Sunday, January 24, 2010
Members: (Left to Right) SATYAGRAHA, MAZUR157, BYTHYSEA, EZMERELDA, TARA925, FRECKS96, DDOORN
One of the GREAT accomplishments of our local SparkTeam is that when adjusted for population, Binghamton is NUMBER TWO in the USA on the city leaderboards for accumulating Fitness Minutes!! We even beat Cincinnati...woo hoo! :-)
Our local SparkTeam the Binghamton Area Losers held our Spark Rally yesterday from 10:30 to 2 pm. Nine of us (including THREE SparkTeam Leaders!) met at a restaurant where we had lively discussions about "The Spark" along with other topics such as creating vision collages, some of the goals we had for ourselves, suggestions for health foods and food preparations, types of workouts we preferred, tips for maintaining a healthy kitchen and the importance of motivating ourselves through positive coaching strategies for ourselves. We also looked forward to types of gatherings we would enjoy in the future including returning to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life fundraiser (and other fundraisers as well!), kayaking and potluck get-togethers at our local parks. We also want to be sure to have meet 'n greets which are "user-friendly" for those who have limitations which prevent them from being more physically active.
Another idea was to become more connected and involved with any / all local health events such as health fairs, conferences and conventions by doing presentations, discussions promoting SparkPeople and Spreading the Spark!
Around noon time we moved outdoors to our local Rail to Trail for a 4.2 mile walk on a gloriously sunny 40 degree day. We continued to enjoy super conversation while having fun moving along the trail. I even broke out my Nordic Walking Poles to *at long last* USE 'EM! A tad awkward at first, but I soon felt natural with them and was pleased by the upper body work they offered while walking. It's been said that they add another 20% caloric burn to one's walk...so hey, why not? :-)
I am SO PSYCHED and LOOKING FORWARD to getting to know more of my local fellow members of SparkPeople and getting together in the future for more fun and good causes!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Or a good swift kick!
Although ear troubles knocked me outta commission on Sun. and on Mon. I still felt "blah" and out of it...today? Just wasn't willing to let it slide by yet one more time! 45 mins. treadmill 1st thing this morning, 30 mins. ST tonight...YES! I'm not 100%, backed off my speed from 5 to 4 mph...we'll see what tomorrow brings. Felt good to be back in the SPARK of things!
Actually on Monday I DID take time to do something I hadn't yet concentrated on: using the balance board I got from the SparkStore. We were doing Wii bowling, so I decided while not bowling I would see how long I could stand on the balance board. Horrible at first but could see some nice progress as I persisted. Could feel the effort in my glutes of all places...! Also noticed the straighter I stood, the quicker I muffed it and stepped off the board. I think there's a DEFINITE parallel to cross country skiing.
Also called the company and got my Nordic Walking Poles straightened out...stay tuned!
I had a pleasant, unintended compliment today when I bumped into a nurse I worked with when back at the hospital. He asked me if everything was okay. I gave him a puzzled look and he explained: You've lost so much weight, I wasn't sure if you were ill!
Nah, just healthier than I've ever been! Woo hoo!
Now: let's kick this EAR thing already, right...? It's still bugging me, but diminishing. No point in speaking up yet as I have another few days of antibiotic left...going to have to finish that I figure.
Hoping to rally a meeting of local SparkPeople members for a book discussion this weekend. It's late notice...but we'll see if we can pull it off!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Just a quick one tonight as I'm heading for bed *on time* tonight...scary! :-)
Had a GLORIOUS walk in yesterday's January thaw day...around 40 degrees, sunny blue skies...had *intended* to walk one of our local parks (the Rail-to-Trail) with my Nordic Walking Poles for the first time. No go...just could NOT figure how to adjust the poles in such a way that they would "hold" and not slide in / out. Ah well, a regular walk it'll be then!
Only it wasn't a regular walk! Through the winter I had been upping my baseline speed from 4 to 5 mph pretty steadily. As fast as I could walk I still felt something was "wrong"...like an itch I just couldn't reach!
So I started to jog...ah, yes...THIS is what I've become accustomed to! More SPEED! Bring it ON! :-) Short sleeves and jeans...sweating away and loving it! A passer-by asked if I thought it was summer and I said: "Close enough for ME!" I really got into my music and at times was clapping along to the beat while jogging...must've been a SIGHT...lol!
I didn't jog the ENTIRE length (@ 5 miles), but a good share. When I was done, however, I had FAR more fatigue than I should have and it wasn't long before I could feel my right ear come back with it's aching once again...even though I'd been taking antibiotics & eardrops since Monday!
I slept 12 hours straight and woke up feeling all grogged out with sounds muffled again, ear aching. So here's another antibiotic to which I've become immune...great! This has become VERY OLD! I've never been an earache kinda kid, let alone ADULT! My energy level has been very much half-mast today, the infection seems to have so swiftly pulled the plug from that awesome high of yesterday. No cardio, no nothing...heading to bed and hoping to feel better soon...off to another doc tomorrow possibly.
I SO admire those of you struggling with any chronic illnesses...this recurring ear thing has me very much appreciating how TOUGH it is to keep SPARKING when it feels like your body keeps snuffing it out!
Don (who makes a VERY IMPATIENT patient!)
Saturday, January 16, 2010
If anyone wants to check out my musical preferences, check out my Pandora (www.pandora.com) radio station, titled:
ECM - World - Jazz Favorites
Looks like today is for sure going to be my Nordic Walking day...woo hoo!
I *think* this link will get you to my station:
Friday, January 15, 2010
Lately I've been shifting my baseline treadmill speed to 5 mph instead of 4 mph, with occasional bursts of 6 mph. One of the consequences of doing this is that songs which were formerly just right for 4 mph no longer are. BUT one of the cool results I'm finding is that the songs which were too SLOW for 4 mph are beginning to work out PERFECTLY at 5 mph...cuz I do them in DOUBLE TIME!
I often shift the length of my stride to suit the beat of the song. One song which works really well in double time for me is Earl Klugh and his trio doing Insensetez (How Insensitive) a gem written by bossa nova maestro Antonio Carlos Jobim. Here's a link to the album where you can listen to a sample of the song or buy a download of it for 99 cents:
Speaking of Jobim and Brasil, later during my treadmill time this morning came a song by Brasilian Girls, yep a sucker for their name...conjured the beautiful voices of Brasilian women such as Rosa Passos, Astrud Gilberto, Flora Purim, Joyce, etc. Well, as it would turn out NOBODY in that band is from Brasil and NONE of the music they do is bossa nova! But I still tried REALLY HARD to find a song of theirs that I liked and came across their hit "Jique," a funky, jangly electronica piece with a great beat.
For anyone looking for some extra and free music to check out Amazon offers a selection free mp3 downloads...limited selection, but worth checking out. I even found Ted Leo & the Pharmacists (song title "Under The Hedge") a band recommended by ZIRCADIA that I enjoy
Lastly, I finally took time to measure myself last night. First time since Sept. 09 and found some rewarding numbers!
Waist: 44 to 41.5, Hips: 47 to 43, Neck: 15 to 14.5
So let's get out and have ourselves a SPARKTASTIC weekend! I'm hoping to FINALLY get out and try my new Nordic Walking Poles at one of our local parks over this upcoming 3-day weekend...woo hoo! :-)
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