Life is worth ‰”Lifting”

With the Winter Olympic games just around the corner, it’s hard not to reminisce about my former skating career. Just like millions of Americans, I too, have been glued to the television watching my fellow skaters compete to capture a place on the 2010 Olympic Team in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

My excitement has motivated me to skate quite a bit lately, and so much so that I have introduced my skating lifts and exercises off-ice – to my local gym. That said, my dear friend Geri Zatcoff (a nutrition expert) has been dubbed my new off-ice partner, and I began introducing a series of moves and lifts to her over the last couple of weeks. This week she was not exactly confident to be lifted, but with several weeks of stretching and mini-lifts behind us, we left it to fate and up she went. Success! Although I leave you with this warning: just as the small print on your review mirror reads “objects may appear closer than they appear,” her small print could well say “remember: object may appear lighter than one crazy person might estimate.” Meaning my fault, not hers: my skating partners routinely had weights hovering near the 100 lb mark – a typical size for the sport and my friend is definitely not big – in fact, extremely fit and slim – but still not what I remembered.

To witness us one would think we were a former disco dancing team that lost our way or perhaps an old professional pair team coming out of retirement. Either way, this press lift was witnessed by a packed gym filled with those tough guys. Oh well, in the end, the boy got the girl, and so what if it just about killed him. It’s a good thing I’m a strong guy, as she said afterward: “I can’t believe you can pick up this old hag”. Hardly a hag, she may not have been the lightest person I’ve ever picked up, but definitely, the one that got the most attention.

That said, I would have my new friend JoJo Starbuck to thank for this new lifting inspiration, as not long ago I was skating with her and longing to do pairs again. Truth be told, this week I was invited to help teach JoJo’s morning class in New York at the Rockefeller Plaza Rink. JoJo Starbuck’s a three-time National Pairs Champion and a two-time Olympian. She choreographs many of today’s skating stars and teaches figure skating to adults. And that’s where I came in. Tuesday I once again graced the ice with my new friend to help teach her adult skaters. The perfect way to start my day as her students were all amazing, fun and excited to be there. Of course, the fact that JoJo herself teaches and offers insight and skating tips solidifies the love and dedication that these skaters have. With the oldest student over 70, I was reminded that you’re never too old to exercise and or skate.

Later that day I went to the Martha Stewart Sirius Radio station for an interview on Living Today with my buddy and good friend Mario Bosquez – I was asked on to share some SuperBowl party ideas. I always loved listening to his show, even before starting to appear on it; whether you’re just starting dinner or making your way home from the office, you’ll love tuning in to Living Today. I’ve had the pleasure to be a regular guest on the show and always look forward to it.

So with JoJo Starbuck on my mind and Martha Stewart Radio under my belt, I returned to Connecticut inspired and ready to hit the gym and try my lifts with my friend again. Who knew hitting the gym could mean getting some weightlifting in without touching a barbell?

Are we too old to dream, to have aspirations, be inspired, or to really live? I think definitely not, as I dreamed of meeting JoJo Starbuck since I was a child: done that. I aspired to be on the MSO radio: done that! Live to be all I can be, even if it means breaking my back and lifting a woman rather than a young thin thing: Crazy maybe, but still done that! If I can still do it, well that’s just MARvelous!