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Portable Joy: Preserve Your Memories...

Sunday, April 28, 2013



What a RIDE!

Within the first mile I was all choked up, tearful and just filled to overflowing with pure JOY! I had forgotten, but then remembered: I've felt this way before. A time that seemed so long ago. No nattering inside the head, no distractions, just me, my bike, the road, sun, the big blue sky and a heart that was filled to overflowing. I was part of the world and the world was part of me. Although the intensity of this joy would ebb and flow with my ride it was there throughout.

Thank you VALERIEMAHA for the idea of "portable joy," which I kept tucked away during my ride. How can I HOLD this feeling inside, make it portable, like a valuable gem to take out like worry stones, except let's rename them JOYFUL stones...? During tough times I must remember this experience, hold and savor it to rejuvenate myself during difficult times.

Sharing some wisdom from Simon & Garfunkel: Preserve Your Memories...


We all have experiences that unlock such joy within ourselves. Take time to immerse yourself, savor, and never, never forget: Preserve Your Memories...

Here's a few pics from my 24 mile ride today. I truly didn't want to come home. I just wanted to ride, ride and ride some more!

I rode to Whitney Point intially planning only to hit the edge of town and turn back for home. Yeah. RIGHT! I knew when I arrived I had to get up to Dorchester Park...the jewel of the county! The hills entering the front of the park were too daunting to consider, so I went the back way past the school. The above pic is from the picnic area in the park. I was pleased to find myself more capable than I've been during other first rides of the year, not having to downshift as much as I thought I would (thank you Spin Class, elliptical & jogging!)

Now LEAVING the park out the main entrance onto route 26 would mean some climbing, but it would bring me to the overlook, where I could soak up the wonderful view over the village, lake, dam and park. I just couldn't deprive myself of that!

I enjoyed chatting with a few folks who were sitting in benches taking in the day and the view also.

Here's a shot of the river on the way home...although we're into April the joy captured in this Brasilian rendition of Waters Of March by Oscar Castro-Neves couldn't be more fitting:


There was a bit o' headwind, and although I played it safe with the middle ring on the way up to the park, coming home it was the big ring, strong quads, confidence and a heart filled with the day!

Find your joy people, savor, celebrate and preserve it!


ps...had a towel and some band aids packed in my pannier. No falls, no wobbles, no lumps, bumps and elephants...all my apprehensions just blew away!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 4/30/2013 8:22PM

    I also like the idea of "portable joy" mentioned by Valerie. Glad to see it "in action" though your ride, and I'm happy to see you ride again.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful rendition of Waters Of March!

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WATERMELLEN 4/30/2013 6:06PM

    Just love this blog . . . love the pics (of you and the scenery), love the concept of "portable joy". I'm gonna be carrying that one away with me!!

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DEBRA0818 4/29/2013 3:46PM

    Sounds like a joy-filled day with you and your bike becoming one with the elements. Happy pictures of you testify to how important this aspect of your life is.


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L*I*T*A* 4/29/2013 11:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 4/29/2013 9:35AM

    Sounds completely emoticon
So happy for you!!

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CHANGE4FIT 4/29/2013 9:10AM

WOW-I am so glad you got in such a great ride. In your words..."Savor"....and thanks for the reminder to treasure these moments and the feelings that accompany them. I often think of the passage in the Bible that says "...and Mary hid these things in her heart..." As I get older, I think I understand this so much better.
The photos are gorgeous. We traveled through upstate NY a few years back on our way home from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls-absolutely stunning country.

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JLITT62 4/29/2013 5:19AM

    Glad you were able to get out in the beautiful sunshine & enjoy that stress busting' ride!

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VALERIEMAHA 4/28/2013 11:34PM

    YIPPEE! I went ona wonderful ride today, after holing away for several days. Nothing like it.

Love it...your joy stones, to have available during the down times...YES!

I wish you'd change your profile photo to the last one in the blog. It's more current and it's FANTASTIC! You look terrific!!! (Actually either one in this blog...I just happen to be partial to the last one, for some reason.)

Comment edited on: 4/28/2013 11:35:46 PM

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STRIVERONE 4/28/2013 11:04PM

    A friend of mine was in the sprint triathlon at Dorchester Park last year. I rode and ran over the course with him a few times so I know whereof you speak. What a fantastic day and place to get back on the horse. Here's to a great season of riding.

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PATRICIAAK 4/28/2013 10:40PM

    glad you're riding again

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ELRIDDICK 4/28/2013 10:36PM

  Thanks for sharing

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Functional Workouts: Love 'em!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My idea of a "functional workout" is one where I'm accomplishing something beyond working my body. You know, stuff like shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, moving a couple tons of 40# wood pellet bags, etc. One addition to the list in the past has been what I call "greencycling" which has been my strategy for bringing my car to the mechanic for servicing: bring the bike along, drop the car off, ride my bike to work and then back to pick up the car afterward.

Well today another opportunity presented itself so I took the challenge! My original plan was after joining with the bike club on the roadside clean up this morning I would take the car to the shop, which happens to be at the north end of Otsiningo Park, and then go for another 5K jog through the park while they were working on the car.

Problem was: they were backed up and would probably not get my car done until way later in the day.

So with nary a skip in my beat I came up with Plan B: Jog back home! It can't be TOO much further than the 5K I had intended to do anyway, right? Well it WAS a tad further...6 miles! And I managed to jog nearly the whole distance. The two times I walked: one of the bike club members caught up with me after this morning's ride and rode along side me while we chatted for a few...it was good to catch up with him. Plus on the way DOWN Kattelville hill I walked (after having jogged UP!). For some reason I would rather jog up hills than down...don't feel like I can manage my pace well while jogging down a steeper grade.

It was nice to jog back by the roadside our club had spruced up so well earlier today! :-)

I was a bit torn in deciding whether or not to join the club in the post clean up ride in that it was precisely the ride I thought I might do to get back on my back at long last...relatively flat, low traffic, good road conditions. But two things held me back: getting the car serviced & feeling a need to do my first ride of the year privately just in case I do something silly from lack of riding...rather work out the kinks without an audience...lol!

I spoke with another bike club member who takes anti-coagulants and he just gets on the bike and rides the same as ever, packing no first-aid kit at ALL!

So the question now is: do I let 'em keep the car overnight and jog back tomorrow to pick it up? OR...drum roll...do I just get back on that bike with "precautions" packed in my pannier such as band-aids, cloths and the like...?

Stay Tuned and Stay Sparked!


ps...and OH MY what PERFECT weather to savor out there!! Cloudless, sunny blue, low 60s...YES!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 4/30/2013 6:07PM

    Came to this late -- so glad you're back on the bike (and sensibly, with the precautions just in case . . . . ). Best of all possible worlds, right??

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LUVLYLORELEI 4/28/2013 8:55PM

    That's a great idea for when the car needs work! Awesome! I can't yet use my regular bike yet, I'm a bit too big for it and I think it'll not survive the ride if I tried, nor would I, but that really is a great idea - one I'll be saving for my future.

No matter what you decide to, it sounds like you've got some great ideas! Enjoy the biking! Awesome! emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 4/28/2013 10:14AM

    When I take my Jeep in to get serviced I got for very long walks on a bike/walking path along the highway and pick up trash!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BUSYGRANNY5 4/28/2013 8:35AM

    Great blog! Sounds like you are ready for the bike... be prepared and have fun!!!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 4/28/2013 8:29AM

    "Functional workouts" That's the ideal. Kind of like what previous generations had to do. Nice blog.

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NADINEL 4/28/2013 1:07AM

    I think you should just keep your cell PHONE on hand and get on your bike and ride! BE careful, but have fun!
(keep the cell PHONE in case you need medical help - and IF you do - TELL THEM repeatedly if necessary - that you are on Coumadin) Have some FUN, Don!

Comment edited on: 4/28/2013 1:08:07 AM

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L*I*T*A* 4/27/2013 8:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 4/27/2013 8:16PM


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MCFITZ2 4/27/2013 7:52PM

    My functional work out is gardening and gardening. Today I sawed limbs that needed to come off of one of our evergreens. It is not like exercising emoticon . It is out side and it is fun and I will enjoy the results for many days to come. Sounds like you are doing great.

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MYLADY4 4/27/2013 5:41PM

    Well, if something were to go wrong for your first ride, wouldn't you want to have some people around you if you needed help versus by yourself?

Whatever you decide, good for you for "functional" workouts. They are the best.

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VALERIEMAHA 4/27/2013 5:23PM

    "funcional workout" -- I like the ring of that! And actually I do that with much of my bicycling -- pass by the post office, Kroger's, the hardware store, etc. And I also ride my bike to campus most of the semester.

Sorry to report that we do NOT have the idyllic weather here in the mid-south today. It's gray and rainy. No bicycling for me today. My yoga mat is laid out, however....

Keep it up...you're a great role model, Don!

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CHANGE4FIT 4/27/2013 3:30PM

    Love functional workouts too! It is like the ultimate multitasking. My favorite is to push mow the ditches and pond edge. Will have to post some pictures this summer. Glad you are contemplating getting "back in the saddle". Your writings speak to how much you enjoy biking. Impressed with the run, my friend-totally impressed!!! emoticon

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STRIVERONE 4/27/2013 2:46PM

    Well, it's only six miles and the weather is fantastic. If your bike is ready, and you haven't made a decision yet, you have plenty of time for a careful ride.

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Hunger & Self Awareness

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Too long no blog!

In responding to someone else's blog I had some thoughts on hunger: Hunger is such a tricky thing...I can set myself up with BUSHELS of veggies for snacking and later still find myself "hungry" for calorie-dense foods of some sort. Yet, if I stop myself and reflect on whether or not I'm hungry I realize I'm stuffed to the gills with veggies! How can I be "hungry?" When I think it over I realize it's not true hunger, but a "mouth" hunger or "habit" hunger and with a pause and a little self-awareness I can side-step it, although it isn't always easy!

I've been reading a little bit about intermittent fasting lately and thinking this might be worth trying short-term as a means of shaking things up in the food department and was further surprised over the LACK of hunger during my 24+ hours of fasting earlier this week. One after-effect of fasting for me is a greater investment into sticking with a healthy eating plan afterward: how can I allow myself to slip and cancel any benefits from my fast by choosing an unhealthy food or too large a portion? I'll see how this goes.

I'm still off the bike...anti-coagulant paranoia is keeping me away from road cycling so far. But it is not without a struggle and a yearning as I read about my bike club's outings. I may consider allowing myself some shorter, safer routes with less potential for mishaps. Not that my rides have ever been fraught with trouble. But one slip, cut, bump could potentially land me in the emergency room...all-too-sobering a thought! A senior member of the bike club at least recruited me to SAG for the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour in early June (ALWAYS a great time, super riding and super price! Check it out: www.southerntierbicycleclub.org/grea
) It will feel good to at least be a part of things. In the meantime I've been getting a lot of Spinning and elliptical cardio with my 3x weekly ST AND, shifting to the outdoors for...

Preparing for my upcoming one & only 5K of the year at the Binghamton Bridge Run early May: www.binghamtonbridgerun.org/

As I know I've said many times...not a runner, but I feel that dedicating myself to one 5K yearly is at least a way of "mixing it up" with my workouts and hopefully catching up with some other local Sparkers! Plus another great thought inspired by VHALKYRIE: Let's keep Boston in mind during our running efforts and channel our outrage over such horrific behaviors and fuel our runs with defiance and celebration of our freedoms and our drive to be as healthy as possible!

Keep The Spark!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 5/6/2013 7:20PM

    I'm glad you're being careful, Don. Then again, given that I am a total klutzo, I can understand the paranoia. I have taken two spills just in the past six months, chipped my tooth on one of them and had to have it repaired. LOL Geeezo peto.... But good for you for doing the marathon, that is one thing I have never yet attempted, I gotta admire that.

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FITMOMINNJ 4/22/2013 12:10PM

    *Habit* hunger is a great term for it:) emoticon emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 4/22/2013 10:58AM

    Thanks for giving me a *heads up*...I cancelled all my blog subscriptions in Dec. It's incredible HOW WELL you are doing, "all things considered." You could be a couch potato "crying in your beer" over the woes that befell you...but no! You have prevailed!!!

I wish I had the fortitude you do! If wishes were....

To be continued...!

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WATERMELLEN 4/20/2013 7:04PM

    I'm sure hoping you'll get the all clear for a bit of biking at least -- because you love it so much. It's been a long time since I've tried a serious fast . . . but it does have the great side effect of making me really "notice" food when I resume eating!

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/18/2013 11:04PM

    Sounds like a good approach....build up gradually doing what you can...push, but not to the extreme that you cause more harm.

Oh, and enjoy it too!

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L*I*T*A* 4/18/2013 8:39PM

i agree with Patricia speak to your dr..........
perhaps in time you will be back in the saddle again soon.........
wishing you all the best........
take care.....
blessings and hugs...........lita

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OUTDOORGIRL69 4/18/2013 8:30PM

    Hi Don...

I too have not gotten any notices of your blogs. Sorry to hear you have not been feeling good. You will be on my every day pray list. Don't do anything that will jeopardize your health.


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PATRICIAAK 4/18/2013 7:09PM

    Welcome back to blogging!
I'd talk to your Dr. about your concerns about biking (unless you are a
'frequent faller' - then I concur with your choice).

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SOULFISH80 4/18/2013 4:33PM

    Sounds healthy. Good work!

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HIPPICHICK1 4/18/2013 3:09PM

    My brother-in-law ran the Boston marathon on Monday. Thankfully he and his running mates were safe, but everyone was really shaken up by what happened.
Good Luck with your health (sounds scary!) and keep eating those bushels and bushels of veggies. I've been eating tons of them lately and going through a cleanse for Candida too (just blogged about it) and I must say they are filling because of the fibre. And the hummus!! I dip my carrot sticks into homemade hummus and I think the combo is what does the trick since the hummus has some fat and protein in it as well as carbs.

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CHANGE4FIT 4/18/2013 2:11PM

    Hi Don,
Glad to see you back on the blog. I feel like I was away and missed some major upheavals in your health. Glad to know you are making accommodations and I can certainly understand how scary the anticoagulant-bike thing must be!
Intermittent fasting is an interesting idea....I have a couple of friends who do this weekly as part of their spiritual practice. For them it removes the distraction of food preparation and eating and allows them to focus more completely on meditation.
Best to you with the 5-K. My daughters have talked me into completing an obstacle race as a team in June on the OBX-I am terrified, but up for the challenge. Trying to train now. We will be doing the 3-mile course and the team has to start and finish together-I warned them!

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DAYHIKER 4/18/2013 1:18PM

    Glad to see your blog post, Don, and thanks for your comment on mine. emoticon I think you are wise to avoid riding your bicycle for now; it's just not worth the risk. emoticon

Best wishes!

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STRIVERONE 4/18/2013 11:09AM

    Hi Don,

I don't know why I have not been getting notices about your blog entries, since I do get them for all your message board comments. Anyway I just caught up on your recent cardiac history. Take care and when you are ready, maybe we can meet in the real world Otsiningo Park for a super-safe bike-road reconnection.

Comment edited on: 4/18/2013 11:10:41 AM

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Whomped & Stomped!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

...but it's a good-feeling fatigue!

It was back to the fitness center today for my full cardio / ST routine. After being away for 3 weeks I knew I would have to scale back and I did...12 instead of 15 reps for each set and during my 30 mins. elliptical and 30 mins. spin bike I totally ignored the numbers and did what I felt I could do.

...and WOW am I wasted! It makes me better appreciate the level of fitness I had achieved in the past...and will again in short order!

Had hoped to get back to Swing Dance tonight:


But that will have to wait till next Tues. after I switch my ST to Mon. so I still have "gas in the tank" for my dancing shoes! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITMOMINNJ 3/15/2013 9:09AM

    Amazing how fast our fitness level can decline:( Very smart knowing what your limits are, no doubt you will surpass where you were before your time away:) emoticon emoticon

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_VALEO_ 3/14/2013 6:44AM

    Wow! You're doing great! Swing Dance looks like fun, are you on the video?

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WATERMELLEN 3/13/2013 8:39PM

    You are awesome!! Hope that today (13th) the swing dance oomph is with ya!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 3/13/2013 6:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 3/13/2013 2:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAISYBELL6 3/13/2013 8:46AM

    Glad to see you back in a saddle again! emoticon

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NADINEL 3/13/2013 12:00AM

    emoticon Are you in the swing video? Looks like so much fun!

Comment edited on: 3/13/2013 12:03:51 AM

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PATRICIAAK 3/12/2013 11:49PM

    sounds like a plan

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STRIVERONE 3/12/2013 9:41PM

    "...and will again in short order!"

Yup. Name it and claim it. The positive statement will yield positive results.

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1st 5K of the Season

Monday, March 11, 2013

Well, at least sorta... :-)

I worked late tonight so I wouldn't have to take off time for my quickie update appt w my PCP tomorrow morning. But this was the last of our "spring preview" days of mild temps and I wasn't going to be denied one more walk outdoors!

But I had a challenge on my hands: the setting sun! Just because we had our daylight savings change this past weekend doesn't mean I've been magically transported to the Land of the Midnight Sun!

So if I was to get some bang for my buck and avoid getting chased out by the park police I'd have to hup-to!

I started right in with jogging, no walking, and pleasantly found myself able to keep it going for a while. The idea of doing a 5K didn't really occur until I covered some distance. At the turnaround point I took a break and walked thru "Lowdown"... :-) Then back to finish up the 5K distance jogging...with a little help from Huey Lewis' Power of Love.

It's been a super few days of hitting the trails, no not on two wheels, but on two feet!

Going to be a chilly rest-of-the-week, so it'll be time to take it indoors and get the heck back to the fitness center!

Keep it Sparkin' everybody!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 3/14/2013 6:37AM

    emoticon Don!

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WATERMELLEN 3/13/2013 8:38PM

    Fantastic. Nothing like that Power of Love!! (self love too of course)

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FITWITHIN 3/12/2013 9:24PM

    emoticon DDOORN! I'm about to step up my game with the outdoors workouts. Keep up the great job! emoticon

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CRAVINGLIFE 3/12/2013 11:43AM

    Nice way to cross train! Hope your appointment went well today.

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PIGSOFGREEN 3/12/2013 10:52AM

    LOVE it!! I hope today's appointment goes well for you

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2BMYOWN 3/12/2013 10:40AM

    Will be thinking of ya, sparky bud! I am seriously impressed. LOL

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CHANGE4FIT 3/12/2013 8:56AM

    Always the silver linings finder! emoticon

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PMRUNNER 3/12/2013 4:04AM

    Way to take advantage of the nice weather!

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L*I*T*A* 3/12/2013 3:25AM

    way to go..........
all the best with your PCP tomorrow......
blessings and hugs.........lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon

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STRIVERONE 3/12/2013 12:38AM

    And then the rains came. Good thing you seized the day.

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NADINEL 3/11/2013 10:34PM

    Sounds like you had some fun today! emoticon
I know you will keep us updated on stuff. I am praying for you!

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/11/2013 9:52PM

    Good job and way to take advantage of a little extra daylight. Enjoy the good weather and the rush of air in your lungs!

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PATRICIAAK 3/11/2013 9:24PM

    Good luck with the PCP tomorrow.

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