Friday, July 28, 2017


Joanna Quaas, ninety-one-years old, is doing what athletes one-quarter her age often struggle to do.
I'm riveted.

To do a plank, lie on a mat or floor, face down, forearms on ground, clasp hands together, squeeze muscles in buttocks, straighten your legs -- here's the basic position.
Joanna Quaas is doing an advanced plank, straightening her arms, like in a push up, sustaining it for more than a minute.  I can manage to do it the basic position for 16 seconds.

Joanna Q got her start in gymnastics at 10-years-old, but had to quit because her family moved from Saxony, East Germany to a different part of the country. When World War II erupted, she was required do a year of social service, then married. After having three children, and playing competitive handball for fun, Quaas took up gymnastics again at 57 and has continued to exercise one hour a day. She  said, “My face is old but my heart is young. Maybe the day I stop doing gymnastics is the day I die.”

Golly, that hits me -- reminds me of me, around 6-years-old, making  a pact with God to "Dance till  the day I die." Hey, I'm an ex-dancer who's earned a living and danced professionally all over the world -- nowadays, I warm up and dance every day for about 40 minutes. Do I do it beautifully...? Well, I think so -- I don't perform my dance on a stage for an audience, but I feel wonderful, like a  real dancer doing it.

Realty:  I'm a full time writer, hunched or slumping at a desk working on a computer throughout the day, except when I'm doing my dance.

Hey, we age. We can't stop aging, but being able to do what one used to do is major -- even if you can only do it more or less -- striving, trying, working to keep 'cutting the mustard' is what we have to do -- need to do -- to make aging not a bad time, but a good, interesting, okay, part of life. 

Golly, if I added a plank exercise to my daily workout,
instead of being hunched when I'm working, I might be able to attain, and even maintain a sitting-tall posture. 

Watching Joanna Quaas, a not sleek, svelte, pretty young woman, observing Joanna in the video below and in all the other videos I've watched, I delight in this older woman's sense of humor, and obvious pleasure as she performs advanced gymnastics and that incredible "plank."

No doubt about it, I'm giving  the basic "plank" a try. She inspires me.

Guys, if you're intrigued, and want to try doing a plank at home, here's a link to video: BEGINNERS Workout.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Spur of the moment John Cullum and Emily discuss their new nightly ritual.
It's a silly wonderful thing -- making dessert.  Creating it, fussing over it, and devouring it has become a favorite thing to do.