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Life is Good!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life continues as a biped, and it certainly hasn't slowed down any.

Today was an interesting day at work. Of course all the surprised looks by folks of me with no cane. "Don't think I never heard you snickering before as I went by," I told them. "'Hey Fred, where's Ginger!' ....'There goes Mr. Planters'.....'Yeah, I think I heard him singing in the rain!'....You were all hilarious....not!"

But the past is behind challenges ahead. Today I felt deliciously sore from yesterday's legwork....quads reminded me of how neglectful I had been with them these past few months, as did hamstrings and glutes. So to make up for my neglect, I took them for a spin session after work...that taught them!

It was interesting to observe my thoughts after work. I went to get gas on my way to the gym ($4.10/gallon!) and realized I didn't have my gym bag. But I do keep a spare in the trunk for just these occasions. "But my Mp3 player doesn't have my new music," I thought "maybe I should can it for today."

It sneaks up on you just that easy! What is it with these excuses?!? Are we just wired to be lazy? Do our brains & bodies just naturally settle for the easy path? I don't know, all I can tell you is that for the 5 minutes (and $60!) it took to fill up my tank, I was building up all sorts of reasons why I should just drive home instead of to the gym.....madness!

By the time I turned on the ignition, I was over it and drove to the gym with resolve, plugged in my old mix set (it was SO 2010!) and cranked out a good half hour. Legs felt better, brain felt better, I felt better.

So now we're gearing up for a wild weekend. We've got this dinner party Saturday. Luckily, SWMBO kicked me and #2 son out for the day while she preps (YAY!), so we'll hit the beach or go bowling until we're allowed back home to get ready. Sunday, she's got me helping out on another event, an annual scholarship thing she does for the local schools (raised about $6,000 and gives them out to seniors around the area) so we're on the docket all afternoon with that. Then Monday I'm off to Omaha, NE for the week, so the adventures continue!

Keep smiling Spark is good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBECCATKD 4/15/2011 10:13PM

    Yes, those excuses do sneak up on you. After spending an entire day in meetings in a windowless room, I walked out the door at 4:00 ready to embrace spring break -- and I found a dismal 40-degree rainstorm. Immediately, I thought of how nice it would be to go home, curl up in pajamas, and snuggle with the kids all evening. My husband even voiced my guilty thoughts when he arrived home. But we didn't give in; we dressed the kids, packed up our gear, and headed off to TKD.

Sometimes the biggest successes come from continuing to step forward even as your mind and body are whimpering and whining. Just keep going; the whining stops when the workout begins.

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JUNEBUG1944 4/15/2011 8:22PM

    Ah yes, the excuses we can come up with. Fortunately, I don't give in too often. Good for you for sticking to your plan and going to the gym....I know you felt much better for doing it! Have a great time tomorrow!

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TEXAS_GRL 4/15/2011 8:34AM

    Arrghh! I had this nice comment all typed out and I erased it some how. LOL

Great blog! That voice is very sneaky. I love some of the excuses it comes up with to be lazy. Reminds me earlier in the week when I forgot my workout socks. My voice tried to convince me I could not workout in my regular socks because it would not match my workout ensemble. Sadly I did entertain the thought. However I decided I was going to rock a new look at the gym, green socks, black shorts and pink shirt. Take that little voice!

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SAFARIBABE 4/15/2011 4:45AM

    WTG on not giving in to temptation! It's such a shame tho that you had to endure such dated music during your workout. I'm so impressed that you were able to overcome such a huge limitation and persevere to have a great workout!!

Omaha??? Now there's a switch from Vegas and DC! Yikes!

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JONESINATOR 4/15/2011 12:07AM

    Woohoo bipedalism! Bowling sounds like a blast, I have not done that in a while. I even had a friend teach me how to spin the ball like a pro!

And I definitely agree on the excuses, they just pop up right away. But my alarm is set for 845am and to the gym I go! Then a day spent researching/reading, then a night with the best friend for the Capitals/Rangers game!

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BRADOS 4/14/2011 11:26PM

    Omaha? just about in my backyard, I'll be down there at the end of the have no idea how jealous I am when you talk about hitting the beach to burn some time - nice. Congrats on gaining back your biped status.


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Biped--part deux

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WOW what a day!

I don't normally blog twice, but today's an exception....I feel back in the groove!

After today's good news with the doc, I came home, changed up and went on over to the gym. Original plan was to hit the chest, shoulders, and triceps, but when Dr. Ortho-man said I was cleared to workout with no restrictions, that plan went out the window!

I warmed up on the bike, then found trainer guy, told him the good news and said, "let's go, you're going to earn your money today, we're hitting legs again." He gave me the requisite "are you sure, what did the doc tell you, how does it feel" routine, whereupon I told him "I'm happily married, thank you, and have answered all these questions with SWMBO, let's go"

Now I'm no fool, and so we started out with low weights, he watched and corrected my form as we slowly did squats, lunges, leg extensions, leg curls, abductors, adductors, then some lower back routines and abs.

Big WOW! Both of us could tell how I was able to squat and lunge lower and with better form than before the surgery, where the pain had prevented me from doing much of these exercises. I felt great, and we both acknowledged that I'll be waking up tomorrow feeling like I was hit by a truck, but I'm OK with that.

And that's the amazing part about living a healthy lifestyle....and being mature about exercise. I can tell the difference between good pain and was good pain. What's even better is that with consistency, my body enjoys this feeling of exertion. And, since at 51 I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself (although I am my own fiercest competitor), I really didn't care that I did some of these exercises with very low weights even in a crowded's a process and today I was at a very comfortable level of effort.

Then I came home to the smell of Parmesan and various cheeses.....SWMBO is practicing a few recipes for this weekend's outdoor shindig...apparently we are serving crab legs and some artichoke-spinach dip is required as an appetizer (OK)....she wants to get this right, so she made a few variations of the dip. So between all the good news, some sore muscles, and a new found bipedalism, I walked over to the oven, grabbed some of the baguette slices she crisped up and conducted a taste test....then another, and another. They were all good! The trouble is, her 130 lb frame can have a 1/2 cup of this dip and some slices of bread and she's content calling it dinner...not me.

But it's all worked out well....I'm worst case 200 cals over today, and that's rounding up my estimate of the Tbspns of dip off the nutrition tracker....I'll just work it off tomorrow on the bike!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEXAS_GRL 4/14/2011 7:34AM

    I felt so energized after reading this blog. Your enthusiam was contagious. Way to work those legs! I love that feeling of good pain, when your muscles burn. I know how much stronger I am getting. You are such an inspiration! Makes me want to run out and do some leg you think they would miss me at work?

Keep on sparkin~

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JUNEBUG1944 4/13/2011 10:48PM

    Okay...enough! I'm tired just reading about all you did at the gym today! Sure felt great getting back into the swing of things, didn't it?

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SAFARIBABE 4/13/2011 10:35PM

    I can hear your exuberance from 1,000 miles away!!! No before you write off those 200 cals make double sure you included all your cardio for today. For example...did you include skipping to the car after leaving the doctor's office....or flying higher than a kite when the doc said all clear...or dragging the trainer from leg machine to leg machine??? I have a feeling you're going to be snoopy dancing your way thru the rest of the week!

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Today, I am a BIPED!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yes people, today I walk on 2 feet, unassisted by crutch or cane!

Drove up to Tallahassee this AM, had some X-Rays taken and saw the doc a few minutes later. He took a look, smiled, and said, "This is textbook, as a matter of fact I want to use this X-Ray in my textbook!" He raised & twisted the repaired joint, had me do the Karate Kid move on that leg, then said "You're good to go":

I asked about biking, walking, and weight-lifting....yes, yes, and yes. Any restrictions? No restrictions!


Hiking, racquetball? Yes, yes

"What about running?"

He looked at his shoes...."probably not for a while...I'm not going to tell you you can't, but you should wait till the end of this year at least."

OK, fair enough. So I two-stepped out of his office (I momentarily missed the cane...if I'd had it and a Top Hat, I'd have bowed my head to the receptionist and tipped my hat with the cane). Outside I stood at the steps of the clinic and peered out over the view, arms akimbo like a Grand Turk smiling at the threshold of his harem....FREEDOM!

Driving back there was more traffic than I expected, so I checked in with the office, got some work done on the phone, then said to hell with it and came home to tell SWMBO the good news. She was more hairy eyeball for disobeying doctor's orders.

And so I'm off to the gym in a few minutes, will ride the bike for a warmup again, then hit the weights, but today, I shall work in some leg work....very light, but it's high time these big old leg muscles started pulling their wight around here....they will work for their food like everyone else!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 4/14/2011 12:33AM

    Great news, and great blog : )
You tell your stories *so* very well, always fun to read!

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REBECCATKD 4/13/2011 10:27PM

    Excellent news!

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JUNEBUG1944 4/13/2011 9:05PM

    Yup, I'm doing the happy dance for you, too! That is great! You've been working hard and doing what you should and that's what it's all about! Way to go! You are going to be one busy guy making up for all the fun you've missed!

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FANGFACEKITTY 4/13/2011 9:01PM

    emoticon Free at last! I know almost exactly how you feel, being accident prone myself I've had a few time off periods over the years (and have kept both crutches and cane b/c it's a matter of when I get hurt again, not if). Enjoy your bipedalism LOL!

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SAFARIBABE 4/13/2011 7:36PM

    AWESOME!!! I'm Snoopy Dancing for you ... some of my colleagues are starting to stare ... I'm going to stop now, but I'm still dancing on the inside!!! So...what's first on the "I have my Legs back List". Marathon mall shopping with SWMBO? Singing in the rain - Gene Kelly style? I know....Wii kickboxing with son #2! Or has he out grown childhood things now that he's been to the prom? Unlike Dad who wants to get a toy for the toy. LOL

WTG on your freedom! But remember, freedom is only truly precious if you use shake a leg, Mister!!

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GWCANNON 4/13/2011 6:53PM


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TEXAS_GRL 4/13/2011 6:27PM

    Doing a happy snoopy dance for you! That is wonderful news!! Welcome back to the land of two feet!!

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BOBF15 4/13/2011 6:04PM

    Jubilation... emoticon

emoticon emoticon



Do we see an iron man in budding here?

Great news. emoticon

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TIFFGETSFIT 4/13/2011 6:00PM

    Yay! That is great news!!! Congrats on your new found freedom.

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WWII Honor Flight

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Well I'm at it a little late tonight, but it's been well worth it.

A friend of mine that owns a restaurant in town called and said, "Hey tonight we're going to Pensacola to meet some returning WWII vets, let's go!"

It's a tradition they've had here in NW Florida for the last few years called the Honor Flight and today was the last time they'll be able to do it. Local businesses work with the Veteran's Administration and the local Congressman from the area and collect up any and all able veterans from WWII and fly them up to Washington DC for the day. Bob Dole meets them and so does Biden. They take them over to the WWII memorial, the Korea and Vietnam Memorials and give them the VIP treatment. Most all are in their mid-70s, a few in their 80s and the oldest was 99.

I was in awe! There was a huge crowd at Pensacola airport waving banners and flags, grand-daughters were in tears wheeling their veteran grandfathers off the plane, husband and wife veterans just smiled and said they had fallen in love in 1943 and have never fallen out and determined old men shook hands with everybody that greeted them and said they were proud to have served. WOW!

Sadly, this is the last time they'll be able to have this flight....every year there are fewer and fewer WWII vets around and it's even tougher getting large numbers together in this area. Many were in wheelchairs, but all were lucid and one 80 year old Marine was determined to crush the hands of anyone willing to give him a shake!

And talk about a Spark! I was in awe at their humility, their energy, their deep appreciation for being recognized (One WAC said, "I didn't think anyone remembered WWII anymore"....I almost lost it and shed a tear!) They were just so happy to still be up and about, to have had a whole day dedicated by the community for what they did.

And talk about honoring your elders! There were 60 year old sons and daughters, 30 year old grandchildren, and teenage great grandchildren there, all red-eyed and smiles watching great grandpa, grandpa, and dad come off that jet waving a flag, ear-to-ear grins, standing tall and proud.

Talk about a non-scale victory!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISA322 4/16/2011 7:04AM

    I would have lost it for sure being there, crying like a baby! That would definitely be an honor to be there, so sad that they won't be doing the Honor Flights anymore.

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BRADOS 4/13/2011 8:36AM

    that would be an honor to be at such an event - nice

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FANGFACEKITTY 4/13/2011 7:43AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAFARIBABE 4/13/2011 5:59AM

    What a great way to spend the night! You are honored indeed, my friend!

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BOBF15 4/13/2011 12:57AM


They get this flag, and what it stands for. The red, the white and the blue all stand for something.

I love the ideals of America. Freedom is never free.

It is not the politician that gives us freedom, rather those who served in the Armed Forces.

God Bless America.


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Sore....and liking it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

So today I decided, "I'm making time to warm-up for my workout" and left work 30 minutes EARLY, to go ride the spin bike for 20 minutes before hitting the weight room. What a difference a warm up makes!

Now I wasn't my usual speed demon, especially since I decided to get caught up on my Friend Feed on the iPhone while pedaling, but it was just enough to make the rest of the workout better. It also gave me some time to unwind from the day before hitting it hard with the trainer....I like it, now I just have to schedule in the extra time.

On the even greater side, I noticed I kept tucking in my shirt all was way loose and I couldn't get it to feel right. I even looked in the mirror and decided I need to go to an alterations shop and have it taken in a little! Like I've said before, I'm OK with the slower weight loss, but I can tell that my particular combination of diet, cardio, and ST is shape-shifting my frame around....I'm dropping pounds slowly, but I'm replacing fat with muscle and that's leading to new wardrobe challenges.

That's it for tonight....even though I'm home, it's going to be a busy week, and a busy month, and a busy next month, and tonight, I'm nicely sore from the gym AND I LIKE IT!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 4/12/2011 10:10AM

    Good for you! You're doing a great job and will find that extra time! BTW, thanks for the hug!

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TEXAS_GRL 4/12/2011 8:27AM

    I have been noticing my own shape shifting and how clothes are fitting so differently. I also like to warm up before doing my strength training. I find I can push it harder when I do so. Keep it up... sore muscles are good muscles!

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/12/2011 12:24AM

    Let's hear it for shape-shifting!!!!

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BOBF15 4/11/2011 10:37PM

    Want something done, ... ask a busy person.

Great job, I was so stiff today, and don't even know why?

Keep at it, through thick and thin.


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SAFARIBABE 4/11/2011 10:36PM

    WTG on your soreness. That's such an awesome feeling!! And nice job on the shape shifting! Even though I haven't lost a lot of weight since I downsized my slacks, they are getting really baggy! So I feel your alterations pain. LOL And I'm sure you wouldn't trade it for anything. Have a great night! Get some rest.

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BRADOS 4/11/2011 10:23PM

    congrats on your continued loss - you seem to have a lot of momentum going - nice.

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