Who wants a free audiobook? Tracy’s giveaway

Last week Sam gave away three copies of our new audiobook version of Fit at Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey. We love that there is an audio version of the book now. Our narrator, Adrienne Cornette, did a fantastic job reading it. And our agent, Lisa Adams, put in a lot of time reviewing the drafts and imposing her exacting standards to make sure it’s the best it can be.

Image description: audiobook cover with blurb at top that says “A gateway to radical body confidence, ” Louise Green author of Big Fit Girl. Then it says “Samantha Brennan & Tracy Isaacs” and then in large block letters “FIT AT MID-LIFE: A Feminist Fitness Journey.”

This week it’s my turn for a giveaway! I too have some codes. And I’m eager to share them. And you hardly have to do anything (but not nothing). We’d like a bit of help promoting the audiobook. There are two ways you can do that and be eligible for the audiobook contest:

  1. Share this post on Twitter and tag us @FitFeminists so we know you did.
  2. Share this post from our Facebook page (where it will appear today) and if you share it we’ll be able to see that you did as long as your settings on that share are public.

I’ll close the contest at noon Eastern Time (Daylight Savings!) on Sunday and announce the winners.

Thanks and good luck!

Image description: low angle shot of Tracy and Sam standing in the street in workout gear, Sam on her bike with one foot on the ground, both wearing sunglasses, smiling, a low industrial building and a stop sign in the background, overcast sky.

Win our book!

Greg at KineSophy interviewed us for his blog and he’s having a book giveaway.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Greg: You co-write a blog called “Fit Is a Feminist Issue.” What does feminism mean to you?

Sam: Feminism for me is a commitment to women’s equality with a focus on the values of inclusion and diversity. It’s also about paying attention to intersectional injustice. My feminism is trans-inclusive, body positive, anti-racist, and anti-ableist. That’s not to say I always get things right. I don’t. I make mistakes like everyone else. I try to listen and to apologize when I get things wrong.

Tracy: Like Sam, I think of feminism as a social movement for equality that cares about inclusion and diversity. Feminist analysis recognizes unjust structures of power and social arrangements that privilege some and disadvantage others in systemic ways on the basis of membership in social groups. It’s not just about gender. A true feminist approach has to recognize intersecting social locations such as race, disability, sexuality, economic status, class, and others that generate unique forms of and experiences of oppression.

Go read the rest here.


We’re also hosting a giveaway over at GoodReads. You can win Fit at Mid-Life by Samantha Brennan and Tracy Isaacs. Giveaway ends June 23, 2018. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
If you win, please leave us a review at GoodReads and at

A person with rolled up blue jeans and bare feet sitting on a stack of books, reading. The image is shot from the waist down. Photo from UnSplash, by Gaelle Marcel.



Fit after Forty: Update on the Book and Request to Readers for Help with the Subtitle

Lately, we’ve mentioned from time to time that we’re working away on the book. It’s true. Sam and I get together at least four afternoons a week for two hours so we can work on the book in the same room. We are in the intensive writing phase, so what that looks like is each of us sitting with her laptop, quietly typing away.

We use google drive, so we can work in real time on the same file at the same time. Sometimes we do that, sometimes we work on different chapters (each chapter has its own file).

The manuscript is due on July 31st. The launch is scheduled for spring 2016. The book will be available in print and as an ebook.

We heard from our editor, Nancy Flight, at Greystone Books today and they had their “concept meeting” about the book. Apparently it went really well. We’d originally proposed that the book be called:

Fittest by 50: Two fearless women swim, bike, run, lift, twist, bend, and headstand their way to the big 5-0 

It’s not going to be called that. We suggested at first because the idea is that the book documents our “fittest by 50 challenge” that gave birth to this blog and, along the way, introduces some of our feminist analysis of fitness, all with an eye to encouraging more women in mid-life and beyond (roughly from the 40s on) to get excited about physical activity. For some, it might be for the first time in their lives. For others it might be the little nudge that reconnects them after some years of hiatus.

The publisher, quite rightly we now think, thought that “Fittest by 50” might be a misleading title that would mistakenly suggest a rather narrower audience than we had in mind. Maybe only women approaching 50 would feel drawn to that book. So it’s not going to be called that. Instead, it looks like Fit After Forty is at the top of their list right now.

But then there is the matter of the subtitle.  We knew, when we first wrote that subtitle, that it was unwieldy, what with all the different things going on — swimming, biking running, lifting, twisting, bending, and standing on our heads.  Perhaps, our editor suggested, it may even be a bit intimidating. Surely you can get fit without doing all that?

They also think it would be better in the first person — “we” instead of “two women.” And can it have a feminist slant to it? We’d love that too.

So today is for brainstorming subtitles that will flow nicely on the other side of Fit after Forty. Something like: Fit after Forty: How we added feminist to fitness to hit our fitness peak (well) after forty, and you can too. Note that I said “something like.” Because that’s not quite right yet. It’s a bit long. And maybe it doesn’t need the “how” (because it’s not a how-to book).

So here’s where we ask for help, your help. Any and all suggestions for a subtitle are welcome and will be seriously considered. If we go with your suggestion, we will send you a free copy of the book when it’s published.


Two great books about male PhDs, fitness, and obsession

1. One of my very favourite memoirs is Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder by Samuel Fussell (yes, son of Paul Fussell). Published in 1992, it’s the story of an English PhD who turns to body building post degree, loves the life, quits (read the book to find out why) then writes a book about it.

At age 26, scrawny, Oxford-educated Samuel Fussell entered a YMCA gym in New York to escape the terrors of big city life.Four years and 80 lbs. of firm, bulging muscle later, he was competing for bodybuilding titles in the “Iron Mecca” of Southern California-so weak from intense training and starvation he could barely walk. MUSCLE is the harrowing, often hilarious chronicle of Fussell’s divine obsession, his search for identity in a bizarre, eccentric world of “health fascists,” “gym bunnies” and “muscleheads”-and his devout, single-minded acceptance of illness, pain, nausea, and steroid-induced rage in his quest for the holy grail of physical perfection.

2. I mentioned Muscle to one of the senior black belts at our Aikido club and he recommended Angry White Pyjamas. 

I can see why one book brought the other to mind. The two books have a lot in common. The genre is English-PhD-drops-everything-academic-gets physical-writes a memoir about his experiences.

Here’s the publisher’s description of Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons From The Tokyo Riot Police by Robert Twigger

Adrift in Tokyo, translating obscene rap lyrics for giggling Japanese high school girls, “thirtynothing” Robert Twigger comes to a revelation about himself: He has never been fit nor brave. Guided by his roommates, Fat Frank and Chris, he sets out to cleanse his body and mind. Not knowing his fist from his elbow, the author is drawn into the world of Japanese martial arts, joining the Tokyo Riot Police on their yearlong, brutally demanding course of “budo” training, where any ascetic motivation soon comes up against bloodstained “white pyjamas” and fractured collarbones. In “Angry White Pyjamas, ” Twigger blends, the ancient with the modern–the ultratraditionalism, ritual, and violence of the dojo (training academy) with the shopping malls, nightclubs, and scenes of everyday Tokyo life in the 1990s–to provide a brilliant, bizarre glimpse of life in contemporary Japan.

Can you think of any other books in this genre?

How about with a PhD in some other subject or are only English PhDs so inclined to take up sports and then write about it?

Or books by women who get obsessed in this way and then write about it?