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BOY BOOTCAMP

BOY BOOTCAMP

“Boy Bootcamp” written by Laura Burdo.

BOY BOOTCAMP

Interview Introduction

Hello, I’m Laura Burdo,  The Pilates Preacher, with another PIPs w Peeps!

I’m here with Preston Allen, my 12.5 yr old grandson.

Preston: Hey Everybody!

Preston: So what do you want to talk about …?

Laura: Well, a few funny things that actually lead up to a tremendous thing!

Memory Lane

Laura: So Pres, lemme take you back 8 years, down memory lane. I wonder how much you remember about the summer just before you turned 5 years old. If you’ll recall, it was your first official introduction to the Pilates Method…

Preston: Oh yea… didn’t we call it Boy Bootcamp?!

Laura: We did! And instead of placing you in just another summer program, your mother connected the two of us – most days per week for about 1/2 hour or so.

Laura: Mostly, you were a good sport, but I can’t say that you were exactly thrilled about it. Whereas, I was over-the-moon excited!!

Preston:  What I remember the most is the huge smile you had on face – and the Pilates Prizes! 

Laura: You really gave me a run for my money – making me hone my teaching skills – especially in the area of persuasion. I had to dig deep into my bag of training tricks bc there were times when you didn’t want to do this at all, and you’d try anything to distract me… you’d try firing me, heckle me, blow spit-bubbles, even excusing yourself to the little-boys-room for very long periods of time!

Preston: Hey! I was barely 5 years old!

Laura: Oh I know, Pres, and you were AWESOME!

Preston: Well, I was motivated by the Pilates Prizes! I’d negotiate more than one sometimes – like another prize-per-exercise!

But then, I wanted more expensive stuff, instead of just toys from the dollar store.

Laura: Yea, and I’m ashamed to admit, that by the end of the summer, I remember paying you money!

Preston: Yes, we both were honing skills!

Laura: We were! Lol!

 Working Behind The Scenes

Laura: This is exactly why we can’t always aptly access situations at the time they are unfolding, because that summer marked the onset of a most promising practice.

Preston, you’ve continued with Pilates, you even own & operate your own Reformer – and what a relationship you now have with your body!

Sometimes, we Facetime our lessons together, but today, I flew into Colorado to evaluate and to upgrade your Reformer regime.

Laura: There’s an old Proverb that says, “Train your child in the way that he should go, and when he grows old, he shall not depart from it.”

Preston: OK, so what about that tremendous thing??

A Tremendous Thing

Laura: OK. Preston, you were born with cerebral palsy. You’ve had years of physical therapies, procedures, and surgery. Your doctors were planning future years of ‘standard’ procedures – which are painful – with no guarantee of positive results – but it’s common protocol.

Recently, your parents got a second (or was it a third?) opinion from a leading Pediatric Surgeon who is soon to retire. Upon his careful review, it was discovered that for many years, your body has been very incrementally, yet systematically, correcting itself!

Therefore, you don’t need any further procedures and he implored your parents to reject the notion; stating that it could be a disaster to interrupt this process! (Down through the years, this doctor has seen this type of thing before, albeit very rarely.)

The medical team, your parents, and me, believe that this was a MIRACLE! And that’s a powerful word. One that, perhaps, conjures up confusion, anxiety, or even skepticism. Now, from our personal perception, this miracle is fact. 

 

 

Things Hoped For

Maybe miracles are happening all the time, behind the scenes, through us all. Perhaps, you are in need to have God intervene. You’ve doing all that you can, and maybe you don’t understand. But know this. Faith is a substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things yet to be seen. 

Who knows, Preston, maybe our miracle was finding that doctor, or having access to our various medical community all those years. To me, your parents deserve so much credit, but most of all, this young man who began, at the tender age of 2 years old, to exercise his faith through fitness!

Joe Quote

Laura: Pres, let’s end this PIP with a quote from Joseph Pilates.

Preston & Laura: “Every moment of our lives, can be the beginning of great things.”

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) PIPs with Peeps
2) Wasted
3) Happy Easter Fools Day

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.

PIPS WITH PEEPS

“Get Back On The Horse” written by Laura Burdo.

Get Back On The Horse

Interview Introduction

Laura: Hello, I’m Laura Burdo, The Pilates Preacher, with another PIP W/ PEEPS!

I’m here with PRESTON ALLEN, my 12 yr old grandson.

Preston: Hey Everybody!

Check-Up

Laura: Preston, we’re checking back in with you. It’s been about a year now since we set-up your very own Reformer at home in Colorado… so, how’s it going?

Preston: Umm, not so much.

Laura: Oh? How so?

Preston: Like, it’s not.

Laura: I see… humph…we’ll have to work on this.

Preston: I’m too busy with school, guitar, gymnastics, and horseback riding!

Creative Compromise

Laura: Well, wait a minute here, Preston. JOSEPH PILATES touted the benefits of a perfect balance of body mind and spirit. He himself, coupled his own gymnastics and martial arts background with good body mechanics, posture, and correct breathing.

He said that recreational activities can not only train the brain and body, but it renews our vitality and lifts our spirits.

Get Back On The Horse Son

Preston: Didn’t you tell me once that Joe said horseback riding is a lot like doing Pilates?

Laura: Yes, good memory, Preston!

Joe wrote about that in his book, Return To Life Through Contrology.

 

Get Back On The Horse 2

Interview Introduction

Laura: Hello, I’m Laura Burdo, The Pilates Preacher, with another PIP W/ PEEPS!

Laura: I’m here again with PRESTON ALLEN, my grandson.

Preston: Hey everybody!

Never Be Your Beast Of Burden

Laura: So, this beast is no burden. And to this guy, neither is physical disability and injury, right Pres?   

Preston: Yea, I was born with Cerebral Palsy – which has affected mainly my walking gait, and sometimes I can trip or fall. Recently, I had a serious injury to my ankle, so I had to rehab… a lot.

Laura: I know, Pres, and you’ve dealt so well, using your various therapies throughout the years.

Burden Bearers

Laura: Among these interventions, has been Pilates (since you were a tiny baby), PT and sports conditioning, but your absolute favorite is … FANCY!

Preston: Yea, Fancy is a large Appaloosa mere. Horseback riding has been great for my body – plus it really helps clear my head.

Head Over Heels

Laura: And she’s the head of the herd, so I bet she’s really smart and strong-willed!

Preston: Yes, I’ve learned a lot from working with her. I love her, and we have a special bond together.

Laura: Yea, I can see that!

Joe Quote

Laura: This reminds me of the philosophy of JOSEPH PILATES in which he touted, “Be in control of your body, and not at its mercy.”

Laura: Well, thanks for sharing with us, Preston!

Preston: Thanks and g’bye!

 

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) Wasted
2) Happy Easter Fools Day
3) A Penny

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.

WASTED

“Wasted” written by Laura Burdo.

Confession

So, I have a confession.

I have to come clean.

I just ended a complex and dangerous long-term relationship.

By long-term, I mean many years, with an emphasis on ‘term’, as in serving-a-sentence. Though not one of penance, so much as it was of sins committed.

I had to end it, literally drop it like a bad habit! I felt powerless over it, and in certain ways, my life had become unmanageable.

In The Beginning

Looking back, in the beginning, the relationship was super exciting! We’d hang out, throw back a few brews, pop open a lil bubbly, or share a rare bottle or two… or more, but who was counting?

We’d commiserate, and just yuck it up together. You know, take the edge-off, chill… just wasting time, money, and energy.

As time went on, this bond between us grew, we became almost inseparable, especially during stressful and sad times in my life. This relationship was always there for me to lean on.

And that’s just it – the leaning -revealing a weakness which served more as a crutch, and morphed into an intricate co-dependency.

Eventually, evenings would evolve into emotional roller-coaster rides, rage, and all too often, words wished unspoken.

Balancing Act

Denying the problem, I’d interact again-n-again in a similar fashion – perpetually pretending that things were OK, and under control.

Look, you know how obsessive-compulsive relationships can be considered ‘normal’, to a degree? But then, balance can become unstable, and everything gets tipsy.

And say, have you ever tried to detect dependancies in your life, and wrestled whether they’re problematic enough to admit and attempt to liberate yourself?

Yea, it gets uber confusing and complicated to choose change. And HOW! One requires real wisdom to know the difference.

Tables Turned

But what about when it gets way worse than that? When you try to negotiate new limits, and want to take back control, only to find that you can’t?

In my case… progressively over time, dynamics within my relationship were exhibiting an insidious undermining – a competitive control crept over important things (not to mention people) in my life. It was like the tables were being turned on me and it was taking me down! Just maybe, it was even going to ultimately end me!

That Crossroad

One day, a memorable moment suddenly showed-up.

A way of escape was extended to me! A few faithful friends stepped in-between to intervene. They’d witnessed the throws and woes of this horrid relationship of mine. One announced, “It’s that relationship or me! You must decide, don’t you see?”

And there it was… I saw that figurative Crossroad. I stood there and stared right at it. I could see clearly that I had to choose just how much of my life was I willing to lose.

Let me tell you… that was a sobering state to be in.

Unfriended!

Inside my soul, I knew a hideous beast lurked within this complex and dangerous relationship. Its intent was to intimidate, isolate, and to possess me. I also knew that he would not easily let me go, and nor would he go without a fight.

Can’t you agree… this relationship just had to end?!

SO I WASTED THIS ‘FRIEND’!

My weapon was God’s grace.

The ammo was a 12 Stepped ladder.

The target … Sobriety.

My aim… Serenity.

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) Happy Easter Fools Day
2) A Penny
3) Stop Shaking

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.

HAPPY EASTER FOOLS DAY

“Happy Easter Fools Day” written by Laura Burdo.

Happy Easter Fools Day

Happy Easter Fools Day - Pilates PreacherWhaat?!

Today marks Easter & April Fools Day.

The calendar reads April-1-2018.

And Ash Wednesday & Saint Valentine shared a date 2gether this year, too!

This hasn’t happened since the year 1945.

They Proclaimed…

Naturally, people are exclaiming, HE IS RISEN… APRIL FOOLS!

A client of mine commented on this joke. He said, “To him, this happens every year.” And then he apologized for sounding disrespectful.

Some of you may find that offensive… while others may chuckle. But, perhaps the joke within itself isn’t what matters.
So… on a day such as this, what is the point to point to?

Well, RESURRECTION LIFE, of course!

(OR, we could just escape the topic altogether and just talk about chocolate bunnies?!)

Happy Easter Fools Day - Pilates Preacher - Billy GrahamBilly Graham

Billy Graham, the prominent internationally-known minister, died this year. He was nearly 100 years old.

As a preacher, he held large indoor and outdoor rallies with sermons broadcast on radio and television, some were still being re-broadcast into the 21st century. In his six decades of television, Graham hosted annual Billy Graham Crusades, which ran from 1947 until his retirement in 2005. He also hosted the radio show Hour Of Decision from 1950 to 1954. He repudiated racial segregation.

In addition to his religious aims, he helped shape the worldview of a huge number of people who came from different backgrounds, leading them to find a relationship between the Bible and contemporary secular viewpoints.

According to his website, Graham preached to live audiences of 210 million people in more than 185 countries and territories through various meetings, including BMS World Mission and Global Mission.

Graham was a spiritual adviser to U.S. presidents and provided spiritual counsel for every president from the 33rd, Harry S. Truman, to the 44th, Barack Obama. He was particularly close to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson (one of Graham’s closest friends), and Richard Nixon.

He insisted on racial integration, for his revivals and crusades, starting in 1953, and invited Martin Luther King Jr. to preach jointly at a revival in New York City in 1957.

Happy Easter Fools Day - Pilates PreacherMany Admit…

Late in life, while reflecting upon his long career, Mr. Graham divulged, “Many people admit to feeling that something is missing in their life and that they feel like a living dead person.”

Ugh, I think I can relate to that.

Even when we can truly say that it is well with our soul…don’t we all have areas in our lives that could use a little dusting? And just maybe, if we’re honest, some deep Spring- cleaning?

So, if any of this sounds like you… take hold of some Resurrection Life!

Apply it to those numb, atrophying, or dead places within our lives – our hopes, our dreams, our goals, and our souls!

Final Thoughts

I mean, really proclaim it!
For joy and victory, let us shout!
Soo loud … that it… AWAKENS THE DEAD!

 

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) A Penny
2) Stop Shaking
3) Pass the Trees Please

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.

A PENNY

“A Penny” written by Laura Burdo.

See My Penny

Meet Ms. Penelope, a darling three year old girl, born on the cusp of Valentine’s day.

Since the time she was lying in her crib, crawling across the floor, or standing at my feet; I’d sing over her this little jingle…

Pick A Penny

“Find a Penny, pick her up; all day long you’ll have good luck!”

Penny 1

Remember this rhyme?

The origins of this superstition may stem from ancient times when metals were believed to offer protection from evil and harmful spirits to those who possessed them.

What’s Wealthy?

When cultures began using coins as currency, obviously those who had more of them were considered wealthy. Thus, the accumulation of money translated into good fortune.

Perhaps this fact contributed to the good luck association with finding a penny.

My Lucky Penny

Some people believe that different outcomes will occur if the penny is found either heads up or down.

If the penny is heads up you may freely and joyfully pick it up, and experience good luck. If it faces tails up, you can pick it up and turn it over for the next person – just do not take it with you because you will be bringing yourself bad luck.

Penny 4Yet others believe that the penny you pick up should be passed along to someone else the same day to ensure your own good luck.

Sigh, if only it were that easy.

It’s But A Game

These games we play can be fun, but of course, they aren’t actually reliable.

And yet – positives like hope, faith, and expectation do have proven scientific substance – according to many studies.

We’ve all heard of the placebo effect. Often times, people ascribe such things to receiving miraculous healing and other surprising happenings.

Think On This…

A great many people throughout the ages have commented on the topics of good luck and happiness. They have contributed their part in the exploration of these much sought after attainments.

Mr. Pilates said, “Everyone is the architect of their own happiness.”

All this may be true, but perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the skies.
Let me leave you with this.

As your faith is, so be it unto you!

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) Stop Shaking
2) Pass the Trees Please
3) Oh Time Divine

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.

STOP SHAKING

“Stop Shaking” written by Laura Burdo.

Do You Like Rain And Thunderstorms?

I do!

Laura Burdo - Stop Shaking 2

But, I will confess I prefer to seek shelter from the storms – insulating myself from risk and harm instead of being out in them.

Stuck… and just having to weather it!

It’s a natural reaction to self protect, and avoid, and shrink back a little bit, isn’t it?

It’s Greek

There’s an original Greek word for a violent storm, Seismos – which literally means a shaking.

Imagine an earthquake, a tsunami, or a volcano. Can you feel the rumble? Have you felt that within yourself – within the battles of your mind, or deep within your belly?

I 100-percent relate.

It’s not unlike this when we go through the storms of life!

The type that whip us around, knock us down, and sometimes drag us under.

Can’t Escape…

But these storms of life we can’t always escape. We can’t always find complete shelter – and nor should we!

For the stress, and the struggle, and the sufferings are ultimately for our own promotion and for our good.

Calm Down

So let’s calm the fear, walk away from worry, and denounce doubt. Especially, the kind that hinders our health and just turns us all inside-out.

Take heart!
Stop shaking!
Start standing on stable legs, on faith, and grounded feet!

Therefore, lift up the hands that hang down, strengthen those feeble knees, lift your eyes up to the mountains and know that your help cometh!

Stop Shaking - Laura Burdo - Pilates Preacher

You say you’re doing pretty well under the circumstances.

Well I say, “What are you doing under there”?!

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) Pass the Trees Please
2) Oh Time Divine
3) Mush It

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.

PASS THE TREES PLEASE

“Pass the Trees Please” written by Laura Burdo.

Take A Walk On The Wild Side

” And into
The forest I go
To lose myself
And find my soul. “

It’s trendy and it’s the new craze.

It’s Nature meets Mindfulness.

Maybe, it’s not new to you…

What is Forest Bathing?

Forest Bathing is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest to improve mental health and to boost physical immunity.

(And not to be confused with an energetic walk or hike.)

Shinrin-Yoku (森 浴)… and What It Can Do For You

The practice originated in Japan back in the early 1990s. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries coined the term Shinrin-yoku (森 浴) – which translates roughly as forest bathing.

(Rumor has it that some practitioners actually practice this ritual au natural. Gulp! But, keep your shirt on, folks… and your shorts and shoes, too, please!)

Why Go Wild?!?

This practice is proven by scientists to benefit physical and mental health as it helps lower heart rate, blood pressure, reduce stress- hormone production, boost immunity and mood, and improve overall feelings of well-being.

In addition to that impressive list of benefits, quite uniquely, recent research showed significant increases in human natural killer cell activity after forest bathing. And its positive effects last a month following each weekend in the woods.

Wow!

The positive effects last a month after woods- walking. Now, that’s sumthin’ to PIP about!

Let Me Be Your Guide

The aim of forest bathing is to slow
down and become immersed in the
natural environment.

Tune in to the smells, textures,
tastes and sights of the forest.

Breathe deeply and take in the
surroundings by using all our senses.

Close your eyes and just listen.

Then upon opening your eyes,
imagine that you are standing on
holy ground, in a magical place,
and as if you are seeing the world
for the very first time.

The Benefits of Forest Bathing

Many health care providers are incorporating forest therapy as an organized stress- reduction strategy. There’s no question that stress takes a terrible toll in the United States; a 2016 study found that work-related stress alone accounts for up to $190 billion in healthcare costs each.

Fortunately, there continues to be a growing interest in the US and in the UK. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to organize Woods Walking group!

Pass the Trees Please - Pilates Preacher - Laura Burdo

Warning!  Helicopter Trainer on Patrol

Now, at the expense of sounding like a helicopter-trainer, may I make a few suggestions?

Consider possible pit-falls and precautions pertaining to the terrain, weather, and wildlife. (Geez, I sound over-protective, I know.)

OK bear with me… maybe bring along some basic First Aid items. Oh, and don’t forget sunscreen and bug spray!!

(Whew, what a real nag, right?)

Well, at least I refrained from hinting about leaving a breadcrumb trail! 😒

What Would Joe Do (WWJD)?

And now, let’s get back to Joe.

Joseph Pilates said, “By all means, never fail to get all the sunlight and fresh air you can!”

As a child, Joe would lie in the woods for hours, hiding and watching how the animals moved, how the mother taught the young. This helped him understand natural movement and how to mimic it within the human form.

 

Pilates Preacher

 

Reflect Respect

This brings to mind how many fundamental Yoga asanas and Tai Chi moves mimic animals – and these practices also reflect respect for nature.

Who doesn’t love Tree and Up-Dog? How about the Sun Salutation Series?

Pilates Preacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like Pulling-Up-Earth’s-Energy and Cloud-Walking in Tai Chi.

You may have your own favorites, too.

So, save the favs … but, grab a friend, or two to DO some Forest Bathing.

What are you waiting for?

Nature’s calling!

And may the Forest be with you!

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) Oh Time Divine
2) Mush It
3) Age on Stage

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.

OH TIME DIVINE

“Oh Time Divine” written by Laura Burdo.

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Time is divine… and time is a thief.
Life is a gift… and life is a bitch.

Double-minded?
I think not.

Seasons

We all have ever-turning (and churning) seasons in our lives.

Seems like just when we finally get the hang of something… or about when we start to get comfortable… wild winds whirl and we sense a shift in the atmosphere.

Ut-oh, what happens then?

Do you cringe at change, or combat it?

Maybe you expect it, and welcome it.

Divine Rhythm

When a season is light and lingering, of course, we delight in these times of tranquility. But, do you look over our shoulder at what could be coming down the pike while holding your breath a little bit?

So, what’s happening here?

Are you waiting to exhale… or are you waiting to inhale? No matter, maybe.

The natural answer to either state is merely to breathe. Metered and cyclical, as if each inhalation and exhalation is a compliment to the other.

Compatible – each are equally dependent upon the other.

This is a divine rhythm. Every breath affirming our existence as we trust that we belong in this life – in this time and space.

Your Weather Patterns

Have you noticed that we are all at the same time experiencing our own unique weather patterns (of life)? Some are sunny, or partly cloudy, while others are cold with lots of precipitation.

Maybe this is why Socrates once said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Let’s talk about those heavy and hovering seasons. You know… the ones that call for some true blue long-suffering.

Ut-oh, did I just hear you groan?

Reaction

I get it… just typing those two words hit me.

I feel it in my chest or deep in the gut somewhere… like an old memory or like an anxious dread. This must be a common reaction because, c’mon, no one likes suffering!

But, we do have some say over the matter. We don’t have to be taken down or let the pain settle in. Instead, we could determine to gut it out.

Long Suffering

Did you know that long-suffering is an actual characteristic that we can develop? Yep.

The actual definition is having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.

Bet you know how to obtain this quality.

Yep again… we just have to deal!

It’s like what Robert Frost, the great American poet told us in his writings. He said, “The best way out is always through.”

Rhyme and Reason

Instinctively, we know that trying times are testing and teaching us. And yet, we struggle to feel appreciative. Of course, that too, is part of the lessons learned.

Hey, how bout the seasons that leave us mentally screwed-up, as they appear to have no rhyme or reason?

Jessica Jones (a super hero character) said, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stranger.” Pretty good one, right?

Now, we could try to resist these stages of changes within us. But should we?

Isn’t that like trying to wear a hat on a very windy day, shoveling sidewalks while it’s still snowing, or talking to a person who isn’t listening? I mean, we can do that, but it can be exhausting and ultimately futile.

In addition, these reactions would only rob us.

Behind the Divine

What would happen if we expected and accepted all things? As in… whatever arises, love it.

Say to yourselves, everything is as it should be. And then relax, because nothing is really under (our) control anyway.

It is said that change is taking place continuously, all the time, behind the scenes, underneath it all… even when we can’t quite detect it.

May I suggest that that is the divine design at work within us?

Fly with Byrds

You may already be acquainted with these wise words – courtesy of The Byrds.

Remember the song, Turn! Turn! Turn!

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.

And… there it is.
The revelation is still relevant.
PEACE and PRESENCE is the PURPOSE.

Final Words

Let us make peace with… self, others, loss, pain, and change.
And know this… God has made everything beautiful in its time.

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) Mush It
2) Age on Stage
3) No Apathy

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.

MUSH IT

“Mush It” written by Laura Burdo.

A Little Story

A long time ago, in a mid-west town, this happened one snowy school-cancelled afternoon…

Suit Up

I remember requiring assistance getting into my snow suit – along with the usual accessories – mittens, earmuffs, and a hat, as I was only six years old. Now the boots… well, I put them on all-by-myself!

So there I stood, donning my new fuschia-pink snow suit with big fluffy earmuffs which practically covered my entire face. A white hat sat upon my head with pig-tails poking out at the sides.

We (my siblings and I) were anticipating snowball fights with neighborhood friends, sledding, and my personal favorite… making snow angels!

Prior to these wintery festivities, we had to complete schoolwork and tend to the family pet. These were strict orders from our father.

Seemed fair enough, and so we perform our tasks, leashed the dog and headed for the front door.

An Unexpected Twist

Just before anyone could take hold, this impetuously independent dog charges boldly into the great outdoors. “Tanner” was his name. Craazy was his game. Being a Shepard / Husky mix, this made him large, energetic, and strong-willed. (I’ll tell more about this four-legged feisty foe another time.)

I caught a glimpse of the end of the long leash and dove toward it, grasping with both hands. I recall the snow being high and slippery.  Now, one might say that my small stature was no match for that rambunctious rebel… or was it??

You see, all I needed to do to subdue the dog’s rant was to create a drag and tire him out, right? Then I could save the day by saving the dog and bring him safely back home.

At least, that was this six year old’s plan.

Stop

But slow down, he did not!

Tanner charged up and down the main drag including some side streets, slid-into and climbed-out of ditches, chased a few dogs, and circled around too many trees to count. Yet, I held onto that leash for dear life – for his, and for mine.

Worries and thoughts racing. What if he ran away and became lost in the cold? Or he caused an automobile accident that injured people. Also, I feared that we may receive rebuke from father for allowing the dog to escape in the first place!

This scene continued for quite awhile as Tanner was rather young and spry – but, ya know what, so was I!

Mush It - Laura Burdo

I suspect that being a gymnast made me no stranger to pain. Perhaps, it even helped me endure the discomfort of being jerked around, dragged over rough pavements, and bashing into the occasional inanimate object or tree along the way.

Ugh, and all that twirling. Remember the long leash? Well at times, I was on my back or sideways, but periodically, I’d be completely face down in the snow.

Spectators

Neighbors were gathering to observe this spectacle. Some were staring with gaping mouths, others laughing. Bigger boys were chanting, “MUSH, MUSH!” and other obnoxious things.

But, ALL were shouting, “LET GOOO!”

I overheard my brother exclaim, “My sister’s a fighter, she won’t let-go!”

(Speaking of my brother… he recently recounted the details of this day with me.  We had a good laugh when he said that if this had occurred during the smart-phone era, it surely would have been captured on video and posted on social media!)

Show’s Over

Although attention spans may have been a bit longer back then, still the crowd dispersed. Tanner’s show-boating slowly dwindled and then his mania just stopped. And would you believe, right in front of our very own house?

And there we were… panting and wrung-out. Tanner’s coat snowy and his paws were mud. My snow suit was ripped in several places and my hat lost.

My siblings and I sulked up to the house together… like a scene in the movie, Dead Man Walking. We readied ourselves for punishment.

I’m still hanging onto that leash. Tanner’s tongue… (still) hanging out.

Father

Father runs toward us with an expression upon his face that confused me. It looked something more like pity then anger. He lifted me up and held me, and attended to my bruises while brushing wet clumps of icy snow from my hair.

I asked, “Father, what does MUSH mean?

I told him that the punk boys were chanting it at me.

He roared with laughter and said, “Basically, Tanner fled and you, my dear, became the sled.”

 

Final Thoughts

As I reflect on this story, it both warms my heart, and saddens it.You see, that pattern of rescue, responsibility, worry, holding on too tightly, and not knowing when to let go has permeated my life. At times, this caused considerable conflict and perhaps pain to others, but certainly to myself.

 

Today, I understand that the best I can do – in all situations – is to seek the wisdom to know the difference.

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) Age on Stage
2) No Apathy
3) Meet Your Feet

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.

AGE ON STAGE

“Age on Stage” written by Laura Burdo.

Old is a Decision

Did you know that there are really only three stages of age? There’s Youth. Middle-age. And “Hey, you’re lookin’ pretty good!”

Age

A poor little three-letter word that’s so often treated as a four. A word that congers up soo much emotion – and gets soo much rejection.

But hey, let’s not feel too sorry for it.

I mean, it does do some mean things.

And it rhymes with mean little words like rage and cage. But ohh, it also rhymes with sage and page…as in, maybe, just keep turnin’ em?

I’m well aware of the reactions. So much so, that I look for alternative ways to say “it” while I’m teaching or coaching. For example, I like to say, “Such and such tends to occur as time goes on.” (Wink-wink, and not ‘as we age’.)

Panic Manic

But friends, we need to resist hitting the panic or punish button, OK? And just get a grip on ourselves.

Look, we all need reality-checks, and sometimes maybe even a checkup from the neck up!

Competition?

A few months ago, I hired for myself a counselor, a nutritionist, and a Crossfit coach. You see, I was turning the big 5-O, and I wanted to get myself into a better place of self-control, strength, and discipline (but nothing too crazy, mind you)!

I set a goal and entered The Ms. Cincinnati Natural Figure Competition (historically, the longest running show of its kind.)

In my youth, I was an accomplished light-weight bodybuilder and held numerous overall titles. Now that I am ‘middle-aged’, things are a little different (oh hell, they are a lot different)!

They put me in the Masters category (but hey, thank God it wasn’t labeled Seniors, right)?
I placed third. Felt pretty grateful…not for the trophy, but that I did it… and trained without strain or injury.

age on stage - trophy - Laura Burdo - Pilates Preacher

The Best Part

Best part – I found some treasures within myself that I had misplaced, chucked away, or never even had before.

Soo, not bad for a middle-aged woman, right?

But… do you know what?!

I think I overheard a few people in the audience saying,

“HEY, SHE’S LOOKIN’ PRETTY GOOD!”

Humph!

Talk soon,
Laura Burdo
The Pilates Preacher

For more check out these articles:
1) No Apathy
2) Meet Your Feet
3) In the Quiet

Laura Burdo - The Pilates Preacher

P.S. To hear more, please be sure to sign up to the 7 Heavenly PIPs.