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Archive for March, 2012

My husband Dave will be inducted into his college athletic’s Hall of Fame this April. Dave was an outstanding college basketball player holding many of the college’s scoring records to this day. “With 1,833 points, David Clark is the leading scorer in Goucher’s men’s basketball history and led his team to the 1994-95 Capital Athletic Conference championship.” Goucher College Website

I never saw Dave play basketball in college, we met after undergrad when we were struggling modern dancers. Dave took up dance at Goucher to help him with his basketball game, he enjoyed dancing so much that after graduating he decided to try his luck as a professional dancer. We were dancing for The Doug Hamby Dance Company in Baltimore http://www.umbc.edu/dance/fulltime_faculty.html, I was teaching Dave a duet that was in our company’s repertory. During the duet we embraced for several seconds, sparks flew, my pulse race and my cheeks flushed, Dave felt it too. The rest is sweet, sweet history. I never knew how good of a basketball player Dave was, he never talked about it. After we married we attended an alumni game at Goucher and the program for the game had a quiz on it asking: Who held the records for the all-time leading scorer, all-time average points per game, all-time assist average and many more—All of the answers were Dave Clark. I leaned next to my friend who knew Dave in college and asked her about the quiz. She gave me a funny look saying, “Didn’t you know? That’s his retired jersey framed on the wall.”  I was floored and humbled.

Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the induction ceremony because of the Bikram Teacher Training. I am sad about missing the ceremony, but I know that Dave will feel the love that day from his many former teammates that are attending, his family, my family and of course his # 1 fan Ella. Dave has encouraged and supported me in my decision to attend teacher training since I first mentioned it last summer. I would like to nominate Dave for my own Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame for the most amazing, outstanding husband/partner, father and friend a girl could ask for. With love and gratitude my sweet.

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Last night as I was leading a silent Bikram yoga class at the studio where I practice I had a transformation. This transformation is not a new one for me, it happens almost every time I practice yoga. First of all a silent class is an incredible way to practice the series of 26 postures in a Bikram class. The sequence of the silent class is the same as a traditional Bikram yoga class, but I practice along with the students and tell students what posture comes next and when to come out of it, I say nothing else. The wonderful studio http://www.bikramyogaburlington.com/ where I practice does this every winter and donates the money made from the class to a local charity. This year the money is going to the Vision Strength Action (VSA) http://www.vsavt.org/ program that provides art classes/programs to adults and children with disabilities. I have been teaching dance classes for adults with disabilities for the VSA for the past year. It has been an incredible experience, a highlight of my week. Also leading the silent classes has been a wonderful way for me to prepare for the teacher training coming up in THREE weeks.

Now about my transformation…In Bikram classes you wear very little clothing, the room is heated to 105-115 with about 50% humidity. You learn pretty fast, the less clothes the better off you are. There is a large mirror in each Bikram studio that you stand in front of and look your body the whole class. Last night as class started I began with a self-deprecating attitude–criticizing my thighs and belly, disappointed in myself for having 2 chocolate milkshakes this week and noticing the recent breakouts in my skin. By the time we got through the first series of postures that criticizing voice was silenced and an appreciation for my strong, incredible and capable body took over. My strong legs that act as Ella’s legs each day, my strong arms that lift Ella’s slippery body out of the bath tub, my strong and flexible spine that will allow me to care for Ella as she gets older, heavier and taller and the bulldog determination that I have developed to get me through the sweaty 90 minute class and Ella’s IEP meetings at school. This is why I love my body and Bikram yoga. Bring it Teacher Training, I’m ready!

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Last week we took Ella to see a student matinee performance by the Axis Dance Company. AXIS creates, performs, and teaches “physically integrated dance”— a contemporary dance form that evolves from the collaboration between dancers with and without disabilities.   http://axisdance.org/  At school today Ella wrote a story about her experience. She used her communication computer to make choices to construct the sentences for the story. I am so proud and wish I had a photo of her smile on stage.

Dancing at the Flynn Theatre  by Ella Clark

I was sitting in the audience with my Mom and Dad when it happened. We were seeing a dance performance. They were choosing volunteers to dance on stage. I never thought I would be chosen. I was the very last person to be chosen. I was so happy to be chosen. I danced on stage with my Dad and the other dancers for 5 minutes. I had a big smile when the audience clapped. It was so exciting.

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As I mentioned in my pervious post Defining your roles, (https://juliepeoplesclark.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/defining-your-roles/) Dave and I have established roles caring for Ella. One of my duties is bathing her, I am the only one who fits in the bathtub with Ella. Dave barely fits in the tub by himself. As I prepare to leave for 9 weeks to attend Bilram Teacher Training we needed to figure out a way for Dave to bath Ella. We have been thinking about having our bathroom adapted for her, but we live in a condo and major renovations are not a good idea for resale. We consulted with a physical therapist who suggested a few pieces of adaptive equipment for bathing. The suggestions were good, but they just don’t seem to work for Ella. Last week we spent some time in a medical store trouble shooting ideas to solve our problem. This is our solution, we bought a stool for Dave and Ella to sit on in the shower together and changed the shower head to a removable one with a shut off valve. So far it works like a charm, Ella loves the shower. YEA!! Now, How am I going to fix the problem of Dave dressing Ella in crazy, clashing outfits while I’m gone? How many times do I need to tell him that animal prints and stripes do not go together? JEEZ. 

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