Every so often I come across a post whose truth needs to be read by as many people as possible. I’m posting this here, I’m tweeting it, and I’m posting to my Facebook page, and I encourage you to link to the story as well. Click the link below for the full post, and thank you Brett Gustafson for sharing this!
by Brett Gustafson As a principal for the last 13 years, I have come to the realization that the biggest threat to the emotional and academic well-being of our children is me – maybe not me persona…
…that question was asked of me on Friday morning as I mopped up the 3-foot radial area of where I’d just finished a Jazzercise workout.
“Nah, it’s just me,” I replied. I was dripping from head to toe and didn’t want anyone from the next class to slip and break a bone because of me. We laughed and I left the studio, feeling accomplished and strong.
After being sorta sick for a few years and really sick for the last two, it hit me. I haven’t felt STRONG for eons. So here’s another tribute to the program that brought me here (along with my own steely and steadfast determination, and a return to lowcarb life):
It has been 6 months or so since my friend Nancy invited me to join her at the fabulous “Mills/50” Jazzercise Studioin Orlando. I have powered through 63 classes so far. I haven’t had to stop to suck on that blasted asthma inhaler once. I don’t care how tough this workout is; even when I’m switching from doing the regular choreography to a march-
(which I still do occasionally, just because combining performing the steps with the actual brainwork necessary to do so can stress me into a little chest constriction, ha)
(because I may be a musician but I am most assuredly not a dancer)
(and because splitting a beat when gasping for air isn’t pretty)
-I am moving. It is a triumph; those of you who knew me before these chronic conditions took up residence in this body know just how much it means.
So to Laura and Teri, thanks for the encouragement and advice. To the Katies, Kim, Christine, and Bernadette, whose classes I seem to land in most often, thanks for inspiring me to get through every class and for making it so much damn fun.
To the women I’ve met at the studio-Jane, Carrie, Gwen. Kate, Lisa, Shelley, Robin, Leslie, and those whose names I’ve yet to learn-I appreciate your example and your encouragement. Helen, I’m always so happy to see you because you bring such happy energy (I’ve never known anybody who could smile through a whole workout until now) to a class.
Penny, I already knew you but I’m glad to think of you as a workout buddy now!
Nancy, thanks for the simple invite and that first class that put me on the path back to me.
(Judi Sheppard Missett, wherever you may be, thanks to you for inventing this workout)
(Disclaimer: other than my regular workouts and eternal gratitude, I am not affiliated with Jazzercise, nor do I profit from expressing said gratitude)
I find it harder and harder to repeat myself when I bump into tales like this.
I sort of cringe myself into almost-anger because what we all see before us is so macabre and so twisted. And it reappears week after week after week.
In this case, which is hardly unique, a child’s first several moments in school … her first actual memories perhaps! … are of evaluations, testing, and assessments. This sounds awfully army-ish to me … and not very school-ish at all.
But the essential question … the one that should be asked first … is very simple: Who thinks this is a good idea? Who thinks…
Protesters: heard and acknowledged rather than threatened, or called “bad people” who are ruining our country, or sucker-punched. No violence incited. Was the President happy? Clearly not. But he still let them know that he heard them and understood their frustration and was hoping they’d sit and remain part of the conversation. Whether you like our President or not-hopefully you can see that he was certainly civil, inclusive and Presidential in his response.
(yes, I know this was more than a year ago, which doesn’t reduce its impact; the contrary, the contrast is even more striking to me, as it was all over the news when it happened and could have set an example for others at future events. I also remember the “You’re in my house!” response at another time, which I must admit I thought was pretty great. But you are hereby absolved of sending me videos of every time our President was heckled and responded less graciously. I’m linking you to this one example because, well, it’s exemplary!)
I haven’t unleashed Rachel Maddow’s time-stamped proof of incitement and encouragement to resort to violence. I still might. But I don’t know who would still need proof at this point that a current front-runner needs to choose his words in a more thoughtful and kind manner. There is no good intent behind the dreadful things he says.Continue reading →
So. Asthma. Got that anvil dropped on my chest about 4 years ago. Out of nowhere. From running 5K races to not being able to power walk a block without having to stop to try to catch my breath, in a mild panic at the sound of-not wheezing, mind you- the gurgling in my lungs. My usual at-school workout 25-30 trips up and down the fire escape (pictured), doing curls/flys on every step with 5 pound weights? Became a one-up, one-down, do some stationary curls for a minute or two (hoping that people would just think I was doing interval training and hoping that sweat was a good camouflage for tears of frustration) before repeating the whole thing a few times. The worst were the nights, when I’d be dreaming that I was drowning, only to wake up and find out that I was. I spent quite a few nights trying to sleep upright to combat that particular terror.
So. Diabetes. Got that jab to the pancreas about 6 months ago (July 30, 2015 to be exact). It was also deduced that I’d been hosting the blood sugar monster for several years without diagnosis or treatment. With medication and a very low carb way of eating, I’m learning to keep the blood sugar in check. Of course, the other necessary ingredient in treatment is exercise. Refer to above paragraph to see how that was going for me.
So I climbed the fire escape. Up and down, catching breath in between each trip, still trying hard to look like an ultra-cool interval athlete. Ha. Freakishly strong arm and leg muscles, but cardiovascular strengthening? Nope.
I am planning to post on a regular basis this year (though I’ve been posting pretty regularly every 4-6 months; let me amend this to: I plan to post on a regular, more frequent basis this year). While there still may be a lack of rhyme/reason to post themes, there will be several areas about which I’ll want to write, get your opinions, or ask for your advice:
Education. The political side, or the classroom side. I teach Elementary age children of poverty, and have for my entire 32-year career. I am currently serving as the Music Teacher and Gifted Ed teacher at my school.
Philosophy/Politics. I am a left-leaning, born-too-late-to-be-a-real-hippie liberal, so my posts will reflect that.
I’m going to share more about some chronic health issues that have hit me like a sledgehammer over the last few years-Diabetes (the newest) and Asthma being the two that have hit me hardest. I will share how I’m dealing, and probably ask for a lot of advice (with the DISCLAIMER!I am not a doctor, and I know that you are not, so anything we share with each other will NOT be construed for, or be intended to replace, advice from actual medical professionals). Neither one of this conditions is actually under control, so you may hear a tinge of frustration as I write about them.
Cats. Of course.
And my kid. Of course.
So the 2016 Journey begins. Hope you’ll hang with me and maybe we’ll have some great discussions and learn some good stuff on the way.