Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Lowe’s Tap Dancing

19
Jan
14

What to do next …

What to do next …

With my book, A History Of Women’s Boxing, in the beginning stages of production (copy editing, proofreading & typesetting) — there’s not much to do except wait. And yes, I have to starting on the marketing side (more to come in future posts), but aside from that, all the hard work is done.

The question is now what?

I’ve started back at boxing three days a week (check), and am even running in the early AM with the prodigal thereby getting more workout time plus extra mother-daughter bonding time (double check), and otherwise, I’m back to blogging daily (check), not to mention working really hard at my job, but what to do with the rest of the time?

Sit back? Hang? Catch-up on series 6 of Dr. Who? — I started that today.

So many decisions!

Write another book — a novel this time? A one-woman show? A book of poems? Start a women’s boxing film festival? Lose the ten pounds I gained writing the book this past year? Cook? — I made Potato-Leek Soup from Julia Childs tonight for dinner. Take up tap dancing? — I can still do the time step I learned at Charlie Lowe’s Dance School in 1966! Work on my ancestry.com family tree again? — Last time I was in between things I got back several generations.

Even my family is getting into the act figuring that I really need a project given that they’re already sick of me “meddling” in theirs!

And as I think of it I’ve had my extracurriculars for years what with lots and lots of schooling and all of the rest.

The other side of it is I feel out of time–and like a small child who doesn’t want to go to bed for fear of missing something, I don’t want to slow down for fear that it may be my last opportunity.

In that sense aging plain old sucks, but then, as my grandmother used to say of anything that was scary or painful , “first you cry, then you get up, wash your face and do.”

So … that ‘s the ticket. I need to “do” and in the absence of a plan, just do something so it’ll just have to be writing daily blog posts, jogging with the prodigal in the dark and facing each day with a smile of on my face! Oh … and lose the ten pounds!

04
Jun
13

Speaking to power …

Speaking to power …

Superwoman!

Having gotten back into my boxing groove starting at the end of December when my surgeon gave me the all clear to whale away, my body has begun to find its power again. It’s not all the time or even some of the time, but an occasional thing when I’ll come upon something that I can lift with ease even though I know it’s really heavy, or when I’m about to finish up my light run from my house to the gym and realize that I could keep going for quite a ways.

That sense of comfort with my body or the sense that it has power is not something I’ve had very often in my life. Growing up in NYC in the 1960s meant very little by way of sports–as in punch ball, stoop ball and King, a kind of hand ball where each person had one concrete square in the sidewalk as their “box.”

At summer camp I swam and otherwise did what I could *not* to have to play softball in the heat of the afternoon in a field swarming with no-see-ums. As for basketball, I was hopeless when it came to anything but drippling the ball. The only running I ever did in those days were “chase” games and aside from tap dancing lessons at the age of 12 (for three months at Charlie Lowe’s School where I learned to use my “personality”), I didn’t do much of anything until my mid-thirties when I began to run.

Jogging in the 1970sThe jogging craze that began in the 1970s seemed to pass me by. Sure I tried it, but huffing and puffing for a block or two along the East River of Manhattan on the Upper East Side near where I used to live (and admittedly sucking back a cigarette or two), even along side a boyfriend, just wasn’t for me. Aerobics in cute white Reeboks was also “not my thing,” and if I exercised at all it was disco dancing at places like The Salty Dog, where I could happily gyrate for hours at a time.

Flashing forward to the late 1980s, my body still woefully unexercised, I decided to take up running in a bid to quit smoking. My first runs, attempts to run around Central Park were pathetic. I barely made it down two blocks, never mind to the park, while my chest heaved in pain and spasmed from coughing fits. Knowing that I needed to rid my lungs of years of inhaling junk into them, however, gave me the motivation to persevere. The remarkable thing was that by the end of the first week of daily runs, I was able to run ten blocks and by the end of a month I began to eschew distance for time having ran for thirty full minutes. By the second month my runs were taking me the full circuit around Central Park including the famed 110th Street Hill–a run that took me an hour door-to-door to cover the seven miles. Throughout that Spring I pounded my way through the Park, testing myself with brief sprints, and feeling for the first time in my life, the power of the body.  The experience was humbling, if a little frightening, because I had spent so many years in denial of my physical sphere. But there I was, running as long as an hour and a half, my legs and arms toned, and feeling for very brief moments as if I was invincible.

Life interceded and I quit running after a while, but when I found my way to boxing a decade later, the sense of myself as a physical being began to kick back in. Even now, as I begin to live out the last of my 50s, I find the body’s capacity to renew itself to be truly remarkable.

Sometimes speaking to power has to do with embracing those parts of oneself that extend out in a giant roar of confidence and well-being. My younger self would never have believed that I was capable of saying that–which tells me that whether it’s through the pounding of feet along a path in the park or the extension of a jab in a boxing ring, the magic of finding an alignment of all the parts of one’s being is always within the realm of the possible. All one has to do is take the first step to try.

 




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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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