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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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old friends & boxercise

Got email from someone I used to hang out with back in public school...she had typed my
name into an Infoseek people finder search engine. Wow, twenty-five years of catching up
to do! I sent her my URL. She said that she and her parents (who still
remember me) checked out my website, as well as my
Geeky School Photo page. And you know that really
geeky school photo of mine that I have at the top? She says THAT'S how they remember me! :D

Got a snailmail package from Erin McKee (excellent artist...check out the album covers
she did for Mary Ellen and also Dandelion Wine!). The story: when we were visiting Winnipeg a couple years ago, I admired Erin's tequila worm lollipop and gave her money to send me one (it just looked so gross I had to have one). Unfortunately the company were sold out and decided not to carry them anymore. Erin said she was at the Science Museum a couple weeks ago and found a similar-looking candy for me! :-) Looking forward to seeing her this year at the Winnipeg Folk Festival...

Recently I've been getting a ton of spam encouraging me to get cheap liposuction. Very irritating. For one thing, I hate spam. For another thing, even if I WANTED to get liposuction, I don't think I'd want CHEAP liposuction. The very phrase summons up visions of that X-Files episode, you know, the one with that very graphic liposuction murder scene...

Just got back from my first Boxercise class. I think the class would more accurately be named Torturecize. Or aerobics boot camp class. Geez. There was no music, no perky instructor. Instead, a muscular bass-voiced woman named Mary Danielle YELLED at us all class. There was no downtime whatsoever....constant change from one type of exercise to another. Five minutes of skipping, five minutes of weights and stepping (I knew I was in trouble when Mary Danielle added three extra tiers to my step box without asking me), kicks and punches (reminded me a LOT of my karate days), push-ups, more skipping, more kicks, jumping jacks, more push-ups, etc. etc. And whenever you started lagging, you got yelled at.

"C'mon Debbie!" Mary Danielle would scream at me as I struggled to do my 30th sidekick, my leg muscles screaming along with her. "Higher! You can go higher!!" And she'd hold her hand up at an impossible height, daring me to kick it. In the boxercise segments, we'd be assigned a partner. One person would get a target to hold up, the other person would put on boxercise gloves (I am carefully avoiding using the term boxing because I know this probably bears very little resemblance to real boxing). We'd do hook punches, forward punches, dodge and weave. Anytime any of us started lagging, more yelling. I imagined that the target was the person who was sending me liposuction spam. I imagined the target was Mary Danielle. "Good technique!!!" Mary Danielle yells at me as I attack the target with renewed enthusiasm. By this time, I don't hate her as much as I did in the beginning of class. It's an unusual and exhilarating experience, pushing yourself past the exhaustion point.

I left the class sore all over (I could barely lift my arms to get changed), and I know I'm going to be suffering tomorrow. But I can't wait until the next time when I get to go back for more Torturecize. :-)

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