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Fear, The Final Frontier

Monday, July 19, 2010

“If you want to take your mission in life to the next level, look inside. Abolish your fears and raise your commitment level to the point of no return, and I guarantee you that the champion within will propel you towards victory.” Bruce Jenner

It hangs on the inside of my locker at the gym. It sits at eye level and before I begin my workouts I read it and let my hand touch it. On the days I am looking forward to working out it raises my level up a notch and I go bouncing up the stairs. On the days I’d rather not be there it centers and focuses me and reminds me why I am there.

Most of what I don’t do is born of fear. It’s not the fear of failure. As a habitually and chronically over weight person I could write you a really good “How To….” on how to fail at stuff. Nope, failure does not scare me, being successful does. It scares me so much that I will create elaborate excuses to not deal with it or confront it. I will rationalize to the point where I believe the myths I created in my head.
I have been putting off working with a personal trainer since May. I just “wasn’t ready.” That was my first excuse. Next there were so many “good people” to choose from. I was approached by two trainers offering me their services. (They really shouldn’t do that!!! LOL) I deferred. It was my work schedule and all. They said they would work around it. I told them I would get back with them.

I “prayed” about what I should do and I even came up with the notion that sort of like the burning bush, God would show me the trainer that was right for me. Until them, I would suffer silently waiting for an angel to hover over the top of my gym and point the way.”

Divine intervention or not I needed a trainer. Other than C25K I am at a point where my workouts aren’t taking me higher. I feel as if I flat lined. Last week I took the plunge. I filled out the paper work along with a lengthy dissertation attached to it. I immediately regretted it. This means that fat old me is going to have to make another commitment to himself. There is going to be another human being there. Maybe we better re- think all of this.

I opened my locker and read the quote and as I dressed I realized I was simply scared. It wasn’t anything very complicated. I was scared of succeeding, more than I already had. Since I began this journey and it has become noticeable people have gone out of their way to be complimentary to me about my appearance. It makes me uncomfortable.

I have to laugh because isn’t it every over weight persons dream to be noticed for all the right reasons? I get uncomfortable because when people notice me there is an expectation created inside of me. I don’t always like that. I am not used to dealing with success. I am used to losing ten pounds and putting on twenty and blaming the cosmos.

Now I am going to take it up a notch. I am going to work with a pro who I want to put me on a long term program that will maintain my health and help me reach my weight and fitness goals. I am fortunate I can do this, yet I am fighting it every step of the way. I am scared because I am requiring myself to be a success.
Misery loves company, or so the saying goes. I know misery; he lives next door and greets me every morning. Success moved in across the street recently and him, well him, I am not quite too sure of him. I keep my distance. He threatens everything I had come to believe about myself.

I must supply God with a much needed dose of comic relief given all the wriggling and wrangling I do. Every tool I ever need is inside of me given to me at birth. It’s my choice to use those tools or let them lie dormant. It’s my fear that prevents me from doing so.

Call it a light bulb going off in my head or call it the Holy Spirit; it came to me yesterday that this is the reason I have always reached a certain point in my health journey and then fallen backwards. I was afraid of success. Fear griped me by the throat and provided me with a host of excuses and I took advantage of every one of them.

“If you want to take your mission in life to the next level, look inside. Abolish your fears and raise your commitment level to the point of no return, and I guarantee you that the champion within will propel you towards victory.”
I sit here this morning with a new perspective. Like anything else new in life it’s tender and it’s awkward and right now I am not really sure about it. I am happy and excited and I am scared. I have made fifteen new excuses not to move forward as I write. All I can do is laugh.

I’ll get it done. I’ll overcome my fears, all of them. It may take me awhile and I might have a few setbacks along the way but if I want to get to the next level it’s necessary.

There’s a new world out there for me and you. All we have to do is gather the courage inside of us to go explore it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PANFRIEDTROUT 7/24/2010 7:54PM

    thanks John for posting this; today's entry had a powerful impact on me ... and, I'm sure, on many others as well. when i read things like this & they rock me to my inner core, i'm pretty much left speechless as my brain & heart try to process the ideas/feelings. thanks again!

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TEACHING1ST 7/20/2010 8:11AM

    John, you always 'Make My Day!' Thanks for your words of wisdom! And I hope the trainer is the best all around for you.

mary

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BEANPOD77 7/20/2010 7:03AM

    Very thought provoking..Thanks, as always, for sharing these wonderful thoughts!

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NANASNOW 7/19/2010 9:06PM

    John! You always have the right words for me when I am feeling "successful" I too am afraid of succeeding! It happens a lot! Right now I have hit a plateau and am ready to pack it in. Your words have given me the strength to go on.
I had kept away from the Spark site as I was feeling like a failure, then I realized that this site is for those times. You talk of divine inspiration or intervention, but I believe that He is working through you for me. I am so glad you have come to my life! God Bless you!

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JPRICE217 7/19/2010 7:29PM

    Great blog. You have given me a lot to think about.
Failure??????????

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MOTIVATIONFOUND 7/19/2010 4:25PM

    This is also perfect for today because I am exactly at the place you discuss in this blog. I've reached the halfway point and then some of my weight loss journey. The weight I'm at right now is where I stayed for a year or so on my way UP the scale. I was always between 120-125lbs size 7. Slowly I gained more and more weight until I was right around 160-165lbs wearing a size 16. That's exactly where I am right now and I believe that it is due to my fear of success as well. I have to take the next step to kick it up a notch and your blog was exactly what I needed to read to help me do that.

Thank you, as always, for an inspiring blog.

Comment edited on: 7/19/2010 4:31:28 PM

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HONORINGGOD 7/19/2010 2:06PM

    thank you john im going to share this with the honering GOD through healthier living . i kw what you saying about change but like happypatty said we are children of God ,his creation let us shine for his glory .thanks again

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HAPPYPATTY1 7/19/2010 1:28PM

    Hi John-

Do you know this one, too? It's the one that best pulls me out of myself when I wander in the darkness...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

(Marianne Williamson, 1992)

John- know that you help a LOT of people by being a shining light!

-Patty


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CAHUNO2 7/19/2010 12:30PM

    emoticon I love reading your blog but this one is GREAT!! I am at that same point too. You have given me a lot to think about!! emoticon

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CARTOONB 7/19/2010 11:59AM

    You can overcome your fear and be successful! I have faith in you!

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TIME4AFITME 7/19/2010 11:57AM

    Thank you for this blog and for putting it out there. It is so true. You can do it!

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DOCYJK 7/19/2010 11:39AM

    You are an inspiration - and I value the fact that you can keep your sense of humor and remain grounded even when you say you're scared! I'll be eager to hear how the training sessions go! I've been trying to find a personal trainer, and I think I can finally make the time to do it. Thanks for the SPARK!!! emoticon

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SNUGBEAN 7/19/2010 11:26AM

    I think this makes total sense. I have done the same thing. I lose enough for people to notice and when they do I get uncomfortable and start going backwards. I never thought that it was fear holding me back. It really helps to have a different perspective. Thanks so much! I am keeping that quote nearby too!

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RHONDA_11 7/19/2010 11:01AM

    Excellent! Thank you for sharing. I struggle with fear of success also. You gave me a lot think about. emoticon Rhonda

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STORMTMB 7/19/2010 10:45AM

    yep. so true. And last night did you think of all of the possibilty that today and this week holds? This is part of it.

You'll love your trainer and the next level that he/she will take you to. Congrats for filling out the paperwork. Huge step!! Keep up the great work, dude!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/19/2010 10:42AM

    Bruce Jenner is a great motivational speaker. Nothing to be afraid of John. You only have to do your best. Your best on a particular day will vary according to circumstances beyond your control but there still will be much you can do to achieve your goals. Doing your best sounds intimidating but it's something we all should expect of ourselves. You do it at work if you are a good employee. I know very few people who were in my field of critical care nursing who go in thinking, "I'll just do as little as I can and hope that most of the patients make it." LOL. So why not put as much effort into you as you do your job. I get up everyday expecting to do that and I am almost always satisfied.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 7/19/2010 9:54AM

  what you say is so true... something that all of us needs to come to terms with if we are going to be successful at being healthy, and staying at our healthy weight... thanks for addressing this very important issue

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MAWRTIAN 7/19/2010 9:48AM

    Thanks John! Have you read C.S. Lewis Screwtape letters? It is one of my favorites and whenever those nagging doubts get me I try to read a few pages. It reminds me that there are powers here on Earth that want me to fail. Keep up the good fight!!!

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DIASTER 7/19/2010 9:35AM

  Oh yes!!
This time we will get to the goal, not 10 pounds away and regain the whole amount plus 10.
Are we just afraid of the unknown?, or afraid of what will be expected of us? Ouch and thank you.

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TOTHEFUTURE1 7/19/2010 9:25AM

    Ah yes courage!

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DAWNDMOORE40 7/19/2010 8:53AM

    emoticonfor giving us the inspiration to fight our fears and to get out there and make something of ourselves! I believe each of us needs to call on the holy spirit each day and allow that to make decisions for us instead relying on the world! I don't always make the right decisions, but I try to listen to God and what he is telling me! Isn't it great that we have our Lord n Savior to help us through when we get into those times in our lives where we feel corner and that we have no way out? It brings me so much joy! emoticon
Oh by the way, I wish you the best with your new personal trainer! I think you will see it was a emoticonchoice! emoticon emoticon

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DEVORA4 7/19/2010 8:47AM

  emoticonfor putting it out there for us. Your blog was more than emoticon I have a special notebook where I keep the best blogs for me to refer back to. This is going in there. emoticon emoticondebby

Comment edited on: 7/19/2010 8:49:31 AM

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BRYLIA 7/19/2010 8:37AM

    Jon,
I really enjoy reading your blogs because they always make me think and give me a smile. What I find remarkable is that it would appear that your soul is transforming...your "stride" is being found in so many aspects of your life as you help bring the rest of us to a new level. Congratulations on taking the leap with a personal trainer!!!

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HDHAWK 7/19/2010 8:37AM

    How do you always know what I need to hear? I've been trying to figure out why, when I was only 6 lbs. from my goal, I gained back about 22 lbs. I've been struggling to get back to my routine and am finally getting there. I think you're on to something John! I've yo yo dieted for years and I'm sure I expect it from myself as well as other people. Great blog!

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CHRISSYVB 7/19/2010 8:35AM

    Take a deep breath and jump! What is the worst that can happen - success? You can handle it, you've faced worse than a little success.

God Bless,

Christine

Comment edited on: 7/19/2010 8:38:30 AM

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/19/2010 8:31AM

    I'll can say is, "Amen!" I so get this. I love the quote. I need to memorize it and begin to live it. I'll be excited to hear how it goes with the trainer. I envision Jillian from Biggest Loser and her ability to scream really loud. I hope that's not what you'll find. I don't like to be yelled at! LOL Best wishes on your new endeavor. Keep us posted on how it goes!

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KATHRYN1955 7/19/2010 8:30AM

    Your blog reminds me of a quote from Marion Williamson which you may have seen before. I have attached it below for a reminder for all of us who are afraid of success. Being unhealthy and overweight truly does not serve any purpose other than preventing us from moving forward, and you are right, that is more scary than staying in our well-worn ruts.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. You were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within you. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Take care and good luck with that personal trainer!
Kathy
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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How I Learned About Balance Today

Sunday, July 18, 2010

As he walked up the aisle he shuffled a bit and reached one hand out to steady himself on a pew. He bowed before the altar rather than kneeling. When he prayed his words came out a bit haltingly. At times he seemed a little bit confused.
Our pastor has been on vacation for the past week and this Sunday in his place was a retired priest who I later found out was eighty four. His words were slow and his actions even slower, that is until he approached the pulpit to preach his sermon.

In a clear voice he asked; “Do you know how many minutes there are in a day? I’ll tell you. There are one thousand four hundred forty minutes in each day. So I would like to issue you a challenge here this morning. Before you go to bed tonight I would like you to do three things. Each of them should take one minute. First I’d like you to review your day and search for the best thing that happened to you. When you find it I’d like you to be thankful for it.”

“Next, I’d like you to find the worst moment you had today. Maybe you got angry at someone, or your feelings were hurt. When you find it be thankful for it too. You were given an opportunity to learn something about yourself.”

“Finally, before you drift off to sleep, look forward to tomorrow and all it holds.”
He looked over the congregation for a few seconds and was silent.

“That my friends are how you achieve perfect balance in your lives. Surely you can spare three minutes from your day.”

I’m going to bed here in a few minutes. I’ll shower, brush my teeth and even read for a bit. When I turn the light off on my night stand, just before I get the pillows all situated correctly I am going to make a three minute investment in my life.
I sure wish you would join me

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEACHING1ST 7/20/2010 8:03AM

    Wonderful, John! We had an elderly priest at our parish---twice, actually---and he was the same as yours: the wisdom of the ages means so much. I'm reviewing and rejuvenating now. Thanks for sharing this.

Mary

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JPRICE217 7/19/2010 7:36PM

    emoticon I will start doing this. I might end mine with what I have to thankful for so I will go to sleeping being thankful

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LUVMYK9S 7/19/2010 11:09AM

    Awesome! I too will be making this 3 minute investment in my life from now on! Thank you so much for sharing!

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ELAINESHAFF 7/19/2010 10:48AM

    Wonderful! ! I will do it before I go to bed every night.

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EDWINA172 7/19/2010 9:43AM

    Wow! Wish I had read this last night. This is what I'll do tonight! 3 minutes. So worth it.

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FROGGERHKC 7/19/2010 7:40AM

    Oh I like this! Thank you for sharing!

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KATIEGLEN012 7/19/2010 6:18AM

    Oh my gosh....I LOVED this. Will do...forever.

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DUTCHIEKIWI 7/19/2010 1:25AM

    Do you know what...? I will!

Thanks John, and thanks to your old but very wise pastor!

:0)
xxx

Du
tchie

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CHERIRIDDELL 7/19/2010 12:47AM

    Count me in too I am investing 3 minutes in myself .I am counting Sparkfriends as one of my greatest blessings ! Thank you!

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MKPRINCESS007 7/19/2010 12:00AM

    Thanks a bunch! I knew I needed to check Spark before bed tonight for a reason! :)

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IMJUSTDUCKIE 7/18/2010 11:52PM

    I'm not religious, but thank you for sharing that wise advice.

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ANNE-ELIZ 7/18/2010 11:35PM

    I know what one will be...

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RHONDA_11 7/18/2010 10:29PM

    I am on my way to bed and I believe I will take that challenge and I thank you for it. I love your attitude towards life. emoticon Rhonda

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STORMTMB 7/18/2010 10:24PM

    Count me in. Such a benefit for just 3 mins.

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HONORINGGOD 7/18/2010 10:22PM

    3 minutes i'll take that challenge emoticon

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KATESACUTUP 7/18/2010 10:17PM

    Thank you. One of the biggest things I’m missing since I fell and broke my foot is being able to listen to the Sunday sermon. You really filled a void with wonderful words of wisdom.

Margie emoticon

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CARTOONB 7/18/2010 10:04PM

    Great idea. I can spare 3 minutes.

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DOLLBABE56 7/18/2010 9:58PM

    I'm going to give it a try in a few minutes! I am looking forward to what it will reveal to me.

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SLY_REDUX 7/18/2010 9:57PM

    Count me in.

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DEVORA4 7/18/2010 9:51PM

  The priest had it akk together, What a great lesson he gave you. emoticonfor giving it to me. emoticondebby

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/18/2010 9:50PM

    Sometimes it's the simplest things that are the most profound. I think I need to add one more three-minute routine to the end of my day . . .

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LUCYSRAIN 7/18/2010 9:47PM

    That is just perfect, how wise edlerly people are! I will join you and be thankful....

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LUCYSRAIN 7/18/2010 9:47PM

    That is just perfect, how wise edlerly people are! I will join you and be thankful....

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RJFERRARO315 7/18/2010 9:43PM

    Great insight. I'll do it tonight. Best thing, worst thing & looking forward to tomorrow. Got it!

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HDHAWK 7/18/2010 9:31PM

    Excellent John! I'll join you. Thanks for sharing this reminder.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/18/2010 9:30PM

    That was some retired priest your church had. A lesson to all in judging a book by it's cover. I'll do the challenge.

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For Those who Asked: A Movie Review

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Joan and Katie went shopping, Maggie was at work. It was ninety degrees and I was not about to work in the yard. That means movie time!!!

I went to see The Sorcerers Apprentice. Before you read my review you have to understand two really important things:

One, I am a fan of all things Disney. I was there for the fiftieth celebration of Disneyland, proudly wear my mouse ears and have a picture of Snow White and I on my desk. Two, I love the whole fantasy/sci-fi genre of movies.

I liked it. It wasn't the best movie I have ever seen but I thought Nicholas Cage was very witty and played his part well. I wont give away the plot line for those of you who wish to see it. I will tell you this, the violence was what I call cartoon violence. There was no blood and gore. There were a lot of gargoyle type creatures such as dragons brought to life. There was lots of fire and visual effects.

I wouldnt have taken my five year old grand daughter to see it. I think it might have scared her. Kids from about twelve on up would appreciate. It's a Disney flick which means the good guy always wins in the end, gets the girl and rides off into the sunset.

The movie was two hours long and to me it moved pretty quick. I enjoyed it and thought it was worth the six dollars I paid to see it.

I saw The Last Airbender last sunday and there seems to be a trend emerging in movies. We are going back to the big production type films. For those of you old enough to recall both movies were done in the Indiana jones vein with lots a cool scenery and action

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNUGBEAN 7/20/2010 2:12PM

    What a beautiful testimony to your wife and your marriage. I have tears in my eyes as I read of the wonderful love you have for her and your life together. Just what I needed to read today. It helps to take the time to realize what our spouses have done and what wonderful people they are. I am going to make a long list tonight about my husband of 19 years. Thank you!

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CMBELISLE 7/20/2010 9:00AM

    Thanks! This is one movie I'd like to see, but will probably wait until it comes out on DVD anyway. I'm not a big fan of paying a minimum of $8 (in my area) to see a movie. My girls can see them for $5 at one theater but that is because they have student IDs.

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LUVMYK9S 7/19/2010 11:18AM

    Thanks for the movie review! Cool! I too went to see the Sorcerers Apprentice yesterday with my 9 year old son and we both enjoyed it, although I would have to admit that my son loved the action but quickly became restless with the 'boy gets the girl' scenes, LOL!

The Last Airbender was also much better than I expected from the critic's reviews, but I've been a fan of M. Night Shaylaman since The Sixth Sense.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/18/2010 6:08PM

    I love Disney movies too. I don't go to movies with sad endings. LOL. Thanks for the review.

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STORMTMB 7/18/2010 12:45PM

    Thanks for sharing, John. I'm sure I'll see it - just a matter of if it will be at the theater or netflix.

I too had to go to Disney for the 50th celebration. I loved all of the places they incorporated the gold. That year I sailed through the Panama Canal on the Disney Magic from DL to WDW. Two week trip of a lifetime. My boss was furious that I took the time off (it wasn't the best time of year), but I will never regret the decision. If you haven't already, you should conside a Disney cruise. So much to do for adults and for the kids-at-heart.

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IMJUSTDUCKIE 7/18/2010 12:16PM

    Thanks so much for sharing! I'm glad you liked it. I can't wait to see it :)

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/18/2010 11:51AM

    Thanks for the review, John! I'm a fan of all things Disney, too; Disneyland and I are exactly 6 months apart, so they throw a big party every time I hit a major milestone in life (I'm sure they do it for me personally, LOL!). Glad to know you enjoyed this one, it might have to go on our viewing list while it's in the theaters.

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LOOKY-LOU 7/18/2010 11:42AM

    Thanks John, I hope to take the kids to see it, but will probably wait for a sweltering hot day first!

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GERIKRAGH 7/18/2010 11:28AM

    Thank U. I don't go to movies but I'm passing the review along to other members of the family.

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JURI62 7/18/2010 10:31AM

    Thanks for the review!! I can't see a movie here for less than $8

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WANDAH3 7/18/2010 10:13AM

    What an incredibly talented man Walt Disney was. What a legacy he created. Thanks for the movie reviews.

Hugs,
Wanda

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TNTEACHER2 7/18/2010 10:10AM

    How about those old enough to remember the Ten Commandments and Ben Hur?
LOL Marcy

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KATESACUTUP 7/18/2010 10:08AM

    Are you referring to the 50th anniversary of Disneyland that occurred 5 years ago? I know it opened in July 1955 because I was there on the first day ... my 5th birthday. Perhaps they are still celebrating! I love Disney, esp. Mickey. My ex stood in line for an hour to get Pluto’s autograph for me once. Funfunfun.

Margie emoticon

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BEANPOD77 7/18/2010 9:57AM

    Thanks John..We have this one on our list to see!

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TIME_FLIES 7/18/2010 9:49AM

    I do want to see the Sorcerer movie when it comes out in DVD. It looked fun. And from your review, exactly what I expected.

From what I've seen of Airbender on trailers, I won't like it. I'm tired of people fighting in slo-mo, doing wild only possible with CGI, stunts.



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MKPRINCESS007 7/18/2010 9:43AM

    Hey there! I saw the move last night too! I enjoyed it! My husband, son (10years, almost 11) and I went to see it. We all thought the special effects were well done, and of course, Nicholas Cage was perfect for the part. Glad you felt it was worth the money! :) Have a great day!

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Finding Your Stride

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I publish a blog periodically for my clients and i have to admit it's been four months since I have updated it. I did so this morning. The topic of my blog is a direct result of what I have learned here at Spark People. I have posted the link to it below.

http://its-up-2-me.blogspot.com/2010/07/
finding-your-stride.html

Since its my own work I guess i need to give myself the credit for writing it, LOL

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOLLBABE56 7/15/2010 4:30PM

    I am so glad you posted the blog. I am only into my first week of C25K training, and I was wondering if soreness/stiffness (hips) is usual for some of us. I hope I find my stride soon. lol It will happen when it happens. Today's session was fun and the podcasts really help.

Keep on striding!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/15/2010 2:27PM

    Great blog!!!

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15MINUTES 7/15/2010 11:14AM

    I felt it this morning and have now being trying to find as many blogs as I can by people like you who found their stride. Thanks...that was worthwhile! BRAVO to you!

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LUVMYK9S 7/15/2010 11:07AM

    Great blog! Hopefully I'll find my stride soon ... I'm getting there just not quite there yet! Thanks for giving me the determination to keep working for it though!

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WISEONE68 7/15/2010 10:51AM

    GREAT blog, John. thanks for sharing with us and others...it is meaningful to those struggling with weight loss, health issues, food issues...AND, those who are "normal" emoticon!

we all need to find our stride--in running, yes; but, in our marriages (I'm not married yet), our relationships with friends, co-workers and family; in our careers; and, life in general.

As a Christian, I have found my stride...I know WHOSE I am and I understand the reason I am here. I am here at Spark and doing what I am doing to be able to do what God has me doing in a much better way.

thanks for your encouragement, your example, and your words...they are all very powerful!!

blessings to you!! emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 7/15/2010 10:06AM

    You people are going to make me into a runner yet!

Great Blog! emoticon

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KATHRYN1955 7/15/2010 9:17AM

    I just read your blog. And yes, Virginia, there are no magic pills or potions, just a lot of persistence, determination and plain ol' grunt work.
I read somewhere that this whole weight loss journey is 80% mental, 10% diet and 10% exercise and I couldn't agree more.
When we come to terms with why we overeat (or whatever our "drug" of choice may be), all the rest falls into place.
I still am trying to figure that one out!!
Take care,
Kathy

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/15/2010 8:57AM

    Funny, I was just thinking how learning to run has taught me quite a few things about other areas of life, John. Well said; finding your stride makes all the difference in running and in every aspect of life. Most of us don't find it easily; it takes a lot of sweat and hard work to press through, then one day it just all clicks. Thanks!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/15/2010 8:52AM

    I will look forwarding to finding my stride because right now, the C25K is so hard! Ugh. Great blog!

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LIFE_IS_SO_GOOD 7/15/2010 8:51AM

    I'm glad you found your stride ... I'm still searching for mine! Have you finished the training?

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Starting Over: The Greatest Gift We Have

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The greatest gift we have ever received happens every morning when I open my eyes. As we plant our feet on the ground before us lays a fresh canvas, blank and unpainted upon. There are no errors, no mistakes, no wrong colors, just a canvas waiting for us to paint on it.

Had a bad yesterday, you might say. It matters not. This morning is fresh and new and no matter how hard you try, good or bad, yesterday with its triumphs and its mistakes is gone forever. When my eyes flutter open each morning I am given another chance to be what I was intended to be. I am given a chance to simply cast aside the shackles of years past, shrug my shoulders and take a step into the light. The scary part is that once I embrace this way of thinking, I no longer have any excuses. If each day gives me an opportunity to be better, wiser and stronger, to learn from yesterday what I can, vow not to repeat it and then discard it, I am out of reasons not to grow and be happy.

In my life time I have been given 20,782 opportunities to begin anew, learn from my past mistakes and start over. I wonder sometimes when I took advantage of that opportunity. Mostly, I slide out of bed, complaining and moaning about what “I HAVE to do” today. I complain about the weather, the world and the fact that I don’t believe the Chicago Cubs will never win another world series. I ingest a beverage to jolt me awake and like some sort of drone I fall into place with something called “conventional wisdom.” That’s code for how I got fat. I got fat following what everyone else does, paying attention to rumors and fallacies about life

We fall into step with everyone else because it’s easier. We ARE NOT athletes. We ARE NOT cooks. IT’S EASIER to go to a restaurant after a hard day’s work. I AM OLD. We all have our own built in mechanism to defeat our success. We are comfortable in doing so because when we look to the right and look to the left we see everyone else doing as we are. It provides us with comfort.

Every morning we have a chance to change it. While I can’t repeat yesterday I can build on it and I am fooling myself if I believe I can only build on positive things. I can build on all the negativity I hold on to. If I am not careful, my life begins to spiral downwards.

But there is hope. If you are reading this blog you are part of it. Every day the amazing support mechanism you and I have kicks into gear the moment we boot up our computers. Every day we get a chance to get it right, once again.
Didn’t log your food yesterday ---- Start again today. Forgot about the gym, or maybe you just didn’t feel like it ---- Today gives you the chance to sweat a bit and build on your success. Lost, not sure where you are at in all of this ---- Pick up your copy of The Spark and “get back to the basics.”

All I have to do is get it right once and every day I have an opportunity to do so. Like the man said in the movie:

“Come on in boys, the waters fine!!!”

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAE_HENNINGTON 7/29/2010 9:31AM

  I love this...its exactly true and so freeing to know that every morning you have another chance to get it right

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LIZZYMITCH 7/21/2010 12:36PM

    Love the painting analogy. It was an image of perfect clarity for me, and I'm glad you shared it =)

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DENISE223 7/20/2010 3:54PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful blog post. Each new day IS a gift.

Peace & Happiness to you and yours,

Denise

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WEIGHTDIP 7/20/2010 1:59AM

    Thanks for this.

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MOTIVATIONFOUND 7/19/2010 4:13PM

    This is a great blog! Thank you for posting it. You are so right - we have an opportunity every single day. What we do with that opportunity is up to us and we have to own it.

I know I'm a little late in reading this, but I think it was perfect that I read it today because I was pretty bad yesterday. This morning when I woke up, I basically wiped the slate clean and started over making the choices that I know are going to make me happy with myself when all is said and done. Just because I was bad yesterday doesn't mean I have to follow that road again today. It's up to me and I choose to start over and make myself proud.

Hope you're having a wonderful day! :)

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KAT573 7/17/2010 3:29AM

    AMEN! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARCYNA 7/16/2010 10:24AM

    Wow John this is great, never thought about this. emoticon emoticon

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ROSE5328 7/15/2010 6:38PM

    I needed to hear this today. Thank you!

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WALKNLOVE 7/14/2010 9:02PM

    Need to find time to read my copy of the s[ark....bought it months ago & still haven't read it...and find myself starting over every day! So much going on, but believing with God's help, I can & will do it all! Thanks John!

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SLY_REDUX 7/14/2010 7:55PM

    Nice blog. I like the way you think.

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PENNYAN45 7/14/2010 7:28PM

    You are so right! Every new day presents us with the opportunity to begin again! I love that message. Thank you!

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JPRICE217 7/14/2010 5:59PM

    You are right we have a clean slate every day. Thanks for the insightful thought

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GIRANIMAL 7/14/2010 3:45PM

    This is so important! So many of us used to use one little slip-up as an excuse to give up.

And, yes, I too always groan my way out of bed rather dreading all the things I "have to" do that day, when what I should be doing is greeting the day with thanks for the ability to do them.

Ah, it's too bad old habits die so hard. But getting skinnier and healthier is proof that it is only difficult, not impossible, to learn new tricks! emoticon

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DIASTER 7/14/2010 3:28PM

  Thanks for that. Everytime I turn to a new page on the calendar I think the same thing, all those days that I haven't messed up yet, a clean slate so to speak, well no more waiting for the new month tomorrow is a whole blank day to fill in just as I want, onward healthy journey.

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CAHUNO2 7/14/2010 3:16PM

    I'm still learning but I like the idea that I will be doing this the rest of my life. Doesn't seem to bad then if a few days aren't perfect. I have high hopes that as time goes by I'll get better - because I want to!

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LUVMYK9S 7/14/2010 2:06PM

    Thank you John for reminding me that each day is a new beginning full of opportunity to be what I want to be. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is yet to be, embrace the present!

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LOOKY-LOU 7/14/2010 11:02AM

    Another thought provoking blog John!

I honestly think this site will be "why this time is different" and it's because you wonderful Sparkers let me make mistakes, get lazy or have a "bad" day, but remind me that two steps forward and one step back is SUCCESS!

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JENNY888 7/14/2010 10:44AM

    You have made my day by reminding me that this is an opportunity to start over again. Thanks.

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/14/2010 10:31AM

    Yes, each new day is a new opportunity to start fresh. Yesterday is over and tomorrow is not a given; we have a chance each day to learn and grow and try something that we never thought we could do. My blog last night was about my W6D3 run and the voices in my head--the negative, you can't do this voice and the positive, oh yes you can voice. Each day we have a chance who we will listen to and believe; let's choose the positive one that is echoed each day by our Spark friends. I hear them in my mind, cheering me on when I make the better choices; thanks for being one of the loudest!

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MAWRTIAN 7/14/2010 10:02AM

    here's to another today! emoticon

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STORMTMB 7/14/2010 9:59AM

    Not too long ago, I read the quote on Spark that talked about Mondays presenting a Clean Slate rather than just oh no, another Monday. Gave me a new perspective. Guess I need to remember that truly every day is a Clean Slate Day.

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TEACHING1ST 7/14/2010 9:55AM

    John, when I saw the title of today's blog I had the same thought run through my mind as Tracy did, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life!" It dates me, but I had that poster on my wall in college!

You're absolutely right---no matter what happened yesterday, we're given today as a new start. There's another timely quote about you can't undo yesterday, you don't know what comes tomorrow--you only have today: that's why we call it the Present. I've paraphrased, but you get the drift. Let's all make it the best we can. Thanks again for your insight!

Mary

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CBLANK20091 7/14/2010 9:45AM

  I'm printing this and hanging it on my refrigerator. I especially loved this part and found it very motivating - "In my life time I have been given 20,782 opportunities to begin anew, learn from my past mistakes and start over."
I never thought to count my opportunities.

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TNTEACHER2 7/14/2010 9:44AM

    Great blog, and your life's journey as written on your spark page is a real inspiration.
Marcy

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TRACYDUKA 7/14/2010 9:20AM

    Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so what are you going to do with it?

Great blog today. And I definitely needed to hear it. :) Thank you for posting it. I woke up feeling 'anew' today as well. :) Maybe there is something in this W.KY air?

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JAE_HENNINGTON 7/14/2010 9:15AM

  I wrote a sermon once about God's love and his never ending mercies towards us.
Every morning when we wake up God gives us a clean sheet of paper to start over and begin to paint the picture of our lives and the best part when we mess up he doesant say.. too bad, he stands willing and ready to give us a clean sheet of paper.At any given moment it is the right time to start over... Thanks John... I appreciate your insights so much

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TIME4AFITME 7/14/2010 9:14AM

    emoticon

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MOMGABE 7/14/2010 9:06AM

    When I got up this morning, I told myself it was time to start logging my food again. Your blog reinforced that message for me today. Thanks.

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FUZZY1TOO 7/14/2010 9:02AM

    I love your insight. For whatever, reason, you are usually on the same wavelength as I am and write exactly what I need to hear. Thanks!

Hope your today is everything you need it to be.
Heather

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DOLLBABE56 7/14/2010 9:00AM

    Great blog John. Oh, and by the way, I love that movie. emoticon

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MINENA1 7/14/2010 8:50AM

    emoticon

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MINENA1 7/14/2010 8:50AM

    emoticon

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TOTHEFUTURE1 7/14/2010 8:38AM

    Great attitude

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