Women Who Inspire | Denise Clark


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Denise Clark, 62. Sommelier & PR Expert

Denise started biking ten years ago, at age 52, as an alternative to running.  Just last month, she undertook an endeavor that frightens pro-cyclists: biking the Dolomites in Italy. Denise climbed 22,000 feet of elevation, over 171 miles in a 5 day period. Whew!! Congrats Denise! You rule midlife!

What is your workout schedule?

I usually exercise 6 days/a week; Friday is a rest day. I Peloton two days, row two days, outdoor bike two days. Also add strength, barre, and core workouts during weekdays. I am a freak…I love to work out.

What is your typical diet?

Eggs and sausage/bacon for breakfast, a big salad with protein for lunch, salmon or other protein with veggies for dinner. Sometimes pasta during the week. Pizza often on Fridays to fuel me on Sat and Sun longer outdoor rides. Guilty of enjoying peanut butter M&Ms, pita crackers, and Goldfish and enjoy a couple of glasses of wine each night. 

What keeps you motivated to exercise?  Do you have a mantra you say to yourself when things get hard?

Thankfully, I am wired to exercise. I really feel off when I don’t exercise. So I don’t need a lot of motivation. It helps me deal with stress from work and I feel so good when I’m done. And I feel like I can enjoy my wine! If I am having a hard day and not motivated to work out hard, I usually will go for a walk to at least get some movement and listen to a funny podcast like Smartless.

Which actress would you want to play you in a movie?

I have no clue. Everyone says my voice sounds like Demi Moore …and she is physically fit in a healthy way….so I will go with her.

What is something you’re really afraid to try but want to?

Nothing…the things I am afraid to do, I will never do because I am too afraid (skydiving and bungee jumping, for example, are on many peoples’ bucket lists). No way in hell. I was in New Zealand, where one of the most famous bungee jumping bridges was, but there was no way I could convince myself to do it. 

In your life, what has been your biggest reason to celebrate?

My biggest reasons to celebrate are health and happiness. I am blessed with a terrific family (three kids, six grandchildren), my 86-year-old mother, two brothers, and lots of friends. I always say ”all we have is our health. If you have your health, you can do most anything.” I am very fit right now and am grateful that my body lets me do the things I do and my mind is smart enough to tell me not to do things I can’t do anymore (ie….running. My first love…but my knees and ankles are unhappy with running so I had to give it up so I can continue to be active for years ahead). I am competitive with myself so I celebrate personal PRs and special activities (riding the Dolomites, for example) but I try not to get too hung up on numbers and just be grateful that I can do what I do.

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