Welcome to the Live, Move & Thrive
Perimenopausal Athletes.

I hope you enjoyed my master class, hosted by Element Sports Coaching's Tenille Hoogland. 

The video above shares tips on how to advocate for yourself. Below I relate these to the 5 action items or tenets I spoke to in the master class.

Sleep Soundly

Don’t you feel better when you have a good night’s sleep? In this phase of life sometimes our sleep might get interrupted by hot flashes, body aches, children, or other disruptions. Rest assured if you holistically get good sleep, somewhere between 7 to 9 hours where you wake up feeling refreshed, know that if 80% (4 of 5 nights) of the time you have given yourself the opportunity to perform at your best. 

How do you figure out how much sleep you need? Keep a journal. Go to bed when you feel sleepy and wake up without an alarm, ideally on nights where there are no interruptions to your sleep, and record the number of hours, how you feel, and if you need to make any adjustments to when you head to bed. Repeat this process a minimum of 5 times to try to find the number of hours representing your natural sleep cycle. 

Tips for Advocating for Yourself

Let your family know that sleep is important to you and your goal is to try to get more and better sleep. Outwardly and openly commit to your goal. Ask them to hold you accountable to your bedtime, to putting your phone away, and taking the necessary step to good sleep hygiene. Ask your family to respect quiet hours in your house (i.e., between 10:30 and 7:30am) so you can get that sleep your looking for. Who knows? Maybe you motivate those in your house to also improve their sleep hygiene and quality.

My recent changes

I bought a Hush weighted blanket and proper pillow (Use this link to get $35 off a blanket and/or pillow). My sleep scores on my Oūra ring and Coros watch have shown improved overall, REM, and deep sleep since this purcahse.

Fuel the Machine

Our brains and body run on food, like the gas in a car it is the fuel to power us through our days. We need a blend of the macro nutrients (carbohydrates, fats & proteins) our main sources of fuel and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals, think electrolytes, Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), & anti-oxidants) so we can break those macro nutrients down and use them in our various bodily functions, like muscle contraction, digestion, bone building. Eating a variety of real, nourishing food helps us through each phase of our menstrual cycle, which requires some minor variations in these macro and micro nutrient balances to perform at our best.

Tips for Advocating for Yourself

Talk to your family about your nutrition goals and ask if they have been craving any new meal ideas. That way you’ll have your family on board as you try different breakfast, lunches, dinners or snacks. I also recommend thinking about eating more than the conventional three meals a day. I’m a habitual snackers and I encourage you to be too. 

My recent changes

The Polar Joe Co has changed my post-workout recovery routine. They have coldbrew and matcha pro-tea blends with protein powder that's easy on the stomach. What a difference coming back the next day to my workout.

Mindset Matters

When you show up prepared with a positive mindset you can take on the world. We know that not everything will go to plan, life happens, but we can prepare our mindset so that when things go off course we have the tools and mental fortitude to tackle whatever life presents. Knowing what or who puts you into distress if the first step to fostering a better mindset. 

My recent changes

Setting boundaries with social media. It's easy to hop on and spend a few minutes here and there but it quickly adds up. I have to remind myself that social media is a highly filtered view of looking at the world. 

Tips for Advocating for Yourself

I recently heard about spending less time with people who no longer ‘fill you up.’ That’s not to say you abandon your good friends in their time of greatest need but the people who might be toxic in your life or people you might have a values-based conflict with. Remember to protect what’s important to you, to defend your values and stay true to your core. And while it’s hard, having honest but kind conversations with those whose path might be going in a different direction than you will either help you find closure or bring you back together. 

Get Moving

There is something powerful about those post-workout endorphins coursing through our bodies. From hard intervals to recovery days, or just consistently showing up, get moving every day for at least twenty minutes and ideally outdoors. Exercise in daylight has shown to improve mood because it helps you sleep better along with the fresh air nature effects on your brain and your body. You’re already the athlete, so you’ve probably got this mastered. 

Tips for Advocating for Yourself

If you’re about to embark on a new athletic adventure you may need to communicate those around you and most importantly, why this next adventure is important to you. See if your partner or your family want to participate in your training.

My recent changes

After spending a winter falling further in love with nordic skiing (back-country classic and skate) I wondered how to preserve those nature connections. Walking. I have taken up walking & hiking as part of my training regiment.

Note: This is not a tip for advocating for yourself but one to take care of yourself. Please don’t compare yourself to the professional athletes and how they train. Remember, it is their job to workout where the rest of us need to balance in life. The best lesson I’ve learned as an older athlete is that less is often more. I walk with my dog more. I don’t worry about missing a run or workout every now and then. I listen to my body and make sure I do what works for me.

Tips for Advocating for Yourself
Foster Connection

Find your people, love them hard. Coming through the end of the pandemic I think we all have learned how important it is to connect with those we love and those who share a passion for the same things in life. Maybe it’s a religious group, an arts club, or a supper club - finding meaning with others, and as athletes we appreciate the satisfaction of working hard. Having a group to sweat with and smile makes us #StrongerTogether. 

Decide what is a priority in your life and who you want to spend time with. If working out with a specific group who inspires you is important that let your family know. It might be in conflict with something else but perhaps there is a way to find a compromise that works for everyone. Remember it’s not always you that has to compromise either.

My recent changes

I making sure I train and do workouts with people who are important to me. And I'm thinking either this spring or summer it might be time for some intramural ultimate frisbee again; I see you JAM Sports!

Thank You

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Share with me what your changes you're making in your life and how you continue to advocate for yourself. Or if you have any follow up questions, ask them below.

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