Syd Hoffman, 56, knows the secret to attaining age-defying vitality. Since celebrating her 50th birthday, the Phoenix, Ariz., resident has climbed both Mount Kilimanjaro and the Swiss Alps. In the past decade, she has built three successful businesses from the ground-up, authored a bestselling novel and competed in half-marathons on the side.
In other words, the couch is the last place you’ll find Syd Hoffman. But while she is now full of limitless energy, this wasn’t always the case. Not that long ago, Syd was a coffee-guzzling, sedentary mom burned out from the demands of a full-time career.
“If you would have told me at age 40 that I would feel this good at 56, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Syd says with a laugh.
Shortly after turning 40, Syd noticed that something was missing in her life. As the principal and owner of a private K-8 elementary school, she was constantly surrounded by energetic gaggles of young children while she struggled with sluggishness and feeling worn out.
“Watching the kids run around on the playground, I noticed how energetic they were,” Syd remembers. “I wanted to be more like them—more full of life. I felt older than my age.”
Syd knew she needed a change, so she started small. An occasional exerciser, she amped up her fitness routine and committed to working out five days a week. She eliminated coffee, soda and alcohol from her diet, sticking solely to water. Finally, she switched from eating three large meals to grazing on small meals throughout the day.
According to Syd, these small tweaks yielded a big payoff. Not only were Syd’s new habits benefiting her waistline—“I lost 10, 15 pounds,” she says—but she revitalized her career, too.
“I was more awake, more alive. Once I started exercising, the school grew,” she says, adding that her vitality had a ripple effect that affected the entire school faculty. “Many of the teachers began to follow my example. They saw how much energy I had and were inspired to put their coffee down and go for a brisk walk with me instead.”
In July 2006, Syd retired from her job as an elementary school principal, sold the school’s six-acre campus, and used the money from the sale to embark on a journey around the world. At this time Syd’s daughter, Hillary, was leaving for college, and Syd, galvanized by her newfound energy, wanted to do something new and exciting for herself.
“I wanted to have an adventurous life,” she explains. “I had watched so many people wait until it was too late to travel or enjoy their hobbies.”
Syd set an audacious goal for herself: to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro by age 50. To physically prepare for the excursion, she trained vigorously for 18 months, lifting weights, running and doing yoga. In February 2007, Syd climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro along with 12 other women—an experience that was positively “life-changing.”
“It taught me so much about myself,” Syd says. “Now, when I am faced with challenges in my life, I feel like I have the resilience and strength to conquer them.”
She adds, “It’s amazing, because 10, 15 years ago, I would have never envisioned myself climbing a mountain. It’s never too late to start.”
In 2009, after returning from her adventures abroad, Syd fed her entrepreneurial spirit by opening a yoga studio: Joyful Yoga.
“I guess you could call me a serial entrepreneur,” Syd says with a laugh. “That’s one of my passions.”
At the yoga studio, clients would approach Syd and praise her seemingly inexhaustible energy. “They asked, ‘Where do you get your energy? How do you do it?’” Syd recalls. “I had always wanted to write a book, and that inspired me to do it.”
In her new book All Day Energy: 100 Ways to Boost Your Energy…Now! Syd shares her top strategies for erasing fatigue and achieving instant energy. The book demonstrates how small, daily changes can dramatically break the cycle of fatigue—no fancy supplements or energy drinks necessary.
And if anybody is qualified to parcel out advice on energy, it’s Syd Hoffman. Syd doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. “I want to live life to the fullest. Everyday I wake up excited to try something new and to challenge myself,” she says. “I want to keep going for years and years to come.”
True to form, Syd has her sights set on bigger heights. Next up, she hopes to take on Machu Picchu. She says, “Maybe that will be my goal for age 60!”
To learn more about Syd Hoffman and All Day Energy, visit http://www.sydhoffman.com/.