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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Got up, put in 45 mins. on treadmill first thing...later in the morning I had a "walk 'n talk" with a client of mine prone to depression. It always feels good when clients begin to see and feel the boost from walking!

But the BEST part was that although the weather was supposed to be stormy it was PERFECT! High 70's, clear blue skies and lots of sunshine, low humidity...got out with wife after work to go to the park together and went jogging/speed walking for another 50 mins...woo hoo!

I don't push myself to jog very often but every time I'm amazed that I'm actually JOGGING! Jogged further than I ever have before too!

Lot's of other walkers, runners, bikers out also...everybody smiling and just steeped in good will...mighty fine day! :-)


PS...sharing a chuckle posted by one of my SparkTeam members:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You are so inspirational! Way to go!!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/6/2009 7:35AM

    NY is a beautiful state, I can't wait for our visit there! My husband & I are gonna do alot of hiking. I loved that link by the way!

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ROYALETBONE 8/6/2009 1:58AM

    Wow- jogging! What an athletic feat that is.
Loved the link.. Thanks!

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ZIRCADIA 8/5/2009 11:09PM

    WOOHOO on jogging! I want some of THAT weather please! :)

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    Isn't it great to be outdoors and share it with other equally appreciative folks! emoticon

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Take Me To The Wide Open Waters!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Although the weather was VERY intimidating earlier today (heavy showers!), four VERY fortunate members of SparkPeople persisted and we DID IT! And did we ever have a BLAST!

Between the four of us, we had THREE counties represented...by myself as one of the Binghamton SparkTeam leaders, the co-leaders of the Ithaca SparkTeam (ORIGAMIFREAK & CARRIE1948) and one of the Syracuse SparkTeam leaders (KRISLEEB & her daughter)! The rain dwindled to nothing so Mother Nature smiled on us...(I think I have to give some credit to ROYALETBONE & her 'anti-rain' dance...lol!).

It was only my second time kayaking, but I LOVED it...broke out into the wide open waters of Cayuga Lake with Cornell and the Ithaca community surrounding the lake. I saw BIG FISH just leaping outta the water, ducks & geese skimming and skipping across the water as they were either landing or taking off...

My arms got a super workout...feeling it now...! :-)

ORIGAMIFREAK brought her camera in a waterproof case and we were able to capture some super pics! Check 'em out!


We met another fellow kayaker who was kind enough to take a number of the pics...also filled him in on SparkPeople...hey, ya never know...lol!

For me, one of the most gratifying parts of this journey I've been on since joining SparkPeople has been to finally do ALL those things I've allowed to pass me by earlier on in my life...this is the stuff that I find SO MOTIVATING! Reclaiming my LIFE! Woo hoo! :-)

Hoping to organize another kayaking event later this month...YES!

Hoping this finds everyone on the tail end of a most SPARK-FILLED weekend!


PS...We're doing it AGAIN at Whitney Point August 30th...anyone interested in joining us...? Check out this message thread! www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINOF4 8/3/2009 11:40PM

    I'm not a water person, but that sounds really great. Hope your arms are feeling a bit better this evening - wooo! Great pics emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 8/3/2009 4:57PM

    I WANT TO GO KAYAKING!!!!!!!!!!! :D That looks soooooo fun!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/3/2009 12:43PM

    Yep, it was lots of fun. Although I live around here, I hadn't been in Cayuga lake before. I usually go on Seneca lake because it's near my house.

The artificial shoals on the side of the channel between the red lights surprised me! Nothing like suddenly running aground in the middle of nowhere and hearing Things scraping along the bottom of your month-old boat...

P.S. It was technically 4 counties represented (but 3 spark teams), since I live in Seneca Co and Carrie lives in Tompkins Co (Ithaca/Fingerlakes theoretically could cover as many as 6 counties. I'm not sure what the actual number is from where all our members live.)

Comment edited on: 8/3/2009 5:43:02 PM

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ZELLAZM 8/3/2009 6:44AM

    This looks like fun - I may see about doing some canoeing while I'm in FL! Thanks for the good travel wishes...I'm looking forward to my trip!


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ROYALETBONE 8/3/2009 3:13AM

    Cayuga & you look good together.
I'm obsessed with getting my paper mache kayak into the water... but trying to make sure she will be usable more than a couple of times. I love to kayak!

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THANIA1 8/3/2009 2:02AM

    awesome , looks like you had lots of fun.

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OUTDOORGIRL70 8/2/2009 11:21PM

    Don..... Glad you had a lot of fun. Now you need to learn how to fly fish. We go out in pontoon boats which is as much fun as Kayaking.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/2/2009 11:13PM

    Oh boy! You DID go! I'm glad you had a great time!

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A Wise Woman's Stone

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A fellow member of SparkPeople recommended this site to me:


To me, this story from MotivateUs.com had SparkPeople written all over it!

A Wise Woman's Stone

A wise woman, who was traveling in the mountains, found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

"I've been thinking," he said. "I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone."

--- Author Unknown

When I read this story, it occurred to me that here at SparkPeople.com we're all giving each other, drawing out from one another this special ability to give away our precious stones. All our stories, posts, SparkGoodies...we give them away and keep growing and SPARKING our way through life!

Just wanted to pass this along with gratitude for all of you in our SparkPeople community!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLUTTER-BY)L( 8/3/2009 2:14PM

    Thanks for this wonderful thought. I think the world needs more people that are willing to give even if what they are giving is precious. Thanks for all your giving and support of others.

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DENNIS48 7/31/2009 12:48PM

    That woman must have been stoned.

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MOV4WARD 7/29/2009 7:55PM

    Thanks! wonderful! Sparking has changed my life in profound ways, the best of which is knowing i'm not alone with the struggle! Glad we're sparking2gether :)

(snags) copy, folds & puts in pocket.

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TRAINOF4 7/29/2009 3:14PM

    I LOVE that story. The moral is good - I will share it with as many people as possible. Our world would be a far better place for everyone if we could all learn the lesson of giving.

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CARRIE1948 7/29/2009 9:53AM

    What a lovely way to reinforce the benefits of giving and receiving.

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ROYALETBONE 7/29/2009 1:08AM

    What a wonderful post. I'm feeling so lucky to have run into you.... and your wonderful blogs.
Let's keep sharing our precious tales, one with another.

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CAOMAGIC 7/29/2009 12:15AM

    If we each exchange a dollar, we each have a dollar. If we each exchange ideas, we each have two ideas.

I am very greatful for the Sparkpeople community.

Cindy O.

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Kal-Haven & Beyond!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Above is the map of the Kal-Haven Trail. I added approximately another 10 miles to the 34 mile route by biking from my son's apartment, where we're staying, across town to the trail's beginning. I always have a twinge of conscience whenever I load my bike up to DRIVE someplace to BIKE: biking is all about reclaiming one's ability to MOVE and transport by virtue of one's own personal body power...no carbon footprint necessary!

Here is the start of the trail:

I ran into a couple pairs of Nordic walkers coming off the trail as I was preparing to depart. Unfortunately hadn't seen them in action, as I am interested to know more and perhaps try this myself sometime. I chatted a bit with them and they were all a-glow with their workout, speaking quite highly of this approach to walking.

My exact mileage isn't quite known because the SparkPeople Fitness Maps feature doesn't include the cross-Kalamazoo bike trail NOR the Kal-Haven bike trail. However the Kal-Haven has mile markers and is known to be 34 miles long extending from Kalamazoo to South Haven.

Here's a typical view on the trail:

It was not as *scenic* a ride as I had hoped in that much of the trail was covered with a canopy of trees and only here and there did it break out into what I refer to as the "Great Wide Open" (always think of Tom Petty's song when I ride in this terrain!) of corn fields or other crops stretching out to the horizon.

My son unfortunately wasn't up to joining me on my trek, but I wasn't going to allow this to prevent me from "keeping my appointed duty"...lol!

It was nice to see some old-fashioned well-water pumps along the way. I tried them and they WORKED! The water was cold and delicious!

The trail routed through Small Town America...first town was Gobles:

And at the mid-way point was Bloomingdale (NOT of department store fame! lol):

These were such small spots-in-the-road locales!

I and this other older fellow kept playing piggy-back along the way...I'd pass him by while he was taking a break and he'd pass me by while I was either stretching or taking pictures. I tried to strike up conversation, but he was more focused, I suspect, on "getting 'er DONE!" :-)

Nearing the end of the trail was a quaint covered bridge:

Also a nice network of wooden planks connecting with a cupola out in the marsh:

And at LAST! Trail's END!

And right across from this was a stupendous mansion on the South Haven harbor with schooners parked in front:

Afterwards my son and DW picked me up in South Haven and I had a little scare: My bike wouldn't FIT in the minivan!

But my son came to the rescue: took the front wheel off...! Here I was getting ready to bike back to Kalamazoo...! A mixture of "Drat!" and "Whew!" :-)

We then headed to the Lake MI shore to catch the sights!

Hope everyone's having a SPARKING summer out there! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOGHOUSE 7/23/2009 2:16PM

    Sounds like a great ride. Here on the other side of the "Big Pond" (Lake Michigan), we have lots of trails just like you were on. Some longer, some shorter, some paved, some hard-packed gravel. All are great places to ride.

Your ride description and pics remind me very much of my local trail, the "Inter Urban" trail that runs from the north side of Milwaukee north to Sheboygan. I often do parts of this trail but occasionally do the full loop. According to my bike computer, it's 52 miles from the Milwaukee end to down-town Sheboygan, so 104 miles for the full loop, all through little towns along the railroad right-of-way.

Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS on a Great Ride. Very Cool !!

Next month my niece and I are planning to ride from just north-east of Gladstone (in the UP) to to my house, following the lakeshore for as much of the trip as possible (looks to be about 230 miles according to Google maps). Next summer, I'm seriously considering a "Lap Around Lake Michigan" ride. It'll be a credit card tour (travel light, buy what food and lodging you need along the way). Maybe we can hook up along the way, and you ride some miles with me on my way through.

Catcha later . . .

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    Thanks for the description with pictures! You must be having a great time! I can see you go for different trails than me. I love the woodsy areas with shade from trees, and dread when it's the open sunny areas with no protection. There are more animals and birds in the woodsy areas around here, which I generally love to watch and listen to. They seem to shrink from the sunny hot areas as well. Glad your vacation is going well and you're following your plan! I admire your determination! emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 7/21/2009 4:09PM

    Looks pretty scenic and GORGEOUS to me! :) Rock on!

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JUSTLYLE 7/21/2009 12:35PM

    Thanks for the great trip Don, enjoyed riding along.
Skeeter emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 7/21/2009 12:28PM

    wow, pretty!

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GMN5153 7/21/2009 12:19PM

    I'm so jealous..looks beautiful..

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ROYALETBONE 7/21/2009 12:04PM

    What a beautiful trip. Thanks for all the pictures.
I've been hiking this great hill, covered with redwoods and other trees, and I love it when I get that opening up, looking out to the Bay... love those big vistas, but I think I love them in part because of the trees, if you know what I mean.
I'm cheering!

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Gearing Up for Kal-Haven!

Monday, July 13, 2009

If all comes together as planned, we depart for MI in two days!

I'll be biking the Kal-Haven trail within the next week! However, I realized I haven't made time for biking during the past several weeks...yikes! So yesterday I planned for the longest bike run yet...20 miles each way...whew!

Did I FEEL it afterwards...! But it was a GLORIOUS ride with PICTURE PERFECT weather...not a cloud to be found earlier on...blue stretching out forever! I made a couple water / stretching stops, caught up with a few folks on my cell...paced it slower than usual, wanting to make sure I had it in me to go the distance. Which I did! ...barely...lol!

Biking again today...just a short distance...dropped our minivan off for detailing and biked from the shop to work, will bike back later after work to pick it up. I like to do this when I can to save the hassle of looking for a ride AND best of all: to work in extra biking time.

Kal-Haven is 34 miles long...and recently my son shared another "minor" detail: it's GRAVEL! Here I thought they had a nicely paved path the entire distance...! So it's beginning to look like I'll only be traveling one way down the trail...but will arrange for DW to pick me up (or SCRAPE me off the gravel...lol!) at the other end and perhaps have a nice lunch / dinner out in South Haven...any Michiganders have any recommendations for a nice restaurant...? :-)

Really, REALLY psyched for this trip...! I am SO needing a break from the same-old, same-old...! Looking forward to kayaking for the first time too...woo hoo! :-)

Hope everyone's SPARKING plenty out there!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDALEX 7/17/2009 11:26PM

    oh, have fun! sounds fantastic! i love an active vacation (clearly)!

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ZELLAZM 7/14/2009 2:09PM

    Have a great trip! Enjoy the change-ups to your routine!


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ROYALETBONE 7/13/2009 11:36AM

    Urgh, I like single track, love dirt tracks, paved tracks... but gravel? Urgh. If the rocks are very small it can be ok. Give us the update.
Kayaking rocks.
Have a great trip!

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