JTAMSYN   33,437
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Tips to maximize my workouts?

Sunday, August 03, 2014

We joined a small, basic gym back at the end of June. We've been working out 3 times a week and on occasion four times.

I would love to get some tips to get the most out of my workouts. Here's what my workouts usually consists of. I usually start my workout with cardio, 40-50 mins. I rotate between spinning, treadmill, elliptical and step machine. I try to not do the same machine two workouts in a row. After that, I usually spend around 30-40 mins on the weight machines and strength training. I normally do a full body strength every time I go to the gym, unless the days are back to back. I try not to work the same muscle group two days in a row. I keep my heart rate high during the circuit training, almost out of breath. I usually conclude my workout with 10-20 mins of cardio.

On my non-gym days, I try to do a video (Zumba, Tae Bo) or some stretches. Twice a week, I walk about 5 miles in the morning, up and down mountains in my volunteer work. Its more of a strolling speed but I'm still being active. I generally have a rest day on Fridays and Sundays because of lack of time.

So, I'd love to hear your feedback, anything I should change, add, increase, decrease? Or any tips that work for you. I can tell I'm gaining muscle but there's still a thick layer of fat that is hiding the definition. My nutrition is pretty good. I'm usually within the ranges of 1300 (rest days) and 1500-1600 on workout days.

On another note, I went through my friends list. About 70% haven't been active in 2 years... So I need new friends!!!

I hope everyone's having a great weekend!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHITEANGEL4 12/20/2014 10:03PM

    NMoving forward

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DRTOVAH 8/29/2014 11:42AM

  Great workout plan!

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MRSRIGS1 8/19/2014 6:50PM

    I think you are doing GREAT! Keep it up!

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NASFKAB 8/13/2014 11:19AM

  great

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CORNERKICK 8/8/2014 6:00PM

  emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 8/8/2014 11:00AM

    Great post

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CFMOSS 8/8/2014 6:56AM

    Like your gym routine - good rotation. Understand the friend thing - most of mine aren't active as well. Guess life goes on whether people have found success or frustration on the weight loss/healthy living journey.

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ROXYCARIN 8/8/2014 12:25AM

  emoticon

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CICELY360 8/7/2014 11:46PM

  good blog

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68ANNE 8/7/2014 6:15PM

    I think the best thing you could do would be to keep going with what you are doing.

What is your max heartrate on cardio days? Maybe faster or more tension or resistance.

Also I think one of the thing people do too much of, is looking at the way they workout and decide that the results aren't happening fast enough

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ANGELN325 8/7/2014 6:19AM

    I think you have a solid workout plan. You are mixing things up and there's at least one day where you are not working out at full intensity. We build muscle when we are in recovery mode so those light activity days spaced in between the heavy should take care of that. It takes time to lose the fat (it's very stubborn), and you will probably lose it first in places that you don't have a lot to begin with and the places where you most notice it will be the last to go. However, I've read it's still good to do exercises that focus on that spot. So think about what your troublesome spots are and make sure you do exercises at least 2 or 3 times a week that concentrate on those areas.

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LADYGSC 8/6/2014 4:58PM

    emoticon you're doing a great job!! Keep sparking...

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SUSIEMT 8/6/2014 4:28PM

    It sounds like you are doing a good job with the plan you are on. Keep up the great job! I can learn from you! I try to switch up my workouts but what can I say.

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HYATTI1 8/6/2014 12:40PM

    emoticon

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SONYARODRI29 8/6/2014 10:38AM

    You sound like you're doing great! I miss Zumba, I'm definitely adding that back to my workout schedule soon.

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WRITERWANNAB 8/6/2014 1:12AM

    Yours sounds good to me. emoticon

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SUGAR0814 8/6/2014 12:07AM

    You're doing an amazing job without your workout plan! I need to do what you're doing! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LORNE67 8/5/2014 8:27PM

    Sounds like a good program. I need to refresh my routine. I had several falls this past winter that affected my one knee. It is slow to heal which was what slowed done my routine greatly. emoticon

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SHARONCAPPS 8/5/2014 10:00AM

  Sounds like a good routine to me. Keep up the good work.

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LOVINGKATE 8/5/2014 9:59AM

  I feel you are doing an excellent job on you workout plan. Only thing I can think of is yoga and just stretching to lengthen your muscles. emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 8/5/2014 1:52AM

    emoticon

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BANNERMAN 8/5/2014 1:50AM

  Thanks for sharing.

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EGMINGA 8/4/2014 11:16PM

    I don't have much to offer sounds like you have a good routine going. Might up things a bit when they start getting easy for you to do. emoticon

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KEEPITUP62 8/4/2014 10:34PM

    Wow, what a ball of energy you are. And I thought I was quite energetic. Way to go!
You inspire me for sure.

Susan emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 8/4/2014 10:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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AMBER461 8/4/2014 10:18PM

  Thanks for sharing.

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 8/4/2014 8:40PM

    emoticon emoticon


I do emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSROZZIE 8/4/2014 7:49PM

    Great workout routine, what an inspiration! Drink lots of water, meditate on your days off and enjoy your rest days! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNSET09 8/4/2014 7:39PM

  You're doing a great job and I'm feeling you.What I've done to get more out of my workout is to increase the intensity as well as the incline on the treadmill. Up the Annie! emoticon emoticon and emoticon

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CJOHNSTON2001 8/4/2014 6:34PM

  Sounds like your doing great,I to like to stay active,keep up the good work, emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JSEATTLE 8/4/2014 6:30PM

  Sounds to me like you're already on the right track. I don't belong to a gym, so the key for me in any workout is to keep it fresh and keep me interested. I'm mostly a runner, but need to fill out with other exercise which I do get gardening and with free weights.

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JACKIEWALKS4FUN 8/4/2014 6:18PM

    I agree with everyone, you are doing a great job emoticon emoticon

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JRRING 8/4/2014 5:41PM

  wow!

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DIANNEMT 8/4/2014 5:30PM

    Sounds great! Maybe break up the cardio into intervals on various machines. But--great job!!

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NANFACEMIRE1 8/4/2014 5:15PM

    Sounds like you are doing all of the right things.

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JUSGETTENBY42 8/4/2014 2:54PM

    emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 8/4/2014 2:22PM

  I wouldn't change a thing............Your workouts sound very good!!!!! emoticon

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SCOTMAMA 8/4/2014 2:20PM

    emoticon Whatever works is great!

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NONNAOF2 8/4/2014 1:57PM

  Wow! You are most certainly active!! I couldn't even begin to suggest anything else to you! Congratulations on finding a place to get a total workout, you really don't need the fansy- smansy type gyms to do it! :-)

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IDICEM 8/4/2014 12:58PM

  You're workout plan sounds great to me. emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 8/4/2014 12:51PM

  That sounds like a bunch of activity to me, wow. I don't know the specifics... sorry. Ask a trainer, if your calorie count is high enough for that.

If ones body thinks you are under, it actually makes us gain.

I don't really know myself, but the coaches here, or at your club will.

What drive and motivation you have! emoticon

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MANDYLOVE_76 8/4/2014 12:39PM

    Sounds like you are doing fantastic. Inspiration to me!

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SARAHMANI 8/4/2014 12:30PM

  Start with Strength training instead, 30 minutes is more than enough if you do HIIT training method as mentioned by other comments. Then after that, if you still want to do cardio go ahead, but do it in intervals as it is 2 to 3 times more efficient, but the most important that will yield the most fast and long terms results is the strength training. Use body weight, machine and high free weights, in other words "train like a man", it is a huge misconceptions than men and women should train differently when it comes to strength training. Last but not list, during each move ficus your mind on the muscles that are working, the slower you perform the moves and the more you concentrate on what your muscles are doing the better results you will get :) Good Luck!

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NHES220 8/4/2014 12:12PM

    What HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training. There are some workouts on SP - this is where you vary the intensity level on the treadmill or ellipitcal during a 30 minute workout. Heart rate goes up/down/up/down. Otherwise it sounds like you are doing great. Also, if you are not tired after 12-15 reps, you need heavier weights.

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THOMS1 8/4/2014 11:42AM

    emoticon That is a wonderful workout plan. You're doing just great. emoticon

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KLONG8 8/4/2014 11:10AM

    I'm very impressed with your plan and work. This should do it!

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DSHONEYC 8/4/2014 11:09AM

    OK - can't add anything to what I think is a pretty amazing workout but can be your friend emoticon

Expect a flood of emoticon

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GIRLINMOTION 8/4/2014 10:52AM

    Your Spark friend collection may not be active, but at least you are emoticon

So whatever you are doing is working!

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JERICHO1991 8/4/2014 10:41AM

    I like the cardio variety. I get bored doing the same thing every day. Because it's summer here, I'm getting bike rides, walking, and some jogging in. The elliptical jogger is waiting for me when the weather is not as friendly.

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STEVIEBEE569 8/4/2014 10:32AM

    Yes, you may want to try to incorporate some yoga or pilates for an Active Rest Day. Keep up the great work! emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/4/2014 10:33:11 AM

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Why do we torment ourselves with sizes?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our goal weight often involves a specific clothing size. We focus on the single digits or we want to be in a size 4 or 6. But here's an interesting story:

Today, I went to a cheap second store that I like. I bought 4 skirts. None had the same size. One was a size 4, another 8, another 12. Did I gain or lose in those 20 minutes I spent in the changing room? Of course not! So why do we torment ourselves with fitting into a specific size?

Instead of focusing on numbers, we should focus on how feel. And never should we let a clothing size ruin our day!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIRAGE727 7/28/2014 8:56AM

    I totally agree. Society has a strange way of determining "size!" I'm not at all impressed with those on the fashion runway! I'm more impressed and inspired by those on the run! It's about being physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy! (Spiritually doesn't necessarily mean running to join a church.) We learn every day of our journey. Thanks for sharing!
emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/27/2014 9:55PM

    I totally agree. Clothing sizes are all over the place. Health is important. How we feel is important.

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PUZZLEPOPPLES 7/27/2014 8:34PM

    emoticon I have size 12 jeans in my closet that fit perfectly. I also have size 16 jeans in my closet that won't pull up over my hips. It's crazy!

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68ANNE 7/27/2014 8:12PM

    I did notice that with some shoes. I have different sizes in all of my shoes, too. I like to hope I'm not obsessed with a certain size in clothes

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Seeing sunlight through the clouds

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I haven't written a blog in over 3 months. When things are though, I struggle with finding upbeat words. Same goes with nutrition and fitness, I lose all motivation and self-discipline. So the last few months have been filled with on track and off track moments.

To share a little about my life, I live in a third world country. I teach online to make enough money to survive, and spend my days doing volunteer work. My days are filled with beautiful scenery and lovely people but they are also filled other things. Daily, I see starving people, starving and tortured animals, kids that have beaten up (probably for not selling enough gum, instead of going to school), drunken men harassing me, people hassling me for money. And there's the crime, so you learn to always watch your back. I live in a small village, near a bigger town. To do something simple like go to the movies, I have two options. I can take a bus for 6hrs, or lately due to landslides, it takes 8hrs. Or I can cross the border to Mexico, travelling for about 4 hours. There is nothing to do outside of work and volunteering so our big outing is going to the gym. As we don't make very much money, we can't go away all the time for a break. I mean, we can afford to eat meat twice a week. As I'm allergic to eggs, my main source of protein is black beans, every day, lunch and supper.

None of this is new to me, I've been doing this for 5 years. It has its rewards, for sure. But sometimes the 'dark clouds' block out the sunlight. Sometimes I wonder if there is even any sun above the clouds. This latest assignment has been a lot tougher than we (hubby and I) thought it would be. We feel so isolated from the rest of the world. We are fortunate to have each other but wonder how long we can keep this up. And then there's the feeling of failure if we give up our assignment.

The stresses and worries of life, which I think of as dark clouds, are always around us. Some days they seem to take over the sky and block out the sun. I need to focus on the sun above the clouds and not let the clouds undermine my motivation to be a healthy and fit person.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 7/24/2014 9:47PM

    It sounds like you have a lot challenges. I'm not sure what your beliefs are but I believe in living an abundant life. My religion states that God wants us to be happy. Perhaps this isn't the right assignment for you. There is no shame in that. We really don't have to worry about disappointing our maker. He knows our heart and wants the best for us.

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68ANNE 7/24/2014 5:42PM

    I know it helps me a lot to be able to get those thoughts and feelings out on paper so to speak. Just writing them down is a tremendous relief. I hope it is the same for you!

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MICHSTATE 7/24/2014 2:54PM

    I am sorry to hear how stressful life is for you, but I am impressed with your dedication!!!
By the way, are you not using your FitBit anymore?

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BHENDRICK2 7/24/2014 1:26PM

    emoticon

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RENLLY 7/24/2014 1:25PM

    The sunshine I find in your post here is the great volunteer work you are doing in a third world country. Thanks for making this world just a little better !! emoticon

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4 month review

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hello fellow sparkies,

It's been 4 months since my last blog. Time flies! I have been somewhat regular on Spark. Here's whats happened. I received a reassignment mid-Feb which involved moving 4 hours away, nearer to the border Mexico (Northern Guatemala). I had two weeks to pack up, find a place and move. Hectic to say that least. Not to mention that the day before receiving the notice, I started a cold. Well, there was no time for cuddling. I spent the following month packing, moving, unpacking and getting settled in my new assignment. However, this took a serious toll on my health. My cold turned into acute bronchitis which lasted more than 2 months. It got to the point that I was coughing so hard that I would vomit. I bruised my ribs so badly that 2 months, my ribs are still very sore.

About 2 weeks after starting to feel better from the cold, I caught the Typhoid Fever which left me so weak, I could barely walk for days. During the following two weeks, I suffered two relapses. By this point, I was so physically and emotionally destroyed that I was ready to pack up and move back to Canada. My parents heard my distress and paid for my husband and I to fly to Mexico and spend a week with them at the beach. So 13 hours on 5 buses, 2 taxis, 1 plane later, we were by the Carribean, catching our breath. It was exactly what I needed. I was able to recharge, relax and regain my sanity! It was much overdo!

My mother said that I had lost more weight since the last time I saw her (Nov. 2013). This is encouraging considering that I wasn't able to exercise for three months with all the sickness I was dealing with. I know I have lost a lot of muscle which I'm working on regaining. I've reached my goal weight but I'm thinking of lowering it another 5lbs.

To be honest, I'm not super focused on pounds, more on how I feel. I'm actually more concerned with building up my immune system and taking care of my health. I want to feel healthy again and strong, not shattered and weak. So I'm working on doing exercise every day , even if its just 20 mins of sweating, but something!

Anyways, we're back home now and ready. We've decided to make sure we have 1 day a weak off, for resting, time to spend together. The next couple of weeks will be full of work to make up for our holiday. But starting June 1st, my goal is one day off a week. I'm going to call my sanity day! No more working 7 days a week!

So this is has been my life lately. Very, very busy but learning to find a balance.
Oh, and I hiked another volcano in February. That now makes two!

Here's a pictures from our trip. One is of the sunrise where we stayed.





Have a great weekend everyone!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 5/19/2014 6:40PM

    It sounds like you were really run down and sick. I'm glad you could get away for a rest. You definitely need to make your health a priority.

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68ANNE 5/19/2014 4:11PM

    Very hectic time for you. Getting some sickness' especially when you are stressed does take a horrible toll on your body. Glad you did get some vacation time.
The one day a week off goal is a stroke of brilliance!

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SMILINGTREE 5/18/2014 10:00AM

    Goodness! One day a week is definitely not too much to rest and recharge and spend time with your partner. Take it easy on yourself as you continue to recover and grow stronger. It's good to see you back :)

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SUNSHINE99999 5/17/2014 10:13PM

  you deserve a day off for all your efforts on the other days. emoticon

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EMMACORY 5/17/2014 9:49PM

    So sorry you had so many health challenges....glad that you are on the mend. Yes, do take that one day a week off. You deserve it. emoticon

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Made it to the top! Reached my 3 year goal!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

3 years ago, when I joined SP in 2011, I made a goal of climbing a mountain. The first mountain was a figurative one, losing the weight that was stopping me from climbing a real mountain. On January 8th 2014, I climbed a 13,000ft volcano near my home in Guatemala. This volcano is called, Acatenango, which shoulders an active volcano named Fuego.

Fuego is the smoking one on the left. Acatenango has two peaks, on the right.


I had two fears about this climb. First, I was scared of slowing everyone down and being the one that everyone has to wait for, especially with the 40lb pack on my back. Second, I was scared that my breathing would not allow me make it to the top. The first hour was bad. It was a straight hike up in sand. I questioned my sanity but sheer stubborness and short breathing breaks kept me going.

I remember thinking at this point: what did I get myself into?


But I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. After about an hour, my breathing calmed down and I no longer felt like I was on the brink of an asthma attack. From that point on, I was at the front. It felt so amazing to have to stop for the others!

I've come so far! It was the most amazing and memorable experience. The beauty that surrounded us was incredible. And I realized that I am strong enough! If I just push through the tough times, nothing can stop me! This is one of the most challenging hikes in Central America and I made it to the top in 5.5 hours!












So yes, I was on top of the world!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TECH1960PS 1/28/2014 1:43PM

    Well done, beautiful pictures. emoticon emoticon

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PENNYLANE15 1/23/2014 11:10AM

    Beautiful pictures and what a great goal to achieve!!! Fantastic and exciting!!!Great job!

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KABMPH 1/23/2014 8:44AM

    Congratulations!! What a beautiful story and beautiful scenery!!

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DIANER2014 1/23/2014 12:11AM

    How awesome! Congratulations! Beautiful pictures!

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68ANNE 1/22/2014 10:45PM

    I love it
You are so on top of the world!
in more ways than one. . . . . . !

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TAICHIDANCER 1/22/2014 9:13PM

    In 1976 I climbed Agua. Great job: congrats on a real achievement.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/22/2014 9:12PM

    What an amazing adventure! I loved the pictures! Congratulations on making your goal!!

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BRENJET 1/22/2014 8:59PM

    Beautiful photos...Amazing accomplishment...Super inspiring!!!! Thanks for posting this for all of us --great motivation!!!
Congratulations!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TARANITUP 1/22/2014 8:31PM

    How amazing! Great feat!!!!

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PRINCESS_SOFI 1/22/2014 8:21PM

    emoticon

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MICHSTATE 1/22/2014 7:10PM

    Nice!!!!! Awesome job!!!!
I am sure you noticed my inactivity lately.....I was just diagnosed with a stress fracture in my foot....it had been bugging me for months, but I kept hoping it would just get better on its own!!!! Now I am in a surgical boot for 6-8 weeks !!!!! :-(

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EABHA70 1/22/2014 6:49PM

    That's amazing! Climbing a mountain is a goal of mine as well. A couple of years ago I did some (gentle) climbing in Iceland, also near some volcanoes, and it was inspiring. Well done!

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ADF1981 1/22/2014 6:47PM

    Congratulations for reaching your goals! That is a big achievement!

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ARNETTELEE 1/22/2014 6:46PM

  Congrats!

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