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Sharing | Just DANCE!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

As I near my first year of membership at the Riverwalk Athletic Center I've come to realize something: since I began last February I missed out on all the "fun" of dealing with the busiest month of the year at the fitness center: JANUARY!

The place has been SWARMING with new & old members and it's been a challenge to get on my favorite equipment (stationary bikes) and into my Spinning classes. Last winter I could just show up for Spinning class...no problem! NOW? I learned the hard way this past Sat. that you have to sign up no sooner than 24 hours in advance of the class because there just AREN'T any no-shows or empty spots you can take advantage of. While I'm pleased to see so many folks tuned into working out I have to admit to more than my share of grumbling over "sharing"...lol!

So now? I've got cell phone and e-mail reminders to SIGN UP for those classes! Hoping to get to two Spinning classes each week instead of just the Sat. and add Monday too...although there are other times, they just don't work for me (5:30 A.M.? forgeddaboudit!).

Swing Dance: I did better than I thought I would @ Swing Dance last night. It's been a month or so since I'd been there. Felt like I had Alzheimer's: basic stuff like "inside" and "outside" turns...? Um, yeah, did those once upon a time...! At least it comes back to me a little more quickly and I'm hoping to have a way to remember: hold my partner's hand up over her right shoulder for the outside turn, left shoulder for the inside turn.

The hardest part? After the initial 45 min. lesson where partners swap around a lot and the lesson is over the dance floor opens wide up and anybody can dance with anybody. So it's up to me to take the plunge and ask someone to dance. Such a simple thing. The club does a wonderful job to promote a VERY laid back, accepting atmosphere. People of ALL ages, sizes, dressed to the nines or jeans and t-shirt...yet inside I'm a jumble of doubt and self-criticism and have to PUSH through that crud to just "ask". Nary a rejection EVER on that dance floor...! I've seen myself at times just be a wallflower without asking a single person for a dance, yet refusing to leave because I know I want to be out on that dance floor just like everyone else!

Last night I was successful in asking for a dance four times. A good night! Hoping for better ones yet to come! To be able to just tune into my natural love of the music, the rhythm and just DANCE!

I'll share again for the benefit of those living in the Southern Tier:

The Southern Tier Swing Dance Society


"Our main activity is a weekly Tuesday night dance, which is held above Rexer's Karate Academy on Washington Avenue in Endicott. The beginners lesson goes from 7:30-8:15, open dance starts at 8:15 and goes until 10:30. All of our events are smoke- and alcohol-free and are open to all ages. We also sponsor live band dances, and our members present a number of swing demonstrations at various local events.

There are several varieties of swing dance that our members like to do. This includes: Jitterbug (East Coast Swing), West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, and Hustle. Our music selections are designed to support this swing dance mix. You will occasionally hear a Cha-Cha or a Waltz, but almost all of our music is aimed at one or more forms of swing.

It is not necessary to know how to dance to attend our dances. We hope newcomers will join us and we provide a beginner Jitterbug lesson at the start of each dance. Dancers can take our beginner lesson as often as they like, and indeed, it is helpful to beginners to have more experienced dancers in the class. We encourage our dancers to become more advanced by taking swing dance classes elsewhere, and we provide information on outside classes and workshops that we are aware of, including those in other towns, such as Ithaca and Syracuse.

It is also not necessary to have a partner to attend our events. We change partners during our classes, and most swing dancers like to dance with many different partners in the course of the evening. We strive to create a friendly atmosphere, where dancers of different levels feel comfortable mixing and asking others to dance. Also, in the swing world, it is common and welcomed, for women to ask men to dance.

Dress is very casual at our events. We ask people to bring clean, soft-soled, non-marking shoes to both protect the dance floor and facilitate your dancing (especially spins and turns).

We ask for a $3.00 donation for admission. Most of the money that we collect goes for the weekly rent for our dance location. Our other expenses include insurance, CDs and tapes, equipment, advertising, and the expenses of our other events. All of our events are organized and run by VOLUNTEERS, and no one is paid for her/his S.T.S.D.S. work."

No smoking, no drinking, just folks looking to have a night of good, clean fun!

I also hear great things about the Salsa Music Appreciation Club in our area:


I plan to check 'em out once I get this Swing Dance down better. I don't want to confuse my dances just yet...lol!

And here's a suggestion for those of you NOT living in the Southern Tier: You may have similar organizations in YOUR community to check out! Google it!

And just DANCE! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHIROIHANA 1/24/2012 10:24PM

    This sounds like so much fun! I never took a dancing class, should give it a try sometime.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 1/22/2012 12:51PM

    The dancing sounds like alot of fun! That is one of my favorite ways to exercise emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 1/21/2012 7:26PM

    Glad you got a little skiing in before it all melts again. This has certainly been an odd winter with the temperature fluctuations.

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LUVS2BIKE101 1/21/2012 4:49PM

    Wow! What confidence! Such a great feeling to succeed in stepping out of your comfort zone, isn't it?

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SCOOTERGIRLOZ 1/21/2012 2:47AM

    Hi Don,

I think your Swing Dance club is terrific. So much fun and experience in a healthy environment for so little money. If I lived there, I would be asking you to give me a twirl every chance you are free.

After watching the homepage video on your club's website, I am wondering if Rock n Roll dancing is a type of Swing? See http://www.footlooserockers.c

Scootergirl in Oz

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GIRANIMAL 1/19/2012 5:48PM

    Thanks for the reminder! My BF and I met at our favorite club, but as you can imagine over several years we hardly go anymore. (We joke: "Why? I'm not looking to pick someone up anymore!"LOL) But we went once rather last minute and had a BLAST dancing for hours. And I noticed I wasn't out of breath and feeling like I would pas out anymore! How's that for fitness. emoticon

emoticon these two need to be dancing! emoticon

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JLITT62 1/19/2012 12:50PM

    So much easier to be female. I'm sure there are gals asking guys, but it's still expected to be the other way around. Kudos to you for conquering that fear!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/19/2012 7:39AM

    Dancing sure burns up the calories fast, good job in keeping moving and having a blast while you're doing it. We have a place similar to what you've described here, my sis used to go regularly, but I'm a big chicken with two left feet.

About your gym being overcrowded...give it till mid February and it will be back to normal, sad but true. So many ppl make new years resolutions and by Feb they give up.

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WATERMELLEN 1/18/2012 7:32PM

    I have been reading about "contra" dancing, not yet available in my town but apparently very popular in the bigger cities -- all inclusive too.

Don, you are clearly just a very very nice person (and also handsome I could add) that it's impossible for me to believe people would not welcome your invitation to dance. Really!!

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PUDLECRAZY 1/18/2012 6:44PM

    Way to go, Don! That sounds like SO much fun and you really put yourself out there going out of your comfort zone and asking people to dance.


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    Good going on the asking!

I appreciate your comments on my blog. For many years, I have tried different ways to get into the vegetarian act. Have done lacto- and ovo- in the past, so really do understand this new choice. One of the SP coaches likes flexitarian, which works for many and I called myself that for a number of years too! Whatever works works and so going all out is just where the progression had led me. For the time-being, anyways.

I do love your blogs! The Fat Trap blog was interesting and, I must admit, kind of grieved me for a few days. I'm okay now, really. The truth sometimes hurts and I do hate fighting with the weight!!! But it's the way it is and I am making much better choices now than I ever did before SP.

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WOLFKITTY 1/18/2012 1:20PM

    SWING DANCING?!??!!?

Sounds like you had fun!

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DARK_CINDERELLA 1/18/2012 12:59PM

    We actually have a salsa club in Pittsburgh that does this every week. My husband and I have only made it to one (pesky nursing/travel schedules), but it's an amazing time.

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L*I*T*A* 1/18/2012 12:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TOOTHFUL99 1/18/2012 12:21PM

    Sounds like a fun time! I give you a lot of credit. I'm more the wallflower, even at weddings.

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FRECKS96 1/18/2012 11:47AM

    Awesome! I did a little swing dancing in clooege and loved it. I should check it out sometime.

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PIGSOFGREEN 1/18/2012 11:07AM

    Awww this makes me miss Swing - I took classes in high school! There's a place near me that does a similar weekly thing...perhaps hubs and I should start going!!

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RAINBOWFALLS 1/18/2012 10:45AM

    Wow - that sounds like such fun. I love music and I love to watch people dance and always wished I had the grace. There may come a day when my feet actually are capable of all those fun things. At the moment a nice walk would be nice. I so miss them. Hopefully by spring I will be able to walk a distance again.

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VALERIEMAHA 1/18/2012 10:42AM

    You make my heart dance!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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The Fat Trap...or NOT?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

If you haven't seen this article yet, I highly recommend you check it out: The Fat Trap, by Tara Parker-Pope. She outlines some hard truths about weight loss and maintenance which COULD be taken negatively (i.e. a "why try?" attitude) however I found the information to be SO helpful!


...along with interesting comments posted at this link:


There is a follow up interview, question & answer with folks calling in with testimonies on NPR's Talk of the Nation here:


I share WATERMELLEN's ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
) sense of relief and comfort in hearing the science behind the experiences of people like myself who've been obese or morbidly obese for a long time. This helps me so much to hear the cold, hard facts! I feel I am in a better position to accept that it is what it is. No amount of whining or playing games with my thinking or whatever is going to alter this. I'm really not imagining things or making them up: it really IS harder for folks like me to lose weight and more importantly to KEEP IT OFF!

There is a reason why I kick into a "food as fuel" mode when I'm SPARKIN' like I WANT to SPARK!

Besides: food is over-rated, compared to the freedom one can enjoy when one looks at eating just enough to keep your body at a healthier weight where you can enjoy your life more fully and heartily!

So rather than looking at this glass as half empty, as a "fat trap"...I find it liberating to realize that, for instance faithful food tracking, weighing in and daily exercise is not being OCD and overkill: it truly is what is necessary for those of us who have been obese or morbidly obese for a long* time.


*How long? Not sure if they've precisely nailed that down...but let THAT be a motivator for those of you who HAVEN'T been obese or morbidly obese for a long time: The quicker you NAIL this healthy and well lifestyle the less risk you run of sustaining lifelong biochemical alterations in the way your body functions.

PS...4-A-HEALTHY-BMI shared a message thread from the "At Goal and Maintaining" SparkTeam where they have been discussing this article:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARA_BOO 1/15/2012 2:48PM

    Don, this is great. Thank you for putting the links together. The cold hard facts are my preference, too. As you say, "it is what it is".

I recently had an autosomal DNA test done. It showed that a couple of my DNA markers indicate an increased risk for obesity (duh). So, I thought, "AHA!"(as I am wont to do when I see a plausible excuse). No such luck.
I plugged in my numbers to get a calculation of roughly how many of my extra lbs are due to my DNA. It was a puny 9 lbs.
emoticon emoticon
The rest is my doing (or not doing).
Cracks me up!

Yes, I agree it's harder for folks like me. I have been a lazy so-and-so lately, telling myself "it was OCD and overkill burnout" that kept me from tracking, blogging, weighing, checking in at SP, etc. Facing facts, I think I want to cheerfully move forward.

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GIRANIMAL 1/12/2012 3:18PM

    Wow, Don, fascinating article! Thanks so much for sharing. I hear a lot of my own story and my body's idiosyncratic tendencies here. I have to say, in some ways I am not surprised by this research -- it feels a little bit like reaping what you've sown. Like stretched skin that just does not want to ever snap exactly back.

But I also find it encouraging to know these things are not in my head and that I am not alone in the maintenance battle!

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SHIROIHANA 1/12/2012 11:41AM

    Thank you for sharing the links, Don! The problem with the "fat trap" is many people get settled thinking that obesity defines who they are as a whole. This is where the "why try?" mentality kicks in. But there is also such a thing as a "skinny trap" where once you have reached your GW and are exercising and eating right, your body does what it can to stay in this healthy trap, or skinny trap. Your body starts to crave fresh, clean foods and you start to feel guilty whenever you don't work out. Like you stated, there is more freedom. Continue rocking, Don! Love the background pic.

Comment edited on: 1/12/2012 11:42:57 AM

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VALERIEMAHA 1/10/2012 1:09AM

    AMEN brother!

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WATERMELLEN 1/9/2012 8:33PM

    "Food is over-rated, compared to the freedom one can enjoy when one looks at eating just enough to keep your body at a healthier weight where you can enjoy your life more fully and heartily": this is sooo sooooo true!! The momentary pleasure of eating something just isn't worth the lengthy misery of lugging it around: "a moment on the lips, a life time on the hips"!!

Your own weight loss story is amazing and inspiring . . . and nobody enjoys being healthy more than you do! So you KNOW the vigilance necessary to take weight off is worth it).

Hope you have some lovely snow for skiing soon . . . like you, I really get a kick out of driving around with my skis in my car all winter!!

(And how did I miss this great blog . . . with my thanks for your link to my "fat trap" too).

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BOTZZZ 1/9/2012 11:32AM

    Don I think this says it all

"food is over-rated, compared to the freedom one can enjoy when one looks at eating just enough to keep your body at a healthier weight where you can enjoy your life more fully and heartily!"

There is so much truth to that statement.

Keep on keepin on my good man!

As Ever

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DAD2GETFIT 1/8/2012 8:58PM

    Thanks for sharing that Don.

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ZELLAZM 1/7/2012 2:37PM

    Thanks for the links and for your take on the articles. Having read the other comments, I feel like I don't really need to read them now! LOL
My thoughts in the new year have been turning again to the fact that this healthy living thing is for forever. Not that I didn't know that before, but I continue to KNOW it on a deeper level as I get off track, then return to the "new normal." I will be doing crunches for the rest of my life! I will be exercising daily for the rest of my life. I will be drinking my water and eating my fruit and veggies for the rest of my life, etc., etc., etc.

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PUDLECRAZY 1/7/2012 10:23AM

    Great blog, Don. You have done such a fantastic job with changing things around for yourself.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 1/7/2012 9:55AM

    Thank you very much for posting. I bookmarked the links for reference emoticon

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WOLFKITTY 1/7/2012 1:55AM

    I remember reading this article before, I think it may have been posted on the Daily Spark blog, and I was disturbed by everyone who had just accepted the results/"conclusions" from the study without looking at the details about who and what was tested.

From where I stand, I agree with what you said about being more vigilant and doing what we KNOW needs to be done, despite the negative feedback from others.

At the same time, I think that this is more a warning against losing weight too quickly. I don't see how they've proven that it's being formerly OBESE that is causing that extra rebound weight. You can't separate the fact that they were obese from the method that they used to lose the weight, and teh actions taken once they were off the supplement foods.

But, I'm picky about science, especially that designed to observe the human body. Biology has always been a pet subject of mine.

Thanks for sharing the links!
Hugs, my friend,

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XENA1956 1/6/2012 9:18PM

    Thanks so much for sharing this link. Very good and interesting article. xo Teri emoticon

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MIQUEY73 1/6/2012 8:10PM

    Thanks for sharing!!

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JESPAH 1/6/2012 1:12PM

    I have seen this article (and I've posted it all over the place). Mainly, for me, it is a tool to bring to the attention of the folks (and we all know who they are) who will say that you and I are, let's see -
* overstating the exercise
* understating the calories
* too neurotic
* not neurotic enough
* uptight and need to just chill and have a slice of pizza or a cupcake or somethin'
* lazy
* lying
* unmotivated (oh, if you only tried!)
* morally suspect
* deserving of our fates

You get the picture.

What I truly love are the ones who say, well, just eat 3500 fewer calories per week, and in a year you will have lost a pound!

Wellll -- the problem is -- 3500 fewer calorie from which starting point? If the total for the week is 14,000, then we're talking 1500 calories per day for the change (the initial point was 2000 calories per day).

But if the starting point is 1600 - 1800 calories per day (which I eat, and gained 8 pounds on in '11 and about 20 pounds on in '10), then the initial weekly total is 11,200 - 12,600, and the new regimen would be 7700 - 9100 per week, AKA 1100 - 1300 calories/day.

That means I skip a meal, and I already eat pretty damned abstemiously. Somewhere in there lurks starvation mode, too. If the total calorie need is lower, when does starvation mode come up to meet it? After a daily deficit of 100 calories? 200? 500?

Once again proving that the science of weight loss is complicated and paradoxical.

In other news, water is wet.

Details on the 11 o'clock report.

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LADYGWEN25 1/5/2012 5:52PM

    Great article DOn! i really appreciated reading it. THanks for posting. :)

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MOBYCARP 1/5/2012 5:28PM

    I'm pleased that some of the comments on the blog make the point that jumped out at me.

To me, the key paragraph in the article is as follows:

"Beginning in 2009, he and his team recruited 50 obese men and women. The men weighed an average of 233 pounds; the women weighed about 200 pounds. Although some people dropped out of the study, most of the patients stuck with the extreme low-calorie diet, which consisted of special shakes called Optifast and two cups of low-starch vegetables, totaling just 500 to 550 calories a day for eight weeks. Ten weeks in, the dieters lost an average of 30 pounds. "

Let's think about this. The study started with obese people, and for eight weeks put them on a bat-$hit crazy low calorie diet. Any result tells us nothing more than, this is what happens if you restrict obese people's calories to less than half the commonly accepted minimum for an extended period of time.

I don't think it means that maintenance is impossible; I think it simply means that a crash diet is not a good idea. This is something that mainstream nutritionists have been saying for as long as I can remember.

I'm getting a little tired of reading echoes of the same study starting with that bat-$hit crazy diet being expanded to say that maintaining weight loss is too large a challenge to be overcome.

BWDIK? I've only been borderline obese by BMI standards, and I wasn't there very long even if I visited obese-land 3 times. It *could* be that seriously obese people who lose the weight really have a much harder time in maintenance than I do; but we'd need a better base of scientific studies than the one Tara Parker-Pope relies on to make that case.

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DEBRA0818 1/5/2012 12:38PM

    Thanks for posting, Don. I posted a similar NYT article in November (http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_

What do all these articles tell us? It is a long, hard and constant road -- no breaks, no vacations, no holidays, no weekends off -- if you want to be successful and stay that way. It is hard to hear, but no harder than living it every day (which we all do).

I have found that the LCHF (low carb high fat) diet is the only one that gets the weight off and keeps my body from starving in the process. The issue, of course, is that it's hard to give up carbs forever, but, at least for me, that seems to be the only formula that works long term.

So, I'm back to it with high hopes for 2012!

Thanks for the goodie and the response; we're all in it to win it!

Cheers, Debra

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DEBIBLUE72 1/5/2012 12:17AM

    thank you so much for the comments you left on my blog. i will check out the links when i have time later today. i think i will get alot of useful information. i am the type that likes to understand why things are the way they are. so this sounds right up my alley. thank you for sharing this information with all of us. take care, debi

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BILL60 1/4/2012 8:05AM

    Don, thank you so much for sharing. Hang tough!!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/4/2012 7:19AM

    Thanks for sharing, I will definitely check it out on my lunch hour today. I do agree with you in that we aren't being obsessive about our weight, we have to be vigilant and very careful, ppl who have never been morbidly obese can not understand this. SPARK is a way of life and if we want to continue to be successful, it's the ONLY way. Wishing you the best in 2012. emoticon

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JLITT62 1/4/2012 6:19AM

    Thanks for sharing.

The science of weight loss is constantly changing, but I think one thing is a constant - you can never really relax about it - & I've never been obese, either - but I have definitely struggled with the whole I have to eat far less & exercise far more than "normal" people.

I still say it's a struggle worth fighting!

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GOATS03 1/3/2012 11:03PM

    Thank you so much Don..really appreciate you sharing this with us.

Wishing you a very Healthy Happy 2012.

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L*I*T*A* 1/3/2012 10:44PM

    very interesting...thanks for sharing...
blessings and hugs...........lita

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MARYBETH_OHIO 1/3/2012 10:26PM

    Thank you so much Don I will check them out.. Hope you are doing ok..

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CLAYARTIST 1/3/2012 10:17PM

  thank you...

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Why Walk When You Can Fly?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So I've been feeling WAY less than satisfied with the fitness center over the past few days...feeling more & more like a "grind" in which even my hand-picked tunes on my mp3 player weren't much help...might as well have been elevator music! Montavanni or some such...!

Plus today I was cooped up with a conference / workshop which was an attempt to provide some reassurance of the onslaught of Medicaid changes that awaits us community mental health providers...all the while a gorgeous sun outside beaming away.

All right...time to take a breather from the fitness center and get out after work to grab me some fresh air and some of that sunshine!

Great thought and plan, except...the clouds rolled in and by 4:30 it's pretty well dark anyway. But I don't let that stop me from grabbing my Nordic poles anyway and striking off toward downtown. After a few steps I decide, what the heck...let's kick it up to a jog? Working the poles while jogging can be done, but since one is moving along it's hard to really "dig in" with the poles and get any significant upper body work done. Instead of using 'em I just carry the poles along.

Although I've jogged these couple miles before without a break it has been a long time...months maybe? I was pleasantly surprised to find myself able to do this again cold without any practice or building up to it!

So hey, Why Walk When You Can Fly? :-)


It was just the change of pace I needed!

Just wanted to ALSO give a terrific shout out to GUITARWOMAN who has lost 100# and celebrated her first year of maintenance this past Sept. 2011!!


She also happens to share a deep appreciation for playing her Yamaha Classical Guitar...of which I *also* happen to own and love to play as well! Mine looks to be a lower model, the G-231-II which I see bops around eBay for around a whopping $150. Be that as it may, I have played a number of guitars, both electric and acoustic and this is the one with the mellow, rich sound and spacious fretboard that works mighty fine for me!

Now the challenge is: squeezing more time in for my guitar and me! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 12/15/2011 9:17PM


Never too little time for your guitar! Let your Yamaha sing!

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VARMINT3 12/15/2011 5:01PM

    Sounds like a good day!

I've found that as long as I do *something*, I can usually get back pretty quickly into other activities that I have have temporarily dropped for some reason. But if I stop moving for a week or two, forget it, I'm pretty much starting from scratch.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 12/15/2011 3:36PM

    There is nothing like the great outdoors emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 12/15/2011 10:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 12/15/2011 8:57AM

    Way to go, Flying Man!!

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DEBRA0818 12/15/2011 7:32AM

    Congrats on kicking it up a notch without effort. You were ready to do that!!!

There's no question that outside is better than inside for making exercise feel fun to me. Just one of the reasons why I love SW Florida -- the pool where I do water aerobics is outside, the path around the lake I walk on is outside (and right outside my door), and exercise is always just a step away into the sunshine. Feels good!

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FRECKS96 12/15/2011 7:21AM

    Awesome! Feels so good to get in some brisk exercise outdoors!

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JLITT62 12/15/2011 5:14AM

    Good for you for getting out in the dark & working up a sweat!

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REDSHOES2011 12/14/2011 10:45PM

    I always feel better no matter what happens to me out in the free.. I can't always say the gym visit is always relaxing with some of the idiots that surround me some days..
Out on the road you don't have to deal with other people getting in your face, win win situation especially with good music in the ears..


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ANDALEX 12/14/2011 10:43PM

    man, there's nothing quite like the feel of a good jog! sounds awesome!

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ROOTIHAUSMAN 12/14/2011 10:40PM

    Good luck!

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Bikely.com: Great Resource for All Cyclists!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Bikely ( www.bikely.com ) is a terrific resource for cyclists of all levels!

If you're new to cycling you can check out Bikely for routes which other cyclists have already scoped out in your local area. This can give you an idea of what other cyclists have found to be "do-able" routes. You'll find rides of all lengths and levels of challenges. You can double-check a route by driving it in your car first to get an idea of how it might "ride" on your bike.

It's also handy when traveling and cycling as you can see what routes others have taken which can guide you in choosing your route.

You can also "pay it forward" and submit routes of your own to share with others. Have to admit I haven't yet done that...adding it to my "to do" list...lol!

Pretty sure this is an international resource as well so it works 'round the globe. Just happened to think of it today and thought I'd pass it on.

Oh, and I highly recommend Martin Scorsese's new movie "Hugo"( www.imdb.com/title/tt0970179/ )...it is a wonderful fairy tale for young and old on following your dreams, despite all obstacles, and by doing so inspiring others to do the same. Although fitness is nowhere in this movie it is a magical story of paying one's SPARK forward! Just in time for some holiday inspiration!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDALEX 12/5/2011 6:28PM

    thanks for sharing this, and for your support on my blog!

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MIQUEY73 12/4/2011 9:21PM

    Thanks for sharing this!

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BILL60 12/3/2011 8:11AM

    Sounds like a great movie. Thank you for sharing.

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ZELLAZM 12/3/2011 4:54AM

    Thanks for the recommendations! Have a great weekend!

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L*I*T*A* 12/2/2011 10:15PM

    very interesting.....
will be seeing Hugo soon....
blessings and hugs..lita

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WATERMELLEN 12/2/2011 8:53PM

    This is amazing indeed!! Yup, even has bike routes in my neck 'o the woods!

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OUTDOORGIRL69 12/2/2011 8:19PM

    Sounds interesting

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PUDLECRAZY 12/2/2011 5:35PM

    I am looking forward to seeing Hugo.

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VEEJAY3 12/2/2011 4:21PM

    Funny story about Hugo (which I ADORE, by the way, and plan on seeing a couple of more times before I can't see it in 3D anymore):
My friend has a son who's at the age where he's just beginning to doubt Santa ... and my friend is desperate to keep the magic alive at least thru this year. But on her son's Christmas list this year (thanks to loving the movie)? A writing automaton.

Not kidding! Now how is Santa going to pull THAT off??? hahaha

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PIGSOFGREEN 12/2/2011 12:46PM

    I completely agree about Hugo, my daughter, husband and I all really enjoyed it - and seeing it in 3D was a treat, it's a beautiful movie visually as well.

Love all the cycling resources you post - makes me want to hop my bike and brave the ice LOL

Maybe in the spring... emoticon

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The Bicycle as an Instrument of Experiential Understanding

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Lately I've come across some additional articles about cycling in New York City and urban cycling in general which I thought were worth passing along. I'm finding some of the comments posted on the articles very interesting also.

Here are some experiences shared on cycling the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway:

A Cyclist Discovers a Country Edge To the City:


A great description of the New York City Century ride I did earlier this fall:

"The city felt at once vast and intimate."

One of the comments sent me to these great thoughts shared by Kasey Klimes:

The Real Reason Why Bicycles are the Key to Better Cities:

She shares some great thoughts on how much more "connected" one feels to others when cycling through a city, how much more observant and aware one can be. “Invite a motorist for a bike ride through your city and you’ll be cycling with an urbanist by the end of the day. Even the most eloquent of lectures about livable cities and sustainable design can’t compete with the experience from atop a bicycle saddle.”

While I love cycling in the country where there are far fewer encounters with cars and other urban "hassles" and one can soak up the wonders of nature; there is much to be said for the wealth of variety in points of interest and awareness of aspects within our environment that we would NEVER have in a rural setting. If cycling in a rural setting is your usual MO, I would encourage you to consider mixing it up by putting an urban ride on your itinerary.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 12/6/2011 8:18AM

    There are places around Boston where you can rent a bike for a while and then drop it off at one of the others. One of these is near the grocery I go to; another is near where I work. I've never tried either (keep in mind, I haven't been on a bike for perhaps 3 decades, and the city drivers around here aren't exactly patient). But I do think about it and realize - great idea.

Truth is, I look forward to the day when car commuting is rare, and most people telecommute or get in via bus, trolley, train, bike or walking. Or skateboarding!

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ANDALEX 12/2/2011 11:15AM

    i used to bike to work sometimes (i lived closer then) but have been scared off lately by how awful baltimore city drivers are. they are so oblivious to everything, it seems! there are some efforts to make baltimore more bike friendly, but it's still pretty dangerous. that said, it IS a pretty awesome experience and i agree wholeheartedly that it improves your awareness of your environment significantly.

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KLONG8 12/2/2011 12:19AM

    Makes me want to ride!

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L*I*T*A* 12/1/2011 10:54PM

    sounds like so much fun.........
maybe one of these day will attempt the biking scene....
blessings and hugs......lita

emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/1/2011 10:11PM

    This is really interesting -- the urban "bixi" bike concept is an intriguing one which has taken off in Toronto and in Montreal . . .


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REBECCAANN08 12/1/2011 6:47PM

    I LOVED this blog! I'm trying to bike more just going to and from places, but that's harder now because it's so COLD outside. Still, I'm much more motivated to bike when the weather is nice now!

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TOOTHFUL99 12/1/2011 4:04PM

    I was just having this conversation with a fellow biker this morning about this very subject. Both rides have their pros and cons, but both are a lot of fun.

Today was a completely urban ride through Chattanooga. Great time!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 12/1/2011 12:19PM

    You are really making me consider giving biking a shot.

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VEEJAY3 12/1/2011 11:15AM

    I'm an urban cyclist with the BEST situation: Denver has over 800 miles of bike trails, which wind through our suburbs and throughout the city. I can hop on a "rural" trail right outside my suburban home, and in 30 minutes, I'm able to hop off the trail right into the city. Amazing!!!!

Gosh, you had to go and make me want to get on my bike ... it's snowing and FREEZING in Denver today. Yesterday was a cycling-heavenly 65 degrees. Today? 20. Blizzard. Sigh. I guess I could go to a spin class and close my eyes and pretend ...

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VALERIEMAHA 12/1/2011 10:38AM

    Although I don't rack up the miles you do, I totally concur on mixing up urban and rural. And I will be checking out your links, as always, since they're so full of useful information and reflections.

Thanks Don, your presence in this community is so important!

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