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Monday, July 25, 2011

Another photo from the triathlon on Sunday. This one shows people in transition.

The young woman in turquoise / blue is one of the juniors, transitioning from her bike ride to her run, pulling her hair down and headed for that blue archway where the run begins. The one in hot pink is one of the adults, transitioning from swim to bike, on her way to the bike starting line.

Transitions in a triathlon are very specific, but we have many transitions in the larger sense of life. Whatever change comes our way, we need to transition to whatever new routine will support that change. There are short transitions and long ones. Some can be planned for, others not so much.

The triathletes who think ahead and have everything laid out to make for a smooth transition shave vital seconds off their race time if the race is a close one. In life, some transitions can be similarly planned for and laid out... adding a new job? Changing schedules? Think ahead and plan for how you'll handle it without undermining your larger goal of living healthy... will you carry your lunch to work? Will you alter the time of your workouts? Will you take breaks? Stretch at your desk if it is a sedentary job?

Things can be unpredictable in transitions. A competitor has to be able to alter plans without becoming ruffled. Shoelace break? Having trouble finding the clip on the bike pedal... take the time to adjust and fix it, and your race goes smoother.

Life's journey has many transitions... here's to not letting them frustrate us, but to resiliently making them and getting into the rhythm for the next phase as smoothly as we can. It may be difficult (I know it often is for me)... but it is well worth it!

Life's good. Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 7/26/2011 1:14AM

    Thats an interesting subject - transitions. Thans for inspiring me to think about it!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/25/2011 7:17PM

    As someone with 2 days work left until retirement, your blog is extremely timely for me. Here's to smooth transitions!!

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ANDI571 7/25/2011 2:34PM

    Never thought as life having its transitions. Trying to do life smoothly is not always easy, but makes the journey much better if we can.

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_LINDA 7/25/2011 11:25AM

    Here is to smooth transitions no matter what curve balls life throws at us!!
Great photo! I always wonder how they can keep it smooth in their transitions if a whole pack of people come in getting to the next part of the race..

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KALIGIRL 7/25/2011 8:48AM

    Here's to handling transitions with grace and style!

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LRK4CHRIST 7/25/2011 8:20AM

    Good for u! Keep up the Good work!

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ELRIDDICK 7/25/2011 7:53AM

  Thanks for sharing

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You can get a good workout as a spectator, you know!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I just had the best morning. No, I did not run another race... this time I took my camera with me and walked over the the venue where the State Games was having the Triathlon competition.

In case anybody who reads these has been living under a rock and doesn't know what a triathlon is, it combines a swim, a bike ride, and a running event, all into the same race. In between the events is "transition", where the swimmer changes into the biker, and the biker into the runner, and starts the next event in the sequence. That said, here are a few shots of the Juniors, for whom this was a qualifying event for "real" events later in the year.

Swim start:

First swimmer got out (0.47 mile swim) when the clock said:

Here he is starting his bike ride:

At the end of his first loop of the ride (there were three loops around the outer perimeter of the park containing the lake where the swim was done all the way out to the Library I sometimes walk to, adding to a total of 20K / 12 miles):

Him again, returning after the third lap:

Starting his 5K run:

And coming on toward the finish line. I missed the clock, the shot was badly lighted, but he did this all in an hour and eight minutes and change. Amazing performance for a 16 year old. His 14 year old sister finished ten minutes behind him, and his nearest competition 8 minutes.

Next year? me as a participant? that's a huge time commitment to train. We'll see... but some of you all know about me and my bucket list... a TRI is on it.

Oh, and as a spectator, I put in 15,000 steps, moving from spot to spot to snap my photos and cheer the athletes on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 7/25/2011 12:25AM

    I just bet that was a great workout! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 7/24/2011 4:47PM

    WOW! That is awesome! That brother and sister must be incredibly fit! A shining example to people their age!!
Well done on keeping up with it all! I can't imagine the stamina and training you need to complete one of these. If you are going for it, all I can say is I am in awe!!

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HOT4FITNESS 7/24/2011 4:11PM

    So cool!!! Hope to be a spectator for that one!!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/24/2011 1:50PM

    Thanks for posting. I've often wondered about the transitions. Perhaps I'll go watch one myself. I do run, ride and swim, but have yet to actually put a Tri on my bucket list. Just might, though. You are encouraging me to seriously consider it! -Marsha

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    Wow, you really did get in a workout while spectating! emoticon

Perhaps you could attempt a duathalon to work up to it...?

Great pictures!

Comment edited on: 7/24/2011 1:37:34 PM

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/24/2011 1:26PM

    SOOOOOO fun!!! And like I said, you just.. just... just might be ready already! That bucket is closer than you believe it to be! Let your imagination guide you!

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WORDLILY 7/24/2011 12:22PM

    What fun!

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Craziness fulfilled

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I've been whining about and questioning my sanity in signing up for the Cornhusker State Games 5K for however long it's been since my son talked me into it. Last night was the night.

We got to the Minor League ball park where the event was starting and finishing way early. I follow directions well... when they tell me to show up early, I do. So we had a lot of hanging around time watching them prepare the ball park for the baseball game that would be concurrent to the run.

Interestingly enough, they are featuring their Friday home games as "fitness Fridays". You know the drill, "T-Shirt Tuesdays"... etc. Well, it's Fitness Fridays. Which made a great tie-in for the State Games to start their 5K between the two ball parks and finish inside the stadium itself.

We stood in respect as the national anthem started off the ball game, then lined up for the 7:30 p.m. start to the footrace. I spotted HOT4FITNESS and her husband, and introduced my son, who had missed meeting her at the Half Marathon since I'd so badly estimated our performance and finish time.

It started rather abruptly with an air horn. Large group of runners began that slow-motion start. It was HOT in the setting sun, but there was a good breeze, especially inside the stadium. Son promised to run "mom's race", staying with me to prod me on. Jogged until the first water station, which was beyond mile 1. I dropped to a walk telling son that I would walk through the hydration... and I really needed the water by then. Didn't matter how much I took on earlier in the day. I walked several more times, but each time I did, I got recovery and started jogging again.

The hardest part was getting back into the stadium around that huge concrete parking lot, radiating heat absorbed during the day. I was speed walking at the turn back toward the stadium, and the workers said something nice about my form. Pride puffed me up as there was a photographer along the sidewalk along the outside of the stadium leading around toward the finish line. Guess who started jogging yet again? I finished in 32:51. This is not a personal best, but I figured it's pretty respectable for me under the conditions. I was NOT going to kill myself for this race.

Son was right behind me at the finish, pushing me on. We returned our timing chips, hydrated, stretched, and walked around, cooling off. I had to go get a paper towel from the women's room, as I was dripping sweat into my eyes! But it felt good. We did it!

We each had a hot dog... probably my one concession to that particular nutritionally suspect food for the year... it tasted wonderful in the aftermath of the run. Then they started announcing the finishers. First the overall winners, male and female. We're talking 16:30 (almost half my time) for the fastest finisher overall... young men, obviously fit and serious runners. You know there are a whole lot of serious runners out there, but the State Games are a special deal: more to promote activity for the joy of activity than a competition for the elite.

They also do the age/gender division awards... and they started with the youngest runners. We applauded and oohed over the times as they handed out the medals. As they got to my son's age division the times were awesome... I think the three top finishers in that age group were within seconds of one another.

When they got to the 40 something females, the times started sounding more reasonable... and my son kind of joked at me that I could be among the top finishers in my division. I discounted this at once, knowing we have a number of "real runners" in town. You could have knocked me over when they said, "Females, 55 - 59" and announced my name as "first place". O-M-G! So, when you see the photo, there is this look of amazement on my face.

This "tough old bird" is now in possession of a gold medal. And can't stop grinning. Who'd have thought?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRISNA 7/26/2011 10:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Barb you are emoticon

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LINDAJOYWK 7/25/2011 6:23AM

    I'd have thought! You are awesome! You've got a lot to be proud of-including a great
son to do it with!!

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SUNNYWBL 7/24/2011 8:59PM

    I couldn't be prouder of you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GINABUG 7/24/2011 9:02AM


Sincere congrats to you! What an inspiration you are! I did my very first 5k this year (the Run for the Homeless for the People's City Mission) but I certainly did not run the whole thing. But, I am hoping that is in the future, and every doubt I had that I could accomplish this feat has just evaporated!

You're the best! Congrats, again!


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SEATURTLE86 7/24/2011 1:28AM

    emoticon emoticon
Well now I am doing the Happy Dance with you!! How about that! We both had a great day! emoticon

We always knew you were a big winner! emoticon Now you have a gold medal to prove it.
I am proud that you stuck it out and ran in spite of the heat. That is just awesome!I love the picture!!
emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/23/2011 9:40PM

    So fabulous!! Love that grin!!

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_LINDA 7/23/2011 9:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
WOW!! 'Not even your personal best'!! You rock!!! Fantastic!!!

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JULYRAINDROPS 7/23/2011 7:55PM

    What a great story! Congrats on the race and a surprise gold! Congrats also on having a supportive son to keep pace with you!

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CONCHA77 7/23/2011 6:25PM

    I couldn't be PROUDER of you, Barb!!!!! Unforgettable for sure! Great Picture too! emoticon

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KATIE33MAHALA 7/23/2011 4:28PM

    This is so awesome! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU MY FRIEND!!!!!!! YA HOOOOO!

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KALIGIRL 7/23/2011 12:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticonplace!!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/23/2011 12:22:06 PM

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/23/2011 10:57AM

    Congratulations, Barb! Way to go! LOVE the background photo, and you look extremely proud and happy. Good for you!

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WORDLILY 7/23/2011 9:16AM

    Congrats, that's awesome!!! :D Way to go!

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HOT4FITNESS 7/23/2011 8:30AM

    That is so Awesome!!! Congrats on a great finish! And in the extreme heat none the less. Now onward to the next place on this wonderful journey we are on!!

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MOBYCARP 7/23/2011 8:24AM

    So, once in a while you're surprised that no one did better than you. Well, you showed up and you finished. Gotta do that much before you have a chance for a medal, and it doesn't matter if some other 58 year old lady *could* have run it in 30 minutes, if she decided not to in the heat. emoticon

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MIZCATHI 7/23/2011 8:04AM

    I am so happy for you! Fantastic!

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REJ7777 7/23/2011 7:29AM

    WOW!!! CONGRATULATIONS! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Can I have your signature! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOHUSKERS2 7/23/2011 7:06AM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That is a great picture!!! What a terrific kid you have.

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46SHADOW 7/23/2011 7:03AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonSo proud of you.

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Are we talking about the same kid?

Friday, July 22, 2011

When I was growing up, I was part of a group of five siblings. My mother was a talker (you KNEW I got it from somewhere) and there wasn't a one of us five who didn't know what our teachers said about us in conference.

One of mom's favorite kind of story to share would be about going to meet some teacher or another and having the conference about one or another of us kids, hearing something good about us (of course telling us just what good thing it was, to reinforce it), and commenting, "are we talking about the same kid"? Which is the *real* identity? As in yesterday's blog... both are the same kid.

My son explained it to me, years later. The phenomenon of why children behave so much more responsibly for people other than their parents is really pretty simple, his ten year old self said. "You HAVE to love me, no matter what. My teachers don't." I could go into that being an accolade for getting the message across about unconditional love, but it would be a digression.

Yesterday's blog about among other things, my nature as a compulsive eater elicited a comment from KALIGIRL, whom I met for the first time in real life last weekend: "but you seem so easy and self-assured..." Becky, so do you! You're an amazing woman.

Yes, we are talking about the same kids. You met me while I am living abstinent. It is similar to the difference between the sober and the binging alcoholic. emoticon I once heard a fellow traveler comment (about her abstinence) that she could not live the life she was currently living without it. I recognize how right that statement was.

I like me a whole lot better abstinent. It is my hope and prayer to live this way for the rest of my life. To be given the willingness to do so, one decision at a time. It does not require perfection, but it does require vigilance.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 7/26/2011 9:22AM

    Mmm hmm... I'm in your corner, fer sher.

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LJCANNON 7/23/2011 10:36AM

    "Be ever vigilant" is such Good Advice!! And it is one of the Cornerstones of a Healthy Lifestyle!!

emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 7/23/2011 6:15AM

    Humans are pretty complexe beings.

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_LINDA 7/23/2011 12:17AM

    You peeled away the layers, one step at a time, to reveal the truly awesome person you really are within! Enjoy the new you, feels great, doesn't it??

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SUNNY1432 7/22/2011 8:34PM

    You always share so much and it really shows how wonderful of a person you are!
emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 7/22/2011 1:15PM

    I like the 'new' you too!

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First Impressions and self-image

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I recently got a comment from a Spark friend on my "before" photo in my gallery, to the effect that she had no idea I'd come so far... we had mainly "seen" one another on a community board where we might talk more about activity and family things than about weight loss.

An interesting thing about meeting new people is that they see your "outside" and make assumptions based on what they see. If you are currently thin and fit, they may easily assume you have always been relatively thus.

On the other hand, from the "inside", you know your own history. You are still adjusting to your "new" size, for some time after changing it. You know how many rides on the roller coaster you have taken, and may have confidence issues.

This usually isn't a problem, until you overhear and take to heart comments that are sometimes made by those (thankfully not as many as you think) folks who don't "get it". There will always be days when I think of myself as this:

If you met me back then, you would have found me huffing and puffing and wishing that skirt was not so tight. I have come down from there (all the way there) twice. I have come down from somewhere in between probably three times in addition.

Today, I feel good about me. Today I truly see myself as this:

Folks who meet me now don't know. Folks who have known me in both extremes do know. Me? I know now that I am both... this is the difference between the disease of compulsive eating being in charge, and a higher power blessing me with abstinence from the compulsion. One day at a time.

Spark helps. Healthy living programs help. But all in all... you have to follow those programs, and light that Spark. Motivation and action are gifts of grace.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 7/24/2011 8:47AM


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LJCANNON 7/22/2011 10:27AM

    emoticonThanks for sharing your Journey!!

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KALIGIRL 7/22/2011 8:53AM

    "...abstinence from the compulsion. One day at a time."
It's funny, but you don't strike me as a compulsive person. Granted I don't 'know' you (and am looking forward to changing that), but you seem so easy and self-assured...
Ah well, the one day, one hour, one moment is so true...

Hope you are drinking lots of fluids in prep for tonight and once I have details for biking tomorrow, will send your way.

Namaste my friend.

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DEE0973 7/21/2011 12:32PM

    Great---we have all been on this journey albeit in different packages.. thanks for sharing your journey

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_LINDA 7/21/2011 11:47AM

    Been there done that too. There are still times I am astonished I am fitting a small top and automatically reach for the medium. The health staff in the hospital were all calling me tiny, petite, and it was hard to think that was me they referred to. When I told them I almost weighed 200 lbs twice, they were floored, and immediately wondered how I did it. Cue the Spark :)
Awesome statement! Way to be strong and rock your healthy life style!!

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SEATURTLE86 7/21/2011 11:36AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KATIE33MAHALA 7/21/2011 11:24AM

    Well said! You are truly a Gracious Lady!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/21/2011 10:25AM

    Truly inspiring.

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BESTSUSIEYET 7/21/2011 10:07AM

    Makes me wonder if my 1st impressions of others are often wrong ... Seeing only today, and not their whole story. Need to take time to ask and listen and learn! The journey (not the destination) is often the main thing! And, yes, those gifts of grace that enable us to succeed are the true blessings! On my own, I'd still be trapped in my unhealthy body and unhealthy lifestyle!

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HOT4FITNESS 7/21/2011 9:17AM

    I have only know you since the "new you" but I admire your hard work it took to get there. We have both been in the same place on this journey. I remember the days and months after my knee replacement surgery. I was fat and out of shape. People that meet me now think I have always been thin.
Now we can motivate and inspire others on that part of their journey.
Great job!!! Keep up the good work!

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REJ7777 7/21/2011 8:11AM

    The best programme in the world doesn't work... unless you actually DO it. "Motivation and action are gifts of grace." So very true! emoticon

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MICKEYMAX 7/21/2011 7:57AM

    Beautifully said! Such great insight - and you look terrific!

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