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Sticking a toe in the proverbial pool...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

So, I'm in week 4 of Nursing 102 - which means I've mostly made it through "Boot Camp" (they warned us in Nursing 101 that the first 3 weeks were the make-or-break period). And wow, they weren't kidding - I can't remember ever living with such sustained astronomical stress levels. The first week or so, the mate had to put me back together on nearly a daily basis as I panicked over assignments and impending skills assessments (none of which was helped by multiple classes being cancelled due to weather but still being expected to do the work and know the material on our own). I went through daily periods of "I don't know if I can do this!" (and tentatively planning alternate educational pathways should I fall flat on my face).

But I'm still here. I passed my first "skills demonstration test" without throwing up on the instructor's shoes (I was that freaked out and terrified, it was a distinct possibility). I've been through my first test in lab (which I didn't do nearly as well on as I'd expected - BUT I didn't melt down over it, and I think I have a better study plan in place going forward). We have our first test in lecture tomorrow (a test for which we have to rely on our reading, the power points they gave us, and the miniscule amount of notes we managed to take in the one and only lecture period we've actually had so far, thanks to the weather) - and I'm feeling fairly prepared. And this week, we will step foot onto our actual clinical sites (for me, Drake Hospital) for the first time.

I'm excited!

In the meantime, life now totally revolves around school and work (because against advice, I'm still working full time - next semester I know I'll have to pull back, but until I have a plan to replace the insurance I'll lose when I shift to part time status, I really have no choice, as I HAVE to have insurance to attend clinicals). I'm making food that makes leftovers, because the mate and I just don't have any time for regular meals (he can't eat when he first gets up, and I shouldn't eat a huge meal as the last act of the day), so I'm making stuff with leftovers that are easy to heat up, stuff he can prep himself, and I'm mostly surviving on comfort foods myself.

And I'm up to 225.5 lbs as of this morning.

NONE of my scrub pants fit (even the new ones I just got for clinicals are already tighter than when I'd tried stuff on and ordered them). I keep a pair of white pants (that I don't normally wear because of ink stains on the pocket) in my locker at work as emergency back up, in case I actually split my pants (hasn't happened yet, but it's a distinct possibility at any moment). I've been in denial, trying to make it work because I keep telling myself I can't afford new ones (but the real reason has more to do with not wanting to actually buy anything in a larger size, I've already gone up to buying XL instead of the L I bought when I first did my STNA training, right after the Flying Pig when I was at my smallest).

This can't continue.

As far as exercise, I'm still getting a handle on things regarding the schedule and trying to add anything else in threatens to topple the tentative balance I have I'm not going to stress about it. It may come in a few more weeks, once I've started the real clinical schedule (on campus clinicals are at a different time than when we'll be at Drake). Or it may not come until I go part time next semester. I have to give myself a little slack there.

But...I can get a better handle on food NOW, and I think I'm past the total spazzed out stress-case point, to where I think maybe I can be a little more reasonable than I've been so far.

SO, today I spun the wheel. And, I'm going to start tracking again. January 1st was far too ambitious, not having ANY idea how life was going to change once the semester started. But now that I'm in the thick of it, I can start paying attention a little better.

I have to.
If I have a stroke or a heart attack at this point, none of my plans are going to work out anyway, right? If I'm not taking care of myself, I can't take care of anybody else effectively.
So...things have to change.

I can do this.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 1/28/2014 2:08PM

    *hugs* At least you are getting a handle on things NOW--you know that small changes can add up to big differences! I know it's really hard when you're super stressed and working all the time (grad school is kicking my tail) but all anyone can do is the best they can. *hugs*

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 1/27/2014 4:48PM

    Yea! Eu's HERE! I was so excited when I saw your blog in my inbox. It's been so long since I'd heard from you that I was quietly worried. I'm glad you are proceeding with your training and that things are generally well, if totally stressed. I'm glad you are over the rush at school and able to focus on a lot more on you.

Good luck for starting now. Wishing you the best!

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MAGGIEC2014 1/26/2014 5:13PM

    You're right -- as a nurse, you know how important your own health is, and think about it this way -- if you can make some small changes under this amount of stress, think what you will be able to accomplish when your life settles down a bit! emoticon emoticon

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MISSG180 1/26/2014 4:19PM

    You are under a lot of stress. Fingers crossed that things will settle a little bit when the first set of tests is completed. Hang in there. I'm really proud of you!

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SHEENADEE 1/26/2014 3:23PM

    Best wishes to you Eu!

Congrats on seeing your hard work in school pay off with passing your skills demo test!

emoticon emoticon

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CINDHOLM 1/26/2014 2:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BUTTERCUPP77 1/26/2014 2:07PM

    I'm so proud of you for not giving up.

Sometimes, just being aware can help make some smaller reductions - less (or no) sauce, smaller portions, etc - that WILL, over time, show effects. Also, for some of us (and I don't know whether you fall into this group, but I think I do) lack of sleep can really impact weight. (I eat to keep my eyes open sometimes. And when I'm tired, I definitely lack the willpower to say YES to broccoli and NO to potatoes. Who am I kidding, I want BOTH!!! I'm a greedy girl, I am!)

Bon courage, mon amie.

You can totally do this because you are the awesomest pile of awesome that has ever existed!!

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SSHANTI 1/26/2014 1:50PM

    You can so do this! And we all love you no matter what! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 1/26/2014 1:49PM

    emoticon And you will!

Take care of you can take care of your mate and all those future patients who will need you too.

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BE-THE-CHANGE 1/26/2014 1:45PM


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So, I've joined the BLC again. Here, have some goals.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I've got a far longer blog percolating regarding my impetus to start working on being healthy again, and news of various sorts...but THIS blog is due for points within the next 20 minutes. So you'll have to wait for the rest. :)


For this round (BLC22) my goal is to get back in ONEderland again. Since I started back to sparking a few weeks ago, I've gone from 216 to 209, which makes me supremely happy. My basic goal is to lose 10 lbs in the next 12 weeks - which should be totally doable.

How am I going to get there?

Tracking like crazy and making good food choices - and I was doing REALLY well on that too, until this weekend took a detour to Hoffbrau House (I had a date and he picked the restaurant...I really did want to try and find something healthy, honest, and actually went to their website before heading out to his place in hopes of finding a nutrition counter, and after glancing down the menu for about a minute realized I was in serious trouble, and I'd better just take it as a "planned cheat" day and make up for it later, 'cause there was nothing that didn't involve crazy rich sauces, and fried stuff...and OMG it was so good). It's been tough to get back to it since, and I've had a couple of slip ups at the vending machine at work, but I'm working on it.

Hitting the gym at school every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (since I'm done with class at 9:50 AM, and the gym opens at 10:00 AM - I seriously have no excuse). Last week was the first time in MONTHS that I actually hit my 90 fitness minutes per week goal, and I'm well on my way for this week too. So on THAT score, I'm doing great!

Doing the various challenges on my team - I'm a "Midnight Mustang" this round, and it seems to be a GREAT bunch of people (with a few familiar faces from my former wolf den), and they have a good schedule set up for various things. Unfortunately it's going to be hard to get many "Last Chance Workout" minutes on Tuesdays since my later class is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and there's not a lot of time between school and work on those days. But I can at LEAST do the 100 Pushups Challenge I've been talking about doing for months - that'll be something. I can do our TNT (tighten and tone - basically strength training focused) on Wednesdays, and then the weekend challenges (which this blog is part of this week). Hopefully the need to rack up points for my team will help keep me moving. are a couple of before pictures, so I've got them for posterity (took these earlier in the week):

Oh, and for a recent more *flattering* pic, here is one that my date (aka Robert Downey Junior Junior - seriously, dude is a dead ringer) took of me at the evil (OMG it was SO GOOD) Hoffbrau House:

What, you don't believe me? Here ya go - the picture I took at Hoffbrau House of Robert Downey Junior Junior (points if you get what comedy album that's a reference to):

And the two of us together on the observation deck at the top of the Carew Tower:

Okay, more profundity later - right now I've got a date with my mate, the DVR, and The Voice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSANELAINE1956 7/12/2013 5:25PM

    I read your SparkPage and saw tons of enthusiasm so I had to check out this blog. Sounds like a great plan. Good luck! emoticon

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 6/12/2013 11:31AM

    Great goals and good plan to make it happen. I know you can do it running with the Midnight herd.

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NEEDTOLOOSE1 6/12/2013 12:06AM

    Great blog and goals thanks for sharing the pictures. emoticon

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MONETRUBY 6/11/2013 5:16PM

    Great to see that you're back to rocking the BLC! I really like your goals, and I have no doubt you've got the dedication and desire to rock those, too.


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ZANNACHAN 6/11/2013 3:08PM

    Glad to see you back in the BLC--there are a lot of great people on the Mustangs, I think you'll like it over there--and I think your goals are strong and doable! You can do this!!!

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MISSG180 6/11/2013 11:21AM

    You rock, lady! Keep up the good work!

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TEKRU1 6/11/2013 9:34AM

    Welcome back! Good to see you and looking forward to seeing you reach those goals!

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LESSISMORE4ME 6/11/2013 8:27AM

    You look great and he does favor RDJ. He's always been so easy on the eyes. emoticon I'll be cheering for you!

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    emoticon home to the BLC Eu! You are on one of the BEST teams in all of BLCland. LOE the Midnight Mustangs!

You know this is life and a lifestyle so the fact that LCW or _______ don't work with your late classes or _______ and you need to adapt, adjust and overcome are just part of life and you are a world class expert at THAT so you CAN and yo WILL rock this. You've done it before and you WILL for BLC22!

Eu is back and she's got this!

Great to see you rockin the BLC! Give my love to the corral please! emoticon

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STILLWATERSSB 6/11/2013 12:11AM

    I had to do the same sort of blog but mine is shorter yet! I will revamp it in a few days!

Love your background picture!

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Quick Photo Blog - GRANDBABY!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Because there have been requests...

With mommy last week as we helped both his parents and my older son move to Clifton (aka CLOSER TO ME!)

With Grandma (whose collar is apparently a chew toy LOL)

The most adorable smile on the planet!

So, there you go - Grandma cam' to the rescue! LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSANELAINE1956 7/12/2013 5:27PM

    Beautiful boy, and you are right about that smile.

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 6/5/2013 7:07PM

    What a cutie! You're looking good too.

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2LABS2LOVE 6/2/2013 11:40AM

    What a cute baby! emoticon

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BARDIC_GRRL 5/31/2013 3:42PM


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HEALTHYLU1 5/31/2013 7:34AM


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BARCLE 5/31/2013 3:44AM

    Aw cute as!! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous pics emoticon

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GWTRIKER 5/30/2013 8:38PM

    Those are great! Thanks for sharing.

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HEARTS116 5/30/2013 12:59PM


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MONETRUBY 5/29/2013 10:35PM

    Looooove this! He is so cute-no wonder you are so proud. Thanks for listening to your fans. ;-)

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NORWOODGIRL 5/29/2013 9:40PM

    What a sweetheart! His smile is adorable. I'm so glad that he is closer to you. My grandkids are several thousand miles away.

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CINDHOLM 5/29/2013 9:08PM

    Sweet...Thanx for sharing!! emoticon

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BE-THE-CHANGE 5/29/2013 7:41PM

    What a cutie! I am so jealous. My grandson lives hundreds of miles away.

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MISSG180 5/29/2013 7:26PM

    You melted me with cute!!

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CIROHIO 5/29/2013 4:04PM

    what a cutie pie!

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ZANNACHAN 5/29/2013 2:15PM

    Awww! What great pictures. He's adorable!

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IDLETYME 5/29/2013 12:40PM

    No wonder Grandma is proud - he's soooooo cute! emoticon

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TWNOMWE 5/29/2013 11:35AM

    emoticon grandkids makes life great!!! enjoy your time with him.

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PEG2584 5/29/2013 11:04AM

    Absolutely adorable!!

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EVERLEARNING 5/29/2013 10:59AM

    AWWWWWWWWW, what a sweet li'l bundle of love!!

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SHEENADEE 5/29/2013 10:26AM

    Such a cutie...but, then, you already know that. Thanks for sharing the pics!

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AKATHLEEN54 5/29/2013 8:57AM

    Adorable!! Looks like a mischievous smile already! emoticon !

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LAC936 5/29/2013 8:32AM

    There's nothing sweeter than looking at a happy baby!

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JONEIL513 5/29/2013 8:26AM

    too cute!!!

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COFFEEMUG2009 5/29/2013 8:23AM


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Sparkpeople at the Flying Pig Afterparty!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Unfortunately, nobody showed else up for the 12:30 PM photo op at the booth, but we got to meet SHEENADEE and CALIDREAMER76 anyway.

Also got a neat reaction to the the Sparkpeople t-shirt:
Random Stranger - "Oh, I love your shirt! I love Sparkpeople!"
Me - "They're here this year, the booth is right up there" (points)
Random Stranger - "Really?! Oh AWESOME!"

So look at that, I'm still spreading the Spark, even if I'm mostly reduced to smoldering embers these days.

That was...painful.
Not especially helpful.


Cheering on the stragglers when we headed up to the Finish Line afterwards? Seeing some of our fellow Bob Roncker's team mates from last year, who recognized us as we started cheering, squealed and came by and gave us hi-fives? Same with some of the coaches from last year - called us by name as they were escorting in this years walkers? Seeing weary faces turn to smiles as we cheered them on, with the bus bearing down on their heels?

Totally worth it.

Best. Marathon. Outfit. EVAR!

We stayed (in the rain) until the last person came in with the bus behind them (see pictures below), at 2:20 PM.

The REAL winners are those that finished, despite all the odds against them.
They are ALL heroes!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGBROTHER323 6/23/2013 7:56PM

    congrats! I was there for the 10k the day before! I loved all the cheerers! Made my day!

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MOTIVATED-ME 5/18/2013 3:45AM

    You finished a marathon!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CALIDREAMER76 5/12/2013 9:39PM

    Someone did take some pictures, not sure who it was though. Debbie - you are an example of what sparkpeople is about - you are supportive,encouraging and you keep on setting and meeting goals! That's what it's all about!

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BOBBYD31 5/12/2013 6:57PM

    it was great that you stayed till the end to cheer them on. once anne finished we headed to spark booth the back to the hotel, we had to pack up and get on the road because i had to work that night. JASR is the last weekend in march if you are interested

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LYNNANN43 5/7/2013 6:19PM

    Just couldn't wait for the 12:30 pic. I was freezing and was a drowned rat after the race. Just had to get a LONG, HOT shower!

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DDHEART 5/7/2013 9:32AM

    Sometimes I think we sparkle most when we spark for's hard...we would like to be sparkling for ourselves at all times...but that cannot always, I couldn't be there physically at all and that is also a disappointment.

Spark On!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 5/6/2013 11:31AM

    **HUGS** I know how hard it was for you to go and show the team spirit this year. Sorry no one else showed for the photo op. I hate when I'm the only one that shows for something too.

WOOHOO! You've still got the Spark going (even if it is just a small glow right now). I know the people who were the last ones across really appreciated your spirit and willingness to give them the encouragement to continue on. It is always nice to have someone there to acknowledge what you've accomplished.

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HENRYNOLAN 5/6/2013 11:01AM

    thanks for sharing! it makes me even more motivated to run my first half marathon this fall :)

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ACIMPEGGY 5/5/2013 11:16PM

    Great photos! Great time! Wish I'd been there.

emoticon emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 5/5/2013 10:39PM

    I'm sorry for the parts that were hard, but I love that you were still inspired--and in term inspiring--by/to the runners in the race. You are right, they are the victors, the winners.

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ACTIVE_AT_60 5/5/2013 9:28PM

    Thanks for sharing. Wish i had been there ... I was working ...

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NORWOODGIRL 5/5/2013 9:09PM

    Glad you were there Sparkling! Well done!

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WOLFKITTY 5/5/2013 8:24PM


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MONETRUBY 5/5/2013 8:19PM

    Great stuff!

Looking forward to some more updates from ya. I miss you!

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SHEENADEE 5/5/2013 7:12PM

    Great job staying to cheer the last of the Marathoners!

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CINDHOLM 5/5/2013 6:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EVERLEARNING 5/5/2013 6:27PM

Yay, EU!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BE-THE-CHANGE 5/5/2013 6:04PM

    I love SHEENADEE and CALIDREAMER76. I met SHEENADEE just last year but CALIDREAMER76 is one of the first Sparkers I met at JASR in 2010. She is a great inspiration for me.

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ROBB1N 5/5/2013 6:03PM

    Sounds like it was a good time.

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As the 2013 Flying Pig Approaches...

Friday, April 26, 2013

I'm having a very hard time with this.

I don't know if I can even begin to write about it.

There are something like 40 Sparkpeople participating this year - the JASR crew did themselves proud. Coach Nancy spearheaded an effort to have some folks volunteer at a water station. There is a dinner planned for Saturday night (and more - I just realized I've not been getting the notifications from the facebook group so I've missed a lot of the planning, trying to get caught up and get details).

And breaking news from one of the local organizers - "SparkPeople is sponsoring a booth Sunday May 5 at the Flying Pig Marathon Post Race Party at Yeatman’s Cove. I've posted this file with a layout of Yeatman's Cove and the booth locations. SparkPeople is at booth #12. I will be setting a meeting time for all of us to converge on the booth. I thought that might be a good spot for a group picture, plus you can meet some other Spark employees there. Let me know if you have questions. For now, I just thought it was fun that Spark decided to have a booth and wanted to share that info."

And I'm sitting here in tears, wishing somebody - ANYBODY - had given a damn last year. I tried so *fricken* hard...

As it turns out, I have plans on Friday night that I swapped work shifts for, which means I'm working Saturday - because I totally spazzed it was Flying Pig weekend. I suspect I blocked it out since I couldn't afford to register and thus haven't trained, AND since I'm having such a hard time wanting to be enthusiastic about all the spark love and not taking it personally. And that's hard to admit.

But, I WILL be at that booth, dammit. And if there's any kind of meet up that I can squeeze into the weekend, I'll be there. And here's hoping some of the Sparkiness will rub off and I'll find my own spark again. I've been floundering - it's been a tough semester and I'm just coming up for air, and am seriously trying to get back into the swing of healthy living. So it's a good time for it.

But I gotta tell ya...bittersweet doesn't even *begin* to touch the emotional rollercoaster I'm dealing with here. Not even a little bit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACTIVE_AT_60 5/6/2013 6:47AM

    I hear where you are coming from, and I totally understand your feelings. In addititon, I have been there myself too many times. - As a lot of people have said (and it is difficult) - don't take it personal. Move on and show up for the event next year. - I wasn't able to attend the event at all (I had to work)

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    WOW !! I haven't heard of any of this. So from a "newbier" idea's side of things,, WOW WHAT A UNIQUE privilege you have !!! While it could go KA PLUNK it could ALSO be a PERSONAL Success FOR YOU !! YES !! IF YOU ALLOW IT to Be and LOOK at the POSITIVES of ALL the HARD work you've done,,,,, how ORGANIZED YOU ARE,,,,,, NEATO !!!

U are in school,,, this is something U can use latah on to put on a resume' !!! had you thought of this? A company will LOVE TO SEE IT !! Just TALK IT UP on how much "I LOVED doing this !" and NOT how it may of turned out,,, look at the POSITVES OF IT !!! For WOW OH WOW !! I AM A GO GETTER !! And HOW DID I GET HERE? EASY !! I've LOOKED For the BEST in it, even when it hasn't been,, well what it "could of been". THAT My SPaRKY FRIEND IS THE KEY TO WINNING !! IN ALL WE DO !!!! just turning things around !!! it can be even on the WORSE OF JOBS ! to look at the BEST as we look for ANOTHer job (NEVER QUIt ! it looks AWEFUL !) and talk UP the JOB you have !!! the supervisors will GRAB YOU UP !!!

ENJOY the EVENT !! Even it RAINS OUT !!! look for the BeST IN it !

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BOBBYD31 5/6/2013 12:04AM

    sorry we were not able to meet up this year, it was a great weekend. maybe you will be able to JASR next march

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JEN-LOVES-LIFE 5/5/2013 11:13PM

    I remember you trying to get people together last year, and you DID try hard. I'm sorry that it did not work out then. This time of year is hard for me to go away for a race, but that's just me.

I agree with BE_THE_CHANGE. The JASR group couldn't make it work then, so they made it work now. That group is a take charge kind of group and it all just worked out. I don't know why SP had a booth there this time (I don't know about last year). But they do have a new book coming out on Tuesday, so maybe that had something to do with it??

Please don't be sad over any of this. It is in the past and it is not losing your present time on. Enjoy the day, the beautiful weather and your new friend Merle! She's great, isn't she? Glad you two finally met. Take care!


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QUIDDITCHGRRL 4/28/2013 1:02PM

    I hope you can come on Saturday! Please don't let something which happened almost a year ago affect your feelings and actions now. Would love to meet you!

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MISSG180 4/27/2013 10:53PM

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. Love.

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PAIDIA 4/27/2013 12:36PM


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BE-THE-CHANGE 4/27/2013 8:18AM

    Don't take it personally. A lot of the people you are talking about got together at JASR in Pittsburgh last year. Since it fell on Easter weekend this year, they decided to get together at the Pig instead. I am so sorry I can't make it out there. I first thought it was graduation weekend, but that's the next week. It is my last weekend before my last class is over and I have too much work to do to get away.

I would have liked to meet you!

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ZANNACHAN 4/27/2013 12:23AM


Organizing things are hard--and organizing anything like spark get togethers can be harder still. There's a lot of factors that need to come together, including people having the time and money to register and travel for some thing like this. I have recently passed up a number of potential spark gatherings (including two races that sounded like a lot of fun!) because of school. This does not reflect at all on the event or the organizers or the other people involved and everything to do with my time and funds etc. right now. Sometimes the stars align and you get an awesome event. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. Try not to take it personally!

I really, really hope you get your spark back! If I could, I'd package some up and send it your way. I know how hard it is to stay motivated when you are under a lot of financial stress, struggling with work and heavy class loads, with no time and less energy. *hugs* For me, right now, I'm barely holding on to my baby step goals--things like making sure I eat 3 meals a day, or getting veggies in, or working out even 20 minutes 5 days a week. But I know that hard as it is, and as meaningless as those little goals sometimes feel, I know that it helps me deal with the stress better if nothing else. And it keeps me moving in the right direction, no matter how slowly.

You can do this, and even if you can't tell that you are making progress, you are building a strong foundation even if you can't see it yet. A friend of mine told me once that all this hard work I'm doing now is like the bamboo plant putting down roots--the bamboo remains seemingly dormant for years while it builds up its root system, and then it grows at an insane rate. So even if you can't see progress, it doesn't mean that you aren't making it.

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 4/26/2013 11:28PM

    I second everything Leigh said! I too am not one to organize parties, get togethers or any other type of social event, fitness related or not. I don't have that organizational spark that gets others excited to come along. I'm not saying you don't have it in you, all I'm saying is that I understand exactly how you feel, especially when the next year someone else comes along and does what you wanted to do. Happens to me all the time.

I am happy to see you here again. I'm glad you got your feelings out in the open so you can deal with them. I'm sorry you weren't able to participate this year fully, but go to the booth. Go to the meet-ups and get your Spark on!

I feel that you are so lucky to be in Spark territory where you get a lot of love from the Spark team (as in appearances, meet-ups, etc). Go have fun for me too.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONETRUBY 4/26/2013 10:51PM

    Oh, sweetie, I feel for ya. I think I've shared with you about how my planning leaves much to be desired...and how my parties often end up being me, sitting by myself, wondering if anyone will show up. This is not a reflection on you! You tried hard, and for whatever reason, people didn't respond. There's no rhyme or reason to that, and it doesn't mean anything negative about you. I'm glad to see you back on spark, and sharing about your struggles. That's a tough thing to do, and I'm proud of you for being willing to do that. Luv ya, and I hope you are in some more positive headspace soon.


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