July 11, 2013

It Ain't What it Used to Be

Cranky Fitness used to be a much better blog, for a variety of reasons.


Currently it is struggling even more than usual because I am studying for the ACE Health Coach certification exam.  And in August, a huge lameness front will likely move in and stall overhead as we're off on a house swap to Toronto for 3 weeks.  (And if any Cranketeers are pondering guest posts, this would be a great time for one!)

In fact, I may include this as a permanent page on the blog, and keep it updated as to whatever rationalization I'm currently employing for not spending days writing thoughtful, well-researched posts with helpful information and tons of links and resources and pictures. And for not visiting and linking to other blogs, tweeting, pinning, networking, and all the other social stuff one is supposed to do.

I used to do a ton of that, and it is a lot of work!  I had some great cobloggers to help with posting, and I was even hoping to create a part-time job out of Cranky Fitness and perhaps launch a writing career.  Fewer ambitions now, and a coaching practice to attend to, so... it's back to amateur hour.

Why is Cranky Fitness Even Still Here?

Well, I did try to kill it off once, but less than two years later it came back. Sometimes it seems to me like an undead zombie blog, as though it will shuffle ever forward no matter how unwelcome--sort of life-like, but not quite the real thing. And whatever it lacks in brains of its own it figures it will try to consume from other sources.


The Obligatory Health and Fitness Lesson--DIY Version

But then other times I think: so what if it ain't pretty and may scare off most normal people?  It is what it is!  And it's not a terrible blog, just not as good as it was when times were different and conditions were favorable.  I still put some thought into my posts; great people stop by; occasionally the blog nets me a book sale or a new coaching client, and sponsors send me free stuff to try out and tell you about. 

So why can't I stop comparing it to an exaggerated idealization of what it used to be, at its best? Why can't I just appreciate it for what it is now and not worry how it stands up to the earlier version, when times were different and conditions were more favorable?

 {INSERT YOUR OWN AGING--FITNESS--WEIGHTLOSS--BODYIMAGE ANALOGY HERE!}

Yep, regulars, by now you know the drill:  high unmet expectations based on past performance or fantasies are demoralizing!  Appreciate what you've got and seek ways that fit in with your current priorities and lifestyle to make it better!

The funny thing is, every time I write a post like this, I frame it as a temporary issue.  "Sorry, we're going on a trip!"  "Sorry, we're moving!"  "Sorry, I've been busy lately!"  So enough with that. Cranky Fitness is a different blog now.  It's more about the mental stuff, and less about the latest study that says something really interesting that 2 months later is totally contradicted by other studies.  I tend to interact more on the blog, and less outside of the blog.

But for old times sake, this is what a Cranky Fitness post used to look like, should you be curious about Omega 3's and Omega 6's.  Whew!

The Future of Cranky Fitness?


One thing I've learned in life, is that priorities change and energy ebbs and flows.  Blogging is at a bit of a low-energy state now, but that could easily change!  Due to work done in previous years of ambition and hustle and bustle, the blog has decent page rank and a surprising number of casual visitors. There is potential to build something exciting here again, and I don't rule anything out!

Got Anything in Your Life That Ain't What it Used to Be?  Are You OK With That or Do You Struggle?

Photos:
Rockwellian Laptop: NotionsCapital
Zombie Rockwellian Thanksgiving: Theogeo
Futuristic House: Plan 59

69 comments:

  1. When it comes to blogging, the perfect is definitely an enemy of the good. Never apologize for what your blog (or your body, I guess) isn't - just appreciate it for what it is.

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    1. Wise words, Erika! And I'm going to work on that going forward!

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  2. I think you don't kill your blog off for the same reason I haven't shot and killed my teenaged daughters: love.

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    1. Well, there's that Jack! But at least there's no jail time or death penalty for blogicide. And yeah, teens and blogs are frustrating and a lot of work but you gotta love 'em.

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  3. I'd hate to see the end of my fav snarky fitness blog, but I totally understand about changing priorities. I do like the new frontiers you are writing about these days since weight and mental health are tied together.

    My own blog sits languishing because I just don't have much to say these days about my non-running, injuries, and eating woes. I'd rather be a Nike ad and just do it.

    Did I miss the difference between the Health Coach vs. Trainer blog? I'll go back and find it again.

    If you do take another sabbatical, have an awesome summer break in Toronto.

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    1. Thanks LaShaune! Afraid I've never been a trainer, just fitnessphile + former psychotherapist + wannabe writer + Life Coach. But the Health Coach certification does include a lot of fitness training as well as nutrition and behavioral change stuff. I briefly had a blogging aspect to the life coach site, and even flirted with a personal growth blog, Cranky Enlightenment, but decided it was better to wait on that til I actually had time to put into it.

      Just Doin' It instead of Just Writin' About It sounds like an excellent plan!

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  4. Augh! Stop apologising already!

    I've been a Cranky Fitness regular long enough that I remember the days of co-bloggers. I remember when it became a solo project. I remember missing it when you closed it down. I remember clicking through on a bookmark for old time's sake and realising with delight you'd started blogging again. I remember my great language-immersion blog cull of 2012, when I stopped reading blogs in English ... EXCEPT for three that I couldn't stay away from, including (how could it not be so?) Cranky Fitness.

    And in all that time, the blog has been awesome. I came looking for fitness inspiration (and found it), I stayed for the writing ... and if Cranky Fitness morphs into something different once again, I'm pretty sure it'll still be awesome.

    There's a reason all us regulars keep coming back! #;-)

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    1. Ah Lucky Duck, your awesomeness knows no bounds. You always know just what to say and it's folks like you that totally make blogging worth it.

      I love that you always call me on the apologizing, and some day I know I'll be more evolved and won't find it necessary. This was actually meant to be less of an apology and more of a recognition, for myself, that I gotta stop looking backwards. But somehow it ended up taking the form of an apology. I think it's in my DNA or something.

      It just sometimes hits me when I land on an old post that I put a lot of effort and research into, and realize that part of me still wants to do that! And then I project and think readers are going "why is this another freaking post about headphones when she used to actually write about stuff I cared about!!" Which they very well may be thinking, but why do I care?

      So also, this was partly inspired by my recent discovery of a site that's been around quite a few years apparently... GOMI. Fortunately I've flown under the radar so far, (or I have sucky search skills) but I couldn't help but feel it confirmed my worst nightmares of reader reaction to self-aborption, the dramatization of the trivial, the product plugs, etc.

      But wow, your comment made me realize why I suspect I'll always keep this brain eating zombie alive!

      P.S. your check is in the mail. :)

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    2. Totally agree with Lucky! Hit the nail on the head!

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    3. Me too. Lucky has all the right words. and stop being so freaking hard on yourself and remember to have fun.

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    4. and I am still cannot remember to add my name.

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    5. Aww, I needed you guys today I guess. THANK YOU. I'm very much a Work In Progress.

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  5. If your coming up to Canada you have to practice your apologizing if you want to fit in at all around here. I am very sorry to say this but, do you know it is hot and very humid here in August!!

    As far as the blogging goes, I can certainly relate. It seems like I run from one crisis to the next and if I'm lucky get a load of laundry done in between. Not a lot of time or energy for blogging right now.

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    1. Good point, Cindy, don't want to lose my apology chops entirely, and maybe it explains why I love Canadians!

      And, on the heat and humidity: ULP! When we first checked it out it looked like it would be similar to Provincetown, but I think we checked the wrong site or something. I may do my hot-weather defensive routine: out early in the morning, hole up in air conditioning during the day, and then out again in the evenings. Plus a liberal dose of sweating and whining.

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  6. Ha! I was just thinking about my own blog, and how it seems that while I am not an educator with a summer break, it seems like my blog has taken a summer vacation!

    I really have to hand it to people who can regularly come up with something interesting to say. And who have the motivation to continue to spend time posting. It's not easy!

    (Toronto is a place I am DYING to go to, so I hope you will share some photos and stories about it once you're home.)

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    1. OtF, I will try to come back with some pictures! I've been to a lot of other great cities in Canada (Vancouver, Ottowa, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec) and love the national parks and places like Banff, but have not yet been to Toronto.

      Any Canadians or tourists out there with advice on What Not to Miss?

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    2. If your a nature girl and have access to a car then there is great hiking and some great day trips to Niagara Falls, Tobermory and Blue Mountain. I'm in Toronto now but I'm from Niagara Falls so I can probably write a novel about what not to miss.
      There are some things going on to observe the anniversary of the War of 1812 which lasted 'til 1814 when we may have burned down your White House. We are not always so polite sometimes we have an off day!

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    3. Cindy, thank you so much for the info, some great ideas!!! And you totally cracked me up with the history lesson. :)

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    4. I live in Buffalo but spend time in TO often. Our favorite neighborhoods are Queen West (though not as great as it once was), Kensington Market, and the Distillery District. The boardwalk in The Beaches is a great place for a run. Toronto has a fantastic Chinatown as well.

      We like to eat on the patio of The Rivoli on Queen West. Great food and people-watching.

      You should head down to Niagara-on-the-Lake at some point. Beautiful historic area full of flowers and wineries (Hillebrandt and Vineland Estates have great restaurants with the most gorgeous settings).

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    5. Wow, great ideas barkeater, thank you SO much!!

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  7. On the topic of things that aren't like they used to be which plays into what I love about your blog:

    Former middle-aged anorexic me is rather pleased that things aren't like they used to be and I really like your blog's tone of (snarky) self-acceptance and moderation. You are a comforting place to visit. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks anon. And wow, that is awesome that you've triumphed over what I understand is a tough issue to overcome. And good point, I wouldn't trade my incredible coaching clients or my fun life for the sake of better blog posts, so I guess it's a good thing things ain't the way they used to be!

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  8. Not to sound cheesy, but I enjoy reading about you. What your doing, how you are improving, the escapades you and the Lobster undertake. A blog is a personal thing. People write about what's important to them. Health and fitness may have started this, but you've shared so much of yourself with us, I follow now for YOU Crabby.

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    1. Thanks Christina! That makes me feel so much beter. I do know, intellectually, that blogs are a more personal take on health issues and yet... perhaps because I used to present more in the way of actual information, I keep feeling like I'm taking the easy way out by just prattling on about whatever I feel like talking about, or the latest product I was too greedy not to turn down, or random pictures of beaches or bicycles or giant hamburgers.

      But it's great to hear that at least a few kind and patient readers like you don't mind the more personal side of it! Actually, come to think of it, it's why I love the comments. When you guys share your stories it really adds so much!

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  9. Crabby, Crabby, Crabby.... Go back and read all the comments above.
    Then read them AGAIN and totally take it all in.

    You have FANS! Devotees! Peeps who CARE. And we all get that you are a human being (despite our perhaps overly zealous adoration of your blog and various adventures).

    I think your readership has grown, right? So, please consider what that says about your blog.

    Most of us would do most anything for you EXCEPT support unnecessary self-flaggelation. You have too much talent and fun-ness to feel any need for apologies of any kind.

    Vacations, leaves, sabbaticals (oh - and I personally like to toss in spa days) are all good and necessary things. So is just letting things go a bit once in a while. All are the hallmarks of a pro, in my opinion. (Not a statement of iaadequacy or lack of quality anything). Take a break (given yourself some slack) whenever you need. It's also a sign of confidence in knowing that we will still be out here for you when you return :)

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    1. Ah, Anon, I love the way you characterize the little band of awesome Cranketeers. Alas, regular readers have dropped quite a bit in number since earlier days, replaced by googlers looking for flat belly secrets etc. But the readers I do have are immensely treasured!

      I think the reason I wrote this post is that all I forsee is a sort of perpetual "vacation/sabbatical" mode, because it seems like one thing after another pops up that I can't say no too. But I am looking forward to stepping back in with more energy now and then; there are about 10,000 posts half-written in my imagination that never make their way into actual pixels.

      And who knows, one day they may contain actual useful information again!

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  10. Well, I didn't know your blog in the days of co-bloggers over here so I'm not an authority (on anything!!) BUT - I love your blog. Whether you are reviewing a product, sneaking in pictures of Hawaii, sharing about a dance party, whatever the topic - I love reading your posts!!! One post or 7 posts in a week - makes no difference - they are always worth stopping in. And, the comment section over here is always worth reading!!!

    BTW - I love that you might just make this post a permanent page and change the reasons accordingly - great plan!!!
    Hope the studying is going well!

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    1. Kim, yours is one of those blogs I totally admire because there is so much great stuff in every post and yet you manage so many of them!

      And yeah, I really am thinking of turning this into a handy excuse page so I don't have to officially acknowledge slipping standards over time and can just update with a sentence or two and link right over to it.

      And the studying is Way More Annoying and Harder Than I Thought. Details will probably follow, at length, with much cursing.

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  11. You know, I never even knew about you "back in the day". So think of me as the "newbie" test-market representative... I keep coming back for a couple reasons...
    1) LUV your sense of humor. Wish I could write like that... :)
    2) You make me think about my own perspectives & reasons for doing things...
    3) You make it "ok" to not apologize for where ya are in life, but to accept it & take away whatever lessons are there to learn...
    4) and not b/c I won an awesome prize & hope to win more 'cause I have a greedy little heart! lol

    You talk about 'standards'... but really, maybe the gift of your blog is that you reassure the rest of us that "standards" are good, but life lived, and appreciated, is more important than a bunch of facts... Just sayin' ;)

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    1. LGGR, if this is true then I feel a WHOLE lot better: " maybe the gift of your blog is that you reassure the rest of us that "standards" are good, but life lived, and appreciated, is more important than a bunch of facts"

      Thank you for characterizing it like that, you almost make my slackery approach sound intentional! :) And I SO appreciate the kind words.

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  12. E V O L U T I O N

    I am so proud to see you evolve, even though I have only known you for a short time! I am evolving too...my blog is not what it used to be. I used to feel bad about that. Then I remembered that I need to put myself FIRST. So if daily blogging or major topic blogging isn't doing it for you (or me sometimes now) then so what? Do you REALLY owe it to strangers to push yourself to post when you don't feel like it? Yes...we do kinda feel an obligation, but sometimes we have to learn to say no to things other than food. :)

    hugs...just cuz you are so huggable! :)

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    1. Aww, hugs back Sherri D, and a great reminder that change is evolution! I tend to forget about the things I'm doing instead of blogging when noticing blog slippage--ya gotta make choices in life!

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  13. There's a lot that ain't what it used to be -- but there's enough that's better that i'm not sweating over it.

    Your take on life and everything is so interesting to me that i'll keep reading as long as you decide you want to keep posting.

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    1. Thanks messymimi, you've been such a great commenter for so long I feel so grateful to have you on board!

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  14. high unmet expectations based on past performance or fantasies are demoralizing! Appreciate what you've got and seek ways that fit in with your current priorities and lifestyle to make it better! One thing I've learned in life, is that priorities change and energy ebbs and flows.

    I so get the above that you wrote here!! I have been at this nonstop & don't come near to you so I say you are way more popular than you think! :)

    Personally I have always loved your blog no matter what you write & it is always entertaining yet with a message!!!

    YES, I have tons in my life that ain't what it used to be.. do I struggle - YES!! BUT I keep trying & I guess that counts for something! ;)

    I see changes coming for me... a blog post coming soon... :)

    I think that as always, doing what is right for you & feels right for you is what matters the most!

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    1. Jody, I'm excited to hear about the changes coming for you! And you're always so supportive no matter direction I go and I really, really love that about you. thank you!

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  15. I'm glad you're still blogging, even if it's not as often as you think you should be posting. I've been reading since the dark ages and will always be here. That said, I understand how blogging mojo can flag - I've been struggling lately with it. Just not sure how much more I have to offer, you know?

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    1. Thanks Shelley, and the few dark ages readers who "refound" me when I started back up are SO important to me. I sometimes see old posts and there were so many "regulars" who never came back.

      LOVE your blog even though I don't always get a chance to comment and it's interesting to see how common the flagging mojo problem is even among people who seem to have it all together when your read their posts!

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  16. Ah, I'm crying. Seriously. I get this so so much. And your zombie analogy feels so real for me too. I'm just... lost. I love how you accept where you are and don't judge it (much)! Life is so demanding and when the blog isn't progressing or going backwards it just feels like one endless treadmill. Also, I'm a sucker for anything Norman Rockwell!!

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    1. Charlotte, your blog is so consistently amazing that you are actually part of my dilemma. I will say publicly that I think yours is the best written best researched most honest and funny health blog there is. Seeing my own standards decline plus seeing how a truly outstanding a fitness and health blog could be is part of what makes me feel a bit apologetic.

      But... tradeoffs! I gotta remember my own priorities come with a cost! Sigh. Want to have cake AND eat it too.

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    2. It's true! Charlotte wrote the best post I ever read!

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  17. You sure don't have to apologize to me! After committing to regular blogging this year...I haven't posted anything since mid-January. Oops. So do what works. I'm just glad you post at all.

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    1. Thanks bdaiss! But you are out there traveling, working hard, raising great kids, taking awesome photos, and living life! And you are a big part of what makes Cranky Fitness so fun I suspect I'll always be doing at least SOMETHING with it.

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  18. I hadn't come across your blog in the "old days" so can't really compare... but I really enjoy the blog as it is now. Nothing you need to explain, justify or apologise for. The combination of comment, great (and funny) photos and updates about what you've been doing are perfect for me. (And I found the blog by accident when searching for post-hysterectomy recovery exercise). Please do carry on blogging - at whatever frequency suits you best.

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    1. Fliss! Welcome to the comment section unless I somehow missed you before! First off, hope the post-hysto thing is going ok... I wasn't fully back to my old routines for TWO FREAKIN' YEARS and I had laproscopic. On the other hand, I was doing at least something most of the time. But it can be a frustrating process for active women.

      And thank you so much for the new reader perspective, that really does help a lot! And I hope you'll bear with me for a couple of months of slacky blogging; I do suspect time and energy will pick up again in the fall.

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  19. Ah, the fish burps report. The old days were great, Crabby. But leave them to their time. Your blog is a fave as it is.
    Enjoy Toronto. I hope someday you'll house sit in Alberta.

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    1. "Leave them to their time." Wow, Leah, this advice could work for all kinds of ill-fitting expectations carried over from the past. Well said!

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  20. What Everybody Said. This blog is no zombie. Just keep doing interesting stuff and reporting back every now and then. Go, Health Coach!

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. Mary Anne, thank you! Um, but are you sure the blog can't snack on just a little tiny piece of your brain? :)

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    2. I'm not sure the parts I wasn't using at work today qualify as tiny, but the blog may have those, wherever they are. They don't seem to be with me now. Oh, wait, perhaps the blog has already snacked on those!

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  21. I can't tell you how many times the last post I see on a blog is an apology for not writing more with a promise to get to it real soon...

    People just love the way you write and the person you are, Crabby McSlacker.

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    1. Dr. J, those kind words mean a lot! And no worries, because unless I get struck by lightning or something, I have no intentions of shutting the blog doors anytime soon. Too much to yammer on about!

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  22. Hey Cranky,

    All the above about the blog. It's awesome,and I'd hate to lose the inspiration, sense of community and fun I get out of it, but all respect for whatever choices you make.

    Damn, wrote out a long list of things to do in TO, and the website rejected it as too long. I'll try to mail it.

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    1. So sorry about the comment problem, how frustrating! But THANK YOU so much for the great ideas.

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  23. Death Ride GrandmaJuly 12, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Well, Crabby, there do seem to be quite a few of us who wait eagerly for your latest edition. I suppose many of us are our own toughest critics, but as you hint, you have spent a fair amount of energy helping your readers see the hazard in that sort of thinking!

    There must be a big burnout factor in blogging. Being interesting and clever on a regular schedule can't be easy. But even if you don't see it that way, I think you do a pretty great job.

    I do hope you won't disappear any time soon. I really like this place.

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    1. Well DRG you certainly are a HUGE part of what make the blog a supportive fun place to visit which makes it impossible form me to think about giving up on it. Thank you so much!

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  24. Cranky, first of all I love your blog, and your personality.

    A good interlocutor for those issues of I Am Enough would be Jody (fit at 55), I think. :-)

    My blogging issues are opposite to yours: I blog too much. I'm serious when I say it's an issue.

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    1. Good point, HSH, Jody's "I Am Enough" campaign is a great antidote to this sort of self-imposed pressure!

      And good luck with your over-blogging issue, hope you find a happy balance.

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  25. Im late to this because I WAS LIVING NOT INTERNETTING MY LIFE :-)
    thats my aint what it used to be.

    xoxox

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    1. Living not internetting, what a great idea Miz!

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  26. I'm still celebrating that CrankyFitness came back--write anything you want, any time you want, it is all good, gooder, or gooderest (and appreciated)!


    Lyn

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    1. Thank you Lyn!! I would love to write gooder and do my gooderest, but I so appreciate folks who hang in there regardless of what stuff I toss out there. You guys rock!

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  27. im late to the party but want to tune in: i cant see a reason for you to apologize. please dont! :)
    for me what matters is a wicked sense of humor and authenticity. you have both and thats why i love to come here.

    puja

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    1. Puja, thank you so much! I always love to see your comments and I imagine, if I spoke German, that I would also enjoy your blog! Really appreciate you visiting and all your support.

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  28. Worry not about the blog. It will evolve as it should. Real life gets in the way for most of us from time to time. I'm in one of those big times, myself. Speaking of which, your timing for visiting Toronto leaves much to be desired. I'm just west of the city but only until August when we will live a few hours north. And then intermittently until my house sells.

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    1. Oh dang it Hilary! I was actually going to try to hunt you down for a Toronto meet up. Crummy timing on my part, sorry! But sounds like exciting changes ahead, good luck!

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  29. Hi, Crabby! As someone who blogs sporadically due to life happening in weird ways, I feel the same way about mine. It used to guilt me out the door until I realized nobody is going to think less of me for living. Yours is one of those rare blogs that brightens my day whenever it's updated and has lots of good information for me to dig through on other days.

    I'm pretty new here (this is my first comment, actually), but have loved it since my first read a few weeks ago. I found you in a Google search for the proper way to use an elliptical machine and ended up laughing so hard at that post that I bookmarked your blog AND bought your book.

    Keep it up, lady. You have nothing to apologize for. I'll keep coming back until you throw me out and shut off the lights. :-)

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    1. Heather, OMG, thank you, I love you, so glad you found us here!!!! Your kind words really make me feel better about the whole Life vs Blog issue. It also really helps keep me motivated to hang in there even with sub-optimal posts rather than just slink away again.

      And I SO appreciate the book purchase!

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  30. Crabby, for what it's worth, I believe yours may be the first blog I am reading in reverse order. The reason is that when I got to the bottom of the first recent post, I BREATHLESSLY clicked on "Older Post".
    When I first started reading, I PLANNED to read it in chronological order but I simply cannot take the necessary BREAK to go looking for that first blog post, because it will delay my reading IMMEDIATELY. I know, that sounds illogical, right?
    I don't care what you write about. As we know, I'm no fitness expert or even much of a practitioner, so you know I am here for you, regardless of the subject or the frequency of your posts. Also, I ordered the book to get more of you and your writing. We know how that turned out (hanging head in mortification for robbing you of your income, no matter how inadvertent )
    Oh and I wish to add that your commenters are absolutely lovely! You sure do attract a "like" crowd. I have added some to my reading list. You are always so generous with links and your support of other bloggers!

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