What Makes Us Thrive: More Life Lessons from Lois


Rest Daily
Bone Broth
Counting Steps
Centering Before Waking

We all have visions of our future selves. Will we be strong enough to enjoy life as we grow older? Will we have the energy and the vitality to continue our hobbies or start new ones? Will we be able to travel and spend time with our family?

I recently had the fortune to spend time with my 89 year young client, Lois, and
her natural vibrancy and enthusiasm for life continues to intrigue and enlighten me. Once again, I realized how we can all benefit from the lessons Lois has to offer! Though humble and unaware of the positive energy her life-affirming habits exude, she agreed to share a few more tips with me (and I was able to uncover a few more by just spending time with her…)

1. Rest Daily

“At this point, I don’t have a choice” said Lois. “If I only understood the benefits of slowing down once or twice a day. I usually watch the 5 o-clock news and take a short nap before dinner. This resets me, so I can be present and fully enjoy my dinner.” Whether eating alone or with family, Lois believes in truly enjoying meal times. “It’s one of the simplest pleasures we are offered.”

2. Bone Broth

“I make my own bone broth every other week” she explained. “I’ve been doing this for years. I add vegetables or spinach and sometimes I make chicken soup.”
The benefits of bone broth has been covered in the news recently, including: stimulation of Collagen, stronger bones, better digestion, and more youthful hair, nails and skin.

3. Counting Steps

The other day while I was training Lois, she had left her glasses upstairs and as she left to get them, I said “be careful on those steps.”
To my surprise, she took a step and began to count each steps! “Wow!” I said to myself, what a great way to be present and not risk tripping. She counted them on her way up then again on her way down. It was almost like she was singing a mindful mantra.

4. Centering Before Getting Out of Bed

When I asked Lois how she feels when she wakes up, she said “a little achy” (that’s to be expected when your age gets up in numbers). She used to just get up and start moving, but “that didn’t feel right” she said. Now, she stays in bed for a few minutes to become mindful of the new day and to stretch and rotate her ankles and wrists. Then she feels centered and gets out of bed with better awareness and ease.

5. Community/Family

When Lois’s husband passed away recently, she was concerned things might change. But having built her own community over the years by getting involved in what interests her, like the gardening club and having close family nearby, has helped her feel connected and gives her the energy to enjoy ,hobbies, family, and other life blessings. “I’ve always had outside interests” explained Lois, “they balanced my family and home life.” She continues to connect with her friends, hobby groups and family. Even though the void of losing her husband is there, she still enjoys her days and is living a fulfilled life.
Yet more evidence that having a balance of interests and surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones helps us feel connected and more alive.

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Roald Dahl

Get on the Dance Floor!

Tracey Broken Leg

This past weekend I was at a family wedding and had the great good fortune to meet an exceptional women who happened to be in a wheel chair due to a permanent condition.

As I watched her wheel out onto the dance floor and let loose, dancing exuberantly in the wheel chair, I couldn’t help but sense the incredible positive energy she felt about being alive. In the here and now. No holding back, and no excuses.

Naturally, that inspiration got me out on the dance floor on my crutches, which was tricky, given all the moving feet flying around me, but exhilarating nevertheless! I thanked her for being such a wonderful inspiration, both in the moment and how the impression stayed with me.

My recent experiences with all the challenges that a busted ankle entail have shown me the true value of adversity, not that my circumstances have been all that bad in the grand scheme of things. But life-events that leave us in a diminished state, temporary or not, can serve as wakeup calls; stark reminders of how all the other wonderful, trying, challenging, uplifting, and sometimes exasperating or depressing facets of our lives are still there. Still there for the taking, and still there for the experiencing.

It was a perfect wakeup call for me. A recent visit to my orthopedic surgeon so that I could finally get the cast removed had frankly left me a little frustrated. When I looked at the x-ray, I noticed two bars across the front of my ankle that looked like nails. How could he not have mentioned that “hardware” in addition to all the screws? Or did I just blank it out? Either way, it was distressing, to say the least.

And then I learned that I will need to have them removed — separate and apart from removing the screws — if I’m going to get back the full range of motion in my ankle.

Oh, poor me!

Watching my new friend at the wedding completely put me straight. Like a perfectly timed slap in the face.

We all have obstacles, some more lasting than others, and some that are truly debilitating in a way that cancels out certain options in life. But for most of us, the great majority of barriers that pop up never rise to the level of representing excuses to avoid embracing life. I may need my crutches right now, but that doesn’t give me an excuse to stay off the dance floor.

I realize that the more I objectively focus on the facts, as opposed to subjectively focusing on the things my emotional self wants to highlight, the more I am able to ‘be present’ to my life. And enjoy it! — despite all the mishaps, foibles, disruptions, surprises, detours, stumbles, errors, triumphs, breakthroughs, brick walls, aha! moments, oh no! moments, heartbreaks, oops moments, “wish I could take it back” moments, doubting moments, ‘wow I didn’t see that coming moments,’ and ‘gee, I have a barrier to deal with’ moments.

There is a way of looking at things that says, “fate hands us the lessons we need to learn at just the right moment we need to learn them.” Whether that’s true or not, I certainly feel like my new friend handed me a life-lesson that was right on the mark. Perfectly timed.

Our put a pebble in your shoe that was sent on Tuesday takes this thought to another level. I encourage you to read it — life hands us these opportunities all the time, and mostly we squander them. Time to not squander them!

Healthfully yours,


I Broke My Ankle!

248256da-ae20-40d5-b68a-c453f85886c7I am reminded of the old expression, Darkness is to a haphazardly placed skateboard as a sloping countertop is to a fresh egg. Okay, I just made that up. But after spending three days in the hospital and undergoing an operation that involved a metal plate, screws, and some wires, not to mention dining on yummy hospital food, a sense of humor seems in order.

And, in fact, there actually were some humorous moments. Yes, I did indeed trip over an unseen skateboard in a dark garage at night while rushing to go pick up one of my kids. And, yes, I fell hard and did some serious damage to my ankle. But my 14 year-old son who rode with me in the ambulance immediately added levity by exuberantly posting the whole thing on Instagram. He was having a great time!

And when we arrived at the Emergency Room and witnessed all the real suffering, including severely injured people who had been in car accidents, stroke victims, and more, my son hit the nail on the head when he looked at me and said, “Mom, in the universe of things, this really isn’t that bad!”

I had to smile at that, in between winces. May we all have such a healthy perspective that whatever we’re going through, there are nearly always people who have it worse and we likely still have so much to be thankful for!

All of which isn’t to say that it was a pleasant experience — I’ve broken limbs before, and gave birth to three children, but it’s been a long time since I was reminded of what significant physical pain is like. If ever there were a pebble in my shoe to keep me in the ‘here and now,’ the experience of the past few days sure ranks up there!

And not just in terms of being aware of the throbbing of my ankle. The collateral events and feelings served as a stark reminder of the fragility of life, the advantages that most of us enjoy because we live in an advanced society with access to modern medicine, and ultimately of our practically unavoidable need to rely on others sometimes.

I was lucky enough to have my surgery performed by a very experienced ankle surgeon from Westchester Medical Group in Valhalla, which gave me confidence … which was offset by the very real fear that comes from imagination: what if it doesn’t go well, or I can’t be a fitness instructor anymore, or worse?!

Because I chose an epidural and light sedation for the actual procedure, rather than general anesthesia, after the operation when I was lying in the recovery room, I realized after several hours that I still had no feeling in my legs! Wow did my imagination go haywire with that! What if some nerve got cut and I’m going to be paralyzed from the waist down! Sounds crazy, but what a powerful example of how our imaginations influence our thoughts and moods!

The feeling in my legs, of course, came back just as the medical practitioners assured me it would.

My Ankle has been reset, I am icing and waiting for the swelling to go down so I can get a cast next week, and I am home pondering all the things I can’t do for my family, my business, my household … and all the wonderful things my family and friends are doing for me!

At moments when my children are waiting on me, I feel emotionally vulnerable and filled with love and gratitude. And, of course, when they are wrestling each other and fighting over my crutches and the dog jumps on the bed, I feel a physical vulnerability like I never have before.

As many times as I’ve jumped on benches, leapt over puddles, skated on ice, it’s no fun confronting the fact that I’m not indestructible. I know this experience is a new test of strength and endurance. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and so this shall.

Here’s a (real) quote that I like:

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.

And so I shall.

I’ll keep you posted on my recovery, and share whatever interesting stories just happen to, well, happen along the way.

We still have classes running, so I hope you can get out and keep training — not just for your outer conditioning, but for your internal strength as well!

Lastly, a big “thank you” to Jeannine and Terri who immediately took on some of my classes so we can keep offering a good range of class times!

Healthfully yours,


89 Years Young


This past year I have had the opportunity to train and befriend the mother of a dear friend of mine.

Lois, is a thriving 89 year young woman. After the recent loss of her husband, the sadness opened her up, and gave her the courage to speak candidly about what matters most in her life. While she is finding her new normal, she is aware that it is her family and close friends that she depends on to keep her happy and moving forward.

The list below is a compilation of life’s important lessons that have helped her live and continually enjoy life, each and every day.

  1. Wake up and thank your body good morning!
  2. Schedule your day with things you like to do.
  3. Learn new things – often.
  4. Spend time with the people you love daily.
  5. Learn to cook for yourself and always eat real quality food.
  6. Take deep breaths and time outs when you need to.
  7. Set an alarm for bedtime – sleep matters
  8. Do what you love to do – if not in your job, perhaps a hobby you are passionate about!

With Vigor and enthusiasm Lois is now planning the next phase of her life-

We can all be inspired by her zest and spark to live each and every moment to its fullest potential!

Healthfully yours,


We’re going back outside starting Wednesday!


We are excited to announce that because the weather is getting nice again — and in honor of Earth Day — FitWalk is officially going back outside starting this Wednesday, April 22.  All classes will be outdoors except the Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. classes. Those will remain inside until mid May.

So, starting Wednesday, we’ll meet for each class (other than those noted above) in Tuckahoe at the end of Lake Avenue near the Bronxville Duck Pond.

For those of you who have been FitWalk members for a while, you know the routine. For those of you who joined us after we moved inside for the Winter, here are a few things to expect and prepare for:

  • FitWalk‘s foundation is walking, interspersed with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which means that when we’re outdoors, we cover a nice distance along the path, get some strength training while moving, and stop at certain points to enhance our workout using benches, bridge railings, and the natural “tools” that are there to use.
  • We recommend using hand weights during all of the walking phases of the workout, which we make great use of along the way. Please bring a pair of 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-lb. hand weights to class with you (whatever you feel comfortable with). If you don’t own hand weights and can’t purchase them before your next class, don’t worry — we have some we can lend you until you have a chance.
  • Because you will have your hands occupied during the entire session, a “fanny pack” or suitable pockets for your keys and phone will be helpful.
  • The weather is warming up nicely, but if it’s a little chilly, an extra layer might be advisable. Keep in mind, though, that we workout hard, so you will generate a lot of internal heat — you’ll likely need less than you think.
  • Lots of people like to have water with them during workouts, but keep in mind that your hands will be occupied a lot. A belt water-holder might be a good option.
  • Regarding footwear, we recommend “whatever is comfortable for you” when it comes to distance walking — maybe sneakers, maybe jogging shoes, maybe cross trainers.  We’ll be on a mostly flat surface, so “hiking” treads are unnecessary.
  • There are no public restrooms in the Park. So plan to (ahem) “go” ahead.

We always stay together as a team, and no one EVER gets left behind. Even though our classes include members who may be at different fitness levels, that’s fine:  advanced students work harder, beginners progress according to what’s right for them. That’s how it should be, AND THAT’S HOW IT IS!  

We’re going outside! It’s about time! Goodbye Winter!

Let’s have fun, breathe the air, get some sunshine, and get fit!

Healthfully yours,

A Love Selfie

“To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die.  If you wait, you die now, if you love, you live now.”

Alan Cohen

Brene Brown, Author of The Gifts of Imperfection tells us one of our greatest fears, is to not have truly meaningful relationships.

In order to have truly significant relationships we need to begin with loving ourselves. All areas of our lives can improve from self-love.  Once we recognize this and give ourselves love, much of our lives will improve.

It’s okay to put yourself on the front line. Ask yourself “what can I do to show myself self-love right now”? Can you choose a healthy dinner to make, take a walk outdoors, meditate, sing, take a nap, call a friend?  Give yourself a “time-out”. Start to think about the things you can do that help YOU feel love for yourself.

Here are 3 ways to create a practice of self-love:

1.   Clarity:     Take a moment to sit quietly with yourself.  Place a hand over your heart and close your eyes.  (this will help secrete the hormone Oytocin, giving you a calm sense of well-being)   Focus on any area in your life that you are struggling with-imagine if the issue was no longer a problem and it was thriving.    How would you feel if it’s no longer a problem?    Allow yourself to feel that joy and completeness.

2. Compassion:    We all mess up, it’s human, we get angry or say or do something stupid and out of character.  Did you snap at a waiter?  Yell at at a loved one?   Cut yourself some slack.    We all do it.  Forgive yourself for messing up, you are still love worthy. Break the pattern.  It’s okay, you can still love yourself and move on.

3. Care:   We have to care for ourselves the same way we would for someone we love.    We wouldn’t put down  our child if they broke a glass or did a sloppy job on a project.    No, instead, we’d tell them it’s okay honey, you’ll improve or do better next time.    It’s not the end of the world.    To be able to care for ourselves, to step away and see ourselves from the outside and then be loving with who we are. 

You yourself are deserving of the same love and affection you give,  give yourself some love and see if that love will sprinkle in all the other areas of your life.

The 13 Days of “Healthierness”

Hope you’ve been having a truly wonderful holiday season! With all the feasting and good cheer- I have a little present to help bring you into the NEW YEAR!

The 13 Days of “Healthierness”TM

Sung to the tune of “The 12 Days of [Whatever Holiday You Celebrate]”

On the first day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Do some pushups every single day

Pushups are the single most comprehensive exercise that you can do because they affect just about every major muscle group. Approach it at your own level! If that means starting with your knees on the floor, so be it-you’ll feel totally empowered when you work up to raising your entire body weight. The value of this exercise is a solid “10”!

On the second day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Get two dumbbells so you can build lean muscle

Resistance training helps to maintain and combat the loss of muscle mass by increasing muscular strength. Lifting, curling and pulling and pressing weights will put lean muscles on your skeletal system. Plus, dumbbells work the glamour muscles when lifted to the front, back, or side, or straight up-start pumping!

On the third day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Three’s a crowd, and that can really help

It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to get all the exercise that’s good for you. Surrounding yourself with motivated people by attending fitness classes, or by inviting friends to do active things biking, hiking, or shooting hoops, are surefire ways to inspire yourself!

On the fourth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Eat four times a day for better health

The old idea of eating three meals a day was never based on any real scientific evidence, yet many people still stick with that routine. Four times a day is most likely healthier…about every three hours…and it’s probably best to eat “while the sun is shining.” (There is growing evidence that it’s healthier to eat only during daylight hours.)

On the fifth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Take five steps for every minute of sitting

A lot of us do a lot of sitting, whether it’s at a desk or behind a steering wheel…and that’s not healthy. Take as many breaks from the routine as you can, and make a point of walking during those times. If you sit for two hours, during your break try to take at least 600 steps before you sit down again. (If there isn’t enough time, try to make up for it later.)

On the sixth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Pick six times a day to work on your breathing

Deeper breathing that fills your abdomen first and then fills your chest is the way to go! Most people only take shallow breaths all day long that only use about a third of their lung capacity, don’t give their diaphragm any exercise, and miss out on a really easy way to add valuable oxygen to their blood cells. So slow it down and breathe deeply!

On the seventh day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Exercise on every day of the week

Our bodies need exercise to stay at peak health, and we evolved in a way that relies on getting that exercise every single day. That doesn’t mean that you have to take a class everyday (even though that would be great for you), just that some real physical exertion in an intentional way everyday — even for just 15 minutes — will do wonders for your health and longevity.

On the eighth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Eight glasses of water is just too much!

Staying hydrated is really important for health, but the common misconception that you need to drink eight glasses of water a day is not based on reliable scientific research. Not everyone is the same;most of us get a lot of water from the foods we eat; and, outside temperature and how much we sweat make a difference, too. The best rule of thumb is to “drink when you’re thirsty until you’re not thirsty.”

On the ninth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Say nine nice things to people you know

We sometimes take the people we’re closest to for granted. Showing appreciation for even small things can do a lot for another person’s mood, and can leave us with a feeling of connection and warmth for another person. “Thanks for making the coffee, it’s great” or “Great job getting ready for school so quickly,” go a long way.

On The tenth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Workout smarter not longer

Extensive research shows that just 10 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) can do wonders for your body and mind, and efficiently help you change your physical condition for the better. Done properly, HIIT can significantly increase aerobic and anaerobic fitness, decrease fasting insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce both subcutaneous fat (under the skin) and dangerous abdominal (“visceral”) fat that can build up around internal organs. So push “smarter!”

On the eleventh day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Connect with eleven friends

Reaching out to a friend or acquaintance with whom you haven’t spoken in awhile will bring both of you a sense of belonging. By building a community we feel more connected and life can become more fulfilling.

On the twelfth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Eat foods with 1/12 the ingredients as usual

We all know that eating “real” food is important to our health, and the more ingredients a particular food contains, the more likely a lot of those ingredients are artificial. Try to prepare all natural meals as often as possible — which means avoiding heavily processed “factory foods” — and aim for dishes with 5 or fewer ingredients.

On the thirteenth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Write down thirteen good experiences from the past year

For some people 13 is lucky…for everyone else, it’s easy to make it so! Think of 13 experiences you had over the past year that brought you good feelings or happy memories and write them down. The simple act of writing down these experiences on paper helps our memory as well as recreates those good moments…and can even ignite your dopamine receptors!

Let’s Shine


Vince Lombardi: It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.
Winston Churchill: Never, never, never, never give up.
Lee Iacocca: You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It’s called perseverance.
It’s a bright sunny day! When you shine on the inside everyone around you Feels it. This can be a practice…..

Here are 3 ways to Shine

  1. Thank someone for something. It can be for a small gesture or big. There are people around you always making you smile- seek out those moments.
  2. Do what makes you ” tick.” Maybe you enjoy coffee with a good friend, reading. gardening or taking a class. Know your joys, and take time for them.
  3. You know this ones coming. – Exercise! A good sweat. Moving our mind and connecting with our body can leave us fully invigorated for a long time. Make it a daily practice.

Whatever your challenge is. You can find peace in small everyday wonders.

How will you shine so others will benefit from your light?

To your fitness success,

Tracey Gerety

Enjoy The Process!


Everyday we are faced with choices and decisions.

When we finally make up our mind and are ready to change, then it’s important to enjoy the process.

Besides if it was very easy then you may not value it , and the healthy habit would never stick.  Loosing weight or getting Fit are great decisions, but you can’t get get descouraged if you make the decision and then after a week of eating healthy and working out nothing happens.   You will get there, it’s just 10 years of bad habits don’t go away in just one week, it’s a process.  When we plant vegetables in a garden, we water and soil and wait.  When the crop starts to appear we can’t abandon the process, we still need to attend to the crop.

The same goes for our goals,  we have to live in the present and enjoy the steps we take toward our goals.  Each Workout, every healthy food , is part of the process to enjoy. When our challenges align with our goals we are taking steps and making changes to get to the next level.   Keep your goals, focus on the changes, enjoy the process, you are living out your dreams……

Tracey G.



More classes, More times = A better you!

Mojo Mantra


This week I will be positive, productive and playful!

The Power of 3 P’s!  Did you know that our self-talk can really inspire us to live happily?   When we focus on the good things we have today, nothing will get in our way:-)

Anything we put in our mind can create a ripple effect in our lives.   So when you say I am sick, or I am tired, then you are giving yourself permission to feel BLAH.   However, when you say I AM healthy, I AM strong, I AM productive…..You are bringing all that goodness into your life.

So often when things don’t go our way, we let that affect our internal voice.  If we keep our internal voice healthy, our outer world will shine brighter and open up the doors of possibility.

When things are going well we feel lighter and hopeful.    A healthy mind compliments a healthy body.

Using MOTION to create positivity is a great tool to have in your tool box. MOTION can be moving from one room to another, or taking a walk, just get up and go.   Notice how movement can shift you back to your true self and lets your energy radiate to those around you.

To your success!

Tracey G.

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