Thursday, April 29, 2010

Miller Time: A Way To C Different

On a Thursday night in May 2007, I watched Fit TV's Insider Training hosted by Gabrielle Reece. This was the fifth time I had seen the episode on triathlons and each time I was in awe of the training, dedication, and accomplishments of Lokelani McMichael who at eighteen years old was the youngest person to ever complete the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. 2.4 miles swim, 112 miles bike, and 26.2 miles run in under seventeen hours. This time, I was not only in awe of her achievement, I was inspired!! One way to get closer to my desired Bruce Lee lean physique would be to race in triathlons. At the conclusion of the show, I immediately went online to research the possibilities, logistics, and accommodations for me to race in 5K, marathons, and triathlons. As I write this entry, there are so many stories and resources to which one could turn, but back then, the results were not as vast. The name I kept noticing was Matt Miller. With each article, I read about his founding the C Different Foundation so I visited the CDF site and studied up on the organization and especially on Matt. By the time I was prepared to reach out to Matt and CDF, it was Memorial Day. I sent an email introducing myself and my goals. Because of the day, I figured I would not hear from him or anyone for several days. It turns out, Matt replied within the hour thanking me for my interest and welcoming me to the C Different family. In short order, a member of the board of directors and the executive director reached out too. A few months passed when Matt called to offer me a chance to run in a half marathon on behalf of CDF. Prior to meeting Matt I had read such glowing remarks from CDF athletes, guides, and volunteers. I had also found other information about a film Matt had put together. Victory Over Darkness where he and his film crew documented the journey of five blind/visually impaired athletes who had conquered the Ironman Triathlon. When I finally came face-to-face with Matt, I was in awe of the man. Within five minutes, he talked to me as though we had known each other for years. He was genuinely interested in my work as a playwright, screenwriter, and actor as much as he was interested in how he could help me reach my athletic goals. Besides founding the C Different Foundation and being a triathlete, Matt Miller was an actor, model, and film producer so he could also offer wonderful advice for all those artistic projects I had been pursuing. As anyone else, I have my reasons for racing. Over the last few years, one of those reasons has become Matt Miller. From that initial email I sent to him, he has always supported and believed in me both in athletics and the arts. In such a short time, he has given me so much and I feel I owe it to him to always give my best effort. When I do not achieve or perform as I would have liked to, I feel sad for letting him down. Matt Miller has built a wonderful organization of athletes, guides, and volunteers all with different stories and paths, but with the same goals to educate, inspire, and change.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Nervous Warrior

Warrior Dash. An event which takes place all over the country. Depending on the location the organizers can find, the event may run as short as three miles or longer than four. To complete the obstacle course, contestants must overcome eleven events such as; jump from one floating log to another across a pond, crawl through a shallow tunnel, go down a mud slide, jump through fire, and crawl through a mud pit under barbed wires. The closest one to me takes place in Joliet, Il. I first read about Warrior Dash when my friend, Adriana, posted the link on FB. I read through the information found it interesting, but not my cup of tea. The next day, Patti, another friend on FB sent me the link and wrote, "This sounds like something you would do." I read through the information again, but once more, I didn't think it was for me. I posted a status update just to see what others thought. Some said I was crazy while others said I was brave. One of my brothers-in-law said "If I were you, I would say no. I can see and I wouldn't try it." I would not want to drown nor get burned or dirty. I was certain I was passing on this event.Then, Arica came along and asked, "Have you found someone to guide you for WD? If not, I would love to do it." Arica is intelligent, funny, pretty, tough, and courageous. I have always enjoyed being around her and respect her greatly so when she makes such an offer, I must seriously weigh my options. Instead of the Joliet event though, I would have to travel to the WD Southeast in Mountain City, Ga. After speaking to Courtney and Alie, two reps from Red Frog Events, I decided to once again entrust Arica with my life. This may not be life or death, but it may be close to it. There are few people I would want by my side when such a moment arises. Only a few people who I trust. Arica is one of those. Realizing that today is one month away from when Arica and I will be rumbling with fire, water, and mud, I am scared yet I am excited. This obstacle course will be a new experience, challenge, and adventure. As nervous as I am as worried as I am, it is best to put on my big boy brave face, meet up with Arica, and go make memories of a lifetime!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Hiding Place

When you are surrounded by talented individuals, you can not help but experience "Wow moments!" Instances where a person or event leaves you speechless. As I began on my artistic journey of self discovery, I befriended many artists and classmates who were much more experienced and talented who left me breathless with their abilities. One such artist was Amanda Marcheschi. From the moment I met her, it was clear she was a gifted, talented, beautiful artist destined for greatness on stage and in film. Whatever "it" is that the greats possess, she had it. It was always a privilege to watch her work on her craft. While I was only lucky enough to be her partner for in-class exercises a couple of times, I learned so much from those experiences. Unfortunately for Amanda, I was often too in awe of her abilities, that I was not a good partner. Amanda has gone on to greater ventures and continues to dazzle and amaze audiences on stage and in film. She can currently be seen displaying her talents as part of Provision Theater's world premiere production of The Hiding Place adapted from Corrie Ten Boom's autobiographical piece of the same name. 1001 W. Roosevelt RD in Chicago. Performances on Friday and Saturday at 8p and Sundays at 3p. From now through May 23, 2010

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Gift Gets Cuckoo

They say you only get one chance to make a first impression. Have you ever met someone where after that initial meeting, your impression is "Wow! This is an intelligent, passionate, talentedperson." I have been lucky enough to have that experience several times. One such instance was a few years ago when I met Julia Kessler. My first impression of Julia was She is so passionate about her love for her artistic work that I could not help but get swept up in her drive and fire for the arts. I hoped one day I would get to work with her. I hoped one day I could write a theatre or film script which includes a role specifically for her. More important, I hoped I and the rest of the world would get more chances to see Julia in shows. Indeed we can. Julia can currently be seen as part of an ensemble made up of talented artists doing what they do best in The Gift Theatre's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." Now through May 9, 2010 at The Gift Theatre located in Chicago at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30p and Sundays at 2:30p. Thursday nights are also Industry 2 for 1 nights when you use the code "Merry prankster."For more information, please log on to:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Caroline Completes Climb Challenge In Impressive Fashion

Regular readers and followers of this blog have previously read my entry promoting my friend, Caroline Gaynor's participation in the American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb on March 28, 2010 as she climbed four buildings of the Presidential Towers 180 floors in Chicago. Here are her results. Caroline completed four buildings 180 floors in 21:46 making her the fourth fastest woman and twentieth out of 4,500 men and women. Additionally, there was a finishing time measurement for the first tower forty-five floors. Caroline climbed that first tower in 4:39 making her the second fastest woman. On top of her amazing finishing times, Caroline raised over $2,000 for the American Lung Association. Congratulations Caroline. You are impressive!!!