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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One of the good things about client cancellations (shhh, don't tell 'em...lol!) is that I can slip on home and nab some extra time on my bicycle! Which I was able to do yesterday! :-)

Tomorrow I thought of a nifty way to work in extra bicycle time: I have to drop our minivan off at our repair shop for oil change etc. Usually we have to do this clunky arrangement where I take another family member along in a 2nd vehicle and have them bring me home and then bring me back when it's done.

If Mother Nature cooperates (and it looks like it may be a close call...cross your fingers!), INSTEAD what I plan to do is to load my bike up in the mini-van and drop the car off in the morning on my way to work and BIKE the remaining miles (perhaps around 5?) to work and after work bike back to pick up my car...voila!

I've got my bicycle time in PLUS I'm being green by minimizing all that 2nd vehicle dosey-doe!



My first experience "greencycling" was a smashing success today! It was wonderful waking up with my city, riding along as the sun rose in the morning sky...a couple years ago I wouldn't have believed I would ever even get ON a bicycle, let alone THRIVE on one!

I had plenty of time leftover, re: making it to work on time, so I rode all about our downtown area while everything was fairly quiet but in the "waking up" phase of the morning with the pace of hustle-bustle growing as I traveled.

I feel like I have so much time to make up for...no longer hungry for FOOD, but for NEW ADVENTURES!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUNS10 9/16/2008 6:47AM

  That's super...I'm proud of you :) I know exactly what you are talking about because I ride a paper route every morning in the wee hours and it's so peaceful.

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SHARON_AHAUS 9/10/2008 11:56PM

    This is a great idea, and I know how the taking a family member along goes. I always hate it. This would also be a great way to save on the costly gas situation ,pollution, etc, if everyone who's able too, give it a try. I just visited your page, too, and found it very interesting. Enjoyed reading the words to the song. Congrats on your weight loss. You're doing great, and it helps to motivate the rest of us. I, too, use the treadmill. It's the one exercise, that I'm able to do, and trying to increase my miles on it. I enjoyed seeing your pictures ,and it shows how you've already come a long way. Keep up the great work!

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KRISTINTHIN 9/1/2008 3:25PM

    I guess I will dust off my bike. We have a love-hate relationship you see! LOL

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SUZANNERN 8/30/2008 1:10AM

    awesome idea... you rock! :-)

ps-- any recommendations for affordable bikes?

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ANDALEX 8/27/2008 9:27PM

    awesome idea! i hope the weather cooperates :)

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    Your doing great!

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A Sea Change

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Reading a post by another Team member this morning, I realized that I've undergone such a transformation over the past couple of years in focusing on my health and wellness, at first on my own and since 04/2007 with the help of all of you in the SparkPeople community!

There is absolutely NOTHING that can compare to the peace of mind one experiences when one is in the driver's seat, taking charge of one's life, looking ahead to the next challenge on which to set one's sights.

The best part is that this time the changes feel so DEEPLY rooted that I don't stress, as I have in the past when losing weight, about when the next shoe is going to fall...i.e. when am I going to blow it and re-gain my weight.

I simply know that it just isn't EVER going to happen!

Woo hoo!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOUDICA26 8/27/2008 2:47PM

    You are always an inspiration !

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ANDALEX 8/26/2008 11:06PM

    reminds me of a song!
"whatever tomorrow brings
i'll be there
with open arms and open eyes"
-incubus, drive

what an amazing thing you've done, taking hold of your life and turning it in the direction you want. there's nothing more powerful than that ability. good for you! you are truly an inspiration.

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Summer's End...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Long time no blog! Been back from my week out in MI with my son since 8/12. Had a wonderful time at our family reunion and got VERY acquainted with Kalamazoo, which is where my son will be working as a Physician Assistant.

There are terrific bicycle paths which weave all over the city and a 30-40 mile path all the way to South Haven on Lake Michigan! Biking such distances has always seemed like a dream to me, but in the few days of biking which I enjoyed at my parent's I found myself traveling 10 miles in an hour and not being wiped out! I can see myself developing my biking to a point where double-digit distances don't appear quite foreboding, but actually enticing and alluring...to think I can really DO THAT! Woo hoo! :-)

Back to reality, however...it's been tough returning to the world of work when my mind is still out riding my bike on a long road stretching off between sprawling fields of corn with picture perfect blue skies and puffy clouds overhead. I had the tune "Into the Great Wide Open" by Tom Petty on my mind while riding out there...good to hold onto some of those images long afterward...

Been feeling badly that I haven't gotten on my bike since returning from vacation over a week ago.

I've been allowing stupendous weather to pass me by for over a week without getting out on my bike...argh!

Finally, with a little help from my DW, we got out to our local state park tonight where I have biked before and I got a good hour of biking in...which was wonderful in itself BUT!

In the past I could never bike up this one wicked hill...always had to get off and walk up it. Tonight there was not a single walk up: I biked up EVERY hill!

So I keep pushing myself when I can, the vision of doing more than I ever dreamed I could do drawing me ever forward!

In my dread of the passing of summer I've been scheming for ways to get my "wide open" outdoor fix in the winter. We have a local park that rents snowshoes and cross country skis. Have never done either, but they may become my winter source of breaking away, cutting loose!

Hope everyone is *being the Spark they want to see* in the world around all of us!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 8/23/2008 12:23PM

    Don, WTG on continuing to make breakthroughs - like conquering those hills ON the bike instead of pushing it. I'm sure you'll find ways to make fitness fun this winter, too - where HAS the summer gone?!

Blessings, Michelle

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    Pushing yourself is the most important part of being successful! You have the right mindset, you are on your way to success! emoticon

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    Way to go on conquering that hill! Shamefully I missed another opportunity to ride on this beautiful day. How are the trails at the State Park? It's been forever since I've been there, and hadn't thought of taking my bike there. Now I'm anxious to check it out.

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ANDALEX 8/21/2008 10:35PM

    congrats on biking up that big hill! that's such an awesome milestone. good for you!

cross country skiing is GREAT....i wish i lived somewhere with enough snow to make it possible. i fall a lot, but the snow really cushions you so it's not so bad. it's a great way to see wildlife because you move so quietly. have fun! snowshoeing is great, too, and QUITE a workout.

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Recovering My Weekend

Monday, August 04, 2008

Due to staying up too late a couple of nights and oversleeping, I lost my Spark for a couple of days (Fri. / Sat.) and didn't do ANY cardio...finally got off my duff yesterday and did 50 mins. treadmill and 60 min. biking...getting braver about biking on our local highways so I don't HAVE to go anywhere to bike, just out the front door...lol!

As I already blogged, I volunteered Friday night at the Spiedie Fest, but Sunday I returned with my son to see the outdoor rock concert featurning Bad Company and Blue Oyster Cult ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLQzfdCs_HU ). Not usually my cup of tea, but it was fun to join my son for the night. Have to admit I enjoyed the music more than I thought I would. But I shoulda remembered the ear plugs! WOW what decibels...lol!

My son and I are heading for Michigan this Friday through next Tues. We're staying with an old college buddy of mine and his wife on Fri. / Sat. in East Lansing, then heading to my parent's home in Three Oaks (near Niles / Buchanan, SW corner of MI) till Tues. We'll be having a family reunion on Sun. which I'm looking forward to. Also planning to take my bike with us so I'll have a cardio outlet as I'll be without my treadmill.

Got up, got on my treadmill...not going to lose that SPARK! :-)

Going biking later at our local state park...tackle those hills again!

Hey everyone have a super start of the week out there!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBINS-NEST 8/18/2008 5:19PM

    Enjoy your time off!
Thanks for visiting my blog. I always look forward to your comments!


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MERIRN 8/15/2008 2:56PM

    Hope you had a great time in Michigan. My family is originally from MI too. Paternal Grandparents are from Muskegon. Maternal GPs from Kalamazoo. Parents met at Hope College in Holland MI. I attended Hope for a couple years in the late 70s. We love vacationing there and visiting the sand dunes.

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WONKGRRRL 8/12/2008 10:54AM

    I need more cow bell!

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ANDALEX 8/4/2008 1:22PM

    biking is such a great workout! and so much fun. have a great time in michigan! i'll be in the same state for a couple of days, actually, but in an entirely different neck of the woods :)

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    Have fun

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NURSEGIBSON 8/4/2008 10:41AM

    Have a great week Don!!

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Watermelon Loses Out...!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I had some fun volunteering to sell beverages for our local Catholic Charities at the SpiedieFest & Balloon Rally on Friday night: www.spiediefest.com/main.aspx Great pics of the hot air balloons at this site...a motivator for me to behold!

While it was an enjoyable time chatting with folks and I was filled with imaginings of one year treating myself to a hot air balloon ride while watching the hot air balloon launch, there was one very disappointing aspect to my time spent there that evening.

The booth where I was working at was adjacent to a booth that was selling fresh cold watermelon, cut into big juicy hunks for $2. Wonderful idea, I thought! So many folks are looking for healthy alternatives at these fair-like venues so overpopulated by funnel cakes and elephant ears and bloomin' onions and similar health disasters. I'll bet these watermelons sell like CRAZY!

WRONG! I could count on one hand the number of folks who bought watermelon throughout the five hours that I worked beside them...!

Such a sad commentary...I guess watermelon doesn't have a billion dollar ad revenue to influence our "freedom of choice!"

Otherwise...very pleasant time...lots of sunshine, allowed myself no indulgences, er, um..DISASTERS...lol...brought a couple bottles of water for myself and a couple pieces of sugarless gum. :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBINS-NEST 8/18/2008 5:15PM

    OK what is an elephant ear???

Boston & Styx played within a 1/2 mile of my house this weekend. There was nothing healthy!!!URRRR! So, I admit, I split a funnel cake with my daughter...we walked to and from the concert...doesn't that count?

I soooo would love to see watermelon as a vendor treat! The best I have ever seen is a watermelon snocone. LOL WE AS AMERICANS NEED to have better food choices. We are killing ourselves!

So, speaking of killing ourselves, ever heard of fried twinkies on a stick. They are fried then dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I wonder how many calories they have??? 10,000??? I think I would die if I ever ate one.

I always enjoy your comments on my blog! emoticon

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MERIRN 8/15/2008 2:49PM

    I have eaten more watermelon this summer than I ever have! I absolutely love it!

We had a surprise a couple weeks ago when we were cutting up the fruit for the wedding rehearsal BBQ for my son's wedding and discovered the watermelon was bright yellow on the inside. It was just as delicious as the red but very golden with minimal seeds. Not too many folks helped themselves to this unusual-looking watermelon so there was lots left over. I don't think people believed it was watermelon!


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ANDALEX 8/3/2008 11:53PM

    weird....and watermelon is one of the most popular summer fruits, too.

i'm rediscovering my love of fruit. well, branching out, i guess. it's so tasty! i got amazing plums the other day, so they're currently my snack of choice :)

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    Don- how cool, thanks for sharing! It is fun to do stuff like that isn't it! I would have thought the watermellon would go fast too. I know my kids would have snatched it up! They love watermellon!

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