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Showing posts from August, 2011

Your Questions Answered: The Mind Body Connect

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The blogger behind Holyoke Home , a wonderful and witty place of home renovation, answered my request for writing inspiration with these words: " I am really interested in what goes on in your brain WHILE you are working people out. Where does your head take you while your body is demonstrating things physically?" Dear Holyoke Home, First off, let me tell you about the microphone. I won't wear the microphone while teaching fitness classes because I don't want to be like this: So I turn the music down low. But the minute my jumping jacks match the beat, I feel like this: It's not my natural habitat, the group exercise room. Catch me in the free weights and I'll teach you proper form, but give me an hour in a big, empty, mirror-lined room, and by golly, I've got to work to feel right. Thankfully, most of my work is as more of a coach than anything; I offer general advice to beginners and new challenges to the hardcore guys. But you&#

Empty Brain, Willing Heart

Writing prompts can be found anywhere, but I'm at a loss and turning to you, dear readers, in a time of wanting to write but having nothing that moves me. Though teaching a fee-based fitness class yesterday had me really wondering how Miss Can't Skip (see kindergarten report card) got here. And ...coming home from that and being seriously sore had me comparing this job to other, less physical prior vocations. Then, ...being sore and cutting hair on my back deck, reminded me of when, as a teen, I once took a salon customer of my mom's while she was in the hospital, and granted him one of my very first haircuts. Also ...prepping again, among mounds of papers and supplies, to send my diabetic son to school, jars the psyche once again. I don't know. Help me out here. I'm counting on you for inspiration. Last time, you moved me to connect celibacy with cooking . What could be next?

Setting The Prisoner Free

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If you click back through my previous posts on theatre with former prisoners , you might notice that the reading we take to churches, Even In The Darkest Place , usually has five men on the stage. Not today. One man went back to jail. He's out now, but has not reconciled himself back with the group, who prays for him. I once spoke with Wally Lamb, author of Oprah pick She's Come Undone and writing teacher at a women's correctional facility . At the time I was doing theatre with homeless women , and I admitted that I envied his position: Your people have to show up , I said. They're not going anywhere! Selfish, I know, but it's a hazard of working with any group not locked inside four walls: People get sick. They don't show. Or maybe they go to jail. I rewrote the script for today and took out parts that were personal to this man; other lines of his (the script is comprised of their actual words put together in stylized form) were spoken for hi

Little Things Mean A Lot

Right when I broke a Ritz cracker in two, it occurred to me: Everything means something. An extra half cracker could send my son's blood sugar where it shouldn't be. This small semi-circle, now placed back into the sleeve, could elevate his blood glucose level throughout the long night, and we would sleep unaware. Diabetes brings to light what most of us don't see. Your bowl of cereal is actually two and a half portion sizes, the bread with your pasta makes the carb count soar. If you exercise, you'll feel better. But this is not about diabetes. I only have time to write a few small sentences, which I trust will make the difference.

The Ant Farm: She's Come Undone

Got an email today advertising an ant farm. (I also get emails for bed rails; marketing has missed my age bracket by a gap each way.) I have an ant farm story I tell in bars. It's better with hand gestures and under the influence of alcohol, but this attempt might almost get there. When my kids were smaller, they received the makings for an ant farm as a gift. You mail a form, and in six weeks time a tube of live ants appears in your mailbox. This tube is to be placed into your freezer, where, in fifteen minutes, the cold will slow the ants. This is essential because your next step is to get the ants into the narrow opening at the top of their farm, which is comprised of two sheets of clear plastic held about a half inch apart; would they thrash about, they'd never make it in to rural bliss. Before depositing the ants, the farm is to be filled with sand. You've seen the pictures; the ants will work to make interesting tunnels through this sand. They get to work on thi

The Right Book At The Wrong Time

Books I've read in the places I've read them. Man's Search For Meaning ...in Chuck E Cheese Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life ...on the periphery of Barnes and Noble's Story Hour for children Zen and The Way of the Sword ...in the waiting room of the mammography center

It's Been A Whole Freakin' Year

Enough with the depressing posts lately. Instead of trying to articulate a year of living with type 1 diabetes, I thought I'd interview my charming son.

A Boxer Reads Genesis 32

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” --Genesis 32 We take what we read and hold it up against what we know. Wrestling with God-- yes , we say, I've done that, I've questioned God when life didn't go as I hoped, prayed hard, shed some tears . A story is taken as metaphor and lessons are applied as appropriate. The story of Jacob and the angel is one that can be read that way. Or you could take it at face value. The man saw that he could not overpower him. It's dark, Jacob doesn't know who he's fighting, but doggone it if he's going to let go. He's a good match for whomever it is, so much so that his opponent has to resort to unorthodox tactics. W