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2011 - the year of the bucket list check-off!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

This one is all Hot4Fitness (Deanna)'s fault. She suggested to me that she's being prodded to do the Lincoln Half-Marathon on May 1st, and asked if I would be interested in speed-walking it with her.

Well... how was she to know that a half marathon used to be on my bucket list? That I had given up on it, as I don't figure my old knees can take that distance? But here she was suggesting another option, less stressful on the knees: speed-walking.

Well, I walk fairly fast when I go out to walk. So, I cautiously asked her about her anticipated speed walking pace, and she came up with a target time that I figure I can train to. The trick will be training up to keep up that pace for three continuous hours!

So, day by day, I tested this possibility. I talked to some co-workers who have run this half-marathon in the past. I learned there's a participation limit this year. I saw the sparks in one woman's eyes when I mentioned speed-walking, rather than jogging, the half (she's jogged it in the past, but is coming back from an injury).

Finally, after a couple of days of this, I went to the website and put my money where my mouth is... where my big dream is. I registered for the half-marathon, May 1st. Mark it on the calendar: this woman is resolved to check "complete a half marathon" off her bucket list!

And, yes, just to make sure these are on the January 1st entry:

Use the ice skates at least once this winter.
Ride a horse (the plot is to do a trail ride with the work team, as a reward some weekend after the half marathon!)
Ride my bicycle and explore at least one new bike trail.

2011 is going to be a great year! I kind of like this maintenance thing. It does require diligence. I am not immune from slips or panics. But as long as I keep on sparking... I think we've got it!

Happy New Year, everybody!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT-AT-50 1/3/2011 9:24PM

    Love the list!

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JUST_TRI_IT 1/2/2011 10:35AM

    emoticon WAY TO GO on the bucket list. Have a great time in prep and in the race!

:) D

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    How exciting! I know that emoticon

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ANG_LA 1/1/2011 5:43PM

    Go Go Go Go Go! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/1/2011 3:32PM

    How wonderful!
If anyone can keep the pace, you can and can't wait to hear about your other bucket list successes.
Happy New Year!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/1/2011 9:55AM

    What a great opportunity for you. And we all know that once you put your mind to something, it happens. I'll be interested to hear all about your training program in the upcoming weeks and months. Good for you -- I love the bucket list idea.

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PENNYAN45 1/1/2011 9:16AM

    What a great idea! I love your goal!

Once again you are inspiring me. I'll have to find a goal to work toward - besides getting the scale down.

Happy New Year, my friend!

emoticon emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 1/1/2011 8:51AM

    And i am so excited and feel great about taking the blame for this great adventure!! We can do it!!!

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DEBRITA01 1/1/2011 8:49AM

    emoticonHappy New Year! If you can dream it, you can do it...good luck with your Bucket List!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAMI199 1/1/2011 8:26AM

    Live your Dream!

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MSLZZY 1/1/2011 8:21AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy New Year! Great goals!

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REJ7777 1/1/2011 7:52AM

    emoticon Knocking something off your bucket list is no small achievement! emoticon You are starting the new year with some challenging goals! emoticon emoticon

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JACKSMIMI2 1/1/2011 7:18AM

    Wow! What a great way to do a 1/2 marathon...and I love the idea of a bucket list! I think I'll put my pen to paper! In the meantime, I'll surely be cheering you on!

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CAPECODBABE 1/1/2011 7:13AM

    That's great! I know May 1st will be great. And what a great idea a bucket list is. I'm going to work on mine, thanks.

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HUNNNYBEE 1/1/2011 7:04AM

    WOW! Good for you!!! Excellent goal to work toward!

I will be rooting for you on May 1st!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Last of the month, last of the year, and the APFT results

Friday, December 31, 2010

I told myself that I would take the Army Physical Fitness Test and measure myself against the standards for 57 - 61 year old females on New Year's 2011. Well, my body has been "resting" for several days and I really NEEDED to move more this morning, so... I bumped the test up and did it this morning. It's not like I was going to an Army base and taking it under supervision or anything (SGT son opted out of coming and hollering at me through it).

How'd I do? Well, I anticipated failing the sit-ups, and I did... BUT, I came close! Here's the order of the test:

Push-ups, as many as you can within 2 minutes, without breaking form. There is an allowance for resting in the plank position during this, but I didn't opt for that. I did 30, which gave me 100% of that portion of the test.

Then there is a 10 minute rest before the sit-up portion of the test. Again, as many as you can within two minutes without breaking form. I did 24 before my form broke... badly. That's two fewer than I needed to pass! I came "this close", folks! By the next time I'm committed to the test (Valentine's Day)... if I train core strength diligently... I have hopes!

Another ten minute rest break, and then "run two miles, as fast as you can". I did this on the treadmill, with an incline of 1, which my treadmill manual tells me most mimics "level" outdoor running. It's kind of icy out this morning, so there was NO WAY I was going to do it outside. Ready? Result: 19:16... which is a 100% on THAT portion of the test.

I'm incredibly happy with this... for three reasons:
1) The most motivating thing I know to do in life is to keep a promise to myself. Just taking the test fulfilled that!

2) When I started this effort, I could only do 3, count 'em, 3 sit-ups. 24 is a huge improvement for me. So I'm pleased.

3) That run time. What can I say? And of course... I'm bubbling all over the place with endorphins.

And, being the end of the month... y'all know that means progress photos! I tried to recreate the same pose as my beginning of the year snapshot, with the same old web camera.

2010 has been a great year! I'm hoping to keep the (motivational) fires stoked and burning bright for the next year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    great job emoticon

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MSLZZY 1/1/2011 8:22AM


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KAMCCLARY 1/1/2011 6:14AM

    emoticonI need to take that test to measure how well I do. Thanks for sharing emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 12/31/2010 7:05PM

    Congratulations on a great year!! Your fitness is inspiring!!

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JUST_TRI_IT 12/31/2010 4:02PM

    SUPER AWESOME!!! You deserve every single endorphin-filled bubbly you can find! You are leading the pack now :) and we love following your lead! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 12/31/2010 2:50PM

    emoticonYou set your goals and did outstanding! You are inspiring and I love reading your blogs....they give me hope. You are motivated and determined...two things I will focus on in 2011. You go, Girl!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STEPPYSUE 12/31/2010 2:38PM

    Wow, good for you, hip hip hooray, HAPPY NEW YEAR! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 12/31/2010 2:37PM

    emoticonWhat fabulous results!!!
Can't wait to see what you do in the new year!

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REJ7777 12/31/2010 1:56PM

    emoticon emoticon That's really emoticon!

I wish you continued health and fitness in 2011! emoticon emoticon

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    WOW!!! That is AMAZING!!! Don't you just feel GREAT!? emoticonHurray for YOU! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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COVEREDNPRAYING 12/31/2010 12:08PM

    My jaw is on the floor with your 2 mile run time - amazing! I've never heard of this test, going to look into and maybe add it to my 2011 goals. Way to go!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/31/2010 11:55AM

    I am SO impressed, Barb -- congratulations! How great it must feel to set a lofty goal and to achieve it. Just think what numbers you'll pull come Valentine's Day. Wonderful!

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BUGGYS 12/31/2010 11:49AM

    You are amazing and I hope to follow your lead in 2011 by challenging myself physically!!! emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY1432 12/31/2010 11:29AM

    That's emoticon!! You're an inspiration!!
Keep on working and you'll be kicking butt in Feb!! emoticon

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ANDI571 12/31/2010 11:22AM

    emoticon You are emoticon

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SWELL10 12/31/2010 10:09AM

    You rock!!!! emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 12/31/2010 9:52AM

    You are doing great, Barb! A big Woo Hoo to you!

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KASEYCOFF 12/31/2010 9:39AM

    That is so great - what a difference your hard work has made! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Can you feel the flames? Can you see the Sparks?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's is a time when many of us set resolutions and goals. Me, too. But it's not the only time to start healthy habits. I tend to start on "odd" days. December 27th. February 27th. May 31st. Hmm, do I see a pattern? Getting a head start on a new month? I never thought about that until I typed this!

In any case, the point I was starting to make is that emoticon can come on ANY date in the calendar year! And it doesn't even have to start at the beginning of the day. The seeds of your own Day 1 are in the back of your mind even as you read this blog entry. The activity that kicks it into gear is the first decision of "enough"!

And each of us can succeed if we do only one thing: Never give up. Keep on keepin' on, as one of the Spark teams I belong to is titled. Be a "Turtle Over 50 Reaching Our Goals".

A slip doesn't have to become a disaster. But to avoid going down that slippery slope may take a little extra effort. I really felt that this week, as a lot of folks brought leftover goodies to work. And some of them were quite tempting: Godiva dark chocolate. Russell Stover's reduced sugar candies. Dipped pretzels. Yep... weaknesses of mine... with the scent of sugar calling my name.

I found myself at the table several times... and said aloud to Toddler Barbie within: "No, you've had enough. You had dark chocolate on Christmas eve and day. You have had ENOUGH!" And I walked away. Each time I walked away, I felt stronger, more victorious. And this is how my three good days were put into the bank of "majority rules".

Here's to making today Day 4. Here's to feeding the Spark flames. Bonfire is growing! Toss on your own sparks... 2011 is going to be a great Spark-year, my friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 12/31/2010 4:03PM

    Love the SPARKS that are flying around you!

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WILMASOTO 12/31/2010 8:41AM

    YAY!! I love this Barb!! You truly are an inspiration to all!! Have an awesome year!! emoticon

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REJ7777 12/30/2010 6:28PM

    emoticon 2011 emoticon 2011 emoticon 2011 emoticon 2011 emoticon

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DEBRITA01 12/30/2010 6:17PM

    emoticonYou are strong and an inspiration! emoticon

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SUNNY1432 12/30/2010 3:01PM

    I started today too!! I'm saying So Long to the cookies and treats and saying Hello to healthy snacks!
Good luck with you New Year start! emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/30/2010 12:10PM

    You are a stronger woman than I -- which is why you motivate and inspire me so. Before I went to bed last night I made the decision to make today my Day 1 again. Went to the gym and planned my meals for the day. And, I like your idea about getting a headstart on the new month and year. Every little bit helps. Now, if I could just learn to say "enough" when the chocolate rolls around. But thankfully it's all out of the house now. Have a great day, Barb!

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SAMI199 12/30/2010 10:23AM

    Now is the Time...

Let's get that bonfire blazing!!!!!!


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KASEYCOFF 12/30/2010 9:37AM

    I like that idea of putting them into the bank. Good concept! :-D

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JHADZHIA 12/30/2010 9:15AM

    Well done!! You should have no trouble making your goals this New Year!!
All the best in it!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CONCHA77 12/30/2010 8:39AM

    emoticonAnd It's going to to get even better and better! Happy 2011.

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LEANJEAN6 12/30/2010 8:02AM

    Woo Woo! I hear you loud and clear!!! Piuck yerself up--and get back on track--BEFORE--the New Year---Good Blog! --timely! ------ Keep at it--I enjoy yer wee postings too!--Lynda emoticon

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BUGGYS 12/30/2010 7:58AM

    I started early by going back to WW and recommitting to mu healthy lifestyle! emoticon

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MSLZZY 12/30/2010 7:54AM

    2011 WILL be a SParktacular year! emoticon
and so can I! emoticon emoticon

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Rubbing good days together - igniting the Spark

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Something my athletic son mentioned to me is that the thing he most wished he would have known sooner was... ta-da: How to come back from an injury!

What a great analogy for recovery from lapses of any sort! Recovery isn't always physically training one's way back from a fall or a twist or a sprain (or even a break or a surgery). What about those slips from a nutrition plan? A week or a month of being a couch potato?

Maintenance recovery is like recovering from a sports injury. You've done great. You were in your stride, at the top of your game. And you took this detour. How do you get back to where you were (on the field, we hope)?

It depends on the nature of the detour. It takes less time to recover from some injuries (or lapses) than others. I begin by assessing just how much damage has been done. Facing the music: hop on the scale, pull out that measuring tape... whatever measure you use (your GPS)... to find out where you are TODAY.

Once that's known, you don't always go right back to the hard-charging athlete you were all at once. The first day back in training, you test out your body... see how it goes. And you push yourself, just a little farther than you're comfy with... not too far too fast!

So it is for me, recovering from this Holiday season. For me, the season is over... I don't do New Year's Eve or New Year's Day parties, so as of last Monday, MOST of the really over the top "detour opportunities" are out of the house. (I'm still debating over the really good egg nog, which I might allow myself as a coffee creamer for New Year's.)

I had a half-good day on Sunday. I had two good days Monday and Tuesday... and here we are mid-week. "Rubbing two good days together"... like a good Girl Scout. Let's re-start this fire! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 12/30/2010 9:27PM

    Very Good Analogy!! All it takes is a small Spark to get the Fire going again. I think you have lit that Spark for many of us!!

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CHRISTURTLE 12/29/2010 3:23PM

    Just what I needed, since I'm determined this is going to be Day 2 of my good days. Going to rub today and yesterday together and ignite that Spark once more. Thank you!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/29/2010 11:14AM

    May I join you at the SP bonfire? We don't celebrate New Year's Eve/Day, either, and now that I had DH remove all the temptations, I'm good to go. Today is day one of my recovery back to losing weight and getting healthy. After tomorrow I can start rubbing them together to start my own flame again. But for today, may I join you? Have a great day, Barb!

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ANDI571 12/29/2010 9:39AM

    I am recovering right along with you as I sit here with a bloated tummy. My bodies way of saying light that fire. Thanks for such an encouraging blog.

I am hoping to see the lights of "home" very soon.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 12/29/2010 9:23AM

    Thanks for reving me up for a new year, a new decade, a... well, not a new me, but a more fit and hopefully improved version. emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 12/29/2010 9:08AM

    Great image about rubbing two good days together - and of course the spark that's been generated will grow into a streak, won't it, lol... Love that idea of 'preemptive recovery.' I will be drawing on that concept, fer sher. Thanx once again, Barb - I love the way your mind works! emoticon

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REJ7777 12/29/2010 9:07AM

    I agree. Let's restart this fire! emoticon

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BUGGYS 12/29/2010 8:42AM

    I am like Deb...I started out great these past couple of days but ended up with chocolate all over my face!LOL Today I go back to WW and back to recovery and committment! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 12/29/2010 8:38AM

    emoticon Just what I needed to read this morning. The holiday was a detour for me and I'm having some trouble getting back on track. I like your idea of rubbing a few good days together...right now, I will have to settle for a few half days. I start out good but then by the end of the day I slip up. I know I will get there...I'm still working on purging my environment of treats. I wish my workplace would do the same.

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FITAT50 12/29/2010 8:17AM

    Small steps lead to big gains, errr...losses.So far I have lost during the Holiday season. I still have New Year's Eve dinner and we are celebrating Christmas with my family on Sunday. Now i just need to get back to exercising, I've been sick, I'm hoping to be back 100% next week.

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MSLZZY 12/29/2010 8:11AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CLWALDRO 12/29/2010 8:05AM

    Great advice for all of us

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Starting to THINK about resolutions... or rather... GOALS for 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So far it's just a pondering in the heart... and it's been going on for a while. In fact, since the last set of goals I put out and the slogging of training. Because I think maintenance goals have to have some element of "fun" in them.

What fun is a goal that says "stay put"?

Seriously, I do have a goal that says exactly that: "stay in my home weight range". But the fun is in the HOW one goes about it!

I think I'll keep the progress tests I talked about in November (the Army physical fitness test against the requirements for a 58 year old female) but pitch the specific goal in terms of Passing or Maxing them: I need to take the pressure off to keep the "fun" in. This I know about myself. Giving myself permission to fail somehow, perverse as it may seem, keeps me more motivated to work at it!

And I need my list of "active fun things to do in 2011":

1. Leftover from 2010 because I DIDN'T get it done - ride a horse. It's been 30 years. I need to go on a trail ride! (Why is there no horseback emoticon, SP?)

2. Use those ice skates at least once! I did in 2010, and it was a blast. emoticon

3. Ride the bike this year! Get it tuned up and take it for some spins come Spring and Summer! Explore at least one new bike trail. emoticon

4. Run a 5K in decent weather. emoticon

That sounds disturbingly like a plan...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

46SHADOW 12/28/2010 7:54PM

    Love your goals!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/28/2010 10:33AM

    It certainly does sound like a plan, and a pretty good one at that. I like what you said about giving yourself permission to fail and how it motivates you to keep going. There's nothing perverse about it -- it hink it might be more genious. As one who puts way too much pressure on myself to do certain things (restricting food and strenuous exercise), perhaps I need to explore your tactics a little bit.

I like your goals and the one about riding a bike? I've been thinking for a few months now that I'd like to get a bike again. I'm not one to go out on trails -- though that might be fun if I could get DH to join me -- but I'd like to have one just to ride through the neighborhoods in town. Just a way to spend some time outside, get some fresh air and enjoy my surroundings. I think I'm going to have to start looking for a good used bike (one with a tractor seat!) . . . .

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MSLZZY 12/28/2010 9:55AM

    I'm going to put my thinking cap on and see if I can come up
with a few "goals" for 2011. Wish me luck!
I think your goals sound great! HUGS!

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REJ7777 12/28/2010 9:17AM

    emoticon Those sound like fun goals. There's a reason we want to be as healthy and fit and strong as possible, it's so that we can actually *DO* the things we want to do. Enjoy yourself!

I had tried bike riding again a couple years ago, but found it hard to balance the bike. I think my obesity had something to do with it. Plus I think the bike was too big for me. I might try it again, but this time, I'd make sure it's the right size bike. Most of all, I like to hike, and my "fun" goals will mostly have to do with challenges in that area.

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SHARON2014 12/28/2010 9:12AM

    Great~ emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 12/28/2010 9:02AM

    Oh, I am a great believer in resolutions - goals, mileposts, stepping-stones, call 'em what you will - for New Year's! It's that whole starting-fresh thing, with an element of anticipation and excitement. And just like with so many things, the destination might not be as important as the journey. Sounds like a plan, yes, but failing to plan is planning to fail - pithy little truism, thinks me. :-D

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DEBRITA01 12/28/2010 8:58AM

    Like your goals/"resolutions" for 2011...also like the idea of keeping it fun. Adding some fun ensures greater success in achieving them. Good luck...and have fun! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 12/28/2010 8:51AM

    This is such a cool list of goals.. A plan to have fun! LOVE IT! ou may have started something here :) emoticon

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BUGGYS 12/28/2010 8:21AM

    It's always good to have a plan and your sounds like fun...I used to ride all the time when I was younger and I found a stable near our cottage up north this summer and I was able to ride several times and it was free...they needed someone to exercise the horses so it was a plus-plus for everyone...I am going to do it next summer as well!

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