Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Price of New, and the Cost of Old

Ok, has anyone bought a treadmill lately? Any idea of what a good one costs, or the price of the best one on the market? Well, it is not any decision to make. My husband and I bought a treadmill a couple of years ago. It was on the cheap side of the market, a Proform 400. From the beginning, it had its problems. It was loud, squeeking, and the belt was constantly shifting, moving to the right side of the tread, causing it to burn a grove into the the side of the floor console. Needless to say, after our every attempt to shift the belt everytime, the belt finally gave in and started to shread( This was after my husband was making an honest effort to work out).

In my attempts of trying to get back into shape and having a workout routine in place once I get back to work, I revisited that dusty treadmill and made a phone call to a local "treadmill doctor" to get an estimate. I guess that I had hope that a couple a hundred dollars would solve the problem. After rattling off the costs of the diagnostic, parts and labor, totaling near $500, the guy on the phone said "Your better off buying a new machine." He definately knows that these Proforms do'nt have a good reputation. To anyone out there in treadmill market land, I suggest you not to venture into that waters of Proform, unless you plan on getting a replacement within a year.

So, thinking about this $500 I am out, and thinking about what a gym membership would be, the $500 is actually a cheaper deal. I had joined on a trial basis with Bally Fitness. It has a 30 day deal for $19. What's the harm, right? I tried my first day on Tuesday at around 2:00. So I was there at non-peak hours. This Ballys has a pool (both upstairs and downstairs). Has alot of equipment --maybe 40 treadmills and 40 ellipticals available to everyone to use. It also has a good layout of weight machines on the upstairs. One downside to this place is the smell of chlorine throughout your workout. I talked to one of the trainers there to see the bottomline of joining. Basically, if you want just a no-frills membership you pay about $50 a month, the family together is an extra $20 (not bad) but the clincher is that there is an enrollment fee of $150 and the contract has to be 3 years...Okay. So, I can't guarantee that I will be here for 3 years. What if we have to move? What if we decide to move to a different part of town and it would not be convenient to got to this gym. This whole idea sucks. I don't want to be in a contract for that long with a gym. $2520 + 150 is a contractural agreement is what I would agree to pay. I might as well buy a $1500 new treadmill for my own home, with my 16%APR credit card, buy a 3 year warranty and hire a personal trainer to come to my home once every 6 months. That all totals about the same.

I am still out of my $500 bucks and out of a good deal. I guess health is not cheap.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Personality Test, Anyone?

I saw an ad on television around 11:30 last night telling about how important education (duh) and that you can go their website and do a personality test, and they will spit back what online courses would be best suited for you. Interesting concept, but worth a look at. Could not for the life of me remember the web site address this morning, but I decided to take a personality test for the heck of it..why not, right? So, I did. They came up with my results, and here they are on this site.

http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/results/?o=24&c=79&e=15&a=87&n=32

If anyone wants to take it for the heck of it, give it a try. The results may surprise you. It is based on the OCEAN personality test..Openness to Experience/Intellect, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. According to the results I am 24% Open - find that hard to believe. Thought I would be more in middle of the road. I am 79% conscientious - not a big surprise. I believe myself pretty reliable. 15% in extraversion - I have always been rather reserved. 87% agreeable. I seem to be a forgiving person by nature, so no big surprise there. And 32% neurotic. Not a very-high strung person by nature.

So, with exception of the Openness category, no new information of knowing who I am. But did I really gain anything by knowing this information. At least it reinforces what I know, and what I don't know about myself. I guess it would give insight on how I deal with others and how others view me. Do I even want to be this person? Do I want to be more open to experiences, do I want to be less reserved? Do I like me?

Being 35 and acting like a teen trying to find out who you are is like a regression. I am a very confident person in who I am. I could have raised these questions when I was 15 and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. But, the personality test to find out the secret to what makes you happy does raise some questions. These people are really making money on this? Does my personality actually "fit" with a job, a career, a happier life? Okay, not to mock personality tests, but trying to find out who you are with the endless options this life offers, you might lose yourself. The decisions you make are the indicators to show who you are. Namaste.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Looking at Life from a Different Perspective

310 Cone Drive. That as my address when I lived in Selma. Recently, I took a peek at my former home through the birds eye, or should I say satillites' view of that address thanks to Google. Some of the streets and homes looked the same. Though I was not there to see it from the ground, I could tell things have not changed much. Edmund Pettis Bridge, the infamous bridge that brigaded the Civil Rights movement was still standing strong. The view of my old school, JT Morgan Academy still looked the same with the mowed lawns of the football field were I had witness many a football game on cool Fall Friday nights. Yes. Looking back I can see now how much I have moved forward. 310 Cone Drive housed my childhood, my world for nearly 20 years. In the past 15 years, I have changed. I had 5 different addresses in the past 15 years. Alot of moving and changing to find my place in this world.

Looking down on 310 Cone Drive, I had 20 years of living life within those walls. I remember laying down on that front lawn and would spend hours looking up at the sky, looking at the clouds and dreaming dreams of what I wanted my life to be. I dreamed of being married, having children, being someone with influence and affluence. I was naive, thinking idealistically.

Now, I have a different address, dreaming dreams again. I am married with children, but I have not yet made in the world that I wanted to accomplish starring up into those clouds on 310. Though some would say that my dreams have come true, I say that I am almost there!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Not Quite There, But It's a Start

Ok, after a day of trying the 10,000 challenge, I only got half way there. With this torturous weather, who can actually excercise. Needless to say, I did not make it much out of the house today. I got to 5089, thanks to Leslie Sansone's "Walk Away the Pounds - 1 mile power walk." Maybe I can get to 6000+ tomorrow.

Well, today was productive. I did get some objectives done. I took my oldest to preschool, I fed my 5 month old carrots for the first time, the airconditioner got fixed - finally. I attempted a Mavis Beacon typing test, doing all of those key drills for {}[] - I do that better when I am not qued to do it. Anyway, I can't get past 40 WPM. My goal is 65 WPM. Working on a laptop makes things akward for typing anyway.

Job hunting has become a part-time job for me. Today, I was looking at local and state government jobs and thinking about what I really would like to do in that arena. Ever since I had decided to make a career change to be a paralegal, my look on what I want from work has changed. I was working at the customer service end of things, now it has shift to just service. Perhaps my new focus will be my drive to find something good!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Are You Moving Forward 10,000 Steps a Day?

Well, my husband has a blog, I thought I should start one too. I have similar stories to tell but with my point of view. I figure I should start with this email from the American Heart Association (something true and dear to my heart).

I had heart surgery almost 3 years ago; I was diagnosied with an atrialventrical canal defect - try saying that 12 times fast. I was diagnoised with this condition when I was pregnant with my first daughter, who is now 3 1/2 years old. Technically, I could have delayed the surgery, the doctors stated my immediate condition was good, and health was fine. But as I would hit my 40s, I will start feeling more tired, lethargic and would eventually digress to an early death. Because I felt I had my life ahead of me, and a beautiful daughter to raise, I did not want any chances. My husband's insurance would cover costs of the surgery, my parents would help take care of my daughter during my delicate 6 week recovery. I went ahead and got it done. To say the least, I am glad I made that decision.

In April of last year, I ran my first 5K - a feat a would not had been able to do before because I had always felt out of breath. A month later, our second child was conceived. Our life was good.

Now, with my extended maturnity leave and lots of weight to lose from the birth of my second child, I need to make those same changes again. I know the nursing makes me want to eat more, and I does add some extra pounds. I feel like I need to make a change to walk more, be active more. For the sake of my kids and my health - my whole family. Does anyone want to tag along?

From: Go Red For Women
Subject: Are you moving forward 10,000 steps a day?
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