Monday, December 28, 2009

Online in 2009

In 2004, my friend, Amy, told me about her blog and said, "You're a writer. You should create one. For as much as you love to write, you need a forum." My friend, Rani, agreed. "With all those email updates you send, you should have an online journal of your thoughts. A central location for your reflections. I would totally read it. I know your friends all would." One of my brother-in-law's said he hoped I was saving all my email updates on sports, politics, pop culture, music, films, and human interests to publish them in a book The Musings Of Israel Antonio. Others joined in to encourage me, but I resisted figuring blogs were for talentless hacks wishing to remain nameless while attacking or resorting to gossip and hearsay. As time went on, I started to buy into Amy and Rani's idea so I began to research the possibilities. Others suggested also joining Facebook and Twitter. Unlike most of my friends, I couldn't simply decide on it and answer a few questions, click the mouse a few times, and be set. I had to research accessibility of of blogging, FB, and tweeting to make sure my third party screen reader software on the PC would work on these sites. If I switched to a Mac, I had to ensure the built-in screen reader would also work. I spent months reading online articles, joining email lists, listening to podcasts, and interviewing others. Finally, I played around on the sites attempting to figure out what I could and couldn't access. With the ever changing nature of technology, what may not work today might be accessible next week. If these sites made changes to include more flash, graphics, and images to make it prettier to the eye, it may make an aspect which is accessible suddenly inaccessible. All factors I had to consider which most of my friends never have to face. I pressed forward and created my blog. Eventually I figured it out and now I'm posting. I can now promote myself and my friends! I only wish I would have listened to Amy and Rani much sooner! I somehow managed to set up my FB account, but needed my friend, Angela's help to set up my profile and get some friends. Before long, I was connecting with family and friends in a new way and reconnecting with friends from college, high school, and grade school! I was making new friends too. I decided to try Twitter and quickly had some followers. Rani did say I needed an online presence. I now have it and it is changing my life for the better! Thank you again to Amy, Rani, and Angela. Also to you, my blog reader, FB friend, and follower on Twitter!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sugar Land Finish Line Sports 30K

Sunday, December 13, 2009 was a windy chilly day. Ross O'Dowd and I made our way to the Sugar Land Finish Line Sports 30K shortly after 6a.m. for a 7a.m. start. I was cold wearing only a short sleeve dry fit shirt with the name and logo of the C Different Foundation and small tight running shorts. Our pre race meal was banana, water, a gel pack, and more water. Ross made sure we had our gel packs and blocks ready for when we'd need them during the race. Up to this point, Ross' longest run was ten miles while my longest was the AIA Half Marathon 13.1 miles when I was guided by Brian Pearlman. Ross said, "There's no one holding a gun to our heads saying we need to finish in a certain amount of time. We don't need to be heroes. We just need to cross the finish line." Nerves turned to excitement as we crossed the starting line and took our first step towards 18.6 miles. The challenge isn't to beat everyone else across the finish line. It is to push yourself to your physical and mental limits along the way hopefully discovering how much toughness you truly possess. Many of the thirty-seven athletes who had run the 5K the day before were CDF athletes who were also running this 30K. Seven CDF athletes are sprinters or short distance runners who were not about to tackle 18.6 miles so they instead chose to run the 30K as a relay. It must have been a sight to watch a blind/visually impaired athlete tethered to his/her guide sprint the designated distance then passing off the tether to the next athlete and so on. Professional Ironman Triathlete, Desiree Ficker guided each of the athletes so it must have been wild to see her sprinting the full 18.6 miles switching partners every so often. Meanwhile, Ross and I were coasting through the streets meeting new people along the course who spoke highly of the CDF athletes who were out there. One woman, Christy, told us how inspirational it was and how she could never undertake such a responsibility as guiding. We ran with her for several miles. By the end, we had her excited and very much interested in joining the CDF family. Talking to Christy made the miles fly by. Before we knew it, we had completed eight miles. Just behind us was a seven year old who was running the 30K! We crossed the ten mile mark. More than halfway done. With each step, Ross was setting a new PR. Mile 12. We're taking energy drinks and water. Feeling tired, but is that time correct? Yes, it is. Then a female voice shouts, "Mile 13. 2:23." Are you serious? I smiled and said to myself, "That's for you Brian Pearlman." I had shatter my PR for 13 miles by thirty-four minutes. Soon after, my legs hit the wall. I started to feel pain. My legs locked up. We pressed on. If I have to I will "Julie Moss it." In 1982, Julie Moss was a twenty-three year old college student who did the Ironman Triathlon as research for a term paper. After swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, she began the 26.2 mile run with a twenty minute lead on the female field, but her body began to shut down and with only meters to go for the most incredible win, she collapsed having to crawl to the finish line and settle for second place. I received a great source of inspiration and pressure as CDF founder, Matt Miller joined Ross and I on the course. Matt is such a wonderful selfless individual who gives so much to others that I feel performing less than my best is not letting myself down it's letting him down. He talked to us kept our mind off the pain and kept encouraging us. He remained positive and was proud of how I was moving through this course faster than I was at the AIA. The pain was too much, but we kept on. Mile 18. Just .6 left. I had nothing left. My body and mind were shot! Ross and Matt kept up the encouragement. The final quarter mile. I could here the finish line. PA announcer, music, screams. Louder. Louder! A bolt of adrenalin and it was on! I sprinted towards the finish line. Ross had carried me 18.4 miles and it was now time to drag him home. He had me pump my fist in the air. I waved my hat around as we dashed across that finish line!! We had done it. 18.6 miles and 21.7 total miles on back-to-back days. Pain and soreness be damned, we had pushed our bodies and minds to the limits and had discovered something about ourselves and each other. Ross then admitted his ten mile run had taken place in junior high. Now, he has a new PR. We are ready for the next challenge!

Sugar Land Christmas C5K

December 12, 2009 was a cold, windy, and dreary day in Sugar Land, Texas. Ross O'Dowd was excited about running in an event as a sighted guide for the first time ever. Music, chatter, and laughter filled the air as the talented individuals in charge had put together a wonderful event benefiting the C Different Foundation which exists to inspire, educate, and change the world. The race began and off we went. It was a narrow out and back course with several obstacles in the way of sharp turns, massive bunching of runners, and footing issues, but not major enough to present any danger. Ross and I who had never met until the day before decided to wear elf hats. This race was about having fun, being in the holiday spirit, and raising money for a wonderful organization. 300 runners raced the course. From a young girl who just started participating in athletics a few months ago to a World Champion Ironman athlete, Desiree Ficker, who was there to guide a blind runner, people of all abilities, ages, and sizes were out enjoying the course. Thirty-seven of the 300 runners were blind/visually impaired athletes of varying eye conditions and visual acuities. Most, not all, used sighted guides whose job it was to call out obstacles, warnings, and directions while talking to their runners and others along the course. This race was about having fun and learning to work together. Finishing time was not a concern. We coasted across the finish line in 31.53. We made sure to go easy because the next day, we'd be running a 30K (18.6 miles). A distance longer than either of us had ever run in our lives.

For more information on the C Different Foundation and to get involved either as an athlete, guide, volunteer log on to

Monday, November 23, 2009

Woman Behind From Paranormal To Pretty Normal

My friend, Angela, kept insisting I read Anatomy Of The Spirit by Carolyn Myss. I resisted for seven months before finally agreeing to do so. Now what? "Go see Therese Rowley." Therese is an educator, speaker, CEO consultant, energy alignment healer. After some research which included sending a couple emails to Dr. Rowley, I prepared to meet her in person. I wanted to believe this would be a life changing experience. I was open to what would come of this yet I was guarded still not sure who or what Therese is or does. As I sat there listening to information about my past lives, I wondered should I believe any of this? Then, Dr. Rowley began making statements which hit closer to home. Past lives became this life and certain patterns became clear. By the end of this initial meeting, I had a long list of what was, is, and would be. Therese told me the phrase "in the dark" would have special significance in my life. She instructed me to pay attention to my surroundings in the days to come because a higher power would be sending me signs. In the months leading up to my meeting with Therese, I had written and submitted my autobiographical theatre piece to Prop THTR who selected it as a New Play Fest winner. It was workshopped and received a couple successful staged readings at the Cultural Center in Chicago. This is called, "In The Dark." Two days after meeting with Dr. Rowley, I was listening to the radio and happened upon a Catholic priest delivering a homily. I always immediately turn the dial, but on this day, I listened. The priest had just concluded his previous line, took a long pause, and the very next words out of his mouth were, "And there is a reason why Israel is in the dark which only God knows, but he will soon show Israel." I turned off the radio and within minutes my phone was ringing. A representative from Prop THTR was calling to express the company's interest to move forward with a production of "In The Dark." As I walked into Therese's office, I was dealing with doubt. I had been driven by a desire to be a sports talk radio host and reporter. I began living out that dream in college when I was hosting, reporting, and interviewing athletes, coaches, media members, professors, and all others. Yet, I gave up on that goal to become a playwright, screenwriter, and actor. Did I do the right thing? Am I fooling myself? I wanted to ask Therese for her opinion, but before I could ask, she stated, "You are exactly where you need to be in your life. You are destined to change the world. Even if you never leave this city, people in Germany, China, and across the globe will hear your stories and will be touched. You will heal people through your stories and accomplishments." My magnificent seven- Angela, Tiffany, Iva-Marie, Sunshine, Rani, Madelon, Laura. These are the ones who have changed and redefined my life. The countless other friends who along the way make me the person I am. These are my stories. Over time, Therese Rowley has taught me so much and has given me hope. For anyone wishing to learn more about her, you can log on to:
You can also read

Amanda The Aspiring TV Writer

Let us suppose that "You get a degree in TV,write a bunch of scripts, and move to LA. Then what?" You put yourself in the best position to network and learn about your chosen industry. A wonderful resource is to read Amanda's blog. She is a funny, intelligent, informative, talented, wonderful writer from whom I have learned plenty in the year or so I've been a loyal reader to her posts. She has consistently maintained this blog for a few years. While I started reading it a year and a half after she began to write it, I have since made sure to read every entry from her initial one. Honestly, I do not know her personally, but I do hope to some day meet her and possibly work with her. At the very least, I have enjoyed reading her work. The work of a young woman who I believe will be something very special for all writers and artist to respect and admire.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sexy Isra To Run First Ever Marathon

I am so excited to have agreed to run the Chicago Marathon in 2010 to benefit Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. Hope to raise awareness and money for a great cause in the coming year as I train and prepare for such a great experience as running 26.2 miles!! As late as six years ago, I was saying anyone who puts his body through such a beating must be stupid. I would never do that. Now, I will actually run my first ever marathon.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Welcome To Sexy Isra Experience

Thank you for your interest in the Sexy Isra Experience.   

After I cast a dear friend to star in the world premiere production of one of my

theatre pieces, she wrote, “Madelon Guinazzo is proud to join Team Antonio.” That

is a perfect description for what is the Sexy Isra Experience.  As a playwright and screenwriter, I create characters,

stories, and worlds as dead words on a page. I then collaborate with other talented

artists to bring those creations to life. Audience members are also part of the Sexy Isra Experience for they receive my offers of creativity and respond to it. As an athlete, I compete in 5K races, 10K events, half marathons, full marathons, and triathlons.  My name is the one which ends up in the records, but there is a small army of coaches, trainers, current and former athletes, facilitators, and sighted guides who get me to the starting line and across the finish.  Team Antonio

is a family. We will agree and disagree. So long as we challenge each other to bring

out the best in one another then the lines of communication will always remain open

for expression.  It is important to me that each person who becomes a part of Team Antonio receive her or his recognition.  I will use this site to promote Team Antonio members’ theatre groups, production companies, casting calls, performances, screenings, athletic accomplishments, and other details.  Sexy Isra Experience discusses my journey to “The Big Time!”  When I am prepared to meet my destiny and go to the big time, I promise to take every member of Team Antonio with me.  I also know that the only way I will make it to the big time is as a result of Team Antonio members giving me their love, support, talents, and trust.

So browse around and check out the links to the sites of other artists, theatre groups,

production companies, and businesses who are friends of Team Antonio. Please feel

free to check in frequently and drop me a line with feedback, comments, and questions

especially those interested in joining Team Antonio.  Please tell your

family and friends about the site. Tell your enemies as well. They are potential

Team Antonio members too!

Israel Antonio

Playwright, Screenwriter, Filmmaker, Actor, Motivational Presenter, Triathlete

Sexy Isra Experience