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!
Celebrate your health, wellness, family, friends and YOURSELVES that day!
Keep 'er Sparkin' everyone!
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
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Make it a SPARKED week ahead everyone!
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