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50 & fabulous

You are never too old to start something new. And Marna Grobler proves it. When she turned the big 5 – 0, she refused to allow her worth to have a use-by date. Instead, she reinvented herself, her life and career. And she is happier than ever.

Age is just a number. Which is a very easy thing to say when you’re still in your 30s or entering your 40s. But at 50, society says you are supposed to slow down as you enter the so-called middle-age years? Oh, heck no! That couldn’t be further from the truth. Well, not for Marna Grobler, business owner, avid athlete and now also a qualified health and wellness coach.

“So many women I talk to see turning 50 as an ending. Almost like you’ve reached your sell-by date. But I believe 50 is just the beginning. Now, after years of putting family and children first, it is your time. Time to get your mojo back! Pursue your passions. You really don’t have to fit into the mould of others’ opinions or the fluctuating standards of society.”
It was during lockdown when Marna could not work that she decided to keep her mind busy and generate some sort of an income by going back to studying.

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“With my teaching background and love for sport and people, it made perfect sense to study health and wellness coaching, combining these two passions. Since then, I’ve launched Body in Bloom Health and Wellness Coaching. We focus on fitness, weight loss, reducing stress, achieving a better work-life balance, prioritising self-care and how to practise a positive mindset. There are various programs, from a motivator package to meditation and even one for menopause.”

That’s not all. Soon after hitting the half-century mark, Marna launched a 50andMe lifestyle concept website. She felt there was a need for a platform where women could connect, interact, and find everything they might need to help them grow older, while feeling fabulous and not being overwhelmed.

On the site you’ll find health, wellness and lifestyle articles and tips, shared by Marna and professionals that are part of the 50andMe family. And there is no stopping Marna yet.
“It’s still a fairly new brand … I have so many plans that I’m permanently starry-eyed. There are plans for a FitFlo Fitness for a cause event, our NPO that gives back to the community by means of fitness events. Then our newly launched Pink Ribbon Ink campaign that will run throughout the year, assisting breast cancer survivors.”

In between meeting clients and bride-to-be appointments, doing one-on-one fitness sessions Marna also manages to fit in time to train six days every week … be it cycling, open water swimming, running or strength training. There’s even talks about running the Comrades Marathon and doing the Ironman 70.3 in Mosselbay later this year. Now that’s #goals!

“Funny enough, I was never really a sporty kind of girl when I was younger. I did a bit of netball at school and of course the compulsory PE classes where I was always back of the pack and trudged through the classes. After school, I started studying for my teacher’s degree. I became a full-blown student with loads of takeaway food and no exercise. The most I would exert myself was a fast walk to a class when I was late. But some health issues, later on, made me realise I need to make a change.”

And she did just that. She started to run, and today she is the proud owner of a Comrades marathon green number and has four half Ironman triathlons under her belt. So it comes as no surprise that Marna is also a finalist in the Woman in Sports category for the Woman of Stature Awards in March.

“Yes, I am passionate about sport and healthy living, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good glass of wine or bubbly with my girlfriends.”

At home, Marna is the no-makeup-no-shoes kind of woman, who loves to spend time with friends and family and play board games. Living life to the max is what she is all about.
From solo jumping out of an aeroplane, skinning dipping after a long run to aiming to become a contestant on Survivor, one thing is for sure, for Marna life is mind over matter … never allowing stereotypes and age to limit her potential or what she can achieve. Cheers to that!

Marna’s fave smoothie
After over-indulging during the holidays, a healthy smoothie is a great idea. Here’s Marna’s favourite recipe:
You’ll need: 2 cups of coconut water; ½ pineapple, peeled and cored; ¼ papaya, peeled and pitted; ½ cucumber, cubed; 1 ½ teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated; 1 teaspoon turmeric powder; ice
How to: Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend for 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth.

Eight tips to master better habits in 2022

  1. Make SPF your BFF. Using a good sunscreen even on cloudy days is so important it will shield your skin from signs of ageing and sun damage.
  2. Exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes. Studies have shown that exercising only two to three times a week will slow down the ageing process by 25 per cent.
  3. Get enough sleep. At least six to eight hours a day. Sleep not only helps our minds switch off but also assists in weight loss and a happy mood.
  4. Add a spoonful of collagen to your coffee in the morning. The benefits are endless. Less wrinkles, no achy joints, strong and healthy bones to name a few.
  5. Be mindful. Studies have shown that getting in tune with ourselves through mindfulness improves wellbeing and brings down stress.
  6. Punctuate your day with a mini-meditation with one minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations – one minute of focused attention on breathing and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole.
  7. Be kind to yourself. Imagine being your own best friend. Praise yourself rather than wait for others to do it. Remember you are enough!
  8. Try something new. Trying new things not only helps us to vanquish those fears, but it also allows us to expand our minds and learn — both about said new thing, and about ourselves. And then there’s the rush. There’s nothing quite like or as memorable as the thrill of a new experience.

Details: 50andme.co.za, [email protected] or follow @marnafitat50 on Facebook and @marna_fitat50 on Insta.

Text: RIALIEN FURSTENBERG. • Photographer: JACO BOTHMA. • Make-up & hair: ELAINE BOSHOFF. • Venue: TOADBURY HALL COUNTRY HOTEL. • Dress: www.keylargo.co.za

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