FOFs in the swim

I spent the weekend in St. Petersburg, FL, where my husband competed in the “Hurricane Man,” a 2.4 mile swim competition in the Gulf of Mexico. They really need to rename it “Hurricane Man and Woman.”

Myrna (left) and Sharon, swimming "sisters"

FOFs Sharon Steinmann and Myrna Haag, both from the St. Pete area, finished the race neck-and-neck in a spectacular 57 minutes. Debbie Kelsey, from Bethesda, MD, finished in one hour, 19 minutes.

Sharon will be 52 tomorrow and Myrna is 51. Sharon, a clothing designer who works with fabrics from Bali,  has been swimming since she was 9. She swam with the University of Florida Gators and this is the sixth time she’s competed in “Hurricane Man.” Her husband of four years, Kurt, told me: “You’d have to be under 30 to beat these girls.”

Myrna is a lifestyle fitness coach who has spent 21 years working with women in homeless shelters to get them in shape, emotionally and physically.  She also became a nationally ranked triathlete in her late forties. This was Myrna’s first “Hurricane Man” race. “Sharon talked me into it,” she said.

Myrna was so passionate to pass on the knowledge she’s gathered over decades about balanced eating, she has self-published a book call “Never Diet Again.” It is a fascinating examination of how carbs, proteins and fats interact with each other in our body. Once we understand the way it all works, we can choose the best combos of foods to eat.

“I see all this obesity and it makes me sad,” Myrna said. “You can’t rewire your brain until your body is on board.”

This was Debbie’s third “Hurricane Man” race.  She is 61 and teaches at a Montessori school.

These FOF women are inspirations.  David didn’t do so badly, either. He finished in one hour, 16 minutes. Not as good as the Myrna or Sharon, but he’s 65–and a man.

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0 Responses to “FOFs in the swim”

  1. Myrna Haag says:

    I have never wanted to see daylight between my thighs in a bathing suit. I treasure beefy thighs that can kick some serious butt! It makes me sad when I see women measure their beauty barometer based on the bathroom scale. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is strong inside and out. ….Ok ….it takes work….but you start out slow and steady….and then it starts to get better every year…..can you imagine getting better ever year after 40!

  2. Toby Wollin says:

    My practitioner told me in all seriousness that more women actually die from hip fractures than anything else – and that hip fractures are to be avoided at all costs since very few people ever gain the same mobility afterwards – they become even less mobile, become even weaker in the legs, become more fearful, and the cycle just keeps going down, down, down. There was a study done in Sweden where they tested everything – including braces and body armor. The only thing that prevented hip fractures or which helped afterwards was: resistance training in the legs, esp in building up the thighs. Women actually have an advantage over men in this area. Forget the “I want to see daylight between my thighs in a bathing suit”.

  3. Toby Wollin says:

    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Let’s look at the physiques of these three athletes – nothing extra around the mid-section, but good strong legs and arms, the engine that will carry you through with swimming. The legs will also help prevent hip fractures later, so folks, it’s time to fall in love with “thick thighs in 30 days” and it doesn’t matter how you get them – biking, swimming, resistance training. “Fall-related injuries are the leading cause of injury deaths and disabilities among older adults (i.e., persons aged >65 years). The most serious fall injury is hip fracture; one half of all older adults hospitalized for hip fracture never regain their former level of function. In 1996, a total of 340,000 hospitalizations for hip fracture occurred among persons aged >65 years, and 80% of these admissions occurred among women. From 1988 to 1996, hip fracture hospitalization rates for women aged >65 years increased 23%…In 1996, 80% of the admissions for hip fracture occurred among women ”

    • Geri says:

      Hi Toby,

      As always, love your post. You will be interested to know that FOF, along with The National Osteoporosis Foundation and The Cleveland Clinic, will soon be partnering for a Osteoporosis Challenge for FOF women.

      Stay tuned.



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