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Women Over 50: Some Days Just Suck – Angst, Exercise & Optimism

Alexandra Williams, MA
I am SO becoming!

I am SO becoming!

Some days, being a woman over 50 sucks. I would describe myself as happy and optimistic. I have a good life. I work at things I enjoy. My kids are easy to love and live with. Yet lately I wake up tired and feeling beaten down, and don’t know why.

It’s like I’m stuck in a Cheech and Chong skit - The first day on my vacation, I woke up. Then, I went downtown to look for job. Then I hung out in front of the drugstore. The second day on my summer vacation, I woke up, then I went downtown to look for a job. Then I hung out in front of the drugstore. The third day… (If you don’t get that 1972 reference, you are not a boomer). I’m not depressed or sad or weepy or pessimistic or grumpy or or or… But I’m off. Instead of feeling like I am a participant in my world, I feel like the world is happening around me.

I was thinking it might be hormones or menopause, yet nothing seems to be different. In any case, I decided last night that I’d had enough of waiting. Waiting for my usual energy or cheeriness or joie de vivre to return. Instead of waking up sort of rumbly and angsty, I decided to shake things up a bit. The relationship between exercise and moodis well-established, so I gave myself the same advice I’d give to a client – get moving!

Let a little light shine on my hike

Let a little light shine on my hike

And so I did. I got up at 0600 and got a ride to the bottom of the mountain pass near my home, then hiked up to the top. As part of a sponsored Under Armour challenge I had declared a goal of hiking up this pass, so I figured getting up super early (for me) would be an added achievement. Besides, it’s easy to spot the mood-elevating endolphins swimming around the harbor that early in the morning!!!

Endolphins

Endolphins

hahahah it’s a joke – these neurotransmitters are really called endorphins, and they are like happy pills, except they are created by your own body and no pills are involved. According to Dr. William Sears, we are our own pharmacology site.

What I learned as I walked up the hill this morning:
* the nasty black flies aren’t out in massive numbers early in the morning
* lots of cars come down the winding road at that time
* the views are amazing, especially as the sun comes over the hills
* the people driving those cars like to wave hello
* it’s as steep as I believed it to be
* it was easier than I expected
* being outside on a gorgeous day, with amazing views, good music in my ears and my body movin’ and groovin’ works perfectly as a mood-enhancer.

I'm almost there. I hope someone made breakfast.

I’m almost there. I hope someone made breakfast.

No wonder I don’t need any medications (my doc is always amazed, due to “my age,” which is actually kind of scary in its implications) – I have hiking in my veins, so there’s no room for artificial stimulants in them! In any case, I cheered right up and have been productive all morning. The only thing is…I’ve completed my What’s Beautiful goal. So I guess I’ll change it and go up, then back down the mountain. If that comes too easily, I’ll do it without stopping for pictures every few minutes! Pssst, that What’s Beautiful link is to my profile in case you want to follow my progress.

Now turn around and do it again

Now turn around and do it again

I have a question for all of you, especially the boomer women – do you ever get into a mood rut, where you just can’t find your mojo, or passion, or gumption, or meaning, or even your special purpose (alert: 1979 Steve Martin reference)? What did you do to get out of it? I want to copy your ideas in case I get sick of that hike.

By the way, when I’m not being a grumpus, I like to have fun. If you want to know how I define “fun,” you’ll have to read the interview at Bite Size Wellness.

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Photo credit: Dolphins  ryn413.

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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22 Responses to Women Over 50: Some Days Just Suck – Angst, Exercise & Optimism

  1. Jody - Fit at 55 May 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    LOVE!!!!!!!!!!! You wrote the best post!!!! I so get it BUT with me, I can now after 7+++++++ years of the hormone crap know when it is hormones & most of my down or moods or just F this days typically are hormone related.. I go to the gym still so that is a huge help but once home, sometimes it is difficult.

    Thank you for doing Boomer posts!!!

    CONGRATS you awesome woman!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & Blogging Friends; GraduationMy Profile

  2. Tamara May 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Yes! I have been having those ‘moods’ more and more these days. You’re right, exercise does help, as does calling a friend and going out for coffee and a few laughs. It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of our own daily lives that we forget how important taking time out to relax with others is!
    Congrats for completing your challenge so quickly! Are there any bigger hills in the neighbourhood?
    Tamara recently posted..How to get arms like Michelle Obama without resorting to plastic surgeryMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit May 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

      I like your suggestion. Maybe I’ll call my friend Diane and go for a walk and lunch. That always makes my day. And if you know anyone coming to SB for a sabbatical (for example), I’d be free that day for coffee!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..What’s Beautiful? Health at Any AgeMy Profile

  3. Kim May 21, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    I loved this!! At 43, I feel like I’m getting into the thick of a lot of the hormone issues and I’m just starting to muddle through them!!
    Kim recently posted..Motivation – What Motivation??My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit May 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      Thank you Kim. I’ve never had hormone issues at all, and according to the doc am not even pre-menopausal (weird, at 54), but I know that it’s not my nature to be angsty. I’m glad to not be alone, although I hope you stay cheery!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Fun Fitness Solutions: Guest Post By Emma FranklinMy Profile

  4. Debbie May 21, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    Wow, congrats on refacing your goal so quickly! I guess now you’ll have to set the bar even higher!

    Thanks to a combination of exercise and finally getting the hormone thing pretty right, I rarely have down moods. I was always the annoyingly cheery glass half full type, and some things don’t change. But before my hormones were right I frequently felt on the edge of panic attacks. Thank goodness for exercise, because I think it could have been worse.
    Debbie recently posted..Weekly Training Recap: The Costume Party Run, Week 2My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit May 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      Yes, Debbie, I changed up the goal. I went up the Pass without stopping. Next I’ll go up, then back down. If I still have time left for the challenge, I’ll go down, then back up. I was thinking today that I’d be a gloomy mess if it weren’t for exercise. Makes me really feel for women who are mostly sedentary. Must be really tough for them.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..What’s Beautiful? Health at Any AgeMy Profile

  5. Sarah Jane @Fit Betty May 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    I am only in my late 20’s, but I have major down days sometimes. I think my hormone fluctuations are partly to blame, but allergies (food and pollen) really kick my butt some days. I get into a funk sometimes where it is hard to find the motivation to do much of anything, but it usually helps me to spend more time with friends and family, and change up my workouts. I hope you get to feeling better soon :)
    Sarah Jane @Fit Betty recently posted..Hello My Name is…BeautifulMy Profile

  6. Marcia May 22, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    Oh wow.We used to laugh ourselves silly with the Cheech&Chong album. I think I have it committed to memory. Yes to the ‘off’ moods. Yes also to the throwing myself into exercise to neutralize it. I’m also all for finding the humorous side of 50.

    • AlexandraFunFit May 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      I have definitely found the humorous side of 50. Repeatedly. Mostly by embarrassing my teenage boys! But it does get old, tucking my boobs into my front pockets! hahaha. Not really, I work out!!!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Which Running Surfaces Are Best?My Profile

  7. Coco May 27, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Honestly, some days I have to “just do it” even when I don’t wanna. Being outside at sunrise is a great way to start the day and shake off a mood.
    Coco recently posted..What Motivates You To Say I Will?My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit May 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      I’m with you Coco. Today was a perfect example. I kept stalling on going for a walk because my knee was hurting. But I went. Almost 5 miles later, I was glad I did, plus my knee had stopped hurting. And my mood improved.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Is Stress Making You Fat?My Profile

  8. virginia sullivan August 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    Thanks so much for this cheery funny post- there are days when you can’t quite put your finger on what’s wrong…but it sure is! Thanks for the suggestions. Virginia
    virginia sullivan recently posted..Form Your Posse at Work and In LifeMy Profile

  9. Haralee August 16, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    All hail the Endolphins!!!
    Haralee recently posted..Chickens and Goats and Pigs, Oh My!My Profile

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