My HealthySELF: How Tom Brokaw’s Daughter Sarah Faced Turning 40
A few years ago, then-38-year-old therapist (and daughter of Tom!) Sarah Brokaw decided not to attend her 20-year high school reunion.
“I wasn’t married and didn’t have kids,” Brokaw says. “But then I realized how ridiculous and hypocritical I felt — I tell my clients to face life with confidence and curiosity rather than fear and regret.”
Brokaw decided to do research about what modern women go through in their late 30s, and the results are documented in her new book, Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your Life — Through the 40s, 50s, and Beyond.
“What has really struck me is that women don’t feel they have a lot of adventure in their lives, partly because of the economy, and partly because they define adventure as being reckless, and that’s too irresponsible,” Brokaw says.
“But we need curiosity in our lives — it’s what keeps us going. My grandmother is the perfect example: She’s taken journalism classes, swimming lessons and so many adventures, and I think that’s why she’s 94 years old and thriving.”
We chatted with Brokaw this week to find out what makes her thrive.
Photo courtesy Sarah Brokaw
What’s your idea of a perfect night out?
I love going to a friend’s house and having a potluck dinner party with delicious wine and delicious food and a great conversation. And sometimes it’s just a night in with my dogs! I have a great backyard with a firepit, so I love just chilling out with my two dogs.
What do you do to relax?
It depends on how much time I have! If I’m traveling, it’s all about reading. It’s become my therapy. It can be anything from a trashy magazine to an article in The New York Times to nonfiction. I just finished reading Horse Soldiers, about special forces in Afghanistan. I’ll read a novel next. That’s the way I relax, especially if I’m not able to go for a run or a hike.
What’s your exercise routine?
I’ve always been a runner and a swimmer. But I’ve started doing yoga recently to balance it all out and help my flexibility. Also, when I moved to California, I moved with a boyfriend who was a former professional surfer, and I fell in love with surfing. Unfortunately, the relationship didn’t work out, but I still love to surf.
If you feel like you’re gaining weight, what do you do to get back on track?
I remind myself to press play again. I start out by just doing 20 minutes — not pushing myself to do an hour. Then I’m like, OK, this time it’ll be 30 minutes. Those baby steps help make it less daunting. And I’m always pleasantly surprised that my muscle memory is still there and I’m in better shape than I realized.
What’s your least healthy habit?
Red Bull, Coca Cola, and Twizzlers. I do not condone those things at all! I definitely have this weird sweet tooth — it’s not ice cream or cookies, it’s Red Bull or Coke. And I always feel sick afterward!
What’s your current most urgent goal?
I want all women in their 30s and 40s to feel empowered, to destigmatize aging. And personally, I want to continue to lead my life as if I have so much more life to live. There’s so much to discover.
— Anna Maltby
To read more go to Self.com