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Archive for the ‘new goal.’ Category

I was very productive during yesterday’s snow day. I drank a lot of water. I crocheted two wash cloths. I purged and cleaned out my closet, finally.

Confession: since moving into our apartment last April, I’ve had a least one bin of clothes lingering in our bedroom. Within the last month, all four bins made it up to the third floor and spilled across the hardwood floors. As of last night, all four bins are back into the basement- sorted, labeled by season and stacked neatly next to my tennis racket and mini grill.

Second confession: I have so many clothes that I can literally go about a month without doing any laundry. And while for many that may be a sign of wealth/success/great sense of style, for me it’s an embarrassment. Where do you think one keeps a month’s worth of dirty laundry? I can tell you that it doesn’t neatly stay put in the tiny laundry basket in the bottom of my closet. Nope. That stink becomes mounds of nonsense.

My solution: I give you Project 333.

I don’t know when I had first heard of this solution but I’ve been trying to implement it for a couple of years. The concept is very simple: the less wardrobe items one has…

  • the less confusion there is about what to wear
  • the more room one has in their home
  • laundry day is much easier because there is less to wash

I am determined to make it work this year! Not only because I’m sick of hauling ten loads of laundry to the laundromat, but because I’d like to be a better roommate and not take over our place of rest.

Here are the basics:

  1. Every three months, you evaluate your wardrobe. This is important for us in upstate New York because we have four distinct seasons. I like to break the months down by January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December. Mark your calendars!
  2. Choose 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear, and shoes. Confession: I’m not to this point, yet. I realistically only choose 33 items of clothing, which don’t get me wrong, is a HUGE improvement. I feel like I’m in transition with my shoes, weeding out those that aren’t vegan as the season comes. As the year goes on, I may start to limit my outerwear and accessories because realistically, I don’t wear accessories frequently.
  3. Items that are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off (for me it’s my college ring and acorn necklace), underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout). I don’t have in-home lounge wear but I do have two designated drawers in my dresser for hiking and running.
  4. Choose your 33 items and put the others out of sight. I put them in bins, labeled with tape in the basement. Out of sight, out of mind. *This was my downfall in the past; I didn’t always get the items out of the bedroom. Call it laziness for not wanting to carry them all down three flights of stairs, but last night the beau helped and they are out of mind. I have four bins: Spring, Summer, Cold Weather and Work Clothes/Special Occasion Dresses.
  5. Remember that you aren’t doing this to punish yourself, you are doing it to clear your mind. Well, that’s what I tell myself anyway. Last night I purged items that I knew I wasn’t going to realistically going to wear this year, items that I didn’t wear this past winter and items that no longer fit or have holes and/or stains. There are a couple of staples that I’m going to replace over the next month (white tank top and tee). Remember to donate when you can!

I filled up a big basket of clothes that I’m going to either donate or take to Plato’s Closet for cash trade. I know I won’t get much for the items but it would be better than nothing.

My idea or goal for the year is that with each season, if I don’t wear a piece of clothing, I will purge it. Last night I saw so many items that I didn’t wear last year simply because I have too much and didn’t choose wisely. It’ll be tough but it’ll let me appreciate the items that I love (and for many, have been a part of my wardrobe for many years).

Do you rotate your wardrobe with the seasons? Do you limit the number of garments that you keep out? Does this sound like the answer to your laundry prayers? Let me know if you jump on board!

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Polar Cap recap.

The Polar Cap 4 miles put on by The Adirondack Runners was my first race of the year and the first of twelve races I have planned for 2014. This was also my first run with a friend, Alison. She suggested this race about a month ago and because I couldn’t find a more appealing one locally, I made the drive up to Lake George. No race really looked appealing because of the frigid temperatures we’ve been having the past week or so. That and I hadn’t really trained at all.

But I had registered and a goal is a goal!

I was happy when I saw that the race started at ten o’clock; it gave the day a couple of hours to warm up. We all got lucky with the temperatures, too. The sky was blue, it was almost thirty-five degrees and there was no wind. My kind of day to be running in the winter!

I got there about forty minutes early to pick up my bib and assess my outfit. Because I hadn’t ran outside since New Year’s Day, I was really unsure of what to layer on. I decided on my warm pair of UnderArmor tights, a long-sleeved Lululemon shirt, my warm-up jacket from college volleyball and a baseball cap. And really, I would have been fine with my light vest instead of the jacket. I was surprised to see such a great turnout, but then again, I couldn’t blame them because of the weather conditions. Before I knew it, it was time to line up at the start.

The start is a slight up-hill and the crowd sprinted up at the sound of the gun. Alison and I had mutually agreed that this would be a fun run because neither of us felt prepared. We fell into groove and the first mile was at 9:05! I saw this and knew I could hold it however, what I hadn’t taken into account were the remaining hills that I hadn’t anticipated.

The first hill sucked and I wanted to walk but there was a great recovery after so I convinced myself to keep running. The course was easy to follow and there were volunteers at every turn. Before I knew it, we were down by the lake and taking in the views. This was also the point where you could see the top finishers zoom pass.

Now let me fill you in on a little pet-peeve of mine. If you sprint by me but then I pass you when you walk up a hill, I sure as hell don’t want to see you sprint past me once the road evens out. I take note of those people very early on in a race. There was a gentleman who did this maybe FOUR times throughout the race. I’d chug right along, and bam! He’d be in front of me again. Red coat, orange and grey hat. Note taken.

The last half mile of this race was uphill. If you were running on a treadmill, it would be approximately a 3.7% incline. I hate hills but for some reason, run harder and faster. Happens every time. I started up strong and in a zone. I then remembered that I was running with someone and slowed down to let Alison catch up; I didn’t want to cross the finish line before her. (Another pet peeve of mine: running the race with someone and then sprinting away during the last leg to only finish first.) When I turned to see her, she said “go ahead” but my response was “I WANT TO CATCH THAT MAN IN THE RED COAT!” A passing running dude in a grey hoodie and sunglasses said, “you want to catch that man in the red? Let’s go get him!” I looked back at Alison, she gave me the-go and I took off! That man in grey was much faster than me but I tried my hardest to catch him. I didn’t but let me tell you, I passed that man in the red coat!

The race photographs aren’t very flattering but hilarious. You can see my tense face as I’m struggling for air as I was running up that hill. You can see me look back to check his distance. You can see my smile and then relief as we approached the finish line chute. Oh man, Alison got to see my competitive side come out full-blown within the last few seconds of the race.

After a couple of sips of water, she and I ran another mile because we were participating in a virtual 8k for the Winter Miles Challenge. It was much slower but comfortable and just what I needed to shake-out my legs.

Overall, it was a great morning and I loved seeing some new faces. And the long drive home wasn’t so bad after I made a quick stop for fries. Mission accomplished!

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Hey! Merry Christmas! And can you believe that tomorrow is the 31st of December?!

Last week was a whirlwind of events despite not working a single day. I spent the holiday with my family and then celebrated the day after with the beau’s family. I drove back home on Friday to spend some quality time with my mom (aka manicures and pedicures and shopping in a health food store) before celebrating a special birthday with the beau’s entire family for dinner. I did squeeze in a hike up Sawteeth Mountain, my 6th winter peak, and day four of my 21 day streak is now complete. Dinner and drinks was had with my partner in crime and I am officially done with my second basic lesson in French! I now get to start phrases!

And because last week blew by far too quickly, today was spent in bed. I mean, I got up probably three times to visit the bathroom and bake a grapefruit for lunch. I didn’t lounge all day because I’m sick; because I felt like it. But the day wasn’t a complete waste. I made plans with friends for the rest of the week. I made a few phone calls. I watched an entire season of Say Yes to the Dress. I finished switching over my new 2014 planner and wrote down my goals for the new calendar year.

I use the term goal because there isn’t a problem in my life that needs solution (the definition of resolution is the action of solving a problem). My goals are an ambition or desire within myself to achieve results that I’ve never seen or accomplished before. Emily & Tim over at Today’s Letters (button to the right) continue to be inspirational to me and have influenced the way that I’ve set up my personal goals. Four basic categories: spiritual, physical, relational, and professional.

Spiritually I am grounded by being outdoors. I’ve mentioned this before but hiking has become my outlet for connecting with not only nature and the world in which I live, but myself. I’d like to continue hiking and learn to trust my experiences enough to start hiking alone more; once the dangers of the winter months come to an end.

Physically I have set numerous goals, all feeding into each other.

  1. I hardly ever race, usually only once or twice a year. In 2014, I’d like to race once a month. I’ve already scouted, planned, and/or registered for nine races. Repeats include the CDPHP Workforce Challenge, the Saratoga Palio and the Troy Turkey Trot. I’m anxious about attempting the Runnin’ of the Green (Island), the Boilermaker, and the Hairy Gorilla.
  2. I would like to complete the Winter Miles Challenge. I added the button, also to the right, and have fixed the link so that you can all learn more. This goal will keep me moving throughout the toughest running months of the year (at least for me), is free to join with the potential of winning great prizes and will also prepare me for many of my upcoming races.
  3. Ultimately I’d love to run 1,000 miles in the calendar year. I’ve never reached this number and it shouldn’t be too difficult with the number of races I’m prepared to run.

As I solidify each race, I’ll post it up so that you can easily see what’s next on my agenda/what I’m training for. I’m super excited to be meeting with a local gal on New Year’s Day who shares many of my running goals. I’d love to form some sort of a running club and this is my first step.

My relational goal is personal as is my professional goal. I can tell you that change is on the horizon and when the time comes, you will know. Which leads me to saying that I will be continuing to write. Change will also be coming on this front as well, but not for another month or two. What swayed my decision was really looking back at all that I’ve written and thoroughly enjoying the posts. I of course don’t share everything that happens in my personal life but it is fun to look back at certain events and photographs.

Phew! That was a long post! If you made it this far, thanks for sticking it out! If you’ve followed me over the past 12 months and finished this post, thank you with all my heart! I can promise you, the best has yet to come!

Have any short or long term goals for the new calendar year? Willing to share?

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Here are three small changes that I’ve decided to make/have already begun to implement and love. ‘Tis the season for setting new goals and health(ier) habits!

  1. Duolingo Did you know that this app was named app of the year? Either did I until the beau brought it to my attention. I only use a handful of apps each day and now Duolingo is part of the mix. Bet you didn’t expect me to recommend an app for a new goal, did you? Well, I’m obsessed. See, this app will teach you a new language. It’s fun, easy and best of all, free. I spoke Spanish in high school and decided to try learning French this time around. Verdict: hooked. Each morning I get up and before I can check any other app, I sit in the living room and complete two French lessons. The first lesson is a repeat of the previous day’s and then I move on to the next new one. You don’t have to repeat lessons, it’s just easier for me to retain information that way. These two lessons take less than ten minutes a day and honestly, I could keep going. You speak the language, translate, and write it. Check the app out and let me know if you decided to give it a try.
  2. Planning our weekly dinners. The beau and I are very good at throwing a meal together last minute but sometimes these meals take longer than we’d prefer. Combine that with getting home after seven or eight o’clock at night and I come down with a case of being hangry. Solution: meal and/or prepare our meals ahead of time. This concept of planning meals is new to me and I love it because it let’s the inner organizer in me out! I use what we already have on hand and take into account what will be delivered via Field Goods on Thursday. I’ve been physically writing down the meals in my planner and making a list of what needs to be purchased per each meal (if anything) and what evening I plan on serving them. It’s been making dinner a breeze! And even if dinner will take 45 minutes to cook when we arrive home late, we’ve both had something to look forward to and know what to do when we walk in the door. Another perk: we’ve been trying new recipes. This upcoming holiday week will have us thrown off a little but I’m going to try and work in meals that the beau loves to cook (i.e. his homemade sauce).
  3. Since the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day, I haven’t ran a single mile. I haven’t set a new goal and now because of scheduling, I won’t have access to my regular treadmill situation until mid-January. (p.s… I woke up this morning at seven a.m. and it was still dark out! THAT is what is causing this funk!) So, because I’ve used the excuses of it being too cold, too dark, or too lonely outside in the morning, I’ve decided to give at-home workouts a try. Confession: I don’t like at-home workouts. I find that it’s hard to stay motivated and give it your 100% when there isn’t a room full of people to hold you accountable. I also feel funny about jumping around and potentially disturbing the downstairs neighbor. But I’m going to throw those excuses out the third floor window and give T25 a try. Don’t know what T25 is? Google it. I’ve had this program for a while now and have worked out to the cardio disk a couple of times and it is intense. The program is typically 10 weeks long, however, I’m going to aim for 21 days. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, right? Follow along on Instagram (my only form of photographs these days) and I’ll post a photograph after each day to hold myself accountable to you all.

Have you started making any changes this holiday season? Thought about getting a head start before the new calendar year?

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Four weeks ago I decided that I was going to register for the Troy Turkey Trot 10k = my first 10k race ever.

I also decided that I wanted to finish under 56 minutes = 8:59 average mile = the first time ever running a race in the 8:XX range.

So, I laced up my sneakers and set out to run the 6.2 miles to see how much time I’d need to shave off. I ran it in 1:00:46 = 9:48 pace = I needed to shave off 4 minutes and 47 seconds or 49 seconds per each mile.

Today I ran the Troy Turkey Trot 10k and I CRUSHED my goal: 54:35!!! That equals an 8:48 pace, which means I shaved off 6 minutes and 11 seconds. Also means I shaved off an entire minute per each mile.

Blows. My. Mind.

Quick race recap: Miles 1 & 2 Started off going over the Green Island Bridge, my normal route for my long runs. Last week when I ran a test run (in 55:36 btw), this first mile was my slowest and I was expecting the same today. Nope. Instead I ran an 8:45. And then again for the second mile. I was nervous that I started out too fast but knew that even if I slowed down a tad, that I’d still have wiggle room. Oh, and my Garmin quit for some odd reason before we even made it to the first mile marker. Probably the best thing that could have happened.

Miles 3 & 4 I really started to feel this pace. My breathing was harder but by the time we got to the park/111 street, I knew I only had to run home. Each time I saw a mile marker, I did the math and knew that I was keeping my original pace. My friend Phil snapped a photograph of us, and when I asked him what the pace was, his response was: crushin’ it!

Miles 5 & 6 I had to mentally tell myself that I was doing it and that just because I was out of breath did not mean I was going to quit. Around mile 5 I ever so loudly asked those around me if I was going to get a medal… which they all seemed to think was funny; I don’t know if I was delirious or just searching for something to look forward to… but they all reassured me that I would get one. The wind near Brown’s pushed me forward up one of the last *small* hills and from there…

… the last .2 was a full sprint. When I rounded that corner and saw the time on the clock, I had to hold back the tears. I saw the beau, who I thought was taking a video and I ever so loudly screamed, “I did it!” I had done it. And then I searched for the volunteers who were handing out the finishing medals.

I must admit that this race has lit a flame in me that I never knew was there. I’ve run races before in the past and yet still had the crazy idea in my head that I wasn’t a runner. I think it’s because I’ve never finished a marathon. I know, I know, so not right but that’s what was in my head. I don’t have that feeling any more. This race at this pace, changed my image of myself. I officially feel like a runner. And can’t wait to lace up my sneakers again.

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Loving: Don’t you dare hate or judge: I love the new Miley Cyrus album. When her first single was released and I saw the music video, not going to lie, I was a little disgusted. The tune had me hooked but her image, I couldn’t get use to it. For years, the kiddos looked up to her and idolized her in every way. Then when I saw this and knew that they were still hooked (I saw the twelve year old’s Instagram account quoting the lyrics), I got a little angry. Now, I’m over it. She is a smart business woman. I don’t believe that she’s going to have a breakdown like previously successful female artists. Her choices are her own and have brought her much fame. I’ll just keep hitting repeat as I ignore her personal behavior.

Looking forward to: Monday night date nights with the beau! Last night was the first night of the classic movie series at The Palace Theatre and we saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This was my first time seeing it, ever. So many questions running through my head! I wasn’t expecting all of the costumes nor the participation that came from the audience throughout the ENTIRE show. I.e. throwing of rice, confetti, decks of cards, toilet paper, toast, and wearing newspaper over one’s head while being soaked by squirt guns. Blew my mind! Can’t forget the dancing of the time warp! I WILL be prepared for next year! Next week is Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds; I’ve never seen this film as well.

Planning: With having reached official 46er status and not having anything else on my plate, I am realizing that I am a VERY goal-oriented person. As my mom always points out, there’s always something. But if I don’t have a short term goal to work toward, I am not the same person. I am lazy, unmotivated to keep my personal space clean and organized, and grouchy. With that being said, I’ve already chosen my next goal and I’m going to share it to hold myself accountable. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I’m already registered for the Troy Turkey Trot; one of my favorite annual traditions. What you may not know, is that I’m registered for the 10k, my first 10k ever. My goal: finish under 56 minutes. I am not a fast runner, at all. But I am determined to finish with an average under 9 minute miles.  If you had asked me a year ago what my goal would have been for the distance, I would have said 62 minutes. Which is an excellent time. I’m just ready to really start pushing myself physically in ways I never have before. My workout calendar is made and this morning’s run is done.

Watching: We are caught up with Sons of Anarchy and watch it the day after it airs on television. The only other show that I’ve been watching, slowly, is Mad Men. We are only on season five and can’t imagine where is goes in the future episodes.

Excited about: This weekend celebrating Halloween! I have been too busy to really plan my costume this year but have a general idea of what I’d like to pull off. Spoiler alert: it’s not going to be a slutty anything. I’ve got a costume idea for the beau and I during TNO this Friday, but we’ll have to see how much energy I have Thursday night. It’ll be a good time regardless; we’re going to have glow in the dark ink for printing, spooky music playing in the background and candy for trick-or-treaters. I’m also going to be watching Vito this weekend, and we may visit the pumpkin patch for some fun on the farm!

Wondering: Where did The Brown Bag go?

Eating: The first half of the month was great in regards to the beau and I not eating out. This past week has been, well, bad. Our fridge is packed with autumn veggies but the kitchen is a mess and I have no motivation to cook. Tonight is the big night: I will conquer those dishes! With my new running goal, I’ll be even more motivated to eat clean. That big bag of spinach is calling my name!

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I know, I know. I have five other mountains to tell you about along with the rest of the details from my most recent overnight trip, but I’m bursting at the seams: I’m (un)officially an Adirondack 46er! 

I say it like that because technically I won’t have my registered number until February and won’t be able to buy any 46er gear until that’s issued. You better believe that the decal for my car and patch for my pack will be ordered ASAP once I receive it.

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Where to start? Paula and I were on the road at four-thirty and in the parking lot near the Ausable Club shortly after 6am. We geared up and hiked on the road, in the dark, past the club and to register. We were the second people to sign it but the first heading to Sawteeth; first on the summit we thought. It was a long walk in on the dirt road, about four miles, and for the majority of the way we were quiet. I think we were both reflecting on how far we had come and what was about to happen.

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Paula was still feeling tired from our excursion earlier in the week and decided on the shorter, more direct route up the mountain. Although I was a little bummed for not taking the scenic route, I reminded myself that I too was a little slower than normal AND that the mountain wasn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. This was an easy enough hike that I could take people back and enjoy a new route in the future.

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I was horrible this trip and took very little notes and photographs along the way. I know at one point we stopped, already on the trail, for a bathroom break around 8am. We must have cruised down that dirt road!

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The trail up wasn’t too difficult and fairly steady. We took our time and only broke down once in tears… it was bound to happen at least once this trip! We enjoyed a snack and shortly after wiping away the tears, we ended up being just a few yards below the split… only half a mile until the summit!

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This was a little “trickier” with a few rocks that we had to scramble up, but nothing that made us stop and think twice. I stuck closer to Paula knowing that we wanted to reach the summit together and within no time, we were there! But we really didn’t know it because there was no marker or disc = poo! We searched around, took a look at the views, snapped tons of photographs, exchanged t-shirts (she got me a great tee from Life Is Good with a hiker gal on it) and then bundled up to head back down. It was definitely autumn and chilly in a tank top!

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On our way down we took our time, chatted with a ton of people, and even met one woman who was finishing up on Sawteeth as well! The celebration began as soon as we hit that dirt road: I brought a big ‘o bottle of hard sparkling cider to sip on as we walked the four miles or so out! It was delicious and just what we needed/wanted/deserved!

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On the way out I realized that I hiked 42 out of the 46 mountains within the last 15 months; that’s about 3 mountains a month. For those of you curious about the other four, I hiked my first two high peaks (Cascade and Porter) on December 26, 2010 and had no clue that there was this “club” I could work toward being a part of. The other two (Algonquin and Wright) were hiked on July 2, 2011 and it wasn’t until I was back in the car did I learn about the possibility of becoming a 46er… if I had known earlier in the day, I would have gone for Iroquois as well! My crazy friend Marla is the one who took me out for both of those trips and I can’t wait until she finishes up her last couple to join the club!

We were back at the car at one o’clock and decided to head to the ADK Cafe for lunch. I don’t know how I’ve never been to this place before! It was cozy and warm, small, and everything was homemade… right down to the pickles! There were so many options for me on that short menu as a vegan, but I went with the grilled sandwich with a white bean spread, pesto, and slices of tomatoes. It came with their homemade chips but I couldn’t resist their homemade fries (duh!) that were mixed of regular and sweet potatoes. I ate every last  bite!

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It was a great day. I was home while it was still light out and was surprised by the beau when we walked in the door. The giving tree was all lit up with a bouquet of flowers and a six pack of Adirondack Ale; he knows me too well! I made a HUGE batch of my favorite meal (brown rice, kale and coconut) and we sipped on hot apple cider spiked with caramel vodka while watching Mad Men. Sunday morning I slept in and didn’t have to wake up with an alarm. Can you tell I’m in heaven being home with the beau?

The number one question I’ve gotten over the past 24 hours: what’s next? 

Well, I can tell you that I am almost 100% certain that I will not aim for my Winter 46. There were a couple of mountains that didn’t seem safe enough for my crazy self to attempt with ice and snow in the mix. There’s the Northeast 111, 48 in New Hampshire and the 35 of the Catskills that I’d love to summit. Next summer I’m going to aim to thru-hike the Northville Placid trail, which is about 132 miles long. My ultimate goal and other bucket list item is to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.

All of these are surely in the back of my head but for now, I’m going to focus on other things in my life (i.e. my job at the store, running, being a better roommate). I’d love to hike at least once a month to keep myself in shape and possibly explore local, smaller mountains with friends who are curious but terrified of the 4,000 footers. There are also a couple of people in my life just starting out on their journey as a hiker/46er and I’d love to tag along with them from time to time as well.

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It feels surreal to know that I’ve reached this point and have to remind myself to not feel shocked when people congratulate me. I did it. I hiked all 46 4,000 foot mountains in New York State. And I’d do it all over again in a heart beat.

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This photograph was taken by my dad. He couldn’t join me on this last hike because he was doing some hiking of his own… at hunting camp. He made it a point to hike East Mountain that morning and send positive vibes my way. Too bad his views weren’t as grand as mine! Next time!

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