Tag Archives: Smith

JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 174 :: reaching the summitt

28 Jun

Day 174: Winning.

“I met her once.”

That’s what’s been in my head all day as I have watched the memorials pour out over the internet and social media for Pat Head Summitt.

She was a pioneer. The winningest coach ever. Intensely successful.

I was a pioneer when I met her. A Smith College Pioneer. Pat was to accept an award on the Smith Campus. I was the student picked to introduce her at the faculty luncheon in the private faculty building overlooking Paradise Pond.

I wasn’t picked because of my game scoring records (I barely had one) or my presence on the college court (more like the bench). I was picked because I was in the right place at the right time. And I intensely loved basketball and women’s sports.

Which was why was I was scared shitless. Of her. THE one and only Pat Summitt. A living legend then, almost twenty years ago. I was also scared of messing up. In front of HER. The living legend who was gracing the Smith College campus.

I practiced and practiced and practiced my speech. I probably worked harder on that speech than any term paper that semester. And on the day of the big introduction of Pat Head Summitt it all went by in a nanosecond. A blur. I didn’t mess up. It went without a hitch. Then I shook her hand. I SHOOK HER HAND!!! And, in an instant, it was over.

It’s an amazing legacy she leaves. One of strength and elegance. Determination and grace. Winningest path paved. Inspiration for a generation of little girls and a lifetime of women’s sports. She has now reached the ultimate summit. But leaves in her absence an incredible presence. And in my mind, an incredible gift.

I met her once.
And in that instance she made me do great.
Even if it was for a nanosecond.

I suppose that’s a practice she would be proud of. Making every nanosecond count. Whether it’s in life, work, school, on the court (or in the yoga studio).

Thank you, Pat.
For your life, your presence, your work, your mission.
Your inspiration.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore,
Jamie

{reaching the summitt}
#lovemoredomore

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Day 266: f*ing friday :: feminist

23 Sep

TGIF.
Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Forever.

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:
Feminist

As in, Gloria Steinem.

This week I had the honor of sharing the same space with Gloria Steinem.

Okay, so I didn’t have a CONVERSATION with Gloria Steinem, or MEET Gloria Steinem, or even STAND in the same building as Ms. Gloria Steinem.  But, I did share a small bit of space with her, just a few pixels away from each other on my computer screen.

How?

Smith College, my alma mater, featured The Promise 365 in the Notes From Paradise e-newsletter this week — and Gloria also happened to be featured in the same issue.  For a Smithie like me, this may be the best it gets.

Ironically, I had JUST watched the HBO documentary, Gloria: In Her Own Words, a few days before.  For the first time I actually felt as if I got a glimpse into this woman’s real life, this icon of the feminist movement, this icon of my college heritage.

And, it turns out this icon is a real woman, with real struggles and a real life. While she found herself leading a movement, she also survived cancer. She lost her husband after only three years of marriage. All this, and, she tap dances too.

After watching the HBO special I thought much about what it must have been like to grow up in Gloria’s time.  Even though I majored in women’s studies, to be completely honest, I never really got it on the level that I GOT IT by watching this documentary.

I was too young to witness the full effect of Gloria, et. al. While there was marching, burning bras, starting a movement and a magazine — I had yet to arrive, be thought of, born.

When I did arrive on the scene, I grew up in a world where girls were expected to grow up and go to college, do everything, have it all, and turn into women with super powers.

Not that I didn’t suffer blatant inequality in the process.
I did.  Mostly on the field as a teenager.  I saw the empty stands at my basketball games, the lack of fans, cheerleaders, uniforms, funding.  But at least I had the chance to play.

And, not that I haven’t suffered inequality in the working world.
I have.  But, at least I had the chance to enter the workforce skilled and studied.

And, it’s not like I’m unaware of the work there still is to do in our world, on all levels, with all people, beings, situations, so that everyone has the chance to live out their dreams.

But, right now, in this little moment of my life, I am thinking of all the women who came before me, and what they did, embraced, lived, loved.  It’s a beautiful gift that we have received in the name of sisterhood.

Whether it’s feminist or suffragist or equalizer or supermom, or anything else.  All I really care about is saying thank you.

Because I’m f*ing grateful for all of it.
And, that includes you Gloria.


Day 134: a re-union of sorts

14 May


Today was my college reunion. Number 15.  The 1-5.
It’s hard believe 15 years have passed since the day Anna Quindlen took the stage to address the graduating class of 1996.

Then again, it feels like almost 50 years have passed in my life since that moment in time when I was a bright eyed, young, exuberant, hopeful, naive, and excited college student.

I thought I knew it all then. 
And, I have pretty much proved that 21-year old girl wrong, despite all my best efforts.  There are so many twists and turns I could not have predicted. Death, divorce, layoffs, love, loss, and second chances.

Today I rented a car, hopped on the Mass Pike and ventured out to Northampton to reunite with my fellow classmates.

Upon first entering the Grecourt Gates I felt a strange sense of change.
Like a smell in the air.  It was the same, but different.

I parked my car across campus at the new parking garage (we didn’t have a parking garage when I was there ~ we also didn’t have cell phones, dvds, navigation systems, flat screen TV, or Wi-Fi for that matter ).

I walked my old familiar path through campus.  From the gym, past the pond, up the hill, across Elm Street and ended at Lamont House.  Class headquarters.

With excitement in my step I walked up to the registration table to check-in.  The dear student behind the desk seemed a little flustered and couldn’t find my name on the list.  Doesn’t matter I smiled at her.  I registered on the last day, I’m sure it’s on there.

A class agent jumped in to help and promptly announced that I must not be on the list, I registered too late.  She grabbed a pen and a name tag and handed them to me: “Here.  Fill out your own name tag.”

Just as the student reached over to hand me my goodie bag, the class agent jumped in and shrieked “She doesn’t get a bag.  She’s not on the list.  We only  have 85, I can’t give you one.”

“It’s okay.”  I smiled back.  “Really, I registered online on the last day, so I probably just didn’t make the list.”

Without bag or goodies in hand I left the hall to head out to my old house in search of my old room.  As I approached the quaint little Victorian I was greeted with a locked door.  Locked out.  Okay, so no photos of the old room.  Moving on.

I walked to the new student center (built post circa 1996) to grab my boxed lunch and check out the campus center.  As soon as it was my turn, after waiting in line, the staff announced they were all out of vegetarian lunches.

“Darn.” I thought.  I had specifically registered for a vegetarian meal so I could stay on my cleanse (the. final. week. of. this. detox.)

No problem, I told myself.  I grabbed the regular lunch and pulled out the apple and carrots. This will do.

On with the day.
And, on to other surprises:
Class meeting.  Moved to dinner.
Wellness sessions. Moved to a different building.
I went back and checked my old house again.  Still locked.

It had been three hours. And here I stood, in the middle of campus.  No lunch.  No visit to the old room.  No class meeting.  No goodie bag.

I began to ponder the situation.  Maybe this was a sign, to leave.  I had another hour before the next event (which for all I know was to be canceled or moved or displaced or re-purposed)

I stood on the step of the empty building and a sign caught my eye.
Chapin Botanical Garden.

That’s interesting.
I didn’t know there was another botanical garden on campus…

So, just before I gave up and was about to leave, I found the most beautiful, sweet and amazing spot on campus. A fountain, a waterfall, a sea of tulips, a meditation circle, a rose trellis and a pathway with benches.

I snapped a bunch of photos and sat on a bench soaking in the beauty of this very moment.

And, it was right then, that I found it.
I expected to enter campus and reunite with friends, I expected to see familiar faces and classmates, I expected to tour my old room, my old house, my old stomping grounds.

Instead I found myself reuniting with another woman.
The girl inside me.

On a bench, in a sea of tulips and boxwood shrubs, I sat with the girl who at one time called this campus home.

The girl who picked herself up by her bootstraps and moved from the west coast to the east coast to go to college, the one who was not phased and completely unfettered by thought of launching into the real world and knew she was going to change it.

It’s a thing of hope sitting on a college campus.  The air smells of opportunity and dreams.  And it was there on that bench that I had my reunion.

So what if I didn’t get a goodie bag, or room tour, or vegetarian lunch.
I got a much greater gift.

A reunion with what matters most, the core of it all, and the reason I first entered the Grecourt Gates.  To live a life of purpose and passion.

And it was in thinking of this girl, that I reconnected with my heart and remembered: opportunity awaits.

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