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Zumba Spoiled & Stress High

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm actively working on a couple of big things right now. But most importantly, I need to manage my stress level, and its effects. That will help make me strong enough to deal with everything else!

-There's so much to do before the month is up, and we're already at the midway point. We need to sell a lot of stuff in our apartment, maybe even furniture too, as fast as possible, but as smartly as possible so that we don't simply give away everything. The ONLY asset we have right now, and potential for extra cash, is the things we already own. It feels overwhelming, but the impending negative (disastrous) outcome would be worse.

-I talked to my husband again last night about needing him to get a job. My unemployment is about to run out. It's difficult to motivate him to take action because we will be divorcing. But it was difficult to do it before, because I always supported us. Nothing has really changed, I suppose.

-I've only tracked my food (completely) for 2 days in the past 2 weeks. Not surprisingly, I've gained/maintained weight. I need to be mindful of what I'm consuming.

-To help negate the effects of stress I need to faithfully exercise every day. Without fail, it makes me feel better.

BASICS: Sleep, Eat, Move - Babies do it, and that's how they grow. Adequate Sleep, Mindful Eating, Joyful Movement will help me grow past this difficult point into a better place with lots more sunshine and I will find even more happiness!

I need to muster more delight for the things I love. Some of the negative thinking, anger and frustration about the rising demands and challenges of my situation have polluted the things I once enjoyed. I am Zumba-spoiled. I've taken Master classes with Heather (NEWSGIRL2177), and we found THE MOST FUN ZUMBA CLASS EVER in Bradley's instruction. The problem is that he doesn't teach at the 24 Hour gyms anymore, so it would cost extra to take his private classes. And, frankly, everyone else pales in comparison to his super shiny awesomeness. HIS enthusiasm is infectious. But I've let my own enthusiasm for dancing and moving to slip away and be obscured by my dissatisfaction with the other instructors, and slight annoyance with other attendees. So rather than criticize, I will actively work to find things I LIKE about any given class. Top 3 recently:

*A week ago the instructor didn't show up and I actually lead the class (for one song) when a gym member brought the CD in. It was a lot of fun, and I was excited to be helping.

*The recent classes seem to be lower-energy/impact than what I'm used to. But this is actually helpful because I'm still rebuilding my strength and endurance after being sick a few times in April.

*There are MORE classes being offered in my hometown. With the price of gas, this is great news that I don't have to trek all over North County to find a class.

And bonus: Once I take these new instructors' classes a few times, I'll be more familiar with their style and their songs, so I can just focus on perfecting my technique instead of learning which way to turn or feeling a bit lost.

So there! I feel better already. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LANILUNA1 5/21/2011 4:00PM

  that's so awesome that you lead the class that time!! sweet!! ;)

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ZUMBAMAMMA3 5/16/2011 7:18AM

    you go girl! rock it out

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AARONSGIRL420 5/15/2011 11:15PM

    Way to look at the positives when things have got you down. Stay strong.

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XPHOENIX 5/15/2011 12:16PM

    You will just probably never know how much you inspire me. I am in awe of your strength. You rock!! WOO HOO :)

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AMY_1217 5/14/2011 6:26PM

    I know its easy to say and harder to do, but don't let the stress get you down. If there's a solution to be found, you'll find it. Just be open to it.

I haven't done my Zumba dvd for a few weeks now, so I think I'll dust it off and flop my body around the room today. lol I know what you mean about having to "break in" another instructor. It sucks when you find someone you like and trust, and then you have to change. It feels like a huge roadblock is thrown up in front of you. You never know though, you may find someone else you enjoy just as much.

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to take a little destresser time for yourself. :D

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HOTRODSANDY 5/14/2011 1:24PM

    Congrats on leading a zumba song! You're such a natural leader/motivator!

Sorry about the divorce and financial difficulties. Both are hard individually, but to face both at the same time... extra emoticon coming your way. Hang in there!

Comment edited on: 5/14/2011 1:24:59 PM

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KALISWALKER 5/14/2011 2:57AM

    Jocelyn I can understand the stress. A divorce is blow, but now more than ever you have to take care of yourself!

emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 5/13/2011 10:25PM

    So TOUGH when pressures such as yours are mounting to hang in there and keep finding your SPARK...but somehow, you're doing it!

GL and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for things to "turn the corner" and become more manageable...!


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FITNESSJEN11 5/13/2011 4:00PM

    Hang in there! You'll make it through this challenge and be much stronger on the other side!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CBAILEYC 5/13/2011 2:35PM

    Way to find the positive! Keep your chin up and hang in there. You've got my positive thoughts coming your way for less stress and more joy.

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 5/13/2011 11:46AM

    Jocelyn, I know you have a lot to deal with right now and I am glad that you are finding some relieve in exercise. Stress can really take a number on a person, so please continue to take care of yourself.

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JESPAH 5/13/2011 8:45AM

    You can always find the silver lining. :)

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SWEETZMIX 5/13/2011 8:15AM

    Joce through it all you have still managed to find some sunshine during your cloudy days!


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LECATES 5/13/2011 6:31AM

    Men can be such downers---my dh is finally going back to work after 6 months on short term disability----he would like to stay out longer---but Doc said back to work---Thank God!----wish I could find a zumba class I could afford---or one to try for free---they do sound like fun!

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ABB698 5/13/2011 4:42AM

    You will find light at the end of your tunnel soon! emoticon

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CHELAGETSFIT 5/13/2011 2:17AM

    I firmly believe that every difficulty in life is there to make us stronger. You are an incredible person, an incredible woman, and I know you will pull out from this situation a stronger one. Remember to always seek the good in everything. There's a song I really love and I think is very appropriate for you right now. Check it out when you get a chance.

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CROWGIRL9 5/13/2011 1:45AM

    Rar! I am so sorry for your chaos. :(

The Penny Saver has a coupon on the back this week for a free Zumba class at Eveoke in North Park or NTC in Point Loma-- my roomie and I were going to try the Eveoke class since it's right down the road here. I've never done it, but I hear nothing but awesome about it-- have you tried there yet?

Keep your head up, doll. :)

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IMREITE 5/13/2011 12:56AM

    That is what i hate about getting in a rut or a funk. everyday joys don't interest me. Sometimes i'll get a new workout video from the library to see if i can't motivate or excite myseld a little.

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.DUSTY. 5/12/2011 11:19PM

    Stress is a Biatch! Stay Strong Girl! emoticon

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VEEJAY3 5/12/2011 9:20PM

    Hmmmm. You need a little fairy dust.
There. See? Your stress is melting away ... all Zumba instructors are improving ... that perfect job awaits around the corner ...

Dang it! emoticon emoticon That fairy needs to be a little more generous with that dust ... AH! That's better: Paris Hilton needs a whole bunch of stuff for her new apartment like NOW, and she doesn't care WHAT she pays for it, and she's waving cash at you.

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MCJULIEO 5/12/2011 4:47PM

    Hang in there.... you know we're rooting for you! Really!

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MZSASSY 5/12/2011 4:22PM

    You got it out now it time to make some changes

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GMO_JEN 5/12/2011 3:55PM

    I am so sorry for all of the stress-it can be overwhelming. But, you seem to have a great plan in place. getting sleep is always the hardest for me when i am stressed, but hopefully working out will help. And, it's awesome that you led a zumba class-very cool. and, fun, social interaction can always help get the stress down a little.
Hope your day is going better!

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KMTOOLEY 5/12/2011 2:07PM

    I hope your stress level decreases soon! Take a few minutes to close your eyes and just take some deep breaths that always seems to help me when things get hectic.

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MRSMELVIN1 5/12/2011 1:29PM

    Oh you have so much on your plate these days. Here anytime you need to talk.. emoticon

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SUSIEQ432 5/12/2011 12:33PM

    hI! I am sorry to hear of the stressful situation you are going through at this time. KEEP YOUR FOCUS! did you know that you were part of my blog last week? You are such an inspiration to me....I was feeling like giving up and then WOW...I stalked your SP page and got inspired again!
Stress is a killer....I know I have had my share in the past 3 years. A sick daughter, change of job, and now my own injury to heal from and not working.
Keep your focus. You will be in a better place....try to not stress over things you cannot control and keep tracking...it makes all the difference in the world. TRACK TRACK TRACK.....
SUSIE emoticon emoticon emoticonU CAN DO IT!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 5/12/2011 12:22PM

  Wow. You DO have a lot on your plate right now. But you WILL get through it all and you will be stronger from it all.

At least you have Zumba to relieve your stress.


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CECE0330 5/12/2011 11:36AM

    emoticon I don't envy you the ugly business you have on your plate at the moment. I went through a divorce, and at a low point got a fortune cookie that read: It is always darkest before the dawn. Cheesy, but I kept that fortune for a long, long time and every time the stress/loneliness/fear crept in, I reminded myself that it WOULD get better.

YAY for finding the good things to reconnect you to zumba! There's always certification yourself down the road too! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/12/2011 11:36:23 AM

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Reason #007: Waterfalls

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To see this photo bigger on Flickr.com click on this link:

"Why I Work To Stay Fit" Reason Series #007: Waterfalls!!!
I was born in Hawaii, the land of waterfalls. Tropical breezes tease my hair, and I have hips made for hula (in my mind). We moved to Southern California before I was 2 years old, and I once gave up the dream of ever going back because of my size. I haven't visited yet. But, I'm done limiting my dreams now! I will shower beneath the warm falls!
Many summers (back when my parents were married), we drove from California out to Colorado to visit family. I've seen the 7 Falls in the daytime, and glowing with lights at night, appearing to practically be on fire. As they describe it, "Located in South Cheyenne Canyon, Seven Falls cascades 181 feet in seven distinct steps down a solid cliff of pikes peak granite..." The smell of that wet granite is intoxicating, and I would be lost in flights of fancy, high on the whimsy of the falling water the whole time we were there.
At the age of 8, while attending summer daycare, I avoided the (optional) hike that was offered a few times even though there was the promise of an actual WATERFALL at the end. I remember thinking it was too hot! Too far! Too hard! And I was too fat. But really, that was all too bad, because I wanted it. I've hiked now, twice! So it's just a matter of time before I get someone to let me back on the Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton to discover the hidden treasure I missed so many years ago!
When I was 13 my imagination was swept away in the currents of the Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon. I treasured my single keepsake from the trip - a set of waterfall postcards. The camera & film for the trip were lost on one of the stops so I used them to decorate my room when I got home, not able to bear parting with any by mailing them off.

We can take a virtual 360 view of a Yosemite waterfall (see link), but nothing compares to flooding your senses in person. www.destination360.com/north-america

There are so many beautiful, wild, and wonderful things to discover and experience in the world. I will never blanket my life with limitations again!
"SPARKPEOPLE: Make Your Life an Adventure"
Me: "Yes, please!"

..Building my book to print (I have a list of dozens, and hundreds more bouncing around in my head)..
#001: Me
(Not made yet)
#002: Lap

#003: Abs

#004: Zumbawear

#005: Carnival Rides

#006: Make Believe

#007: Waterfalls

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRB13_1 5/11/2011 6:12PM

    Enjoy planning your trip to view as many waterfalls as you can, and don't forget your camera! Don't forget to look for the rainbows in the mist. emoticon

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    For me, waterfalls = happiness. I just love them! :)

And from now on, there'll be no more "too hot," "too far," "too hard," or "too fat." NO MORE!

- Michelle

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JRIMM4 5/11/2011 12:13PM

    With hiking/backpacking as my main focus for activity, I really identify with your 007: waterfalls! The ephemeral streams near the trails I frequent are beginning to flow and I'm finding waterfalls, some tiny and some majestic, all over the place! So different from hiking in the fall and winter. I'd love to visit some of the falls you've described in your blog!


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JESPAH 5/11/2011 9:37AM

    I love you and I love this statement:

" I will never blanket my life with limitations again!"

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DIFROMWYOMING 5/10/2011 11:50PM


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XPHOENIX 5/10/2011 11:33PM

    Beautiful. You.... and the waterfalls. You're just awesome! XO

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 5/10/2011 7:10PM

    I love this reason! What a beautiful part of nature to experience. Hawaii is one of my dream vacations too. Are you saying there is a waterfall at Camp Pendleton? If there is we have to go, lol.

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FITKITTYMAMA 5/10/2011 6:43PM

    I absolutely LOVE waterfalls and they are one of my reasons for living a healthier life too, so that I can travel to, hike to, and visit as many gorgeous waterfalls as possible. There are 3 or 4 images of waterfalls in my vision collage. When you are ready to go to Hawaii let me know... I'll come to and we'll visit as many waterfalls as we can!

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AMY_1217 5/10/2011 5:30PM

    I love this! You are amazing! That was me as a kid. Too hot, too tired, too fat. Thank you for posting this.

I'm going to wipe the tears from my eyes now and do my workout videos! Thank you!!!!

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RYDERB 5/10/2011 5:27PM

    Another great blog. Now that you're getting into hiking, you should check into Mammoth Lakes in the summertime. There's just so many beautiful hikes you can take. You could spend the whole summer, and still not see everything.

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APRILBLESS 5/10/2011 12:50PM

    Yes, I second that. Absolutely beautiful... emoticon

Now I have to plan my own waterfalls trip, lol!

Comment edited on: 5/10/2011 12:51:24 PM

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ZURDTA- 5/10/2011 8:30AM


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MCJULIEO 5/10/2011 8:11AM

    Hips for hula?

Now, I think that is a POSITIVE attitude!

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ME_FIRST 5/10/2011 7:44AM

    I love that you numbered your reasons as 3 digits. I think we can probably think of 999 reasons why we want to lose weight and get healthy and active.

Travel and adventure is one of my big top 5 reasons too. Funny that you mentioned it today because I was thinking about traveling when I woke up this morning. I want to go to Hawaii, a 9 day women's cooking tour of Tuscany, China, and Austria to name a few.

It's just a matter of determination and time and we'll be there. Yvonne

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FERRETLOVER1 5/10/2011 7:23AM

    I LOVE waterfalls - I will have to visit Hawaii one day!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/10/2011 6:31AM

    I'm all about waterfalls too!

...just from a slightly different perspective.


Someday when I'm healed and more skilled I will run the Grand Canyon.

There are some nice ones around here that I can show you next time you visit. There are bumper stickers that say "Ithaca is Gorges" for a reason, LOL

Also, when is the last time you saw Niagara? The best view is from the Canada side and I have this awesome hotel I stay at on the Welland Canal where you can watch the giant freighters locking up and down the Escarpment right from your balcony while reading where they're from, what they're carrying, etc

Comment edited on: 5/10/2011 6:36:40 AM

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LECATES 5/10/2011 6:12AM

    I love waterfalls, too---not many around here though---I live on flat land!

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KMTOOLEY 5/10/2011 5:08AM

    I love seeing your reasons! They always make me find new reasons to keep motivated.

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FLOWER1967 5/10/2011 5:01AM

    Lovely Blog. You were born in Hawaii ? Wow....you ever been back ? You should. Waterfalls are beautiful. Its only water but its full of power.

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WA2MCD 5/10/2011 3:25AM

  Thanks. I felt like I was looking at the falls. Sharon

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The First Step Was the Easiest (FEF^2 Blog Challenge)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

I've been thinking about this all week, over-thinking it, then avoiding thinking about it, finally forgetting and then reminding myself to think about it. This last half hour of Saturday is my final moment to get the points this week for my Challenge Team, The Cute & Shady Sweeties, so here goes...

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MAIN CHALLENGE: For the main challenge, blog about why you decided to change your habits to become a healthy, fit person. Even if we arenít at goal, we have ALL made lots of changes. What motivated you to take that first step? Many of us donít take enough time to think about what brought us here, but holding on to that could help you to motivate yourself when you hit a plateau of have a rough week. Share your thoughts in a blog so that other participants in the FEF challenge who are not on your team can comment.
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By the end of 2007, at 29, I had spent more than half of my life obese. I did Jazzercise for Kids as an overweight child, and dieted with Weight Watchers as a pre-teen. When my mom took me to a lap-band/gastric surgery at 17, I decided I was completely finished with trying to lose weight. That option wasn't for me, so I figured there really wasn't anything out there that would help me tackle weight loss. (I think my exact thought was, "Okay, well, I'm just going to be fat forever," in a stubbornly defiant tone.) So I played up my best features, and tried to develop confidence. --But all of this is a different blog, one with lots of pictures, that can come later. Back to the topic.

And refused to talk about my weight loss, appearance, size, or any of that with anyone except my husband. I was fortunate enough to avoid any major disease, but I suffered from migraines almost several times each month, barely slept, and was in pain at nearly 400 pounds.

2006, not my highest weight

Inside, I was hurting. On the outside, I tried to be as pretty as possible, and enjoy the few things I could find. Here's a typical "why are you taking my picture" face, followed by the pose (because I wanted to have something other than a frowny picture for MySpace.. Remember that site? LOL!):

2006, not my highest

But those weren't the only difficulties I had. My work was challenging emotionally, and my home life was worse as I tried to help my husband handle his internal demons. In a way, changing my lifestyle was the only thing I could do. I felt like there was no hope anywhere. I struggled with the same intense depression and suicidal thoughts that I carried since childhood.

But two things happened in January 2008. My friend, Kelly, sent me on a wild goose chase to find her page on "this new site that's totally addicting", and my co-worker and confidant, Shane, suggested that we try walking outside during our "meetings" instead of office hopping.

The first steps out the door at work were the easiest... To get away from prying ears, and breathe in fresh air was a relief. The next steps after that (just getting around the building) were HARD. My lungs burned like they did in P.E. at school, and I never felt like I could make it for the whole 5 minutes. I complained a bit, but he persisted. And I started exploring some of the articles on SparkPeople, still determined that losing weight wasn't my objective, wasn't going to be part of my life.

Learning about how nutrients actually help to fuel the body, and feeling like doing what SparkPeople suggested wasn't at all like the dieting I did as a teen, actually MADE SENSE from a scientific perspective, was what turned my doubt into hope.

And finding success that first month with that little bit of occasional walking (I lost 10 pounds without changing my food), convinced me that my body was crying out for change.

I made a SparkPage and started thinking about how nice it would be to be able to tie my shoes by simply bending over, or crossing my legs (you know, without having to stretch my leg out across the bed and holding my breath to reach). I thought about being able to hold my nephews without having them sit on my tummy and slide off of my "lap". I was about to grow out of the largest size available in stores near me, and was dismayed at the thought of online or catalog shopping, because I like to TRY ON my clothes... And I thought about all kinds of other benefits, too. They were all related to functional ways of getting through the world, markers of fitness and health that are much smaller than running a marathon.

I saw examples on Spark of people who had lost 50 pounds, and thought that I could tackle my extra 200. And so I did.

These pictures related to this phrase showed up recently on my friends' Spark Pages (like Annie's)... And I completely relate to it!

I'm more than half-way there. But I'm fully into pursuing things that make me feel good -GENUINELY feel good- eating well, and moving often.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KINSBAILE 5/11/2011 12:53PM

    As always you're an inspiration! *MWAH* :)

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HAPPYWRITER7 5/10/2011 2:43PM

    I love reading about your journey! Ive always felt that if we were in the same class or something we'd be friends!

the sparker formerly known as reluctant

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/10/2011 1:12PM

    You are AMAZING and inspiring. emoticon

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KSGROTHE 5/9/2011 7:48PM

    You know, I thought and overthought about my FEF-Squared blog last week, too! emoticon

You're doing great! Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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RYDERB 5/9/2011 4:46PM

    Another great blog. You're always such an inspiration. Thank you.

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THEMIGHTYLEX 5/9/2011 3:01PM

    Excellent blog!
I'm so proud of you and how far you've come.

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APRILBLESS 5/9/2011 1:03PM

    emoticon... you are an inspiration. Made me think and smile for the day.... emoticon

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LESS_IS_MO 5/9/2011 9:04AM

    Beautiful blog. Congratulations on your success and every wish for continued success! We deserve it!


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SWEETZMIX 5/9/2011 8:14AM

    You are always an inspiration.


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EFFLORESENSE 5/8/2011 11:01PM

    Thank you for sharing this. It was quite inspirational to me.

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XPHOENIX 5/8/2011 10:32PM

    I just love you. You amaze me. Proud to be your friend! XO

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FITKITTYMAMA 5/8/2011 5:49PM

    I think one of the reasons I find you so inspiring (aside from the fact that you are just an amazing person in general) is the way you are able to communicate so beautifully in your blogs. Thank you as always for sharing your journey with us!

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MACEWOMAN 5/8/2011 1:35PM

    "She believed she could so she did." Wow, how much stuff would we do, if we believed in ourselves. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes "What would you do if you werenít afraid?" from the book "Who Moved My Cheese?".

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READY4CHANGE81 5/8/2011 12:47PM

    I can relate to so much of what you said in this blog! There was a time in my life where I settled for being the fat girl and "played up my best features."
I am so glad you are on here to post about your journey. It has inspired me and so many others!!
Spark People is amazing & I'm so glad to have you as a buddy!!

Keep up the amazing work!!! emoticon

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AMY_1217 5/8/2011 12:06PM

    What a wonderful blog! I had a lot of the same issues. I even came to terms with my weight for a while and decided that when none of my clothes fit anymore, I'd just order moomoos (sp) online and wear them. And I didn't see anything wrong with dressing like Mrs. Roper! lol I thank my lucky stars every day that this didn't happen.
You're such an inspiration! Thank you for being you. Everyone could use a good example to follow, and you're it!

Have a great weekend!

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FINDINGLUV4SELF 5/8/2011 10:53AM

    emoticonBlog! You have totally motivated me today. I was ready to delete my account because I felt like a failure. But I realize that I've got to do this for me. I am important. I deserve to be healthy. emoticon emoticon

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ZOEYBLU 5/8/2011 10:43AM

    I love that phrase .....

And you DID !


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FLOWER1967 5/8/2011 8:16AM

    Thanks for this Blog Joce. Wow...you sure have come a long way. That pic of you frowning....Ive never seen you frown. You can sure give the evil eye !!! lol.
Isnt Spark People an AMAZING place ! Where would you be without it ? Where would we ALL be ? Probably still struggling ....

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JESPAH 5/8/2011 8:04AM

    Yanno, the initial inertia is the hardest bit to get through and get over. It's that first hurdle. I need to remember this, too. Thanks for reminding me. I do believe you have given me tomorrow's blog topic, m'love.

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DDOORN 5/8/2011 7:12AM

    Go Jocelyn GO!

Thank you for sharing SO MUCH insight and caring with all of us throughout your journey toward reclaiming your life!


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LECATES 5/8/2011 7:04AM

    Glad that you found Spark and for sharing your journey.

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ZURDTA- 5/8/2011 6:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon gosh, I have no words....

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SLIKITTY97 5/8/2011 3:07AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks so much for sharing. I'm sure a lot of people can relate. I have also been overweight most of my life though I tended to yo-yo a lot with my weight going way up and way down. The only time I was a very low weight was when I was taking diet pills, chugging slim fast instead of eating and working out with a personal trainer- this time I want to do it right and I want to make it stick for life. I can easily see myself still using sparkpeople 30 years from now! Seems like you've made a lot of changes for the better! Keep em comin'!
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ABB698 5/8/2011 3:03AM

    ......and so the journey began! Yay for that step that lead you to being strong and healthy today! You are amazing, and are what SP is all about! Keep on keeping on Girlie!! emoticon

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Finally Healed?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Since I suffer from migraines, I like to think that I don't take feeling good for granted. I feel very blessed that my health concerns are minimal. If I ever do, it's not too long before I'm reminded.

But, following my Bronchitis a few weeks ago, I had another week of weak coughing. And then I was plagued by headaches and muscle tension for another week, and then I was hit with some serious food poisoning last Thursday night that was really horrendous for the hours that I was supposed to be sleeping. I lost over 6 pounds in 2 days. Luckily NEWSGIRL2177 (Heather) is a neighbor down the street, AND my friend. She ran to the store to get me some medicine, when I finally relented the next day. That's what saved me. I started rebuilding my hydration once things started quieting down.

It's taken days and days for my system to start to feel like I could eat anything other than saltines and bananas. The bubbling tummy continued.. But FINALLY, today was the first day that things were more normal! YAY! I still can't eat much all at once, but I've gained back some weight and feel better.

Except for maybe some headaches and related stuff, I should be clear of all sickness for at least a YEAR (my normal) OR TWO! HAhaha. I hope. I'm so very ready for that.

Yesterday morning (Sunday) I went to a 24 Hour Fitness Yoga class. I wouldn't have gone if Heather (NEWSGIRL2177) hadn't accompanied me to the gym. We even left and came back with our mats. She finished the whole class, I was very proud of her! It had been over a year since my last class, and I noticed how much stronger I was from all the pushups I've been doing. The stretching and (major) efforts really loosened those muscles up, and I felt SO MUCH BETTER afterward. No more headache. It was the first serious push toward feeling 100% again. I need to figure out a way to get this class back into my routine on a regular basis.

I took this quiz tonight about what fitness class is right for me. It said that I enjoy FUNCTIONAL FITNESS. So true.

(May Flowers picture from dlburnett at Wake Tech)

So this week, the first week of May, is dedicated to rejuvenation! I'm going to feel STRONG again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHATAGRL42 5/9/2011 11:18PM

    Love your yoga pics posted on your blog. As one lady once put it in my yoga class (re: "Chair pose",that you have pictured above):
"That's the most UNCOMFORTABLE CHAIR I've ever sat in!"
Hang in there. I've been injured with some wierd spinal tork affecting my piriformis.. .hence, sciatica. It's miserable being miserable when you want to get back to feeling fab!
Lisa in CA

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TAWNYBIRD 5/6/2011 10:39PM

    i was sick too. glad you feel better:)

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GIRL_WALKING 5/6/2011 5:12PM

    I didn't even know you were sick, Glad you made it through! Heather sounds like a great friend and neighbor to have!!! Food poisoining sucks, I had it BAD in Mexico and ended up in the hospital! Sorry you had to go through that! Keep easing back into things and stay hydrated even though you're feeling better. I took probiotics and got 3 colonics six months later to help my tummy recover. Enjoy the yoga. Are you still doing the spring challenge?

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35ANGELS 5/6/2011 4:06PM

    Wow...I've never had food poisoning...scary. Glad to see your feeling better. I'm sure you will get back into the groove again soon.

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AMY_1217 5/6/2011 1:36PM

    emoticon Here's to feeling better!

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KINSBAILE 5/6/2011 1:36PM

    You are a strong woman, you can hop back from this and overcome! *HUGS*

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PIXIEFLOWER1 5/6/2011 8:57AM

    Happy to hear you are feeling better.

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BCAVAIUOLO 5/5/2011 2:33PM

    glad to hear you are feeling better. emoticon

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MARTY728 5/5/2011 12:57PM

    Happy you are feeling better!

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SLIKITTY97 5/5/2011 12:32PM

    Glad to hear you're feeling better! =) When your body just won't cooperate, then just do what you can while you can and hang in there!

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RYDERB 5/4/2011 7:01PM

    Sounds like it was pretty rough for awhile. I'm glad you're back!

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CHAITEAKITTY40 5/4/2011 2:37PM

    So glad you are feeling better! I know the saltine diet all too well (mine with ginger ale). Glad the yoga/stretching helped. That is something I need to work on, stretching and relieving muscle tension.

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MACEWOMAN 5/4/2011 10:30AM

    Glad you're on the mend. Coughing is rough, but fighting food poisoning sounds awful. emoticon

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ABB698 5/4/2011 2:12AM

    Glad you are FINALLY feeling like yourself again! Go Get 'Em Girlie! emoticon

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KEL_2800 5/3/2011 9:21PM

    Glad you're feeling better! Your pics are looking awesome!!! Keep up all the great work! emoticon

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FLOWER1967 5/3/2011 7:45PM

    I LOVED Yoga when I did it... I did it for 2 years. It is so good for your core strentgh. I certainly hope you can work it into your exercise regime. Glad you are feeling better too. Being sick is a good way to lose weight...but its no fun !
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FITKITTYMAMA 5/3/2011 4:41PM

    So glad that you are feeling better!!

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CBAILEYC 5/3/2011 3:44PM

    So glad to hear you're on the mend!

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NEWSGIRL2177 5/3/2011 1:10PM

    Hooray for health! Good timing, too. We have a date with a Zumba class tonight, sister!

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THEMIGHTYLEX 5/3/2011 12:38PM

    What a great commitment to make.

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GINNJEN2000 5/3/2011 9:03AM

    Feeling strong is so neccesary for survivial in general here is to feeling strong once again!!!

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CAITB21 5/3/2011 9:00AM

    I'm so glad you're feeling better!! Hopefully you can completely kick everything soon!

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    Glad you're starting to feel better!

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TJHIERS 5/3/2011 8:40AM

    emoticon glad you are doing well.. emoticon

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SWEETZMIX 5/3/2011 8:38AM

    Very glad you are feeling better Joce! I know you are going to be back at it in May!


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    So glad you're feeling better! And that picture is of the Tetons in Wyoming, my home for nine years. It was so great to see it--they're even more beautiful in person! But they're actually summer flowers--it so darned cold there that the seasons are pushed back!

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DDOORN 5/3/2011 8:20AM

    So glad to hear you've put the crud bug behind you!


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JESPAH 5/3/2011 7:52AM

    Yay Strong gal! :)

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MELLABELLAS 5/3/2011 7:50AM

    I'm glad you feel better. Bummer about the food poisoning...
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DAWNDMOORE40 5/3/2011 7:48AM

    emoticonYou are off to a good start with exercise and a postive attitude! Have a blessed day! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FIT_TERI 5/3/2011 7:24AM

    Glad you're feeling better and that the yoga helped with your headache!

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SHANTODD420 5/3/2011 7:13AM

    Good to see you are feeling better have a great day.

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ZURDTA- 5/3/2011 6:51AM

    I am so glad you are feeling better. I think you were totally drained - you have had such a lot going on lately and your body just needed to stop. The food poisoning on top of it all was so unlucky.

Take care of YOU the way you take care of others. So, here's to good health and a the Merry Month of May.

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LECATES 5/3/2011 6:02AM

    Glad you are feeling better.

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RD03875 5/3/2011 3:32AM

    Good luck getting back to it! You CAN do it. Hope you feel great for a long time!

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EUPHRATES 5/3/2011 3:21AM

    Oooo, I should go take that quiz. SO glad you're feeling better!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/3/2011 2:59AM

    Yay! Glad you're feeling better!

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Butterflies on Top (Hike Pics)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

As I face the mountain of stresses that have built up in my life recently, I'm reminded that I recently climbed an actual mountain... My 1st mountain. Maybe there were some lessons learned there that I can apply now.

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Almost a month ago, after the San Diego SparkRally in March where we collectively worked on our individual vision collages, some of us headed out for a post-party event organized by ABB698 and THEMIGHTYLEX. I felt a little trepidation, but had every expectation of being able to make the climb. ABB698 reassured me a bunch of times, it seemed like no big deal, and I had ADVENTURE-GIRL, one of my regular walking partners, to accompany me. (The familiarity made me feel stronger.)

PLUS, I had built up a little confidence after doing my very 1st hike in February. For the San Diego SparkRally, our local team leader, SPRING4FAL led us up the hugely long sloped road to the top of the cliff, across to the beach and down stairs chisled into the rock. It was an amazing experience, worthy of its own blog, especially since I took 350 photos trying to capture the beauty that surrounded SPRING4FAL, CGEM, PINKCIS and me at the top. I was severely breathing hard (it felt good) trekking up there with these women, who were all much more fit than I was but never, ever, EVER made me feel inadequate or slow. I powered up it, and they were so generous with their support and encouragement. I'm so lucky. But more on that another time. I knew I could hike this mountain, because, SHEESH, I did that! Pffft. ;D


I got this neat topography/GPS graph from an internet posting.

Here are the stats: At an elevation of 1,591 feet, the summit of Cowles Mountain is the highest point in Mission Trails Regional Park and the city of San Diego. Views are superb, including the Cabrillo Monument, downtown San Diego, La Jolla, and the Pacific. On clear mornings it seems all of Southern California lies within the 360-degree summit panorama, with views of San Clemente Island (81 miles away), the San Gabriel Mountains (108 miles away), the Laguna Mountains, and Mexico.

More info here: www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?t


I have family in Colorado, so I've always carried their attitude that California has foothills, not mountains. I spent almost every childhood summer staring up at Pikes Peak in the Rockies, 9 times (oh wait, only?!) this elevation. So even it being called Cowels MOUNTAIN (pronounced "Coals") didn't faze me. Therefore:

[#1: I believed I could do it.]

--Hike Details--
Time Up: 1 hour
Distance Up: 1.5 miles
Elevation Gain: Started at 680 ft elevation, so almost 1,000 feet!
Time Down: ~45 minutes

--Who hiked--
ABB698 & her daughter
THEMIGHTYLEX & his guest
Another Sparker started, and turned back. Her name is Faye, and I'm proud of her effort to attempt it! I wish I knew her SparkName.






emoticon***Top of San Diego, "Mountain" Climbing!*** emoticon

Do you know what's at the top of San Diego? LOTS OF BLUE SKY, BABY! A day-time moon and butterflies dancing in mini tornadoes of their own making!

[#2: The triumph is worth the effort, and you can find unbelievable surprises.]

360-panorama...I should put this on Flickr so that you could see the view in more detail. I set the camera to auto, so it kept changing the focus and exposure. I realized when I got home that there's an "autostitch" function.. OOOH, perfect for next time. ;)

If these miniature doggies can do it...

First bend.. The trail snakes its way toward the first third of the elevation...

Already there were wildflowers and views of San Diego... :) There's nothing quite like being amongst the chapparal and native plants that crowd the hills, because seeing them from the road below and imagining how big or small they are really doesn't compare. It's fascinating to me.

Parts of it weren't very challenging, just hard packed dirt.

Then it got steep a bit.

And rocky. Bonnie indulged my incessant photography. LOL. And even turned around a few times so that I wasn't ONLY taking photos of her booty.

[#3: Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.]

The peak is nowhere in sight, by the way, but we keep going up!

1st 1/4 mile marker

The peak is the top of that. Waaaay over there. You can actually see people walking up the trails, but they look like teeny tiny ants.

A peek behind...

The view ahead. Bonnie in the Karate Kid Pose... OMG. I just found out there's a website image blog called karatekidpose.com. We have to add this one. Haha.

Lesa pointing out the peak (better perspective in this photo)... People around us kept asking "Are we even halfway there yet?" "Where are we going?" It was somewhat frustrating, feeling the weariness and like there was no sense of it ending, and wondering about endurance. I said very few words (because I was too busy trying to breathe), but internally I started joining them, "...Where is it?" until I realized that it was NOT helping me.

[#4: Complaining about how hard it is is harmful, saps needed energy. Focusing on how far I've come or the bigger picture or even just the next few steps ahead is more useful.]

The next steps...

How far we've come (that's Lake Murray)...

Bonnie & our goal...

Done with 1 mile!! YAY!!

[#5: Celebrate successes.]

Bonnie was so helpful!

I was tired, but LOOK how HIGH we are!! HEheee.


Views... I was a little dizzy, which explains me leaning back strangely.


We're on the final switchbacks near the peak!! Hooray!

WOOHOO! Done makin' it up the mountain!

Daytime Moon! :D

There really were real butterflies swirl fluttering all around. And lots of wind. :)

I think I made Bonnie pose with me 20 times. LOL.

They had the great idea of posing with FHAMWHEY's house in the picture...So that she could be there in spirit! HEehee. Thanks for letting us come to your house for the vision collage! We waved to you repeatedly!! :D

ACTION STARS!! Whaaaa -wah-waaaah! :D (That's action-themed music playing.)

Look how HIGH we ARE!!! HEheee.

The only other group picture with Marty in it.. We kinda persuaded her. But we had to mark the MONUMENTAL OCCASION!!!

The fun is not over... Now we get to go down.

Times I fell: Once, well it was more of a slip all the way to sitting/landing on my booty than a fall, and happened on the way down. The camera was safe (that's what I was most worried about after not wanting to take out other people if I fell)! Luckily I didn't fall forward, and luckily I had plenty of cushioning, so except for a small cut, lots of granite dust staining the apple bag that my SparkFriend made for me, I didn't break the skin, or get a bruise, or anything! SparkFriends were there to help me up, and Bonnie (thankfully) helped brush all the dust off my clothes.

[#6: The only way to finish after a set-back is to get up and keep going.]

Done! At the bottom!

What I learned:
**I was reminded AGAIN how SparkFriends are as helpful & encouraging in person as they are online. It was a joyful experience, as it always is with them. ADVENTURE-GIRL was my official hike buddy, and lead the way up for me. ABB698 was our official cheerleader, a strong hiker that was kind enough to follow me, MARTY12345 was the girl that gave up giving up, and THEMIGHTYLEX mightily helped me & the others past some of the steeper steps! And his guest was our peak group picture photographer!

**I will definitely do this again in the future to compare how much stronger I am then! I'd love to have hiking boots to help support my ankles and give me more traction.

**Stretching is the miracle motion that I knew it to be. I spent a few minutes getting some good stretches in before washing up back at the parking lot. I was not even sore the day after! During my knees were complaining a little. All of the rebound/recovery reminds me how lucky I am to be so young (32), and how much I want to have greater stamina and flexibility when I'm 3x this age.

**I got a little frustrated that I wasn't going as quickly as I thought I should. This brought a little dark cloud over a super sunny day, filled with victory! I respect that strenuous exercise can bring out unexpected emotions in me. Some of them felt like the very first time I tried walking around my building at work, when I could not walk for 5 minutes without being heavily winded. I've come a long way, but when I really push myself beyond Zumba, and the Arc Trainer, into completely unexplored challenges, I realize how much farther there is to go/how many great adventures still await!

I got home and took a hot hot shower. I felt so revitalized, and burned almost 1600 calories on that hike. I didn't quite fuel myself enough after that, so that's something I'll improve for the next time. But my circulation was good, and I felt like I was glowing. I was proud of my accomplishment, and it helps to put everything else in perspective. The 5k I walked a couple weeks later felt like nothing, even though my lower back hurt a little. There really is something special about PUSHING yourself past your limits, to discover the new limits.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CROWGIRL9 5/9/2011 1:17AM

    Fantastic job, doll. Cowles is one of those hikes that's terrifying until you do it. My Kid and I managed this a couple of weeks ago, and before we went up, I looked at him, and was like, err- I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm frightened of how nasty this is going to be. This, however, is not your opportunity for a chicken exit. :D The top was more ridiculously satisfying than I imagined after all of that. :P

Anytime you want to conquer that monster again, you should drop the SD SparkTeam a note, and I'd be all over it. Gotta show it who's boss again now and then. :)

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APRILBLESS 5/7/2011 12:12PM

    How absolutely fantastic! Looked like a fabulous day and hike. I'm from FL so anything with any kind of altitude stats is high for me, lol. I love the story you trailed with it all. You really are a great writer... I felt I was right there.

Now I can't wait to get to do a hike someday. Yay....!

BTW - you looked FA-BOOOOO! (as in fabulous, my dear) emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONCEUPONABOD 5/2/2011 9:32AM

    Great blog Jocelyn!

I've said it before but I'll say it again - you are a fabulous writer. I enjoyed every word. Wish I could've climbed that mountain with you! And if you think what you have in San Diego are foothills, I guess Ohio hills are mere "bumps". However, I will say from the seat of a bicycle, they feel like mountains! Hugs to you for finding your way to the top and pushing yourself to new heights!

You continue to impress and inspire me!

Julie :o)

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2DANCEAGAIN 5/1/2011 1:10AM

    Thank you for sharing this, it gives me hope.

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AMY_1217 4/29/2011 8:30PM

    I love this! Not only do you get your cardio in, but you get to spend it with Spark Friends! It looks amazing! Thank you for sharing this with us.

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SUSIEQ432 4/29/2011 1:43AM


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BETHEUNICORN 4/29/2011 12:13AM

    I LOVE hiking! This blog was so much fun. Thanks for sharing!

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RUNWITHMICHELE 4/28/2011 10:53AM

    Aww, looks like so much fun!

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    Awesome Done Girl! Beautiful pics and amazing triumph!!! Love it! You are such an inspiration!!!

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HEALTHYMAMA4 4/27/2011 11:44PM

    Awesome! Great pics! I miss CA! I lived in northern San Diego for almost 5 years! Hiked in Joshua Tree! Your pics brought back memories. Thanks for sharing and congrats! Way to climb!

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LECATES 4/27/2011 9:04PM

    Wow! My computer had a virus so I just got to read this---fantastic pictures and what a wonderful accomplishment.

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ABB698 4/27/2011 3:47PM

    I love the way you put that altogether Joce! Beautiful rendition! And I was so proud of you that day, you really persevered and succeeded! Love how you did our individual shots, but I want one of YOU with your SP name and cool graphics for my SP scrapbook! You are so talented and I always look forward to your pics. Can't wait to climb the mountain with you again, let's hope there aren't any snakes! Well, if there are-we'll have Lex, the snake charmer, to protect us! =) Yay for the SD Spark Team!! emoticon emoticon

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TABALICIOUS 4/27/2011 1:32PM

  Awesome pics and great recap!

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GIRL_WALKING 4/27/2011 12:28PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this! After Lex's "I'm going hiking who's coming feed" I really wished I was in Cali so I could go! but after I saw the snake pic, I said forget about it, lol. But Georgia's got some mean foothills too, and I want to be like you and climb an actual mountain! So I am going to forget about the snakes and heights and go for it!! emoticon

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JESPAH 4/27/2011 8:41AM

    I recall climbing a mountain in Maine (I was all of 14 or so then) and it was one where you could lay back on the summit. Did so, and tilted my head back, got a panoramic view, half upside down, of the below.

Huh I miss climbing.

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NEWSTART127 4/27/2011 1:34AM

    How fabulous!!! So glad that you made it to the summit with the group - and I love the "done" photos! YOU ROCK!

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KINSBAILE 4/26/2011 11:20PM

    I wish I were in CA more and more beautiful weather and scenary. I love Indy though. I will post pics of our first hike at Turkey Run when I go. Hopefully within the next few weeks depending on the knee!

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FLOWER1967 4/26/2011 11:18PM

    Wow....LOVED THIS BLOG !!!!! And all the PICS !!!! Thank you so much for posting this.....I so wish i could be with you guys....I dont know how Id go but Im sure with the encouragement you all gave each other...Id be at the top with you. With your Blog...I felt like I WAS there !
Thank you SOOO much Jocelyn !
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.DUSTY. 4/26/2011 10:31PM

    emoticonLoved the photos!

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XENA1956 4/26/2011 9:59PM

    Great hike, wish I could have been there. Had no idea there was a SD Sparks gathering in March. Oh next time. I did Borengo Springs in March. Looks like a great time was had by all. emoticon

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HIKINGSD 4/26/2011 8:41PM

    Great accomplishment! You all look fantastic emoticon

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FITKITTYMAMA 4/26/2011 7:11PM

    Your blogs always move and inspire me! Congratulations on hiking the mountain, I wish I could have been there!

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LINTPICKER 4/26/2011 6:48PM

    Awesome hike! and butterflies too! sounds like a great day!

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COLD_GOLD 4/26/2011 5:41PM

    good job! hiking is so much fun! I love that you can really see what you've accomplished! may many more happy trails be in your future!

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KSGROTHE 4/26/2011 3:33PM

    emoticon on making the hike up the mountain! I love your pictures!
Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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CHELAGETSFIT 4/26/2011 2:48PM

    That looked like so much fun!! And you are so lucky to have such an amazing group of Sparkers in your neck of the woods. I'm jealous!! I wish I could do things like that with my local SparkGroup, but no one ever participates. It sucks!! And it frustrates me more and unmotivates me (if that's a word) so I dont put myself through it anymore =(

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GREEKGEEK2012 4/26/2011 2:46PM

    Amazing. I love this. I live in CO, and do not think that our mountains are any better than anywhere else. You had a beautiful hike, just as good as any I could take here! Loved it! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARTY728 4/26/2011 1:48PM

    To put it simply....I LOVED THIS BLOG! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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XPHOENIX 4/26/2011 1:26PM

    Wicked!!! I want to do something like that, too! But all of my friends are lazy. Guess I need to get some new friends :p lol You're awesome. Never cease to amaze me ;)

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CBAILEYC 4/26/2011 12:32PM

    What great pictures, and a fabulous experience! Meeting up with Spark friends in person always rocks - I'm glad you had a great time! Thanks for sharing with us.
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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 4/26/2011 11:52AM

    Great pictures! I love the ones you made of them looking like super heroes!

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RAJANIEMI 4/26/2011 11:12AM

    emoticon You are amazing...love all the pictures.
Thanks for sharing.

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 4/26/2011 11:06AM

    That was such a fun day! I am still so proud that we made it to the top!

Love your stylized pictures Jocelyn :)

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NEWSGIRL2177 4/26/2011 10:08AM

    Great blog! I'm so proud of you!

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ZURDTA- 4/26/2011 9:09AM


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ZIRCADIA 4/26/2011 9:02AM

    I didn't think you were dizzy, I just thought it was a Paris Hilton pose. HAHAHAHA

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RAINYFRIDAY 4/26/2011 8:52AM

    What a fantastic blog! Great pics and you guys are such an inspiration!

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VIAFREE 4/26/2011 8:45AM

    You guys are true life Sparktroopers! In true Spark fashion, you reached your goal with the help and support of each other.
I really enjoyed the blog, the details and the pictures are great. Made me feel like I was there hiking along with you.

You have always been a source of inspiration for me.

And you look great! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 4/26/2011 8:27AM

    I'll never forget how glorious it felt to celebrate my body with a hike up Mount Fortuna (smaller, elevation 1200 ft)...right in my sister's back yard in the Tierra Santa section of San Diego! That was back in May '09 when I met you and so many other wonderful people at the SparkConvention!

Here's the blog I wrote back then with a link to my Flikr pics:


What a wonderful way to celebrate your SPARKED lives TOGETHER! Woo hoo!


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SWEETZMIX 4/26/2011 7:56AM

    OMGee it looked like sO much fun. I wish I was there. I always wanted to go on a hike. You are sO lucky!! I am glad you had a good time & 1600 cals burned....I envy you. (In a good way of course!) You are on your way to this...

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FIT_TERI 4/26/2011 6:56AM

    Those pictures are amazing. How nice to live in a place where you have the opportunity to experience that!

Great job, Jocelyn. You are so inspiring. You just set the bar higher and higher, and then meet your next goal....despite whatever trepidation you may feel. Sounds like you had a great day with some great friends.

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GINNJEN2000 4/26/2011 5:53AM

    Wow!That was quite a hike!

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THEMIGHTYLEX 4/26/2011 3:50AM

    We must do many more hikes! Excellent blog.

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EUPHRATES 4/26/2011 3:24AM

    VERY COOL! Great job!

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