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Stop Settling

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

On a Spark Team I lead, a woman posted a concern about her feelings of fatigue when performing a certain kind of exercise. A bunch of us jumped in to say, oh yeah, that's really common when you first start out because you are not performing the exercise in an efficient way, and here are some tips for how you can make it much more effective and less likely to cause injury.

"Oh, thank you," she said. "I just figured it was happening because I'm fat."

I've also seen topics where women went to the doctor for a problem and only got a diagnosis of "it's because you're fat; lose weight." Even when the problem had nothing to do with their body size. And these women just accepted that answer.

I've done it myself. When I only had one bike and was riding a lot, I was continually needing to adjust the seat height. "Well," I thought, "that's because you're so heavy. You're just making the seat go down."

Then I got my hybrid bike, and I never had a problem with the seat height changing on it. Still, it didn't occur to me that the problem might be mechanical rather than my fault until my daughter Erin started riding that bike and had the same seat-slip issue. That was when we finally took it to the bike shop and found out that the seat stem was the wrong diameter for the bike. Because it was Erin, I thought of doing something to fix the situation. When it was just me? Well, I just had to settle for what I could manage.

When you're fat, there is a lot of assumption by society that anything wrong with you is wrong because you are fat. And that you should be ashamed of your body size and simply endure the failure state of whatever is wrong, because it's clearly being caused by your fatness.

So we settle. We assume the guilt for any failure is in ourselves, not in the product or service that failed. We are too ashamed to even ask whether the problem might not be our fault; we just assume the failure is personal and, silently and in deep embarrassment, endure it.

It's time to stop that. Yes, there are situations where weight is a contributing factor to a problem, but we need to stop just assuming that weight is the only possible factor. We need to ask questions and really look at the answers. Because the first answer may be predicated on weight assumptions made by the person we're asking. If the answer is "you just have to deal with it," it's time to ask about alternatives.

We may be on this journey with the goal of losing that weight and getting into better shape, but that doesn't mean that we should punish ourselves by settling for now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 7/11/2013 9:03AM

Such words of wisdom!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/28/2013 12:26PM

    Well said MissG! And sometimes its our fault because we are "just women". Grrrrr. Don't even get me started!

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SOKKERNUT 6/26/2013 10:47AM

    emoticon blog!

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MANDIETERRIER1 6/25/2013 4:05PM

    I love this it is a very good blog


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XCLOSED 6/25/2013 3:05PM

  yep, even fat people have fattitudes and perpetuate/join in with the fat bashing/rationalizations... we all need to stop ascribing issues/solutions to a persons weight and deal with the specific. excellent thougths, thanks for sharing!

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HILLSLUG98239 6/25/2013 1:07PM

    Well, yeah.

There's a woman with whom I frequently share an elevator ride in the morning. She's a little plump, and like most people I encounter, she's amazed I commute by bike. She often comments that she really needs to work out, but she's just not a morning person. I point out to her that the best time to work out is when you're actually going to do it. Yes, there's evidence morning workouts are more effective, but if you're not a morning person, feeling guilty about not working out is not going to change the fact you're not a morning person.

The next time I share an elevator ride with her, I hope to hear she's found a way to squeeze a workout into her evenings. We function best as a society when each of us works to our full potential, not when each of us comply with a given set of norms. Fat people should NOT expect to be unhealthy just because they're fat. We can all make positive choices for our health and well-being.

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DARKLIGHT31 6/25/2013 12:42PM

    Very true -- well said!

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NATPLUMMER 6/25/2013 12:38PM


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KANSASROSE67 6/25/2013 12:02PM

    Excellent blog!

I believe we settle for a lot of reasons, not always because of feeling fat. Feelings of inadequacy can take many forms.

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JANETRIS 6/25/2013 11:34AM

    Well said Miss G....this is a long lifetime journey. We can't just settle and wait for someday when the weight is all of. You are right . We need to dig deep to make the best and most of the day! emoticon

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Snippity snip snip

Friday, June 21, 2013

Me making an appointment to get my hair cut always ends up sounding like some kind of tense hostage situation: "I'm in the bathroom with a pair of scissors. I swear I'll do it!"

In the meantime, the receptionist is telling me to calm down and just give her a little bit of time; she's sure she can find me an appointment if I'll just give her a little bit of time…

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 6/22/2013 11:00PM

    Ya...can't stand making haircut appointments ahead of time....I just go along and then wake one morning and decide I need it cut NOW! LOL... emoticon

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TATTER3 6/22/2013 12:23PM


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CAROLIAN 6/22/2013 2:53AM


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IMREITE 6/22/2013 2:52AM

    i am kinda weird. i go to walk in places and get my hair cut. i figured if i dont like it, it will grow back.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/21/2013 10:40PM

    You are so me! I just did that the other day. I am forever taking the scissors to my hair. I did finally break down and get an appointment. It has to be the same day for me. When I want my hair cut, it want it now!

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SUSIEMT 6/21/2013 5:54PM


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BARDIC_GRRL 6/21/2013 5:01PM

    Mine are more like lonely suicide attempts. Alone in the bathroom, usually no clothes. I look at the shears, I look at the mirror. I look at the shears, I look at the mirror. Eventually I take hold of a hank of hair from the back of my head and try to adjust my grip on the shears to accommodate the impossible angle. Nothing. I try again.

Finally I put down the shears, lean my forehead against the sink in mortal despair, throw on a bathrobe and go make an appointment.

Comment edited on: 6/21/2013 5:02:07 PM

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NATPLUMMER 6/21/2013 2:30PM


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Wounded, but hopeful

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Had to go to the doctor today for the pain in my left foot. Turns out it's a stress fracture. No running for 4 to 6 weeks. Still allowed to bike, if it doesn't hurt. Swimming and strength training allowed.

To keep me motivated and my spirits up, I just registered for the Perry's Victory Triathlon on August 11, one week after Pedal to the Point.

And speaking of Pedal to the Point, I am way behind on my fundraising! Only $270 of my $2000 goal so far. You people aren't torturing my at all--I'm already biked twice as many miles as dollars! C'mon, folks, make me work for it!

Here's the link to my donation page. And thanks, everyone!

(For some reason the link won't work if I add it in with SP's link adder, but you can copy and paste it. Sorry for the inconvenience.)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 6/22/2013 11:02PM

    Sorry about your toe. At least you have a plan to keep the fitness going! emoticon

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KNYAGENYA 6/20/2013 10:36AM


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TATTER3 6/20/2013 6:17AM

    Hate when that happens! Keep Sparkin'!!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/20/2013 1:13AM

    Bummer! Hope it heals up well and fast!

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MSANITAL 6/19/2013 8:38PM

    Hope you feel better fast don't over do it.. and looking forward to something is always good way to heal.. you can do it

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CAKEMAKERMOM 6/19/2013 4:57PM

    At least you're still able to bike (I hope!). Heal well!

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NATPLUMMER 6/19/2013 4:28PM

    Boo for stress fracture!! Are you in "the boot"?
The link doesn't work.

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Nightmare binging

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hubby brought home half a dozen cupcakes from the fancy cupcake shop in town. I didn't know why he did it, but I was upset because he's not allowed to eat them anymore. I looked them over, and they smelled so good that I couldn't resist a taste. These are the kind of cupcakes that are piled high with buttercream frosting. Before I knew it, I had eaten all the frosting off the top of one. Then a kind of eating frenzy overtook me, and I ate the frosting off of every single cupcake! I felt horrible and guilty and was throwing the cake parts away so I wouldn't eat them, too--

And then I woke up. I was completely disoriented and confused. Then relieved to realize that I had only dreamed that binge! Whew!

But it was so realistic that all day yesterday I kept thinking, "I am way over my calorie count!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLAZED-DONUT 6/22/2013 8:22PM

    Dream big! But wow, imagine the trots you wouldve had after all of that buttercream frosting... eeekks!!!
Whew - thank goodness it was just a dream! (-:

Comment edited on: 6/22/2013 8:23:01 PM

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BOBF15 6/22/2013 8:14PM

    Cool! I just read an article on night time snacking. One of my biggest problems is the 9 PM snack. I have wrestled with this demon for years.

Some say, that evening eating goes to fat, but the best information I have is it makes less difference when as what.

So, I found some foods that can be eaten just before bed. I think my ticket to success is going to be some kind of shake.

Key ingrediets / foods

White meat - turkey or chicken
Nut butters, or just plain nuts
Healthy oils (take a long time to digest)
Yogure or cottage cheese, even whole milk ( which has casein)
Eggs (hard boiled) my favorite is to drop one in my smoothie. I have done it for over 50 years and not one problem with salmonella.

The worst foods are carbs and simple proteins as these break down and spike insulin over night. Which will put weight on.

I am excited about finding a smarter snack and not going to be hungry or deprived.
emoticon emoticon

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JUST2OFUS 6/20/2013 7:31AM

    Glad it was only a dream. Sometimes you just need the "sweet treat" to move on. When I get the hunger for chocolate cake, with peanut butter frosting, I make a 9x13, ice it and then we have a nice piece. YUMMY! Then I am done with it. I cut the rest in pieces, freeze them, wrap them and place into a freezer bag. Then when the "gotta have cake" hits, I take out a piece and thaw it and enjoy.

Yes, it isn't "good" for you, but when you don't eat what you crave, you end up eating MORE calories trying NOT to eat the crave item, and then end up eating the crave item anyway. So TREAT yourself, but only once in a while....maybe once a week, and DON'T make it a reward!

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PAQTEQ 6/19/2013 1:06PM

    Ha Ha. I'm glad it was just a nightmare. But appreciate it because that was your warning to be careful of your sugar intake. Hopes it works out for you. I had a good laugh.

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MSANITAL 6/19/2013 8:45AM

    I have had food dreams that is for sure.. but I have also been faced with that in real life and I tell you it is a hard feeling to have at that moment of something taking over you and compelling you to dive in. oh sister I have been there done that and gained the weight for it.. it is scary.. that is for sure and I know I am not free of that ever happening to me again but if it does. I sure hope I can and would be able to handle it ..

Dreams are funny.. maybe it was a strengthen exercise for if it ever would happen

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NANA2PRINCESSES 6/19/2013 7:32AM

    So glad it was just a dream. But the sad part is that if those cupcakes had in reality entered my house, I would not have stopped until they were all gone, (and not just frosting, cake parts too). With the aid of Spark, I feel more in control, but still not able to have the stuff around.

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TATTER3 6/19/2013 6:40AM

    LOL...I wish my binges were nightmares I could wake up from!

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JANETRIS 6/18/2013 8:44PM

    Too funny! Glad it was only a nightmare... emoticon

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    Thankfully it was a dream! That would have really upset me if I experienced it. emoticon

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IAMFAT4NOW 6/18/2013 2:53PM

    OMG Whew!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/18/2013 1:02PM

    At least you weren't sick to your stomach all day from the bad dream!

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NATPLUMMER 6/18/2013 12:01PM


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NANHBH 6/18/2013 11:54AM

    Yikes, good thing that was a nightmare! But it sounds like something that I would do - in the past. With the help of Spark accountability, I pray that I don't do that anymore!

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KITTEN413 6/18/2013 11:26AM

  That sounds like a true nightmare

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KNYAGENYA 6/18/2013 11:13AM

    That is horrible and funny at the same time. I am glad that it was a dream so that you don't have to feel guilty.

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Tri report

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hubby Ferrett and I drove to Oregon, Ohio Saturday afternoon to pick up the race packet at Maumee Bay. I happened to arrive just in time to hear the orientation talk. Which included a talk about how there have been a number of deaths at triathlons. Not from drowning, but from people panicking in the water and having heart attacks. He told us how it was going to be intense and disorienting and that it was important to relax and pay attention to our reactions.

Okay, then.

After taking a look around, we checked into our hotel, then met up with dear friends Steve and Lea, who had driven down from the Detroit area to cheer me on. After a lovely dinner and a soak in the jacuzzi, it was early to bed. But somewhere in late afternoon and evening I noticed pain in my left foot, just to the side of the ball of my foot, below my toes.

At about 4:30am I woke up about halfway out of the bed, thanks to a crash of thunder that was the topic of discussion among runners the next morning. Dayum, that thing was loud. Fortunately, all the wild weather passed in the wee hours and by the time we got to the race site the weather was merely overcast.

Ferrett woke me up at 5:00, which was a damned good thing since I'd cleverly set my alarm for 5:20 PM--I am dumb. But thanks to Ferrett, we were able to have some of the complimentary breakfast and load Greta, who'd spent the night safe in our room, back on the car. We had a late checkout at the hotel so that I'd have time to come back and shower before lunch. I found myself limping a bit. Bending my toes up or down hurt.

Got my race numbers written on me, my ankle tag attached, and my wrist band--no race bib for this one. Ferrett walked with me while I warmed up. Then I slithered into my wetsuit and went down to the water to take some warmup strokes.

The water was really murky. Like, can't see my hand in front of my face murky. And choppy. This is when I realized that I hadn't spent enough time in the water, and that I should have gotten into it in my wetsuit, because it made me float higher and made it harder to lift my head out of the water and look around. But hey, it wasn't THAT far out to those buoys.

Then the race waves began. Elite men and men ages 19-29. Men ages 30-39. Men over 40.


Yes, all the women at once. I don't know if large group had an effect on what happened. But it might have been a contributing factor.

Because when I got into the water and started swimming in all those arms and legs, I suddenly went into a complete panic. I tried to swim the crawl, but I was gasping for air. I tried lifting my head to stroke and got a nose full of water. I finally had to roll over and start back-stroking. Even then I felt like I couldn't get my breath. The mass of swimmers left me far behind. And I couldn't swim in anything like a straight line. I probably swam an extra 30% of the distance zigzagging around.

But I didn't stay alone. Because just 5 minutes later, the Olympic-distance swimmers entered the water. So pretty soon I was surrounded by a lot of aggressive swimmers, definitely making things more difficult.

Eventually I reached the turn. It seemed like it took forever. I reached the second buoy and headed back toward shore. Still trying to turn over and swim freestyle, still not able to keep calm and keep my face in the water. Still zigging and zagging. I resorted to the side stroke and breast stroke, and slowly, slowly, sloooowly, the shore neared. At last I was able to stand up and stagger toward the beach. Olympic distance runners were jogging past me, but I was still trying to catch my breath. And my foot hurt. So my exit from the beach was...leisurely.

And Ferrett was there, cheering me on.

Change of shoes, and off on the bike. Quick departure. Except I manage to drop my chain right at the mounting spot. So, pulling over to get the chain back on. Argh.

The bike ride was...not brilliant. It was very windy, and I was slow as hell. And my legs were unhappy, probably not helped by the adrenaline mess from the swim. But I kept pedaling. And eventually the biking ended. Back into transition, off the bike. Staggered a bit, but stayed upright--yay! And Ferrett was there, cheering me on--awesome hubby!!

Change of shoes, and a wander to find the beginning of the 5k. As I walked through the transition area I was completely unsure that I could actually manage a jog--my foot wasn't happy about any of this. But once I actually reached the start of the 5k I manned it up and began my slow, crawling jog. I was being passed continually, but I kept chugging on. Lots of those people took a breath to cheer me on; it's one of the awesome things about participants, that they are so supportive. Finally reached the turnaround, and did my own cheering on of the few sprint people who were behind me.

Without any music to help my pace, I was having a little trouble keeping the pace up. And when I could see the finish line, halfway around the lake, there was a moment when I almost gave up and dropped down to a walk. But I doubled down mentally and kept up my excruciatingly slow jog.

And eventually I turned that last corner and headed toward the finish line. Steve and Lea were there along with Ferrett, cheering me on as I jogged those last few yards. Ferrett has a funny video of me staggering forward, snatching a cup of water from one volunteer, my finishers medal from another, pausing just long enough to rip off and return the timing chip from my ankle, and then staggering out of the finishers chute. I look completely grim and all business.

They were all waiting to hug me. I waved them off while I bent over, hands atop a traffic cone, and caught my breath for a moment. Then, still wet, sweaty, exhausted, I took those cheers and hugs.

On the advice of other friends who've done tris, they took me straight to food. As I described the event, Steve asked me, "So...did you *enjoy* this?"

I had to pause. Honestly, there were almost no moments of it that I can point to and say, "That part was enjoyable." But as a whole? It made me very satisfied.

And I'm already planning how to improve my training for the next one. There will definitely be more pool. And more open water swimming.

And, I fear, a trip to the doctor for an x-ray. Because this foot is not happy. Not swollen or anything, but definitely sore.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 6/18/2013 8:51PM

    You did it. You finished the race and accomplished what many don't have the ability or guts to even attempt. I am so proud of you. You learn and get better each time......seriously....girl YOU ROCK!! emoticon

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NANHBH 6/18/2013 2:15PM

    Miss G,

Congrats on your tri! I felt like I was right there with you. I totally know what you mean about not being enjoyable, but feeling satisfied.

Interesting comment about the swim potion - people dying from panic! I ended up backstroking or sidestroking my tri as well. When I went to my first pre-race talk last year, they told us to count to 10 after everyone in my wave got into the water - and then start swimming so that I'm not in the pack. That seemed to work this year - but you're right, the next wave eventually catches up to you.

I hope your foot is OK.
emoticon emoticon

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JULISKA09 6/18/2013 9:22AM

    Awesome job on your triathalon! Lots of races don't go exactly as planned, but you pushed through it. I hope your foot is better soon!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHANGING-TURTLE 6/18/2013 5:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon YOU DID IT !!!! All right!!!!!!! You inspire me

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SMARTIN77 6/18/2013 1:47AM

    I am in awe of your accomplishment. You showed courage and determination to see it through. Great job! My heart was getting uneasy just reading about your struggles in the swimming portion....all I can say is WOW! I know this was a tremendous learning experience and next year will be even better! Keep it up!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MILLIE-MILOU 6/17/2013 5:51PM

    Well done.
I used to compete in Tri's, when I had a whole achilles and know how hard that open water swimming is. Well done for keeping going and finishing.
I hope your foot is OK and you are back in training soon.

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NATPLUMMER 6/17/2013 3:37PM

I hope your foot is okay.

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KNYAGENYA 6/17/2013 3:14PM

    Good for you! I want to do a tri one day. The problem for me will be running. I hate running.

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HILLSLUG98239 6/17/2013 12:35PM


I know the swim will be tough for me. I talked to a friend who will not do a tri, but she has friends that do it. She says her friends wait for the first part of the wave to go, then they start. They're not worried about time; it lets them swim without getting run over.

I'm very happy my swim will be in the Columbia River - with the current!

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APPLESBANANAS 6/17/2013 6:06AM

    Yayy!!!! Wow, that sounds like a huge amount of effort. Great job on a wonderful achievement. The water part sounds terrifying, I'm glad you worked your way through it. Good luck with that foot. emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/16/2013 8:41PM

    Congratulations on not just starting, but actually Finishing Your Triathlon! Open water swims are not easy. JaneTris and I did Presque Isle last year and will do it again this year. It was rough swimming in Lake Erie! A miserable experience for me, but yup, I am a sucker, so gonna do it again! And you will too.

It is that sense of accomplishment that draws us back.

Keep Going GirlFriend! emoticon

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TATTER3 6/16/2013 7:56PM

    I am so impressed!!! You had a really rare experience for the majority of people who read this. I can't imagine. Good job and good luck with the next one. Heal fast. emoticon

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