If the Music Won’t Die, Neither Will I

Screen Shot 2013-05-12 at 10.03.34 PMHaven’t run in a while–it seemed like a great day to get back. 80 degrees in Rhode Island. Sun. When I got home from work, the world was happy and everyone doing his thing–the perfect time for sneaking off for a pre-grilling workout. But…the iPod was on red. Deep red. Would ten a minute charge be enough? I need tunes–ten minute charge. Exit stage left.  I needed the run. I needed the music–the same three playlists that I listen to every run… helps my meditation, and helps keep me from running backwards. I always mean to change the playlist but never do. Sort of like half the tasks we all have hanging like fruit waiting to be picked from a tree that just hangs and never gets eaten.

The music lasted–It lasted and lasted till the end of the several mile run. It was like the Maccabees and Hanukkah in iTunes land–the music should have gone a tenth of a mile, but it lasted all five miles.  A miracle even if it wasn’t oil lasting eight days.

I ran and ran and ran–too far for a first day back. I lack moderation. The music played. That made me want to run some more. I did.

The iPod on red. Music played. I ran. The iPod had more in it than I thought.

Sometimes, we have more in us than we think.

I consider this year–a very good year. A year of transformation. New job, new business, new voice. Getting things done. Quite amazing. Every time I thought I had nothing more to give, I survived. I made things happen. I became a better person.  Exhilarating.

I ran and ran and ran and the music never stopped. Each time I thought it would, it continued.

I remembered a lesson from Chinese medicine. I studied for a few years, never achieving mastery, but I learned some life lessons. There was a point on a meridian, not far from the knee, called zu san li. It translates to “three more miles.” When stimulated, it helps invigorate the patient. It was useful in constructing the Great Wall–legend has it that by using this point to treat exhausted workers, foremen could get three more miles of work out of them before they keeled over and died.

Pushing and pushing can be a bad thing–sometimes we go three more miles and burn out.

But it can also be the thing that makes all the difference, taking us exactly where we need to go–through the wall, over the hump, and in the place where we need to be. To the glory.

So, I ran until I knew it was really time to turn around–a few miles too late. I headed back. I waited for the music to cease. It never did. I picked up the pace. I listened more. I sprinted the last half mile.

The music never stopped. It made it to the end.  Sort of how it always seems to work out that way in life.

Don’t Ban Dodgeball–Ban Life: Why Banning Everything Is Just Plain Silly

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 5.53.52 PM“Quick, come here,” my husband said. I thought there was an emergency.

“They’re banning dodgeball.”

“That’s not new,” I replied. “A school in Massachusetts did it last year or the year before. ‘Hurts self-esteem.'”

“No, they say it’s because of bullying,” he said.  I am struggling with this. I’m struggling with the resurgence of the attacks on dodgeball under the guise of bullying. We are going too far.

I struggle with banning dodgeball because I, myself, was bullied playing basketball. There were a couple of girls in particular who were very mean–always told me to get the water, advised me that I’d never get off the bench, and never ceased to find an opportunity to make me look bad in front of the team. No one has ever banned basketball. My self-esteem was deeply wounded, but I plugged on, learning valuable skills like dedication, team building, strategy, and empathy. My skills in coaching–and even teaching, I suspect–trace back to these episodes. I learned to keep moving forward in spite of obstacles, and I learned that it wasn’t the talent or the prodigy I wanted on my team or in my classroom–it was the plugger. The one who would do anything to succeed.

Maybe that approach was wrong. In retrospect, I should have started a campaign to ban basketball–being picked last, having to endure bullies, and having to get the water–all hurtful. And yet I played.

Better than banning basketball and dodgeball, I’m wondering if it might be more feasible to ban all situations where bullies lurk.

First off, I’d like to ban work. I’ve worked in several jobs in three careers and only one where there was no bully. In fact, adults in the world of work are some of the most vicious bullies around. The world of education is not excluded.

After we ban work, let’s ban all competitions where someone has the potential to be picked last or lose. The nerd always gets picked last, and that’s psychological bullying. Losing repetitively at athletics–that’s no good either. I’m not going to watch the beginning of The Bad News Bears anymore. All high school and college sports with cuts will be on my list have banned…anyone who has ever been cut from a team has felt the deep pain of cuts. Sometimes, they never recover.

If if the issue isn’t bullying but “unsafe sports” or “sports with human targets” we should eliminate baseball, most definitely. I’m trying to mentally count the number of balls and bats with which I’ve been hit as a batter and a catcher. If we ban sports where there is risk of injury, lets add on all martial arts, football, basketball, and soccer, too.. If we ban games that aren’t politically correct or hurt self-esteem, add chess to that list–how can we allow people to lose constantly while they are having their men killed? We have a zero-tolerance for violence–heck, my friend’s son got the Army men confiscated from his birthday cupcakes at school just the other day.

While we’re on the subject, I think dating should go–every second someone cooler than you is getting the girl or guy, and getting dumped hurts. It really affects self-esteem.

The bottom line?

Why this singling out of dodgeball under parameters that would ban most life activities were they applied equitably across the board?

I never stand for bullying, but if we ban every location and situation where we might be bullied the nation would shut down. If we really think this through, we’ll find that it’s our views on education, creating a positive climate, and encouraging a healthy competitive environment that must evolve. Banning things never teaches the true lessons that need to be taught. It’s the easy way out.

Let’s rethink–not only dodgeball–but how we approach creating a positive climate for ourselves, our students, and our communities. Let’s stop indicting our schools, because schools are not where the majority of bullies lie. They lie in life. If we ban everything, the bullies win. Let’s start with our own inner circles–work, families, communities, churches, and get rid of the word “bullying,” replacing it with “creating a positive climate.” If we do, I’ll bet we won’t need to ban dodgeball, basketball, chess, work, or any activity. We will be too focused on making the world a better place.

[image: fecrecpark.com]

Never Pray for Patience–And Don’t Get Hit

Never pray for patience. When you pray for patience bad things happen. Bad things do not happen because you are praying for patience, they happen because if you want patience you need to practice patience. You can only practice patience when things are happening that require you to practice patience. Usually difficult things. Things you do not want to happen.

It’s called hyperfocusing. I learned this lesson studying Japanese sword. Every time I practiced, I’d slice my foot or get bashed across the hand with a wooden bokken. I’d end up with hands that looked grotesque. I earned a couple of nice scars.

Girl with SwordI resolved that I’d work harder, practice harder, study harder.  I would no longer get hit in the hand. And then, BASH, it’d happen again. Still, I studied. I considered every nuance of every angle possible. Every eventuality, every possibility. I made a plan. A plan that didn’t include me getting bashed. Ironic for someone who can’t plot a mere two moves ahead in chess.

Except when someone’s swinging a wooden stick at you really fast, it’s a different sense of urgency then when you move a bunch of two-inch wooden guys on a board for fun. Planning ahead was more than just winning a game–it was self-preservation.

Still, I kept getting hit. A lot.

If I wasn’t getting hit, I was being thrown. I got thrown farther than anyone else I knew. Probably because I don’t weigh enough, but also because I’m not very good. You’d have thought it was opening week of spring training and I was the ball or that there was a casting call for bad guys in a Jackie Chan movie–who can play dead the best? Oh, me!

I kept studying the art of avoiding getting hit, looking for the secret to dodge the blows. I meditated. I contemplated. Should I be faster? Develop better timing? Learn mind reading? I’d try anything…

Finally, Michael, my instructor, told me the secret. “Listen. As long as you think about not getting hit, you’re going to get hit. You have to think of what you’re going to do.” 

Sure enough, he was right. One day, I was exhausted. My mind was empty. It was clear. I was not making a plan. And a magical thing happened–a reaction. I didn’t get hit.

This is true for Japanese sword, but it’s also true for life, work, patience, and problems. Ducking and covering isn’t a very effective strategy. We spend a lot of time planning for the worst. And then what happens? The worst. A result of hyperfocusing. Planning for the bad puts it in our minds. It puts the energy in the exact place we didn’t want it to go.  Energy doesn’t know whether it’s good bad or indifferent. It just goes where the focus is. It’s our job to take that negative focus away and just do. And let the energy go where it’s supposed to go, to creating magic.

[Image: zastavki.com]

Good Yogi, Bad Yogi

I’m tying myself in knots again. It’s fun.

After my yoga retreat, I tried to practice yoga daily, then lost focus–I forgot the moves.  So, I started watching yoga videos. I started with Claudia’s video. Claudia gives such good instructions for beginners, and if anyone asks who my yoga instructor is, I will say “Claudia Altucher” because I really only took a couple yoga classes in person, and they were with Claudia. She wins by default. She may ask me to stop crediting her after doing quality control appraising my routines. I still feel my sun salutation caused all this snow. I need better technique. But I don’t think Claudia will disown me. She is kind–she is a good yogi.

Next, I moved on to some other videos. There are no shortage of people on YouTube wanting to show me stuff I can’t do. I watched this video, because I liked the rhythm. Esther is a good yogi, too. Then, I remembered Dashama Gordon, whose material I worked with on Learnist a couple months before I could spell “yoga” correctly. Now that I have approximately one month of yoga experience, making me nearly a beginner, I felt qualified to watch her again. I put her on my list–I’m making a collection of my favorite yoga videos as we speak. I’ll learn from all these yogis. Apparently you can do that in yoga.

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Good Yogi

I tried this series under the guidance of Dashama–“Yoga Balance Poses for Beginners.” I’m not really sure what a beginner is in yoga–I wouldn’t have suspected it was someone who could invert their body while twisting it in directions previously reserved only for NASA flight simulators, but she couldn’t reach through the computer and tell me not to try. In fairness, she did say, “You should consider stopping right there if you feel your spine.” My spine is fine. My balance and coordination are not. But she didn’t issue any prohibitions in those categories. I like the way Dashama makes me feel–her voice is soothing, and she makes me want to try stuff I know could easily drop me on my head.

But she’s beautiful and elegant and graceful. So I try anyway. She is a good yogi.

And you know what happens when you try your hardest–when you put your entire heart and soul into something, and really, truly, believe in yourself–believe you can accomplish anything?

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Bad Yogi

Well, you drop yourself on your head. Sometimes it’s good to be realistic, too. But the moral is that you get up and try it again. Or, realizing that trying the same thing several times and expecting different results is insanity, you try something a little more reasonable and do not get dropped on your head, reserving the head drop for another day, when maybe–just maybe–your soul is in better balance, and the universe decides to cooperate.

I’m not ready to call myself a yogi yet.  If I had to, I’d be the “bad yogi.”

Maybe not. I’m trying my hardest. Yoga seems to be about transformation from the inside out–about patience, love, and letting the inner light shine. That’s what I see in these “good yogis”–a glowing beauty that projects from the soul…light that is contagious, that makes me want to be a better human being.

If I’m trying all that, then perhaps I can, in honestly, say, “Good yogi.”




[images: tvtropes via Warner Bros, learni.st via prweb.com]

Happy Hangover Monday, America!

Hungover DogHappy Hangover Monday, America!

It’s the day when I walk around at work smiling and you all want to punch me in the face. It’s awesome. I’m not sure if it’ll be quite so bad this year, because none of my coworkers had anyone to root for–the Patriots weren’t in the Super Bowl, the Bills and Jets got wiped out, and the only Giant in the house last night was Phil Simms.

I can’t really talk about football with authority this year–I used to know every stat–won the football pool on a regular basis in my first job until I got ejected. The guys weren’t comfortable with a girl who beat them on stats rather than the preferred female technique of picking the winners based on how good the players’ behinds looked in the spandex.  I was insulted–any moron can memorize football stats on fewer than 20 regular season games. It’s not like trying to memorize fifteen million baseball games. I took my ejection as a compliment and a concession of victory. I paid for a timing belt and a few weeks of groceries, too.

The last few years, I have slowly but surely divorced myself from sports. It started when I got married. I hate to blame this on my husband but it seems the fair thing to do–he hates to armchair quarterback.  Nothing annoyed him worse at his prior job than out of shape people discussing what the team should have done.

“Get out and play,” he’d say, much like the NFL player campaign to defeat child laziness. So, on football day–a day previously reserved for cooking and chucking stuff at my team on the small-screen TV, we had to go out and do real stuff.

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 4.52.56 AMI missed football for a while–it was like a withdrawal from a favorite soap opera. We all used to watch Days of our Lives until it turned out that the days of our lives were passing without us and we had to do stupid things like work. Tivo hadn’t been invented and using VCR tapes was a pain in the ass because someone would always tape over episodes before I had a chance to watch anyway–it was new technology, tough to set the timer right to begin with. Eventually, I didn’t care what happened to those ridiculous people in that ridiculous town. I never thought that would happen with sports, which I loved much more than Days.

What I found, was that without being married to the television, I could be married to life. It posed a few conversational problems, though. I couldn’t just say “Nah, I went for a hike and didn’t watch the game,” because people would look at me like I was insane, especially in this area–two feet away from the Patriots and Sox. So, as with most things, I found a manifesto worked best.  Mine included a warm-up speech about how sports were when I was a kid–when you could go to a Yankee game for six bucks and afford to take the whole family, and now you’d have to sell a car to do the same. That there’s no more “for the love of the game,” and player scandals rock every edition of Sports Illustrated.  No sir, I’m protesting! I’m not going to watch until the average working family can afford to go. Until then, I’ll watch UConn. I’d only have to say it once–they’d never, ever bother me again. Manifestos work even if they’re not true–any local fan would know I’m lying. The reason is this–you can’t even get UConn tickets these days without having a serious connection–even college ball is an industry. If I were telling the truth, I’d be left with Little League to watch.

So, last night I watched half the game and did some work. I followed through on my threat to bother friends in San Francisco and Maryland with texts and Tweets. When bed time came, I shook the Magic 8 Ball, congratulated the winner, and slept.

If I appear a little foggy today, that’s not because I’m hung over like half of the nation. It’s because I have a five-year old who doesn’t sleep.  Even so, I’m happy this Hangover Monday. I’m even wondering if there’s a Hallmark card for the occasion, “Sorry, your team lost and you look like crap today.”  “HAPPY MONDAY–CAN I BLAST SOME MUSIC??!!!!” “Sorry for your loss,” or “What are you going to do NOW for the next eight weeks till baseball? Exercise?”  Someone should invent those cards–I’d buy them.

Yes, I’m awake, happy, and quick enough to dodge the punches I know will be thrown for sure. I’ll be okay. Hungover people are slow and never punch straight anyway.


[image: thechive.com and waeblogs.starnewsonline.com]

Spreading Goodness: Thanks for the Award

I got an award–this one’s special because it came from someone who herself has a beautiful blog. Thank you, Allie! Part of the rules were that I have to divulge seven things about myself, then pass on the nomination to fifteen deserving writers.  Fun! It’s like chain mail but with something nice attached instead of a curse.  I generally try to delete chain mail before the curse scrolls up and reveals itself–just in case it has power. I always felt if I didn’t read the curse, I’d be safe.  Today’s honor comes with love, and will be passed on in the same manner. So, in honor of the first “chain award” I’ve ever received, I’ll start.

Seven Things I Probably Shouldn’t Share about Myself:

1. I was the lowest scoring starting varsity player ever on my high school basketball team.  Who knows, maybe someone sucks worse than I did by now, but it was a longstanding record. I was proud. I kept the trophy. People used to bring signs and give me standing ovations if I scored. The only reason I got to play at all is because of my level of dedication–I emerged as a great defensive player.  It’s a lesson I never forget–defense is as important as offense in life. Only no one sees it. It’s important to remember that some of the best influencers often go under the radar, but are game changers no less. I want to be one.

2. I am a history nerd. I love local research, research on social justice, and research on things overlooked in society. I’ve delved into issues like New England mills, gravestones, racism in the North, sports and equality, religion in Colonial era, a bunch of Russian and Soviet stuff, Cold War civil rights, and the origins of very old Japanese martial art that made its way to the United States during World War II. And sneezed in a lot of dusty archives.

3. I appreciate the people who were unkind to me in high school.  They made me into the witty, fun, compassionate person I am today. Today, we take a zero tolerance policy toward bullying. I never tolerate it in my presence, but in my life, negative experiences often have had positive influence–I just have to look a little harder. They always teach a positive lesson. I’m grateful for that ability to see that.

4. I started this blog as a promise to a friend. And he had to beat me up to do it. I’m eternally grateful, because I’ve met many people who are truly amazing, and through them, I have chosen to try to reach that bar myself.

5. I have changed my views on life as a teacher.  I was lucky to have had a top quality education, both in and out of the classroom. I never take that for granted. I want my students to have incredible lives. I want them to use their inner genius to be game-changers and innovators. And when they do, I hope that they’ll come back and give me free copies of their books or tickets to their TEDx talks.

6. I fired myself from my own business.  This sounds harsh, but my husband is an entrepreneurial rock star–a true visionary.  I had to learn to stomach the risk. I’m grateful to my many entrepreneurial friends who have taught me this lesson–your $5 copay is on the way. I am now truly enjoying the business he created and proud of its growth.  Even though I have a career of my own, I think I’ll take him up on his requests to “employ” me as a staff writer. Everyone needs a staff writer. Even if it’s a writer who never shuts up.

7. I often pull posts so I won’t get myself into too much trouble. Sometimes, I’d like to talk about education and ed reform but it’s always safer to write about green beans, sustainability, or the silly musings of a five-year old and not fight windmills. Truth is, I should probably post more things that matter–the deep stuff. It’s not easy. More than once, a serious writer has told me to release a post–“You’ve got to bleed on the paper.”  And maybe one day, I will. It’s that important to be real.

Fifteen people I nominate for this award:   I read lots of blogs.  Please consider reading these yourself.  Some are touching, some are fiery, some are stepping-stones to books or other projects, but contain brilliant writing just the same.

My Nominees: 

The Green Study tells simple stories about everyday life. And I love every one.

The Outdoor Canvas “Motorcycles, Hiking, Nature Photography, and Thoughts” is a blog about living the way life should be lived–outdoors, simply, and enjoying the gifts in the natural world.

Wonderful Buddha is serious and lighthearted at the same time. It contains some of my favorite poet-philosophers–Rumi, Kabir, Hafiz–swirled around with striking photography and a section of good, clean zen jokes.

BeeBee’s World is full of beautiful imagery that I read when I need a smile. My favorite post on this blog is still a short family history called “Legacy.” 

The Altucher Confidential is by recovered economist James Altucher, currently writing on the topic of making life wonderful. He is indirectly responsible for the existence of this blog. I remember James’ writings from the old days, and quite honestly–though I’m a sucker for a political or economic pundit, I like the zen James better. James is also an author whose books you should read if you need to be lifted up just a bit.

Kamal Ravikant is an author, entrepreneur, and direct reason this blog exists. His blog Founder Zen has some amazing short pieces on it–the type that make me wish I wrote like that. Truth be told, however, you’ll really want to read his first book. The reason I say “first” is because I’m rooting for the many more I hope will follow. 

Lesley Carter’s The Bucket List is a serious blog about adventure, family, and culture. She posts quite often, and through her I feel like I’ve done some living vicariously.

Pat Wood is a fiction writer extraordinaire. I love to read her stories, both mystical and realistic.

Simple Tangles–Benedicte’s blog about the her family, life, and her unwaverable spirit humbles me each time I read it.

The Room Mom–Caitlyn is a teacher, mom, and thoughtful crafty person whose ideas I love to steal for my class and life.

Elle’s blog Living with Passion has the theme “Forty Things to Do Before Forty.”  It’s witty and energetic, and well worth a read.

A beautiful blog about life and the humor of the everyday–http://shelbur10.wordpress.com/about/

Kat B’s travel blog, Travel, Garden, Eat has stunning pictures and experiences we all long to have.

Anna Boll’s blog, Creative Chaos tells about the life of a writer, mom, teacher, and illustrator. She is one of the most talented illustrators I know. You’ll be seeing a lot from her! She already won this award, but I’d pick her again.

Cool Cat Teacher Blog–Vicki Davis is a rock star.  Anyone interested in education should be reading her blog.

The Rules:  1. Thank your nominator (done). 2. Add the badge (done) 3. Share 7 things (done) 4. Pass on award to 15 nominees (done) 5. Inform nominees by commenting on their wall (almost done).

Girls Should Not Be in the Weight Room

I wanted to be a bodybuilder.  I know, check out the “about me” photo, and you’ll see a pretty scrawny individual who is not even good at cross-country, the one sport where people are morally required to cheer for all participants even if they’re terrible.  But for some reason, in college, I got the idea that I should not only be a bodybuilder, I should compete.

My lifting partner and I met twice a day at the non-varsity gym at 5 AM, no small feat for Rochester, New York. I lived off campus, and it was a mile and a half walk through all sorts of weather to accomplish our morning workout. It usually snows and rains in Rochester about 400 days a year on a leap year–the weather is so crappy, that the suicide rates are higher due to lack of sunshine. The University even built tunnels from building to building so that, like moles, students can burrow along and not emerge until after the thaw in mid-July.

But even with the distance to the gym and my crazy schedule—I worked full-time all crazy hours four miles in the other direction–weight lifting was important.

We started our day with a protein drink and the first half of our split workout somewhere between 5 and 5:30 AM, a time when no college student is awake except for the very few still painfully trying to locate their dorm rooms after whatever they had done the night before.

For a while, our presence in the non-varsity gym was somewhat of a curiosity—the muscle-loving college guys didn’t give us much respect. Girls aren’t supposed to be in the weight room. Well, maybe they can in certain circumstances, like when they’re decorating the sidelines or showing off matching outfits near the five-pound weight section that they might lift after the gossip session. We were very, very different. There were no matching clothes for us—only baggy sweats, lifting gloves, straps and all the grungy equipment a proper weight lifter should have. We were serious.

After our morning workout, we went to the dining hall with a half-dozen zip-lock bags and Tupperware containers.  We ate what we could and packed food for later. I’m not proud—technically, this was against the spirit of “all you can eat,” maybe even crossing the line into theft, but I was flat broke.  Breakfast was the cheapest meal available, so breakfast was the meal I attended.

The way we saw it, it was the best $2.35 shopping trip in town for poor, off campus college kids. It didn’t feel wrong packing take out lunch, because the football team “all you can eated” half the room.  Ergo, I felt I deserved a bag full of apples, some cereal, a couple of bagels, and whatever else didn’t squash in my bag, especially when I factored in the tuition I was paying. This turned out to be a mistake for my lifting partner when she left hard-boiled eggs in her bag and two days later, cleared out the entire section of physics.

After a while, things got socially better for us in the weight room. Some of the guys actually acknowledged our existence. They’d even move away from the weights to let us pass through and let us rotate into sets.  They passed us the real weights, not just the girly-5’s. It was definitely a sign of respect. And one day, someone even gave us the “hey” nod.

But the lines in the sand were still drawn, and the boundaries were clear.  Guys often give lifting pointers to other guys, “Hey, you should try maxing out at ten reps, then doing supersets of (insert exercise here.).”  If a guy performs an exercise incorrectly, another guy is required to correct him, either to help him avoid injury or to attain that girl-scoring chiseled physique.  It’s in the rulebook.

But girls can never correct, help, or spot guys.  It’s not allowed.  When we dared try to helping a scrawny guy about to drop a weight on his face doing an exercise wrong, the entire room stared like we were suffragists a hundred years ago demanding the vote.

Eventually, we broke through the barriers. We knew we had truly made it–become real lifters–one day when a guy took our pointers and nodded a weak thanks.  He cast a furtive look around the room to see if he had been socially emasculated, relegated to the ranks of wimpy guys driving minivans who lost their male card. Noting that he had not—that the gym crowd was treating us as genderless equals–he actually broke a smile.  We were in.

Eventually, even though we were Part of the Crowd, I decided I was not going to be a competition weightlifter, even as a hobby.  First off, no matter how many stolen hard-boiled eggs I ate, I could not gain enough weight to be serious in the sport—yes, “the sport,” for it quickly turns into an addiction.  It starts with enjoying the strength and conditioning, escalates to reading Muscle & Fitness every day, chanting mantras like “Incomplete reps make incomplete body parts,” and finally to glorifying chemical drinks and potions, fake tans, and a diet only an anorexic could love, void of health and balance. I couldn’t do that.

Alas, we were not going to audition for American Gladiators when they came to our area. We would never be ready to take on the ranks of sculpted females who could throw cars and out muscle guys named Sven and Hans in strongman competitions following it up with more one-finger pushups than Bruce Lee.

That knowledge, and the requirements of the real world, ended my weight lifting career.  I still work out—I run, I’ve taught and practiced martial arts, lift for fun, and hustled various sports at school.  I usually lose, but I’m not above saying “Your mama!” in order to rustle up a good game of hoops.

When I think back on my real weightlifting days, I’m horrified by the lack of health, balance, and nutrition we put ourselves through in the name of health and fitness. I apologize to my poor body for this, because it’s growing older every day.  I also apologize to the good people in the dining center for all the eggs I’ve stolen.  Know that when I strike it rich, I’m going to pay them back, but in the mean time, I’ll feed some poor kid who forgot his lunch in their honor.