Wednesday, November 29, 2006

sweat in the city

After a couple of years doing the marionette thing, happily bending words behind the curtain, I’ve again been seduced by the allure of the byline. Along with Community News features, beginning in January, I’ll be writing a column for the regional magazine, The Northwest Women’s Journal.

The premise for the column concerns my quest for balance. Mitigating the hours and hours I spend kneading language into conceit. So, in desperation and because a business opportunity presented itself, I began Pilates classes, hating every minute for a solid month. Who knew I was that crooked, that weak, that flabby?

Because I have to grope every experience I have into philosophical bullet points, I naturally began to write about my frustration at being so completely out of touch with my body. A month into the classes, though, something shifted. A body memory thing that had nothing to do with my noggin. I have begun to understand that illusive aphorism about “listening to your body.” Even though I’ve been writing a yoga studio’s newsletter for a year, that crap always sounded like New Age gobbledy-gook. I never absorbed it, scoffing instead: Bodies don’t talk! That’s a fallacy!

Surprise! Yes, Virginia, your body does talk! It’s just that my brain has been bossing my body around so long, I was unable to hear it. So now I listen, and I hear these lovely quotidian whispers which translate into tiny actions: Instinctively sitting up straighter when my shoulders start to burn from too much writing. Being aware of slouching, standing crooked and leaning on my hip to indulge my slight scoliosis.

So I’m going to be writing a column, and the column will most likely be called Sweat in the City. It’ll have that Keep Portland Weird regional flavor, of course. Each month I’ll investigate movement opportunities, Pacific Northwest versions of exercise—stuff we all have in access to in this fecund, young, and somewhat outrĂ© metropolitan region.

Look for the column starting in January. Better yet, pick up a copy when the December issue of The Northwest Women's Journal hits the stands. It’s available free at most public libraries and various outlets around town.

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