Essays

Wise Men’s Words

At zero-dark-thirty this past Thursday morning, outside my hotel on Manhattan’s upper west side, I stepped into a yellow cab, settled myself on the hard vinyl seat, and greeted my driver. A burly man turned and greeted me with a big smile and an accented, happily enthusiastic “good morning.” […]

December 12th, 2016|Election, Essays, Hope|

Apple Pie & Vanilla Ice-Cream Go Together, but Not Olympics & Sacrifice

The other night, during the Opening Ceremonies of the XXXIst Olympiad, NBC’s announcers exclaimed over the event’s centerpiece: the country by country procession of over eleven thousand athletes, […]

August 8th, 2016|2016 Summer Olympics, Essays, Olympics|

Why You Should Throw Everyone Else’s Definition of ‘Success’ Out

If this Olympian cared too much about what others thought, she’d never have medaled When people talk about success, I always wonder what their definition is. Sure, criteria like celebrity, wealth and power come to mind. […]

February 19th, 2016|Essays, Following Your Dreams, Success|

It’s Never Love at First Draft

Why would anyone want to read the original manuscript of a young writer who subsequently wrote a world-renowned classic, except to trace the development of that writer? Why, upon reading it, would anyone ascribe meaning to that manuscript so as to diminish, question or require a re-thinking of the writer’s fabulously successful published work? […]

August 3rd, 2015|Essays|

Correcting the Course of Fear

Today’s a big day for me, the culmination of over six years of work: the publication of my memoir. I wrote Course Correction with the intention that, if there’s someone out there who’s stuck the way I was when I was a young person, I may change the trajectory of their thinking. I was horribly lonely for a long time, from my pre-teen years throughout my 20’s. […]

April 14th, 2015|Essays|

The Gift of Sally Ride’s Secret

I stayed up until 4 a.m. last night reading Lynn Sherr’s biography, Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space, an unwise choice, given my schedule for today. Now, I’m sitting on my flight home to Seattle from NYC, where I just finished it, sniffling quietly, hoping my seatmate doesn’t notice my tears. After I read the last page, I spent several minutes flipping through the photographs in the center of the book, staring at the various renditions of this famous woman, pictured from infancy into her fifties, then rereading snippets of pages, marveling at her complexity and wondering at the price she paid for the choices she made. […]

December 19th, 2014|Courage, Empowering Women, Essays|

Gratitude & Grace

In my world, gratitude is standard fare at Thanksgiving, along with the chestnuts and prunes and sweet potatoes smothered with toasted marshmallows. It’s a nice antidote to the vicissitudes of daily family life, which is rife with difficult topics. Boy, don’t I know that, as I catalogue my own list of what I’m grateful for, with the end of my standoff with my homophobic father near the top of the list. But more of that in a minute… […]

November 27th, 2014|Essays, Uncategorized|

Who’s Lucky Now?

I confess, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I didn’t back 25 years ago, when I started investigating the adoption process and I sure as hell don’t today, having raised two children virtually from birth who didn’t enter our family via birth canal. Every time someone tells me how lucky my children are for having been adopted into my family, I want to gag; instead, I politely tell them I’m the lucky one. […]

November 20th, 2014|Adoption, Essays|

Finding the Way Back to Go Forward Again

The first time I met the person who taught me about chasing dreams beyond the sports world, I realized she wasn’t normal. Nearly thirty years ago, so forgive me if I don’t recall the exact details, but I will never forget how this woman just didn’t take no for an answer. She headed a tiny non-profit that paired low-income youth at risk of not graduating from high school with adult mentors with the goal of shifting the students onto a track that would give them a better future than their predictable one. She never let her students’ present obstacles obscure their future possibilities. Never. She talked a good game of transformation, but she also walked her talk. She found solutions. A bushwhacker, that’s what she was, clearing paths for students to find the way from a messy present to a more hopeful future, largely under their own steam. […]

November 14th, 2014|Essays, Friendship, Non-Profit|

Can We Have Sports Without Cheating?

It seems cheating is pairing with sports more frequently these days, like the vanilla ice-cream and apple pie combo: inseparable. Of course, there are some key differences. You can choose to eat apple pie solo, but why would you? A taste of creamy, melting vanilla ice-cream enhances the flavor and enjoyment of every bite of [...]

November 3rd, 2014|Essays, Sports|
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