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Are You Ready . . . for the Rest of Your Life?

The Fitness Challenge

Meeting Joan McDonald, of Instagram fame, in my interview several months ago inspired me and many others. This led to the START the ADVENTURE . . . for the Rest of Your Life Fitness Challenge, hosted by Alyssa Kuhn, Keep the Adventure Alive, and myself offered through Revel. The Challenge, for four weeks in May, consisted of setting goals to exercise consistently and eat better. Basic strength training/fitness classes were offered through Zoom. We held interviews of fitness experts during the month of April to get inspired.


In April, from Alyssa Kuhn’s interview, we learned that moving is most important and possible even with arthritis and other kinds of pain and that we can aim high for the adventures we want to have in our future! From the interview with New York City personal trainer Susan Niebergall we saw how a 60-year-old body can change with serious strength training and a more conscious approach to nutrition; that just “eating healthy” isn’t enough if we want to really change our body composition. From the interview with nutritionist EC Synkowski we were encouraged to keep it simple, to try the #800gChallenge, the basis of which is to eat a significant amount of fruits and vegetables daily leaving less room for poor choices.


For those readers who participated, START the ADVENTURE . . . for the Rest of Your Life Fitness Challenge ended officially this weekend, May 31, 2021. Important to note the goal of the Challenge was to begin, not finish. Curious, how did it go for you?

For me personally, I began in early February inspired by the research on Joan in preparing for the interview, to progressively increase weights I'm lifting. My garage buddies began bringing their barbell to our workouts and we're stoked by our progress! I've added more intense cardio on non-strength days,. I'm stronger, I have better endurance for hiking and I feel better. During the four week Challenge I've made a modest start to lose five+ pounds. Because I had weighed and measured myself, I'm pleased to have made more progress in the loss of (fractions of) inches.

Disappointed, as I wanted to lose more weight, I've dreaded trying on dresses for a wedding coming up, thinking I'd need to buy another because nothing would fit. Ok, it's snug but I'm in! Clearly, upping my workout efforts has paid off. What should not fit does.

With ongoing efforts I'm optimistic that I can return to my pre-COVID shape and weight if I keep at it. Also, I'm pretty excited to get dressed up and wear my Miu Miu shoes, found at a consignment store!!! Woo, hoo! Ha, ha - I've been wearing them around the house to strengthen my feet! Ok, they're just shoes, but twenty years ago, when I was 50 pounds heavier with aching knees, I was reduced to practical, low-heeled shoes, mostly thick athletic shoes that gave me enough support. I never dreamt I'd ever again walk around in heels this high. Having strong legs is good for a lot of things!

On to . . . the Rest of Your Life


Are you planning your next steps? The Challenge included four Zoom/video workouts. From them, we learned some new exercises with bootie bands and resistance bands. Basic strength training moves like squats, lunges, push-up, chest presses, etc. were included. When planning your next step, an ongoing exercise program, try to include all of these elements. Are you putting those workouts on the calendar? Will it be Zoom classes, online videos, in-person classes, sessions with a personal trainer, a date with a friend to meet regularly, programs you make up yourself? No matter what, there needs to be a plan or it won't happen. Make it the most important part of your day. Carve out time. Do it!

Working with Mary and/or Alyssa

This website gives options for ways to work with Mary. Clicking on the boxes pictured above provides link to sign-ups. Alyssa's website provides links to her many resources as well as working one-on-one with her. Both Alyssa and I offer YouTube exercise videos at no charge. Mary offers a live Zoom class on Thursday at 9:30 PST. Soon, videos of all classes will be available to access.

NEW - Mary and Alyssa are offering a Monday Zoom class, 9:30 PST

Emails will be sent to Fitness Challenge Participants with pricing details, and sign-up will be available on this site. Classes begin June 7th.


We hope the interviews, classes and information Alyssa and I have offered

provided incentive to exercise more regularly, make some changes to your eating, and/or to add strength training to your week. We've loved meeting the Challenge participants!

Future blog posts will be featuring how-tos for some foundational strength exercises, so don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already.

P.S. It's actually a lonely world out there in the blogosphere. Leave a comment below about your experience with the Challenge or anything else on your mind.

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