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Up & At 'Em!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Well I had a little help from nature which lulled me out of bed to the bathroom @ 4:30 this morning. I had been stewing over how I was going to work in a workout today as I knew once my day got going there was little chance for a workout till late...say 8 pm or so. AND I knew the odds were against me fitting in BOTH my cardio and ST at such a late hour.

So...mulled it over, considered going to the fitness center, but REALLY didn't want to go so early...went back to bed.

Tossed, turned, couldn't sleep if my LIFE depended on it...!

That's it...just gotta get 'er done! Up @ 5 and take care of morning stuff (pellet stove, feeding cats, etc.) to Riverwalk AC by 6, nailed an hour of cardio and 1/2 hour of ST.

Done and ready for my busy day ahead! Whew! Feeling MUCH better! :-)


PS...Had a "DOH!" moment this morning while working out. Saw some folks I thought might be interested in SparkPeople and spoke with them about it. The "DOH!" thought was: WHY HAVEN'T I PUT SOME SPARKPEOPLE FLYERS DOWN HERE AT RIVERWALK AC?!?! #1 on my "to do" list! :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 3/20/2011 9:22AM

    This is the difference between keeping the weight off and NOT. You are living proof that there is ALWAYS time for what is really important to us. WTG!

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TERRYMEMPHIS 3/20/2011 8:39AM

    Great job Don.
I got in 30 miles this week on the bike. Very windy though on Saturday. Wind was faster than me. I know about the pellet stove. I have one also. My three kids jockey around for position in front of the blower in the morning. Love your enthusiasm. The people at your work must love such a positive influence.

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CARRIE1948 3/19/2011 8:23AM

    Glad you're enjoying the gym.

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LMLOPEZ 3/17/2011 8:44PM

    Nice job, Don. SOMETHING must have wanted you go get up and go and get 'er done!!
Hope you enjoyed the rest of your day with one less thing to stress over-and the Doh moment revelation. Get to bed early so you can do it again tomorrow. :)

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FRECKS96 3/17/2011 3:59PM

    Great Job!!! Now you can go to bed early too!

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MRDPOLING 3/17/2011 2:04PM

    "Tossed, turned, couldn't sleep if my LIFE depended on it...!" Oh man I hate when I get like that!

Are there SP flyers? I didn't know that.

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JLITT62 3/17/2011 1:32PM

    Why is it we're so good at talking ourselves out of workouts when we almost never regret them?

Great job!

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FYREDANCER13 3/17/2011 12:43PM

    Don, there is a health and wellness fair that my radio station is putting on this Saturday at the Oakdale Mall - thought you might be interested in going!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/17/2011 12:30PM

    LOL. Good going. Both on the getting up and getting at it, and the idea of putting up Spark flyers...

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OUTDOORGIRL69 3/17/2011 10:49AM


It never pays to go back to bed when you wake up earyl. It just ment that you had a busy day & the body said you really have time to get that cardio & strength done before work.

emoticon emoticon emoticon and you did it.

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KINSBAILE 3/17/2011 10:47AM

    I have done the exact same thing and just decided to get up and get 'er done! Way to go, spreading the SPARK!

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DAISYBELL6 3/17/2011 10:27AM

    Great idea!

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L*I*T*A* 3/17/2011 9:03AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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I Really Wasn't Sharp Enough To Plan It This Way...

Monday, March 14, 2011

One of the perks of my job is to get out and have fun with my clients 1-2 times a month on Thurs. night. And the perks keep coming as I can then flex that time and take it off some other time. Since I'm having a tough time finding time to get into the fitness center as often as I'd like (you know, like EVERY DAY...lol!) I thought, hey, why not take off Mon. morning and use that time for getting to Riverwalk AC?

It was by accident that this happened ALSO to be the weekend of Daylight Savings which always shakes and discombobulates me for at least a few days!

So sleeping in a bit and having time for a couple hours at Riverwalk...? Mighty fine way to head into the week! I tried the rowing machine today but wasn't too impressed. I couldn't see if there was any way to adjust the resistance. It seemed too easy and didn't seem to give me the bang for the buck I get on either the elliptical or stationary bike. Here's a link to the Concept2 rower they have:


Spotted one person who went through quite an elaborate stretching routine. Mine isn't anywhere near as thorough but it gets the job done!

Found out today that the Spinning schedule offers more classes than I thought! Tues. & Thurs early mornings AND evenings along with Sat. & Sun. mornings. Have to see if I can work in more spinning and compare instructors as there are three different ones.

Not sure if it's time change hang-over or what, but despite babying myself with an extra nap yesterday and a little sleep in today I'm still feeling pretty low energy and looking to head to bed early tonight.

Make it a Sparkin' week everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APPYMORGAN 4/2/2011 10:42AM

    Honestly, one of the big decision makers of me moving to Arizona was because they had no time change. AZ decided that the time change was not necessary and we have been living without it for about 40 years without detriment to any time, space continuum. lol I love it because I too am always extremely affected by the time changes and as a teacher of young children notice how much it affects the children. Hopefully one day the rest of the US will learn that it is okay to not have to change the time twice a year. lol
It Sounds like it worked in your favor this time.

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GRACEFULIFE 3/15/2011 9:27PM

    There's no real "resistance" to speak of on a concept 2 rower. The way the machine adjusts is by a set of louvers on the side of the fan at the front. You can open them or close them more, and on the one they sell for home there are numbers near a tab you can move (by hand) to adjust it. It doesn't necessarily make it that much more difficult to execute a pull on the machine; mostly what it does is change how fast the wheel slows after you pull it. This is sort of like a control to adjust how large a boat it feels like you are rowing, though it does make it more work to keep it going at a certain rate when it is on high numbers. But mostly on a rower you adjust the work rate by your stroke rate. I used to use the thing on setting 3 all the time if I recall correctly.

The manual and a quickstart sheet are available online. They call the louver setting thing a "damper" which makes sense because that is exactly what it does (in an engineering sense). It says, "A damper setting of 3-5 will give you the best aerobic workout." Also they say to concentrate on pulling harder to increase work rate rather than stroke rate. I think it's a combination, but whatever.

Quickstart: http://www.concept2.com/us/support/
Manual: http://www.concept2.com/us/support/

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CHANGE4FIT 3/15/2011 4:16PM

    Hi Don,
Sounds like a great perk! Couldn't agree more on the Daylight savings time issue :)
Rowing machine/AKA the "ERG"-oh, yes, you can adjust that puppy and it will work your entire body if you get the rhythm right. Actually requires more of your lower body than your upper body. My oldest daughter rowed for UNC and one of those same machines lived in my family room for a while...I couldn't ever pull the wattage that she could and she's 5'8" 128lbs. I think my best was an average of 112 watts for 10 min and I was SPENT.

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BAM-MA 3/15/2011 9:15AM

    I think that it is the weather. I am having one heck of a case of Spring fever. I long for sunny, warmer weather. THen you throw in the time change too and what a cocktail for feeling low energy. Trying to work my way through it, though. Kudos on getting to the AC.

Comment edited on: 3/15/2011 9:16:49 AM

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MIZZSB 3/15/2011 7:53AM

    hey Don,

I never have problems when the time changes from winter to summer or vice versa. It is just 1 hour LOL.
About the rowing machine, you should be able to adjust the intensity. At my gym they have this one http://www.fluid-rower.com/products
And i can adjust it from 1 to 20 and i need to put it on 3 otherwise i cant do it for 10 minutes lol.
Have you asked one of the trainers how to use it proparly?

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RITAROSE 3/15/2011 7:36AM

  Hi Don!
I tried to pretend that the DST wasn't affecting me, but I could barely drag myself to bed last night! I love that you get to do some active things with your clients! What a bonus! Getting out and enjoying the beautiful spring is what I'm going to do more of, including riding my bike today. Haven't ridden since November when the winter came in earnest so it may take a little getting used to. Have a good week! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAYHIKER 3/15/2011 7:28AM

    Sounds like a great job! I hate DST and nearly cried when Indiana went back to it after so many lovely years of not having to deal with it. My son says it is important to business to stay with New York time year around. Harrumph. emoticon (Can I go back to bed now?) emoticon


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DOLLBABE56 3/15/2011 7:23AM

    Such a nice way for you to start the week. The time change makes it sooo hard to get up and going in the morning, but at least it's still daylight when I get off work.

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JLITT62 3/15/2011 5:23AM

    I'm tired, but that's cause I haven't been getting enough sleep. Been waking up early the last couple of days which really doesn't make much sense. Good thing DH is grilling tonight!

That's great that there's more classes available than you thought.

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KESTREL500 3/14/2011 11:43PM

    I was passing through Albany today on my way home from NYC and it was snowing pretty good although it didn't seem to be sticking. Once I got halfway to Syracuse it had stopped. No wonder you are feeling a bit low energy today. I think it will get better once the weather gets better!

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MRDPOLING 3/14/2011 11:13PM

    Daylight Savings has never effected me as much as it has this time. I feel completely upside down and backwards. I've no idea how to go about fixing it either.

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L*I*T*A* 3/14/2011 11:07PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ANNIEMAC_98 3/14/2011 9:47PM

    I was awake throught the time change as usual. I don't think it really affects me because my sleep patterns are so screwed up already! LOL! Way to take care of YOU!

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2BMYOWN 3/14/2011 9:21PM

    Gee, I feel like a slug now! LMAO Kudos on a job well done, you are kickin' it for sure. Yep, Don rawwwwwks! LOL I've never done a spinning class, my daughter tried to talk me into that once, I figured they'd have to call the squad or something......

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FRECKS96 3/14/2011 9:17PM

    The time change didn't hurt my yesterday, but it sure made it hard to get up today! Hopefully you rest better tonight and aren't coming down with something. Enjoy your instructor shopping!

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KAZINMICH 3/14/2011 9:16PM

    Nice Job!

As for the rowing machine, there are so many different kinds, there has to be a way to change the resistance, or it would be silly to have one in the gym!!!

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STARDUSTD 3/14/2011 9:06PM

  Haha, well it's good it happened accidentally then! Are there trainers there that you can ask about adjusting the resistance? Maybe it would be a worthwhile workout for you that way.

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OUTDOORGIRL69 3/14/2011 9:03PM

    Good luck deciding what you are going to do.

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Saturdays: My Super Spinnin' Sparkin' Spa-Ahh...Day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm still trying to get a rhythm to my workouts. Mornings just aren't doing it for me...just can't seem to drag my sorry behind outta bed on a regular basis. I experimented this week and managed to slip over to the fitness center (less than a mile from where I work...one of the reasons I signed up there) during my lunch time and had a decent, speedy 30 mins on the elliptical and 30 mins. on the stationary bike. My absolute FAVORITE time to go, however is Saturday mornings.

I kick start things with an hour of Spinning with a friend who is also a social worker running the show. Then I switch to a set of upper body ST. Then 30 mins. elliptical, Another set of upper body ST, 30 mins. on stationary bike, another set of upper body ST, 30 mins. in the swimming pool and then off to the whirlpool and sauna...ah...! Best spent 4 hours of the whole week! :-)

I had the pleasure of being surprised by fellow member NIKKICLINK joining me as we pumped along on our Octane 3700 ellipticals and switched to a set of upper body ST. I had my eye on a fellow who used the rowing machine, which I haven't yet used. He later sat next to me on another stationary bike and when I asked he spoke highly of rowing. Might have to switch up my cardio next time and give it a whirl. Variety...just LOVE variety!

A troubling thing I noticed throughout my morning was the PRECIOUS LITTLE STRETCHING that just WASN'T being done by very many folks. Perhaps the younger college-aged kids can get away with this, but there are many older folks there who just don't seem to bother. I hate to think of the aches and pains and general disservice to their bodies that these people are bringing on themselves!

Time flies and I really hadn't been paying attention until receiving a friendly SparkMail from ZELLAZM, my Class Team Leader from way back in 2007, that my 4th year SparkVersary is drawing near! It's great to take note & celebrate yet another year with our SparkFamily!


ps...I came THIS CLOSE (see that itsy-bitsy space between my thumb and forefinger?!?) to getting out on the road for the 1st time on my bike today. BUT: tires were soft, time was short and just couldn't pump 'em up and go. Daylight savings will be bringing me OH-SO-MUCH-CLOSER to getting ready to resume my commutes to work...woo HOO! :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAZINMICH 3/14/2011 11:30AM

    Rowing is a lot of fun and great exercise! Can be very challenging!

I'm going to bring our bikes into the shop in the next month to have a tune up done on them. It's been 2 years since we rode them! We've only had them for 3 years - but we moved to a house not on the bike trail the year after we bought and rode them. We are definitely getting back into it this year though.

When I went to the gym, I would stretch at the beginning with the exercise balls and balance board, and then again at the end. If I skipped them, it was because I did stretches in the bathroom when I changed because I was too self-conscious to stretch in front of people.

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WATERMELLEN 3/13/2011 2:27PM

    Over the years, I've fitted in workouts at various times of day depending upon other commitments -- lunch hour, after work, after dinner, before breakfast (an especially quirky bunch of folks turn out at 5:30 a.m. . . . ). Have to say, however, that the weekend workouts are among my faves -- additional time for the whirlpool and the steam room and a leisurely shower are so much appreciated.

Stretching? Essential!!

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MRDPOLING 3/13/2011 2:09PM

    Yesterday I found this STRETCHING machine at the Y. It shows you how to do each stretch and after about 10 minutes the whole boday has been nicely stretched out after an awesome workout. I am bad about not stretching after working out, so I will be using that machine more often.

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ZELLAZM 3/13/2011 8:10AM

    Stretching! At my age, if I don't stretch, I don't sleep - wake up with leg cramps!

What a super Saturday workout! You really make a (half) day of it!

Looking forward to celebrating 4 years on Spark with you and and the rest of the "remnant"


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DAYHIKER 3/13/2011 7:53AM

    Whew! emoticon I'm tired just reading about all that working out!! emoticon You're so right about the stretching! Even when I work hard outside now I need to stretch out afterward or I'm sorry later! We had a simple rowing machine years ago and it's a nice addition to workouts.

Keep up the great work--you'll be on your bike soon! emoticon


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JLITT62 3/13/2011 5:19AM

    Rowing is a great workout! It's all about what works for you.

Gotta say it tho, 4 hrs seems a little evcessive!

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MIZZSB 3/13/2011 4:01AM

    great job Don, dont you do lower body ST?

I cant wait for the times to change either, here in Holland its on the last sunday of march so another 2 weeks here.

Keep up the good work!

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ANNIEMAC_98 3/13/2011 3:50AM

    Great job! emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 3/12/2011 8:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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OUTDOORGIRL69 3/12/2011 8:39PM


Loved the Blog and you will be on that bike in no time. Tomorrow will be a little lighter for you.

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FRECKS96 3/12/2011 8:31PM

    Sounds like a great morning! I'm so looking forward to more daylight as well.

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Spring Ain't Here...!

Monday, March 07, 2011

This is NOT what one wants to wake up to on March 7th!

Sometimes jazz musicians pick head-scratching titles to their songs and Pat Metheny's "Spring Ain't Here" has always been one of them.

Until today...found the perfect use of that title...!


For once, I couldn't shoo my neighbor and his snow-blower away...funny how a foot & half of snow changes one's ambitions just a tad...! Even after he did the rough stuff I STILL had a couple hours of HEAVY-DUTY snow shoveling on my hands. Getting both ends of the driveway free & clear:

and the mailbox ready for the the USPS:

But hey, my little mighty might mp3 player kept obliging with the tunes!



Including LOTS of tunes from my favorite Incognito album: Tales From the Beach:


Since my neighbor to the south helped with his snow blower I helped my neighbor to the north as his tractor seemed to be broken down...but I couldn't POSSIBLY shovel ALL the way down his driveway to his property out BACK:

Here's an "after" shot down our ramp out front:

As I worked on the snow I was SO PLEASED to see the sun come blasting out and melting everything away. The sun and blue skies were a MOST welcome sight!

Here's the view out our front door:

This is my current SparkPage wallpaper...

Okay, so this AIN'T spring, but with a sun blazing like today it can't be long before we're savoring our spring, summer and fall!

Make it a SPARKIN' week everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 3/12/2011 9:02AM

    WOW! Has it melted yet? We've got spring here in southern Germany today! Yay!

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LADYGWEN25 3/9/2011 9:20AM

    Cool Pics! great job with the shoveling. :)

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BAM-MA 3/9/2011 8:53AM

    I feel your pain. Literally!! I had about 18". I cleared it in about 5 hours, though. Not too shabby. And I can still move today. Thank goodness for Sparkpeople workouts!

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RAINBOWFALLS 3/9/2011 8:34AM

    I haven't given up on Spring yet - I know it is close!

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FERRETLOVER1 3/9/2011 7:02AM

    Wow-sorry you got hit with all that snow so late in the season, Don. However, you sure do have some beautiful scenery to look at!

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GR8CATSBY 3/8/2011 7:25PM

    Hi Don - you might find the cartoons on this page amusing. :-)

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NIKANN7493 3/8/2011 7:00PM

    Beautiful pics! I am more than ready for spring to start! Thanks for sharing!

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TIKATIK 3/8/2011 10:27AM

    NOt much more of this weather.

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MIZZSB 3/8/2011 7:48AM

    oh dear.. i am glad we dont have THAT overhere!
Its about 35 Fahrenheit but with sunshine.

Hope you get spring soon!

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DAYHIKER 3/8/2011 6:17AM

    Been there, done that, didn't like it! Glad you are dug out with promises of warmer weather in future. Spring cannot come one minute too soon this year!! emoticon

Cindy in Indiana who dodged the weekend snow bullet!

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JLITT62 3/8/2011 5:36AM

    We didn't get a lot of snow but we did get a lot of ice - the trees are still encased in it - and so I spent 2 hours shoveling & only got half cleared. I'll be back out there today.

And it made me ravenous! I sure carb loaded yesterday, but at least I did stay in my range.

Here's to sunny skies . . . too bad they're not predicting a whole lot of em for this week!

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MRDPOLING 3/8/2011 5:05AM

    How depressing!!!!!

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ANNIEMAC_98 3/8/2011 2:36AM

    I SO completely understand! I only had the music of a whining teenager to accompany my efforts! LOL! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/8/2011 2:36:34 AM

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TECAVINESS 3/7/2011 11:54PM

    Really great pictures. Hopefully Spring is just around the corner.

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MEGA_MILES 3/7/2011 10:34PM

    My heart goes out to you. Thankfully we just had a couple inches of rain. The good news is that it can't last, the sun is getting warmer, the days are getting longer. The skunks are awakening. Spring is around the corner.

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L*I*T*A* 3/7/2011 10:15PM

    great pictures and tunes too.......
wish your winter will get better soon....
ours is just really cold...but no real snow...
blessings and hugs...........lita

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FRECKS96 3/7/2011 10:00PM

    I agree, the sun was stunning today! Our driveway was bone dry by mid-afternoon. And I let Al do most of the heavy lifting with the blower today too.

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OUTDOORGIRL69 3/7/2011 9:58PM


Thanks for the beautiful pictures and the tunes. We had snow all day here and as when I began SP back in 2008 and we had snow till June that year and never had a spring. Good luck with your snow as I will here on the other side of the country.

God Bless & take it easy.


Comment edited on: 3/7/2011 10:01:46 PM

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ALYFITN 3/7/2011 9:53PM

    WOW! I love the shot you used for the wall paper. We had 3 inches here in Ohio. I'll stop complaining.

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Great Morning at the RiverWalk Athletic Center!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yesterday was the grand opening for the Riverwalk Athletic Center www.riverwalkac.com so there was no spinning class. The mayor and media and lots of hoopla was scheduled: www.pressconnects.com/article/201102
I didn't want to deal with the crowds so I passed on going until today. Nice and quiet morning...as opposed to Friday evening when I was last there. Now I know where college kids go on a Friday night if they don't have a date...lol! It wasn't TOO crowded though. Could get to everything I wanted without any grief.

Today I started out with my favorite, the Cybex Arc Trainer, the cardio program level 6...great resistance varying from 40 to 60.

Next a round of upper body strength training and then on to the stationary bike, an upright, not recumbent...I'm liking the upright, made by True, as it has a sort of aerobar in which you lean forward and rest your forearms on...feels a lot like the real thing. I use the Rolling Hills setting, level 13 which gives some pretty firm resistance on the uphill section...I do some standing pedaling during that stretch, trying to build some spinning chops!

Then another set of upper body strength training and off to the pool for a half hour of laps to unwind, followed with the whirlpool and sauna...ahhh! Sinfully SPENT! :-)

I enjoy the rhythm of cardio, ST, more cardio, ST, pool and relaxing for a few mins. in the whirlpool & sauna...seems like perfect sequencing which agrees well with my body.

This was shear HEAVEN compared to arriving home late Fri. evening and getting STUCK in my driveway as the snow was so deep! Had to park on the side of the highway while making like a human back-hoe cutting chunks and slabs of snow/ice which had layered throughout the day...argh! Spent an HOUR just carving out enough to pull into our driveway...and another hour on Saturday getting the driveway relatively navigable!

I like shoveling snow...but PLEASE Mother Nature: No more back-hoe work for me!

C'mon SPRING already!

Have a SPARKIN' week everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 3/5/2011 7:40PM

    Don't know how I missed this blog about your new fitness centre -- but it sure sounds as if you're getting the maximum benefit AND pleasure out of it. I do love my cardio, ST, stretch, shower, hot tub, steam room routine!!

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LADYGWEN25 3/2/2011 2:39PM

    SO howare you liking the new fitness club.. I still need to go see it.. But it is the one i'm considering the most.

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ZELLAZM 3/1/2011 4:47PM

    It seems the fitness center is a great change-up for you, Don. Gotta love new challenges and new toys like the center's machines!

I agree...spring can come any time. Today was warmer and sunny here, but I'm not going to trust it just yet...


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STARDUSTD 3/1/2011 11:51AM

  That sounds like an exhausting workout to me--phew! emoticon emoticon on the pool being open (*jealous*). Keep up the fantastic work.

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OUTDOORGIRL69 2/28/2011 9:41PM

    I know what that snow is like. I wish winter was over here but I wlii have to wait a while till June.

I too love your back ground

Comment edited on: 2/28/2011 9:43:07 PM

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BOBBYD31 2/28/2011 9:07PM

    looks like a pretty cool place, would love to have something like that around here. get good use out of it

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L*I*T*A* 2/28/2011 11:38AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DAYHIKER 2/28/2011 9:56AM

    Ah, that sounds like a great workout with a great relaxing finish! I miss being near a gym! We had tornadoes and thunderstorms overnight when our temperatures surged to the 60's and plunged to the low 30's afterward. Now we have flooding! (We live on a hilltop but the road below floods.)

C'mon SPRING!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/28/2011 9:57:27 AM

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CHANGE4FIT 2/28/2011 9:41AM

    Sounds like you outsmarted the mousetrap!
We don't get a lot of snow in this part of the country, but when we do the shoveling is quite a workout.

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SCOTTK3000 2/28/2011 8:08AM

    that sounds awesome!

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JLITT62 2/28/2011 6:51AM

    While shoveling may be a good workout, I was glad DH was still home (worked from home Friday) & that we have a snowblower.

I was supposed to start swimming this morning, but slept late & it looked like the promised sleet was on it's way . . . Only still not here & I probably could've gone. But I think my body was telling me it needs a little rest after all that shoveling over the weekend - I do the steps & the paths for the dogs by hand, and had to do the lighter snow by hand - 3 days of shoveling. Don't think winter is quite done with us yet.

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MRDPOLING 2/28/2011 6:29AM

    I too have learned the times to go and not to go to the Y to avoid both the crowds and the younger folks.

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PAPAMIKIE 2/28/2011 6:03AM

    We are expecting some weather today, I just got back form FLA and it was so nice to run in shorts and short sleve shirt, but I still enjoy running out side in the cold, however, I do not like playing back-hoe to clear the driveway. I will be content when spring come.

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MEGA_MILES 2/28/2011 5:15AM

    I hear you on the snow. We got the same storm right after you and now we are anticipating freezing rain then heavy rain for the rest of today. Spring can't come soon enough. emoticon

PS I love the new background image on your page!

Comment edited on: 2/28/2011 5:16:02 AM

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