All Entries For friendship

I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends

A couple of months ago, I wrote about popularity--and why it matters less than it once did. It sparked some interesting discussion worth following up on. The quality of friendships matters more than the quantity of friends, I wrote then. Today, let's talk about what matters most in choosing friends. And parents, listen up: This matters as much to you as it does your kids.

My dear friend and colleague, Dr. Catherine Bagwell, and I spent two years writing our book, Friendships in Childhood and Adolescence.  The overarching question we encountered: What is the significance of friendship? We learned it is one of those questions to which everyone immediately answers, "there is a lot of significance in friendship," but answering with substance takes more effort (as our editor pointed out).

So what is the significance in friendship? And how can you both choose good friends and be one yourself? That, my friends and readers, is what we're discussing today.
Posted 10/11/2012  6:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments   11,653 views
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An Amazing SparkPeople Weekend Extravaganza

Last year I had the honor of traveling to Pittsburgh to participate in the 11th Annual Just a Short Run event in a suburb just outside of the city. This SparkPeople tradition was started two years earlier when Bob (BobbyD31) and Anne (MIAMIA7) Dawson invited SparkFriends from the Pennsylvania and Ohio area to run/walk in this fabulous event which offers a 5K, 8.1 miler, half-marathon and a 30K--a distance for every runner and walker alike. It was such a success that year, the team decided to make this an annual event. This is the 3rd year now and with each passing year more and more SparkPeople members have made the pilgramage to Pittsburgh to share in a weekend of pure SparkFun!

Talking with Bob on Friday night at the dinner our magnificent SparkPeople members put together, it was evident that this has become more than just a meet-up, it has become a tradition. Growing from 12 participants in 2010 to over 60 plus members this year it is one event I will not miss. With over 13 states and 5 provinces in Canada represented, it has grown from a homegrown tradition, to one that embodies the true SparkSpirit of friendship, support and living our lives as an adventure.
Posted 4/3/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Nancy Howard : 61 comments   10,272 views
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A SparkPeople Love Connection--Meet the Newlyweds

Some may think of SparkPeople as just a healthy living website, but it is so much more! Many members form long-lasting friendships with other members (even in other parts of the world). Recently we found out that there was a couple that met on SparkPeople and got married earlier this year, which I believe may be the second SparkPeople wedding to date. Where else can you find such fun, long-lasting friendships and/or a possible mate who also enjoys living a healthy lifestyle? Only on SparkPeople, of course!

Being someone who also met their spouse on the internet by chance (over 15 years ago), I truly enjoyed the story about how Jan (JANHIM) and Greg (TRAILTRODDER) met (and are now married). I am very excited that they allowed me to interview them for the dailySpark so we can share their beautiful and fun story with all of you too. As you will see, Jan and Greg are definitely Making Their Lives An Adventure together!

Posted 12/1/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 52 comments   10,663 views
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Selective Hearing: Turn it On

Back in my high school days I was a long distance competitive swimmer and participated on my school team, as well as the city team. During those four years of swimming I put in countless thousands of laps, hours upon hours of training, but never fully mastered one stroke.

On one occasion I remember my coach having the entire team get out of the pool so they could stand there and watch me swim the butterfly stroke. He wanted to teach them how not to do it. Talk about utter humiliation. Eventually I graduated and moved on, finishing as captain of the team and successful in some distance events that others wouldn’t dream of swimming. Always in the back of my mind though, was the fact that for some reason I couldn’t master the butterfly stroke.

Fast forward three years into college and I met a friend who also was a high school swimmer that specialized in the butterfly stroke. I was quick to tell him how horrible I was at it and that I would never be able to do that stroke correctly. He gave me the “pffft” noise and said “get in the pool, and I’ll show you how to do it.” Within 30 minutes he had me swimming a great butterfly stroke, up and down the pool. How did that happen? 
Posted 11/10/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Michelene Cleary : 46 comments   11,726 views
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4 Good Reasons You Should Pair Up to Work Out

According to a recent dailySpark poll, 75% of you do not work out with a buddy. I'm more of a solo exerciser myself, but sometimes—especially when I need a little entertainment or motivation—I like working out with a friend. I don't strongly take one side or the other on this issue. I think different things work for different people. But some new research is showing that pairing up to work out might have more benefits than you realized…
Posted 2/25/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 48 comments   14,455 views
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SparkPeople Members Take on Vegas

It's hard to believe just ten short months ago SparkPeople runners and walkers traveled from all over the country to run the first of many races in 2010. We all met in New Orleans to run in the Mardi Gras Rock N Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon at the end of February and I must say it started a trend that I am sure will continue well into 2011 and beyond.

Posted 12/18/2010  8:15:30 AM By: Nancy Howard : 54 comments   14,908 views
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10 Fun Exercises You Can Do with a Buddy

With the advent of 2011 just a few weeks away, many of us are preparing to take on the new year with vim and vigor and what better way than to recruit your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend even your child to help you both achieve your fitness goals.

Partner exercises are a fantastic way to keep you accountable especially when you are just starting a new exercise plan or life gets too busy.

Working out with a buddy is also a simple way to integrate new exercises (and a little fun) into a workout routine that has become a little mundane. Here are 10 exercises designed for two that you can try during your next workout!
Posted 12/8/2010  4:00:46 PM By: Nancy Howard : 21 comments   30,976 views
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The Value of Holiday Traditions

When you think back to the holidays of your childhood what comes to mind? What memories come first? For me there are so many but the first are always the things that were considered traditions and part of each year's celebrations.

Traditions create an identity for a family or a group of people. For example, football fans enjoy the tradition of watching the Detroit Lions or Dallas Cowboys play each Thanksgiving afternoon. Once Thanksgiving is over and you hear a bell ringing around town, you expect to see a red kettle and someone representing The Salvation Army.

Traditions are held practices, customs, beliefs, or values handed down from one generation to the next. Through the oral tradition, much cultural and historical information was passed down through generations. Much of the information was captured once a written language was established. Thoughts, stories, and ideas common to a group of people that have been tested to be enjoyable or reliable tend to continue and while those that are not fall away. Children learn by repetition and thrive in the predictability of routine. When they have participated in an activity or routine several times, they come to expect them, which helps reduce anxiety from the unknown and unexpected. Traditions keep loved ones alive in our hearts and minds when they are away from us and create a special bond for years to come. Many of the happy experiences we remember as we age come when we revisit the memories of routines and traditions we enjoyed in our youth. It isn't difficult to establish traditions with neighbors, family and friends. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your time together this holiday season.

Posted 11/22/2010  6:01:45 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 37 comments   12,022 views
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Habits of Fit People: Surround Yourself with Active People

You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: surrounding myself with other active people.

Maybe it sounds obvious, or maybe it sounds impossible, but either way, I believe that it really does matter. As much as we like to think of ourselves as unique individuals, able to make our own decisions, able to resist the influence of others, it turns out that we are actually very similar to our friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers, and acquaintances. Whatever is the norm in your social group, usually becomes the norm for you, too.

This isn't just my opinion. Research supports the idea, too—that obesity is "contagious" and that when we eat with other people, their food choices affect us—how much we eat, what we eat, and how we feel about it. We are always making decisions based on other people's thoughts, actions and habits, which is why it's so important to surround yourself with people whose values and habits support your healthy lifestyle.
Posted 10/20/2010  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 89 comments   21,670 views
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SparkPeople Runners Share a Dream Running in the Hood to Coast Relay

Just one short week ago, 12 SparkPeople members and countless volunteers shared and lived a dream by participating what is often referred to as The Mother of All Relays--The Mount Hood to Coast Relay-- a 197-mile relay that begins on the slopes of Mount Hood and finishes on the beach in the community of Seaside, Oregon.

What started out as a simple mention on the SparkTeam Running message boards around this time last year, blossomed into 12 individuals coming together to form the 2010 Sparkin' Hood to Coast Team. The team consisted of runners from the United States and Canada with various levels of running expertise. However, the one common bond we shared was that we all met on SparkPeople.

I was honored to participate in this prestigious event. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined just 5 1/2 short years ago when I was 80 pounds heavier and hardly able to walk a mile much less run 15, that I would ever step out of my comfort zone to push my body past the grueling physical and mental fatigue it took each of us to get our team across the finish line.

Posted 9/4/2010  10:00:32 AM By: Nancy Howard : 89 comments   14,892 views
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SparkPeople Members Take on Chicago

Last September a trend started in the SparkPeople Road Runners SparkTeam that has since blossomed into a full-fledge SparkPeople movement. The unofficial SparkPeople Inaugural Race took place at the New Orleans Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Marathon and Half-marathon in February 2010. Since that time, race get-togethers have been slowly building momentum with each subsequent posting on the message boards.

This past weekend was no exception as SparkPeople members gathered in Grant Park early Sunday morning to run and walk in the Second Annual Chicago Rock N Roll Half-Marathon. The day was absolutely gorgeous with not a cloud in the sky. It was a little warmer than ideal and the humidity was quite high, however, we all went out to run our very best.

Posted 8/7/2010  10:16:02 AM By: Nancy Howard : 77 comments   16,912 views
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SparkPeople Members Take on Seattle

Last week I made my second trek across the country to participate alongside other SparkPeople members in a racing event--the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon. The minute I stepped off the plane the temperature was a good 25 degrees cooler than it had been when I left Dallas just a few short hours before. In Texas, we had an extremely warm June with temperatures hitting well into the triple digits so being in the Pacific Northwest was a nice change.

I was greeted at the airport by my friend Tami Auntie65 whom I stayed with while in Seattle. We have been virtual friends for a few years via the Rookie Running Group, as well as the Road Runners Group, but we have never had the opportunity to meet one another in person until last week.

Posted 7/3/2010  10:49:07 AM By: Nancy Howard : 59 comments   11,823 views
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Poll: Do People Really Understand the Mental Hardships of Being Overweight?

For the past year I have had the pleasure of reconnecting with some of my former classmates of 1980. Once a month we come together to sit down and catch up. We talk about old times, our families, jobs and everything in between. We can literally spend hours lost in conversation, laughter and sometimes tears. These great women, many of whom I knew in name only back in the day, have become such a wonderful network of support and encouragement for me.

Having spent most of my life, age 12 to 43, struggling with my weight, I never felt at peace with my body until the past 4 years. High school was a rough time for me. I was always heavier than many of the girls in my class and because of that I never felt like I fit in. I felt like a misfit. Much of that had to do with a lack of self-esteem on my part. I started my first diet when I was 12 and continued off and on until age 43. Its a legacy I am not proud of, but one that has allowed me to get me to where I am today.

Posted 5/15/2010  12:36:02 PM By: Nancy Howard : 237 comments   20,687 views
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Poll: Do You Struggle With Social Eating?

Whenever I spend time with friends, the gathering almost always revolves around eating. "Want to meet for dinner?" "How about coming over and we'll order a pizza?" It's rare that my friends and I do something together where food is not involved. I find it pretty easy to stay on track with a healthy diet when I'm eating at home. But when I get around other people, if they are ordering dessert I feel more of a reason to do it, too. If they finish their food, it gives me more of a reason to clean my plate even if I'm not hungry. Even though it's not direct peer pressure, social eating has a strong influence on the choices many of us make.

Posted 5/7/2010  6:25:01 AM By: Jen Mueller : 123 comments   18,160 views
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In the Company of SparkPeople Heroes

By Bob Dawson

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 I had the opportunity to meet up with some fellow SparkPeople members in Pittsburgh who were participating in the Just a Short Run. This was a series of races comprised of six events all going on at the same time. There were four running events--5k, 12k, half marathon and a 30k and two walking events-- 5k and 12k.

Eleven SparkPeople members joined over 2000 other runners and walkers on a cold 23 degree morning all set to have a great day. We had all events covered and the members who finished earlier cheered alongside family members, until the last of us crossed the finish line. Each member finished their race with a renewed spirit.

Below is a recap of how we did as a individuals.

Posted 5/3/2010  11:36:51 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 96 comments   13,574 views
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