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What a 10-minute challenge can do

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I joined the SP 10-minute Daily Exercise Streak Challenge. The reason is that my greatest challenge is doing some physical activity when I'm not hiking or walking with my sister. I can go from climbing Mount Orford one day to the activity level of a slug the next.

I realize that I must meet the challenge of getting regular physical activity, even when my sister is not available, or if the weather isn't right, or if... or if... I figured a 10-minute challenge would be easy. I mean, 10 MINUTES!

I failed last week. I did not do 10 minutes of physical activity every day. It really is a challenge for me. Ten lousy minutes!!! emoticon

This week, I'm really determined. I decided to go for a 10-minute walk in the early evening, since it's cooler. I also realized that I'd only walked a little over 2000 steps today. (I NEED my pedometer for feedback!)

As I was walking rapidly, I came to some streets I'd been avoiding because they have some steep hills. I realized how easily I could now climb those short but steep hills. They just gave me that little bit of aerobic activity I wanted. When I got home from my "10-minute" walk, I'd been walking for over an hour and logged in over 10,000 steps. I think I like this 10-minute challenge. emoticon

A photo from a walk taken in the Spring

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 7/14/2010 7:10PM

    I am also having a hard time getting in my daily exercise these days. The weather is hot and humid during the day. My walk has to take place early in the morning or later in the evening. Sometimes it's tough getting out of bed really early.

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EVANSTON55 7/14/2010 12:16PM

    I agree that getting out the door is the hardest part. Once out that door I don't want to come back. It seems so good to be out in the world sometimes it is hard to come back to my four wall apartment. emoticon

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SKIRNIR 7/14/2010 12:15PM

    Great photo! And Congrats on trying to get in 10 minutes per day. Once you get in the habit, your ten minutes will just tend to get longer, I suspect. But one has to develop the habit first.

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ACROSONIC 7/14/2010 11:45AM


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PERSISTANT123 7/14/2010 11:29AM

    "I failed last week. I did not do 10 minutes of physical activity every day. It really is a challenge for me. Ten lousy minutes!!! " ME TOO!

I joined the team last week and so far I am 1 for 2 this week. I can't believe that I can't squeeze 10 minutes in! I'll join you. I HAVE TO do something today, tomorrow, and the rest of the week!

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SHAPNUP 7/14/2010 7:57AM

    That's a great goal - 10 minutes each day. I started out pretty small and would get so winded so quickly. Now it's nothing for me to do an hour on the treadmill and not even be breathing hard (but I sure do sweat!). Which begs the question, is it time to choose a more intense or aerobic exercise? emoticon

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LIFE_IS_SO_GOOD 7/14/2010 7:28AM

    emoticon I have to say that for me, just getting out the door is the hardest part.

I think the 10 minute thing is sneaky AND very effective. Once I'm out there .... away I go!

I applaud your streak! Just try and get out early while the air is a little cooler. You are doing great! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARENAMOO 7/14/2010 6:32AM


The hardest part is getting out the door. I think that it would be easier to get motivated if you tell yourself it is only for ten minutes. Then if you do the ten minutes - that is great. If once you are out there and you do more - it is a bonus. I will have to try this once I feel better.

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EFELL123 7/14/2010 5:42AM

    I love the idea of the ten minute walk. I have a tape of Leslie Sansone which has a muscle mile on it. Its great to use when the weather is not cooperating!
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LJCANNON 7/13/2010 11:15PM

    Congratulations on the Long Ten Minute Walk. It is still surprising to me how quickly those minutes add up when I go out for a 'Short Walk'
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Bounce back ability

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I usually blog about my hikes, but I haven't been hiking lately because different circumstances have made it unfeasible. Sure am looking forward to getting back to it!

I really like the short, motivating (free) emails I receive from Today's email can so well apply to weight control that I want to share it with you.

"You need to develop bounce back ability. Winners lose more than losers lose, but winners get back up and keep trying till they get it. Losers lose and give up. If you are going to be a winner, you have to keep going, no matter how many time you lose, and sooner or later, you will be the winner. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team in the 10th grade, but he didn't give up. Michael Jordon bounced back and I don't have to tell you the rest of that story. So you need to focus on the "wins" that are ahead of you, and not on the losses that are behind you. Bounce back from defeat and be the winner you have inside yourself."

Photo taken on a walk, in June, at the Cherry River Bog
Odd piece of wood with plants growing out of it

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUNADRAGON 7/16/2010 11:59PM

    Great thoughts. Bounce back ability. Very very important to think about. Thank you.

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PERSISTANT123 7/10/2010 12:58PM

    Thanks! I needed to read that today!

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PATSYJO46 7/8/2010 11:54PM

    Such inspiring words...thanks for sharing. I'm going to copy the entire message for myself. It's a great feeling to bounce back after a setback. Hope you can soon resume your hiking. A lovely picture, also. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SDOWDYO 7/8/2010 9:44PM

Thanks for sharing the inspiring words. And good luck with your journey.

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PENNYAN45 7/6/2010 10:15PM

    I couldn't agree more with the email message.

On my page I have posted: "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Confucius

This is a good lesson for losing weight - and for accomplishing anything important in life.

Here at SP, we experience this regularly. One thing we all learn is to pick ourselves up and keep going. There are very few of us here who never fall at all.

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/6/2010 8:49PM

    I am sharing this one... What a key bit of wisdom to think about when we slip, fall, slide, bump....


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MARENAMOO 7/6/2010 4:58PM

    I have a motto on page- Failing only becomes failure if you give up. So I agree 100% with your blog. We always fall back on bad habits and what can we do - give up? Eat Twinkies? Triscuits? Stuff ourselves until we can't move? No we get back up, face reality, get our walking shoes on and get out the door! We clean out our pantry and fill it with healthy stuff. We get back on Spark and find motivation. We don't give up!

We always believe in ourselves - trust that we can do this - and we dust ourselves off and begin again.

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BUGGYS 7/6/2010 4:22PM

    I am trying hard to bounce forward and not back and I am sure it's a motivation thing and something I am working on! Great blog!

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ACROSONIC 7/6/2010 4:13PM

    So true. We tend to focus on how we messed up, and not look into why we messed up and how to make it better. As the old saying goes, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

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ANDI571 7/6/2010 3:16PM

    That is such a true statement. I feel like I am finally bouncing back. It's a good feeling.

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I climbed Mount Orford today!

Friday, June 25, 2010

I really needed encouragement, but I sure wasn't expecting anything as awesome as climbing up Mount Orford! I've gained 3 lbs this week, in spite of eating well and getting a lot of physical activity. I was so discouraged! When my sister suggested we go back to Mount Orford, I was hoping we could make it 1/4 of the way up.

After about 15 minutes of huffing and puffing, a slim, fit woman quickly passed us by and I thought, "Who am I kidding?" I felt ashamed of the fat, unfit body that I was trying to lug up this mountain. Then I remembered DIANEPBH's blog about how much of the battle has to be won in our own minds first. And with my sister's encouragement, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other up that hill. (For sure I would have turned back if I'd have felt any angina pain or thought I couldn't possibly go on, but it didn't happen.)

In fact, after about 20 or 30 minutes of difficult trudging, I started feeling better and more energized. I had passed the critical point. (I learned something today!) Not only did I make it 1/4 of the way up, but I climbed all the way to summit of Mount Orford (2,800 ft.). emoticon I say climbed rather than hiked, because we took the 4,1 km (2,5 miles) road up rather than hiking up the 1,2 km trail which is much steeper and more challenging. But still, I climbed Mount Orford today. I think my 59-year old body did an amazing thing! emoticon

We took the easy road up Mount Orford.

This is a rock cliff almost at the top.

From the summit we can see 33 lakes, that big one is Lake Memphremagog.

My wonderful sister enjoying the view from a walkway at the summit.

Mount Orford is part of the beautiful Appalachian chain.

Yes, that really is me on top of Mount Orford!

A beautiful viewpoint

Another amazing view from the summit

It was quite cool and windy up there and we hadn't prepared for it, so after a few precious minutes, we started back down.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RED_RIDING_HOOD 7/1/2010 4:18PM

    It does not matter if you took the easy way or the hard way, the important thing is that you did it. You accomplished something you did not think possible. You pushed yourself to keep on going. It is all you and way to go in your accomplishment.

Hats of to you and thank you for the pictures, as always they are beautiful.

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/29/2010 8:02AM

    I missed this blog... I know I love coming with you on your hikes. I don't have a hiking partner so I don't go out often on hikes.. In fact it has been years. Too chicken to go alone. I really enjoy your walks.. and hikes. I live vicariously through your adventures with your sister.

And today's blog is inspiring because you learned something more about yourself... THat critical point is like a victory in itself! It's like hitting a summit and seeing those lakes and the view. Your body can FEEL the shift between ARGH and OH!!!!!

Congrats on the hike aka climb. The view you shared is just beautiful.


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MARENAMOO 6/26/2010 8:07AM

    Another step in the journey. And it was a big one for you mentally and physically!!

I am glad that you had tools - like Dianepbh's blog - to help you with the mental aspect of pushing forward. That is the great thing about spark - not only can we track fitness and food - we are constantly given mental and physical tools (I think Kasey calls it our toolbox) that helps us overcome obstacles, bounce back from setbacks, tweak our program.

Don't compare yourself to others - you have accomplished so much (especially climbing Mt. Orford). We are so excited and proud of you.

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WOOKIE68 6/25/2010 10:42PM

    Good for you. It is beautiful there. I agree about the mind getting in our way. I used to think I didn't have the lungs to run, but I realized I only needed to get past the 12th minute then it gets easier. Now I can run 45 minutes, then the knees get mad! Take care! Marcia

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ONEKIDSMOM 6/25/2010 9:25PM

    I have to state for the record that your photos are breath-taking! And the courage and persistence you're showing? Proves what a champion you are!

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ANDI571 6/25/2010 8:50PM

    What an accomplishment. I am so glad you forged ahead in spite of what your mind was trying to tell you. Isn't is amazing what our bodies will do if we give it a chance.

These pictures are beautiful. I love mountains, they just make me feel good.

Keep up the good work, you are awesome. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/25/2010 8:51:17 PM

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CLYN204 6/25/2010 8:47PM

    Congratulatons. Thats another victory won.

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JUSGETTENBY42 6/25/2010 8:24PM


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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 6/25/2010 8:18PM

    Wow! Congrats on your accomplishment!

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Walk by Lake Memphremagog

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Today was hot and humid so we went for a walk by Lake Memphremagog hoping there'd be a cool breeze. There wasn't. emoticon Of course "hot and humid" is relative - when I read about the heat some Sparkers are dealing with, it's in an altogether different ballpark!

My family used to live on the shores of Lake Memphremagog. Back then, all of Point Murray was a sandy beach. They've since commercialized it, and as my sister says, "cimenticized" it. It makes us sadder than anything to go there now, but we do once in awhile for old times sake. The Magog population triples in size because of tourists during the Summer.

Lake Memphremagog is located between Newport, Vermont and Magog, Quebec.
The lake is 27 miles long. Those mountains in the background are in the USA.

Photo taken from Point Murray with Mount Orford in the background.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APRILLSCOTT 6/25/2010 9:44AM

    Such a beautiful lake, and always a beautiful country that I would love to see one day! Loved your walk in heaven! emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/24/2010 12:35AM

    What a lovely spot! I love water.. matter its form. To have a lake so near by must be glorious!

Thanks for sharing.

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MARENAMOO 6/22/2010 8:49PM

    At first I thought that that name had to be a typo - it looked so strange. I imagine it is an Indian name.

I have the same issue with the little town that I went to as a child - Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It was a sleepy little town - we would ride our bikes on the boardwalk, walk a couple of blocks for donuts in the morning. The town hall, fire station and library were all one building with a pond with tadpoles in the back - a hang out place for me. Now it is so commercial - you need a parking permit to go into town, and all kinds of fancy odd restaurants - it is not my old home town. I find it painful to go there - we will go once a summer to eat or walk the boards but it is not the same.

You live in a beautiful place Murielle. You have a ski resort right next to beautiful summer lakes. You have hiking trails and mountains- just glorious. By the way - it is supposed to be high 90's with all humidity here tomorrow in DC. Ugh.

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Hike on Mount Orford

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today was an incredibly beautiful day with ideal weather. My walking/hiking buddy (a.k.a. "Jillian Michaels") told me that I could now walk reasonably long distances, and that now I was being "promoted". Promoted? Walking reasonably long distances sounds pretty good to me! emoticon

After pointing out that I'm weak on the climbing part, my sister suggested we head for Mount Orford where she could evaluate my abilities. Not only that, it seems this will be a weekly evaluation so she can measure my progress! emoticon

After we'd hiked to the top of the "first hill" on Mount Orford (where we stopped for today), I asked her if we were 1/4 of the way up. She answered, "Not quite". It turns out we were 1/16th of the way up Mount Orford. Then she said I did better than she'd expected me to. That's quite encouraging, coming from Jillian! emoticon

After our hike, we went for a very pleasant walk on a lovely trail near a marsh we'd never been to before, but which is quite close by.

This is Mount Orford (a ski resort).

We saw many beautiful butterflies. These 2 were literally on the trail!

Photo taken from 1/16th of the way up Mount Orford. Still not too bad considering we were looking DOWN on the chairlifts at the bottom of the photo.

Photo from the trail on the Saint-Catherine Isle of marshes

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 6/22/2010 8:52AM

    What a lovely spot! The butterflies are stupendous!

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NEXTYEAR 6/22/2010 8:22AM

    The scenery around you is gorgeous! How wonderful that you have an encourager to enjoy it with!

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MARENAMOO 6/22/2010 8:18AM

    I am so excited that you were promoted again in such a short time.! How fun that your sister makes it like a game - it is like spark - small achievements build momentum and success. And you really are make such strides.

Truthfully - I think making it into a weekly progress review will move you from discouragement to encouragement as you can tangibly see your progress. Great idea. BTW - your pictures are great - I love the marsh one.

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APRILLSCOTT 6/22/2010 1:02AM

    OMG! How emoticon to be able to see this when you walk! It is a lovely place indeed! You have to be close to Heaven where you live!I am glad that Jillian gave you an A+! Have a wonderful day! emoticon emoticon

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