Category Archives: Faithful Finish Lines

The Hardest 287 Calories I’ve Ever Burned

Two years ago I joined Faithful Finish Lines fitness program when it was in Beta. I am still a member. This week is the last week in the most recent 7-week challenge. Seven weeks filled with making small changes on a different topic (e.g. more protein, less sugar) each week. The less sugar week is tough as I have a big sweet tooth.

At the end of each 7-week period we have a goal to do. It could be a 5k, 10k, a plank or push up challenge,  or any other fitness goal. It does not have to be an organized event.

I was schedule to do Michele’s Mile Mall Walk this week but cancelled it as when God blesses you with upper 60’s on a February day in Northeast Ohio, the last thing you do is walk the mall!                 😉

Instead I did the 1 mile Duck, Duck, Goose Waddle at one of the area parks. The waddling started when I got out of my car, then I did 2 laps around the pond and ended when I returned to my car huffing and puffing worse than the Big Bad Wolf.

I walked 1 mile. It is not a lot but when you have a sinus infection that morphs into a asthma event, it is a lot. (Yes, sinus infections can do that.)

When the weather permits I get out and walk because asthma needs to go bye-bye. When the weather interferes, you can find me doing a lap around the mall or several laps up and down my basement steps.

Marvelous!

As I sit here typing this post, I can tell you I feel marvelous! I have to keep this up as the 2017 Tour de Parks is coming up (walking one Northeast Ohio park every weekend). More on that later.

Now on to the good stuff.

Pictures

Here are pictures from the 1 mile Duck, Duck, Goose Waddle event. All photo’s taken with my Moto Z phone – Yes, still an Apple virgin.

Duck, Duck

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Goose

wp-1487892874193.jpg Selfie-on the bridge at the back of the pond.

Cattails and last years leaves.

Look who decided to walk with me after passing the 3/4 mile mark.

Final Stats

2,003 steps.  287 Calories. 42.28 minutes. 1 mile walked. 2 laps around North Park pond, picnic area and parking lot.

Want Community? 

Check out the Faithful Finish Lines program. Sara Borgstede from the Holy Mess is the founder. You will not find a better community of friendly, supportive women.

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40 Days of Drawing Circles – A Lenten Challenge

I am a believer in taking up something for Lent, instead of giving something up. Giving up chocolate, candy, coffee or anything else is only going to make you tired and cranky. The rest of the world will be miserable because you are miserable.

That is not how you

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Mark 12:31

(NIV)

Instead attend a Bible Study, go volunteer at a non-profit close to your heart, or start an fitness program. (The next round of Faithful Finish Lines starts 2/28.)

Another Option

Now if none of those appeal to you, I triple dog dare you to try Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle; The 40 Day Prayer Challenge.  The book has 40 daily devotions that encourage you to pray big, bold, audacious prayers.

Some of Mark’s lessons are about:

  • our prayers not being bold enough
  • not talking to the mountains about God
  • not praying long enough (think what would have happened at Jericho if the Israelites had stopped circling the city on day 5 or day 6.)

The Challenge

I challenge everyone of my readers to purchase a copy of Mark’s book (non-affiliate link) and participate in the challenge with me starting on February 10th (Ash Wednesday) and ending on Easter. (Sunday’s in Lent do not count – but once you start this challenge you will not want to stop.)

Requirements

Besides the book you will need a pen, hiliter, and journal or notepad. You will want to write your prayers and circle them. It will be helpful if you have your Bible so you can look up specific verses and read the entire passage, if you so desire.

You will also need to set aside some time everyday to read the devotion and then pray about your requests. Do not be afraid to write down the verses that speak to you, claim them as promises, and circle them. Yes, writing in your Bible is also perfectly acceptable.

God’s Obligation To This Challenge

Oh and by the way – God is under no obligation to answer your prayer requests. However after you are done with this challenge, and quite possibly before, you will see God working in your life – somehow, someway if you just open your eyes.

My Why? 

Why did I pick this to do during lent? It’s simple. I am currently on Day 23 of the challenge and God is working on my bigger, bolder prayers.

You should have heard the lecture I gave my mountains (career, expenses) about God and how He will level them with just a blink of His eye.

I will update you on what is happening in my life during the challenge. This might not be until after 2/19 as I am involved in a project the first part of February that will be time consuming and keep me on my toes. Time to write might be very limited for a little while.

Are You Ready To Draw Circles? 

This challenge is open to all my readers no matter what religion. All you need is a willingness to boldly go where you have not gone before.

Please email me at Michele dot Kearns at JoyReturns dot com as I want to hear how God is working in your life this lenten season.

Today is 1/25 and Lent starts on 2/10 so you have a little over 2 weeks to get the book and your supplies.

Go. Set. Ready.

thinbutterfly

 

Tour de Parks Finish Line: Climbing Mount McKinley

The Tour de Parks came to and end last week when I climbed Mount McKinley. I know, you are thinking Mt. McKinley does not exist anymore as it is now Denali.

Well Mount McKinley does exist in Canton, OH.

Mount_McKinley

Red Carnation

President McKinley was known as the red carnation president for always having one in his lapel. Then one day he gave his carnation to a young girl in a receiving line at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo, NY. Moments later he was shot and passed away several days later.

The Ascent

Today we will be walking up 108 steps to the tomb of President McKinley, Mrs. McKinley and their 2 daughters, Ida and Katherine. You will see the park from each of the 4 plateaus.

Ready? Let’s begin at the base camp.

Looking_UP

The Starting Line At Base Camp

Starting_Line

The shadow is mine and will serve as my “selfie” for this post. I have a Moto X phone and unable to download photos to my computer because of the incompatibility with Windows 10.

The View From Plateau #1

Level 1

The View From Plateau #2

Level 2

Here is the McKinley Museum from Plateau #2

McKinley Museum_Level_2

Here is President McKinley’s statue on Level 2. I walked down several steps in order to get this shot.

McKinley_Level_2

This picture shows the words on the base of the statue.

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Plateau #3

Level 3

We are on Plateau # 3 looking up at Plateau #4 and the monument.

Looking_up_Level_4

The View From Plateau 4

Level 4

Part of a sign at plateau #4

Sign

The skylight at top of inside the dome

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Quote

Victories_of_Peace

Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not in conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war.

William McKinley

Victory_Eagle

Eagle below the words “victories of peace.”

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The door to the monument. Yes, that is my reflection.

Back At Base Camp

Well here we are back at base camp.

Fountain

The header of the monument shot from base camp.

Monument Header

The End

Well this is the end of my Faithful Finish Lines Tour de Parks program. I am still in the Faithful Finish Lines program and highly recommend it. In fact, I am working on my next goal which will focus on healthy eating for this 7 week period.

Grieving – Get A Buddy

The first year of widowhood is very, very tough and I wish I had this group with me in 2008 and maybe I would have been more active.

If you are grieving, find and exercise buddy and get moving. Hopefully, reading my Tour de Parks posts has inspired you to find different places to walk. I’ve enjoyed doing these walks and bringing pictures of God’s handy work here in Northeast Ohio.

Canton, OH

I leave you with a view of the building tops in downtown Canton, OH taken from the 4th plateau.

Canton_Ohio

10-10-2011_3by5Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© Award-Winner of JoyReturns.com. She encourages widows and educates society about grief and life as a widow by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can see more of her photography at OgleOhio.com.

Tour de Parks: Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary

Last week, I got in my new used car and headed south to visit Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary and Wolf Creek Environmental Center. I have been itching to walk this as part of the Tour de Parks but life just kept interrupting.

It was a beautiful late summer day and the scenery was gorgeous, even though the heat has taken a toll and fall is setting in. I walked the 1/2 mile wetland trail but plan on being back once fall color takes hold, and walk the woodland trail.

Ready, let’s head down the path by the green and red trees.

Entrance

What is that tree with red on it? I do not know but boy did I have a fun shooting pictures of it. I love the color combination of red, green against the blue sky.

Cherry_Saturated Cherry_Saturated_1 Cherry_Saturated_2 Cherry_Saturated_3 Cherry_Saturated_4

See, I told you I had fun taking pictures of the trees.           😉

Now on down the path we go to the environmental center. I left the center with plenty of pamphlets so I can start planning the 2016 Tour de Parks.

Center

center_sign

North_Star

This is on the other side of the environmental center. It is here that I leave you to explore this serene place. That is the shadow of my head and it will have to suffice as my selfie for this walk.

Enjoy the slideshow and be still and know that He is God. 

Peace.

Tour de Parks: Melting In His Clutch

In March when the starting gun sounded on the Tour de Parks, I felt frozen. For several weeks afterward Snow Miser kept it below 40 degrees and kept freezing the area during my weekend park walking time.

This past weekend Heat Mizer forced me to cancel the Tour as I was melting in his clutch. Temperatures were upper 80’s / lower 90’s with the heat index at least as high and maybe even 101 degrees. I barely got the backyard mowed Saturday morning.

So we will see what this weekend brings and hopefully I can safely resume my walking through one of Northeast Ohio’s lovely parks, photographing all God created.

Walking in the parks is fun and I encourage everyone to get out there and walk a park in your neighborhood. You never know what you will discover and the endorphins will help you beat up the grief miser, if you are grieving.

To get you in the walking mood, here is a picture I took yesterday of my lunchroom buddy.

Enjoy and get moving!

Tour de Parks: Princess Ledges – A Walk Along The Shores of Lake Erie

For you new readers:  I am a member of Faithful Finish Lines an online faith, fitness, food, mission, and fun group. I’ve been a member since November 2014 and have had the time of my life. Every 7 weeks we set a new fitness goal to be done during the 7th week.

Earlier this year I came up with the idea of Tour de Parks – walking one park in Northeast Ohio every weekend. There were a lot of weekends weather and illness cancelled the walks, but this 7-week period has been a success. I only missed one walk and that was 2 weekends ago when I stepped on a bumblebee in my garage.

Exercise is important in recovering from grief. The endorphins help with your mood which helps you beat up on the grief monster. I wish this group existed when I first became a widow, the encouragement is awesome and it holds me accountable for my goals. When I fail, the members are full of grace. I just pick myself up and move forward.

And now on to this past weekend’s walk along the shores of Lake Erie.

Princess Ledges Nature Preserve is located in the northern end of Brunswick, OH and is part of the Medina County Park System. I took a picture of the sign at the park which explains the history, but it did not transfer from my camera to my computer.

The former land owner’s daughter was named Princess and she use to like to play on these ledges so the park was named after her.

Are you ready? We will be following the yellow ledge trail.

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Into the woods we go.

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Taking pictures in the woods is challenging because I am learning to shoot in manual mode and sometimes the pictures come out a little blurry and finding the right exposure has proved to be challenging.

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Now I know you are wondering “Where is Lake Erie?”  It is about 20 miles north of here but if you lived thousands of years ago these ledges would be Lake Erie’s shores, according to the Princess Ledge’s website.

“At one time thousands of years ago, these cliffs were the shore of Lake Erie.”

I take “selfies” of me doing these walks but am having trouble downloading it from my phone.  I will publish them at a later date once I get a new transfer cable.

Now get out there and walk a park where you live. Stop and really take in the sights, sounds and smells.

See you next week.

 

 

 

Tour de Parks: An Encounter With A Bumble

My walk in a local park last weekend did not happen. It was not postponed because of weather or a cold but because of a bumble bee. The bumble bee that I stepped on when I opened the door to let Rommie in through the garage.

Bumble bees do not have barbs on their stingers so unlike honey bees, they can sting you over and over again. I only got stung once, but it was a doozy. Benedryl prevented the site from swelling and itching but since it makes me sleep all day, I could not take it Sunday night otherwise I would fall asleep at work on Monday.

It is Wednesday night and my foot is much better. Cortaid has taken care of the itching and I can make it through the day at work without wondering if there is a hack saw in the warehouse.

Tour de Parks will pick up this weekend – weather permitting.

Blog Colors

The color scheme for JoyReturns is now the same as the Cleveland Cavaliers who are in the NBA Finals starting tonight, 6/4 at 9:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time. They are playing the Golden State Warriors in California so they are 3 hours behind Cleveland, which means I will probably be watching the inside of my eyelids when the game starts.

Once the Cavaliers are basketball champions this site will return to normal – whatever that is.       😉

 

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