After a healthy and athletic youth and young adulthood, I gradually morphed in my late thirties and forties into a somewhat sedentary creature. Over the course of those ten or more years, I worked desk jobs, went back to graduate school (more sitting!), and was content to engage in a bit of weekend warriorism – a little tennis, hiking, the occasional 5K (when an old knee injury would allow it). I took the stairs, and walked to and from public transportation, but it wasn’t enough. Ten and then almost 20 pounds crept onto my frame. I wasn’t happy about it, but I also didn’t do much more to resist it.
During a phone call with an old friend from elementary school days, we launched into an “organ recital” and lamented our deteriorating fitness. My friend said she was determined to enter her fifties in better shape than she entered her forties. Challenge thrown! I decided that was a worthy goal. I scoured Craigslist and eventually found a cheap rowing machine. As those workouts began to make me stronger and fitter, I started thinking of running again. One day, killing time in a book store, I found Danny Dreyer’s ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running – and with it, a way to strike a compromise with my battered knees. I became a pretty dedicated trail runner. I lost weight, felt strong, and started considering more ambitious goals like an Olympic-length triathlon, and a century ride.
But shortly after my 51st birthday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The treatment included several years on an aromatase inhibitor. To my dismay, ten and then almost 20 pounds once again crept onto my frame — but this time in the space of just a couple of years!
As a cancer survivor, I have added incentive to maintain a healthy weight. This, along with getting adequate daily exercise (adding up to 150 minutes/week), is the best way to reduce the risk of recurrence. Conveniently, these are also the best ways to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. And there is increasing evidence that exercise improves brain function in aging adults. Win, win, win.
So I started this blog – mostly to have a place to share all the fitness-oriented reading I do! In the interest of full disclosure, I’m really almost halfway through my fifties. But this website is targeted to adults “fifty and over,” who are working at returning to or maintaining fitness. For the time being, I’ll use a nom de plume here, to keep this enterprise separate from my day job. I’ll also have guest bloggers joining in as we get moving. I hope you’ll follow us!
- A word about ads and affiliate links: you’ll begin to see both on the web site. I will link to companies or individuals (e.g. authors) I respect, or products I’ve used (or desperately want to). Affiliate links don’t increase the cost to you; they just kick a few cents back to this site for the referral. I figure if I’m lucky, we’ll eventually cover the cost of the premium WordPress subscription. (And I’ll link to good stuff with or without an affiliate program!)
- A word about recipes and nutritional info I’ll pass along: I’m a big believer in plant-based nutrition (another way to reduce risk factors for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes). I’m not a brow-beater about it, but there will be a definite slant to my shares and links.
- A word about the weird site name: it’s a play on words, inspired by all those “50 is the new 40” headlines. “Forte” implies strength – though not exactly the way we’re using it here ;). Still, that’s what we’re after.