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What's a Wog?

Saturday, April 02, 2011

On today's bike trip to Marathon we rode through the village of Killawog. My mental lint of the day was: How in the world did they come up with that name?

Wikipedia to the rescue: "The name Killawog referred to a young resident who had died in the town in a buggy accident, and a racial slur, however, no one really protested the new name, and it has stuck." Go figure!

Today was an absolutely *PICTURE PERFECT* day for my first ride of the season! I was in desperate need for it too...the past 3 days have been EXTREMELY busy and demanding and I had three days of NO WORKOUTS!

I was beating myself up for this and being very negative and insecure wondering if I would even be up for the challenge of a 40 mile ride, first one of the season after doing NOTHING for three days. I even found myself wondering if I could ENJOY riding like I have in the past...! It's scary how easily one can slide down the slippery slope of stinkin' thinkin'...

Silly me! Had a GLORIOUS ride with around 15 other bike club members.

It was a two-parter: For the longer ride some started in Chenango Forks (my backyard...!) and for a shorter ride we picked up a bunch in Whitney Point who joined us for our ride to Marathon for the Maple Festival today.

I had some nice stretches in which I felt the old mojo returning: yeah, I could hit the road for days on end and find my piece of heaven on two wheels! :-)

Re-learned my checklist of necessities to take...headed off on my bike with my eyes welling right up with tears: forgot my sunglasses! I always ride with sunglasses that pretty well cover my eyes so they don't tear up so much. Back to the car to get 'em. Take off again...felt great, wind through my hair...say WHAT? HELMET! Forgot my HELMET! Turned back again to the car for my helmet. FINALLY READY! :-)

I was near the head of the pack most of the way. Nippy at first but I shouldn't have worried, warmed right up. Every stop I shed my helmet and jacket down to ye olde t-shirt and sweat pants to cool down.

Along the way there were a couple of good sized hills (not KILLER, but demanding) so I decided to test my Spinning skills and do something I haven't yet done on my bike: Standing Uphill Climbs! Whew! Knocked my socks off, but great to celebrate the strength in my legs to be able to do this!

I learned a tip from a fellow member of the club regarding one of cyclists' biggest fears: the dreaded dog chase! He takes a dog whistle! :-)

I didn't stay in Marathon for long. With a bazillion pancakes with maple syrup going down it seemed to be a typical American food spectacle just loaded with unhealthy fare.

So I stretched, watered up and hit the road for my return with another club member who joined me. On my homeward journey I took a few pics as it just seemed incredible to have snow still here & there in April.

Everything seemed so MARCH-like that I couldn't help but think of my favorite song to celebrate spring:

First by the maestro composer himself, Jobim:


Next two different performances by Oscar Castro-Neves (my favorite rendition of the song!)


And last, a more hip-hop update courtesy Sergio Mendes (for riding in the car, playing loud with the windows down!):


Tomorrow promises to be another great day and I plan to mix it up a bit: ride my bike down to Otsiningo and take a crack at jogging a 5k and ride home.

Wish me luck! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGA_MILES 4/5/2011 4:44AM

    I can't wait till I can do a ride like that. I just started and five miles is a killer. Good choice passing up the pancakes. Ride on brother!!!!

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DRB13_1 4/5/2011 1:57AM

    Interesting trip! Keep riding and don't forget that helmet! emoticon

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DAVEINSEOUL 4/4/2011 8:19PM

    Looks like a GREAT first ride! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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FRECKS96 4/4/2011 9:42AM

    Thanks for sharing the pics!

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WATERMELLEN 4/4/2011 8:15AM

    Great pics -- and I took time to listen to the varoius versions of one of my fave pieces of music also . . . thank you!!

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KA_JUN 4/3/2011 8:05PM

    Nice ride report, had a dog come after me today. Guess it comes with the territory! Ride hard! emoticon

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REYVE01 4/3/2011 7:33PM

    Your blogs make me feel like I was there too.

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L*I*T*A* 4/3/2011 1:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANNIEMAC_98 4/3/2011 9:32AM

    Glad you enjoyed yourself Don! It's amazing to see that even after all you've accomplished you have the same fears as those of us in the beginning about not being able to do it after a couple days off. Thank you for sharing that. Makes it easier to get back on the horse.

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BAM-MA 4/3/2011 9:19AM

    Sounds awesome! I have been limited to getting in my workouts in not-so-great weather. Hopefully that will change with my scheduled run tomorrow!

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LADYGWEN25 4/3/2011 9:11AM

    Sounds like a beautiful day for a ride! :)

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ZELLAZM 4/3/2011 9:03AM

    Always finding something new to challenge and keep the workouts fun and interesting - that's Don, rockin' his ride with standing uphill climbs on the bike!


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FRECKS96 4/3/2011 8:33AM

    So glad you made it out yesterday!!! It was stunning! Enjoy your ride today and good luck on your jog.

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MRDPOLING 4/3/2011 7:53AM

    Good luck with today and can I borrow a cup of mojo? We're a little low here.

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FERRETLOVER1 4/3/2011 7:52AM

    One time, I forgot my helmet, too. It really felt strange to be on the bike without it!

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JLITT62 4/3/2011 5:15AM

    Get ot there today & revel in the glorious weather!

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BOBBYD31 4/2/2011 10:36PM

    i need to get out on the bike more but i hate riding when it is cold! ( no new bike yet either) glad you had a good ride and i gotta tell ya as you get older you forget more, at least it was glasses and helmet only. i almost left with out my bike one day!

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ACTIVE_AT_60 4/2/2011 10:22PM

    Nice blog I wish I had been there on the bike ride. I was in the pool this am - and did a lot around the house. Tomorrow running. - The challenges of a multi discipline athlete :-)

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ACIMPEGGY 4/2/2011 10:22PM

    And I thought I was doing well with my 9 miles on my dual-action exercise bike!

Good for you, Don! Don't our bods really feel good after we exercise? Such a stress relief.

I watched your fav rendition of your spring song.

Have fun tomorrow...sunglasses will help protect your eyes from cataracts, too.

emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 4/2/2011 10:03PM

    Oooooh, I like this and will remember it, thank you: "the slippery slope of stinkin' thinkin'..."

And -- a small open jar of peanut butter is another good trick for a persistent dog -- distracts 'em!! (PB has the same effect on me, sadly . . . ).

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Sparkin' @ the Health Fair!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our agency hosted a health fair which was held at one of our church halls with a number of health-related services presenting. I set up a table with some SparkPeople flyers and a copy of The Spark and answered folk's questions as they came by.

One of the coolest things I did after a while was to browse some of the other tables and chat with folks. I discovered that even the insurance companies that were there were very interested in SparkPeople. Of course for self-serving reasons (e.g. saving a $!), but felt that it would be most worthwhile passing along information to the people they cover to promote healthy lifestyles which would prevent rising costs to the company's bottom line!

I also discovered that our local Co-operative Extension regularly holds classes for low-income, disadvantaged people on shopping for healthy, low-cost foods. They were intrigued by such a comprehensive and FREE service as SparkPeople which could be promoted to those attending their classes.

I networked with a home health nurse who was part of a Parish Nursing service who felt that SparkPeople was a promising service to recommend to their clients (and staff as well...lol!).

All in all, a very fruitful couple of hours!


PS...My Specialized Tricross is tuned up, new chain and ready for another awesome cycling season!! Picked it up tonight...too late for a ride...still pretty chilly out there but hoping I can work in a ride this weekend...!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEYSARAH 4/3/2011 1:14PM

    Excellent helping of others..you are so right..targeted Spreading the Spark to those who really need it and would be so grateful for it is huge!

In my area the cost of diabetes classes are prohibitive..none are free...nurse educators are starting to spread the spark...it's really amazing..word of mouth often does so much more.

Thanks for taking the time to share with others..you just never know who will be greatly affected!

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ZELLAZM 3/29/2011 5:25PM

    You're the best Spark-Spreader around! I like the idea that people who really NEED the free service have a better chance now of finding out about SP! WTG!

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WOLFKITTY 3/27/2011 12:40PM

    You're a spread-the-spark star! :)
Great job.


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L*I*T*A* 3/25/2011 9:49AM


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DAYHIKER 3/25/2011 9:47AM

    What a cool idea! emoticon

I hope you get in a ride over the weekend! We might get "accumulating snow." Sigh.


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CARRIE1948 3/25/2011 9:28AM

    Well done. And, great news about the bike. I'm getting measured for mine today.

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DAVEINSEOUL 3/25/2011 8:29AM

    I like the idea of spreading the word about SparkPeople at a health fair. You've got me thinking - I think I will contact our local military hospital to see if they have any kind of health fair comming up. Spreading the word would be soooo much fun - after all, it certainly has changed my life!

BTW, glad to see that you are finally able to get back out on the bike! Have a great cycling season!

Comment edited on: 3/25/2011 8:30:43 AM

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WATERMELLEN 3/25/2011 7:57AM

    Amazingly effective "Spark spreading"!! It is such an amazing service - free -- and I've recommended it to countless people (when they ask, "How are you doing that?" -- not gratuitously!!).

But: majority reaction I get back is "too much trouble".

That is, " I want to lose weight and be healthier but I don't want to count calories or do any exercise" . . . .

I just smile and say nothing . . . no point, actually!!

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TERRYMEMPHIS 3/25/2011 7:27AM

    Way to keep the fire burnin Don. Riding's ok with many layers. Got 48 miles in so far.

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FRECKS96 3/25/2011 7:24AM

    That's awesome! Congrats on a super Sparking day!

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DAISYBELL6 3/25/2011 7:22AM

    What a great idea to Spark at the Health Fair! Good for you.

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FERRETLOVER1 3/25/2011 7:22AM

    Wow - as usual, you are a WONDERFUL advertisement for SparkPeople, Don!! Keep it up!!

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MRDPOLING 3/25/2011 4:06AM

    Kind of depressing here, was really getting into the spring spirit was even looking at bikes (though I haven't reached my goal yet to buy one) then winter came back. I cannot wait until we can hit the road without any worry about the temps.

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REYVE01 3/24/2011 10:35PM

    Wow... it sounds like there is some good stuff happening. When I get my degree in nutrition I want to work with children or with wellness programs at various companies.

I'm a believer that the best medicine is whole foods and being proactive with our health. I'm so happy to see we are starting to come full circle and get back to basics. It seems there is a revoluntion in the making. emoticon

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Christmas In March!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our bike club just posted their ride schedule for April and May...21 rides planned...woo hoo! I'm like a kid looking through the catalog for stuff I want for Christmas...only WAY BETTER! :-)

Here's a link to our latest newsletter and even if you're from outside our area if you want to consider joining us on any of the rides membership is only $3 a year and $30 for a lifetime membership...can't beat it with a stick!



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/23/2011 4:52PM

    Feel free to pick one of the northern ones for a Spark Rally if you want. If I'm not away kayaking that weekend I'll ride with you.

And as far as centuries, I recommend this one:

Southern Tier Aids Ride for Life, Saturday, September 10. Fully supported, includes lunch and dinner. Benefits the
Southern Tier AIDS Program. The ride starts and ends in Ithaca, and follows the Cayuga Scenic Byway around Cayuga Lake. Go
to: http://www.aidsrideforlife.org/ or call (888)206-2870.

Did it last year and had fun. Looks like the Cornell Outing Club might put together a team for it.

Comment edited on: 3/23/2011 4:54:34 PM

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MRDPOLING 3/23/2011 3:22PM

    The headline made me think you were snowed in again. Whew! Glad that wasn't the case!

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LADYGWEN25 3/23/2011 9:46AM

    Cool i'll have to check that out! :)

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CARRIE1948 3/23/2011 8:33AM

    Cool. Once I get cleared for outdoor cycling, I'll consider some of these.

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FERRETLOVER1 3/23/2011 7:14AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DAYHIKER 3/23/2011 7:04AM

    I thoroughly understand your delight, Don! With me it's been the joy of getting to work in my flower and herb beds again and knowing that I'll soon be able to go hiking! You should be uber fit for that first ride after your dedicated working out over the winter! emoticon


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MIZZSB 3/23/2011 3:40AM

    great stuff Don!
hope the weather is good enough to ride outside!!

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L*I*T*A* 3/22/2011 11:12PM


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MISS_VIV 3/22/2011 10:32PM

    what tha????
I haven't finished this WINTER YET.

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FRECKS96 3/22/2011 9:51PM

    Awesome!! You're like me with a race schedule. Enjoy!

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And STILL No Bike Ride Yet...!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I was going to ride my bike to our bike repair workshop yesterday...would've been a 50 mile round trip to Hallstead, PA on a gloriously sunshiney day...

BUT: 1st bike emergency of the year (at least it happened at home...lol) no pump for my tires which had grown slack over the winter! My frame pump wasn't working and neither was the floor pump I bought @ Dick's...taking it back and sticking with my bike shop, Chenango Point, for my supplies. Sometimes pinching pennies doesn't pay!

And as it turned out I learned enough at the repair workshop that it was probably for the best that I HADN'T ridden my bike as all those miles I racked up last year had stretched my chain to a limit I wouldn't have wanted to push PLUS there's a possible problem with wheel bearings that need attention.

Although I didn't learn enough to actually DO these things at least I learn enough to know when they need to be DONE! Ounce of prevention and all that...

On Saturday I had fun Spreading the Spark by bringing a fistful of Spark flyers to the Riverwalk Athletic Center. They were fine allowing me to leave them there...on their counter, in the magazine rack, etc.

Then it was off to our local mall where they were having a Health Fair. Unfortunately we did not know about it in advance so we didn't have a table reserved for SparkPeople, but another fistful of flyers were scattered about by yours truly on benches, nestled into the faux shrubbery, etc...lol! I saw a number of folks picking them up and reading...we can hope! :-)

I also had the pleasure of touching base with a couple of our revved and SPARKING members NIKANN7493 & LADYGWEN25!

So no, I DIDN'T pull the covers up over the head and go back to sleep on this snowy, spring Monday morning in March...just really, REALLY wanted to...lol!


ps...and YES bringing my bike in for a "tune-up" today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 3/22/2011 2:58PM

    You may inspire me to finally get my bike out of the cellar...maybe :)

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GIRANIMAL 3/22/2011 1:44PM

    I am glad all the good info from your bike shop kept you safe! I didn't know that about chains, but I've certainly never gotten a frame pump to fill a tire well enough to ride that far.

Sorry about your snow. It's rainy today and going to drop back into the 30s with more snow this week here too. And I must say I am bummed about it!

Nice job spreading the Spark!

Thanks so much for your congrats on my own new bike. So far I'm in love! I couldn't believe Maha got one too! I sure hope she loves it.

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REYVE01 3/22/2011 11:05AM

    I think you choose a great type of exerise to get involved in... one day when I'm not a student I want to make that investment... for now the hiking works for me because it is pretty much free..... Hope you get back on the road soon. emoticon

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CCKELLY3 3/22/2011 12:14AM

    Glad you were safe and didn't ride that bike 50 miles. :) My bike just got her first annual spring tune up (she's 11 months old and was ridden all winter) and I got a valuable lesson in riding on parts that should be replaced.

It was my brakes. Didn't even realize how slow and worn down they'd become till I hit the new ones for a panic stop hardly 2 minutes out of the shop; the rear wheel flew up and I just about went over the handlebars-- whoops, so that's what brakes do? Without me Barney Rubble-ing it the last couple yards? Oh yeah! :)

Enjoy the new spring season on your two wheels and keep Sparking! :)

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OUTDOORGIRL69 3/21/2011 9:37PM

    Better to get everything checked out before the season starts so every thing is in good working order.

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 3/21/2011 8:58PM

    Way to keep The Spark, Don!! emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/21/2011 3:37PM

    It's a good idea to take a bike to the shop for a tune up at least once a year, preferably in the spring. They'll check it over for all kinds of things; tire wear, derailleur adjustment, brake pad alignment and wear, looseness in the crank, the crank bearings, etc. etc.

If you actually use a bicycle enough to commute on it, you need to consider it as a VEHICLE, not a toy.


In our society so few people use HPVs that our culture does not understand these things.

I was lucky. My big brother (19 years older than me) was an amateur road racer and I spent many happy hours pestering him while he took apart his bike and put it back together on spread out newspapers on the kitchen floor. (He was kind of trapped there working on it and couldn't get away from me. LOL)

And in college I had a boyfriend who loved road cycling and we used to take our bikes down to the local shop where they'd provide tools and workstands and that would be our Saturday night entertainment, taking things off and upgrading them, etc.


(Maybe that explains why I rode you so hard about not even knowing how to fix a rear flat. To me it's a reflex. LOL And yes, pun intended)


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KACYBEE15 3/21/2011 3:08PM

    Sparkflyers!! THat's a great idea!!

Best wishes!
~ Kayli

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MRDPOLING 3/21/2011 1:36PM

    wow didn't know chains stretch! That is good to know!

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LADYGWEN25 3/21/2011 12:47PM

    DOn i think you were the most interesting thing at the Health FAir.. Honestly i expected it to be MORE.. there were MAYBE a dozen tables... the only other table that held my interest was the Beachbody.com one...and that's it.. It was great seeing you out and about.. :)

Glad you didn't pull the covers over your head.. And yeah.. I need to take mine and my daughter's bike's in for a "tune-up". :)

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MEGA_MILES 3/21/2011 12:38PM

    PS I love the new background pic on your page!

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MEGA_MILES 3/21/2011 12:34PM

    Can you believe it's snowing again! Yesterday was the first day I coud see my lawn in months. No more. Hopefully it will be gone in a few days.

Sounds like you had a great weekend. Do you have all your repairs done by the bike shop? I was hoping I would be able to handle 75% of what needs to be done on a regular basis. Am I wrong in assuming this? Enquiring minds would like to know. :-)

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L*I*T*A* 3/21/2011 9:35AM

    good that you were aware of problems before they occurred....
way to spreading the Spark!!!
have a great week..................blessings and hugs.........lita

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FRECKS96 3/21/2011 9:29AM

    Sounds like a great, Spark-filled weekend. Bummer I missed the health fair. Learn anything interesting?

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DAISYBELL6 3/21/2011 9:27AM

    Glad you caught your issues before you left. You certainly reminded me that I need to take my bike in too. Thanks.

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ACIMPEGGY 3/21/2011 9:26AM

    Great Job! There's something To be said for switching off exercise routines and spring is on the way! Hugs...

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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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