Some would say this Motivation Monday brings me to a mini-milestone. I’ve officially kicked off my 45th year on the planet. As I sit here struggling a bit more than usual to put my thoughts into words, I realize a weekend filled with celebrations isn’t the only thing to blame for this mild dose of writer’s block.
As each year goes by, I’m more overwhelmed by what I once thought was such a cliché. It may still be one, but it’s also an inescapable truth: the older I get, time goes by faster and faster and the memorable moments spent with family and friends grow more and more precious.
So many things happened between turning 44 and 45. Just like the 365-day span between all the birthdays before this one, some of those things were good, and others simply weren’t. There were tears of joy; tears of sorrow; doors closed while windows opened. The bottom line is things do get more complicated as we grow older. Exercise remains the one constant hat helps me handle whatever challenges life throws my way by keeping my body and spirit strong.
As I start another year, I encourage everyone to remember taking control of your health is something anyone can do at any age or fitness level. Don’t be afraid to strike out and try something new. Speaking of something new, I also wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about a website launched just last week by sportscaster Lauren Shehadi. I am honored to be among the inaugural group of women featured for the launch of SecretAdmireHER. I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out and perhaps nominate someone you know for future stories. (And a huge thank you to lifelong friend Jeanne Marie Daggett for nominating me!)
So, as I continue these first steps into year 45, I realize the road ahead can trip us up at any time. Instead of looking back, I say let’s use the lessons of the past to move toward the future and embrace every opportunity to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
I think it’s safe to say birthdays present the perfect opportunity for reflection. While I reminisced about the many experiences that will forever define my forty-second year on Earth, it was no surprise the most defining moments were those that involved family and friends. Many of those moments were happy ones. Others were the complete opposite. The reality is I begin living my forty-third year missing a few very special people. However, while they’ve been taken from this world physically, the memories of their love and friendship will remain a source for smiles and strength for all the years to come.
I was truly blessed to celebrate another birthday with both my parents. Their love and guidance have made me the woman I am today. I’m equally blessed to say I’ve never felt healthier or stronger – both physically and mentally – than I do right now. That strength was tested many times in the past year as I found myself along with several of my closest friends dealing with some very “grown-up” challenges: Family members suffering from attacks on their physical and mental well-being; sweet children growing up to become troublesome teens; job security growing less secure and relationships breaking up.
In a world filled with so much uncertainty, one thing I can control year after year is how I take care of my body. Exercising and eating healthy continue to help keep my immune system strong even when events and emotions seem overwhelming. Of course, the other “thing” that continues to work for me is embracing the everything-in-moderation mentality. That’s why I refused to feel zero guilt about my birthday snack featuring a chocolate – peanut butter cupcake and a glass of champagne. It felt equally good hitting the healthy reset button the day after my birthday by blending an Isagenix protein shake and hitting the gym.
Speaking of the gym, another thing I learn year after year is you’re definitely never too old to try something new. Some of my longtime readers may remember several years ago I enjoyed sparring with my personal trainer Roberto once or twice a week. A hand injury took me out of that game for awhile, but thanks to the recommendation of my gal pal Elisa, I decided to get back into the punching world and signed up for ILoveKickboxing.com.
After one sweat-filled 50-minute class last week, I was riding a crazy endorphin-filled high. I also laughed to myself thinking about how I could have crushed some serious stress if only I had I had started punching and kicking a heavy bag sooner! The class is a cardio, strength and endurance experience featuring boxing gloves, heavy bags and non-stop drills of core exercises ranging from mountain climbers to push-ups as well as solo and partner-friendly rounds of jabs, hooks, upper cuts and kicks. I am excited to add this new workout to my exercise regimen for the year ahead (which still includes Physique57 classes and Tabata training) and see how it helps take my physical and mental strength to another level.
So, I guess this is a roundabout way of saying taking control of your health is something anyone can do at any age or fitness level. Don’t be afraid to strike out and try something new. There’s no doubt the road ahead can trip us up at any time with bumps, twists and turns. Instead of looking back, use the lessons of the past to catapult you into the future and all the opportunities calling you to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Call me superstitious, but I sort of believe in signs. So I hope the fact I get to start my 41st year on this planet on a Motivation Monday is a sign I’ll be stocked with enough adrenaline to tackle the new adventures and challenges waiting for me in the days ahead.
This birthday happens to fall in the wake of a brief but brilliant escape to the beautiful island of Aruba. It was the first vacation I’ve been on in awhile where I truly took it easy. Instead of the high-intensity cardio-fueled workouts I sweat through here at home, I enjoyed extended walks on the beach (sometimes two a day), stand-up paddle boarding and swimming. I even indulged in a massage. The result? Well, while I may have added a pound or two to my waistline thanks to the frozen cocktails and some decadent desserts, I also returned to the frenetic pace of my beloved New York city with relaxed muscles and a relaxed mind.
Part of my unwind time included embracing the fact that getting older doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you’ve been stopping by here for awhile, you’ve read one or two posts about the fact that I’m definitely stronger than I was 10 years ago. Physically and mentally. I credit my experienced – both good in bad, in the gym and beyond – for giving me the confidence to make wiser choices today. Sure, I’ll still tweak a muscle during a workout now and then, and I’m the first to admit I’ve made some less-than-optimal choices when it comes to work or my love life. However, at least I believe I have a well-stocked mental file cabinet of information to guide my decisions.
So as we all start a new work week and I start my new year, let’s embrace all the surprises ahead that can only lead us on new paths to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
“Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”