4 Social Support Tips to Stick with your Fitness Program

Too often I have seen great progress with clients for fall by the wayside. Why does this happen? A very common reason, inadequate Social Support.

These are 4 Social Support strategies I recommend as a personal trainer to keep you on your fitness journey.

1. Find a Fitness Buddy

I'm sure you have heard the phrase, “You are the product of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Don't know who said this. For exercise and fitness this couldn't be more true.

You hang around people who enjoy a healthy and fit lifestyle, you will get fit and be healthy too.

I encourage all of my clients to find a fitness buddy. This is someone that will hold you accountable and vice-versa. Having a friend to go on a journey with will make it that much easier.

Find a fitness buddy you enjoy spending time. Make sure they are a positive influence and encourage you, as well as you motivating them in return.

Can't find a fitness buddy easily? Consider doing group exercise classes such as yoga, cycling, pilates, etc.

3. Ask for Support

Make sure that the people around in your life understand the fitness journey you are going on. Ask them for support and help. You need to make the right decisions not just in making time for exercise but in eating the right foods that are have nutritional value.

Perhaps you friends and family might even be interested in getting “back into shape” too. You could invite them to join you and become your fitness buddy.

As part of asking for support you should also ask for reminders about staying physically active. This includes keeping training appointments or regularly going to the gym or making time for workout sessions.

3. Gamify the Goals

As part of making an exercise program fun you should gamify the goals. What does that mean? Basically turn it into a contest.

Let's say if you go to 10 yoga classes in a row without missing a single one you had one your schedule, you get to go on short weekend trip. This is a great process goal for you to make for yourself.

Better yet make a competition with your Fitness Buddy.  Of course remember the main objective is accountability, not to gloat with your friends who are trying to make you more fit.

4. Find Social Fitness you Enjoy

Doing the same type of exercise without a team sometimes ins't the right move for you or clients I work with. I encourage people and my personal training clients to not only find a fitness buddy but to find social sports and fitness you enjoy.

This could include joining a local swing dance club, hiking, climbing, signingup for a recreational baseball league, etc. You get the idea it's not just a group exercise class but something that gets you out there and is social.

I've found this has done wonders for some clients. It's changed their outlook on leading a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. Especially ones that are more introverted.

Admittedly I am someone who mainly focuses on lifting weights by myself. I do sometimes workout with other people. In recent years I've walk-the-walk so to speak. I've signed-up for many recreational sports leagues to experience new ways of moving my body and enjoying the company of new people.

Social Support

What are your thoughts about social support and fitness? Do you like these tips? Have anything more to add?

How has Social Support helped or hurt you on your fitness journey?

14 Trainer Questions to Ask Yourself to set Fitness Goals

Often when people first start-off with a fitness journey they do not ask themselves the right questions. These are 14 questions to ask yourself before you start planning or designing a fitness program. Personal trainers often ask these with clients on the first sessions.

  1. What are your short term goals? (3 – 6 months)
  2. What are your long term goals? (beyond 6 months)
  3. What could prevent you from achieving your fitness goals? (work, school, kids, etc.)
  4. What is motivating you to make a fitness program?
  5. What is important to you?
  6. How will health and fitness support your goals for yourself?
  7. What sports or exercise programs have you participated in the past?
  8. Are there fitness or exercise programs you enjoy?
  9. Are there certain exercises you hate?
  10. Do you have a favorite exercise you feel good at?
  11. How do you intend to integrate exercise into your life?
  12. How much time can yo commit to an excise program?
  13. What social support (family and friends) do you have to change your lifestyle?
  14. When is the last time you kept to an exercise routine (3 times per week)? How long did this last? Why did it stop?

10 Ways to Measure Fitness Progress

How do you measure fitness progress?  This isn't always clear or easy as often you won't be making the the progress you want to. There are many ways to measure progress to see if you are meeting fitness goals.  Here are the 12 most common ways.

1. Body Weight

The most obvious first choice, and what most people think of, is body weight. This is an easy way to measure if you are meeting your own SMART fitness goals. Most people start a fitness program with the goal to “lose weight”. If you are hiring a personal trainer, like myself, that is definitely the most common thing we hear. 🙂

I do caution though that weight loss may not always be a good thing. What if you lost muscle? Would you be ok with that? Probably not. Most also don't realize that muscle tissue ways more than adipose tissue, a fancy term for fat. It also won't measure body composition changes.

2. Body Composition

Typically most people are actually looking for changes in body composition. What does this specifically mean?

The definition I hear from most people is that they want to “look better” which essentially means less fat and more muscle. You can gain more muscle, which is heavier, and lose fat. That's why with number #1 Body Weight it may not tell the whole story.

To measure Body Composition you can do skinfold and circumference measurements.  These typically make most clients feel uncomfortable so I don't do them.

3. Body Size

Lean tissues takes up less space than fat tissue. That means if you are losing fat your body size will get smaller.

I encourage you to measure this by your clothes. Are some of your clothes loose or to large? That means your body size is changing.

4. Emotional Health

If you ever work with me, something I put a strong focus on is emotional health and well being. Fitness and exercise often leads to measurable improvements in sleep quality, energy, and general mood.  Clients also report that they feel less stressed and irritable after a workout sessions.

This isn't a surprise since during exercise that is the only time your body releases endorphins besides when you sleep. Endorphins are hormones that give you positive feelings. Exercise = feeling good. 🙂

5. Resting Heart Rate

People that are brand new to an exercise program will often see a decrease in resting heart rate (RHR). The best way to measure this is to do it first thing in the morning or right before you to to sleep at night.

6. Muscular Strength and Endurance

A clear and easy way to measure fitness progress. Are you lifting more weight? Are you able to do more repetitions than before?

This is an easily measured fitness goal and something that most people look to improve.

7. Walking Test

A timed walking test can be a great indicator of improved fitness level. Sounds easy? Well you would be surprised by how little walking some people do these days, especially here in the US. Walking for long periods of time is a good exercise.

8. Flexibility

Something I caution people about measuring but still  something to measure. As someone who isn't the most flexible I can tell you improving flexibility takes a long time. Unless you are born with great flexibility improving genes, in which case I don't like you very much. 🙂

9. Balance

If you participating in balance exercises as part of your fitness program, then by all means this is a good way to measure progress.

10. Skill Level

Do you participate in fitness activities such as soccer, football, tennis, golf, rock climbing? If you see improvement in motor-skills this means your fitness routine is working. Assessments can be done to measure but often clients find they just feel themselves having a better back-hand tennis swing.

SMART Goals -What are They & Why You Need Them

smart goals

If you are someone who has ever worked out in a gym or at home I'm sure you have thought you of some common fitness goals. These include but are not limited too;

  • “I want to tone up.”
  • “I want to lose weight.”
  • “I want to get ripped.”
  • “I want to lose belly fat.”
  • “I need a beach body.”

And and on and on.

All of these are not necessarily bad goals to have for a fitness or exercise program. To be honest even I have thought these phrases too. Personal trainers can get caught in the same mental traps as clients. 🙂

If you want success with fitness you should always be thinking about SMART goals with your fitness program. What are SMART goals?

SMART Fitness Goals

SMART is an acronym and I'll explain what each S-M-A-R-T letter means;

  • Specific – The fitness goals you set for yourself must be clear and Specific so that you know whether you are making progress. The examples I used that most people say to themselves such as “I want to tone-up.” is not specific enough. A more specific goal would be “I want to tone-up my triceps and biceps.” This is better as you are saying exactly what part of your arms you want to tone-up.
  • Measurable – You need to measure your progress so that you know if you are improving, by how much, and if you need to make adjustments. That means if you are trying to run a mile in say under 10 minutes and you are 12 minutes currently, you will want to track any progress you make. For this Measurable goal you should use some sort of wearable fitness tracker so that you can see how much you are improving your running times. When you know you are improving, and by how much, it will encourage and motivate you.
  • Attainable – You want to set realistic goals for your program. If you set a goal and accomplish it you are much more likely to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle. Way to often people will set completely unattainable goals for what they are trying to accomplish.  I know, I see it all the time as a Personal Trainer. I always encourage clients to “think big” since there is nothing wrong with that. However take steps in your physical health and training in small bites. Be ambitious but realistic about where you are in your fitness journey.
  • Relevant – You must set goals that are relevant to your interests, needs, goals, and abilities. Too often I see trainers making clients do exercise activities that are not relevant to a client's priorities. If you are a track athlete doing explosive weight exercises such as Olympic lifts would be ideal. Doing tennis would not be.
  • Time-based – You goal must have a set time for completion. If you just set a goal and don't think about when it is going to happen, you may fall be the wayside of making that goal happen. Evaluate regularly to see if are going to meet the goal. If not you might want to revisit Attainable and see if you set a realistic goal for yourself.

How to set a SMART Goal

Saying, “I want to lose 20 pounds in a week” is not a realistic goal. However saying, “I want to lose 20 pounds of fat in 8 weeks.” is a much more ideal goal and follows SMART principles. This meets the Specific and Time-based part of SMART.

Consider is this at attainable goal? Do you have finals coming up? A big vacation? Can you make time for a home-based or precious time out of your day to go to the gym?

The SMART goal we set and these types of questions will show also make you think about what types of exercises you should be doing to drop that 20 pounds of fat you want to lose.

The next step would be to think about how you would accomplish your goal. Are going to be lifting weights? Cycling? Swimming? Consider how this is going to be measured.

Lifting weights would be an  easy way to measure progress. The more weight you lift over the 8 weeks, you are making progress. The more weight you drop and more your body composition changes the better.

Stay SMART

If you intend on setting up a fitness routine and program for yourself, or if you work with me, I always recommend defining goals. SMART greatly helps with keeping you on track and helping you stay focused on fitness. Remember be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based in your fitness goals.

Setting a SMART fitness goal allows you to be crystal clear about what you are trying to accomplish with a fitness program, why you are doing it, and when it is going to get done.

Have you ever set a fitness goal like the ones I talked about at the beginning of this article? How did that work for you? Have you tried setting a SMART fitness goal? Did that work better?

Domain Experts can be Wrong

The NamesCon auction, currently the biggest domain industry auction of the year, is over. Even though the live NamesCon auction and online auctions have ended the talk about them has not.

Noticeably many new domain extensions did not sell well this year. Much to the dismay of new gTLD supporters. Notably many .NET domains sold for under what one would expect, even with a room full of domain resellers. You can see the NamesCon auction results here.

The other discussions I’ve seen are about why Monte Cahn, who handles these premium auctions each year, did and did not accept certain new domains. Also why some new domains were and were not accepted with a reserve price. Many new domain extensions I saw in the auction were real head scratchers. Ebiz.online???

To be fair. It’s extremely hard to know what people are interested and to predict what consumers will want to buy. Not even a domain veteran like Monte Cahn, who started Moniker and runs Right of the Dot, can always know.

Here is a discussion with teams Frank Schilling vs Rick Schwartz over the new domain extensions at T.R.A.F.F.I.C, which could be considered the precursor to the NamesCon. Monte Cahn shares his thoughts on .IRISH and why it will be a successful domain extension. You can read the transcript below too.

Editor’s Note – If the video doesn’t load right up to the comments, you can skip ahead to the 29 minute mark.

New Domains vs .COM – Monte Cahn

The .IRISH discussion;

Monte Cahn – “Another good example is .IRISIH you know, there are a lot of people that relate, people feel like they are Irish, love the Irish,

Howard Neu – “Or .ITALIAN”

Monte – “Right, there is not going to be a .ITALIAN but there is going to be .IRISH. So you know, that is probaby going to be a very successful TLD. Besides what happened at Notre Dame. Anybody that is IRISH, there are 110 million IRISH people all over the world right know, you know. So that is another example of where people have an affiliiation to a specific TLD because of their background, religion, where they come from, what business they are in, and what they believe in. “

.IRISH Domains

So is the .IRISH domain extension successful? No.

According to NameStat and NtldStats we see .IRISH registration sits around 2,000 registrations. This essentially means they are not even making the bare minimum in yearly ICANN fees to cover the cost of running the domain extension. It’s estimated to cost $150,000 – $200,000 dollars per year in administrative costs to run a new domain extension.

I don’t consider registration volume everything but according to HosterStats data only 2.1% of sites of the total amount of domains are active sites. That is roughly 42 websites, which is well kind sad. We know John McCormac, the founder of HosterStats, wouldn’t make these numbers up as he is irish. ?

.IRISH used to be run by an independent company but now has been sold to the Donuts, which manages over 200 domains. If .IRISH was choosing a place to go die it seems Donuts was a great option for it.
.GAY, .ITALIAN, .JEWISH?

Right after the .IRISH comments Monte continued about another extension .GAY.

Monte- “Another way is .GAY, I’m sure everyone that is one everybody has heard of. It’s a community, it’s a feeling of, of what you belong to. So that is where it is going to make a difference I think on the internet.”

Then Frank Schilling, owner and founder of Uniregistry, weighed in;

Frank Schilling – “I totally disagree. I kind of dump the Geos in with the IDNs, a passion play. But the problem with Geos is the internet is global, when I’m in New-York City .NYC is going to be a great name right, but all of a sudden you polarize everyone from New Zealand, New Jersey, Delaware, all around you NYC. And if you are selling online you want to sell globally, right? And with .GAY, you can be in the most out there gay person on earth it doesn’t mean you want to you want to fly your flag in your URL and your email address.”

.GAY has not been delegated by ICANN yet over some community lawsuit shenanigans. I agree with Schilling here halfway. (I actually think .NYC could be a successful domain extension in the low run, but currently isn’t.) Why are you going to use .GAY in your email and domain even if you are really gay?

Rick Schwartz and Lonnie Borck, who are both Jewish, at no point in the conversation said “Hey, you know you guys are right! I’m really missing .JEWISH in my personal and professional email and website.”

Most people should not be inclined to show backgrounds, religious beliefs, political beliefs, etc. in a domain or website. Honestly you want to do business with people who may not have the same feelings or views about everything as you. Polarizing them immediately is not exactly the best message and first impression.

Predictions have been Very Wrong

The funniest part of the discussion is when Howard Neu, a domain lawyer, assumed there was going to be a .ITALIAN. Sure why not, makes sense right? I’ve made the same assumptions. Perhaps in the next round more garbage new domains will be dropped on us.

Personally as someone who follows domain names, I can’t even remember all the domain extensions. I always ask, “Is that a real domain extension?” … not good.

What’s the point here? While we are singling out Monte Cahn a bit here for sharing his thoughts on .IRISH, he’s not the only expert domain industry veteran that has been wrong, very wrong when it came to demand predictions on new domain extensions.

One panelist in the discussion was Simon Johnson who is part of the .KIWI registry. As written here on DomainAnimal there was an unusual surge in .KIWI registrations several months ago. The reason for this was that .KIWI had to give away roughly 200,000 domains as was reported by OnlineDomain. This was with a joint deal with the New Zealand web hosting and domain name company Umbrellar and the .KIWI domain registry.

They gave away .KIWI domains to customers that matched existing .CO.NZ and .NZ domains. Reminiscent of the .XYZ and Network Solutions deal.

.KIWI has had to resort to mongering to actually convince Kiwis, a term for people from New Zealand, to actually maybe buy one of these .KIWI domains. This is compared to the dominate ccTLD extension .NZ which has 672,000 registrations. No fear tactics required.

In my opinion it is one thing to make predictions that don’t materialize, and another to make claims which are just false. Of course these shenanigans are common with new domain companies.

What are your thoughts? Have you seen any domain industry veterans and experts make other predictions which just hasn’t happened? What were these predictions and thoughts? What do you think the future holds for new domains?

Ever Heard of Flipping a Domain Registrar?

Most of my readers have heard of flipping domain names, websites, apps, and other digital products. Have you ever heard of flipping a domain registrar or dropcatcher? How about several? 🙂

This recently happened with Drop.com.au, one of the main dropcatchers/domain name registrars/ for the .AU (Australian) market. Here is how it went down.

Ned O'Meara

Ned O'Meara runs Domainer.com.au where he shares tips, advice, and thoughts mainly about the Australian name-space and domain investing.  While most of his information is geared toward the .AU domain market his advice is useful for any wanting to become a more knowledgeable domain trader. “All That Glitters is Not Necessarily Gold” is great article and I recommend you read.

While Ned might not be well known outside of the United States, he is one of the top .AU investors.  He used to run DNTrade, a discussion forum for .AU domains.  He's also helped facilitate some large domain sales according to this OzDomainer interview.

End of the Road

Ned announced that this was the “End of the Road” for him as a domain investor a couple months ago. He had several big life events in the past year and stated;

Another opportunity has been presented to me, and I intend pursuing this with vigour. More on this at a later time.

So, after discussions with “she who must be obeyed” (my wife Frances), I have decided to stop being a domainer / domain investor. Even though I have enjoyed the cut and thrust over many years, it’s now time to call it quits. I have absolutely no regrets in doing so – life is very short.

He also said in the post he was selling a lot of his .COM.AU domains and handing over Domain Syndicates and eTrading, his domain businesses, to his son Luke.  I assumed he was doing this to either retire or open up a flower shop.  Or do whatever Australians do in retirement.

Editor's Note – I don't know much about Australia. I would be happy if someone paid for a trip there to learn more about the country. I've never been but what I do know is apparently “The Bachelor's” turn women gay.  Also many people think my Singing Dogs are Australian Shepherds. That means I should visit Australia, right? 🙂

Ned O'Meara made it clear he was selling most of his domain portfolio.  More importantly he was selling premium .COM.AU domains at absolute bargain basement prices.  A partial list of domains he sold from his domain portfolio included;

  • aviationtraining.com.au
  • bandits.com.au
  • bfr.com.au
  • bgw.com.au
  • bike.net.au
  • canberraflowers.com.au
  • creator.com.au
  • crowdfunder.com.au
  • dogwalkers.com.au
  • drivinginstructors.com.au
  • executivedesks.com.au
  • facialrecognition.com.au
  • gmc.com.au
  • healthclubs.com.au
  • mountisarealestate.com.au
  • pdb.com.au
  • snooper.com.au
  • strings.com.au
  • weddingreceptions.com.au
  • luck.com.au (my favorite)

My assumption at the time was Ned was just tired of the domain industry.  He wanted out and was willing to sell cheap after so many years of success.  Much to the chagrin of whoever bought these .AU domains.

I learned later this wasn't the reason and the story didn't end there.

Ned buys Drop.com.au

In a post titled “Exciting Times Ahead” Ned announced he actually bought the domain registrar/drop catcher Drop.com.au and two other Australian domain registrars with it, Fabulous.com.au and Yexa.com.au.

All three were sold as unit by Dark Blue Sea, which owns the domain parking platform and domain registrar Fabulous.com.  (Fabulous.com.au and Fabulous.com are separate registrars and entities.)

Some big news that I can at last officially share. As from later today, I start a new business life – and it’s one that I’m extremely excited about. I haven’t been able to discuss it up until now, because I only received regulatory approval three days ago.

I’m going to the “dark side” – through a new company, I’ve purchased the three Aussie registrars owned by Dark Blue Sea (in a share sale agreement). These are: Drop.com.au; Fabulous.com.au and Yexa.com.au. There are also several other domains. Fabulous.com is not included in the sale.

The reasons for selling off his domains became more clear as auDA (.au Domain Administration Ltd) , the registry for .AU domains, has certain rules on who can own a .AU domain registrar.

In Australia, you can’t be both a registrar and a domain investor (auDA policy). So I had to go through a big process of proper legal separation – particularly given that companies I formed and grew were large portfolio holders of domain names.

Can we send ICANN this memo? Because clearly they never got it. 🙂

The purchase was an incredibly smart move by Ned.  Especially since auDA will be introducing direct .AU registrations sometime in the next few years.  Currently they allow – Example.com.au, Example.net.au, Example.org.au, etc.

Soon you can register and own Example.AU without having any to type any extra “dots” or words.

Several other domain extensions have done this which includes .MX (Mexico), .UK (United Kingdom), and .NZ (New Zealand.).  Typically when a domain registry allows direct registrations this serves the financial interest of the registry operator (wholesaler) and registrars (stores).

With over 3 million .AU domain registrations, the majority being .COM.AU, it's a excellent time to get into the .AU domain registrar business. Theoretically you could double your yearly revenue as a registrar if you get all your customers to buy the direct .AU domains. They likely wouldn't happen but you get the picture there is money to be made there.

What about the little guy? Are these moves to direct registrations good for individual domain owners and small businesses?… Well that is debatable.

In the past Ned had been critical of auDA proposals to allow direct .AU domain registrations. From an average domain owners standpoint, who doesn't care about auDA or registry operators policies, it is very confusing.  Ned wrote about the issues in two articles on Domainer.com.au titled “Follow The Money” and “Still Following The Money.”

As a registrar Ned would have financially benefited from direct .AU registrations. He stated in the Exciting Times Ahead post;

I don’t resile from any of the previous opinions I have expressed on this blog. Particularly in relation to direct registrations; and my belief that the registry contract should go out to tender later this year (as was previously agreed to by the auDA Board).

Obviously, as a registrar, I’m going to potentially benefit if and when direct registrations are introduced. But I am still of the belief that they are not necessary given the current size of our .au marketplace. I also still hope (and do trust) that auDA will properly consult with as many registrants as possible before they decide whether to actually implement direct registrations – and in what manner they intend to do so.

auDA also smartly has clauses which prevent .AU domain owners from talking sh*t about them.

Given that I will be a registrar later today, I am limited under my registrar agreement as to what I can say and do. So please don’t expect me to go on a crusade – I need to concentrate on running my new business.

So he wasn't going to backtrack on anything he stated on Domainer, which I respect.  All seemed well and good and that Drop.com.au was going to get improvements from a veteran Aussie domain investor. Then…

Ned sells Drop.com.au???

About 20 days after Ned announced he bought Drop.com.au, he surprisingly announced he was selling the domain registrar/dropcatching business.

This may come as a shock to some, but I have decided to accept an offer to buy me out of the three registrars I recently acquired from Dark Blue Sea.

He continued in the Domain post;

Ultimately there were two factors that made my decision. Personal reasons (health and well-being); and the quality of the purchaser.

Drop has been my registrar of choice for around 8 years, and I like and respect the people that work there (Cam and Katherine). I made the purchase from DBS because I believed there was an incredible opportunity to restore Drop to its former glory. And in doing so, I would be able to offer past, present and future clients a great platform for domain investing (registrar services; drop-catching and aftermarket).

The new purchaser has the same intent – and given their extensive resources, they will probably be able to achieve this far sooner than me!

There was also a DNTrade thread “Changes Happening at Drop” announcing the sale.  Ned said after the sale was complete;

I am no longer a registrar. Thanks to everyone that supported me during my brief stint on the “dark side”. I intend writing an article about the experience sometime soon. It will make for interesting reading.

Wishing Trellian and Above all the very best with their revamp of Drop. Still my favourite registrar! :)

The buyer for Drop.com.au was the Trellian group which has offices around the world but is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Makes sense as Drop.com.au and the associated registrars are just for the Australian market.

Trellian owns Above.com, a domain parking platform and domain registrar, and they also run several content based websites for the Australian and international market.  In addition Trellian builds search marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) software.

It is notable that Dark Blue Sea, which owns Fabulous.com, is one of the Above.com's main competitors.  Fabulous.com is also a domain parking system and domain registrar geared toward large portfolio holders.

This was a great move by Trellian, who might have been interested in purchasing Drop.com.au in the past.  I can only assume they didn't want to give money to a competitor buying a business from them.  Perhaps Trellian got a better deal buying from Ned then buying directly Dark Blue Sea?

Whatever the circumstances gives Trellian a stronger foothold in the .AU domain market, adding to the company's portfolio.

Above announced the completed sale on Twitter.

above twitter

So did Trellian;

trellian twitter

A Domain Registrar Flip

First “flip” of domain registrar, or several, I have ever seen.  If you consider this a flip. Do you?

Ned owned Drop.com.au and the associated registrars for 47 days.

Seems like an extremely short period of time. Hopefully he can finally enjoy retirement and do whatever Aussies do down under.  I assume he'll still check the .COM.AU drops and be on the lookout for good deals.

Ned's story of buying and running Drop.com.au briefly made me wonder, would you rather be a service provider ie a web hosting company or domain registrar, drop catcher, etc.? Get people to pay you for domain renewals and you for web hosting, email, etc.

Or is it a better idea to renew a few high quality domains and hope a entrepreneur or business will buy that domain? This way you don't worry about customer support and technical issues which can lead to unhappy customers. You just focus on inventory and sales.

What's is easier and what is potentially more profitable in the long run? I know I would rather run a domain registrar and web hosting company. Build a business with recurring revenue I can more easily sell.

But what about you? What are your thoughts, opinions, and experiences say to you?

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