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Thirty Six Years of Marriage and My True Inspiration

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I have come to admire a lot of people in my life but none more so than my wife. I bring this up because of the hope chest in our bedroom. We finally moved it from the window to the foot of our bed. My daughters said they had never seen its interior and so Joan opened it. Along with her wedding dress, baptismal gowns and other family keepsakes was a stack of papers. The papers weren’t valuable. They were in there because, as she explained to my daughters, “That’s how your father used to clean up the bedroom!”

Some of the papers were put on my dresser. I went through them the other day. One caught my eye. It was the hand written agenda of a PTA Board Meeting circa 1991. At the time the elementary school my children attended had no PTA. Joan was asked to resurrect it. Literally. So she did. She assembled a board of enthusiastic and energetic people and while I am somewhat shaky on the dates two years later when her term of office was over the PTA was viable. I’ll spare you the hardship and anxiety she went through in resuscitating it. She handed the reigns over to the VP. That’s how it was all structured. Two years later both the pastor and the principal gushed over the current outgoing president. If it hadn’t been for her hard work and diligence etc there would have been no PTA. Privately Joan was hurt. Publically she handled it with grace. When her term had expired she received a small planter and some thanks. No one recognized that four years earlier the people taking bows treated the PTA like the plague. If you were not part of her family you would have never known it.

A while later the pastor came calling again. He had an after school care program that wasn’t viable. It was losing money. Would she run it? I would have told him to go pound sand. People were behind on their fees and the current director couldn’t seem to collect them. Ninety days later the program was in the black and prospered thereafter. The next summer Joan started a summer care program that was a huge success and other churches and schools would call to see what her program was doing right. This was in the days when after care was in its infancy and not a lot of resource available.

We moved to Owensboro a short time later. Moving from a large town like Louisville to a small town like Owensboro is a bit like having cold water poured on top of you. In short, her services in child care weren’t required. She wasn’t from here. I seethed. She went and got a job working for a national department store chain. She had never worked retail sales before. Three years after accepting the position she was their first employee in the state of Kentucky to be inducted into The Presidents Club. The chief requirement was one million dollars in sales for the previous year. That might be easy to do in New York or Chicago. Try doing it in Owensboro, Kentucky, population fifty thousand. The store merged with another retail giant and she left to be the office manager at a grocery store. While she always enjoyed math and numbers and the like she never held a formal book keeping position. Within three years’ time other office managers in the grocery store chain were calling her for advice.

Joan did all of this while raising six children plus me. She worked some awfully long hours and always had time for the kids. She never wrote a book, a blog or conducted a seminar. She just did what had to be done when it needed to be done and did it all very well. If I hadn’t written about it most people would never know about it because she has never, ever called attention to herself. It has always been no big deal. It’s just life.
She did all of this with a significant handicap. She is blind in one eye and has limited depth perception. She’s never been able to drive a car. Well into her fifties she took buses, walked to work and got rides when she could. Few people outside of her immediate family know about that either. I think her reasoning is that’s its not relevant. You commit to a job and you find a way to excel.

I am not exaggerating any of this because she’s my wife. This is not some sappy sort of testimonial to someone I have been married to for thirty six years. I never linked all those events together until I picked up that old piece of paper that sat in our hope chest for close to twenty years. Then I was amazed.

Here’s my point: If you think long enough and look hard enough you will find people like Joan in your life. They are heroes and one day, hopefully a long time from now they will be legends. If you do this, if you look for them in your home, your neighborhood or your place of work and you emulate their everyday success than you and I will be better people for it.

Through thirty six years of marriage, six kids and a lot of change, the lady still fits into her wedding dress. Today I celebrate thirty six years of love, joy and inspiration. I am very lucky

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PCW452002 8/3/2010 12:05PM

  Very sweet! You are very lucky to have each other!

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MRS243 8/3/2010 10:12AM

    emoticon Happy Anniversary!

You are both lucky to have each other!

Here's to the next 36! emoticon

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DAWNFIRE72 8/3/2010 12:34AM

    Happy 36th Anniversary to you and your wonderful wife. It sounds like you are a perfect match for each other. I too know someone very much like your wife who inspired me to do all the jobs great and small with equal care, mine is my Dad.

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BUTEAFULL 8/3/2010 12:23AM

    I want to cry tears of joy, I have been married the same length of time

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POPCORNGURL 8/2/2010 9:44PM

    Happy anniversary

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WALKNLOVE 7/26/2010 11:44AM


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GIRANIMAL 7/26/2010 11:21AM

    Happy anniversary, John, to you and beautiful Joan! It's no wonder that two amazing people like yourselves found each other and have shared so much. A perfect match indeed. Your kids are lucky to have you both as shining examples of all that can be right in the world. Blessings to you and your family on such a beautiful, joyous occasion!


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BOURNBABE 7/24/2010 10:49PM

    Happy anniversary! You're a lucky man!

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AMANDADAY63 7/22/2010 11:02AM

    What a wonderful tribute...this should be sent to Readers Digest or some other publication, it is truly inspirational and you have a great way with words that brings the story to life in a way we can all feel as if we have shared a little in the powerful impact of your wife on the world around her...I live in Bowling Green KY, and understand how KY folks dont always appreciate the talent that is amongst their ranks....its great that you have been able to enjoy your life with your wife as well as recognize her gifts...thanks for sharing the story with us

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MYOWNHERO 7/22/2010 12:41AM

    What a beautiful tribute! She is truly the salt of the earth. Thank you for making the world a better place, Joan.

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DUTCHIEKIWI 7/21/2010 10:53PM

    Make her read this please......

Joan, you really are an amazing woman. Determined, reliable, humble, but a go-getter who will achieve what she sets out to do.
People like you are most valuable in this life to everyone in this world.
Some people just can not seem to find it within them to applaud, compliment, and admire others, for it might make them look bad.

I thrive on people like you, it makes me want to become a better person, and try to achieve what you seem to do naturally.

KUDOS to you! A big applause is coming to you from me.

Thank you for being who you are, for helping all the people on your way.
Even though I've never met you, it's people like you that make this world go around!!



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GEORGIAK25 7/21/2010 3:38PM

    Congratulations on your anniversary (an achievement in itself these days.)
Secondly everyday I thank God for my mum who is like your wife.
To have someon like that in your life is not only an inspration and a role model but a blessing.
Thank you for sharing.

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SHEILAKHS1 7/21/2010 9:58AM

    John that was an inspiring story...sometimes it is so hard to really look at the good that goes on around us we are so customed to find the negative...Happy Anniversary and enjoy many more years together

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ROSE5328 7/21/2010 9:31AM

    Happy Anniversary. Your wife sounds like an amazing woman!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 7/21/2010 1:03AM

    WOW! you are a great husband to see all that you see in your wife and put it in writing too!
Hopefully your blog will inspire us all to do better, be better and show our love and appreciation for the people in our lives, even if they don't want the recognition!

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WALKAWAY 7/20/2010 11:16PM

    Happy Anniversary John. Sounds like you married a very special lady. emoticon

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    It sounds like you married well, John. Congratulations!

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RWETHAIRYET 7/20/2010 8:34PM

    Congratulations on your anniversary. You are a lucky man indeed!!

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TRISH2229 7/20/2010 7:10PM

    Joan sounds like an amazing woman and I know you feel lucky she chose you! I love to be around people like her. I hope you let her read this blog because you really wrote a beautiful tribute to her. Congratulations on your anniversary! emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 7/20/2010 5:42PM

    Holy moly, SIX kids? She's Wonder Woman!

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APATRICIAO521 7/20/2010 3:17PM

    Awesome Awesome blog. Congrats on your anniversary!!!

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LUVMYK9S 7/20/2010 2:42PM

    Happy Anniversary! You are both blessed to have each other!

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SMOCKON 7/20/2010 2:33PM

    Congratulations on 36 years of marriage! I hope there are many more.

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RHONDA_11 7/20/2010 2:25PM

    Happy anniversary! You both sound like truly amazing people. emoticon Rhonda

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    Happy Anniversary!! It sounds like you are both blessed to have each other!

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SWEETNEENI 7/20/2010 1:08PM

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to 2 terrific people who are blessed to have each other! emoticon

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TRACYDUKA 7/20/2010 12:51PM

    Happy Anniversary Joan and John. :) She sounds like she's one VERY beautiful woman and you are one very lucky man. :) I hope you guys have many many many more happy years together. :)

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JAE_HENNINGTON 7/20/2010 12:48PM

  my defination of a true hero... someone who gets up everyday and does what needs to be done when it would be easier just to stay in bed... I would say John both of you are very blessed people

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CARTOONB 7/20/2010 12:02PM

    Wow! What an amazing woman! And she stuck with you for 36 years (and counting!). I hope you have let her know every day how much you appreciate her! But then, knowing you, you have! Happy Anniversary!!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/20/2010 11:53AM

    No, John, you are not lucky--you are blessed! What an amazing woman; so often it's the unsung heroes who do the most in this world, and with grace and humor. I know she has a sense of humor to be married to you so long!

Congratulations on 36 years of marriage and best wishes for at least as many more. You have me beat by about 6 years, but I feel equally blessed by the man in my life. Give that wonderful woman a big hug from me, too!


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AMABILE75 7/20/2010 11:47AM

    Awww, you two are so perfect together. Happy Anniversary my friend. *HUGS* I've missed you!!!

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TIME4AFITME 7/20/2010 11:47AM

    Happy Anniversary to both of you. She sounds like an amazing woman!

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ANNE-ELIZ 7/20/2010 11:45AM

It is so good to hear couples speak of and to each other with respect and admiration!

Happy Anniversary!

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KATESACUTUP 7/20/2010 11:19AM

    You are an amazing husband and Joan is an amazing wife and woman and mother.

You remind me of a good friend of mine who is seeing his wife through her fight with breast cancer. He's also amazing.

I so admire you and tip my hat your way. Please tell Joan she IS my heroine.

Margie emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 7/20/2010 10:59AM


What an amazing tribute to your wife! I too hope I am making an impact on the world by just doing what needs to be done.

How fortunate you both are to have each other.

Happy Anniversary! Oh, and thanks for the morning cry...

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STORMTMB 7/20/2010 10:20AM

    How awesome that you recognize these wonderful traits in Joan and that you share them with us. It is so rare to hear people speak positively about each other any more. It's so beautiful when a husband does it for his wife. Thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony and best wishes for another 36 years together.

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WISEONE68 7/20/2010 9:50AM

    What a wonderful testimony to your reminds me of Proverbs 31: (NIV)
"10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

I heard someone who was getting married (on a reality TV show) say that she and her fiance "together they were more than the sum of their parts". The bible says "the two shall become one flesh"...

Oh, how I pray for that to happen to me one day!! Hearing you speak of your wife--the "behind the scenes" things she did and still does do--makes me what to be a wife like that.

I am certain, too, that she could write similar things about YOU, she could not have done what she did, without you being who you are. That is what marriage is about!!!

Thanks for sharing your wonderful "testament" to your lovely wife...congrats on your 36 years--I pray you have MANY, MANY more years together!!!!!!!!

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EVLOBOS310 7/20/2010 9:44AM

    emoticon This brought a tear to my eye - in a good way, of course. emoticon to you and Joan for your long and successful marriage, may you have many more happy, healthy years together. emoticon emoticon

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MINENA1 7/20/2010 9:02AM

    Wow! That was so beautiful. Joan has accomplished SOOOO much! She's amazing! God Bless you both!

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CMBELISLE 7/20/2010 8:54AM

    Congratulations! It's obvious that you not only love your wife, but respect her beyond measure.

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CHRISSYVB 7/20/2010 8:43AM

    I have tears in my eyes as I am writing this. Congratulations on 36 years of marriage and God bless Joan and all those like her that do the real work that the rest of us take for granted.

As usual you've inspired me, but today it is to go out and notice all the small (and large) daily contributions that good people make, that no one else is noticing.


Comment edited on: 7/20/2010 8:45:34 AM

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MOMGABE 7/20/2010 8:43AM

    Happy Anniversary to both of you. My husband and I just celebrated 30 years of marriage yesterday. Joan is an amazing woman. You make a great couple. Hope you enjoy celebrating today.

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HDHAWK 7/20/2010 8:41AM

    Happy Anniversary to you and Joan! You're very fortunate to have one another.

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HEART4HOME 7/20/2010 8:36AM

    This is a beautiful blog!I have a husband and six children and I only pray that I am making a positive impact in their lives. I take my job seriously although I mess up all of the time. I have no greater joy than serving that God has blessed me with. Proverbs 31 talks about a woman being praised by her husband and children and I think Joan fits the bill. Congratulations and I wish you much happiness in the years to come. Thanks for sharing.

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TNTEACHER2 7/20/2010 8:32AM

    Hi, John,
There are those who do, and those who don't. Joan is one of THOSE WHO DO!!! She is a natural leader, and we are lucky to have folks like her on this earth.

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MCSNYDER1 7/20/2010 8:20AM

    You are a very blessed man. And it appears Joan has blessed the lives of everyone she has met! (I stumbled upon you and your Sparkpage this morning while welcoming mshuffnpuffn to the butterflies.)

I must say, I am crying bittersweet little tears right now. It is a rare man who can articulate, let alone, put into writing the things which you have!! This time of year tends to be tough for me--my first husband died July 2, 1995, while pursuing one of his passions. We were high school sweethearts and had been married almost 18 years. I am now remarried to a REMARKABLE man that I swear was sent to me directly by God, but there will always be that little space reserved for Bill----he was not only my "Joan", but our entire community's. I have 100s (yes 100s) of letters that I received after he died. He ran the local funeral home and I had absolotely no idea the extent of his reach! The sad thing is, very few of these people let him know how his ministry had touched them so deeply until after he died!

After Bill's death, I lived in slow motion for many years. It was during this time that I began to notice how many people touched my life everyday...fellow teachers, folks at church---oh, you expect that! But it was also the lady at the produce stand, the person next to me at a traffic light, the grumpy teenager that bagged my groceries, the lady who ripped my head off at the 800 # I had called. In other words, everyone. Be it pleasant or not, I just decided there was a hidden reason these people behaved the way they did, and I smiled anyway.

Oh my, I am rambling and may be hijacking your blog. (sorry).

I want to say that you have touched me, as has your Joan. I know you will have a blessed day and I pray you have many more to come. Joan has left her mark everywhere she has been and you just left a mark on me!!!

emoticon to both of you!


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TEACHING1ST 7/20/2010 8:16AM

    John, I wish both of you another wonderful long set of years. God blessed you with each other and a fabulous love. Thank you for sharing your blessings with us!


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FUZZY1TOO 7/20/2010 8:09AM

    Congratulations to you both. What an accomplishment in today's world.....a world where marriage is viewed as a disposable lifestyle. You both are an inspiration to those of us who love our partners, but are only a fraction of the way there.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FAB464 7/20/2010 8:08AM

    Every woman should be so lucky to have a man in her life that shows her as much love, respect, and apperciation as you do towards your wife. And you're lucky to have such a wonderful woman in your life.

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DBELLE39 7/20/2010 8:05AM

    Happy Anniversary to you & your lovely wife! May you be blessed with many more to follow! emoticon

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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.


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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.

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    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!


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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

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,


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!
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.


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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!



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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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    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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    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.


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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.

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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    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 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,

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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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