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Giggles... paying it forward

Friday, June 01, 2012

A huge shout out to HOT4FITNESS who spurred me into doing a half marathon the first time, last year. Now I've unwittingly done the same thing for another Spark friend. I'm plotting a road trip to do the St. Petersburg, Florida Women's Half Marathon in November, and... ta-da, since she already HAS blogged her intentions, SLENDERELLA61 will be joining me for that 13.1 mile effort.

We'd been floating the idea of my coming down for the Lake to Lake 10K in November, but the timing on that wasn't great for my work life, and as it turns out the Women's HM just happens to fall within a couple of days of my 60th Birthday.

Here's the deal: I love symbolism in my athletic endeavors. For example, the Quest for the Vets, in honor of my son. The private 5K in time/date synch with the Race to Remember in Fort Worth. And this one, so close to my 60th milestone will be in a way, in honor of my grandfather, who was determined to stay fit, and did a 50 mile hike to celebrate his 60th, as I remember it.

OK 13.1 miles isn't 50, but it is MY symbolic gesture of defiance at the calendar. I shall be fit. And now I have a training goal beyond the triathlon.

Thank you, Deanna and Marsha. The Spark goes on! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOMOVER40 6/5/2012 4:58AM

    It's great to hear your inspiration from your grandfather's achievement at the age of 60.

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DRB13_1 6/2/2012 12:31PM

    emoticon Yes, you are inspiring others and looking forward to seeing your bling! emoticon

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    Sounds like a good plan!

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SHARON10002 6/1/2012 9:52PM

    What a time the two of you will have together, and each other to motivate you onward and upward! Now I know that your drive to stay fit is in your genes!!! emoticon Can't imagine a 50 mile hike! emoticon

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ANDI571 6/1/2012 6:14PM

    I am in awe of you!

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ALOHAEV1 6/1/2012 6:07PM

    Hey, don't tell the youngsters but 60 is the NEW 40!!! If they don't believe it, they can just look to you.

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1CRAZYDOG 6/1/2012 10:25AM

    You are just more awesome every day1 It will be fun to do this with a fellow Sparker! You rock.

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SUNNY332 6/1/2012 9:32AM

Way to go - paying it forward.

Keep up the inspiration and keep on paying it forward.


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WATERMELLEN 6/1/2012 9:15AM

    Cheers to two of my fave SP friends!! You are awesome!!

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LJCANNON 6/1/2012 8:49AM

    emoticonSharing the Spark and the Milestones in our Lives with our Spark Friends is what makes THIS Journey different - And More Successful! - than most Fitness or Weightloss Programs.

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_LINDA 6/1/2012 7:40AM

    WoW!! That is fantastic! Now we see where the strive to achieve amazing fitness goals comes from -I can't imagine that -your grandfather doing a 50 mile hike -that takes my breath away! You certainly did succeed in finding a topper after the tri and taking along a fellow friend and Spark buddy is the icing on the cake -well done!!
Keep on inspiring 'seniors' to new heights of fitness you are amazing!

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LEANJEAN6 6/1/2012 7:32AM

    Wow Barb!!!!--I must look for Marathons up here --I'd get to meet you then---- Good for you to challenge yourself like that!!----Inspirational!-Lynda

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MSLZZY 6/1/2012 7:04AM

    I knew you would find something that fit your ideals
and now you have the perfect opportunity. You can
do anything you set your mind on and you will do
fantastic! HUGS!

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EBEAMS 6/1/2012 6:50AM

    I am right there with you. Non-runners might scoff at the idea that the "thought" behind the run is valid but it's not. On Memorial Day I did a "secret reason" run with my husband and just completing the 6 miles made me more thankful for what I have. Being inspired to give through your physical action is a very noble thing indeed ... thank you for sharing your great positive spirit with the world! emoticon

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If not now, when?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Funny how things kind of fall together into themes. After writing that phrase yesterday, this link showed up in the Spark e-mail this morning.

Such a great reminder that NOW is all we have. As I look at my calendar for the rest of the year, and process the endorphins from Monday back into "normal"... I ponder how often I need to have an event to keep me motivated (and training, because that's what keeps me fit and healthy) without burning out or hurting myself. Once a month? Every six weeks?

I have to carefully balance the energy it takes and the energy it gives. I don't have another one until July 14th... is that too long? Not really, that 5K fits in to the TRI training, because the TRI itself is the 29th of July.

Dreaming along... after the TRI it gets fuzzy, so decisions beyond that are yet to be made. We know there are always opportunities, and there is life to fit in around it all...

If not now, when? Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 5/31/2012 9:59PM

    All we have is today and now - that's why it's called "the present". Knowing you, you'll find lots to do to keep on going and going and going and . . .

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LEANJEAN6 5/31/2012 9:27PM

    Hi again Barb--I see you are back swimming---It feels good I bet!-Lynda

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SUE_2U 5/30/2012 6:39PM

    You are so very right. Now is all we have. emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 5/30/2012 11:23AM

    You are an Energizer Bunny! No such thing as "I can't do it"!

Keep up your work. You're definitely an inspiration.

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MSLZZY 5/30/2012 10:34AM

    Look ahead for opportunites for action and motivation.
You manage to fit so much into life and I want to grow
up to be just like you.
I read that article this morning and it triggered a
sense of perfect timing. If not now, when? No time
like the present! TY!

Comment edited on: 5/30/2012 10:34:27 AM

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KNITLEIGH 5/30/2012 10:21AM

    This is so true! I think it applies to many areas of our lives!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 5/30/2012 8:59AM

    The Moment is now....

I have to agree with Kathy that the only thing I have gained by waiting is weight.

Thanks and have a fab day!


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ALOHAEV1 5/30/2012 8:36AM

    I need a nap...

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LEANJEAN6 5/30/2012 8:10AM

    July 14th??--Another one??---- Well, it will keep you motivated ----LOL--You are so fit

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KALIGIRL 5/30/2012 8:08AM

    Isn't it amazing how the opportunities abound if we look for them?

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_LINDA 5/30/2012 8:04AM

    If running is your passion and that is how you would like to keep in shape, it sounds like you may need the odd run to look forward to, to test your fitness level and to have fun with, earning some bling. Good thing that 5 k does fit in with your tri training. To me, tri is the ultimate. I have to wonder if anything after that will seem quite as intense or as interesting for you.. You are challenging yourself fast. So I will be very interested in knowing what is next.. You are really ramping up the now, its the after I am curious about. How can you follow that amazing feat?
Points to Ponder.
Have a terrific Tuesday!

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AZMOMXTWO 5/30/2012 7:45AM

  Now is the time to get going thank you for sharing

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Tuesday's pep talk

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I am still full of endorphins from yesterday, so forgive me for rambling!

What I am luxuriating in this morning is the realization that I never would have ATTEMPTED this kind of event 23 years ago. Or 10 years ago. Or even 5 years ago (when I was fairly fit).

My son's courage has given me added impetus (sp?). Several friends and family dealing with illness have also spurred me to an attitude of "if not now, when?"

And it dawned on me that I am now living like a naturally normal sized person might. The armor of the fat weighed me down from making some choices, but it was also the prison of the brain/mindset: what would so-and-so THINK if I did such-and-such?

Never let the judgment of others push you to inaction. Yes, I just said "push to inaction". The paralysis of fearing the opinions of others holds one back from achieving dreams.

This dream? Just plain living! Active, and free, and yes, fit.

After I crossed the finish line, while I was lined up to hose off, a man approached me and asked to take my picture. He had recently had a knee replaced. He asked, if I didn't mind, my age... and I proudly told him I'll be 60 in November! I talked to a little girl, and to some women 20 odd years younger than I... and my message to them was the same: never give up. Let yourself play in the mud... you can always wash it off! You have to make it a priority, you have to keep working at it.

Why? Because you're worth it. And it feels SOOOO good!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 5/31/2012 9:13PM

    Active, free, and fit!! Yes, you are. So glad you have just luxuriated in your well deserved endorphins. "If not now, when?" I'm going to remember to ask myself that question often. It's a great one! -Marsha

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ALOHAEV1 5/30/2012 7:10AM

    Of course it's OK not to mind your age!!! You are a very young late 50ish wear that badge proudly. High Five

We should all copy/paste your push to inaction, keep it as a reminder.

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_LINDA 5/30/2012 2:21AM

    Keep on soaring high and never giving up! I can see you as another one of those running until 100!
Spark on!

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KRISZTA11 5/29/2012 3:07PM

    I'm glad you enjoyed the obstacle course so much : )

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KALIGIRL 5/29/2012 3:03PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KNITLEIGH 5/29/2012 1:50PM

    Well said! Thank you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 5/29/2012 11:51AM

    Right on! This morning on the news I saw a news blurb about an 80 some year old woman who went skydiving and slipped out of her harness. OMG . . . She was absolutely as cool as a cucumber AND had no injuries . . . the diving buddy held onto her for dear life during the descent.

Now I want that to be ME @ that age. Don't know exactly about the jumping out of a moving plane, but definitely don't want to be afraid to tackle things -- I don't want fear to make me inert!

Thanks for this wonderful blog AND your wonderful example of how to get 'er done. Army strong!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/29/2012 9:10AM

    "I am now living like a naturally normal sized person might. The armor of the fat weighed me down from making some choices, but it was also the prison of the brain/mindset: what would so-and-so THINK if I did such-and-such? "

That is what plagues me day-in and day-out. Your attitude and accomplishments inspire me to want to be a "mini-Barb"! All joking aside, though, you are an inspiration to many, many people.

Congrats again on a job well done!

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CONCHA77 5/29/2012 8:40AM

    Wonderful Blog! Way to Go, Barb. emoticon

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SUNNY332 5/29/2012 8:23AM

    You are so right. We should never, never, never give up. Our success is out there waiting for us.

Glad you are riding high on those endorphines. BTW - the spelling was correct.



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MSLZZY 5/29/2012 7:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KNEWMETODAY 5/29/2012 7:56AM

    Amazing! Congratulations! It is such a good feeling to accomplish something you might previously not considered doing.

One of many things, I'm sure!!

Kathy emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 5/29/2012 7:55AM

    Love listening in on your pep talks to you: it's amazing that doing the right stuff also feels so right!

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Bonus blog... getting down and dirty...

Monday, May 28, 2012

and up and scratchy, too!

To prove I started out clean.

See that haystack way off in the distance? That's the first obstacle. Took a while for folks to figure out you have to HELP one another up and over. But once that started to happen, it was great. I did not take photos of the rest of the obstacles, and in fact, took this one from the parking lot after the fact. It's taller than it was, and broader than it was a week ago when I tried it out. And a LOT of fun when there are twenty or thirty of you scrambling on it at once!

After that there was a six foot wall, that I amazed myself by getting over, then dirt birms then an 8 foot wall that I did not surprise myself (I did the jumping jacks instead, but I did at least try climbing up on it first)... after that I did not attempt tall walls.

Then there was the culvert crawl under the road, then a bunch of trail running through some woods, including jumping or climbing over fallen logs, then the barbed wire crawl under (we were still dry for the barbed wire crawl), then more trail running.

A mudslide down to the first mud pit, more dirt birms, then the so-called kill-box which included parallel bars (I kinda cheated, dropping to the ground between swings), the tire wall (about 12 feet up... I got up to where I had my arms over the top and some kind strangers tried to help me but I still ended up having to back down... fear of heights, folks... sigh). Then there was a rail fence about 8 feet tall that I had no trouble with. Go figure... tires, rails. Then running the tires (like the football drill). A run to a water stop...

Back to a rope climb and still rings swing (opted out, but did at least get UP on the rope first knot before doing my jumping jacks). Then the monkey bars (again a no-go... push-ups substituted). The the over/unders, which I'm proud to say I did fully and as designed (over a rail about 4 feet high, then under one about 2 feet high... repeat four or five times, I didn't count, just kept moving).

Balance beam came next... yeah, the wind... blame it on the wind... pushed me off when I got to the third height, so I had to climb back up to finish. One more wall that I skipped, then on to the mud trenches. You got plenty muddy in those, and it was slippery getting out. Thankfully there were course helpers who helped you drag yourself out... and a water break. Yes!

After that... lots of running through the woods, creek crossings, some with ropes to pull yourself up the far side. Another set of hay rolls. One gal and I teamed up to get through some of those obstacles. More running. Eventually... the dreaded climbing wall. I again, at least got myself up on it but I knew it was a no-go from my attempt at it last week... and by then my shoes had about a pound of mud on them and my jeans another pound.

So more jumping jacks and pushups. Oh, I left out the tire pull... I can't remember just where it was, but I ended up doing 20 burpees to sub for it, since you had to wait for someone to get there with a tire... before going back to trail running. More dirt birms. More just plain trail running, and then around a cornfield to the last set of obstacles: dirt birm, tires to crawl through (shoulders down, now bum down, shoulders down, now bum down... repeat for each tire!)... hurdles to get over (I climbed, I didn't run 'em)... down into another mud pit, up one more giant dirt birm, then down and around it to the finish line!

emoticon I think it took me about an hour and a half. Don't have my official time yet, but it really doesn't matter. The winner did it in less than 35 minutes, can you believe it?

BUT I DID IT! For my kid. He can now say his mom is one tough Army Mom!

Here's how filthy the jeans got. And then, after the preliminary rinse off... I ended up leaving them behind! How embarrassing.

All in all, a great outing. We now return to regular Triathlon training.

Life is good. Live it, and Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJR4HEALTH 6/13/2012 8:45PM

    Oh Barb that looked like so much fun to do Sounds like what i did when I was in basic training many many moons ago the balance beam thing is where i broke my ankle though

emoticon without getting injured

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HEALTHYOTTER 5/30/2012 9:12PM

    Yea for you! Thanks for the inspiration!

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KALIGIRL 5/29/2012 3:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KNITLEIGH 5/29/2012 2:23PM

    Wow! You are amazing!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/29/2012 8:00AM

    So proud of you! HUGS!

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JUST_TRI_IT 5/28/2012 10:52PM

    WAY TO GO!!! A special way to remember your son and his comrades.

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SHARON10002 5/28/2012 10:38PM

    You're one tough broad, Barb! ( and I mean that in a nice way) Your son has lots to be proud of. . .
Not my cup of tea, but you nailed it! Sounds like some of the Tough Mudder things I've been seeing on TV!
emoticon emoticon

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ALOHAEV1 5/28/2012 10:04PM

    You're not only ONE tough Army Mom, you're a lot tougher than a lot of Army I'd bet, ah nothing like being young at heart - you absolutely amaze me! Now I need to go rest you wore me out...

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KARIDIAN1 5/28/2012 9:52PM

    Wow, that was an incredible run. Sounds like you had fun too. What a way to stretch your workout.

Any guess on how many calories you burned?

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WATERMELLEN 5/28/2012 8:51PM

    Ohhhhhhhh, I am so impressed. You are one TOUGH army mum! What determination!!

Bet your boy is proud of you!

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SLENDERELLA61 5/28/2012 8:41PM

    WOW!! Amazing and Impressive! Thanks for the pictures. They really do help one visualize what you are talking about. I sure wish I could have been there to see you do all this. Not sure if I'd ever have the -- what does it take -- courage? gall? confidence? fitness? all of these? -- to try it myself, but I honor all your characteristics that allowed you to go for it!!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/28/2012 8:41PM

    You are my hero! What a feat you accomplished! Indeed your son has EVERY right to be very, very proud of you! Barb, you rock.

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_LINDA 5/28/2012 7:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Well done finishing that!! That is one TOUGH course -sounds more like an army training camp!! All that upper body work -hope you are not too sore after tackling all this!!
Those jeans actually didn't look all that bad. I have heard of other of my Spark buddies just tossing what they wore on these mud runs, making sure the stuff they wore wasn't worth anything, especially the footwear..
What a worthwhile way to honor your son! You can be a proud army Mom and enjoy your well earned rest now!

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NEWKAREN43 5/28/2012 5:36PM

    Holy Toledo! That's a full day. I can't imagine how you feel tomorrow...And can I say that I'm relieved that you just 'left the jeans behind' and that the 'jeans didn't leave your behind' like I thought I was reading in your status! Whew!!! Somehow that tribute looked completely different!!! So here's to you and your tribute to your son.

Happy Memorial Day and thank your son for his service from me. Karen

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/28/2012 5:34PM

    Totally awesome, Barb -- way to go!

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SUNNY332 5/28/2012 5:28PM


Getting down and dirty looks like fun.

What an amazine tribute to your soldier this memorial day.

Hugs, Sunny

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What does one need to get deliberately down and dirty?

Monday, May 28, 2012

First you need an event. But given that you have one, what are the practical things to think about?

Go backwards in time when thinking of preparations. Think about AFTER the event, when you are going to be wet and covered in mud! Find out what you can about on-site cleanup that will be available.

1) Take a bag of at least clean clothing to change into after you hose off. Including shoes. Underwear if there will be indoor / modesty changing facilities.

2) Think about how you will protect your vehicle's interior... even once you change! Plastic bags / sheets to cover the seats?

Think about parking, how far / what terrain you'll need to cover going to and from the start/changing after race area... are you going to get dirty all over again just getting to the car?

Now think about the event itself. What are the obstacles like? It is "just a few mud pits" or are there other crawling, climbing, hanging activities involved?

3) Plan and acquire needed attire and equipment. In my case this includes cut resistant gripping gloves, knee and elbow pads. It includes long sleeves and long pants and trail running shoes.

In the end, the goal is to have fun, honor those your event is meant to honor (in this case, the Quest for the Vets, our service members past and present). My personal goal is to finish the course, and NOT end up in the ER the end of the day.

AND... don't forget to stretch before and after!

Wish me luck, Spark buds... we are at flag raising minus 6 hours and change. Happy Memorial Day. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWKAREN43 5/28/2012 5:27PM

    I knew I had to read this blog after I saw your status update for today! I'm SO happy you avoided ER, however, missing pants will leave you some explaining to do! Can't wait to hear about it!!!

Happy Memorial Day!

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LEANJEAN6 5/28/2012 5:13PM

    Have you done it Barb??---- Holy cow!!! Whatta girl you are!!!!---Lynda

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SUNNY332 5/28/2012 5:02PM

    You have my utmost respect Barb. Way to go to "think it all through to the end". Awesome.

Best of luck. Can't wait to see your next post.

Hugs, Sunny

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_LINDA 5/28/2012 2:48PM

    Uber organized planner, thats my Barb! You mean warm up first then stretch before the race ;) Just a note, if you see the course ahead of time, do be wary of choosing long sleeves and pants -when wet and muddy, these can really weigh you down and make it difficult to climb obstacles. If there is nothing on the course like bushes or things that would scratch, you may be okay with shorts & T-shirt.. Can't wait to hear all about it and see the photos!
Go Barb GO!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Special thank you to your amazing son for helping keep us free!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/28/2012 11:43AM

    Definitely wishing you all the best. You are such an organized inspiration!

Happy Memorial Day. Remembering ALL our sons, daughters, family members in the service. God bless them one and all. God bless US!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/28/2012 11:43AM

    Good luck, Barb! I'll be anxiously awaiting photos.

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SHARON10002 5/28/2012 11:26AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Good Luck, Barb!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 11:26:22 AM

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KATHRYNLP 5/28/2012 8:20AM

    Have Fun.. stay cool and hydrated!! emoticon emoticon

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BD3269PM 5/28/2012 7:56AM

    Good luck and enjoy emoticon

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KALIGIRL 5/28/2012 7:35AM

    Delfinite luck - hope the weather stays cool for you!

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MSLZZY 5/28/2012 7:21AM

    Good luck and stay safe. You have planned for this-mud
and all! Happy Memorial Day!

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MEDDYPEDDY 5/28/2012 7:12AM

    Oh I envy you, sound really fun!

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LEANJEAN6 5/28/2012 6:50AM

    Good Luck Barb!!!--But--I know you are going to do well and enjoy this!!--Lynda emoticon

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