The ‘Pause That Can Refresh

Mary DeLaneyWhen I need inspiration, I browse through our Chi Blog. I have read many of the athletes’ bios several times. Just read about Judy, the 74 year old SUP Ambassador. WOW! It got me wondering about the demographics of our Athleta family. Certainly, most of our featured Athletes are probably ages 25-40, I am guessing. I am not. I am 57. But, I bet you will find women of all ages sporting the Athleta gear and reading the Chi Blog. So, a long intro, but this is about menopause. (Gasp! Don’t even think about it…right?)

I started having the peri-menopausal symptoms at about age 50. Rather than spending hours at the computer researching it or in the doctor’s office medicating it, I kept on training as hard as I ever had. In fact, that year I qualified for Long Course National Triathlon Championship. The next year I won that race and was also chosen for Team USA and raced the World Championship in Sweden!

When asked if I had hot flashes, my usual response was “I am not really sure, as I spend much of my time hot and sweaty, anyway.” Exercise was my way of working through the ‘Pause. Did I skate through with no symptoms? Of course not, but I really believe they were minimal because of exercise. It kept me from the dreaded weight gain, depression and insomnia. Any time I started to feel a bit down, time to go for a bike ride or a run! Women often report mental fogginess and forgetfulness. My thought is that when you are working out, you have increased cardiac output and much of that blood, carrying oxygen, goes to your brain. That can’t hurt!

Mary DeLaneyNow without a doubt, there are women who have severe symptoms and require medical intervention. Women who have had “surgical menopause” may also have other needs, but remember that menopause is not a disease or a disorder. It is a phase in your life. It is a time when you can decide to sit in the corner and lament your age and stage OR you can attack it.

It is a great time to try some new activities. Just check out the Athleta women and their interests to get some ideas! Kettlebells, stand-up paddling, climbing, Pilates, yoga, cycling, active travel, kayaking… The list is limited only by your imagination. Most importantly, you need to stay physically and mentally active.

So, I like to think of this time in a woman’s life as simply a ‘Pause; an opportunity to refresh yourself and your life. A time to discover more about yourself and to challenge yourself to do more than you ever thought possible!

MARY DELANEY is a triathlete, skier, kayaker, hiker, sailor, and scuba diver who runs a coaching and rehabilitation business, called Rehab to Racing, that she started with her husband. Rehab to Racing helps injured athletes get back to their sports… {more}

Comments

  1. Theresa Gerrond says:

    I totally agree with Mary’s article. I’m 55 and just discovered your catalog two summers ago! I love the clothes I have purchased from you; I would love to see a few more “mature” models–expand your customer base by exposure. I love kick boxing and zumba–I’m not ready to give up on being physically fit and enjoying my body and wearing fun clothes.
    Keep up the good work; I love Athleta Chi!

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  2. Eileen says:

    I’m 66 years old and read Athleta Chi. It helps keep me motivated. My boss says 66 is the new 40

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  3. Caterina says:

    Yes! Thank you for this post. I’m 47 and began working out 13 years ago while beginning treatment for endometriosis and fibroids. Yoga, dance aerobics, and strength training classes have truly been a lifeline to feeling good. I feel stronger and healthier than I was in my 20s – and I have exercise to thank. There are so many choices available… when you find activities that mesh with your lifestyle and personality, it makes all the difference! Keep on, everyone!

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  4. Beverly Lindner says:

    I am single and 60, living on Maui, and loving it. I surf, scuba, play tennis, do some exercise classes to prevent tennis injury, and just started core exercises with a new friend at the gym where he works. You don’t look 57, and I don’t look 60, so it’s important to feel young inside. My next adventure is a dive trip in Indonesia for 15 days of diving three times a day on a live aboard boat. It should be incredible!

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  5. Cathy says:

    I agree 100% w/Mary’s comments regarding menopause. I also went thru it very easy and attribute this to my active lifestyle and commitment to healthy eating. The right food and exercise are the best medicine for our bodies!!

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  6. Debbi says:

    I believe I am an the edge of this adventure you call “A Pause.” I have always been one to “John Wayne” thru the tough stuff so that is my plan for this as well. Thanks for the encouragement! Exercise has ALWAYS been for my sanity and less for the physical “side effects!” That is simply the bonus!

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  7. Serenity says:

    Your story is a true inspiration, thanks so much!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this comment you made about how “you can decide to sit in the corner and lament your age and stage OR you can attack it.” I am 33 and totally inspired to keep it up all my days. It ain’t over till its over.

    I suffer from PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which as long as I get my period, it is a major zapper on my life. Exercise has been a huge relief, a blessing, a way to help me focus when I feel overwhelmed, and I do think that working it hard core has helped lessen the effects of PMDD. What a mind-blower: extending and stretching our bodies to the max, the way they were created to be is actually good for us. YES!

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  8. jean says:

    I’m 58. A former dancer, exercise helped me get off hormone replacement therapy (perimenopaused at a young age) and later, anti-depressants.

    I love athleta chi and read the bios and articles for inspiration and information about new forms of working out~always like to change it up and try to things.

    In many ways, I feel the most fit I have in all my life.

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  9. Barb says:

    Yes, more mature models in your catalogs please!!! I am 49 years young and love, love, love, your clothing!!!! I am also a 19 year, three time breast cancer survivor. Medications wreak havoc on your body, but I am inspired and once again working towards physical health……

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