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I Could Think of More Pleasant Canals To Travel...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I've been hearing talk from some SparkFamily that I may be needing a root canal. Ugh! Doubt I'm going to go there. I've heard so many trials & tribs with root canals and if it IS this molar that has been crowned I'm going to become skeptical of that path as well! Odds are I'll just have 'er yanked and call it good.

Enjoyed a nice ride around our local parks with the bike club today. 30 miles with around 2200 feet of climb...some surprising climbs! I unfortunately departed a tad early as we were running behind and the sun was getting too close to setting for me to complete the whole route and THEN return home. PLUS although the ride was a helpful diversion from my dental pain, I could feel it dragging me down after a while. Nice mid-upper 50s today, not as much sunshine as I was hoping for, but for mid-November I can't complain (even tho I try...lol!).

I'm always having Lewis-Black-moments-of-exasperation regarding an old theme of mine: Fighting Corporate Control for our Bodies.

Lately it is the change-over in the stores from Halloween to Christmas and the BAZILLIONS of bags of candy and ZILLIONS of cellophaned things to put on our trees and give to each other as if they were something special. Empty calories and empty do-dads that nobody needs and I'm hoping there are fewer and fewer people who actually desire this stuff. But it keeps being put out there so I have to wonder!

We are DROWNING in commercialism and it has become such a formidable task to cut through this and find special meaning in ANY of the seasons by sharing quality time with our friends, family, colleagues and most of all OURSELVES!

We all would enrich our lives so much by foregoing the stores and plastic things and look deep within to what makes holidays such a special time.

The answer does not lie on a store shelf or require a charge card!

My thoughts travel a similar path to Michael Pollan and food. The quality is always improved when NOT bought in a box or shrink-wrapped or in a crinkly plastic bag! Life, food and happiness is really simple, if we allow it to stay that way.

Consider this wonderful movement begun in Vancouver by AdBusters, the same group that inspired the OCCUPY movements: Turn Black Friday into Buy Nothing Day!

www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd

Celebrate your health, wellness, family, friends and YOURSELVES that day!

Keep 'er Sparkin' everyone!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 11/18/2011 12:30PM

    Hahahaha! My finances are so tight these days that every day is a buy nothing day! Of course, here in Germany, there is no Black Friday, but the commercialism is still much in evidence.

Hope you get your tooth thing worked out to your satisfaction. Don't postpone it too long if you do need to have it done - or if you decide to go with yanking!

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JESPAH 11/15/2011 12:22PM

    Yanno, it's funny.

I am a nice Jewish gal and so we bypass all of it, except for hearing that $^#$#%*# music in October. Plus the ads, everywhere. With no kids, we don't have anyone clamoring for that stuff.

But we still have to flip around the channels, avoiding the many, many, many "specials" that are not so special, plus there are 2 radio stations that have already gone to Xmas music 24/7.

So it is in our faces even though we don't have a tree, etc.

I can see where it could get overwhelming. It certainly gets old quickly enough.

Wish I could tell ya more - but it's the annual Xmas onslaught and it is just ... there. Feh!

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TRULYVISIBLE 11/15/2011 12:54AM

  I have to chime in on root canals since I have had over 10 myself. I agree with Shantishanti about going to a specialist. Someone that does root canals all day long. The one time I had a family dentist do it, I wound up with an abscess. You can give yourself some tests to make sure it is your tooth and not your gums or that you grinned your teeth in your sleep and it is your jaw bone. Your gums can hurt if you have a cap in that area and you think it is a tooth. For 900 dollars you want to make sure. Good Luck

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2WHEELER 11/14/2011 6:45PM

    Couldn't agree with you more about commercialism--it's almost depressing to see the Christmas decorations out before Halloween. Give us a break. I've been on the Buy Nothing bandwagon on Black Friday for years. Can't stand the crowds and traffic, so I stay home and work on my Christmas card list.

Good luck with the root canal.

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SHANTISHANTI 11/14/2011 9:38AM

    If you do need a root canal, may I suggest seeing an endodontist, a dentist that specializes in root canals, and does them all day long. I have had two root canals, and the difference with the specialist was profound.

Buy Nothing Day, what a concept!!! I often times find myself decluttering with really good intentions, only to find that I end up filling up my space again with THINGS I don't need. I will strive to do better this year. Thanks for the reminder.
Namaste,
Mary Ann

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FRACTALMYTH 11/14/2011 1:41AM

    Good luck with the tooth I've had three pulled and another three that are breaking down rapidly... always seems like pregnancy accelerates tooth decay... they seem to collapse all of a sudden just when I can't do much about it lol oh well.

As for commercialism... my husband already gave me my Christmas gift - a second hand sewing machine to replace the worn out one I'd been using for 20 years - and I am using it to make all our Christmas gifts... although the boys get more than they need in purchased stuff as well... we do try to make sure it is stuff that will last through several little pairs of hands whenever we can.

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PUDLECRAZY 11/13/2011 8:00PM

    I have had several root canals. They have had the effect of eliminating pain in the affected tooth. Tooth remains, dying root is terminated.

It isn't the root canal that is so bad, it's the need for one in the first place that is torture.

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ANDALEX 11/13/2011 7:56PM

    here's hoping your tooth woes are over soon and with a minimum of discomfort, however that ends up coming about!

i second you emphatically on the reluctance to "buy in" (ha ha) to the commercialism that masquerades as family or holiday time. it's hard to bow out gracefully sometimes, but i am all in favor of simplifying and getting to what should be the core of the issue: family, friends and time.

just 70 more miles till a season 2k!

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L*I*T*A* 11/13/2011 7:40PM

    i had a root canal and it was not so bad as they say??!!!
if it will save a tooth it is worth it in the long run...
all the best and hopefully soon
you will be free of discomfort......
blessings and hugs...........lita

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WATERMELLEN 11/13/2011 6:21PM

    Oh my goodness I do so agree with you about the tidal wave of Christmas CRAP (sorry, but it is!!) that has inundated every commercial establishment. ARRRRRGHHHHHH! Get rid of it already! Is it just because we are at an age and stage where we've acquired everything we want and are thinking about down-sizing/decluttering?? But other younger people still in the "accretive" stage" feel differently? So just our imaginations that it's getting worse?? I'm not sure, but I'm certainly trying to ignore it ALLLLLLLLLLL!

Now, about root canal: not so bad, really, if you have trusted dentist current on new strategies and with all the recent technological stuff to hand. And: better (really) than having a tooth yanked which changes the whole alignment of your dentition and can have far reaching consequences. (Or: at least that's my experience . . . for what it's worth: I would fight "tooth and nail" to keep all my teeth for so long as I can, and would "bite the bullet", have the root canal done. Sorry about these terrible mixed metaphors).

All best, Don. Hope your dentist sees you bright and early and gives you some relief for the pain.

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Cycling To The Walk-In Clinic | Free Stationary Bikes!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It began yesterday: a throbbing centered above an upper left molar. One that had been capped years ago with no prob. I'm not one to get dental troubles. Have all my teeth with a few molars crowned. The throbbing has grown in intensity and spread a bit, although pretty centered above that molar.

I knew I needed to get an antibiotic started to head off this infection of some sort that is growing with no room to expand...yeouch! Taking ibuprofen...helps a smidgen...still pretty unpleasant!

So what better way to distract myself from this than to hop on my bike and head off to the walk-in clinic and then over to the drug store to pick up the antibiotic?

It was a beautiful sunny day in the low 50's and while those 11 miles didn't cure my pain it was a nice distraction which put me *just* over my season total of 1900 miles on my bike. Hoping to squeeze another 100 in to round it off to 2000.

Heading out for a forty-some miler tomorrow which promises to be even MORE sun and warmth! It's just a local run with the club 'round all our local parks. I'm intrigued though because a number of the parks mentioned I have never heard of before...love exploring!

Monday will check in with dentist to see what's going on.

Here's an AWESOME deal from our local bike club "grandmaster"...while he isn't the current president he has been in the club a long, long time and inspires many folks like me to want to be just like HIM when we retire. Here's another story about him I once blogged:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3560627


Well Christmas is coming a little early for a few folks as he has FOUR stationary bikes to give away for free!

He said it would be okay to pass along this info in case anyone out there wanted to take advantage of his offer. I am SORELY tempted, but don't have the space to "shoehorn" one of 'em into my home.

"I have five stationary bikes.

One is enough.

Have four (4) to give away.

Will list on Binghamton's FREE CYCLE if any are around in another week.

Any takers? Augie
4009 Drexel Drive
Vestal, NY 13850-4016
amueller@binghamton.edu
607/722-6005"

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEARTOLOVE 11/13/2011 5:01PM

    Hope you are feeling better!! Sometimes the antibiotic calms the tooth down and you don't need a root canal for awhile~
You're so motivated to ride!! Enjoy !

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ANDALEX 11/13/2011 1:56PM

    yeouch! i hope your tooth is feeling better by now! i think cycling would make pretty good anesthesia. good call!

have fun on your last (for now) 100 miles!

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L*I*T*A* 11/13/2011 1:13PM

    all the best with your dental appointment....
hopefully things will be quickly resolved...
blessings and hugs..................lita

emoticon

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BILL60 11/13/2011 10:12AM

    Sure is a nice guy. Your pain will hopefully leave you after visiting the dentist. Hang tough!!

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PUDLECRAZY 11/13/2011 8:36AM

    Ow! There is nothing like the pain of a tooth infection! Do you need a root canal? I certainly hope the antibiotics have kicked in and given you some relief.

If I still lived in NY, I'd be interested in the stationary bike. No, scratch that, if I still lived in NY I wouldn't have room for it. Thanks for posting info though. There could be some takers.

Hang in there with that tooth,

Chris

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/13/2011 5:26AM

    I can't fathom how Augie managed to collect so many stationary bikes! LOL

Hope you can hold out fairly comfortably until Monday...

Thought of you on Friday - I was kayaking near the area we biked:
http://www.everytrail.com
/view_trip.php?trip_id=1358345

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GOATS03 11/13/2011 1:02AM

    Good luck at the Dentist Don...hope the pain is under control until then.



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WATERMELLEN 11/13/2011 12:03AM

    Sure hope that tooth stops giving your grief! Dental pain is among the worst . . .

That's a very generous offer on those stationary bikes: bet they get snapped right up!!

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Shall We Dance?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I have always wanted to dance. Even as a teenage wallflower. Perhaps ESPECIALLY as a teenage wallflower!

But I've always been too self-conscious to ever tackle dancing in any serious way. Just the

"dance-like-no-one-is-looking-because-no
-one-is-THERE" approach!

Music has been such a vital love of mine throughout my life. Now it's time to at long last make it a PHYSICAL enjoyment as well!!

Yes, I know Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers did this ages ago...however I was very taken by Richard Gere in this movie:

www.imdb.com/title/tt0358135/

Someone was kind enough to point me in the direction of the Southern Tier Swing Dance Society and finally I PUSHED myself to GO!

Here are a couple links...one to their own website where there is some video feed and another to an older clip that I found on YouTube from a few years back when the evening news featured their demonstration at our local mall:

www.stnyswingdance.com

youtu.be/407pWf6rPeg

They meet every week at 7:30 upstairs in a local karate studio. A lesson for beginners is taught for the first 30-45 mins. and then the dance floor is open until 10:30. Cost? A whole $3 each week! This week I discovered that turning 55 has its benefits as I get my fee knocked down to TWO dollars each week...lol!

It's a HUGE wooden dance floor with ample elbow-room and I cannot speak HIGHLY enough of the members who volunteer to teach, DJ the music and come to dance the night away!

Where else can one go for a night filled with good clean fun, no smoking, no alcohol...just folks who love to dance and enjoy pleasant conversation?!?! People of all ages, sizes coming together in such a comfortable environment. I even noticed one dancer doing some knitting while sitting out a song and taking a break. This has been a truly wonderful discovery!

The only catch?

Overcoming my self-consciousness! Curing my two left feet is going to take some time, building confidence and EXTREME patience with myself! Like many here at SparkPeople, I am my own harshest critic!

Plus I realize I have to put more time into this than just showing up each week. It's a real test of memory as well...as it seems that each time I'm getting onto a new step we're off and running to learn another step...and that tends to shove the just-learned step out of my head!

One coincidence is that a good friend of my son from back in his high school days is a regular at this gathering and a VERY good dancer. She is very supportive, great at adapting to my missteps and offers helpful tips / advice. She says once I build "muscle memory" and my feet know what to do without my incessant counting I'll be freer to tackle more complex dancing.

So! I'm in the process of checking off yet one more item on my bucket list! I can't encourage everyone out there to:

a) make up a bucket list if you haven't already done so and

b) start nailing those things you've only so far DREAMED of doing and make those dreams the REAL DEAL!

Here's a little music to get those feet moving:

youtu.be/l47cKGQwZek

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYATLAST 11/19/2011 3:44PM

    Gosh! I am so happy for you and so impressed! And the walls keep tumbling down!!!!!

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ZELLAZM 11/12/2011 3:08PM

    You never quit, do you! I love that you're doing this for yourself. Enjoy!

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FRACTALMYTH 11/12/2011 1:13PM

    How brilliant! Go you!

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MYEMANON 11/12/2011 9:52AM

    That's really great. Wish I could do the same. I am more of doing the chores kind of dancer - a little wild and fun and free with no one looking at me.

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AZIMAT 11/12/2011 9:10AM

    How inspiring, I've thought about dancing, and am going to look into what's available around these parts. Thanks.

P. S. frost on the lawn for the first time this year this morning here in Panama City Beach, but it should be around 67 this afternoon. I don't miss bingbong!!!

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IMSMILEY88 11/11/2011 10:36AM

    $2, huh? Now, that IS an advantage of being 55! emoticon

Truly, this is one of the best posts I've read that have come from the way we are changing our lives at SP! You are tackling something you've always wanted to do!!! And, now you have the confidence (guts? nerve?) to try it! I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!!

I, too, would love to be able to dance, but am way too self conscious. I think I've dance maybe 5 times in my life - my only prom, a dance club in high school, a friends wedding, & my sister-in-law's wedding. Ok...that's only 4! And, I think that is IT! And yet, it is so much FUN once you get the nerve to get out on the dance floor!

I hope you have an incredible time!!! I'm so excited for you!

(And, thanks for your comments about my race on Sunday. I plan on giving it all I've got!)

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LMLOPEZ 11/10/2011 12:40PM

    Don, that is fabulous that you are dancing! I can't believe it took you this long to get your feet moving. Formal or informal, it's amazing what our bodies can do when you give it free reign. Lose the other left foot (from your mind!) and let loose-footloose-kick off your Sunday shoes....sorry, the music took me away!!!
emoticon
Laura

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L*I*T*A* 11/10/2011 10:22AM

    what great fun.....way to go...........
blessings and hugs........lita

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VALERIEMAHA 11/10/2011 9:26AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BILL60 11/10/2011 8:14AM

    You go Don. Keep on doing it, my friend.

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PUDLECRAZY 11/10/2011 6:43AM

    emoticon

You go for it! Don't worry about those two left feet. Either they will become graceful left and right feet with practice, or they won't. Either way, it's about having fun and moving to music. Personally, I would rather dance with someone with two left feet who is having a great time than a graceful dancer who thinks too much about himself.

Have a ball!!!!!


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JLITT62 11/10/2011 5:41AM

    Good for you for not letting fear & self consciousness get in the way igpf your dreams!

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2BMYOWN 11/10/2011 3:36AM

    Now this is downright cool....and speaking as another totally-two-left-feet-person who always dreamed of being able to dance but never quite making it, I gotta clap my hands at your ambition. LOL ENJOY, sparky bud!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/10/2011 12:02AM

    Sounds like fun.

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REDSHOES2011 11/9/2011 11:43PM

    emoticonGood for you learning to dance.. I have been facing my demons with public speaking and communication skills..

emoticon

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ANDALEX 11/9/2011 11:33PM

    so cool! i've taken a few salsa lessons and had so much fun it was ridiculous. enjoy!

"shall we dance" is based on a japanese film (of the same title, i think). it's worth checking out next time you're in the mood to read subtitles.

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Another Dose of Autumn on Two Wheels!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

You know those beetles that swarm like crazy in your home when it warms up? That was our bike club today: we had 35 members joining the fun today in what felt like the "last hurrah" of autumn! *Perhaps* we'll get another weekend with some decent, "bike-able" weather...but those odds are getting increasingly long!

So we all got out to savor the sun and the albeit gray terrain, tucked between brilliant blue skies and the deep, lapis lazuli hues of the lakes and ponds.

Here's the view overlooking the Whitney Point dam, lake and Dorchester Park, through which we'd ridden earlier.



Although the majority of the club members met in Whitney Point for the ride up to Willet (a teensy spot in the road to the north), a few club members joined me earlier in Chenango Forks to add another 20 miles or so to the formal ride which was only around 24 or so miles.

Both the SP Fitness Maps and RideWithGPS had trouble with our route through Dorchester Park...neither recognized the well-paved and defined path for some reason. So I have a 44 mile estimate and a 47 mile estimate. I'm thinking 44 is probably the more accurate, with a climb of around 2300:

ridewithgps.com/trips/441188

One of the club members posted her surprise over how taxing this ride seemed to her and I had to agree! Perhaps it was the strong headwind and the chill it brought on, or something else but this ride certainly knocked my socks off!

It felt great to be back on the road though! Even if it WAS getting dark already at 4 pm on my way home...ugh! This Daylight Savings Time fall back is going to knock me for a loop for a few days, as I don't use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning...hoping to head to bed shortly!

Just one more pic of a fun and oh-so-true poster shared by one of our club members:

The Benefits of Biking



Here's a few links to the poster:

josefinholgersson.com/#1583830/Benef
its-of-a-Bicycle

pinterest.com/pin/130288120/
oldboychoi.tumblr.com/post/759523026
3/benefits-of-a-bicycle-cruiserdolly-i
-need


Make it a SPARKED week ahead everyone!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GROEDER 11/9/2011 10:30PM

    Your blog made me jealous!!! LOL I'm hoping to get a little more nice biking weather before the snow starts to hit the plains.
Great diagram of the bike!!!!!

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WATERMELLEN 11/9/2011 10:03PM

    How did I miss this classic Don blog from Sunday until Wednesday? Great pictures . . . and love the bicycle "chart"!! It's tough to feel the days shortening, and I'm glad you got at least one great ride in . . .with maybe a few more to come!

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L*I*T*A* 11/7/2011 12:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MYLADY4 11/7/2011 11:01AM

    One word - JEALOUS!!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 11/7/2011 9:45AM

    Sounds like a great ride, glad you could enjoy the last few days of fall before the awful "S" word comes.... SNOW, ugghh.

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JLITT62 11/7/2011 8:38AM

    I don't use an alarm clock either & am still waking up at the same time. It WA a nice weekend, but yeah, a bit chilly still for my run sat.

Right now looks like you might still get another good weekend . . .

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TOOTHFUL99 11/7/2011 7:43AM

    Glad you got some nice biking weather this weekend. Hope it lasts for you.

I love that poster and would like to steal it! Would you be able to send it to me in an email, or do you have a website where I can find it?

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BILL60 11/7/2011 7:33AM

    Sounds like you had a super time. Hope you have more of those days before winter takes hold.

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ANDALEX 11/6/2011 11:56PM

    wow...what a view! glad you could squeeze a little more cycling time out of the weather. as for it being a tough ride, you can feel all the more accomplished for rising to the challenge!

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PUDLECRAZY 11/6/2011 9:42PM

    What a beautiful day and a beautiful venue for your bike ride! Sounds like you had a wonderful day.
emoticon

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REDSHOES2011 11/6/2011 9:41PM

    emoticon-Great weekend I loved the photo and especially the benefits of the bike!
xx
Red

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VALERIEMAHA 11/6/2011 9:32PM

    WOW! what a cycling warrior!!! I wanna' be like you when I grow up!

Oh yes, you are wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, you've paid the price
But look how much you've gained
If you have to
You can do anything
You are strong (strong)
You are invincible (invincible)
You are Sparkman!!!

I LOVE that poster too. Thanks for sharing your love of bicycling and the joy of today's adventure, it is indeed infectious.
emoticon
Maha

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Chilly Hot!

Friday, November 04, 2011

I've been getting back into the habit of walking / jogging from my daytime office to my evening private practice office and back to my car afterward as a way of working in some activity on Thurs. / Fri. I figure it's a great way to keep up at least a baseline of jogging so that come next May when the Binghamton Bridge Run comes along www.binghamtonbridgerun.org/ I won't have TOO much work to get ready for the 5K.

Nice sunny, brisk sunset on my there...BUT: was FREEZING on my way BACK! Low 30's, thin jacket, no gloves...BRRR! Tucked my notepad and calendar book under my arm, hands into pockets and got jogging! Around 2/3 of the way I could FINALLY feel some warmth building and took my hands out of the pockets.

Another block and I could unzip the jacket a little.

Next, unzip all the way...

NEXT? Fling the jacket off and carry it on my arm.

NEXT? Hop in the car and ride all the way home with all the windows down cuz I'm just dripping wet and hot...! :-)

Oh and hey, I've just GOT to give a shout out to 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI's latest blog series: Rules for Humans! DO check it out...SO much common sense, plus a good dose of strategies she has found so useful in her journey:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_summary.asp?id=4A-HEALTHY-BMI


DO stop by and check it out!

Don

ps...looking like Mother Nature will allow for a GREAT weekend of cycling ahead...woo HOO! My bike's been gathering WAY too much dust lately!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 11/6/2011 7:30AM

    Great visualization of your walk/run - you're such a good storyteller and you can really tell how much you enjoyed getting MOVIN' to beat the cold. Will check out the blogs...have a great Sunday!


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MIQUEY73 11/5/2011 11:24PM

    emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 11/5/2011 9:30PM

    emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/5/2011 9:27PM

    Like you, I'm really enjoying 4-A-HEALTHY-BMIs blog series . . . and your new wallpaper is gorgeous.

This changeable weather is really challenging . . . very chilly here in the early morning, frosty . . . and then quite quite warm mid day, and today sunny too!

Wish I could send a bowl of my pea soup your way!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 11/5/2011 7:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 11/5/2011 12:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA0818 11/5/2011 9:52AM

    I feel the same way when I go to water aerobics in the morning -- it's freezing when I first get out there (especially if the wind is blowing) but by the time I'm half way through the class, I'm grateful for every stray puff of wind. Ain't exercise grand?!

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ANDALEX 11/5/2011 12:28AM

    that's an awesome way to tuck a little more activity into your day. cool!

thanks for the blog rec...will check it out now.

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VALERIEMAHA 11/4/2011 11:58PM

    You are walking your talk, Don. And it's GOING TO PAY OFF. YAY! to weekend cycling ahead!

I've been giving a once-over to the Rules for Humans blogs. And you're right -- they're great.

Love the connection,
emoticon
Maha

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