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3 Days, 3 Hour-Long Jogs

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

These past few days have been such an amazing spring preview, with temps in the 70s, that I simply could not resist putting myself right out there and jogging to soak it all up before the hammer falls tonight dropping to 18 chilly degrees with snow yet one more time.

But: Holy quads afire I've got a good aching soreness that comes from working different muscles. Each year I re-discover how differently one works muscles with running as opposed to my usual spin bikes and elliptical workouts...!

One thing I've been doing with my jogs has been to, whenever possible take to the grass and dirt instead of pavement so that I can be kinder to my joints. I've seen folks way more obese than I pounding the pavement and can't help but cringe, thinking: please don't punish your body and move off the paved trail into the grass and dirt!

Plus tip #2 I'd give them if I could: all the torture involved in moving a morbidly obese body anywhere on dry land (as opposed to water) is going to yield miniscule results for weight loss compared to channeling our efforts toward diligence in making healthier food choices. Drop some pounds this way first and THEN when one can take pleasure in moving one's body, THEN start pushing yourself with workouts to lose inches and tone yourself.

Yesterday's jog was not as awesome as those over the weekend as it was cloudy and unsettled. But my route took me from my fitness center downtown Binghamton along the Riverwalk trail (which is my current SparkPage background picture from another year), over the Washington Street bridge and the Vestal Parkway overpass toward what used to be MacArthur school (flooded and torn down) and around the track which still remains and heading back to the fitness center. The wind was wild and woolly as I jogged along the two rivers of my route (Chenango & Susquehanna) taking in the energy of the waters at their confluence. When one is outdoors there are always special aspects of nature to take in and savor.

Here are a couple of pics from the Confluence Park from calmer times:

Now I shift gears for a few days and take 'er indoors to the spin bike and elliptical. The warmth & sunshine? They'll be back to lure me outdoors again soon enough!

Have a wonderful Easter week filled with SPARK everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYCHRIS1952 5/1/2014 12:05PM


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DOGLADY13 4/26/2014 9:28AM

    I'm reading your blogs backwards and enjoying the pictures. Is the big tree over on Conklin (I think it was Conklin) still there. It was a tremendously old, enormous tree. It may have been a beech tree... Anyway, if it is there, I would love it if you could post pictures of it through the seasons.

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ZELLAZM 4/19/2014 5:27AM

    Happy Easter to you, too, Don! Thanks for the reminder that food choices are even more important than exercise! Lesson learned - and re-learned, and re-learned!

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RAINBOWFALLS 4/17/2014 8:57AM

    We can get back outside again today! I hope you get to enjoy some of the sunshine. Take care

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PATRICIAAK 4/16/2014 1:49AM

    you're an inspiration

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L*I*T*A* 4/15/2014 11:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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123ELAINE456 4/15/2014 10:05PM

  Beautiful Photos. You are Amazing. You are doing Excellent!!! Sound like you had Beautiful Weather for your Jogs too. Sorry to hear about the Snow coming in tonight. Hope that You can get back outside soon. Keep It Up. God Blessings Always. Have A Wonderful Happy Easter. Take Care.

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/15/2014 9:32PM

    One of these years I'm going to have to schedule myself into a race out that way, so I can take a nostalgia trip. Nearly killed myself in the Binghamton - Borovichi sister city 8K in 1992, was it? I thought all the rooters were for me, but it turned out it was a Russian weight lifter who finished right behind me... I swore I'd never go longer than 5K again. (Never say never...)

Great advice about running softer, by the way... I find myself doing the same on my long and slows... seeking the verge, where it's not as tough on the joints.

Spark a fine Spring, Don! emoticon

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    Well you certainly are staying in shape. Kudos to you Don.

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STRIVERONE 4/15/2014 5:02PM

    I know it's a cliche but it's really true. Eighty percent of weight loss is effected in the kitchen and twenty percent in the gym. It's probably about opposite proportions for building strength and endurance.

Happy Easter to you too.

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WATERMELLEN 4/15/2014 4:47PM

    You are doing absolutely amazing! So smart to take advantage of the weather when you could: I'd hoped our snow would be a quick melt but not so, still plenty out there!!

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_LINDA 4/15/2014 4:13PM

    Way to get out there -pretty awesome after having just gotten some heart fixings! The nervous ninnies in me would be worrying if the impact might dislodge something vital, you know? Good on you getting past it!
I have always admired (*envious*) of your background and photos.
I can never go as nearly as far on paved surface as my beloved grass and earth trails.. I cringe when I see even normal healthy people jogging on cement.
Enjoy your week and I am hoping for sunshine and warmer temperatures for Easter weekend when my sister comes in from her farm..
Spin it good!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/15/2014 3:56PM

    That looks like a beautiful park. Your advice to drop some lbs. THEN work the body to lose those inches. DEFINITELY!

Great advice. Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

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_MOBII_ 4/15/2014 2:50PM

    I spent the summer in south Louisiana 2 years ago giving my poor body a pounding on the pavement. For me, the only problem with walking or jogging on the grass is that my feet always manage to find the smallest hole and twist my ankles like there is no tomorrow!

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IMSMILEY88 4/15/2014 11:23AM

    I love your background photo & these photos! Sounds like you took advantage of the beautiful weather. Here in Houston, we should already be 'hot'! But, yesterday dropped down into the 40's and was quite chilly. It's been an amazingly cool fall... but I'll take it!

As soon as summer comes, I'm going to have my foot looked at again. In the meantime, I'm going to take it easy on the running!

Enjoy your indoor workouts for now!

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DAISYBELL6 4/15/2014 9:53AM

    Sounds like a great run!

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/15/2014 9:47AM

    Great pics. Thanks.

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When I Grow Up...

Monday, April 14, 2014

I had such a wonderful jog yesterday in my favorite local park, Dorchester:

I maintained my jogging gait as I went up the ridge to jog along the top of the dam...the same angle as this photo was taken. This ridge is such a GLORIOUS place to be in the part as one is right on top of the dam which creates the lake you see on the one side and on the other side you see the valley of Whitney Point and its school sprawling, often with the athletic fields filled with kids playing football or other sports. Today was an amazing day because of the WINDS! Oh MY I felt like I was going to take FLIGHT!

I felt just like this little boy and remembered the image, spreading my arms like a bird as I jogged along the ridge smiling and laughing out loud...

Sending this out with wishes for everyone to dig deep, find your SPARK and CELEBRATE IT!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 4/24/2014 3:05PM

    Wonderful place to run!

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COMMIT2BFIT4ME 4/15/2014 11:09AM

    Wonderful! I can just picture you out there with your arms stretched out as if you were soaring at great heights. Aahhh, I know why..because you are! Have a sparktaculous day!


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KANOE10 4/15/2014 8:01AM

    Beautiful pictures. The joy of your run is contagious!

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L*I*T*A* 4/15/2014 1:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAM60SUMTHINK 4/14/2014 10:16PM

    "Share the Joy" is what you did in this smile-evoking blog; loved it!
Thanks for letting us soar with you!

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WATERMELLEN 4/14/2014 7:53PM

    Just love the exuberance of this blog!! You're tapping into new joy.

And: congrats on losing that 2 pounds.

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/14/2014 7:46PM

    I remember that park! We used to take our son there when he was little. Great place to picnic and play. Love the Joseph Heller quote... second childhood is the bomb!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/14/2014 5:52PM

    What a gorgeous picture! Inspiration to be sure.

Have a good time with your training today.

`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸•
*¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“
No one should relinquish his duty, even though it is flawed; all actions are enveloped by flaws as fire is enveloped by smoke. From the Bhagavad Gita
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*¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“

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PATRICIAAK 4/14/2014 4:37PM

    sounds wonderful

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STRIVERONE 4/14/2014 3:54PM

A couple years ago a friend of mine decided to do the Broome County sprint triathlon at Whitney Point. I am not much of a swimmer, but I accompanied him several times on his bike and run practices there and went to the event as a spectator. Dorchester Park really is a gem and not overused.

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123ELAINE456 4/14/2014 11:41AM

  A Beautiful Photo. Sounds like you had a Wonderful Jogging on the Ridge. You are doing Great. Keep It Up. God Blessings Always. Have a Fantastic Day. Take Care.

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ZELLAZM 4/14/2014 10:22AM

    Springtime always makes me feel like this! Joy!

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WMUGRAD 4/14/2014 10:16AM


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_LINDA 4/14/2014 10:03AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Yes, never lose that childhood sense of wonder. There is always something out there to bring a smile to your mug :)
Love your photo (and background)! Wish it were not 18 this morning, but the sunshine makes those browns and grays a little bit brighter!

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MNCYCLIST 4/14/2014 9:27AM


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SLIMMERJESSE 4/14/2014 9:15AM

    What a joyful blog! Thanks.

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CHANGE4FIT 4/14/2014 9:14AM

    Wow-what a beautiful view!

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JLAMING263 4/14/2014 9:12AM


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VALERIEMAHA 4/14/2014 9:00AM

    You're on fire in the world -- vibrant, engaged, childlike, tuned to the Mystery... you and Mary Oliver:

Mysteries, Yes

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

~ Mary Oliver ~

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HMBROWN1 4/14/2014 8:46AM

    Sounds like you had a great run!

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Salty Upper Lip: Prepping for 5K

Saturday, April 12, 2014

We've been graced by stupendous spring-into-summer-like weather this weekend and EVERYBODY'S heading outdoors! Today I began in earnest to prepare for the Binghamton Bridge Run, my only 5K of the year...good timing since I am still taking the anti-coagulant and am staying off the bike.

So I focus on jogging...or fast-walking...lol!

One voice told myself before heading out to our Vestal Rail - Trail to jog 4 miles: first of the season, take it easy, it's okay if you need to walk some of it.

The other voice? "Heh: no WAY are you gonna walk!" ;-)

And nope, I didn't...my time for 4 miles wasn't TOO bad, 50 mins. or 12.5 min. mile. Considering my best 5K time over the past few years has only been an 11 min. mile I thought I did pretty good for my first crack at it today. My tunes were as helpful as ever...Springsteen's Dancing In The Dark had a spot-on pace for my jog. Got my salty upper lip, just like I do when I have a hard ride on my bike!

I waved at a couple of cyclists from the bike club as they rode by...longing to join them, but being oh-so-patient with the process!

Yesterday I met with the fellow at the Arrhythmia Center who ran the test on my pacemaker and determined that everything was looking good. I'll be getting my own box for doing the same in a few weeks. I was very precise in my questioning of him: So the readings today indicate that my heart is doing what it should, not dropping beats, no blood pooling in the atrium any longer? Correct, he said. And this is wired directly to my cardiologist, right? Correct.

Well even though I don't meet with the cardiologist until May 19th, I'm going to start e-mailing her next week about discontinuing my anti-coagulant and see if I can get started BEFORE May 19th...!

The box is a very non-intrusive process and unlike my earlier explanation of this occurring every night in my sleep I can run the test any time and it's only necessary to run once every few months. Easy peasy!

The pounds are holding steady these days...some zig-zagging but lately holding around 216.5. I'm enjoying downsizing my clothes...even though the pounds aren't dropping I feel like the inches are. Have to get cozy with the tape measure sometime. I'm actually getting a teensy sense of scrawniness around my shoulders and upper chest and eager to get back to my upper body strength training, but am still restricted: no heavy lifting, pushing, etc. This should be discontinued also when I meet with my cardiologist on May 19th.

Sometimes I get a little frustrated over the plateau, but mostly I'm "okay" with it...realizing that a "pause for the cause" ain't such a bad idea! This isn't a race, it's all about building a lifestyle that can weather the test of time. I also tell myself that numbers are one thing, but what works when it comes to living my life is another.

The "hungries" have reared their head now & then...and although I've overindulged in the quantity of food, I've stood firm in maintaining my zero-sugar, zero-grain, no-food from 9 pm until noon approach...occasionally creeping up to 10 pm. Avoiding sugar and grains has worked well for me and I think I will be able to stand by this approach, with some thoughts of adding oatmeal when cycling comes along...but keeping my oats "clean" with no sugar or butter, just lots of cinnamon and banana to sweeten it.

So all in all, I've been keepin' on, keepin' on!

Hope everyone is savoring weather that's just as tasty as ours has been this weekend! :-)


PS: Update! Down 2 pounds all of a sudden today! 14 pounds from GOAL! More proof that if you work your SPARK the pay-offs will come! :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELER 4/14/2014 8:32AM

    Way to go, Don!! You're becoming a very wise man. Glad to hear that things look positive on the medical side. You'll nail that 5K if you're already running 4 miles. I'd like to keep up a little running, but focusing on getting my bike legs back right now.

We're enjoying beautiful weather, too. At least until tomorrow.

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ZELLAZM 4/14/2014 6:16AM

    WTG on cutting out the grains and sugar - and on the good results! Looking forward to your training blogs and, of course, rooting for you as you do your 5K - soon!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/13/2014 4:50PM

    Good job with the release of 2 lbs.! You are right to be patient with the process and sounds like you did well with that. Hmmm...the hungries get to me sometimes, too, and sounds like you did well quelling that beast!

I do so much better, too, with both salt and sugar out of my system! Both are so darned addictive and more importantly, don't agree w/my body! So, if it doesn't agree with me, I'm not putting it in me!

Good luck and here's to a good sparking week.

`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸•
*¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“
Today is a new beginning, the first step on a very special journey. Along the way there will be new sights to see and concepts to learn. As you travel through this day, take time to acknowledge yourself and celebrate your choice to live mindfully and wholeheartedly! With your mind and heart open, you are creating the space to manifest the life of your dream. Deepak Chopra
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*¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“

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RACEWELLWON 4/13/2014 4:06PM

    Good for Don - see back on Track Cycling and hitting the Happy Trail Me too and loving it ! Love Steele Oats ! Thanks for the support - Oh name change - a gift to myself for my third Spark Anniversary - Happy Spring - Yeah Karen

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_LINDA 4/13/2014 4:01PM

    Great news all around!! Way to run it!! So glad your added equipment isn't going to be a bother! Imagine getting to do what you love by May 19!
Hope your great weather continues and you can get outside regularly!
Congrats on the weight loss! May it continue!

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DOGLADY13 4/13/2014 3:37PM

    I used to live in Binghamton - back in the late 1990s. I worked at the Agway store and lived on Broome Street.

It feels so good to get outside and exercise. So much better than the treadmill and stationary bike.

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L*I*T*A* 4/13/2014 3:18PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 4/13/2014 1:12PM

    You are creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself! The pause for a cause is needed and you are doing a great job of taking care of yourself. Your healthy eating is working and your maintenance is going well.

Have fun in the next race!

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HILLSLUG98239 4/13/2014 12:28PM

    I feel your pain about not being able to ride. I had a doctor-ordered lay off last summer. I walked. A lot. Sometimes three times a day.

Hang in there : all will be right with the world again soon!

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HIPPICHICK1 4/13/2014 10:42AM

    I've started to nix grains from my diet recently. I read an article about how many "teaspoons" of sugar are in one's diet. They gave the formula for figuring it out. Take your total amount of carbs, for example, my low end recommended by Spark is 165 grams of carbs, so we'll use that number. (I have often times eaten up to 200 grams of carbs in a day, but usually stay at the low end as I tried to get more healthy fats into my diet, which fill me up for long periods of time.)

Now, subtract the grams of fiber you ate from the carbs and then divide by 5 and that will give you the # of tsps of sugar (because all food is converted into sugar when it is digested) that you consumed in a day.

The target is 6-12 tsps., so 165 g of carbs minus 40 g of fiber = 125 divided 5 = 25 tsps of sugar!! I was like WOAH!

I have slowly, using baby steps, been reducing the carbs and so far (over 4 days) have reduced it to an average of 20 tsps a day. Yesterday was a mere 14 tsps, but I gotta say, it ain't easy!

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WATERMELLEN 4/13/2014 9:28AM

    This is totally impressive! Great run, and great progress with your heart health. Great discipline on the food front too.

You are indeed building a lifestyle that will stand the test of time.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 4/13/2014 7:52AM

    Good job sticking with the plan. I've got relatives up in your 'neck of the woods' - nice area.

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    Don, try quinoa also. I hope your oatmeal is the slow cook type. It's best to start from scratch always.

You are doing very well and being a good boy with your program. Caution is not being thrown in the trash bin and you'll make more long lasting progress that way.

Keep on keeping on.

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STRIVERONE 4/13/2014 12:18AM

    That's a pretty good clip, all things considered. Hope Judith and I see you at the Bridge Run.

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PATRICIAAK 4/13/2014 12:07AM

    staying sensible and steady is super

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123ELAINE456 4/12/2014 11:39PM

  Sounds like you are progressing forward very well. Keep it up. You done great on you jogging run too. WTG!!! God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/12/2014 11:10PM

    Love the background photo... I remember that trail... think it's had some upgrades in the past 15 years! Glad to hear you're making good progress in getting back to 100%.

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Safety Not Guaranteed

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I just have to give this movie one of the most heart-felt shout outs and and jump up & downs I've had over a movie in a long, long time. I knew way back when it came out that this was going to be a special movie. Check out the reviews below and see the trailer on YouTube:




FINALLY our local library had the DVD among its rentals! The sense of wonder, excitement, curiosity, anticipation and enthrallment over the progression of characters and relationships had me smiling in empathy and laughing at loud at points throughout the movie.

Check you logic and critical judgment at the door before viewing and come along for the joyous ride that this movie offers!!

It brought me back to my childhood days of swimming in Lake Michigan beyond the buoy into the thrilling depths beyond and re-kindled my fondness for quotes such as these:

"When I grow up I want to be a little boy." Joseph Heller

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

"Run from what's comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I'll be mad." -Rumi, as recently shared by SONGBUDDHA & VALERIEMAHA

And on such high notes take a musical trip with this high-energy, heartfelt concert with Brasilian masters Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco and Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubacalba! It is such a blast! Get up and MOVE! How wonderful to have music such as this by world-class masters!!


Spark Through Your Sunday everyone!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 4/12/2014 1:42AM

    I just can't have enough of movies, this one was on my horizon, thanks for the recommendation, will go for it!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 4/1/2014 9:27PM

    emoticon Thanks for posting the links for the previews!

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GIRANIMAL 4/1/2014 12:58PM

    Thanks! I love Aubrey Plaza in Parks and Rec, so we'll be sure to check it out! emoticon

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COMMIT2BFIT4ME 3/31/2014 5:08PM

    I enjoyed the movie on Netflix recently. Good pick! Music is great too.

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LKG9999 3/31/2014 4:47PM

    I've added this to my movie list. :)

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CHANGE4FIT 3/31/2014 10:48AM

    Looks facinating and the trailer made me smile!

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RAINBOWFALLS 3/31/2014 8:23AM

    Have a great week!

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123ELAINE456 3/31/2014 12:57AM

  Awesome Blog. The Music is Beautiful. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/30/2014 10:15PM

    I saw that on Netflix, I think. Hysterical.


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LOLA_LALA 3/30/2014 9:51PM

    Don, for never failing us in bringing us all the "bestest of all the restest"! I've got the Lins/Bosco/Rubalcaba concert playing right now - WOWZERS!!! Magical, magical stuff, though at 9:45 PM, it'll probably keep me wide-awake for the remainder of the evening! I also loved your Joseph Heller (what a master!) quote: "When I grow up I want to be a little boy." If one thing's surprised me the older I get, it's that with each passing year, I feel just a little more in touch with the "kid version" of myself - so enjoyable! emoticon

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MNCYCLIST 3/30/2014 8:28PM

    I feel that I live this quote whenever I'm on my bike: "When I grow up I want to be a little boy!" Thanks for sharing, Don.

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L*I*T*A* 3/30/2014 7:23PM

    good to know.........
great share will look it up @ our library......

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PATRICIAAK 3/30/2014 5:41PM

    great, uplifting blog.

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1CRAZYDOG 3/30/2014 4:55PM

    Thank you for the trailer! Going to look it up.

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    Don, I looked at the Youtube preview on this and it seems very heartwarming and down to earth.

Here's one for you: Mr. Nobody. A little more intense for sure. Loved it!

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BILLB000 3/30/2014 3:23PM

    Looks like a wonderful movie. Going on my short list. I appreciate movies that put positives into your life.... Thanks...

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WATERMELLEN 3/30/2014 3:14PM

    Appreciate this recommendation!! Gonna check it out if poss!!

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/30/2014 1:38PM

    Will check it out. And, if you have Netflix, don't miss Nicky's Family.

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_LINDA 3/30/2014 1:13PM

    Sounds like an awesome movie!! I saw that trailer just fine, but the music video didn't work, started then stalled and quit with an error message :(( Will try later, going out in the blowing snow and cold to mall crawl!! Not my favorite activity but walking outside is too dangerous very icy from the previous snow melt and freeze up.
Enjoy your day!

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2014TODAY 3/30/2014 11:50AM

    The movie looks interesting!

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    Thanks for the tip!

Make Today a Great Day!

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The OTHER NSA: Pile With A Smile!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I've enjoyed getting back into the swing of things at Spinning Class this week along with some nice walk / jogs outside now that the temps are rounding the bend again and warming up some.

Rather than naming these Non-Scale Victories as is often spoken about 'round these parts, I prefer to consider them Non-Scale Awarenesses (NSA)...not necessarily a whoop for joy but a smile of appreciation and a valuing the progress that I am making. Doubly so in that I appreciate the progress not only in my body, but in my awareness and the ability to give myself credit for what I've accomplished.

I'm riding LIGHTER! It used to be while riding I would lean forward more and put pressure on my arms to lighten my "load" and lessen the discomfort of the saddle. Now I find myself often sitting up straight during some of the sprints and pumping my arms as though I was jogging or slapping my legs in time to the music...a lightness not only in my saddle, but in my spirit too!

I have found "the bike"...you know, the one bike in the whole room that makes the most sense as YOUR bike? Back in the corner, next to the fan :-) but ALSO situated so that I always have a view of the outdoors as window space is at a premium and I like to be reminded of where I'd RATHER be cycling so that I can at least virtually "go there" during my spinning efforts. The other benefit is that I'm also next to the mirror that runs along the far wall of the class so that I can better acquaint myself with my body, my appearance and attempt to dispel the distortions of my self-perceptions one baby-step at a time. I've been mirror-averse all my life...ENOUGH!

Freeing my hands from the handlebars also allows them to rest on my thighs and I can appreciate the strength and firmness of my quads: yes, I know they'll take me wherever I choose to go on my bike! Although the critic in me grimaces over the top-down view of my skin flapping around my thighs as if I was about to take off like a flying squirrel, I look in the mirror and to my surprise that skin isn't visible. Hoping to become as appreciative of this skin as I am of my quads...!

One night while doing my own spinning routine another young fellow was doing the same thing. He started before me. When he finished up I gave him a thumbs up on his hour-long session and said "feels good! I love turning into a soaking wet pile with a smile!" He smiled and said "that's the goal, isn't it?" winked as he stepped out of the room.

Another discovery: I have a SPINE! While showering I noticed that I could feel the definition of my backbone...no poking or prodding required! :-)

In the locker room I overhear some young fellows talking about their weigh-ins, one remarking on his 219 pounds. He's shorter than me, more muscular, but certainly very appealing build. Hmm... Strength training. Missing that! So important! But I realize too that even when I WAS lifting weights 3x a week I wasn't paying too much attention to varying what I was doing other than bumping the weights up a smidgen here and there. Not sure if I can put enough time & energy into doing more than the same-old same old. But weights continue to be off-limits until May 7th...which brings me to my latest medical timeline!

Got my staples out this past Monday, healing is progressing nicely. My son, the neurosurgical Physician Assistant, duly put the fear of God in me regarding the importance of respecting the lifting, shoveling, pulling, pushing restrictions in the use of my left arm until the May 7th date: doing so could risk having the pacemaker dislodged in my chest and require re-installation! Okay I sez back to him: we're running out of wood pellets and I have a ton to move this weekend. You willing to do it for me? Great son that he is, of course he did! But I insisted he plop those 40# bags on my good right shoulder so I could hasten the loading / unloading and he could take the bag off my shoulder on the other end...lol!

The most IMPORTANT timeline of all, however, is when can the anti-coagulant be discontinued! In April I get a black box which wirelessly reads my pacemaker and sends data back to the doctor and manufacturer. I'm followed up with the Nurse Practitioner in mid-May. If all goes well and everything is running as it should she said it is likely the anti-coagulant can be finally discontinued then. Whew!

I am so PSYCHED about riding this year, lighter and spriter than ever...feeling pumped in spinning class...just winding up tighter and tighter ready to go go GO! I have acquired the final pieces of my self-supported touring gear. Even so part of me warns, cautions that I'd better have a plan B just in case...heaven forbid!

Already the riding calendar is marching on and the ride I planned to lead for my bike club will pre-date any D/C of anti-coagulant. And other cool rides are going to come & go. I wonder about having enough time in the saddle to be ready for the 500 Miles Across New York at the end of July:


And I don't want to miss riding with everyone at our annual Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour!


In the meantime I will occupy myself getting ready for the Binghamton Bridge Run and my one & only 5K of the year...which should be a wonderful celebration of being lighter also!


Hoping everyone out there is thoroughly enjoying the weekend!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMMIT2BFIT4ME 3/31/2014 5:11PM

    Some awesome goals coming up this year. Keep up the good work. So glad you are healing up well.


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CHANGE4FIT 3/31/2014 10:42AM

    Great news on all fronts!

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LOLA_LALA 3/30/2014 9:42PM

    I always enjoy reading about your adventures in tremendous fitness, Don, even if they leave me needing to collapse into a chair like a sack o' potatoes emoticon It must be great fun to enjoy all these modalities in such a lovely part of the country, too, especially at this time of year! I'll think of you as I do my customary 60 crunches tomorrow AM. Have a terrific week!!

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_LINDA 3/30/2014 11:22AM

    emoticon emoticon
Nothing like being on the road to recovery and getting to enjoy your favorite sport!
Those events sound fabulous!! But oh my! 500 miles!! It would be those mountains that would concern me! Hope you have somewhere to get in hill work!
Here is to rocking and rolling it!

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CELIAMINER 3/30/2014 10:17AM

    Glad you are healing well! And what a great son to help you with all that lifting!

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HIPPICHICK1 3/30/2014 9:41AM

    A blog bursting with all sorts of good news! Good to hear!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/30/2014 9:35AM

    You blog is full of excitement and it's infectious. (smiling)

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1CRAZYDOG 3/30/2014 9:10AM

    Non-scale Awareness. What an awesome term for sure. I am going to adapt that if it's ok with you! Think it is a far better descriptive term!

Glad you got your staples out and LISTENED to the restrictions. I am a nurse, so I can appreciate your son's feelings! Good for him! I love nursing and it's a career with endless career paths. He has certainly chosen a wonderful path!

Good luck with the ST. And isn't it great to be riding lighter! Awesome.

¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸•

¸¸.•☆´.•*¨.♥ Happy Sunday . . . blessings¨`♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*
(¸.•´`* .♥ (¸.•☆´.¸•¨`*♥•☆´¨
R>"Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship." Buddha

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KANOE10 3/30/2014 7:57AM

    Your non scale awareness is so exciting. LIghter and Spriter is the way to go. You are noticing all of the wonderful effects of training and eating healthy. I think you are going to have a great biking season.

I am glad your son is there to help you through your healing and that you are following the doctor's advice on no lifting until May. What a sweet son to help you.

Have a wonderful day! You are doing great.

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VALERIEMAHA 3/30/2014 7:56AM

    I'm beginning to develop a sour grapes attitude as you continue to soar (NOT). You just keep going higher and higher on so many levels. It's amazing. And your writing skill in articulating the journey adds another layer of understanding. Keep FLYING, my friend!

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/30/2014 7:49AM

    I agree with WATERMELLEN that your joie de vivre shines through. And it's a wise man who follows doctors' orders about restrictions. Don't want any of that re-insertion stuff!

Have a joyous week, and hold on to those dreams. You may miss a few rides, but you will savor every minute of the journey... and like the rest... LOVE the term Non Scale Awareness! I might just "borrow" it in future blogs.

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WATERMELLEN 3/30/2014 7:19AM

    What a lovely blog, thoroughly enjoyed it. Your joie de vivre is so appealing and engaging . . . with your "non scale awarenesses" , pleasure in the present moment and anticipation of good times to come. So glad you're listening to your son AND permitting him to help you, which is a terrific gift itself.

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    Wow, Don, 500miles!!! Whoop! Whoop!

I'm not certain where this new vegan program is taking me, but perhaps my desire of walking another 1/2 marathon is in the works? That is MY 500 mile bike ride.

Well done and you sound in great, yet balanced spirits. You sailed through the pacemaker surgery and are adhering to the after surgery instructions. Well done!

Now, eat your fruits and veggies!

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123ELAINE456 3/30/2014 1:57AM

  Awesome Blog!!! Very Inspiring. You are moving right along. That is Fantastic. Be careful that you don't do things that you aren't suppose do as your son says. You have a Wonderful Son too. Enjoy doing things that you can do. God Blessings Always. have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.

Comment edited on: 3/30/2014 1:58:41 AM

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SAM60SUMTHINK 3/30/2014 1:10AM

    Non-Scale Awarenesses! Excellent term! Great that your son is a good one; not only helping with hauling, but aware of the post-surgicals!!

The FANY ride seems pretty intense for only a few months away, but I'd not be surprised to hear you're heading to the Falls and planning to ride to the Springs. You are doing GREAT. Am amazed at your quick recovery... like that long walk you took so soon after the pacemaker was 'installed'. As I'd read your blog abou it, this voice inside my head said: "he did WHAT?!" Amazing. You're an inspiration, my friend!

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PATRICIAAK 3/29/2014 11:47PM

    great strides - fantastic!

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