aging · birthday · blog · fitness

Sam has 60 in her sights!

Hey, Western University (where I taught for 24 years before coming to U of Guelph) just asked me for a legacy gift. They did remember to call me “Professor.” I do feel old though after that email. Legacy, huh?

I’m coming up on my 58th birthday this summer, moving from my mid to late fifties.

I’ll have to be careful I don’t jump the gun too soon. Each year I start thinking about the age I’ll be soon and think about what it will feel like to be that age. The difficulty with thinking yourself at an age before you get there is that sometimes you might get to your birthday and then add a year. Yes, I did that. It took awhile before I did the math and realized I was over counting.

It’s not just reminders like the legacy gift email. I’m also thinking about my age because we’re coming up on the blog’s 10th anniversary this fall. Wow.

Tracy and I started the blog on the countdown to our 50th birthday. Remember our “fittest by fifty” challenge? But since a decade has gone by that means we’ve got 60 in our sights.

People can get weird about 60. I remember visiting a friend of my mother’s who, when the subject of her age came up, said you know the decade you’re in (my fifties) and you know the decade your mother is in (her seventies) I’m in the one in the middle but I never say its name. What’s so bad about the sixties, I wondered. I guess I’m still wondering.

Sixty doesn’t particularly scare me. I think it helps that I have lots of older friends and colleagues in their sixties, leading lives that excite and inspire. I’ve always liked older people.

I’m spending the weekend in Montreal as I’m writing this, here to visit family but also to see Sally Haslanger give a series of lectures

I mention that because Sally is in her sixties making that decade look pretty good. She’s here giving a series of lectures based on her new book about understanding social change in complex systems. I loved the final lecture on hope. I think we’re all needing some hope right about now. There were excellent commentaries too. I was there for the commentaries by Jonathan Ichikawa (University of British Columbia) and Chike Jeffers (Dalhousie University), both excellent.

There are lots of remarkable women in philosophy, far too many to list, many of them over 60.

I’m not planning on retiring for awhile yet although as Dean I’ve been noticing the wide range of ages that people choose to stop work. I’ve just expressed my willingness to stand for a second term as Dean and undergo the review, and potential reappointment, process. After that, whatever the outcome, I’ve got some leave coming to me and then I’ll likely return to teaching for a few years in Philosophy.

I’ve always thought that rather than retire immediately I’d love to swap to half time for a few years first. Teach in the fall term, winter somewhere warm sounds like the dream to me.

Our April 2018 book launch for Fit at Midlife: A Feminist Fitness Journey
Mothers and daughters!
— with Kathleen Brennan and Tracy Isaacs in London, Ontario.

I joke with Tracy that we have excellent role models in aging with our mothers. We look just a little bit like them. See above.

I think the other reason I’m looking forward to my sixties is that I’ll have my knees in working order then. I realized the other day that I’ll soon be eligible to do some retirement age (if not actual retirement) activities with my mother!

I don’t think I’ll get her on a bike but with my knees fixed we could do some walking together.

There are bloggers here who have reached the 60 mark and they’re doing pretty well too. See Catherine‘s blog post about her recent birthday.

So far I’m not feeling the urge to think about 60+ as the last stage of life.

Who does? See Jane F on turning 60, for example. She calls life after 60, her final act.

“When I was about to turn 60, I realized that I was approaching my third act — my final act — and that it wasn’t a dress rehearsal. One of the things that I knew for sure is that I didn’t want to get to the end with a lot of regrets, so how I lived up until the end was what was going to determine whether or not I had regrets. And it also then dawned on me that in order to know where I was supposed to go, I had to know where I’d been,” she said.

I recently wrote a paper on women and aging, “To Grandmother’s House We Go”: On Women, Ethics, and Aging. It’s forthcoming in the Cambridge Handbook on the Ethics of Aging. I was struck by Carolyn Heilbrun’s conceptualization of the years after sixty as the last gift of time. Sixty seems a bit early for last gift talk.

The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty

To be clear, it’s not that I don’t take mortality seriously. I’ve taught a course on death. I’ve coedited a textbook on philosophy and death. It’s more that I’ve been thinking about it for years.

Philosophy and Death, edited by Samantha Brennan and Robert Stainton

I think life post retirement will feel more like a final act but I am very much not there yet. I find my work rewarding and exciting and important. It brings me happiness and keeps me engaged.

However, I am thinking about decade ending fitness goals. Fittest by fifty and still moving at sixty? I’m not sure. Will blog more about decade ending fitness goals later, I’m sure.

Are you a blog reader over 60? What’s ahead? What advice do you have to offer? What goals, if any, did you set for 60? (Also if you turned 60 during the pandemic, that’s enough. No goals needed.)

blog · fitness · ICYMI · top ten

Top ten posts in April 2022, #icymi

Cate is still menstruating

Marjorie had advice about keeping fit while recovering from hysterectomy

Sam tells the story of her sad knee saga

Nicole writes about things she doesn’t feel when doing yoga

Catherine reblogged an older piece about HIIT

Catherine also blogged about what to wear when turning 60

David, nobody cares writes Nicole

Sam is looking forward to a summer of micro-adventures

Guest blogger Michelle talks about compression leggings as an obstacle to exercise

Christine is the model of middle aged martial artist

Photo of a girl running down the road. Unsplash.
blog · fitness · top ten

Top Ten Posts in February 2022, #icymi

A white maxipad on a blue background with red beads as stylized drops of blood. Photo by Alexander Sergienko on Unsplash.

First, it’s Cate and menstruation in her 50s. Her post about it almost always makes the top 10 list. This month it’s the most read post.

Second, Sam asks if we should give up calling a certain winter sports hairstyle ‘slut strands’.

Third, Marjorie’s guest post on keeping fit while healing from hysterectomy.

Fourth, Dear Fieldpoppy answers, As a good feminist, what do I do with my body shame?

Fifth, Tracy reminds us that it’s Not too late to start Yoga with Adriene’s January MOVE practice #YWA

Abstract multicoloured swirls of red and teal. Photo from Unsplash.

Sixth, is Elan’s interview Inclusion on Bodybuilding and Gym Culture.

Seventh, Sam’s older post Crotch shots, upskirts, sports reporting, and the objectification of female athletes’ bodies.

Eighth, is Diane on children’s participation in high performance sports.

Ninth, it’s Martha’s post Recognizing diversity in body shapes and parts.

Tenth, Cate is counting.

Red heart on book page. Image by
Andrej Mitin, from Scopio.

Happy Valentines from the FIFI Blog Team!

LOVE in translucent red block letters. Photo from Unsplash.

It’s Valentine’s Day and I asked the Fit is a Feminist bloggers for gifts and good wishes for the blog community.

Here’s what they have to say:


Today, I give you a heart full of gold stars to celebrate your efforts to take good care of yourselves – whatever that means for you.

And I also give you the internal and external space you need to find/create some ease in your lives.

a small painting of a heart filled with gold stars. The heart is outlined in black, the background of the painting is dark pink with gold dots and the edges are trimmed in gold.
Image description: a small painting of a heart filled with gold stars. The heart is outlined in black, the background of the painting is dark pink with gold dots and the edges are trimmed in gold.


I give you free running shoes from me for hearts day! 🥰 See What if Exercise Were Free?


Honestly if I could I would give you all time in a tent in the rainforest. This has been a week that is from a whole other dimension in time and space 😉

No description available.
Cate in Costa Rica


On Valentine’s Day, write a love letter to yourself. What do you appreciate about yourself. Where will you cut yourself some slack? What makes you feel alive, whether movement or stimulation to your senses? How do you take care of yourself when you are alone, just you?

If you don’t know, because you don’t give yourself the permission to explore on your own, give yourself the gift of this type of exploration.


Happy Valentines! If I could you all a gift it would be some time to spend on yourselves- whether that means moving, reading, resting, sleeping… just an additional free hour in the day that’s magically untouchable by work, chores or other demands and commitments and therefore must be spent on doing something nice for oneself and one’s body.


If I could, I would give you a day to do something that gives you joy. Chocolate cake? A run? Knitting with a cat on your lap? All good! Since I’m not a huge fan of the day, I would also wish that it doesn’t look too much different from every other day of the year. I would give the gift of finding a bit of joy in every day, and celebrating it.


Happy Valentines Day blog community! Today I give you the gift of movement with two videos, one a dance party and one yoga for self love. Enjoy!

blog · blogging · fitness · ICYMI

Top Ten Posts of December 2021, #ICYMI


1. Cate wants to know why she’s still menstruating at 53.5 and whether that’s a good thing.

2. I love it when one of our most read posts of the month is by a guest blogger. This month it’s a new voice here at Fit is a Feminist Issue, Julie on curling.

3. Another very seasonal guest post from a few years ago, it’s Carly’s thoughts on new year’s resolutions from a cheerful chubster.

4. Cate offers advice in her dear field poppy advice column. I think we’re all hoping there’s more of these yet to come.

5. Nicole offers advice too, to teens and others.

6. Marjorie’s guest post on keeping fit while healing from a hysterectomy

7. When plans change and your usual coping strategies fail, Sam’s musings on covid, stress, and falling into bed at 7 pm with a box of chocolates.

8. Diane’s post on balancing and juggling and making space.

9. Martha on taking time.

10. Elan on serving love and what that can look like when it comes to seasonal feasts.

blog · fitness · holiday fitness · holidays

We’re here, trying to offer words of quiet, calm encouragement in the midst of diet frenzy fitness culture

I keep getting notifications that our readership on the Facebook page and blog are up. “Your stats are booming!”

Ditto the membership in the feminist 221 workouts in 2021 group is up. It’s growing too.

We’re coming up to our busiest time of the year.

Why? You know why, right? It’s the holiday season and the count down to new year’s resolutions, mixed with stress about holiday overeating, and disrupted routines.

There’s also, for some of us, this year bonus anxiety about changes in body size and seeing family. It’s extra bonus pandemic anxiety, due to stress eating, and not seeing family in a very long time. The stakes seem higher some how.

November-January is always this weird mix of enthusiasm for fitness but lots of anxiety too around weight loss goals and holiday eating. What a minefield.

It’s also at this time of year when I am most appreciative of the blog providing an alternative voice in the midst of all this. Fitness can be fun and joyful, a way to get outside and connect with family and friends. We’re all about encouraging movement and activity as part of the good things in life, not as punishment and “earning” holiday treats.

This year I’ve been appreciating all the different voices contributing to creating the blog. I love Christine’s Making Space daily posts. I loved Tracy and Elan, in their different ways, talking about how to approach cooking, serving, and eating food in ways that bring joy and peace to our lives. This year I’m glad Martha reshared her December 1st message.

Welcome to all the new readers here and on the Facebook page and our Twitter and Instagram. We hope you stick around even after, or especially after, you discover we’re not about normative thinness and new year’s weight loss resolutions.

blog · fitness

Time flies and the blog grows


The message above is from Facebook memories. I remember how excited Tracy and I were when the blog hit 1000 followers. See You like us! Celebrating 1000 word press followers. We had originally meant the blog as a way of sharing our progress en route to “fittest by fifty” with family and friends. That challenge seems so long ago now!

But of course, it’s never that simple and we began to think, with our feminist philosopher hats firmly on, what does “fitness” even mean and why should feminists care about it? Lots of other people had thoughts too and we discovered an appetite for alternative, more inclusive conversations about the role of physical activity in our lives. Now we’re a big group, with lots of people in the blog community, and our conversations have expanded to include mental health and overall well-being, rather than just fitness more narrowly construed. We also have a lot more readers and followers across WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

So on the same day that the memory above was in my newsfeed, I also got the notification below–21,362 followers!

Welcome to all of our new followers–well, not CBD Product Reviews, pretty sure you’re not an actual person–and if you want to know more about the blog’s history we now have more than 9 years of past posts to scroll through. Enjoy!

blog · fitness · ICYMI

Top Ten Posts, November 2021, #ICYMI

The first five most read posts this month ask (and maybe even answer) some questions.

A question mark. Photo by Emily Morter, Unsplash.

Cate wants to know why she’s still menstruating at 53.5 and whether that’s a good thing.

Sam wants to know where the images are of larger, muscular, athletic women’s bodies.

Guest blogger Nicole asks why wear the same dress for 100 days?

Susan wonders, is it a heart attack or is it perimenopause?

Catherine wonders what to tell snarky critics of e-bikes. Reader: She has some great suggestions.

Our sixth most read post is an older guest post from Marjorie on working out while healing from a hysterotomy.

Be a Fitness Muppet! is our seventh most read post.

Miss Piggy doing karate!

Diane’s “donating her vagina to science” post is our 8th most read post.

Ninth is Mina’s Self-Discipline As Ease and a Path to Joy.

And Looking for a Good Beginner’s Race on Zwift? Sam has some suggestions. That’s our 10th most read post.

blog · blogging · fitness · top ten

Top Ten Posts, September 2021, #ICYMI

The two most read posts in September are all about menopause.

Alexis’ review of the Menopause Manifesto was our most read post of the month.

And second was Cate’s chestnut about still menstruating in her 50s.

Third was Cate’s post/rant about media coverage of a doctor claiming that we all need to fit into the same jeans we wore when we were 21, or risk death by diabetes. Bah!

Fourth was another oldie, loved by search engines everywhere on crotch shots and the objectification of women athletes.

Fifth was Alexis’ review of What Fresh Hell is This?.

Sixth was Tracy’s 57th birthday post, reflections on her birthday, what it all means, especially during the pandemic.

Yellow and white floral cake. Happy Birthday! Photo by  Erin Schmerr  on  Scopio

Seventh was A Milestone & Kind Strangers (Guest Post) by Joy.

Grayscale photo of bicycle on grass field. Photo by  yagnik vasani  on  Scopio

Eighth, Catherine wrote about the 10 percent happier app a few months ago.

Ninth, this month Catherine blogged about new research on metabolism.

And our tenth post read was Cate’s story of softening her completist personality while bike riding in Bulgaria.

blog · blogging · fitness

Happy 5000th post!

I like celebrating milestones–the blog’s birthday, the number of followers on WordPress, for example.

But today we’re celebrating a new milestone. It occurred on the weekend with Diane’s post about being back in the pool. That was our 5000th blog post.

It feels like a significant number. We’ve been here awhile and we’re trucking along. Go Team Fit Feminist!

The number 5000 on a stick, amid green plants. Photo by Marcel Eberle on Unsplash.