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Bonus blog... Mother's day Army Physical Fitness Test

Sunday, May 08, 2011

On November 7th last year, I set myself a goal: to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test for a female my age. Link to original goal set, with dates to test:

I put myself through it this morning, as I did New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day.

Well, as one might expect, focusing my training on the Half Marathon kind of undermined some of the target training for this one. In fact, I didn't train for it at all. And today my results were:

Push ups: 29
Sit ups: 19 - yes, I got worse. Sigh.
2 mile run: 19:02 - I gave it my all, and emoticon. I think some of my "grr" at the sit ups result went into extra effort in the run.

Next test on the 4th of July: I'm going to do a lot better on those sit ups! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WENDYSPARKS 5/9/2011 8:24AM

    Congratulations and good luck!

Wendy :)

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MSLZZY 5/9/2011 7:59AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY1432 5/8/2011 10:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MARVEEME 5/8/2011 5:18PM

    WOW! You GO girlfriend! What an inspiration!


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_LINDA 5/8/2011 1:36PM

    Well done!! Its true, you have to be training at it if you expect to do well. But that is pretty darn good!

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MNTWINSGAL 5/8/2011 1:28PM

    And I know you will, Barb. You are doing an amazing job. Congrats!

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A Horse is a Horse..

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The theme from Mr. Ed drifts through the mind. Yesterday after my maintenance consultation I took a drive up the road to a State Park, and bought my sticker for the year. Now I can get back in any time I like, at least this year... bike, walk, jog, skate, sled, swim, see the plays... or, sign up and go on a trail ride. emoticon

When I got to the stables, I read the sign: purchase tickets at park office. So I walked back to the park office, leaving the car in one spot the whole visit. I asked about the trail rides and found out you can only reserve for the actual day! And you can only reserve by phone at ten a.m. for the spots left among the horses they are taking out that day. So, pretty tight deal.

And... they had a spot available on the 1:30 p.m. trail ride. Two hours away, I thought, checking my watch. I hadn't intended on staying out too long, but... why not? If the work team thing doesn't come together, I'd actually have achieved my "get on a horse" wish, if I just signed up right then. So, I did!

I walked the loop around the park, figuring out where the various venues were. Pretty cool place, really. You know, for all that I live less than 25 miles from this park, I'd only been there once before. I have no idea why not... perhaps because the park was developed during the 15 years I lived in other states? Perhaps because I don't get out enough.

I got to the stables early, and one of the wranglers beckoned me to come on up to the fence and stroke the horses that were tied on that side as they got ready. I did so, talking softly and petting them. They had their names on their halters and they were all beautiful. Palomino, Paint, Appaloosa, roan, grey, bay... stockings, stars... lovely, patient, some frisky, a couple liked the attention, a couple shied away.

A little later a happy and somewhat noisy group of foreign "kids", I'll call them, arrived, the bulk of the riders. And a family with a couple of little girls. And me. We listened to the safety speech, were offered safety helmets, and then they chose who would go on which of the horses.

The head guy had asked me when I came up and was petting horses if I was riding out with them today and which time. I'd told him. He put me on Toby, one of the more "independent" minded of the string. Apparently Toby used to work as a wrangler's horse, and therefore wasn't quite as accustomed to being just a horse following the horse in front of him. He needed to be "reminded" from time to time not to sneak up on the lead wrangler's horse and nip. I was kind of flattered to be given a mount that required some level of interaction. Otherwise, have you really been on a horseback ride?

We got to see a wild turkey in the woods. Lots of birds singing, great views. And when we got back and dismounted, I kind of floated back to the car and drove home with an incredible sense of peace in my soul.

Oh, and those of you who gripe about doing hip abductor exercises? If you ever go riding, you'll be glad you did them! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 5/11/2011 11:38PM

    What a great story about your horseback riding adventure.
It sounds as if you did very well. I would agree with you that you should feel good about getting a horse that required some reminding every once in a while.

Also... I love all your new pictures on your page. You look great!

Your success shines like a high beam lighting up the path ahead of me. Thank you!


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LINDAJOYWK 5/10/2011 6:30AM

    Sounds so nice.

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MSLZZY 5/9/2011 8:01AM

    emoticonWhat fun! emoticon

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MARVEEME 5/8/2011 5:22PM

Fantastic day, and a wonderful read! Thanks for posting it.

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LJCANNON 5/8/2011 3:38PM

    emoticonWhat a Great Day!! I have been thinking about putting a Horse Back ride on my Bucket List. From the sound of your ride, it might be a good idea.

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

There's nothing, absolutely nothing like communicating with a 1000-pound animal who couldhurt you if he chose to, but who chooses not to. Love 'em, love 'em, love 'em! Congrats!

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REJ7777 5/8/2011 1:44PM

    emoticon happy dance. emoticon

Sounds wonderful! One of those extra-special days that stands out among all the others. What a great reward!

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DEBRITA01 5/8/2011 1:17PM

    What a surprise, you reached a goal and without intending to do so today. Glad you enjoyed your ride....will there be a return visit? I'm assuming so...
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 5/8/2011 12:57PM

    Glad you had such a fantastic day! The unplanned ones are the most fun! Maybe you will take a camera on your next trip to the park and share its views with us!
Have a super Sunday!

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KATIE33MAHALA 5/8/2011 10:41AM

    What a great day! Thank You for sharing. I love horses also, but can't tell you the last time I was on one, think my boys was still toddlers. Hahaha, love the comment about hip abductor exercises, I do remember that much of riding, I walked so funny after I first climbed off it after riding for hours. Happy Mothers Day Barb!

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FITFABJENN 5/8/2011 10:28AM

    Wow, what a wonderful day! I have not ridden a horse since I was in high school. I think I'll put that on my bucket list.


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DRB13_1 5/8/2011 10:12AM

    sounds like you've got treasures in your back yard, with the state park so accessible. I love riding, don't do it often enough.

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BESTSUSIEYET 5/8/2011 10:02AM

    Very fun! Been a long time since I've been on a horse! Have a blessed Mothers Day, Marsha!

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NWLIFESRC 5/8/2011 8:49AM

    Cool sounds like fun

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DAISY443 5/8/2011 8:48AM

    Of course, of course! What a wonderful unplanned day you had. Sometimes, those are the very best!

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On rewards

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Every so often, I have to preach to myself about rewards. Why is that? Because I tend to forget to give myself the little rewards and savor them. And I sometimes neglect to follow through on the long-promised bigger rewards, "because something more important came up."

Rewards come in all sizes, of course. Those of us with food issues historically think of rewards in terms of banana splits or whatever our favorite high-calorie indulgence might be... and since food is cheap and available, fast to grab... guess what happens if we don't give consideration to appropriate rewards, large and small?

So... part of the learning process of "acting as if" we were fit and healthy people (on the road to actually becoming the same)... is learning to choose rewards that are meaningful and appropriate to the victories.

Meaningful is a very personal thing... it should be something that gives YOU joy, not something someone else thinks of as a reward. It should be something that you actually label as "I did XYZ, and this is my reward!" "I stayed on my food plan for three weeks... I am buying this scented candle and lighting it to recognize I'm worth it!"

The big ones? I have been promising myself a massage ever since I hit my half-way point... what, 18 months ago? I never booked it! Even now! And until just now when I wrote this, I had kind of forgot I promised that to me... let's put that on the to-do list: schedule that massage.

But right now, the big focal point of the reward scale is the trail riding thing. Today, after my maintenance consultation, I intend to drive out to a nearby state park and investigate scheduling and rates. My work team (several of them, anyway) have said they will go with me... it's just one of those day trips, for those of you who asked, but it's something that's been on my list for a while.

And I even voiced it in front of other people... after I finish the half marathon... I'm going to get on a horse again! It's been 30 years. It's time. So... that's today: reward planning and the next steps to implementation.

What's on YOUR list of rewards you owe yourself?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WORDLILY 5/9/2011 9:04AM

    I haven't figured out what I deserve rewards for / what I need rewards for yet. I've written a list of milestones and goals, but I've yet to plug in rewards. And yes, I tend to not follow through with actually giving myself the rewards. :p

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REJ7777 5/8/2011 4:00AM

    Great blog! I rarely follow through on rewards. I'll have to be more intentional about it. Enjoy your well-deserved rewards!

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KASEYCOFF 5/7/2011 12:36PM

    Wow, what a great reward! I'm a real advocate of celebrating each achievement, large and small, and sometimes it seems as tho we put ourselves 'last' when it comes to rewards. Thanx for reminding me of how important it is... 'cause we're worth it!

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MNTWINSGAL 5/7/2011 9:36AM

    I also have a massage on my reward list....haven't scheduled it yet for obvious reasons. I'm starting anew again today, and hopefully this time I'll get somewhere.

Have a great time on your trail ride. You do indeed deserve it!

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HOT4FITNESS 5/7/2011 8:26AM

    Wow!!! Have fun. You sure do deserve it!! My reward is an upcoming trip to boulder, Colorado for some R&R and a will throw a 10k in there. Have a good weekend!!

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MARVEEME 5/7/2011 7:57AM

    Good for you! Right now, I owe myself nothing but to stay on track. My goals have benchmark rewards, and my bucket list exists, but they are for the future. Guess I've been good to myself all along.

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MSLZZY 5/7/2011 7:34AM

    emoticonNow follow through!

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DAISY443 5/7/2011 7:30AM

    Good for you, go for it!

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DEBRITA01 5/7/2011 7:22AM

    Some day I hope to be back in the saddle again, too. Enjoy your rewards, you've earned them!

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Vision statements: have you done one?

Friday, May 06, 2011

I have to admit I have not done a vision statement or collage. I toy with my goals and aspirations, but a concrete written "here's what I want my life to be like in 5 years"? Nope. It's kind of like that exercise they gave us in school: "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Seriously, though, when I reach a finish line, that is the next assignment: reassess, re-evaluate, and envision what to do next. Because if I DON'T have a vision of SOME sort, I subject myself to aimless wandering or the force of habit, which lasts only so long.

That said, what *do* I want my life to be like, five years from now? Well, pretty much what it's like now! Maybe a bit more organized. But pretty much as it is.

Meaningful work, safe home, sound nutrition, an active and strong body... contact with my family, siblings, nieces and nephews, son and his wife... OK, maybe grandkid(s) - but that last is not within my control.

This led to making my Vision statement that was required for a work wellness program: "This is the me I want to be for the rest of my life." And that's a fine maintenance vision.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 5/8/2011 3:56AM

    It's pretty wonderful when someone has that attitude about their current life! emoticon

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MARVEEME 5/6/2011 9:58PM

    Amen, sister, Amen I say to YOU!

There is a level of contentment that comes with age, that cannot be compared with anything else. I hear ya! We're in the fine-tuning affluence of life, regardless of our income level or "power".

These are the days in our lives when we can look at our past and future and honestly say "Jeez...not too shabby.", eh? We've been victimized over the years with the self-help gurus of our peers, and looked at most of them with an "I already knew that, brainchild, now what can you teach ME" attitude.

If this connects with you, I will pass on to you a new title for you, "Ms. Renaissance Woman", as this is the title my husband has given to me.

Bless you, my dear, blessings to you and yours!

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_LINDA 5/6/2011 9:36PM

    I haven't done anything like that. No reason to as I really have no future to look forward to but more surgeries and disabilities. No chance for a career, a job or anything else. Just trying to make the best of what I have while it lasts. I am all in favor of living life to the fullest each day, and tomorrow can sort itself out when ever.

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TURTLETALK 5/6/2011 12:49PM

    I have a visual collage in my mind but I haven't yet found time or a need to transfer it to paper/computer. I have had visions of my life as a regular weight woman for many decades so it is fun to see it coming closer and closer to reality.

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DEBRA0818 5/6/2011 11:01AM

    Age and experience has taught me that my vision for myself changes too much to project out that far -- kind of like the U.S. Budget (LOL). I agree with making smaller goals for the day or week, perhaps planning something loosely for the year. But, I swear, nothing that I have EVER planned for the long range came close to happening -- too much happening before the happening, if you know what I mean (and I think you do)!

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MSLZZY 5/6/2011 10:54AM

    Good goals! I need to update my vison collage-when I find the time. There
always seems to be something else that needs my attention more. For now,
it is the grandchildren and the garden. Happy Spring-hugs!

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Finish lines: what to do while thinking about the next goal

Thursday, May 05, 2011

So... here it is, four days later. We crossed the finish line. We got that tremendous rush of accomplishment. I celebrated, and I got back on my program. But... I'm not training for a half marathon any more. I'm thinking about "what's next."

There are some things that are constants:
1) I will keep taking my stress-busting walking breaks at work. This is something that continues to serve me well, and in more areas than physical fitness. They help my mind work better. They give me time to think, to reason away any anxiety that may be arising from the work day, any pressure or stresses. emoticon

2) I will continue my nutritious eating plan. Because I just plain feel better when eating well. emoticon

3) I have started increasing my strength training, which had kind of taken a lesser role while training for that half. I'm feeling the need. emoticon


4) I'm cherishing the many possibilities:

Will my next training effort involve a bicycle? emoticon I started pumping up the tires.

Will it involve a "nesting" - something around the house or yard? A lot of things have been neglected while I spent time training... but I need something that will inspire me... my eyes wander over my home, seeking, seeking. emoticon

Whatever it is, right now I feel good about it... it's out there somewhere... the next dream.

5) And there WILL be a reward. I've promised myself a trail ride, and several work mates have said they'll go with me. Yes, on horses!

Spark on, my friends... the journey is not over just because one crosses a finish line!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALEMAIRE2011 5/8/2011 12:36AM

    Congratulations!! And, thanks for the inspiration! emoticon

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SUEAZZI 5/6/2011 11:04AM

    Follow your dreams! Congrats on crossing the finish line!

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HOT4FITNESS 5/6/2011 7:58AM

    A trail ride sound like a marvelous reward for a job well done. You trained hard, You had a strong finish! Pamper yourself with something nice. Onward to the next task, the next dream. I look forward to hearing about it!

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KSHAGGY 5/5/2011 10:38PM

    Congrats on making your latest goal & I know you will reach the next one too!

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SUNNY1432 5/5/2011 9:50PM

    Great Goals!! You are still so very focused! emoticon

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MTULLY 5/5/2011 11:51AM

    Congratulations! You are amazing! Not surprisingly, your success in reaching this goal motivates you even more. Best of luck on your next challenge!

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MARVEEME 5/5/2011 9:26AM

    Mull it over, you'll focus quickly, but SPARK ON!

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DEBRA0818 5/5/2011 9:04AM

    Sounds good, Barb. Is this a trail ride where you go from inn to inn over a week or just a day's excursion? I had once thought of doing an inn to inn ride in Ireland but I understand it's pretty demanding physically. Any old way, sounds like a true reward to me!


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DAISY443 5/5/2011 8:59AM

    Excellent goals! Plan your work and work your plan!

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SUNNY332 5/5/2011 8:33AM

    Endings to create new beginnings. Best wishes on whatever you decide.

Sounds exciting to me!


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MSLZZY 5/5/2011 8:07AM

    So true! Time to focus on a new goal-whatever that may be-hugs!

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