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How Courtney Pushed My Reset Button, Day 109

July 8, 2010

After an amazing session of Jazzercise with the talented Courtney Crouse, I once more pleaded with the Neti Pot to heal my allergic rhinitis, listened to my ears pop, and sat down at my finally functional computer to begin blogging from Bard College.  Despite a fairly relaxed schedule, with rehearsals in the afternoons and evenings, I have struggled to maintain my health here at Bard Summerscape with a seemingly endless stream of allergy problems.  I feel as though I’ve pushed the snooze button on my life for the last two weeks.  So, this morning I woke up feeling incredibly ill, stretched regardless of my sinuses, and forced myself to walk up the three flights of stairs to attend Courtney’s graciously free aerobics class taught for her fellow singers and colleagues.

With a smile on her face from entrance to exit, Courtney illustrates every move clearly and energetically with options for low and high impact versions of the exercises.  Choosing fun and upbeat music, she keeps the mood and intensity elevated and enthusiastic, and the class carries a continuous momentum as each new song begins.  Courtney’s demeanor makes the class as enjoyable as does her content, to the point that when another colleague remarks, “Ok, I’m done,” he grabs a quick drink of water, watches as the next musical selection prompts all of us into motion, and continues again despite himself.

Unprepared with a mat or towel, I opted to continue the core exercise in my room apart from the group, but I have no doubt she confidently and expertly led that portion of the class as well.  Honestly, I think I sprinted for my Neti Pot, with all of the pressure built up in my head overnight, but it now has begun to subside, and I can’t imagine having skipped this intense morning workout.  The last two weeks have provided so much stimulation and excitement, preparing to leave my apartment, come to the Catskill region, and perform in the unusual and provocative opera Der Ferne Klang.  Still, I missed my routine of writing and exercise.

Although my computer prevented me from accessing Ulysses Seen last night, I intend to begin chronicling my small steps with James Joyce’s Ulysses and Josh Levitas’s and Robert Berry’s amazing comic rendering and reader’s guide.  Because Ulysees Seen so far has only Telemachus available, I’ll also write about my challenges and experiences at Bard as the month progresses, for those of my readers not interested in taking the James Joyce plunge with me.  Still, I highly recommend it, as the comic makes accessible a work that alone dares us to make sense of it.  Either way, welcome back, and thanks for reading.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2010 10:00 pm

    Thanks for your compliments, Abby. To be fair, the reader’s guide is the work of our partner Mike Barsanti.

    If you can hang in there through 3 chapters of Stephen Dedalus, you’ll be rewarded in the 4th chapter by the introduction of the main character, Leopold Bloom. I promise. The second chapter is fairly dry on the first read, but it’s manageable. The third chapter is a BITCH and is the cause of most people’s capitulation. Don’t be discouraged by it.

    I also recommend reading the Sparknotes for each chapter before and after reading the chapter itself. My friend Laura Heffernan has done a great job with them. They’ll help you get into the rhythm of the book, which is really the key to not only getting through it, but getting through enjoyably.

    • July 9, 2010 12:50 am

      Thanks, Josh! Bard has quite enough diversions to keep me off task, but I think I’ll have some solid time to devote this weekend to the task! The comic’s already hugely helpful in terms of the very beginning, so I’m looking forward to the rest.


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