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Monday, February 23, 2015


The weather has not been cooperative.  Cold temperatures and lots of snow...just didn't feel up to snowshoeing.  Yesterday was perfect.  Early in the afternoon I pulled out the snowshoes and went off to Lynn Woods for an afternoon of taking in nature.  The fresh air was invigorating.  The temperature was warm.  I only wore a sweatshirt.  If you went off the main trails, the snowshoeing was still good.  Here are some of the pictures of my fun in the snow...

Only the beginning...snowshoes and poles ready to go. 

The road ahead...

Beneath the trees

Can you see the animal?

Beauty and tranquility of Lynn Woods
Camp Hill, a favorite hiking spot in summer.  With the trees bare, you can see to the ocean.
On the hill...can we see the ocean?
Time to head back... 

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Part of the reason for this blog is for me to keep track of what I am doing and another part is to hopefully inspire those over 50.  I've been consistently involved in some form of exercise for a very long time.  I've completed 10 triathlons, done Muay Thai and participated in the Arnold Pump and Run.   

Me.  Philadelphia Triathlon.  Getting ready in transition.

At 57 years old, one of my goals is to do an unassisted chin up. In keeping with that goal, I was hoping to get my ass to Iron Body Studios for the Women's Strength Class.  Unfortunately my arm and shoulder were uncooperative. 

Saturday morning I had a revelation after spending the morning unable to lift my right arm.  I've had this problem before.  So, I made an appointment with Kevin Carr, my former coach and current massage therapist for treatment.  I forgot he had recommended maintenance for my problem and I suddenly realized how similar this recent problem is my prior one.  Kevin Carr has consistently helped with my aches, pains and injuries.  He's helped keep me active. 

Coach Kevin Carr

Check out Kevin's website here...

Sunday I woke up ready for a work out.  I did a modified version of what I would have done with Artemis without problem.  The good news is the chin ups.

Using my bands, I did 2 sets of 4 reps and 1 set of 3.  I think I could have done another but felt some tightness so stopped.  Very very happy with my progress.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Food should be more than sustenance.  It should give us pleasure, create bonds with family and friends and provide a connection with the earth.  For example, Italian life centers around food, family and friends.  When we eat a well prepared meal with fresh, farm to table ingredients it can be deeply satisfying.  You don't have to overeat but just enjoy basic delicious ingredients.

That being said, I love going to small markets whether it be a local butcher, a farm, farmer's market or small family owned ventures. 

Pickings from last summer's backyard garden

And there is nothing more satisfying than growing your own foods, coming home from work, heading out to the garden and picking that night's dinner. 

Tuscan Market, Salem, NH

The Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, NH is an Italian market that has been on the list of places to check out.  As luck would have it on Tuesday, I had to go to Concord, NH on Tuesday.  On the way home, I took the opportunity to stop check it out.  I found the address on my old Blackberry and plugged it into my very old GPS and before I knew it, there was the Tuscan Market. 

There is something very satisfying about shopping in a beautiful looking market with beautifully crafted food.  I slowly walked through observing the various stations of bread, meats, bakery items, prepared foods, gelato, and coffee station.  There is also a sit-down café.

Home made pasta (Photo from Tuscan Market website.)
The first thing that grabbed my attention were the pastas.  They were so perfectly homemade.  For dinner, I chose the short rib tortellone.  They were packaged with care and with flour to keep them from sticking together. 

Forgetting that I had just made meatballs and sauce at home, I checked out their home made sauces.  They had puttanesca, brown butter, Bolognese, and San Marzano.  I decided on a small container of San Marzano to compliment the tortellone. 

The bread station had out samples of garlic loaf which was the best I have ever tasted.  No doubt that garlic was added to this bread but it was not overdone.  Ultimately though I bought a loaf of olive bread. 

And of course there was wine...

I took a chance and purchased this Ruffino...

which turned out to be a hit and a very good value for $12.00.

I grabbed a coffee for the ride home (exceptionally delicious) and thought about putting together the night's dinner.  I rode home thinking about all the delicious and quality items at the Tuscan Market. 

Eating two short rib tortelloni,  a small piece of olive bread and a couple glass of amazing wine made for a very satisfying meal.  This isn't how I would eat every Tuesday night or every night for that matter but there are times when you need to make an exception.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Remember a few days ago I posted pictures of these...

My super bands made it to the Y today and I actually used them.  It is a good news bad news story.

Good news is I figured out how to get the chins up done at the Y.  I did 3 sets of 2.  The bad news is I did 3 sets of 2.  My goal was 3 sets of 3 reps but I just couldn't get that third one done. 

Another win this morning...I always feel uncomfortable when I attempt something new at the Y when it is filled with people and I am unsure how my endeavor will play out. 

I still got those chin ups done.  Granted it was 5:30 AM.  It was not very crowded.  I found equipment to stand on that made it possible for me to get my foot into the band.  Easy. 

So...I was happy that I made this first step.  Whoo Hoo for the Super Bands.

The rest of the work out was...

Deadlifts 4 sets of 5
          145 pounds
          155 pounds
          165 pounds
          175 pounds

I rotated in

Kettlebell Swings 4 sets of 10 at 40 pounds
Ab Roll Outs 3 sets of 5

Next up were the chin ups. Followed by 3 sets of 8 fifty pound squats.

At this point my right arm was a problem and it wouldn't let me complete my intended work out.  I decided to finish with...

Kettlebell Swings 10 with 40 pounds
Row Machine for one minute

I did the routine for 5 rounds.  I tried to mix in the ropes (yes, my Y has ropes.) but the arm hurt. 

The morning didn't work out the way I thought it out but I got my work out in.  This isn't my official StrongFirst certification training but I need to keep getting stronger before it starts!

Monday, February 16, 2015


There are many reasons we are better after 50.  The most important for me is my increasing ability to lift heavy weights and to feel comfortable and confident in the weight room. 
After a week or two off from barbell deadlifting (damn you snow), I got back to it today.  I made an attempt at a new PR of 210 and failed but was happy.  Of course, I would have loved to have pulled 210 pounds.  I just didn't have 210 today.
The good news and the positive...I got to 205 pretty easily and did 3 reps.  Why did 205, 200, 195, 190 etc feel easy?  I credit deadlifting with KBs.  I haven't been using weight as heavy as my barbell deadlifts.  They are still heavy...up to 175 pounds...but they are different and more difficult.  I was very happy despite not hitting the PR.  It is all a matter of how you view the situation and it was all good. 
After foam rolling and warm up, my complete work out consisted of a rotation of
KB Swings
Straight leg sit ups and
Ab roll outs.
235 pound glute bridges followed by KB squats for 3 sets. 
I finished with double KB swings and Turkish Get Ups.
My intention had been to practice my assisted chin ups.  I bought a one inch band and half inch band to work it at the Y.  I've been doing chin ups on Saturday and they are progressing.  I am getting better.  Chin ups are one of those exercises I never thought I would be able to do.  Now, one a positive note, I believe I will get there.  I believe that someday, sooner rather than later, I will do one without those bands. 
Using two similar bands at Iron Body Studios (See the photos below), I was able to do 3 sets of 3, 3, 2. 
I know my pictures are terrible.  The plan is to get better at photography but I just don't have the equipment or space to take great pics.  Still I want to share.  Here are the bands so you get the idea.

Throughout my work out I carried those bands around in this little bag which I am assuming looked ridiculous. 
With great anticipation and a little bit of anxiety, I head over to the area where I intended to set up the bands.  Two guys are using it.  No problem.  I can walk around the track for awhile.  They finish...I head to get the stools so that I can reach the bar and the bands.  Note...I am pretty short.  The stools are being used.  At this point, although disappointed, I decided today is not the day to try chin ups at the Y.  There is always Wednesday.
Why are you better after 50?
Note..."We Are Better fter 50" is available from

Friday, February 13, 2015

Just Because

You know a heart can be broken, but it keeps right on beating just the same”

That it does. Inner Strength, dignity, perseverance, patience, wisdom become your best friends and you draw a little bit from each bucket every single day.


I haven't done a links I love for doesn't mean that I haven't been loving some links.  Here are a few I would like to share...

Exercise and Movement

I love these articles.  They all discuss carries.  Carries are important in an exercise routine.  I have incorporated a different carry into my daily exercise program and into my off days.

Strong Woman/Supporting Woman/Building Confidence

Revis just because

Working out at Work - Day 2


So, did bringing kettlebells to work this week work?  I think it did.  It got me out of my seat if only for a brief period of time.  My swinging attire yesterday looked like this...


I did three rounds of one handed swings 5, 6, 7, and 10.  Just like yesterday.

What are hand to hand swings and one handed swings you ask...Today I will show a demo of Hand to Hand demo by Artemis at Iron Body Studios

Let me leave you with the words of Artemis..."Why I Choose Strength."

 "I choose strength because not only does having the patience to train your body to be strong and skilled with iron build character, but also, strength builds confidence and independence.  There is something incredibly empowering about being strong and it helps you to realize that anything is possible."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sitting at work too much? What to do...

Although I exercise regularly and enjoy being active, my job is a sedentary one.  I sit in front of a computer for a good portion of the day.  Tuesday through Friday.

I have tried several strategies to fight sit in one place syndrome.  Previously, I constructed a stand up desk using boxes and cardboard.  Problem was...while I liked standing, I also wanted to sit sometimes but taking a computer on and off a box back onto a desk became a pain in the ass.  That simple.  Occasionally when the back feels tight I will set up the boxes and stand for awhile but it is not a regular practice.  I still think it should be. 

Another strategy I employ is running up and down the stairs several times a day.  I never take the stairs to the second floor unless I am carrying something awkward or big or heavy.

So today, I decided to bring in my 25 pound kettlebell to work and give it a swing. 

I did a set of 4 hand to hand swings in the privacy of my office...I did 10, 12, 14 and 20 hand to hand swings four times.  I did a rest period of 10 seconds after 10, 15 seconds after 12, 20 seconds after 14 and 30 seconds after 20.  I only did it once today but that may increase. 

Did I change...hell no.  I wore my skirt and my leggings but I did take off my boots.  Check it out...

What do you do to fight a sedentary work day?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


We have all been dealing with a little bit of snow here in the Northeast.  To help you understand just how much a little bit is...this is the view from my front window.

Snow aside, My glass is raised to new beginnings.  (Yes I love toasts but that is another story.)  I am almost officially training for the StrongFirst Certification.  Injuries seem under control.  I have been training with Artemis at Iron Body Studies in her Women's Strength Training class.  She is a great coach and a great inspiration. 

I've enrolled in her Certification Program beginning in April.  What ever happens, happens.  I will give my best effort both mentally and physically and enjoy the process and at the end of the long three day week-end, I will be joyful about what I have accomplished.

It was with sadness that I stopped going to MBSC.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 AM for the past 5-6 years that is where you could find me.  

Swinging kettles, agility drills, benching, bear crawls, Turkish Get Ups, battle ropes and assisted chin ups were all new to my exercise repertoire.  Since I've left what do I miss the most?  

I could push and pull 400 pounds. I felt strong.  It is a great strength and cardio work out.  If you know me, you know that there is a possibility of one turning up at my house.

But...I needed a change.  I needed to be working on a new goal.  I've found the goal and a new place to train.

In addition to training at IRON BODY STUDIOS, I am creating my own programs and training at the Y.  The Torigian Y added new equipment and increased space. 

I set goals and accomplished two out of three.  The bench press is slightly behind.  My deadlift PR is 205.  My glute bridge PR is 265.  My bench PR is 95 but because of injury continuing to bench has been derailed. 

I feel very good about my new fitness can be 57 and get stronger.  You can begin the process of becoming a fitness professional. 

Monday, February 9, 2015


I love small businesses.  I love local businesses.  I love businesses that are selling a product while at the same time trying to be socially responsible. 

Today I want to share a few of my favorite things.  Some are new and some have been part of my life for awhile.


Someone I know had LOVE in their mother's handwriting tattooed on their arm.  I loved it.  It is just such a heartfelt reminder.  Problem for me was that I was not getting a tattoo ever, for any reason.

Fast forward to January...I wanted to get my sister some extra special for her 50th birthday, in December.  In true Pendexter fashion, I did not start thinking about it until January 2015.

I just happened to find Brittney Leigh Jewelry on facebook.  Her specialty is taking handwritten words and creating beautiful pieces of jewelry.  Perfect!!!! 

I had Brittney create a lasting memory for me and my sister.  

From this....

She created this...

And it was perfect.

From her website:
Brittany Leigh Jewelry is about celebrating LOVE. Through personalized, handmade pieces, Brittany creates an emotional connection between jewelry and wearer. The people, moments, and places that make life most wonderful are the inspiration behind every design. Finely crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail, your customized Brittany Leigh Jewelry will reflect your favorite memories for many years to come.

Bombas - Bee Better

These socks rock.  They rock not just because they are comfortable and colorful.  (Check out the pictures.  Orange one is on my foot)  The socks and the company rocks because for every pair purchased, they donate a pair to a homeless shelter.  How great is that.  Right now the site says 278,978 socks have been donated.   

From their blog:  We've partnered with Hannah's Socks, a non-profit whose sole mission is to get socks to those in need. They have a goal to distribute 225,000 socks this year, and we're here to help.

Want to know why they chose the bee as their symbol.  Check out their site

Live Well 360 Core Gym Bag

I head out to the gym early in the morning.  I am usually out by 5:00 am.  I need to be organized.  I need a bag with compartments.  I need a bag that is sturdy and holds up well.  I need a bag with great straps.  The Live Well 360 Core Gym Bag is that bag.   I will never ever need another bag. 

My favorite story about this bag is that when I first bought it got caught on a metal piece in the locker at the Y.  I heard what sound like a tear.  I swore and looked at the bag.  Not a single tear or pull was seen.  The bag is a little expensive but the quality is top notch. 

They just showcased a TOTE bag and very, very soon I think they will be selling a back pack.  I will be in on the back pack.  A sturdy back pack with many compartments are what I need for a long hike. 

This is the story of their business:

You've heard the saying, 'Necessity is the mother of invention'? Well, it's true.
Along our road to health and fitness, one thing kept falling short-our fitness bag. And since we demand the best of ourselves, everyday-one more mile, one more rep-why would we expect anything less from our most important fitness partner?
So, we tried every fitness bag that we could get our hands on, determined to find one that delivered. But, nothing fit the bill. This one was too bulky, that one had no pockets, this one looked cheap, that one was too small...
Was it too much to ask that a fitness bag not fall apart, rip, or fray?
That it keep our clean clothes away from the soles of our dirty shoes?
That our jewelry or watch not be relegated to the abyss that is the bottom of the bag?
That we get more than two pockets for our phone/keys/wallet/jewelry?
We didn't think so. We needed a bag that could keep up with us. And since we couldn't find one, we made our own. A whole line, in fact.

Living Proof Gear

Simply, I love the messages and the quality of these shirts.

Walnut Street Café, Lynn, MA

Forget Dunkin Donuts.  Forget Starbucks.  What is better than a local coffee shop that has been in business for over 16 years where they always remember your order, know your name and front you some money when you left your wallet on the couch at home?  That is Walnut Street Café.

They have simple, good, inexpensive food items.  Looking for some music, poetry, a Pain Night, or comedy?  Want to have a beer or wine while enjoying the entertainment?  Walnut Street Café's got you covered.  Check it out if you are in the area.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I cannot believe how long it has been since I have written a post.  There are many thoughts and ideas rolling around in my head.  They have not made it to paper.  I have many excuses; none of them very good in my opinion.  So, stay tune for more postings.

To get started, I want to share some quotes that have moved and touched me lately.  I hope you find some inspiration...

In the weight room...

This quote represents a sentiment I wish I had learned a long time ago...

 An Ironman at 79 years old...she is a rock star

That would be tomorrow but Deadlift Day brings excitement.

I LOVE CALVIN AND HOBBES...there is always some wisdom in this simple cartoon.

And of course Winnie the Pooh.

Very clever...

Do you have a favorite?