Curves: Another Bankruptcy

No one was a more staunch supporter of Curves, the women’s gym franchise, than I was.  Almost exactly a year ago, I had an exchange of comments (see Curves blog category) with someone named fitdude, and you could almost see my enthusiasm on the page.  At the time, the Curves founder, Gary Heavin, was in the news, and many franchises in the US had either been closed or had gone bankrupt.

When bankruptcy finally felled my own Curves,

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Readers Smarter than I am: Pt Two in French

Roxanne, the gentle reader I spoke about earlier, has agreed to my posting of our email conversation.  I will post that shortly.  In the interim, I received another excellent Review; a disguise for yet another exceptional exercise in Literary Criticism…it appears below.  If you can’t read French, go to my blog www.cynthiaderrico.com  in a few days for the English translation.   What Madeleine wrote is a balanced and precise review which appreciates the novel and takes the writer (me) to task.  I love it.  I met this woman at Curves.  Please applaud Madeleine de Laat–her frankness and precision–and go to my book site to find out who she is (click on the Quebec flag on the Home page).

Dans ce premier roman, l’auteure nous révèle son grand attachement pour la race équine et l’environnement.

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Lunch Chat with Book Club

Lunch Chat with Book Club

I feel so privileged.  The Book Club has invited me to a Luncheon Chat on June 6th.  Again, I have Curves in part to thank for this.  One of the benefits of being a Curves member is that you get to meet lots of women from all backgrounds, of all ages and dispositions, and, if you tend, like I do, to work out at about the same time of day every day or every other day, you develop relationships of one kind or another…  

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About Curves (the Women’s gym)

Marilyn had them.  Hell, so did Mae, Crawford, and dozens others, including young Judy who, during the filming of  The Wizard of Oz, had to wear a special apparatus which curbed her, um, curves.  (They really wanted Shirley Temple for the movie, but couldn’t get her so decided to cast Judy Garland instead…and she had hit puberty a few years before.  Thus is film history made.)  But, as a woman who has had overly ample curves all her life, this isn’t what I’m referring to:  I am referring to Curves, the women’s workout and community place/space.  There are over 9,000 Curves (Women’s gyms) all over the world, and this is why I love Curves and am so grateful to them.  Diane and Gary Heavin (both credentialled and skilled women’s health gurus) began Curves several years ago.  The gist was to get women working out in safe, swift, man-free gyms.  Safe means: having a trainer on-site, always, at all times to ensure you are using the machines safely; checking your pulse rate regularly to that same end; cleaning the machines so that germs don’t get passed on.  Swift means thirty minutes (yes, 30) on fourteen machines followed by a seven to ten-minute flexibility routine (what in dance is called a “cool-down”).  Man-free…well, you get that:  women only, so it’s not a pick-up place nor competitive–at all.  The machines are set up in a circle so that you alternate “upper-body” work with “lower-body”; you’re on each for 30 seconds, and in between each machine is a wooden square, about 3X3 on which you continue moving, dancing, squirming, exercising, so that you always maintain your cardio-vascular level.   Here’s the kicker:  if you’d told me ten years ago that I’d be working out at a gym three to six times a week, I’d have laughed in your face.  But…and it’s a big “but”, Curves has done more for me that Celebrex and all the other pills I have taken and continue to take periodically for my osteo-arthritis.  It’s a bit like “Ripley’s Believe it or not”, I know, but you need to open your mind  (like my cousin recently did), and realize that pills are not the solution, at least not always.  I know…I can hear you saying, “oh sure…you’ve been a dancer all your life, ridden horses–you’re basically a monkey with fur-free feet!”  Uh uh…listen up, all you “completely wrong” people out there.  If you don’t exercise–in some way–you are dead meat.  I had a reason to exercise, well, two reasons actually:  as a victim (I hate that word) of polio, I know what it’s like to have no feeling beyond my hips, and as a child born of a mother who could out-dance Ann Miller (look her up) and Ginger Rogers, I loved dancing (and horseback riding) before I could talk, so….  So I became a student of jazz ballet around the age of 21 or so and didn’t stop until I was about the age of 39.  Around then, my life was so physically active (swimming and walking my huge boy, Fred were daily activities) that I thought, hell, I get more exercise than the usual sloth; why worry?  Maybe that was true at the time, but at the time, I hadn’t begun peri-menopause.  Anyway…after a near-fatal car accident in December 1990, I began to develop back problems, joint problems, IBS and a random assortment of pain-filled, chronic THINGS…things, I called them.  This hurt, that hurt…don’t know where that came from; I was fine yesterday.  Where’s the closest women’s restroom in this building?   I started looking at canes as if I needed a third leg, and how much do they cost, and how do you walk with one of those things anyway?  Compared to people with cystic fibrosis/MS/Gehrig’s Disease, I was fine, doing okay…but then peri-menopause hit.  Gotta go now…the memories of  that period of my life, and the weight that I gained in under ten months have got me all teary-eyed.  Visiting Australia, a life-long dream, saved me, I think.  A woman friend, some years older than me, told me “if you get through peri, you’ll be laughing through menopause itself… PRE-menopause is the real bitch.”  Boy, was she right!  And, as amazing as Australia was, it has been my Curves that has helped me maintain as good an overall state of health as my puny little body can manage.  While you’re here, go visit the pix of my Curves Book Signing.  Click on Photos in the left-hand menu.  The owner, Shanta Kalli, was good enough to run the Signing for a full week so that all Curves members could have a look at Ground Manners.  You can’t buy generosity of spirit like that.  Thanks, Shanta…thanks, Curves.

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