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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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OUTDOORGIRL70 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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OUTDOORGIRL70 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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OUTDOORGIRL70 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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First Fitness Center Morning!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finally made it to the fitness center this morning! Only had enough time for 30 minutes on the Cybex Arc Trainer, but am hoping to expand a bit so that I can either add another 30 mins. on another piece of cardio equipment (so MANY to choose from!) or a 30 mins. routine on the various strength building gadgets.

Over the weekend I enjoyed our several inches of more snow and getting out there for some more snow shoveling...my mp3 player makes ALL the difference!

Took a couple hours to do our driveway and our neighbor's. She drove home just after I finished and said "you didn't have to do that!"

I shrugged and said: "blame it on my mp3 player...kept dishing up irresistable tunes!" :-)

Have a SUPER day everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNIEMAC_98 2/27/2011 3:14AM

    I really need to get an MP3 player! I'm enjoying my new gym too! Keep up the good work!

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ALYFITN 2/25/2011 9:37AM

    Hi Don! I love your wall paper. It allows me to escape from our Ohio winter scene for a moment.
I'm NOT enjoying the big digs. Kids are off school today and I have a mountain of snow to shovel before we get out to go snow skiing. The mp3 idea may do the trick, though.
Happy shovelling! emoticon emoticon

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ZELLAZM 2/24/2011 9:31AM

    Woohoo! I've been gone for a couple of weeks and you've been sick and joined a fitness center all in that short time? You are one hard guy to keep up with, Don!

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2BMYOWN 2/24/2011 4:28AM

    What a nice guy! Kudos for doing such an awesome job, sparky bud!

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GALSAL59 2/22/2011 9:37PM

    when those tunes comes out just right, i find i'm going that extra time on the elliptical or treadmill, merely because the music fit the mood. enjoy!

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BINGHAM37 2/22/2011 4:38PM

    Such a sweetheart to do your neighbors drive... you seriously inspire me! By the way, your page bg pic is GORGEOUS... thanks for sharing it. Hope your wife is doing really well and that things are back to joyful for you both.

Do you recommend any particular mp3 player? I've looked into getting one but I haven't made the commitment to one yet. lol

I recently tried an elliptical for the first time and really like it. I'm sure it's much better for my crunchy-sounding knee to do that instead of jumping jacks. =)

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KINSBAILE 2/22/2011 4:18PM

    It's amazing what music can do to lighten the heavy load of snow shovelling! I spent many years in VT, used to snow shovelling STILL!!! (I've been in Indiana 5 now...but the memory of snow-filled shovels still haunts me!) LOL!

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JLITT62 2/22/2011 2:26PM

    I would hate the shoveling even more without my mp3 player!

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CHRISTIE6625 2/22/2011 11:56AM

  Amazing how music can inspire you to move. Enjoy the snow.

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MRDPOLING 2/22/2011 11:29AM

    I usually put my mp3's on shuffel and because of that, there are days when the music is right and I get into a zone. Then there are the days when the music doesn't touch me and I struggle with getting my cardio minutes in. There are some days when I don't need the music at all as the sounds and the people around me get me into the zone.

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DAISYBELL6 2/22/2011 11:12AM

    Glad you enjoyed your gym experience AND your snow shoveling! Glad we don't have any here today!

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DAYHIKER 2/22/2011 10:51AM

    I will have to google cyber arc trainer! Good job getting all that snow shoveled! I'm sure your neighbor was thrilled to have it done when she got home! We have a light layer this morning and very light snow today.

Cindy in Indiana

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Spinning, SparkRally Saturday!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Got off to a rip-roaring start with Spinning class with Michelle at the Riverwalk Athletic Center ( www.riverwalkac.com A fellow member of our Binghamton Area Losers, NIKKICLINK joined in the fun too!

When cycling, pedaling while standing has never been my strong suit. Spinning will change all of THAT in time. But in the meantime? Well...? I made it through 95% of the exercises, the standing pedaling, extra resistance, etc. I just had to sit it out for a little bit near the end...still pedaled like crazy and DID get back up for the remainder of the standing pedaling. AND I could stay UPRIGHT when getting off the bike! :-)

But during some the stretches! One leg, bending and that single leg said "you better call for back up or your butt is gonna land FLOP on the FLOOR!" Just couldn't do some of the stretches involving one leg as noodle-legs don't solo very well...lol!

The class was 55 minutes...will most definitely be back next Sat. for more funtimes "torture!" :-)

Went on to take care of my upper body strength training by working my way down the circuit of weight machines doing two sets of 12 and another set with the free weights. Then a half hour on the Cybex Arc Trainer totalbodyexperts.com/index.php?main_
which can be YOURS for the low, low price of $6,000...wow!

Relaxed for a bit in the sauna while those wild winter winds were whipping outdoors. I kicked myself for having forgotten my swim suit...a few laps would have gone over very nicely then! Showered up and headed out for our SparkRally!

We met at our local health food restaurant The Whole in the Wall www.wholeinthewall.com/ (which has manage to survive for THIRTY YEARS in our area...so surprising given the conservative, meat & potatoes kind of community we generally are! While there the proprietor came out and introduced himself, asking how everything was. I introduced him to the idea of SparkPeople and explained that we were the local SparkTeam and thanked him for his restaurant which met our needs so nicely! Turns out he is studying Nutrition! He took an interest in SparkPeople and I believe he'll be checking us out! :-)

We had a nice long table with 8 of us sharing conversation (recipes, clothes, workouts, etc.), enjoying good food and having a SUPER time! LADYGWEN25 shared her relief in being able to get back to working out after a medical scare AND her excitement over a recent visit by SparkGuy to a blog she had written!

Everyone had a good time and we're looking forward to having another gathering as the weather begins to improve!

Have a SPARKIN' remainder to your weekend everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAISYBELL6 2/20/2011 7:19PM

    Wow! That sounded great!

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BAM-MA 2/20/2011 11:34AM

    Sounds like such a great time! Wish I could have been there. Maybe next time!!

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MRDPOLING 2/20/2011 7:33AM

    I checked out their website... that looks like a very cool place. Wish they were closer to S.W. Ohio

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JLITT62 2/20/2011 5:59AM

    Those winds are still howling this morning! And snow on the way!

Knew you'd enjoy the spinning. And that spark rally sounds like such fun . . . maybe I just gotta start checking put locals blogs, cause the teams are sure dead in this area.

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MIZZSB 2/20/2011 5:50AM

    i am so happy for you that it went OK...
I want to follow a spinning class one day as well but i need to get more fit than i am now LOL...

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L*I*T*A* 2/19/2011 10:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 2/19/2011 9:42PM

    Yay for a wonderful Spark Rally! Hopefully next time I can join you for the workout too.

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