Tag Archives: bostonstrong

5 things friday: athletes who overcome the odds

There are thousands of stories swirling around the Internet as Boston becomes a post-Marathon world. One of them is detailed in this article about Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a dance teacher at local Arthur Murray Studios, who lost part of her left leg in the aftermath and has a positive attitude going forward.

Perspective, people.

I’m guilty, as we all are, of sometimes having a fuzzy perspective. Anyone who knows me on a personal level knows that I’ve spent a solid 20 months of my life on crutches due to three pretty major sports medicine surgeries. From fifth to sixth grade, I was on crutches for 9 months in a row. I’ve shattered bones, snapped ligaments in half, and had my own ankle bone betray me by spontaneously disintegrating when I was 10. It was tough, and I spent some time pretty angry as a teenager.

I consider myself to be very lucky because I’m still able to train through (years, now) of pain, physical therapy, and setbacks. And that puts new meaning into the phrase “pales in comparison” with what Haslet-Davis must be feeling. I can only imagine a fraction of the frustration and anger she’s feeling, but I find her determination and drive so inspiring.

Athletes everywhere will connect with what Haslet-Davis told CNN. She says that dancing “is the one thing that I do, that when I do it I don’t feel like I should be doing anything else.” She’s also planning on running the Boston Marathon in the future.

Todays Five Things Friday is pure admiration. Athletes with prosthetics. It’s dedicated from one dancer to another. We’re in your corner, Haslet-Davis.

5. Dancer Miranda Cochran (age 12 at the time of this video) was born without a left foot. This a 15-second clip of her tapping is so brilliant and well-executed.

4. Pictured here is Marine veteran Cpl. Sebastion Gallegos at the 2013 Marine Corps Trials. He lost his right arm while on deployment to Afghanistan in 2010.

Image by USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment, via Flickr

Image by USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment, via Flickr

3. Australian Olympian Don Elgin, who, according to Wikipedia, “was born without a left leg and a left thumb, with small toes, and webbed fingers on both hands; his malformed left foot was amputated shortly after he was born and he had open heart surgery at the age of three.” Check him out from the 2000 Sydney Paralympics.

Image by Australian Paralympic Committee, via Wikimedia Commons

Image by Australian Paralympic Committee, via Wikimedia Commons

2. It’s unclear who this is, but it’s a pretty amazing shot.

Image by s_mestdagh, via Wikimedia Commons

Image by s_mestdagh, via Wikimedia Commons

1. Last, and certainly not least, is this ridiculously inspiring ballet, “Hand in Hand,” performed by Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei: a man with one leg and a woman with one arm.

For more on Adrianne Haslet-Davis, read: here.

#bostonstrong

wow challenge 5: art as inspiration

This post published itself before I could get here to alter it. Recent devastating events in Boston have alternately left me at a loss for words versus bursting with writing power. This contest is still in place until April 24, but I will be republishing this on Monday. Please peruse it now if you’re looking for something to do. Until then: #bostonstrong

Welcome to the fifth installment of the “Week of Writing” (WOW) challenge! Please scroll to the bottom of today’s writing prompt to view the full contest details.

Today’s #wowchallenge: art as inspiration.

In the movie adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho, we meet Patrick Bateman — a character unlike any other character in the world.

By JBBStudio (Flickr: Bret Easton Ellis), via Wikimedia Commons

By JBBStudio (Flickr: Bret Easton Ellis), via Wikimedia Commons

Robert Longo’s Men in the Cities series, which are shown in
Guggenheim Museum

Craft a creative piece that is inspired by a work of art. Writers find inspiration everywhere: coffee shops, within their personal relationships, the frenetic energy of a city, the calm tranquility of the countryside. This time, you’ll compose something based off of an image.

You can choose one of your own (if you do, please post the link!) or use Robert Longo’s “Gretchen” as inspiration.

This concept isn’t new. William Butler Yeats composed “Leda and the Swan” after seeing Paul Cézanne’s oil painting; Samuel Yellen wrote “Nighthawks,” inspired by Edward Hopper’s classic; even Anne Sexton wrote “The Starry Night” based on van Gogh’s famous artwork.

Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The #wowchallenge Contest Rules:

Based off of the feedback I receive after this full week of writer’s challenges, it has a high potential to run again in the future.

Basically, how it works: there will be 5 challenges (Monday through Friday of this week.) Writers who submit one finished product in the comment section (of any 5 challenges) will get their name in a hat. If you submit two finished products, then you get your name in said hat twice. Three, three times. That said: you have up to five chances to get your name in the hat by submitting your writing.

What do you win? One of two prizes!
(If you don’t want to be considered for one of the prizes, then please make that clear in the comment section.)

Prize 1: A copy of Q & A A Day: 365 Questions, 5 Years, 1,825 Answers. This book was published by the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House. It’s been a lifesaver for me in terms of writing, teaching, deep questions, and thought inspiration.

image (6)image (9)

Prize 2: I’ll do a FULL edit of up to 10 pages of your writing, double-spaced. (My credentials include two stints as a editorial board member, 18 months as a copywriter for LivingSocial, a Creative Writing M.F.A., a number of published works, two novels in the running, and five years as a professor.) This does not have to be the one that you submit for the challenge. It can be ANY story or poem, a college essay, an email… anything.

Winners will be picked from the hat and announced on the blog on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. When you submit your comment, please submit with the understanding that a collection of my favorite entries will be published in a special blog post, with full credit given to you.

Happy writing! Be sure to post your work in the comments section to be considered for the #wowchallenge contest.