Monday, March 31, 2014

The Haunting At Hill House

A great way to celebrate the wonderful weather in Chicago today and close out the month of March is to attend the opening of The Haunting At Hill House. The lovely and talented, Julia Kessler stars in this piece at City Lit Theater located at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. Curtain rises at 7:00p.m. central time.

For more information so you can see the beautiful Julia who is one of the most magnificent women I am lucky to know, please log on to the City Lit Theater site at:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Growing Up Monstrochika

In high school, I was a drama nerd. Good thing I was because it enabled me the thrill of a lifetime to meet a beautiful talented actress and amazing artist named Naomi Martinez. When I speak about my high school years, one of the first name I will always bring up is Naomi Martinez. I love her friendship and all that she has accomplished over the years.

Please take a moment to read this one-on-one interview with the artist known across the country as Montrochika.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Slow Twitch Spotlights The Extraordinary Caroline Gaynor

Six years ago, I met the fabulous, talented, and beautiful, Caroline Gaynor. I went to New York for the first time to race in my first ever triathlon. I am not a confident swimmer so of course, I pick the New York City Triathlon and its one mile in the Hudson river as my first ever race. A month after that experience, I saw Caroline in Chicago the night before the Chicago Triathlon. Caroline mentioned how nice it was to see that I could smile and that I actually had teeth. The month before, she had tried speaking to me several different times throughout the weekend, but I had apparently ignored her attempts. Someone told her that it probably had to do with the fact that I was so anxious about the swim. I was so in my head worried that I did not even realize Caroline had tried striking up a conversation with me on several different occasions.

Readers to this blog have probably seen my past posts highlighting some of Caroline's athletic achievements. She has been part of a group racing across the country. Cyclists started in San Francisco and finished on the east coast one week later. Caroline became the first woman in history to guide a blind woman through 140.6 miles of the Ironman Triathlon. She has since accomplished that a few more times. Caroline is a gifted rower, cyclist, swimmer, runner, and guide. Caroline is one of those who jumps at the chance to guide blind and visually impaired athletes in any race. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, I believe when she has been a race guide in an event where regional or national titles are on the line for the blind or athlete with a disability of any kind, Caroline and her given athlete have never finished lower than second place and often finish well ahead of the field comfortably in first place.

For more on the fabulous, Caroline, please take a moment to read an interview Slow Twitch did with her. On a personal note, thank you Caroline for being the magnificent you. It is an honor to know you and be your friend. My dream is that one day I will be fast enough that Caroline will consider to be my eyes for an event.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Don't Tease The Elephants

Jen Knox is a talented, amazing, beautiful writer and educator. Jen has an eye for providing the right guidance to bring out the best in talented writers. Jen is the type of writer I aspire to be. she is open, honest, and raw. Whether a short story, novel, or blog post, Jen has an ability to make readers feel.

Jen's latest project has been published. Don't Tease The Elephants is her latest book made up of a collection of short stories. Please take the time to check out the book on amazon and download a copy. You will be overjoyed by the magnificence Jen displays in this book.

For more information, please log on to the following site:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hailey Danisewicz Ten Year Triumph

In May 2013, Hailey Danisewicz raced home to a second place finish at the Paratriathlon US Nationals Championship. Several months later, Hailey once again raced across the finish line in second place at the Paratriathlon Mideast Regional Championships. Once more, she lost out to the four time US Nationals champion and three time defending world champion, the great, Melissa Stockwell. One thing was apparent. Hailey was improving and it would not be long before she would challenge and beat Melissa for a title. Melissa was not slipping, rather Hailey was improving that much that fast. In September, all eyes focussed on famed Hyde Park in London as these two beautiful, inspiring, talented championship level women squared off at the World Grand Finals. Melissa and Hailey were teammates and friends. they were also competitors. Melissa attempted to race home towards a fourth consecutive world title. Only, Hailey had her own world championship designs. She fended off a hard charging great champion and became a top flight world champion herself as Hailey stormed home to the crown.

Ten years ago today, Hailey Danisewicz charged home across a different finish line. It symbolized the conclusion of a difficult race and chapter in her life. It marked the beginning of the rest of Hailey's life. It was the day Hailey officially beat cancer. It marked the start the journey which brings Hailey to today. On the ten year anniversary of when Hailey cross a different real life finish line, I wish to share with you her reflection on this decade long journey by offering you a link to Hailey's site. Please take a moment to read her words.

Thank you Hailey. Thank you for being the beautiful, amazing, inspiring, talented, and passionate woman you are. It is an honor to know you.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

At Water's Edge Reading Starring Eileen Vorbach

Eileen Vorbach is one of the most talented, beautiful, and gifted individuals I have ever been privileged to know. Eileen is a writer, director, actress, teacher, and mentor. She has trained, developed, and encouraged some talented people over the years. Tonight, Eileen can be seen taking part in national reading series called Latino 30/30. At Water's Edge written by Elaine Davila and is directed by Kay Martinovich. It stars Eileen Vorbach, Eliza Shin, and Juan Villa. I have the great privilege to take several acting classes with the talented Juan who is an award winning gifted artist.

Reading of At Water's Edge. 4001 N. Ravenswood in Chicago. 7:00p.m. Admission: FREE!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Outdoor Buzz Gets To Know Jenna Parker

In 2013 I won the US National Championship crown for Paratriathlon Tri6A. In 2013, I won the Mideast Regional Championship for Paratriathlon Tri6A. For the first time ever, I was selected to the Dare2Tri Chicago Elite Team where I was lucky to join some amazing talented individuals including several beautiful women whom I have admired from afar as they won their multiple national and world titles. Maybe it can be stated that I arrived on the elite paratriathlon scene last season. The arrival occurred last summer, but the journey began many years ago. It began when I reached out to the fabulous, beautiful, and talented model, actress, and professional triathlete, Jenna Parker. From the very first article about her I read, I was intrigued by this beautiful and talented individual whose goal was to be the first woman in history to win both a gold medal while representing her country in the Olympics and a golden statue named Oscar for being recognized by the Academy as delivering the best role of the year in a given category for which she would be nominated. From that moment, it has been such a joy beyond anything I could have ever imagined to get to know the fabulous Jenna. My journey has taken me from intrigued reader to a fan to a friend. Where my friendship with her has paid off most for the world to see has been with my marathon and triathlon performances. Under her guiding hands, I have been able to travel from way back of the pack fighting to not be the last one to finish a marathon or triathlon to throwing my fists in the air, raising my arms triumphantly, and crossing the finish line at the CapTex Triathlon as the US National Champion. I have gone from participating in races where police officers are reopening the roads to traffic and I am still limping my way to the finish line to where I am now able to race in events where I am entering the final mile of my race just as the elite are crossing the finish line. I have certainly travelled a great distance in my personal athletic journey and it is in large part due to the amazing Jenna who opened her arms out and extended her hands out in friendship which has enabled me to learn from one of the best professional athletes in the world!!

Please take the time to read a wonderful piece about Jenna Parker at the following link. It is certainly worth the time to get to know this spectacular woman, athlete, actress, person, and friend.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Childrens Oncology Team One Step

This October, I will run my fifth consecutive Chicago Marathon. Each time I toe the start line I feel nervous and scared. One would think that each time I run the marathon distance, it gets easier. I am one who has a fear of the unknown, but a greater fear of the known. After running and completing my first 26.2 race, I was anxious heading into my second because I understood the pain and misery throughout the race. Having written those last few sentences, I will now state that the more I run marathons, the easier it also gets because I become more confident each time I can run that distance knowing I am in better shape than I was in my previous attempt at the distance. It is also easier due to the fact that I am running for others. each time I run a marathon I do it for a non profit. that helps give me the motivation during those difficult miles late in the race. I am running towards a personal goal. More important, I am running for someone else. The most emotional experience was my second marathon when I was motivated to run 26.2 miles to honor a friend's memory. She was a dear friend from college who had unfortunately lost her fight with cancer at a very young age. I was guided by the fabulous Kimberly Shah and Jen Pfaff for that event. I could not have asked for two more amazing, talented, beautiful professional elite women to guide me for such an emotional experience.

For several years, I have listened to my friend, Dan Bernstein, afternoon host on CBS Chicago radio's WSCR 670AM, discussing his involvement on the board of directors for Childrens Oncology. I have heard of the ways the organization and its volunteers have changed lives giving boys and girls fighting through cancer a chance to be boys and girls enjoying life. The constant struggles, treatment, medical bills, and all that comes with enduring cancer does not always afford boys and girls the opportunity to stop and smell the roses, enjoy the beauty of a sunset, or run around playing tag like everyone else their age. Childrens Oncology attempts to change that by raising funds and organizing events where these kids can be kids. They get to spend a week at camp fishing, swimming, and playing. they get to go on a ski trip. They can experience the nation's capital in Washington D.C. There are so many programs and activities in which they can take part. Of course, in order for these options to become reality, funds must be raised. I have wanted to do my small part, but I have not been in a position to do so until now. For years I have heard Dan discuss the impact Childrens Oncology has had on lives, but I was not able to wrap my head around it until I was able to put a couple faces to those names and stories when I learned that several friends and friends' relatives are former attendees of Childrens Oncology One Step Camp. Upon learning that I was even more inspired to do my part.

This year, I am joining Team One Step to run and raise funds for Childrens Oncology. I want to do what I can to send at least one boy or girl to camp. I want to be able to say I helped Childrens Oncology in its mission to enable kids to be kids. I am excited about this pending journey towards my fifth consecutive Chicago Marathon. If all plays out well this racing season, I will conclude the year in Grant Park having run my fifth consecutive Boston Marathon Qualifying time. If I do what is expected of me, I will deliver an experience of a lifetime for one lucky child who for a short period of time will not have to worry about cancer. He or she can focus on being a boy or girl.

Here is a link so that readers can learn more about Childrens Oncology and Team One Step.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dare2Tri Kick Off The Season 2014

The Dare2Tri Chicago Paratriathlon Club enters its fourth season of competition, education, and inspiration. The club was formed in 2011 in an attempt to give paratriathletes of various ages a chance to race in triathlons. Over the years, Dare2Tri has enabled so many young boys and girls to learn about the sport of triathlon. Many of them train under the watchful eyes of Dare2Tri coaches and volunteers. Many of those boys and girls then participate in their first ever race. There are adults who have spent their lives having never participating in a race, but Dare2Tri helps them do just that. The members of the Dare2Tri Elite Team have won many US Nationals championships and several have gone on to win world championships. Many of them are current defending world title holders in their division. In fact, it is a common sight to see Dar2Tri Elite Team members taking first, second, and third places at Nationals and Worlds. As talented at Dare2Tri athletes and coaches are, their hearts are even bigger. They give back to the community all the time. They can often be seen on local and national news programs and talk shows. They are featured in magazines, newspapers, and internet articles. Dare2Tri paratriathletes inspire so many other athletes as well as people from all walks of life.

On Sunday, April 6, 2014, Dare2Tri will host Kick Off The Season Play For A Reason. This fundraiser, occurring between the hours of 2:00p to 5:00p, is a great opportunity to support a splendid organization which has done so much to grow the sport of triathlon. If you attend, you will get a thrill of a lifetime to meet all the wonderful people associated with Dare2Tri Chicago Paratriathlon Club. For more information and to purchase your tickets, please visit the following site:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Patricia Walsh: World Class Woman

Patricia Walsh is a great athlete. She is a world class world champion record holder in the Ironman Triathlon. Patricia is beautiful, talented, and amazing. Anyone who meets or knows her can not stop from raving about Patricia's magnificence. Most people will make it a point to include that Patricia is blind having lost her sight many years ago. Many will argue that is why Patricia is amazing. She does not let her disability stop her from achieving at the highest level. Truth be told, to make that statement would be an insult to Patricia. Her lack of sight does not add to her greatness. Patricia is tremendous simply because she is beautiful, talented, and accomplished. It just so happens that she lost her sight. It has been and remains a privilege to know this talented athlete, accomplished person, and fabulous woman named Patricia. If you wish to get to know her, please check out the latest piece written about this top flight woman at the following link.