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This list has given me the focus I need to accomplish the goals I had talked about but had no intention of ever really doing.
  • Mary Tufano

Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks

I’m turning 50 December of this year. The number hit me like a ton of bricks. FIVE-O! Holy sh*t! I don’t feel like 50. I don’t look like 50, and yet, here it is. Once reality set in, a period of reflection followed, and it dawned on me: I’ve never walked the Brooklyn bridge. I’ve never been to the ballet; and I’ve never, well, done a lot of things that I thought I would have by the time I turned 50. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fulfilled with the success I had in my career and with my family, but somehow this number reminded me that I have so much more to do. I still have so much left in me. So I decided to create a list of things I want to accomplish. Not a bucket list but rather, a journey of 50 things I want to do before I turn 50. Some big. Some small. But mostly do-able things.

Yes, “50”! If I keep saying 50 enough, it will sink in that it’s actually real. You see, it’s still very surreal for me, and I knew the only way to make it REAL was to start by saying YES to things I normally would not say yes to. “YES I want to sign up for the Fitness Incentive Eat Smart 30 day detox challenge! YES, I want to run a 10K in the middle of February! YES, I want to take a yoga and meditation class. Where once I might have said “no,” or “maybe,” now I emphatically say, “Yes!”

And So My Journey Begins…

Although I’m only a couple of months into the list, the results have been AMAZING! FUN! UNEXPECTED! Just like the movie ‘Yes Man‘ with Jim Carrey, wonderful things are happening. Take the Eat Smart 30-Day Detox Challenge. I not only lost weight but surprisingly, I lost a ton of inches. A total of 14.5 inches from head to toe. Do you know how many years I’ve been working on trying to accomplish that?! I no longer have bloating, or inflammation and my hormones are back in balance (what perimenopause?). The 30-day diet plan was easy to follow, very satisfying, and has now become my new way of eating. The plan also allowed me to identify certain food allergies that have resulted in years of skin and digestive issues, both of which have been resolved. As a bonus, I learned the dangers of cooking with copper and aluminum and storing food in plastic containers. I replaced my baking pans with stoneware, my copper pots with stainless steel and iron, and my plastics with glass containers, giving my kitchen a total makeover and my family a healthier way of living.  All of this simply because I’m turning 50 and decided to say yes to 30 days of detoxing! The timing of the plan couldn’t have worked out better as my body was now clean and functioning at an optimum level, just in time to run my first 10k.

Mary with Maria and Heidi at the Great South Bay Brewery Mardi Gras Run

Time to Get in the Race

I’ve been a runner for the past 20 years and never ran a race. But that was about to change, thanks to my good friend (and acupuncturist) Maria Hogan. She signed us up for the Great South Bay Brewery Mardi Gras 7.1 mile run before I could make an excuse not to do it. My husband jumped on board and ran the race with us.

Race day was a cold Sunday 26-degree morning. The kind of day you want to stay cuddled up in bed. But there we were with 1,300 people in attendance. I had my official race day t-shirt on along with my official bib, both of which put a smile on my face. I may have been cold, but I was very excited. There was no turning back now. The horn went off, and my adrenaline was pumping. The farthest I’d ever run was 6.5 miles in mid-summer. This was going to be a challenge. I mentally prepared by not putting too much pressure on myself. “Do what you can,” said my inner voice, and so I did. I cannot describe the incredible feeling I had when I crossed the finish line. What an unbelievable sense of accomplishment! I’m still on a runners’ high from the whole experience. I finished in one hour and 14 minutes – a 10.42-minute mile pace. Not bad for an almost 50-year-old running her first race! (I thought it would be worse.)

 Cross that one off the list!


My “50before50” journey is only at the beginning, but so far it’s been a great start! My list includes taking a cooking class, visiting a state I’ve never been to, reading a classic novel, feeding a homeless person, salsa lessons, eating at a Michelin 3-star restaurant, getting a new haircut and 40 more items to tackle. This list has given me the focus I need to accomplish the goals I had talked about but had no intention of ever really doing. I’m on a voyage of self-discovery and exploration, learning not only who I’ve become in the past 50 years, but what I’m made of. Wish me luck! I hope to see you on the Brooklyn Bridge!

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About the Author

Mary Tufano

Mary Tufano

Mary Tufano is a long-time member of Fitness Incentive and works at the reception desk in the Spa.

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