Random Thursday

denaliOkay, for those of you that really hate off-perfume-topic posts, let’s do a sample giveaway so it’s not a complete waste of time for you today.  Drop a comment and you’ll be in the drawing for a sample of the two Guerlains, the Robe thing and the Mitsouko flanker and also the two new Hermes scents, Pamplemousse Rose and Gentiane Blanche.  I’ll even give away two sets of all four.

Since we do delve off into the beauty realm from time to time, this will be tangentially related to beauty since we have to be pretty on the inside to be pretty on the outside.  But first, can we talk about American Idol and The Biggest Loser briefly?  So booting Allison off  last week just made the winner totally predictable.  Yes, Adam probably deserves to win it, but with the three they have left, there’s no other winner but him possible.  I’m bored, I’m turning it off for the season.  And Biggest Loser, I am so torched that Tara didn’t win.  I adored her spirit and drive and how she kicked those boys’ butts at most of the physical challenges.

And Real Housewives.  Kelly in RHof NY is — OMG, I throw things at the TV every time she’s on.  But Ny is over, and we are in NJ now.  How come I got addicted to this show now?  I avoided it for years, but Atlanta sucked me in, and NY completely unhinged my vow to never watch it. It’s like crack, and my brain feels like it’s been watching crack.

That leads me into my new fitness obsession.  I’m not sure where it came from.  Maybe boredom, maybe it helped me work out a lot of stuff in my head?  Don’t care, but somewhere along the line in the last year, the girl who has hated exercise all of her life got hooked. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m muscle challenged.  I’m not. I grew up on a farm, and  we worked all the time, so I built max muscle capacity in the first 18 years of my life, and I’m genetically built for strength and endurance.  I took all that for granted until I hit my 40s, and then I realized it’s either use it or lose it.

And where does that all lead to?  Well, you can’t laugh.  You can, but don’t tell me you laughed. You have to know, first of all, that I’m deathly afraid of heights, and I hate to be cold. What I really want to do is to climb Denali.  It’s brutal.  You need to be in top condition on endurance, cardio, strength.  It’s weeks of going up 1,000 vertical feet a day, dragging 60-80 pounds on a sled behind you in snow and ice.   The summit is 20,000 feet.

Why?  I don’t know exactly, but I had this aha moment a few weeks ago where I wanted to take all the limits off, that I didn’t want there to be any place on the face of the earth I couldn’t go.  And that meant I had to get in the best physical shape of my life to make sure that my body wouldn’t hold me back.

So.  Yeah. I know, right?  Well, I work out about 2-3 hours a day now.  An hour walk, an hour of cardio or  two (hot yoga, spin, running, intervals), and 30-60 minutes of weight lifting, plus a 6 to 8-hour hike once a week to build endurance.  I do that 6 days a week and rest a full day.  I’ve also signed up for a basic climbing class to try and tackle this height fear thingie and get at least minimal technical climbing skills.  I’ve changed my diet, added plenty of vitamins, now drinking that Amazing Grass green superfood 2-3 times a day, chugging protein shakes. It’s ridiculous.  But you know what? I’ve never felt better.  I had no idea that jacking around with your muscles, tendons and innards could be quite that exhilarating.  Well, I would have known if I hadn’t tuned it out for the last 30 years.

It’s never too late, is it?  I may not make the top of Denali the year that I’m 50, but I’ll be in shape to go even if I can’t get the timing quite right next spring/summer.  Am I crazy?   Tips, things I should be aware of, other things I’m missing?

  • ScentRed says:

    As someone who has been out of the exercise groove for too long, you’ve inspired me to try to find the time to get back into the swing of things. I’m a working Mom in her forties with too small kids and I owe it to them and myself to make this a priority. Thanks!

    And I’d love to be entered in the draw if it isn’t too late.

  • Ninara Poll says:

    Your exercise routine evokes envy and inspiration in me. I used to be incredibly fit, but over the years I’ve let my physical condition slip badly. Lately I’ve been trying to get back into shape, but I have so little willpower to continue with any exercise routine that anything I try is abandoned in a few days. I wanted to thank you for such an incredibly inspiring post; maybe this will be the kick in the well-padded rear I need to finally STICK with something! 🙂

  • ula says:

    please throw me into the drawing, thanks!

    kudoz to your exercise routine, it’s really impressive, damn, and i’m not saying this just to please but know well enough how hard is to get those things started and maintain a routine.
    reality shows-wise, i don’t watch any of those, since our cable companies in europe do not broadcast, but would love to see the next top chef (my guilty pleasure, love cooking), although it’s not so dramatic to watch as those singing and losing weight contest

  • Wordbird says:

    Totally inspiring post, Patty. I am filled with an urge to run out and buy you a set of crampons.
    I’ve hit my early 40s and similarly am starting to realise that it’s ‘use it or lose it’ time. I’m still trying to find my way, but your example is definitely giving me ideas.
    May I suggest L’Air du Desert Marocain as your climbing frag – should keep you warm and toasty, if only in your mind.

  • Lee says:

    Oh, I wish, I wish…I wish I had a fish. Or samples.

  • Divina says:

    Just wanted to say I loved this inspirational, full of zest post and that I am SO proud of you!!!!! (this sounds weird, saying ‘proud of you’ might sound silly when one isn’t your parent, but the english language fails me atm, so please take it as it’s intended! *hugs*)

    As for tips, I believe into the Barry Sears nutricion diet and his fish oils (which are clean of heavy metals and pollutants due to the mollecular distilation, unlike most fish oil capsules out there)… Sears has helped training athletes reach peak condition with his diet. The capsules themselves give energy, help the body fight inflamation and of course the benefits to the brain and memory are amazing.

  • pyramus says:

    I would like to try those samples, because I was in New York this week and suffered such a case of nose fatigue that I didn’t even TRY the two new Guerlains (because on Sunday I was in Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue, which is heaven, and after nosing around the Tom Ford counter and the Carons and By Kilian and a bunch of other things I was starting to flag, and by the time I got to the Guerlain counter I tried Vega and a couple of others and that was really it for my poor nose).

  • Sue says:

    Wow, Patti – your dedication is truly impressive. I can’t wait to see the pictures you take when you climb Denali. You’ll also be the best-smelling hiker ever I think! 😉

    (PS I would love to try those fragrances, so please enter me in the drawing.)

  • annie says:

    Lordy,Miss Patti….I’m getting ‘the vapors”(heh heh…these youngsters won’t have a CLUE,as to what that is)…waves scented hanky to fan herself,after hearing your exercise regemin…guess this is the Amighty hinting for me to put the exercise machine together that I ordered A YEAR AGO!!….And I LOVE OFF-TOPIC DAY….you all do all the work,and I sit on my butt and order it online…don’t stop…please add me in the drawing….would ‘luv to try these newbies….carry on.

  • Well, as someone no longer pushing 50, but dragging it, and the chain keeps getting longer, I admire the climb. I think it is less shocking then watching the Real Housewives, which I see when the channels are churning and I’m walking through the room. I no longer watch TV, I quit when “reality” shows came out and I couldn’t pry the remote from my husband’s fingers.
    Back to Denali. Climb it while you can and while it is still there. The glaciers holding it together are melting, and parts of it are falling off. Wear a helmet. Why have goals and dreams if they aren’t big ones? Go get ’em, Grendel.
    And please enter me in the drawing.

  • 2scents says:

    Dying to try the new Hermes scents and hoping I will discover regular exercise again in my 40s. I joke that with a four kid household I do “aerobic parenting”.

  • Laura M says:

    Following up on lunarose, forgive my stating the obvious: Read Into Thin Air, if you haven’t! I can see the beauty of climbing, having spent a day here and there in the Alps (oh, the ibexes were amazing!), but never even a night atop a mountain. (Wow, I could go for a few days there now!) But somehow I don’t have the urge to go straaaaaaiiiiight up! Definitely get some expert advice and do some practice climbs in Colorado to see if it’s really for you, or better off as a goal. There must be some beautiful spots around you.

    Your exercise program sounds awesome! I am in a rowing club full of members who started in their 40s: better late than never, absolutely! There’s a high-school program as well, and it’s rather funny to overhear kids talking about their bodies recovering from a hard workout. (Like sure, try it at twice your current age, kiddo!) The cross-training sounds good for you, but make sure you get enough rest.

    Now don’t take any of this too seriously, because I don’t know anything about mountain climbing… or physiology…

    Oh, and please enter me in the contest! I have really been wanting to try Pamplemousse Rose! Thanks.

  • lunarose says:

    hi Patty! not to be a party pooper, but seriously, do some serious reading and research before you decide to try a mountain like Denali. Forever on the Mountain by James Tabor gives you some insight into what can go wrong, and the type of physical, psychological and emotional risks you run by taking on that type of challenge. In the Shadow of Denali: Life and Death on Alaska’s Mount McKinley by Jonathan Waterman is a wonderfully written collection of stories by a man who was obsessed by Denali – he climbed the mountain during winter, and spent a number of years as a guide on the mountain and rescue team member in the park.

    There is a fair amount of literature on what is involved in climbing really high peaks, especially the kind where you get into ‘thin air’, which would give you a better idea of what’s involved. High mountain climbing can be exhilarating, obsessive, rewarding, but also shattering – on many levels.

  • sunnlitt says:


    Your goal sounds amazing!! I have always been fit, but now that I am entering my early 50s, I sure wish that I’d worked a little harder at it when I was younger. The younger you make the commitment to healthy living, the better.
    Please enter me in the draw. thanks.
    Now I am going to go ‘google’ Amazing Greens….

  • melanie says:

    I would love to receive a perfume sample from you…



  • tammy says:

    Girl, this is just fan-frickin’-tastic…you are incredibly inspiring and just plain ol’ FUN. I know without a doubt you will be able to achieve whatever you want to!

  • Shelley says:

    Endolphins. Remember Annette Benning’s character in Postcards From the Edge? “I’m in it for the endolphins.” Me too, baby, me too.

    Good lucky, find the balance…and toss my name in the draw as part of the big picture. 🙂

  • dissed says:

    Good on you (she said, from her vantage view at 52). You’ll never regret getting into shape, whether or not you tackle Denali.

    Would love to try the Robe thing and Hermes thingies, and I’m even willing to give Mitsouko another chance.

  • Janell says:

    PlPlease put me in the draw as I would love to try these two perfumes.

  • Mariekel says:

    Oooo, please enter me in the drawing!

    Don’t feel bad. I am addicted to Hell’s Kitchen with all its shabby, put-on tantrums. But I have to say, if Adam (the most talented contestant this silly show has ever had) does not win AI then I will start liking AND wearing Angel…

    • Patty says:

      You know, I finally gave up on Hell’s Kitchen. I just couldn’t take one more Chef Ramsey, “Get the &*(#ck out of my kitchen!” moment. 🙂

  • AnnieA says:

    For some reason this reminds of of “Eat, pray, love : one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia”…

  • Flora says:

    ppPlease enter me in the draw! I am very interested in the Hermes scents especially. And Denali? Really? WOW!

  • barbara says:

    I admire your desire to stay healthy and strong-nothing worse than flabby 50’s(hard work now can prevent that).Good luck on the mountain-it should be an awesome experience…please enter me in the drawing as well…..

  • NancyN says:

    You are inspiring me, Patty.

    Please add my name to the drawing.

    As far as the vitamins taking part, just make sure that your nutrtionals are quality– as in research, formulation and manufacturing. The standards companies adhere to is the difference, as they say, between making pizza and penicillin. Not that anyone asked for my opinion on that….

    Climbing Denali is not on the agenda yet, although I’ve read a few of your posts and gone and ordered fragrances unsniffed. So you never know, mountain climbing might sound like fun soon. Sort of worried about that. But for me just improving my nutrition enabled me to get off the floor without every muscle protesting. Now I’m doing T-Tapp and thought I would die the first few times but the results are great.

    I enjoy the off topic posts, perfume posts and all the comments too.

    • Patty says:

      I’m really careful about my vitamins. I get them from a really reputable company that deals primarily in menopausal women.

  • Junebug says:

    You go girl! Great job in taking care of yourself. Keep up the good work. How is that grass drink anyway. I’m sure an acquired taste!

    Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you.

    • Patty says:

      The Amazing Grass superfood is actually pretty great. You can do it alone or stick it in some juice. They also have it in chocolate so you can put it in milk, too!

  • LindaB says:

    I too enjoy the off topic posts–thank you for the inspiration and much luck to you!!

    Please enter me in the draw…thank you!

  • Joe says:

    I’ve hit my 40s. I’ve realized it’s either use it or lose it. Oh, crap.

    That’s an amazingly awesome goal! Hearing about your new routine is really inspiring to me, woman!

    And I’d LOVE to be in this sample draw! Thanks!

  • KathyT says:

    I love the off topic posts, but I now feel incredibly lazy! Good luck with the training.

    Please include me in the drawing.


  • Karen G says:

    I’ll be cheering you on from my comfy, warm chair. What perfume, I wonder, to scale mountains with?
    Please throw my name in the draw. Thanks Patty!

  • Mindy says:

    You are so amazing and I wish you the best of luck. We’re the same age and you put me to shame. I don’t mind your off topic posts at all. Please toss my name into the hat.

  • vidalicious says:

    Babe, there is no greater high than climbing to the top! I love rock climbing, and hope you will too. I’m impressed with your new-found stamina–can you decant it and share???! 🙂
    Please enter me in the drawing!

    • Patty says:

      Well, I’m not going to do a lot of rock climbing, I don’t think, but maybe I’ll surprise myself?

  • Lavanya says:

    I am always embarrassed to admit that I watch American idol and this season I’ve been almost fanatic about it (which is obviously even more embarrassing to admit..lol).I actually disagree with you that booting Allison made the results predictable (tho’ this season has been predictable from the very beginning)..However much I would have loved to see an Adam/Allison final- that would have been a verrry predictable final as I don’t think Allison’s fan base is comparable to Adam’s…And even tho’ it seems like Adam should and will win, I think he actually might not..(Judging by Kris’s take on Kanye West’s Heartless and everybody’s response to it..)I actually think that is what the producers are building up toward- hyping Adam up throughout and then ensuring that he doesn’t win..

    • Lavanya says:

      I actually don’t believe I typed all that out..lol..One more week and I vow that I am not going to be caught in the AI trap again next season (I said that last season too..:))

      And I love your off-topic posts, but would still love to entered in the draw!..
      ANd I love how you physically challenge yourself..It is inspiring! (Must. atleast. go. to. the gym)

    • Patty says:

      I don’t know. Adam really does deserve it. The guy is unique, and that’s what should win.

      • Lavanya says:

        I am a big Adam fan (much to my husband’s amusement)- It is just that many people seem to have gotten used to Adam doing a great job (and some people just hate him)..It’s like he keeps needing to out do himself each week..

  • Fernando says:

    Well, your samples offer is enough to make me respond. It’s not something I’d want to do, but more power to you: go and climb that mountain. Me, I want to prove some theorems, write books that people will read, and be proud of my sons. I’ll live with the pot belly, only trying to limit its growth…

    What does it smell like, at the top of Denali?

    • NancyN says:

      Accomplishment. “You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.” — Georgia O’Keeffe

      I think Andy Tauer could create this one.

      Would you commission this so we don’t have to?

    • Patty says:

      I think every goal in life is well worthwhile, and I applaud yours!

  • Kate B. says:

    Inspiring post, Patty! Best of luck reaching the top of Denali–it sounds as though you are well on your way…

    Please do enter me in the drawing–I’m dying to try the Mitsouko flanker and both of the new Hermes scents. Thanks for being so generous with the samples!

  • Gretchen says:

    I look forward to a diary of your progress, especially the training hikes and climbs– you have so much beautiful territory locally. Put my name in your hat. I’ll be thinking of you as I take my daily walk.

    • Patty says:

      You know, it was looking at the beautiful country I’m surrounded by and realizing how little time I’ve spent in it that got me moving.

      I will keep you guys updated and will take plenty of pictures from the tops of everything we go to!

  • karin says:

    GO PATTY!!!! That’s awesome. You’ll now have to start a blog about your progress and eventual climb. 🙂

  • Disteza says:

    Congratulations on having such determination! There are a few of us exercise nuts who will probably tell you the same sorts of things but as far as tips go:

    1) Drink more water than you think you need. Dehydration can lead to so many problems with a workout, and according to at least one study many Americans mistake thirst for hunger, and then they wonder why they’re injured and headachy after working out.

    2) If you do get injured or sick, take lots of time to rest.

    3) Ankle weights can be an excellent way to help train for uphill hikes. I would start around 2-3 lbs per leg, and incorporate them into your weekly hike if the terrain is reasonable enough to do so. Don’t feel like you have to wear them the whole way either; they fit nicely into a pack and can help train you that way as well.

    4) If you have time to work extra abs into your workout routine, now is the time to do it. More ab exercises will help strengthen and stabilize your back, which will help you prevent injury in the long run.

    5) I can speak to the merits of the grass drinks, but the protein powder shakes aren’t horrible. Most nutritionists would argue that you’re better off eating small portions of lean white meat and fish, and I tend to agree with them, however, I know that it’s sometimes easier to grab a shake and go than to cook a meal. As long as you are getting enough protein to support the demands of your workout, that’s more important that where you’re getting it from, IMHO. Just don’t try anything named Soylent Green.

    Good luck with your great adventure!

    • Patty says:

      Thanks!!! Great tips, and I appreciate them. I”m great on water, I hydrate like crazy, always have.

      I do need to do more ab work, I’m just trying to figure out what and how often. Ideas?

      • Disteza says:

        Abs are one of those things that you can theoretically do while watching TV, just that nobody ever really wants to do them… =)
        FOr more bang for your buck when you do get around to doing them, you can always add a medicine ball up top for crunches, and ankle weights for the lower half extensions and lifts. Or you can combine both for a horrible bit of torture that we call jack-knifes: start off laying down on your back, slowly raise your legs and arms (while holding a dumbell and wearing ankle weights) up to a 90 degree position. Do 5 crunches upwards, lifting your shoulders off the floor, attempting to touch the weight to your feet. After the 5 crunches, bring both the arms and feet down slowly, using your lower abs to control the feet. Lather, rinse, repeat. I ended up adding an hour long abs only class to get my weekly dosage, if you don’t have that option you can always use any walk or sedentary time to throw something in.

  • Tania says:

    That’s awesome! I hope you manage it.

    I can only envy your dedication. I’m a clumsy, scaredycat couch spud by nature, and my occasional attempts to change haven’t lasted long.
    Most recently, I discovered that
    a) though I could work out three times a week and lose weight ten years ago, all it does now is exhaust me and maintain my (over)weight at it’s current level;
    b) choosing a gym 15 minutes fast walk away was actually NOT a great idea – go figure! It’s all the extra incentive I need to sit back and watch TV instead…. 😉

    • Patty says:

      Hey, maybe doing something AT home? You know, you’ll do it when it works for you or you’re just ready, or maybe not. I don’t think a complete life needs extreme physical exercise to make it great.

      • Tania says:

        I don’t have room for any exercise equipment at home – or I’m sure I’d be one of those people with an unused exercycle subbing as a clotheshorse! 😉 And I’ve never been one for exercise videos.

        I prefer to leave home to work out, I just chose the wrong gym. I know I’m lazy, so I should have joined the one closest to me, as there’s more chance I’d use it! But it was more expensive, and I told myself the extra walk to the cheaper one would help. Yeah, right…
        I agree, a lot of exercise isn’t necessary to have a good life. Some people just are more sedentary by nature, and it’s hard to change that permanently.

  • Linda says:

    Wow Patty, you are amazingly active — and inspiring. It’s all I can do to get my sorry butt out for a walk every day. I really want to start yoga.

    I would love to be in the draw, but just wanted to shout out that I am impressed!

    • Patty says:

      Yoga takes a while to get into, but once you do and get the stress relief benefits, it’s hard to give it up again. I had to commit to doing it 2-3 times a week for two weeks so it got a fair chance, and by the end of it, i was hooked.

  • chanel22 says:

    Patty, I completely understand the fitness thing. I had been trying South Beach diet for a few years on and off and finally gave up. It worked great at first, but wasn’t sustainable. So, last spring I discovered the Ripped! exercise series on DVDs at my library. I also bought YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT by Dr. Gillian McKeith, a great book that really gave me valuable tools. I’ve wondered about those green superfood liquids, but never got as far as buying them. What brand did you buy? My husband brought home some fresh grass, can’t remember which kind, but our juicer couldn’t handle it. Then I read that a special grass juicer was needed, and the whole idea was postponed. I think buying the already juiced grass is the way to go, at least at the beginning. I was amazed at how fabulous fresh carrot juice tastes and all of Dr. Gillian’s recipes were quite good. BTW, please sign me up for the drawing!

    • Patty says:

      That’s great that you found something that works. Whatever diet changes people make have to be ones you can live with and that don’t make you ever feel deprived. I have my one Pepsi Throwback per day, and I enjoy it so much!!!

  • gina says:

    Patty!!!! I’m so happy for you! Exercise is a drug for me, but it wasn’t always like that. I rode horses as a kid and was always a hiker, but in the past 5-6 years I’ve gotten really hardcore about it. It started with running and hiking, then I added taekwondo, now I’ve added yoga and spinning. I’ve never felt better or been stronger in my life, and I’m so happy to hear you’re feeling great, too. I’m 40 and am in better shape now than I was when I was 20, go figure. Denali isn’t going anywhere, it’s never too late, you’ll be climbing that shizz in no time.

    Please do enter me in the drawing!!!

    • Patty says:

      That’s so great. I figure even if I never did it before, it’s not too late to just go for it big now.

  • Jan v says:

    Kudos!!!!! Patty, you’re awe inspiring; I can only imagine how energized and powerful you’re feeling. As for the climbing part….while I understand your remarks regarding that challenge, my own fear of heights and dislike for cold make me think mountain climbing is nuts, haha.

    Keep up the awesome work and enjoy the rewards! Please enter me in this drawing as well….thanks for the drawing and also for the inspiration.

    • Patty says:

      Climbing is nuts. I’d never do a technical climb. I just need to know enough about it to do little patches of climbing without fear. I mostly want to hike up there!

  • tara says:

    Patty, Got for it. My father-in-law climbed Mt. Kiliminjaro at age 73! Now I am sure that Denali is much more difficult, but I believe people can do anything they set their minds to. I am hoping to do the Machu Picchu trek some day, which I am sure is not as difficult as Denali, but it would be an accomplishment for me. For my 50th, which is not that far away, my best friend and I plan to go to Australia and the South Pacific, not exactly Denali, but we can’t wait!!!!

    Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks..Good Luck.

    • Patty says:

      73? That is so great, and I do believe age shouldn’t define you or what you can do. Sometimes your bones and health may do that for you, but until it does, the only limit is in our heads.

      Your hiking sounds fun! That is on my top 3 list of places I want to go and hike, you’ll have to tell us how it is!

  • Musette says:

    Patty –

    I am super-impressed, both with your determination to scale some heights and the prep you’re doing to achieve that! You ROCK! (pun intended).

    Do some smaller mountains before Denali, though. A client of mine did Denali – it was rrrrruff! I recommend the Italian Alps to start, after you do a couple of CO peaks.


    oh! can I be in the drawing, please?


    • Patty says:

      Absolutely plan to do plenty of colorado peaks! I think we’re goin back to Italy fall of next year, and we’ll do plenty of hiking, so maybe we can get a summit climb in too

  • jane says:

    Whew! That made me tired. Please enter my name in the drawing.

  • sara says:

    Fantastic! I wish you success and fitness and health! I would love to enter the drawing!

  • chris g says:

    OMG!! I’m a walker, not a hiker, but I admire your goal!!! Please enter me in the draw. Thanks!!

  • jenlusi says:

    Wow!! Keep it up!! What scent would you wear to climb Denali? Not that you could enjoy it while wearing 10+ layers of clothing and undertaking a strenuous climb. For me, Parfums Delrae’s Bois de Paradis. Something comforting and indulgent but not overbearing or gourmand, I think I would just like to know it was there to remind me of all the rewards of such and undertaking!

    And I would love to be entered in the drawing!

  • Christine says:

    Good for you for doing it! Let us know how the getting in shape goes, I could use all the inspiration I can get for wakin gup earlier and getting to the gym.

    (Also, please enter me in the drawing! Thanks!)

  • Dana says:

    Wow! Very inspirational for those of us pushing towards the big 5-0. I know what you mean about the HW series. They just suck you in with all their drama. I feel like I have to hide from my husband the fact that I’m watching these shows! I would love to be in the draw.

    • Patty says:

      It is an embarrassing admission, the RH attachment, but those women! My hat’s off to the producers for arranging their lives so I want to follow them.

  • Lora says:

    Wow, I really admire you! I can barely get myself to Pilates class twice a week. Good for you! It’s a great feeling to set a goal and see the progress in your body and feel it in your mind as you work towards it.

    On the perfume front, please enter me in the drawing.

  • kathleen says:

    Good for you! Never too late. I’ve been exercising, consistantly, since 1985, when I became and instructor. You’ll find that the longer you do this, the less you will need to achieve the same results. Are you doing weight training every day? Not the same muscles, though, right? Love to hear when someone gets the “bug”. They get so excited, and want to talk about it to everyone.

    I would love to be entered in the draw, please, Patty.

    • Patty says:

      Def. doing weight training every day, moving the muscle groups each day.

      It’s weird to get to this point so late in my life.

  • mals86 says:

    You go, girl! Good for you, gettin’ all Fierce and Frisky.

    Please enter me in the draw as well; I’m particularly intrigued by the Mitsy Lotus.

    I actually like the non-makeup off-topic posts. I think the difference is that makeup reviews are very focused on Product, and it happens to be a category of Product that I am totally uninterested in. But the OTHER off-topic posts are interesting to me, because they’re about Life. Perfume is Life, Life is Life… it’s all good.

    • Patty says:

      That’s how I see it too, it’s all of our lives we’re sharing here, but we just have a common interest in perfume that brings us to one place. 🙂

  • Trish/Pikake says:

    I’m going to be lame and just comment on the TV portion of your post, and since I’ve only been watching idol, it’ll be on that. I actually think Kris has a very good chance of winning b/c Danny’s fans will probably vote for Kris over Adam. So you might as well keep watching through to the end!

    • Patty says:

      You think? I do like Danny a lot and think he’ll have a nice career, but he just lacks that magic something.

      • Trish/Pikake says:

        I agree, I was never a big Danny fan. Really nice voice, nice guy, lacking the sparkle factor for me though. I’ve been rooting for Kris and Adam the whole time. I think Adam is going to have a huge career no matter what if he plays his cards right. Kris could use the boost that winning will give him.

        I’m just sayin’ there might be an upset and Kris might sweep it!

        Oh, and rock it with the mountain climbing baby!!


  • Janet in CA says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear to help keep me going in my quest to get back into shape. I turned 50 this year. No Denali in my
    future but being able to hike and swim without fear is good.

    I can’t wait to hear more about what you are doing to get ready!

    I would like to be in the draw too.

  • SMY says:

    I’d love to be entered in the drawing!

    I love watching American Idol when there are about 10-12 people, but when it gets down to the final 2 or 3, I get bored. Especially if the outcome seems pretty certain.

  • Suzanne says:

    Please enter me in the drawing, too!

  • Sweet Sue says:

    Please enter me in the drawing. As a longtime Mitsouko fan, I’m dying to try the lotus one.
    Kelly of RHONYC is known to diehard fans as “Leatherface” and where did she learn to speak dolphin?
    You sound like you’ve read “Younger Next Year.” Hell, you sound like you wrote it.
    Best of luck to you in pursuing your impressive goals. If you achieve your dream, will you style yourself as “the Queen of Dinali?”

  • Keren says:

    Never been skiing, but good for you! Please enter me into the drawing…

    • Keren says:

      Obviously, I was having my morning blonde moment, but I haven’t been rock climbing either 😉

      I love RH of NY, did you hear about the Countess getting divorced?

    • Patty says:

      I did hear the Countess is getting divorced. Next season should be pretty darn interesting!

  • missy anderson says:


  • Samantha says:

    I’d love to be entered in the drawing! As for Kelly-oh I just want to choke her SO badly!That breathy, high-pitched “Hiii…how ARE you?” that seems to be directed only at the men in the room, or saying that Ally’s arthritis was “cute” what is wrong with the woman??! Simon’s pants on the final episode..the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while!I actually can’t wait to see the conclusion of the reunion show tonight…it IS crack for sure! Good luck with the climb, that’s such an inspration. I’ve been trying to get into a good exercise routine for the first time in my life at the age of 37 and it’s difficult to say the least! I wish you the very best!

    • Patty says:

      Arggh, Kelly! I’d live with Simon in those red leather pants before I’d spen 3 minutes with Kelly. That woman is just toxic in her self-obsession.

  • Mindy says:

    Inspiring you are!! Hiking at the Arches National Park in Moab is more my speed. At 50+ myself, I don’t think Denali will ever be in the cards! Bravo, Patty!

  • AmyR says:

    Patty – You are a true inspriation! thanks for sharing your new obsession with fitness. Am a little dizzy thinking of Denali….

  • chayaruchama says:

    I’m SO proud of you, I could SCREAM.
    There- that’s the meat of it .
    Love you, girl.

  • EileenS says:

    What a great goal! No matter what happens, Denali or not, you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process of working on this challenge. I admire your ambition and work ethic, Patty!

    Some of my best memories are of hikes and rock climbs I did in my more fit youth. I hope to get back to that again, but time is catching up with me and my joints. Keep us posted on your progress, please — we’ll all be cheering you on as you work on this goal.

    Please enter me in the draw, as I haven’t smelled any of these yet.

    • Patty says:

      That’s the way I look at it. If I make it or not doesn’t matter as much as the process.

      We have people in their 60s and 70s in the CMC that are out there hiking and snowshoeing, etc. They go a little bit slower sometimes, but I think that’s a lovely way to go.

  • Marsi says:

    Congratulations on your commitment to fitness. You’re right: at some point you do hit an age where it’s “use it or lose it.” Some people never realize it till it’s too late. Glad you’re not one of them.

    Please enter me in the draw; thanks!

  • Charlotte_V says:

    I agree with DJ that a trial run on a smaller mountain (or two or three) is probably a good idea before tackling the big goal of Denali. Luckily, you’ve got plenty of mountains to practice on in Colorado. Good luck with it all, and enjoy your training!

    I’m severely afraid of heights myself, so I’d love to hear more about the climbing class, whether it proves to be therapeutic, tips for conquering the phobia, etc. Keep us posted.

    And please enter me in the draw!

    • Patty says:

      Oh, definitely plan on a lot of other summit hikes, including some snow travel up as well. I want to do the basic mountaineering class next spring (they just offer it once a year), which is why I think I can’t make it next year, but the year after that at the earliest. I want to have all the training/experience I can get over two years, as well as some first aid, mountain rescuse, crevasse rescue, stuff like that.

      I will let y’all know about the climbing class and how tht works with my fear of heights. I look at that climbing wall and start getting sweaty.

  • Connie says:

    Patty, you rock!

    So this was the little teaser a few days ago on FB. 😉 Wow!!! And I thought I did pretty good for an old girl by climbing the highest peak of Machu Picchu last year—-that is nothing compared to what you are setting out to do. Brava!!!!

    Your dedication and determination in doing this is inspiring. I know exactly how you feel about getting hooked on exercise since I went through something similar when I was aproaching 40 (I think I was 37 or so, at the time). I started running/jogging a couple of times a week and soon thereafter a trainer was hired. I worked out with her (then him) 3 times per week, mainly weight-lifting, and ran (or ran on treadmill) 6 days a week. I became obsessed to the point I converted a bedroom into a gym–with commercial quality equipment. This obsession lasted about 8 years. I had never felt better and never looked better. Lots of changes in my life since that time … some were good and some were not but you’ve just inspired me to do a bit more than just go for a run every so often.

    Though I would be tempted to join you in this endeavor I don’t have anywhere around these parts to prepare me for climbing or hiking or even feeling cold … (Miami Beach).

    I don’t even know you (personally) and I’m so proud of you! So happy there are women out there so freaking incredible!!!

    Looking forward to hearing all about it in the months to come. 🙂

    Oh, and please enter me in the draw. Thanks!

    • Patty says:

      You know, I’m not sure you need some mountains, and you do have some not that far away’ish. Mostly it’s just getting your legs in condition to be able to hike up for hours at a time.

      Running is still hard on my knees and ankles, but the ROLFing is slowly fixing those problems so I can run without pain, which is a whole lot better than being tortured by every step.

  • March says:

    You’re a better man than I am (I despise being cold, C wants to visit Alaska on a cruise and I won’t even do that!) But I KNOW you can do this!

    • Mindy says:

      Hiking is a fabulous pastime…but at 50+ myself, I don’t think that I could undertake Denali! Bravo, my dear…I’ll be sticking with my daily bike ride and admire your tenacity and sense of adventure. The hiking trails at Arches National Park are more my speed…start small and work up to Denali!

    • Patty says:

      Oh, Alaska in the summertime on a cruise is supposed to be great and not cold at all!!!

      • Olfacta says:

        Well it’s not cold, but it is wet. Sort of wet and foggy a lot of the time.

        I’ve seen Denali and can’t imagine how anyone would climb it. But some people do! There’s a flight you can take in a small plane where you land on a glacier about halfway up. There’s even a yurt-like “hut” in which you can spend the night there– for about $1000.

        Having been a pretty enthusiastic exerciser for many years, I can tell you that the body lets you know when you’re doing too much. I worked out with a trainer who thought he could transform me into some Ms. Universe character (I’m large of frame and very strong, especially lower-body.) I finally said “no more” to him when I was about to blow out my right knee. Be careful! Hate to be a nay-sayer but once you injure a joint it won’t really ever go away. Don’t let anyone else push you beyond your limits.

        That said, your dedication is remarkable.

  • sybil says:

    Hey…very exciting! I’m impressed…the cold thing would wear me down faster than anything. Keep up the good work, and I’d love to be entered in the drawing.

  • Leslie says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you are really inspired to get out there, go all out, and remove the boundaries. It’s an intriguing concept to want there to be no place out there that you can’t go; I believe I will ponder that today as I putz about. I could use a dose of your inspiration; for all that I understand the benefits, I find it hard to get committed to a fitness program. (Um, is it ok to actually admit to that?)

    Anyway, take care of yourself on your fitness journey, and have a fabulous time along the way!

    I would love to be included in the draw; and I’m feeling floozy-ish this morning. Any of them seem interesting.

    • Patty says:

      It’s okay to admit it. i admit to feeling that way for the last 30 years.

      I think i just had to look at it differently. I used to see exercise as something you were supposed to do, and it never seemed like it had a purpose because I didn’t want to do any of those vigorous things that required excellent training.

      once I found someething I really wanted to do, it all changed. It was like my mind really opened for the first time and saw all the limits I put on myself voluntarily, definitions about who I was and what I would/could/wouldn’t/couldn’t do.

  • Melissa says:

    After years of heavy weight-training, cardio workout, running, etc etc, my back, feet and tendons cried uncle and told me to slow the heck down. Now I just walk, stretch and do pushups and crunches at home. I miss the feeling of being that fit, but I figure that this is just a different phase of my life. I’ve filled the void with other things and readjusted my calorie intake.

    I completely understand the thrill of challenging yourself in this manner though and I applaud your dedication and your goals. It is exhilarating isn’t it?

    Oh, and since I publicly committed to trying LPRN, I would love to be entered into the draw!

    • Patty says:

      yeah, I think you find the phase you’re ready for when you’re ready for it. I don’t know how long this one will last, but it sure is fun going in a direction I never thought I would go. I used to laugh at people who went to yoga and spin class!

  • Maura says:

    Wow! Good for you and not silly at all. Sounds like a great addiction 🙂

    I was miffed about Tara not winning as well and Allison getting kicked off AI.

    Would love to be in the drawing! Also thanks for the Dior Escale Portofino? Lemming…ordered it last night unsniffed!

  • Frenchie says:

    How exciting!
    I’m all for exercise, healthy diet and physical challenge. Saying this, I really should get back to the gym after a month and a half of non activity.
    I ocassionally go on strict food regimes, whenever I feel that I’ve had enough of bad stuff. And it is always rewarding because when I go back to my normal eating there are good habits that stick with me.
    looking forward to hearing about your progress.

    • Patty says:

      it is easy to get out of the habit, no? Some mornings, it’s just tough to get going, and sometimes you just have to make yourself.

  • erin says:

    I started doing something similar last year (though not as admirably rigorous as you) when my thyroid conked out. Believe me, it was only profound personal vanity that could get my slothful behind into a gym. And yet I’ve been amazed at how right–mentally, physically, spiritually–it makes me feel. My friends think I’m suddenly disciplined, but the good happy chemicals released are my daily fix!

    Yes, a truly inspiring post. And please do enter me for the drawing.

    I hope you’ll keep us posted on your progress.

    • Patty says:

      They are happy little chemicals. Now, I just regret all the years I didn’t do this. It’s tough to get going, and I used to hate to sweat, but I’ve overcome that and now don’t consider it even a workout unless I have to wring my towel out when I’m done.

  • Masha says:

    Wow! That’s an inspiring post. I second the opinion of hiring a trainer if you are committed to peak-bagging. They will help you find the right balance of strength, aerobics, and flexibility to reach your goal(s). Denali is not out of the question, but it has taken so many lives, you might consider an experienced trainer/mentor to help you. It’s a good investment, from this RN’s (and former Alaskan and rock climber’s) point of view.
    And the drawing sounds great! Count me in!

    • Patty says:

      I am starting with a trainer just so I can get the right balance.

      If I get to the point where I’m withing 6 months, I will find someone at the CMC that can give me some guidance on the actual doing part. I know there are some great guides, which is the only way I’d go up, with an experienced group guide, so that piece of it doesn’t have me that worried. If you’re going to fall off the mountain, you can fall off a little one as well as a big one.

  • Ann C says:

    You rock!

    I am a hiker (in New England) so we have nothing like the mountains you have out west. Even so, hiking is hard work and it has motivated me to get and stay in shape. You are so far ahead of me! I should be working out right now, but instead I’m browsing the perfume blogs–another fun hobby. I’ll reread your post tomorrow and will get moving.

    I hope you make it to Denali. Do you ever read Backpacker magazine? They frequently feature articles about getting into shape for major expeditions and also about lifetime destinations. If you aren’t reading it already, I think you should pick up a copy–I bet you’d enjoy it.

    Anyway, please enter me in the draw. Thanks!

    • Patty says:

      Hiking is hard work. I had no idea until I started doing vertical hikes, which is what got this whole training thing started.

      I do get Backpacker magazine, which I love. I also get Outside magazine, which is also great. Less practical, more dream about where you really want to go in the world.

  • JAntoinette says:

    Wow! What amazing dedication! Your goal is quite impressive too. What scent does one wear on an ice covered summit? 😉

  • dinazad says:

    Wow, I’m impressed! Keeping my fingers crossed – I’d love to hear/read that you’ve attained your goal!

    And yes, please do enter me in the drawing.

  • Patricia says:

    It’s good you’ve started that healthy approach, especially with excercising. I’m 30 and I have recently reaped fruit of my wrong posture – I had inflamed muscle in lower back and I couldn’t move for 2 weeks. Then I started to exercise and went swimming and it has improved. I realised that I have to take care of myself because I’ll apreciate it in older age.

    • Patty says:

      It does do a lot of good. I know just all the core work I do has diminshed almost entirely all of the intermittent low back pain I’ve had.

      The rest is getting disappeared by ROLFing, which I swear by now.

  • Ines says:

    Wow! You certainly have a great exercising routine – how I wish I’d be able to make myself exercise with more enthusiasm – well, for cardio anyway, I don’t need enthusiasm for pilates since I adore it. 🙂
    Please include me in the drawing.

  • DJ says:

    I think your goals sound amazing! If Denali is on the extreme side of adventures, perhaps there is another place to climb that is something you could do to gain experience and confidence, before tackling the bigger goal of Denali? There is no reason why this kind of climbing can’t be a once-a-year-goal that keeps you training between adventures.

    I would echo what someone else posted, that over-training can actually do more harm than good. Make sure your *resting* heart rate isn’t elevated, if it is, it is a sign you are overdoing it. I would also consult with someone (even via email or phone) who helps people train for the kind of adventure you are planning. Nutritionally, real food is always better than a protein shake, so if you can, pre-cook your meals to eat throughout the day. Shakes come in handy a few times a week, but are hard on your system.

    Great post.

    (I have a US postal address, should I get the chance to win any drawings…)

    • carter says:

      This is excellent advice — more does not necessarily equal better 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Great advice. I do plan to do several Colorado summits between now and then for the experience and training and just the fun of it. Luckiily, I have a lot of them I can go up. So that was part of the training plan.

      I never overtrain, I’m lazy enough that that just can’t happen. 🙂

  • ChantillyLace says:

    You go for it Girl!!! You can do it!!! And I would love to be entered in the Draw! Thanks!

  • Francesca says:

    That’s a pretty inspiring story, Patty. Good luck with your endeavors and adventures!

  • Kim says:

    Go for it!! But even if you don’t end up going, the goal is to stay fit so you can enjoy life to the fullest as you get older. And even just a half hour a day walk makes a HUGE difference.

    So love your exercise because you love your amazingly made body and you love the energy you get from being fit. And the Deanli dream becomes a bonus side trip feasible because of all you do.

    would love to be in the draw for the samples.

    • Patty says:

      Exactly!!!! I mean, I want that kind of fitness, but I needed a goal that was fun enough and challenging enough so I couldn’t put it off forever and that it would require a certain level of dedication to accomplish.

      But whether I ever go or not in the end doesn’t matter the most, it’s all the things I learn on the road.

  • Alica says:

    The map looks like the one of Zermatt, a small village in the southern Swiss Alps we used to have ski vacation every year but just at the first view. I love the place! Thank you Pattty for entering me in the drawing.

  • Margot says:

    Awesome, Patty! I’m so impressed with your ambition and determination. I predict you will be climbing Denali, for sure.
    I had a major life change ten years ago, and it propelled me into the most productive, exciting and exhilarating time of my life. (it continues to be pretty darn great!)
    Wishing you the very best – you go, girl!

    • Patty says:

      thanks, Margot! I think big life changes give you a chance to just see what limits you’ve put on yourself that are no longer valid or that you no longer wanted. That’s a great thing.

  • carter says:

    Yikes! Let me just pick my jaw up off of the floor and I’ll be right with you…

    I have a few thoughts about your magnificent obsession, but not from the perspective of one who can relate to all of that exercise, because walking up the steps from the subway carrying my purse and a cup of coffee is my idea of a complete workout.

    First, I say you go woman. I have a friend who was terrified of heights and eventually got so sick of being afraid she decided to go out and get her pilot’s license. I admire you tremendously for setting this goal for yourself and working hard to achieve it. Because it’s twofold (actually, many-fold, but I’ll keep it brief): you are setting out to take on not only daunting physical challenges, but to face down emotional boogeymen as well. I believe that we are capable of anything we put our minds to, and I don’t doubt for a moment that you can do this thing if it’s something you really want for yourself.

    I do however have a concern or two. First, my knee-jerk reaction to anything not done in moderation is mild alarm. It’s just a built-in warning system that I have always had, but that doesn’t mean that it’s valid in this case, simply because what you are attempting to do cannot be accomplished without extreme dedication and tons of hard work. It’s like training for the Olympics, I would imagine. Still, I would be very careful not to take on too much too quickly, particularly since you are no longer in your 20s.

    The other niggling question I have is, are you completely clear on why you want to do this? Are you being 100% honest with yourself about what is motivating you? I think that that’s really important to devote some deep thought to before proceeding, because hidden motivations can be so devastating if and when they eventually work their way to the surface, and you can avoid a great deal of pain and heartache if you have this part of things absolutely figured out before you embark on your quest.

    And lastly, here’s a recent piece in the NY Times about vitamins and exercise that you may find interesting in light of your new regimen; it’s about vitamins negating the benefits of exercise and well worth a read under the circumstances http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/health/research/12exer.html?em

    I am very much looking forward to following your trials, tribulations and triumphs, and hope you will continue to let us in on this incredibly exciting and noble adventure. But before you go, please enter me in the drawing, kiddo 😉

    • Patty says:

      I’ll be careful. I’m not one of those “all in” people where I’ll hurt myself to try to do something.

      I’ve thought a lot about my motives. I was standing up on a mountain in Loveland Pass a couple of weeks ago looking at all the peaks up there that I want to go up, but I know I need to have more endurance/leg strength to do those kinds of hikes, and I just decided in that moment that I don’t want my lack to stop me from going where I want to go and standing on top of whatever, if I want to.

      I’m also prepared to give it up if I run into a physical snag, like I can’t get over the fear of heights, or my doctor told me to not do it or if I injured myself, or if I just decided in six months I don’t want to do it. It’s the journey, not the destination.

  • violetnoir says:

    I say go for it, baby!

  • dea says:

    this is so inspirational to read. thank you. i love the way you wrote about it, it was as if my best girlfriend was telling me all this over a drink.

    i used to be very, very fit. and now it’s just the opposite. i don’t think i’ve been this sedentary in my entire life. i absolutely do not move during the day. my day job (and start up business) entail my face being glued to a computer screen all day. luckily i’ve adjusted my calorie intake accordingly. which sadly means i don’t get to enjoy food either.

    the funny thing is that the change to this sedentary, isolated life pushed me towards going full blast into perfume.
    it’s how i experience life outside of myself.

    god, this sounds depressing. sorry. please enter me into the draw. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      That’s what happened to me. I was so active, whether I liked it or not, in my youth and 20s, and then I got a sitting job.

      But no matter what, you can undo most of it. I read somewhere that even if people take up strength training for the first time in their 60s and 70s, they can get y ou most of the muscle capacity you would have had, even if you had started when you were young.

  • Tarleisio says:

    Phew, what a relief to find out I’m not the only one with a flabby arse – and what an inspiration to learn it’s never too late to do something about it! Patty, you are amazing. I really hope for you that you do manage to climb Denali – and why shouldn’t you? 🙂

    I’d love to be entered into the draw. There’s something intriguing about that Mitsouko flanker that screams Try or Die!

    • Patty says:

      Mine isn’t flabby as much as it is just too big still. Weird how that works out.

      You know, I’m absolutely certain that I can do it if I wind up wanting it bad enough.

  • Elle says:

    OMG. That’s incredible!!! I’m feeling like I need to rest just from reading about all you’re doing. But, seriously – to actually pursue a dream like climbing Denali is awe inspiring. Extremely impressive. Please keep us posted on how it’s going. Am cheering you on from the sidelines. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      I will keep y’all updated, even if I give it up for some other reason. Regardless, I still want to be in condition that I could go, no matter what, and even if I wind up not going.

  • Aimee L'Ondee says:

    That’s really awesome, Patty, you are inspiring me and my flabby arse to get some exercise! Oh yeah, and I’d love to be entered in the draw, ’cause that gentiane thingy really intrigues me.

  • maitreyi1978 says:

    Wow all that exercise makes me wish I hadn’t cancelled my gym membership! Please include me in the drawing.
    And I like your off topic posts.

    • Patty says:

      Well, a lot of it I do at home, though I think I have one gym membership and one yoga studio membership and probably some punches left at another yoga studio. Hmmm.