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Stray thoughts wandering...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

When I ride the bike, or as I ponder my blogs, I get these stray thoughts of the evolutionary nature of this "journey" as so many of us call it. When we first start out, we are engrossed in the mechanics, the enthusiasm of seeing the results.

Maybe once we get near or to a goal weight, we shift focus to a fitness or athletic goal, and that becomes the center of what we think and talk about for a while.

As we "maintain" our healthy habits, we might start becoming used to the bodies we have shrunk into. When we have a slip or slide, we may panic, and fear we'll slide all the way back.

Or we could become discouraged by a collection of small slips, or even a major slide, and be tempted to say "why try"?

But in our hearts, we know we want what living healthy has to offer. We know we want to be able to do what needs doing or even what we take a wild hare in and decide we want to do. We have let go of so much that "weighed us down", and y'all know I'm not just talking about physical weight. The mental barriers, the attitudes of "I can't", or "what if I fail", or "what if I succeed"... they are in the rear-view mirror. Once in a while they rear their ugly heads.

Now, in year three of the current maintenance (and I call it the current maintenance because I've been in what I called maintenance before)... I am only beginning to feel the glimmers of WHY the odds of keeping it off forever increase with the length of the maintenance. I am beginning to believe that it is because only over time can we truly redefine "normal" for ourselves.

Here's to all of our "new normal"... a life full of healthy habits, in balance, and with a healthy sprinkle of FUN in the mix.

LIFE is good. It is brief and precious, and full of others who are just as fragile as ourselves... big or little, young or old... we share a common humanity. Let us be kind to ourselves to give us strength to also be kind to one another. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KLMEIRING 7/13/2013 6:19PM

    Thanks for the insight. Like many others who have commented on this Blog, I have yet to discover my "new normal". I am still trying to figure out the journey, but that is okay. It is just where I am today.

emoticon emoticon

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DLDMIL 7/13/2013 5:28PM

    Great blog, Thank you.

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PATRICIAAK 7/12/2013 12:08AM

    Hopefully, someday I will achieve maintainance and 'the new normal'. You're an inspiration!

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SHARON10002 7/11/2013 10:44PM

    This is truly another great blog, Barb! I am grateful for your gift of perception. I can't wait until I arrive there, and I hope I will remember it then.

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WATERMELLEN 7/11/2013 9:49PM

    Your "stray" thoughts cohere into a most persuasive prism through which to view life . . . when lightness sometimes feels like normality and kindness assumes it's proper centrality.

I like this. It's wonderful that biking produces it. You can pedal such musings anytime!!

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MOBYCARP 7/11/2013 8:20PM

    Is it the new normal, or is it the current normal? With attitudes and focus changing over time, surely "normal" changes over time as well. But with more time in maintenance, there's a longer base of maintenance embedded in the current normal, which makes it less likely drop out when the future normal is different than the current normal in some unpredictable way.

A year ago, I marveled at how much my eating and grocery shopping had changed in a year. Today, I see that it has continued to change; but the changes from one year ago are much less dramatic than the changes from two years ago to one year ago. Perhaps that's part of the process of developing a piece of the long term normal that supports long term maintenance?

Whatever. Life *is* good, even when it isn't very predictable.

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GABY1948 7/11/2013 8:13PM

    I don't usually like new anything...but "new normal" is something I think I will adopt from you! THANKS

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DOGLADY13 7/11/2013 7:13PM

    Great insights. I was just joking about how I have maintained a 12 pound weight loss over 3 years even though I have many more pounds to lose. But you have hit on a truth that I need to ponder. I bet it shows up in a blog later tonight.

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LINDAKAY228 7/11/2013 6:27PM

    Awesome blog! Lots of great thoughts.

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LEWILL1982 7/11/2013 4:45PM

    New normal is hard sometimes, I've found it's far easier to lose than to figure out how to maintain. Now though, in new normal, I find that those slip ups become fewer and we learn how to bounce back before we slide too far. Really well written, thanks for sharing!

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MSLZZY 7/11/2013 4:16PM

    The "new normal" takes a little time to adjust to, as all things do. Have a
happy and healthy journey. I am constantly trying to come to grips with
what life should be but being kind to myself in the process. HUGS!

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EMMACLAIRE5 7/11/2013 3:46PM

    Loving the New Normal! Thanks for the wise words, Barbara!

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LESLIELENORE 7/11/2013 1:39PM

    I sometimes still have "fat" days, when I just have this picture in my head of myself at my heaviest weight and I can't see the slender healthy body I now have. It is taking a long time for me to adjust to my new normal. I have faith I will get there though.

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MIRAGE727 7/11/2013 11:40AM

    emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 7/11/2013 11:23AM

    Here's to our new normal and to a lifetime of healthy living!! Life is good and precious -- you are so right. I'm here celebrating my mom's 86th birthday. A long healthy life is a treasure; I aspire to a life well-lived. Living healthy is a key part of that goal. Thanks for another great blog, Barb!!

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DALID414 7/11/2013 11:02AM

    Very well said.

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NEW-CAZ 7/11/2013 10:52AM

    emoticon

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CONCHA77 7/11/2013 10:31AM

    Great blog, Barb. Thanks!

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MAGGIE101857 7/11/2013 9:51AM

    What wonderful thoughts to wake up to! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 7/11/2013 8:51AM

  Barb, you have nailed maintenance! To a "T"! I have been in maintenance for 3 yrs. too and there's always that "fear" of slipping back into old ways, especially when stressed. BUT along the way have learned all kinds of tools I didn't have before to cope appropriately. THAT is part of the "new normal" and as the journey continues and evolves, it just gets better!

HUGS and smiles. Great blog.

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KALIGIRL 7/11/2013 8:31AM

    "only over time can we truly redefine "normal" for ourselves"
Here's to discovering what we want to be when we 'grow up'!
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LEANJEAN6 7/11/2013 7:59AM

    I like ""the New Normal""--Deep thoughts are good thoughts--thoughts that come when the brain is awakened-exercising----Good blog Barb!---EAT WHAT"S in YER Lunch BAG!--LOL-Lynda

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The do not forget list for Wednesday

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Don't forget to take:

* Your lunch bag (as in eat what's in the...)

* Your water bottle for the bike (yeah, one day I left it on my desk at work and had a dry ride home)...

* Your positive attitude and resilience!

And don't forget:
* To go to recess!

Sending good wishes to SPINNINGJW as she takes her exams today!

Still praying and praising God for Kelsey's continued progress... her mom reports she's now off the respirator and starting physical therapy to come back from her month-long machine assist while her body fought off that nasty attack from a virus. Current focus: speech and swallowing.

LIFE is good. Be grateful for it every day. LIVE it in the present.

Spark on!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 7/11/2013 12:01AM

    So glad to hear that Kelsey is improving!

Have a great bike trip!

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WATERMELLEN 7/10/2013 9:39PM

    You are awesome. And: so happy about the continued Kelsey progress!!

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SUSANNAH31 7/10/2013 8:13PM

    A packed lunch, a water bottle, a positive attitude, and gratitude for a good life - sounds like all you need for any day.

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PATRICIAAK 7/10/2013 7:07PM

    Cont to pray.
Good list to have with you.

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DOGLADY13 7/10/2013 6:57PM

    Spark on, girlfriend! Spark on!

Thank you for the reminder about Kelsey. More prayers offered for her recovery.

Packing lunch is so important to sticking to a healthy lifestyle. Today I was at an all day meeting. It happens every month. Today I considered bringing my own lunch because I didn't really want the usual deli sandwiches and then be tempted by the cookies. But I talked myself out of it because I didn't want my peers from across the state to think I was weird. But I noticed that one of my peers brought his lunch today - fruit, yogurt, V-8 and some salad. Next month I'm packing my lunch.

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LESLIELENORE 7/10/2013 4:51PM

    Thanks for the reminders!

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LINDAKAY228 7/10/2013 11:28AM

    Great news! Prayers for continued recovery for her!

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DALID414 7/10/2013 11:24AM

    Wow, I can't believe it's been a whole month!

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KELLIEBEAN 7/10/2013 9:36AM

    I'm so glad to hear about Kelsey, I think about her often!

Thanks for the positive vibes to start the day.

Have a great one!

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GABY1948 7/10/2013 8:34AM

    GREAT blog and advice! And reminders... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 7/10/2013 8:31AM

    Prayers for Kelsey Barbara.

I take on board your advice, brilliant advice I might add emoticon

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KALIGIRL 7/10/2013 8:15AM

    Here's to being emoticon Life is GOOD!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/10/2013 7:54AM

  Adding my prayers for a successful exam outcome! AND definitely praise be for Kelsey's progress. Prayers for that to continue as well. Glad to hear she's off the respirator and getting physical therapy. Steps in the right direction for sure.

HUGS and smiles to get you thru the day.

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LEANJEAN6 7/10/2013 7:54AM

    so true--life is good!!!!----- Eat what's in the bag--cook what's in the frig-----LOL----Enjoy to-day Barb!--Don't let anyone get yu down!-Lynda emoticon

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MSLZZY 7/10/2013 7:50AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KLMEIRING 7/10/2013 7:17AM

    emoticon

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Basics

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Basics. When I'm weary or worn out, it's the basics that will get me through the day. So today's pep talk is just that.

* Water. emoticon

* Breathe. emoticon

* Walk away periodically. emoticon

* Remember who is REALLY in charge. emoticon

and of course:
* Eat what's in the bag. emoticon

LIFE is good, foggy or clear: Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 7/10/2013 7:17PM

    You have no idea how often I think of you when I am packing lunch. I try to pack food that I like so I will eat what is in it.

You are more than halfway through the week. You can make it. Friday is coming!

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MSLZZY 7/9/2013 10:44PM

    emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 7/9/2013 10:12PM

    Great coaches concentrate on the basics! You've got the makings of a coach.

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WATERMELLEN 7/9/2013 9:39PM

    Basics are basically what make is possible to survive. And thrive.

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DALID414 7/9/2013 1:08PM

    The basics don't let auto-pilot lose control, especially the packed bag. Sometimes I don't remember what I packed, but by lunchtime I realize it was worth packing!

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LESLIELENORE 7/9/2013 12:50PM

    emoticon

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WORKNPROGRESS49 7/9/2013 11:50AM

    emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 7/9/2013 11:47AM

    emoticon

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CELIAMINER 7/9/2013 11:35AM

    I always need reminders for the basics...thanks!

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LINDAKAY228 7/9/2013 9:45AM

    emoticon

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GABY1948 7/9/2013 8:50AM

    Live IS good and emoticon attitude!

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_LINDA 7/9/2013 8:25AM

    In the end, its your healthy habits that will pull you through the worst of it..
You go girl! You got this!

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KALIGIRL 7/9/2013 8:18AM

    Here's to taking charge of the basics - you rock my friend!
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KELLIEBEAN 7/9/2013 8:18AM

    I need a pep talk today!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/9/2013 8:15AM

  emoticon

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ANDI571 7/9/2013 8:12AM

    I agree. For so long now the mojo just hasn't been there, but the basics are what is helping me maintain.

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MAGGIE101857 7/9/2013 8:08AM

    Hope the day goes well for you! emoticon

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NELLJONES 7/9/2013 8:01AM

    When in doubt go back to basics. When football players report to training they start out with the same drills as new players, even though they know all that stuff. It creates a rhythm, a fresh reminder of the starting point.

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Back to the overtime schedule

Monday, July 08, 2013

OK, little break over. Last week I only worked 32 hours: since I had a half day vacation already on the books, plus a holiday, and they only mandated 4 hours of OT, I did the minimum required, and as my blogs show, I took full advantage of the opportunity to be active. Which showed nothing more than that if I'm NOT working OT, and especially with an extra day off, I can do it. I can train well, rest well, and feel good about me.

This week, we're back to 8 hours OT mandated, and no holidays or vacation days. I am two weeks out from the Cornhusker State Games. I'm thinking my bike commutes may be the extent of my cycling, and if I get them in two or three days, I will call it good. Hoping for combining a brick run on the end of one of them, and maybe an after work jog on a day I drive. Defer swim to next Sunday, my next full day off.

So, that's the activity plan. As for the rest, standard work "line in the sand" pep talk:

* Remember to hydrate extra, it's Summertime, Summertime, sum-sum-summertime! emoticon

* Eat what's in the bag, it's full of healthy things you packed for that purpose. emoticon

* Remember to go to recess. It's good for the mind, not just the body. emoticon

* Prioritize what you work on, and remember Who the real boss is! emoticon

* And of course, get to bed on time! Rest is an important part of self-care, too. emoticon

Balance, people. LIFE is about balance. And it is *good*. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OVERWORKEDJANET 7/9/2013 4:47AM

    Be proud, I ate what was in the bag!


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RONNIEHUEY 7/9/2013 3:30AM

    Great!

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MSLZZY 7/8/2013 10:51PM

    Nothing like mandatory OT to push you into making the most of what time you have and keeping a balance in your life is essential. HUGS!

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PATRICIAAK 7/8/2013 9:40PM

    Amen!

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DOGLADY13 7/8/2013 8:18PM

    Balance is good, indeed. My partner in crime at work dragged me out right at 5pm today.

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GABY1948 7/8/2013 3:56PM

    Have a great week, Barb...I love it when you are doing so well...it's absolutely contagious!

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SPINNINGJW 7/8/2013 11:47AM

    If you want, I will take you to a lake next Sunday for an "open water" swim. Harder to judge distance, but I know how to set up a "course"

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KALIGIRL 7/8/2013 11:33AM

    Here's to the REAL boss!
Will catch up soon.
Absolutely emoticon emoticon and with all the food and drink didn't gain a pound!
emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 7/8/2013 11:02AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 7/8/2013 10:04AM

    Some weeks have more free time than others. Glad you were able to get in a lot last week.

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CHIRPGIRL 7/8/2013 8:49AM

    Yup. It's all about balance... emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/8/2013 8:33AM

    Great pep talk. Yes, you're the boss!!

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KELLIEBEAN 7/8/2013 8:31AM

    I always like your pep talks. Gets me on the right track for the day.

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LEANJEAN6 7/8/2013 8:13AM

    naps are good too-----LOL------You are a very active person!------A good day is one where yu get a workout in eh?--Lynda emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 7/8/2013 7:54AM

    Great plan Barbara


HAVE A GREAT WEEK BABES emoticon

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SABLENESS 7/8/2013 7:52AM

    You're lucky you can commute on your bike. I used to be able to walk to work, but not with present job. Hang in there with the overtime and take care of yourself. emoticon

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CONCHA77 7/8/2013 7:51AM

    Great plan! I am also getting back into the groove and will be trying my "balancing act" with work and sparking. Have a great week!

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Victory over the front door

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Today was a swim day on my training schedule. I had been having trouble getting myself out the door on Sundays to meet those swim expectations.

I pulled out one of the oldest Spark tricks in the book. I asked someone to go with me! Now, swimming is inherently a solo activity. You're not going to be doing a lot of talking as you work out. So a part of me felt a twinge guilty asking SPINNNINGJW to meet me at the gym (I had a guest pass), since she's a diver, not a lap swimmer. And the only thing I can think of more boring than swimming laps is watching someone ELSE swim them.

But she assured me after the fact that she was figuring out aquatic therapy in the pool while I was doing my 1350 yards of back and forth. Then we did a quick tour of the gym facilities, to remind me, as much as show her, that the pool isn't ALL the gym has to offer.

And now I can call my holiday weekend complete: I got in a long and slow run (Thursday), a longish (for me) bike ride yesterday, and a lovely swim today. Plus I learned a bit about how my bicycle fits together (Friday).

Now... to decompress in the cave: laundry, and a grocery run, prep for the week of overtime ahead.

LIFE is good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 7/9/2013 2:47PM

    emoticon That Front Door didn't stand a chance against You!!! WTG!!

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LEANJEAN6 7/9/2013 7:44AM

    Good Morning to yu!!!
Good morning to yu!!!!-----KEEP on SPARKING! emoticon

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EMMACLAIRE5 7/7/2013 9:26PM

    I need to get back to swimming too, as I have wild aspirations for a tri somewhere down the road. It's been 20+ years since I did any lap swimming, and I know I just need to get out and DO IT! Thanks for reminding me that I have no good reason to not actively train for a triathalon :-)

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MOBYCARP 7/7/2013 8:21PM

    I thought of you as I went and looked at gyms today. I signed up with the one that had a pool, though I didn't get into the pool today.

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MSLZZY 7/7/2013 7:30PM

    emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 7/7/2013 6:10PM

  emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/7/2013 4:41PM

    Oh there's nothing like self-trickery when necessary!! All best for your week ahead Barb!

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SPINNINGJW 7/7/2013 3:57PM

    Watching the lap swimmers was actually quite interesting. The one guy looked like he had possibly been a competitor at one time (or still) and was flipping his turns. The other gal was only breathing on the one side, and she had a very methodical method of getting into the pool. While I was in the pool, I was contemplating the resistance of water, the buoyancy of water and the principles we learned about aquatic therapy. I also did some walking in the water, focusing on which muscles were working. So, even though Barb may consider it "boring" to watch people lap swim, I found ways to entertain myself.

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NEW-CAZ 7/7/2013 3:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 7/7/2013 2:29PM

    Super!

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MJREIMERS 7/7/2013 1:05PM

    emoticon job on your exercise and emoticon job making sure you swam today. You ROCK! I hope you get some relaxation today and I hope your week is a good one. (Even with the overtime!) Keep at it!

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MADEIT3 7/7/2013 12:32PM

    Yay for you for finding a way to get this done. You really our an inspiration and motivate me to try and get in my six mile walk today and every day. Thanks!!

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LESLIELENORE 7/7/2013 12:24PM

    Awesome! Glad you found someone to go with you. I wish I had someone to run with. I know I push myself harder when I exercise with someone else.

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SUSANNAH31 7/7/2013 12:23PM

    Scheduling in a friend to join you is a GREAT way to make yourself go.

Thanks for doing this day - to - day, and for blogging about it. You are a real role model for me.

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SHESMITH1 7/7/2013 11:39AM

    You are such an inspiration. When is your tri? What are the distances of each event? When did you do your first one?

I have all these questions because I've signed up for my first one (just a sprint). I've wanted to do one since I volunteered for one about 15 years ago. It has taken this long for me to overcome my "I only try things I know I will win" competitive youthful (ie: immature) attitude. Now, I just want to finish!

Keep up the great work!


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