Where’s my discount? Sam wonders why seniors get special treatment

I confess I was prepared for it, the dreaded seniors’ discount. But also, thrifty me says “yay,” seniors’ discount.

Years earlier, at the St. Mary’s quarry, my friend Rob had been given the seniors’ discount. We all laughed. We were shocked. But it turns out, it starts there at 50. Wow!

We were still thinking 50 was the new 40, not the new 65.

And then on sabbatical in New Zealand, a local cinema started the seniors’ discount at 50. I wouldn’t want to be the one making judgements about who to ask for that one.

So far though I’d been skating under the “potential senior” radar.

But this April that ended. I posted to Facebook, “Are you shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart today for any particular reason? OMG. Funniest way ever to ask if I qualify for the seniors discount. First time ever anywhere! Must be dean-ing!”

Turns out it’s 55. They were a few months early but not by much.

Lots of places, I’ve since found out, start the seniors’ discount at 55. See the Y ad below which turned up in my newsfeed after my birthday. It’s in London though, not Guelph. Guelph doesn’t appear to have a seniors rate at the Y.

I was just chatting with a friend about seniors’ discounts that start at 50 or 55. We both want the discount but hardly identify with “senior.” My son said the same is true with “youth” pricing. He doesn’t feel particularly youthful some days. I like his suggestion of “alternative adult” to cover both “seniors” and “youth.”

But why do we get a discount anyway? I’m not retired and I won’t be for some time. In fact, I’m earning more than I ever have. I plan to work for another ten years or so. For the case against see here.

“On average, citizens who earn the most money and have the most net wealth are 50 and over. So why is it this group that’s entitled to discounts at the movies, supermarkets, hotels, and nearly everywhere else you turn, while the young and poor pay full price?” From Why seniors don’t deserve a discount.

Whatever you think of them, here’s a relatively up-to-date guide to Seniors discunts in Canada.

What do you think of seniors’ discounts? Looking forward to getting them?


SOAP: Not just for bathtime!

by MarthaFitat55

Inspired by Catherine’s piece on creating a SOAP note for herself as a cyclist, I decided that almost six years after making a decision to train regularly and cultivate functional fitness as an ongoing goal, I too should write a SOAP note for myself.

First a quick recap. Catherine describes a SOAP note thusly:

“It’s a method that health care providers use to write notes on a patient’s medical record. SOAP stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan. Roughly it involves getting a description from the patient about their current condition, noting the results of observation, testing and physical examination of the patient, offering some suggestions about diagnosis and possible causes of current problem, and finally a plan for treatment. Sounds like a reasonable system to me.”

And it is. I found it an enlightening exercise and one I plan to share with my trainer as we look to the year ahead.


  • 58 year old female presents today for an evaluation of powerlifting practice
  • Reports she has been weight training for almost six years and would like to improve her overall flexibility now that core strength has improved significantly
  • Self-identified strengths include willingness to learn, general upper and lower body strength, overall comfort with cardio exercises, adaptability to home-based modifications,
  • Self-identified weaknesses include lack of comfort with complicated exercises, fear of reinjuring hypermobile hip joints, and concerns with impact on fitness level and consistency in practice due to gaps in training


  • Head – is capable of understanding complex directions when she practices patience and increases focus
  • Eyes – tends to carry out certain movements with eyes closed to minimize distractions and to avoid chalk dust; notes she recognizes that this can be a barrier re addressing safety concerns
  • Ears – listens to trainer, tries to block the sounds of others in the gym to increase focus
  • Lungs – has tendency to exercise-induced asthma when working out in cold weather (includes brisk walks in winter when going uphill)
  • Heart – in great shape for 58 but recognizes more cardio would be of benefit for overall heart-lung function
  • MSK (musculoskeletal) – can deadlift with ease 175lb (3X) (Personal Best 231 lbs) and can squat a weight between 175 and 200 lbs fairly confidently although fears of hip reinjury can interfere with progress; core strength has improved significantly based on progress with increasingly complex planks
  • Neuro – plans approach for lifts and squats, is able to self assess areas which need tweaking, has adopted techniques to address attention and focus
  • Psych – gets anxious about losing ground when off for recovery or when trying something totally new


  • Powerlifter: past beginner level and approaching intermediate skill level, more than ready to advance to greater skills and weights with commitment to a consistent routine
  • Human: knowledgeable of options available; needs to increase confidence by recognizing existing skills and strengths developed in the past six years


  • Continue to weight train
  • Identify new goals for the coming year
  • Establish routine for maintaining/ adding complementary activities such as swimming and walking to support cardio development and yoga to support flexibility
  • Implement safety check to reduce/eliminate fears about certain exercises
  • Remember to always stand up
  • Have fun

Have any of you readers decided to create a SOAP note? Let us know in the comments!


The stories our skin tells: Stretch marks, scars, and tattoos (reblog, #tbt)

Thinking again about wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, and ink.



As someone with tattoos, scars, and stretch marks I’m fascinated with the phenomenology of bodily changes, of what we accept, what becomes part of us, and why. (There are also changes that are temporary and they’re interesting too. I’ve written about bruises, for example, in an earlier post and you can read that here.)

For the non philosophers reading the blog, and that would be most of you, phenomenology is about the way things from feel from the inside. The usual dictionary defines it as the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience. The Stanford Encyclopedia defines the term this way, “Phenomenology is the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view. The central structure of an experience is its intentionality, its being directed toward something, as it is an experience of or about some object.”

I decided to get my first tattoo…

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fitness · Guest Post

Don’t take my vibe for granted (Guest post)

by Nicole Plotkin

It is not easy to be grateful all the time.  Even with the best intentions. For all the things you may love about someone or something, it is human nature to become complacent now and then.  I think it’s worth recognizing opportunities for gratitude.   

For the past 2 and a half years, I’ve been going to a small women’s strength and conditioning studio (Move Fitness Club).  I have always been attracted to smaller, “boutique”-style workout studios. I like the community feel and the inclusive nature I have experienced in these places.  I have tried over the years to take advantage of the lower corporate rate at the bigger gyms, trying to be fiscally responsible. But every time I tried this, whether as an alternative to spinning regularly at Quad East, or practicing yoga and kettlebell at Spirit Loft, my visit to the bigger gyms always resulted in me having a greater appreciation for the vibe at the smaller clubs. 

As with anything you love, when you do it regularly, you might find yourself taking it for granting every once in a while.  Yesterday, was one of those times. The awesome new place where I work, organized a group spin at the bigger gym nearby. First of all, I LOVE that the place I work organized this in the middle of the afternoon.  And I definitely got my butt kicked in the class. But the vibe the instructor was trying set, quickly made me appreciate the wonderful coaches at Move, former and current. 

I have experienced a wide range of spin instructors over the years.  There is a rare instructor who knows how to inspire you, without LECTURING. Without talking about how much weight they’ve lost over the years since they started spinning.  Without saying that what you are doing in spin class will let you eat whatever you want the rest of the day (terrible message!). Without reminding you, while you are spinning, how many calories are in a bag of chips (really, I had no idea!).  Without assuming that this is the one time you’ve moved your body this week and she is the only one who is going to set you straight. That if you are not working hard enough in this class, you are not setting yourself up for success the rest of the day.  This woman squeezed all the unhealthy messages that I try to stray away from in the short 45 minute class.  

Again, I sweated my butt off and I loved that this was an option in my regular workday.  I would take the opportunity again, should it arise. But I will also appreciate the vibe at Move with fresh eyes, or Torq or wherever else I go, where their fitness philosophy more properly aligns with my own.

I love that at Move, the coaches start off each workout asking how everyone feels.  They encourage us at each class to be as strong as we want to be that day, and that by doing so we are badass. There is no talk of weight, except for what’s loaded onto our barbells.  The only mention of food, is to make sure we re-fuel with something nourishing (with protein!), within 30 minutes of class. Their mission is to make us sweat, while listening to energizing beats (my classic rock heart wouldn’t mind a bit more of that now and then) and making each other smile as much as possible.  I am grateful to have this type of place in my life, and for the reminder(s), to appreciate it!

Image description: Black text on white, “Don’t kill my vibe.” Framed in gold.

Nicole Plotkin: law clerk, loves to exercise, eat good food, snuggle with her dogs, and her wonderful husband. 


How you find us, by search terms

Since the early days of the blog I’ve been amused by the search terms that have led people to the blog. See my post on naked feminist trampolining. Thanks to Google we get a report of what words people put into the search box that result in them clicking on a link to us.

Often they’re awful . See from the last 7 days: secret crouch pics, candid teen panty , hairy up skirt pictures, and so on.

Often they’re sad. See from the last 7 days: i hate my old menopausal body, calories burned goodlife newbody, will i ever get my pre baby body back.

But these days, more and more, our people are finding us!

Three of you found us by searching ” fit feminist fifty.” Yay! Welcome!

One of you found us searching, ” women aikido sexism.”

A bunch of you are still menstruating in your 50s and found us by searching those years and terms.

Two of you wanted to know if “christy brinkley has osteoporosis.”

I like also finding ” accepting mid 60’s body changes ” in the search terms. Hello!

Anyway, so nice that you’re all finding the blog. Welcome to everyone! Including the person who found us while searching for ” oppression vs privilege.” That’s a bit broad for us but I am sure we have things to say.

The Library of Congress
Disco star ride, Seaside Heights, New Jersey (LOC)

Margolies, John,, photographer.
Disco star ride, Seaside Heights, New Jersey
hiking · holidays · nature · traveling

Trekking in the Pyrenees, and not trekking in the Pyrenees

Last week I finally got my summer holiday. I really had to wait for it this year, but September did finally come! My partner and I went to northern Spain, where he’s from. We spent some days with family and friends, but we also spent three days hiking in the Pyrenees. In total, it was a five-day adventure because we needed to factor in two extra days to get there and back by public transport. As the owner of a hostel we stayed at put it, “people think there’s a motorway out here connecting everything, but that’s not quite the case”. I would say it’s definitely not the case. There’s one bus a day from the nearest larger city in each direction, if you’re lucky, and it meanders along curvy mountain roads, stopping at every village along the way. It was exactly what we wanted: to have some “us time”, just the two of us, in nature.

a horizontal white bar above a red one, painted on a tree.
GR11 signage: a horizontal white bar above a red one, painted on a tree.
a pole with arrow-shaped wooden signs pointing in different directions saying "GR11" and the names of different villages.
More GR 11 signage: a pole with arrow-shaped wooden signs pointing in different directions saying “GR11” and the names of different villages. There are three arrows, the middle one pointing towards the right and our destination on day one: Hiriberri.

For a bit of background, we decided to do a trek of three stages on the GR11 Transpyrenees trail. “GR” stands for Grande Randonée in French, or Gran Recorrido in Spanish (“long hike”), and is used to designate a network of long-distance hiking trails across Europe. The GR11, or “Transpirenáica“, runs from Cabo Higuer on the Basque coast all the way across to Catalunya and finishes at Cap de Creus. We chose three stages in Navarre (stages 5, 6, and 7), because the area is beautiful and was accessible by public transport from Bilbao (via Pamplona). The stages in this area are around 20 kilometres each and somewhat demanding mostly because there’s a lot of up and down, but no alpine mountaineering skills are needed.

Purple wild crocuses surrounding a silver thistle. This flower is a symbol of good fortune in the Basque region.
Pretty local flora: purple wild crocuses surrounding a larger yellow flower (a silver thistle, Wikipedia tells me). This flower is a symbol of good fortune in the Basque region.

The trail did not disappoint. On the first day, it rained in the morning, but cleared up by the afternoon. The next two days were beautiful weather: bright blue skies and sunshine! On day two, we had a lot of wind while hiking along an exposed ridge, but it was all safe and, have I mentioned, beautiful?

A wide path meandering along a soft slope, high mountains in the far distance.
A wide path meandering along a soft slope, high mountains in the far distance. The path wasn’t always this wide and flat though!

Also, cute villages! And nice country hostels and hotels!

a small hamlet nestled into a valley beneath a mountain
Cute village, exhibit (a): a small hamlet nestled into a valley beneath a mountain (that we hiked down and then back up on the other side!)

Unfortunately, we did what we usually do when we go on holiday and both got a cold. I don’t know how, but every time we’re on leave, at least one of us gets sick. I don’t know if it’s the germs on the plane, the change in weather, or the sudden lack of stress, or a combination of all three. This time, it hit my partner first, so by the time we were on the trail he was already recovering. But he kindly shared it with me, so on day three we actually had to call it quits. I was so congested I could hardly breathe, let alone hike 20 kilometres with a backpack.

I was so disappointed. But we did the sensible thing and took a taxi from the village we’d spent the night in to the next place, our final destination (Isaba). It was actually a fun taxi ride. The driver is also the local school bus driver and chauffeurs anyone who needs to go somewhere in the area, from school kids to drunk local youth during the village festival and hikers with head colds. We then spent the rest of the day wandering about and resting in the sun in Isaba, which also happened to be the nicest of the villages we stayed in. It’s surrounded by pine forests on steep slopes and consists of lovingly restored traditional houses. I would happily have spent another few days there.

A narrow cobbled street lined with traditional houses with wooden balconies on the left. A square stone church tower in the background and forest-lined mountains in the background.
Cute village, exhibit (b): Isaba. A narrow cobbled street lined with traditional houses with wooden balconies on the left. A square stone church tower in the background and forest-lined mountains in the background.

I’ll be honest, I’m still angry with that stupid cold that made us miss the last day of our trek. But what can you do? I suppose I should be happy I didn’t get really sick, so by the afternoon of that day I was well enough to take a short stroll around the area. But despite the dreaded lurgy throwing a spanner in the works of our trekking plans, it felt so good to be out there, largely on our own. In two days of hiking, we met exactly five people on the trail. It was a much needed respite from the current busyness of both our jobs and lives.

But still, I need to know: do any of you have any tips to avoid the dreaded holiday cold?


Yoga on my Mind

I’m a creative life coach so I spend a lot of time encouraging people to write and create on a regular basis so when they NEED to write or create, their skills are right there waiting for them.

And I spend a lot of time reminding people that they can ‘cross-pollinate’ – use skills from one area of their life to serve them in another. My most used example is about how learning Taekwondo made me a better writer.

Yet, somehow, it has escaped me until now that having a regular yoga practice would yoga more available to me when I needed it. And, it never occurred to me to bring my ‘keep up a writing habit’ approach over into exercise. 

I’m not referring to the fact that the more often I do yoga, the “better” I get.

A  slightly blurred image of a white woman with brown hair and a dog with light hair.  The woman is  in the upper right corner and her hair is mostly covering her face,  the dog is  in the lower centre, at the end of a green yoga mat.  There is a beige couch in the background.
Khalee is my constant support, weighing down the end of my mat so it doesn’t go flying off. 😉

I mean that the more often I do yoga, the more likely I am to be able to call on it when I need it. AND the more likely I am to *think* of doing it. 

Not just because it has become a habit, but because I have it in my mental toolkit. It now occurs to me to try yoga when I feel a certain way, and it occurs to me to pay more attention to how I am breathing. 

So, even after only 17 days, I feel especially good about where yoga has taken me. Not just because my body feels good but because my brain likes this practice.

A drawing of a red fluffy monster with a beak, wearing a sports jersey that says ‘Yoga 17’
Today’s celebratory monster. I can only assume that Yoga Team jerseys would have polka dots.

Even on my busiest day so far this month, the first time that I couldn’t fit yoga in the first little while after I woke up, my brain kept bumping it up to the top of my list.

And, I swear, this practice is helping my September slow down a bit. 

The regulars in my Facebook yoga group have been doing marvellously all throughout the month, and I am really happy with the habit I am building. 

How has your yoga been going?