when I was a competitive runner. I would get so nervous before a race. I hate feeling nervous, It is very uncomfortable, but I know if I don’t push myself I will never try anything new. I am getting better at it.
Plunging in the ocean has been life changing for me in so many ways. I am doing something new which I am usually very resistant to. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and my routine. It is so worth it. I have become good friends with Andrea. We are outside, doing something with a touch of craziness to it. I pick Andrea up in my Honda CR-V along with our friend Rosanne. My car is the beach car because I belong to a car wash club. Rosanne, another church lady heard what we were doing and she wanted in. Rosanne loves the cold water. She loves cold showers and plunging in her pond in upstate NY. We head off to the beach where there is always a free parking spot. It is beginning to feel like our beach. We have a turn around time of an hour and there is no food or drink involved. It is simple. It is the best!
Benefits of Cold Water Plunges:
Aids fat loss.
Boosts immune function.
Decreases stress, increases glutathione.
Helps your sleep.
If you have been following me you know I have not been dealing well with my stress this past year or so. I was taking supplements to help me manage. Since I started plunging, I have been able to stop the stress relieving supplements. I feel so much better. I am grounded, I sleep better and I have lost 5 pounds. I am taking better care of myself. I want to be strong, lean and able to handle the ocean in the winter months. I started eating liver and I have upped my weights at OutdoorFit. The liver is a bit of an adjustment. I am sharing it with Sophie the Golden Retriever. She is enjoying it!
Rosanne and I are in our 60’s and Andrea is a youngster at 50 something. It makes plunging even more special. It is never too late to try something new.
I love having a pretty yard but I don’t want to work so hard at it any more. Last year, I planted vegetables in my back corner garden next to my limelight hydrangeas and blue kazoo spirea. I did harvest a few cucumbers, and I had butternut squash that grew out of my homegrown compost. It was all kind of a mess. It was a lot of work without much reward. This year I’m simplifying the yard. I am slowing down and not being so impulsive, I am committed to making the back garden a more permanent garden. I had our struggling concolor fir taken down. It was our live Christmas tree years ago and grew to be a very tall tree. It never looked good. I finally had it taken down. Now, I have more sun in the corner. I moved 7 At Last roses from the front yard to the back. They are beautiful apricot colored roses. They were in the front yard and the deer just loved them for early morning snacking. I was tired of spraying them with Deer off.
By moving the roses to the back it has simplified my foundation planting as well. I put down a nice layer of mulch and it looks good.
I am so grateful that I am able to do my own work. I stay strong, healthy and fit. My OutdoorFit workouts keep me that way. Interested in learning more about OutdoorFit? Click here. You can get in shape in a short amount of time and maintain your fitness level working out only a few days a week. You will be able to do what you want to do. Do you love gardening, or chasing your grandkids around? Maybe it is keeping with a 5 month old golden retriever puppy. It is important to embrace being Fit and Fabulous…Aging Optional and OutdoorFit!
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.
Sophie at 3 months is a challenge. We are involved in a love hate relationship. She doesn’t listen to me very well unless she wants to. We go for multiple walks a day. I try my best to keep her head up and away from the ground, but most of my time is spent pulling rocks or sticks out of her mouth. She gets annoyed and starts pulling aggressively on her leash. If my husband is with us, he will say “off”, and she drops the leash. If it it just Sophie and me, she will growl at me and she tries to bite me. I will tell her no but she keeps at me. The other day, a man was walking past us on the street and I asked him if he had a deep voice. Could he please tell Sophie “off”? He wasn’t open to disciplining a cute puppy.
The Monks of New Sketes, the authors of The Art of Raising a Puppy, advise the owner not to yell or get angry at their puppy. I am really trying. Who is in charge here, Me or Sophie? My red Patagonia OutdoorFit jacket is now Sophie’s walking jacket. She loves nipping at my sleeves. I keep them taped up so the down feathers don’t fall out. Patience is a virtue.
I know Sophie will be an amazing dog and companion. I am committed to her training. She does bring joy and happiness wherever she goes. We have met many people walking in the neighborhood who probably would not have stopped to say hello. Sometimes I stop them because Sophie knows everyone loves her and she needs to say hello.
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.
It is the New Year! Do you do take the time to do an annual review? Do you set intentions for the upcoming year? How do you define success? Three great questions that I’m resistant to answer. Recently, I joined Andreea Fegan’s Little Bites of Joy community group. Sunday, Andreea led us through a vision workshop. We talked about how we define our successes and how we want to feel on a daily basis. It went much deeper than how much money you make, or how many followers you have on Instagram.
During the workshop, Andreea told us to write down how you want to feel during the day. How do you make other’s feel?
Here is my list.
I want to go through my day with Ease and Grace (I stole that from one of the woman on the call.)
Don’t you feel good when you are around happy, enthusiastic, grounded people? I did have peaceful, but I changed it to grounded. It feels more authentic. I love authentic people! I feel like I am pretty authentic already. I don’t know how to be any other way.
I define my success with numbers. If you run a business, it is important to know your numbers. I always check my monthly revenue, but then I tally how many people are in my OutdoorFit program, and how many people watch a video or read a blog post. I’m disappointed if I don’t reach a certain number of views. Some of my feelings of self worth appear to be tied into how many views I get. Andreea suggested going beyond the numbers and consider what kind of an impact are you making. You never know who reads your posts or watches your videos. Maybe when I encourage others to drink more water or do a round of mountain climbers I am having an impact. Are my viewers having a life changing moment? I hope so.
In my OutdoorFit membership group, we started A 28 Day Feel Fabulous Program. It is all about making small changes to feel better. Click here if one of your intentions is to feel fabulous in the New Year! I hope to see you soon.
Thanksgiving week, I was able to have a cup of coffee and take a walk with my niece Julia. We don’t get to see each other very often, and I am so grateful for our time together. She has inspired me to take some simple steps to feel better. I do take good care of myself, but the pandemic and having Thomas home has created extra stress. I was taking small steps to make things worse instead of better. I know it doesn’t sound like much. I like to make grain free cookies and instead of adding a squirt of liquid stevia to sweeten the cookies I have been adding coconut sugar instead. I was drinking a few more ounces of wine at night. You get the picture. It all adds up and I can feel it in my body.
Julia looks and feels amazing. She is an incredibly athletic, and is great to be around because of her positive energetic attitude. Of course, I wanted to know about Julia’s diet. I always love talking to people about what they eat. Julia eats a very clean diet. She buys raw milk and raw butter. She knows what the chickens eat that produce the eggs she buys. Somedays, she will cook a grass fed grass finished rib eye for lunch. She eats a lot of fermented vegetables, and loves kimchi. On my way home, I stopped and bought kimchi at the local health food store. I have been eating a chunk before each meal. It is so good for your gut and helps to eliminate sugar cravings.
Here is our latest 2 Grandmas and A Microphone video. We talked about kimchi, Julia enjoying a cold open water swim in a bikini and so much more.
Vicky Perry and I got together for 2 Grandmas and a Microphone #4. I have enjoyed our weekly conversations and I hope they have been helpful to you. This week Vicky shares how she was diagnosed in her 30’s with an ovarian cyst which was the size of an orange. Her Doctor wanted to schedule her for surgery. She told her doctor, “no way”. She went on a spiritual journey to heal herself. Push play to hear the whole story.
Doctor’s are important. I listen to what they have to say, but I don’t always do what they tell me to do. A few years ago, I hurt my SI Joint. I was in so much pain and I was scared. I built a business around being strong and healthy. Was this the beginning of not being able to do what I enjoy? I went to see my Chiropractor who asked “how old are you now?” He brought out my X-rays to show me how screwed up my low back was. I will spare you the details. He told me I needed to stop sprinting, doing burpees, and mountain climbers. He told me to start swimming. I had gone that route before and it was not fun for me. So, I found another chiropractor who is certified in Foundation Training. He taught me how to get my life back and he believed it was possible. I am so grateful. Of course, I share these exercises with my OutdoorFit ladies. I end every workout with Foundation Training.
OutdoorFit women are Fit and Fabulous… Aging Optional! Click here if you would like to join us. We are outside and I am also livestreaming the workouts. You can join in from anywhere!
I would love to hear from you. Do you have a similar story to tell?
I almost quit. I felt agitated all week, like I had a few too many cups of coffee. I don’t like all the conflict and hard feelings between my friends, and with the political scene as a whole. The presidential debate Tuesday evening was the icing on the cake. It would be so much easier to forget all of this. Why did I think I needed to be so aware? I was thinking this would be the last Grandmas video to wrap it up and say goodbye. After a phone conversation with my fellow Grandmother Vicky Perry, I decided we need to carry on. Creating Grandmas videos has been very helpful to me. I am researching about how I feel about the issues and then expressing myself.
My intention with OutdoorFit is for women to feel empowered through health and fitness. I know when you are strong, healthy and fit you are able to show up in your life in a more powerful way. I hope these videos inspire you to think about the issues and express how you feel.
Vicky Perry and I got together for 2 Grandmas and a Microphone #3. We talked about the importance of having conversations with people you agree with and also disagree with. It is important to set the intention to listen and not to try to convert them or change their mind. I am not a tactful person. This is not easy for me.
Vicky and I had a great discussion. We covered fracking, abortion and the importance of doing your own research. Stop and think about how you feel about things and then speak your own truth.
I think it is time for all of us to slow down, and show respect for one another. This is the perfect season to bake an apple pie and God Bless America.
How was your week? What has been coming up for you? I would love to hear from you.
I have been feeling antsy lately. Is what I am doing important? Is this how I want to spend my time, or should I be doing something else? Sometimes I feel like I want more for myself. When I stop and really think about it, I realize I do want more. I want to create more space in my life. I want more quiet time. I have decided that following my joy is the answer. I love to stay home. I enjoy doing my own work. Painting the kitchen different shades of white makes me happy. It feels like a work of art to me. This week, I washed and ironed our linen bedroom curtains, composted, and made roasted pepper and tomato soup. I also taught 3 OutdoorFit classes. I have a great group of ladies, all over 50, who show up in crazy weather to workout. A cold and windy OutdoorFit workout brings me joy and happiness. I love the touch of craziness.
Earlier this week, I went to my friend Diane’s house to pick up 2 bags of composted leaves. Does that sound like an odd way to spend your time? Diane sold her beautiful home. She is moving to an 11 acre lot to build a passive home and grow organic vegetables. She didn’t think the new owners would appreciate her large composted leaf pile. She sent me a text, inviting me to stop by and help myself. I was so excited.
I went back the next day, and picked up 2 galvanized tubs full of compost. Why does this make me happy?
I love the connection with my friend.
I love the touch of craziness about it.
I love that the composted leaves will attract earthworms to my gardens. They are an indicator and creator of healthy soil.
I love the efficiency of using leaves to make compost for your gardens.
Gardening season is coming soon, but I really would love a good snow storm first.
Embrace your joy, step aside and watch what happens! It is contagious. What do you love to do? How do you like to spend your day? Would you like to connect with amazing women who love a touch of craziness? Come try an OutdoorFit workout! There is a fun class Saturday morning at 7:30.
My pitchfork is over 70 years old. It belonged to Dan’s Grandfather. A treasure!