Thursday, January 31, 2019


I was so excited to watch the video that has been viewed more than 40 million times. Ohashi, representing UCLA, scored a perfect 10 in an exuberant floor routine that demonstrated her athleticism and love for the performance aspect of the sport.

The win marked a comeback for Ohashi, whose nearly life-long gymnastics career was marred by injuries and the incredible pressure placed on female gymnasts to maintain a crazy-strict diet and a particular body weight and size.  Her win is also a win for females everywhere in gymnastics, and for females everywhere.  Why?  Because she came back to the sport despite the ways that its sexism and inhuman and irrational standards of perfection and body shape/size had gotten her down.  She defied all of that by coming back, enjoying herself, and winning!

Let's hope that Katelyn's win and new found notoriety has the sport of gymnastics re-evaluate the rigidities that it set for its female participants. I think that it will!

Wednesday, January 09, 2019


Four years ago, I was terrified of riding a bike alone in traffic.  I found and joined a diabetes prevention group at the local YMCA where each of us set small goals at the weekly meetings.  One week, my goal was to ride my bike alone two blocks to the local neighborhood park.   I ended up riding much further, all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and back to my home.  I don't think I even knew the traffic rules!  I was so scared that I was shaking when I got back.  I've ridden my bike most days since then, and I learned something important:  It's a lot easier to set and achieve challenging goals when you are part of a larger group.  

A lot of folks don't make New Year's resolutions because they are fearful of failure.  Personally, I think it's a set-up for discouragement to go after something that may have been hard for you in the past and then expect to stick to that goal.  Why knock your head against the same wall again and again? When you identify what you would like to accomplish in the coming year, the next step should be to find one or more groups of folks who have similar goals.  Here's 10 reasons why:

1. The other people in a group can provide perspective on both your struggles and strengths, which is incredibly valuable when you hit internal or external stumbling blocks.

2. A group, with its diverse set of minds, can work together to brainstorm solutions to your challenges.  A group can often come up with an idea that a person could not come up with alone.

3.  A group can help to hold you accountable in the places where you want to give up, back down, and hide under the covers.

4.  Within a group, you can often find an accountability partner- someone you can check in with in person, or via email or phone.

5. You might make new friends!

6.  People can offer perspective through humor when you hit hard times.

7.  It feels great to contribute to someone else's success!

8.  You can be inspired by someone else's breakthroughs.

9.  You can inspires others by sharing your own successes and breakthroughs.

10.  As Barbara Sher, author of Wishcraft, famously said "Isolation is the dream-killer." We humans are designed to go through life with the support and company of other humans.

Where has group participation helped you achieve an important goal?  Feel free to share by leaving a comment!

Thursday, January 03, 2019


On New Year's Eve, I ran into a local bakery after making multiple stops for groceries while on my bike in the pouring rain. I had locked my bike up across the street in a semi-inconspicuous spot and left two bags of food in the baskets. While in line at the bakery, I saw someone I know, but only on a “Hello” basis. I told him I was nervous about having left two bags of groceries unattended in my bike. He offered to have me go in front of him in line. So kind! He still got out of there before me since my order took longer.
As I was crossing the street with my bakery box, I saw someone standing in the rain by my bike. I thought that this person might be eyeballing my groceries. I was tempted to call out “Yeah, those are mine.” As I got closer, I could see that it was my acquaintance from the bakery. He was standing there to guard my groceries! Earlier that day, I had asked a friend what kind of mindset she adopted to deal with several difficult life issues at once. She essentially said “Know that you are not alone, and that people have your back.”This was such a great example of that, and also of the fact that you never know where support will come from.
It was a great way to end the year.