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The upside of sensory input - Denese Rodgers

I have immersed myself in FaceBook. I am a sensory-input junkie, anyway, and the people who I've been e-hanging around with seem to be equally e-ddicted.

It was neato, coolio at first just to simultaneously see what all everybody was doing at a given time. It is fun to see who is giving up smoking and who just watched their kid hit a home run. It has simply got to be the equivalent of the old party-line phone system!

The pictures are a quick glance at someone's sunshine, the new kitty or puppy, or just someone's quirky sense of humor ...

Now, none of this is rocket science. If you are serious-minded and grumpy, this will not be your cup of tea. People send me little pretend bouquets of flowers, and cups of coffee, and karma, and little get-to-know you quizzes. It is just totally innocuous, but in a way, it has its own sense of community.

I am trying very hard to get myself in shape for the Peachtree Road Race. I lived through it last year, but that's about all I can say. My husband crossed the line in an hour and 5 minutes. I dragged my carcass over that last agonizing, uphill, steaming-hot mile in an hour and 43 minutes. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

This year, I was determined to be in better shape from the get-go, so that it won't be such a chore the day of the event. I'm fairly faithful about running on my treadmill, but I have to use toys and tricks to keep myself motivated.

I have a spreadsheet called "Exercise*&^&%$," with which I track my daily progress against what I did last year. (Recall that I am a nerd.)

I also use the little personal challenge program, "Walk Georgia.org," which is a little daily motivator hosted by the Georgia Extension Service. As you make progress, it is recorded in miles that you get to use to take a virtual tour around Georgia. I'd like to see them expand the abilities of the little virtual tour, so that you could "v-walk" up Stone Mountain or "v-walk" through the Okefenokee.

I have found an intern who we had back in 2004! This sweet young lady lives in New Zealand, and she worked with us during Community Christmas. She was introduced to organized chaos and charity at the same time.

Where I had been pretty proud of my own painstaking progress on my dinky little treadmill, my former intern just completed the Ironman Competition in New Zealand. Talk about getting put in your e-place. But I'm terribly proud for her, nonetheless.

And slowly, but surely, I'm finding more and more new and interesting people. There are some kinks every now and then, and occasionally, some green meanie sends through a virus. But for the most part, it is a really fun new toy.

My e-friends are really are wonderful; they keep me e-motivated even when I really don't want to go get on my porch monster.

And when I get done, I gotta admit, it is super nice to have my FaceBook friends say, "Atta Girl!"

Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social-services, networking, community organization in Henry County.