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Amanda Scherle

Choices

We all make strange choices from time to time. Last night, I made the decision to stay up until 1 AM and sleep until 9 AM this morning because the night belongs to parents of young children. (Mr. Springsteen, who are these lovers of which you speak?) I continually make the decision to give greater weight in my biological heritage to my mother’s, Irish, side of the family and slightly less to my father’s Germanic Dutch roots. Because Irish is sexy, baby. At some point between the first entry in this series and now, I made the decision to tryout training for the Spartan race on my own instead of joining a class. Now, we all know that there are essentially two kinds of choices: those we make with our minds, and those we make with our bodies. The ones we make with our minds are often a combination of what we think society wants us to do, what we grew up thinking we should do, and what we really want to be able to do. The ones we make with our bodies are what we really want to do. For a second. The choices we make with our bodies aren’t necessarily good or bad for us; they’re just often quite short-sighted. They don’t include the knowledge that we feel better when we drink juice in the morning and...

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I Can't Run

I can’t run.   Seriously. I know I’m a mess.   I know how these blogs are supposed to work. I’m supposed to document my every move, every up and down, with the expectation that it will all end on an up-cycle to encourage all of my readers.   I’m not feeling it.   I ran a 5K a couple of weeks ago. You know how people who finish races are always saying things like, “I just want to finish” or “I just want a PB” (as it turns out, PB stands for personal best, not a shortened form of Pabst Blue Ribbon)? It’s some sickly sweet running version of “I don’t care if it’s a girl or a boy, I just want a healthy baby.” When in truth, they’ve used the centrifugal spinney thingy to ensure a bundle of pink.   I kinda hate that. Especially when I really didn’t care, but recorded the worst race time of my entire existence. Worse than the once-a-year, one-mile slow jog around the middle school gym wherein I barely passed the out-of-breath walkers, my newly developed hips waddling like fish-bloated ducks.   It was bad.   Worse still, I went with a truly competitive friend whose personal best was half the time of my Personal Worst. (PW might stand for Pro Whiner. Not sure. No one but me seems to use...

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Bent

Bunion. I’ve been MIA for the last several weeks (months?), and I have only one word for y’all: Bunion. It’s an ugly ridiculous word, and I hate saying it out loud. In fact, I don’t say it out loud if I can help it. Well, except for teasing the children by saying, in my best National Lampoon’s old lady voice, “I’ll give you a quarter if you rub my BUNION.” For some reason, this drives my husband crazy — and not in the ‘I love you so much’ way. More like the ‘I can’t believe I married this weirdo’ way. I’ve been having trouble with the big toe on my right foot for a long while, but since it comes and goes, and I’m not a big fan of doctor’s appointments — and the internet is a crazy tangle of strange medical conditions written up in a way that seems to intentionally evoke fear, depression, and extreme disgust — I’ve mostly ignored it. Rest seems to help it, so whenever it’s become too excruciating, I take a break from whatever exercise seems to exacerbate it the most. A few weeks ago, though, I had a particularly painful flare-up, and so I dove into the murky internet waters to try to fish out a cause (and more importantly, a solution). The search gods must have been smiling (more likely, snorting...

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Up and Over!

If you’re going to take your first ever fitness class, the Forest Theater in Chapel Hill is a splendid place to do it. Surrounded with rock walls and steps, pea gravel, and gorgeous gnarled trees, it’s the perfect arena to learn (or, really, re-learn) how to move. We –my 11.5 year old son, Kedric, a 13 year old and his dog, a grad student, and myself– gathered with Fifth Ape instructor, Colin Pistell, to retrain our neurological impulses. Within seconds, we were all on the ground, moving our hands and legs in seemingly simple patterns that literally boggled our minds.   Last week, I bemoaned, loudly, my decision to join the Spartan Sprint Race in Charlotte in March, 2013. The moaning and groaning is partly because I’ve let myself get out of shape and partly because this obstacle race is a wee bit scary. I signed up for a free intro class at Fifth Ape (known for its stellar parkour instruction on the UNC campus), hoping to be hooked into taking classes that will help me overcome obstacles, both stone and mental.   I was not disappointed. By the end of our hour, I happily knew more about the mechanics of movement than I’ve ever been interested in finding out before, and was moving (if ever so slightly) differently. The most surprising change was mental — not only did...

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Submitting

My heart slides to the bottom of my churning stomach like a walrus traveling slowly but inevitably down a ridiculously long and terrifying water slide culminating in a pit of lava. Hitting ‘submit’ on this internet transaction has more than the usual ramifications of extra charges at the end of the month. Hitting ‘submit’ means committing to 8 months of training, committing to a team (only one member of which I actually know), and committing to myself.  Not hitting it, though, means never knowing if I could have done it, never finding a cooler way to motivate myself, giving in to fear of the unknown. So, in true Amanda fashion, I hit submit. I then sit shaking senseless in my chair for 30 minutes, mentally reprimanding myself over and over. “What have you done? What have you done? Ohmydeargodandeverythingbeautifulandsane what have you done?” What I’ve done is register for the Spartan Sprint Race in Charlotte, NC. This 5K mud race — which takes place on March 23rd,  2013 — is a bit unlike other mud runs in that my team, Team Hot n Dirty, won’t get a race map, and generally will have little idea what we’ll be facing when. If you watch the videos (I have; over and over, while sobbing into my trail mix), you know that it will probably involve mud, climbing impossible obstacles using arm...

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Keeper of the Garden

All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography. Federico Fellini Some of us, precious few historically, but more perhaps in this modern age, dare to call ourselves artists, out loud. We’ll talk about how much we appreciate artists and their work. We’ll admit to dabbling in art. We’ll sometimes admit that some of our creative endeavors have an artistic bent. But “artist” seems so lofty and pretentious for the unambitious among us. Call Lynne Millies an artist, and she’ll laugh a short, throaty laugh and look off in the distance as if you’ve told her that you think chances are pretty good she’ll be picked up by a major league ball team. “My sister is the artist,” she’ll say. “She knows what she’s doing, and she’s great at it. Me, I just play.” She’s a playful sort in general. In her early 40’s, with medium brown braids tinged with a just bit of gray, Millies is an energetic woman with a contagious chuckle who gets up at 5:30 each morning to run with her lab mix, Zola, before tackling homeschooling with her 3 equally playful boys, ages 5, 9, and 12. One of their favorite subjects is art, and their walls are proof of this. The rustic style walls (in a home Millies built two years ago with her husband, Mike) are covered with a generous mix...

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NPR's Three-Minute Fiction Contest

I’ve been pounding the idea of tapping into your creativity lately because I think it’s incredibly important. We’re not singular in 2012, or the Chapelboro area, for living in a time of economic and political upheaval, but the fact that many other times and places have shared our unease can be of little comfort in the face of our own reality. What does comfort and usher in change is creativity, and the common expression thereof. Budgets may be slashed, especially in the arts and music, and sometimes we personally have little control over those decisions; we can dig deeper in our own lives, though, and work a bit at freeing the creative person inside each of us. Solidarity with other creative women seems particularly important right now, and I’m happy to say that I have many such supporters in my life. They’re always looking out for me, and putting me on to new ways in which to follow my creative dreams. This past winter, a dear friend put me onto an NPR contest to which I am now a loyal contributor and follower (and hopefully, one of these days, a winner – we’re following dreams here, remember). Even with my new work as a Farmers Market Manager pulling me in a brand new direction, I hold tight to my writing vocation. We’re none of us one thing or another,...

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Life's an Adventure: An Interview with Tracey Broome

Agreeing to meet outside Foster’s in Durham on a typical late afternoon in late February would be slightly crazy. As it was, last Thursday was anything but typical, from the 80 degree heat to my entourage of 5 kids (my 4 plus a tagalong baby nephew) to the youthful woman with a long brown braid reading outside the Market. Wearing a light mauve blouse, multicolored hand-dyed scarf, and embellished jeans, Tracey Broome certainly embodied the image of a successful artist and intellectual, and, as I spoke with her, I found her to be anything but typical. Once she recovered...

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Slaying the Dragons of Fear

The process of seeking out women who are tapped into their creativity, learning about their peronal journeys, and then taking a moment out of a busy week to share these discoveries with you is deeply fulfilling.  This week, though, I want to find out about a different artist: YOU. “Every artist was first an amateur.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson “Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.” Miquel Angel Ruiz Now, I know this blog showcases artists of the female ilk, but I’d like to hear from all readers (here on Chapelboro,...

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The Camino – Interview with Debra Wulinger

“Sometimes in your life you will go on a journey. It will be the longest journey you have ever taken. It is the journey to find yourself.”  ~ Katherine Sharp When you walk into Winking Moon Art Studio in the home of artist Debra Wulinger, the first thing you notice is the light. Warm, delicious light pours gracefully through the large front windows of her North Durham home, sliding up the sides of garnet and royal blue vases filled with bristling brushes and well used pencils; skipping off brightly painted canvases and sheets of paper and glass hutch doors...

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