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Action Feels Good January 2, 2014

Posted by Christine Coleman in Exercise, Goals.
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It would have been so easy to just go home after work tonight. That’s what I’ve been doing for months anyway, so it’s become my habit. Besides, it’s really cold. My back felt stiff from shoveling snow yesterday. I was tired. I could have stayed later at work, as I have so very much to do there in the next five weeks.

take-actionInstead, I took action.

I went to the Two Rivers YMCA (to use my membership for once, instead of giving a monthly “donation” via the online payment system), was surprised at the number of empty parking places in the lot on Jan. 2, was further surprised at the few number of people on the walking track and only one person on the bikes adjacent to it. So, instead of my plan to walk on the track — I’d assumed it would be the typical Jan. 2 crowd and everything would be in use — I went to one of the bikes. Yes, these are the bikes that each have their own TV and today I found a real secret to making the time go by quickly: stumble across the movie “Moneyball” about an hour into it.

So I was distracted as I rode but I pushed myself nonetheless, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the 20-game winning streak part of the movie (and of course appreciated watching Brad Pitt). It reminded me for the second time today of my previous fascination with the Oakland A’s teams of 2001 to 2006 or so (the first reminder was in reading about Mark Mulder signing a minor league contract with the Angels, and recalling his best performance as a Cardinal).

But, even with the distraction, it felt good to be there and felt good to actually do something.

My goal for the month of January is to lose 10 pounds, and to go to the Y at least three times a week. Which is why, even on a day when it would have been so easy to find so many excuses not to go, I didn’t.

I went.

The only way 2014 is going to be better for me is by me doing something about it … one day at a time.

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Ah, Well, No 30 Blogs in 30 Days November 17, 2013

Posted by Christine Coleman in 2013, Goals, Writing.
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It sounded easy on Nov. 1: just post something, anything, every day for the month of November and participate in National Blog Posting Month. And for 14 straight days, I did.

That’s longer than I’ve ever posted anything on my baseball blog. It is an accomplishment!

bloggingBut Friday the 15th was busy, as two of my nieces were over to spend the night, so I didn’t post anything. Yesterday I intended to catch up and post two things … and did not. So here we are.

I do enjoy the chance to just write whatever here, or find a photo I’ve taken and use that along with a little description. I will continue to do that more often than I had been. Just not daily. Although the November blogging month thing definitely made me write more regularly — and was an incentive on quite a few of the first 14 days to actually write something on nights when I just wanted to go to bed instead.

For tonight, that’s all. A busy weekend, once again with too little accomplished from the very long list I’d hoped to get done.

Maybe some weekend I’ll actually feel the opposite on a Sunday night!

One Holiday At a Time, Please November 13, 2013

Posted by Christine Coleman in Goals, Outdoors.
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The first “it’s WAY too early for that” moment for this fall was on Nov. 1 as I was driving home from work. A few blocks from home, I turned the corner and there it was — an entire yard glowing with holiday figurines ranging from various snowmen to penguins and Santa, the house and trees festooned with a variety of lights.

All on the day after Halloween.

Can we wait until after Thanksgiving, please?

Can we wait until after Thanksgiving, please?

Very early last Friday morning came the second such moment. My clock radio was set for 5 a.m. But instead of the ’80s or ’90s or current song playing to awaken me, instead it was Bing Crosby. Nine minutes later, after hitting the snooze, the radio popped on again. Mariah Carey, “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

Reminder: last Friday was Nov. 8. We don’t need a station with all Christmas, all the time, starting on Nov. 8.

Now, I’m not a Scrooge by any means. I love Christmas. I decorate each year, and I do love listening to Christmas music. But at the appropriate time — which to me is after Thanksgiving.

Once upon a time (sure, why not use fairy tale language and hearken back to the old days when I was a child?) Christmas music really was special. You would hear it on the radio nonstop on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, perhaps a song here and there after Thanksgiving leading up to the holiday. But not 20 different versions throughout a day of this pop starlet or that wannabe diva pouring way, way too much over-the-top vocal theatrics into “O Holy Night.” Even the songs I really love — like “Do They Know It’s Christmas” from back in my day or Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” lose their specialness when you hear them on the radio multiple times a day weeks before Thanksgiving.

And the lights and decorations and even people with trees up already — yeah, I get that Christmas is awesome and decorating is fun and all. But for eight weeks?

Time goes by quickly enough (which I said a little something about yesterday) plus Thanksgiving gets totally overlooked anymore. Too many skip straight from Halloween to Christmas, ignoring the time to stop and reflect and give thanks for all that we have.

Bravo to the neighbor just down the street from the house with its Christmas decorations and lights ablazing already. They have an honest-to-goodness Thanksgiving display in their yard right now. No, not some neon turkey glowing in the window or an inflatable one blowing around their yard. It’s a hay bale, with several pumpkins (uncarved, not just Halloween leftovers), cornstalks and artificial leaves and flowers surrounding them — all lit with two spotlights on the ground in front of the hay bale. It’s the one and only Thanksgiving display in my neighborhood, and bravo to them.

Let’s just enjoy and appreciate one season before moving on to the next. That way, we really can appreciate and enjoy.

Where Does the Time Go? November 12, 2013

Posted by Christine Coleman in Exercise, Goals, Weight loss, Writing.
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Every day seems to go by so quickly, and every week too. The months, the years — all of it, here and gone.

clocksSo many things I want to do, all those things I intend to get to — ideas here, gone, unfulfilled.

Or started, stalled, stopped.

The novel I’ve written, rewritten and rewritten yet again that still needs work. Those other novels from past National Novel Writing Months that I wanted to get back to and revise.

Losing more weight, staying active, getting back to running.

Book after book after book after book I want to read — so many already owned, sitting on my nightstand or bookshelves or piled on a shelf in the closet.

I could go on …

(more…)

More Wise Words November 11, 2013

Posted by Christine Coleman in Goals.
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This isn’t the post I’d thought about writing tonight but with my Internet out and the moment and me typing this on my phone, I’m sticking with another short one.

This is a picture I took last year of a picture on the wall of a coffee shop in the Village of East Davenport in Davenport, Iowa. I loved it then (thus, why I took a picture) and I still do now. Wise words.

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Valuable Words for a Sunday Night November 10, 2013

Posted by Christine Coleman in Goals.
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As the weekend draws to a close and a new week is on the horizon, good words to remember.

111-10-13

My Own Daily Mad Dash November 7, 2013

Posted by Christine Coleman in Baseball, Goals.
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I start most mornings very early, writing about the St. Louis Cardinals at my other online home. With the baseball season having ended a week ago, however, I’m not writing about what happened during last night’s game. Instead it’s some other type of Cardinals topic.

Between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, I started writing “Throwback Thursday” posts a couple of times a month and today revived that tradition. Sometimes my friend Michael will send me a YouTube video he’s created from his own amazing collection of Cardinals games. If not, it’s always enjoyable for me to just pick some past Cardinals player, year or game and start searching away — often on YouTube — to see what I can find and then write about it. The coolest find was a video about the 1926 World Series.

Slaughter

Enos Slaughter, forever sliding and forever safe

With the disappointing outcome of this year’s World Series, I wanted to kick off this year’s Throwback Thursday with something on either the 1946 or 1967 World Series — the Cardinals won both over the Red Sox.

So I started searching for 1946, since it was first chronologically. I did know a bit about that Series, as it’s famous for Enos Slaughter of the Cardinals “mad dash” from first base to score what ultimately was the winning run in Game Seven. It’s one of the most famous plays in Cardinals history — there’s even a statue of a sliding Slaughter outside Busch Stadium.

I found a highlight video of 1946, which of course included Slaughter’s dash, plus found a fantastic photo of Slaughter, Stan Musial and two of their teammates — click to see, as it’s totally worth it. Getting the post written and published took longer than anticipated because, as usual when researching anything, I got sidetracked by the other information I was finding too. And what Cardinals fan doesn’t love reading more about the team’s history?

When I finally was done, it was time for my own mad dash — and one that occurs every morning. Because each day it’s something that gets me behind schedule. Writing, the Internet … far too often there’s some distraction. Plus I think the clock goes twice as fast between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. as it does the rest of the day, other than whatever hour I take for lunch.

So once again this morning I attempted to eat Greek yogurt and berries while drying my hair and putting my makeup on. And I did make it out the door when I needed to, thanks to this dash and all my multitasking.

Tomorrow will probably be the same thing, even though I keep vowing to myself that I’m going to do better and get things accomplished sooner and not have to be so madly crazy each and every morning.

That’s always my goal anyway. One of these days, maybe I’ll actually accomplish it.

As the year ends … December 31, 2012

Posted by Christine Coleman in Goals.
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nyeIt’s certainly been quite a while since I’ve written anything here.

Not that I haven’t been writing — I have, at my baseball blog Aaron Miles’ Fastball, which is coming up on its second anniversary. But, as I look back over this year (which I am glad to see go) and the new one that begins in a matter of hours, I realize that I miss doing “other” writing too.

So, an attempt at getting back to this for 2013. One of many goals, which always happens when I don’t like the way things are going. Now, of course, to find the motivation. Always the challenge, isn’t it? Especially for me, at this particular time of the year, when my job seems to dominate all.

This quote I read today at least got me to take this first step:

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” — Brad Paisley

Here’s hoping that I do, and you do as well.

Happy last day of 2012!

A fresh new year January 1, 2011

Posted by Christine Coleman in Goals.
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Photo: yunphoto.net/en

It’s 1-1-11! A new month and a new year are ahead, waiting for us all.

While I mentioned thinking of the start of a year like a blank slate yesterday, this photo is more how I see the dawning of 2011: sunny, pristine, untouched and unspoiled. As the days progress, the field that’s this year will fill with footprints and the snow will melt and the seasons will change. New growth will happen, crops will be planted and ultimately harvested. But, for now, unknown possibilities are ahead.

It’s fresh, new, exciting and beautiful – and the opportunities are endless.

Looking back, looking ahead December 31, 2010

Posted by Christine Coleman in Goals.
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The year is ending in less than 12 hours, with a bright and shiny new one on the horizon. I’m a big believer in clearing the slate, whether it’s on New Year’s Day or my birthday. And 2010 is a year I’m glad to leave behind.

There were good parts to the year, as there always are. I trained for and ran a 10K race. I wrote more this year, expanding my horizons into blogging and baseball writing, plus wrote a novel during November. I read 24 books. (Ever since I read the list that Stephen King had at the back of his book “On Writing,” I’ve kept track annually.) I went to plenty of baseball games, both River Bandits and Cardinals, and added a new ballpark to my list of ones I’ve visited (Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City). I enjoyed going to many of my high school football team’s games, especially in the playoffs, as they marched toward the state championship game.

But, overall, I didn’t like this year very much. Disappointing is the word that best describes it. Running the 10K race led to a hip injury that derailed my exercising, which also led me to gain weight … I don’t really want to go into the details about my frustrations with the year. I’m glad it’s ending, period.

As part of clearing the slate annually, I always set goals for the New Year. Throughout the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking off and on about what I want those to be. And yesterday I decided on a word instead of a series of resolutions or goals. Productive.

That’s one thing I don’t necessarily feel like I was in 2010, or at least not as productive as I wanted to be. (I have gotten so very good at being lazy and wasting time, much more so than previously.) So I am going to be productive in 2011.

I’m going to be productive by writing regularly. I’ve realized writing about baseball is something I love, so I’m going to blog about the Cardinals again. (New blog alert – coming very soon!)

I’m going to be productive by losing weight. 2010 was one big excuse. No more. In fact, I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting in seven years two days ago.

I’m going to be productive by getting back into exercising. It’s amazing how quickly all motivation can go away after an injury, and how difficult it is to recapture. But I feel so much better when I do exercise, which is what I need to remember in the next couple weeks as I work to combat the inertia and crazy-busy time at work and get back into a real fitness routine again. Running is something I want to do again also.

And the list goes on about ways I want to be productive in 2011. It’s always easy, especially on Dec. 31, to say all the things I want to change as I clear the slate. All that really matters is action. And I can only do that one day, one hour, at a time, once Jan. 1 arrives in a few hours.

May it be a productive and fulfilling year ahead for all. Happy New Year!