My grandma balancing on my stability ball a few years ago.

Keep Moving is dedicated to my grandmas.  My grandparents have always been a huge part of my life.  I was lucky enough to know all four of my grandparents and two of my great-grandparents.  Many of them I knew well.  Throughout my life, I grew up listening to the stories of their lives, seeing them enjoy retirement, and learning that getting older doesn’t have to be scary.  As they aged they had full lives complete with travel, family, and friends.

I owe a lot of who I am to these people who shaped me and played a significant role in my upbringing.  It’s one of the many reasons that I dedicated Keep Moving: Take Steps to Relieve Pain & Improve Your Life to my grandmas.  In different ways their examples are part of the reason that I move and love physical activity so much.

My Grandmas

Grandma Downie

One of my grandmas did not move and her life was cut short in a family filled with longevity.  This is not a judgment of her character.  It’s sad that she missed out on time and experiences.  But as a child I saw her pain and discomfort and was afraid for my future.  Would I one day get the rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis that pained her?  I’m still slightly worried about that, but less so.

My other grandma chose movement.  Walking and back stretches to counteract her hip imbalance developed after contracting polio were a daily part of her life.  And I’m still lucky to have her.  She is the last of a wonderful generation of people that made me feel loved, gave me a sense of place and home, and managed to balance the roles of mentor, friend and life guide.  I aspire to be like all of them in different ways.

Grandma Hale

In reality, if we are lucky enough to live a long life, eventually our movement declines.  But the longer you keep your mobility, the more freedom and independence you maintain.  The more you move, the better your quality of life.

First Book

My Grandma Hale was adamant that she would purchase the first copy of Keep Moving—a book, I would have given to her for free.  Before the book comes out tomorrow, I was mailed one copy.  It has now been sold to her.  You can watch the first sale here and see when she reads that it was dedicated to her:


I hope you enjoy this snippet from the book:

My grandparents exchanged love letters between Connecticut and the South Pacific during WWII. The notes were signed “Somewhere at Sea” by my grandfather and smacked with a pink lipstick kiss from my grandmother. He’d dream about future Christmases at home with her, going out with friends, traveling together, and raising their future children. A typical day at home—imagined by my grandfather while cruising the hot, humid seas of the South Pacific—included mowing the grass, cooking together, going dancing, playing Frisbee at Devil’s Hopyard, winning at bowling so the other couple would have to buy drinks, and the longings of nearly every youthful newlywed.

By the time I was born, my grandma with the full, pink lips had been wheelchair-bound and bedridden for 30 years.

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Read about Maggie’s grandma climbing inside the igloo she built.

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