Happening in Kansas City
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For Randy Hite, singing with the Heartland Men’s Chorus has become a way of life.
“To me, the chorus combines so many things in my life,” Hite said. “It combines my love of music and singing, but it also combines my love of activism, being publicly out as a gay organization.
“Most importantly, it’s a place where we create community. And that’s a community of supportive people within the chorus -- I tell people it’s a place where I feel I belong. There’s that community inside the chorus, but then when we present a concert, I feel we’re creating a community for the whole LGBT community in Kansas City -- an event where they can go and feel safe and affirmed and see their friends in a public setting.”
Hite has been with the chorus for about 20 years, he said. He took a few years off in the early part of his participation.
“My personal story of why I stopped is a little telling about the early years of the chorus,” he said. “This was the ’80s. It was a new organization, and there were just different ideas about what the organization was. For some people, it was a safe place to be among friends. They did not want to be political at all. I, on the other hand, saw it as [a place> that we could be a force for change, and so I wanted us to be more out than some people did.”
He stepped away from the chorus until that difference of opinion had resolved itself and members were being more out and open.
Hite sings baritone and is the baritone section leader in the chorus.
“I have a degree in music education from UMKC and so I have some skills and background in that,” he said.
Hite said he really couldn’t single out any one concert that was his favorite. But he did say that he liked the concerts like “When I Knew”, “I Am Harvey Milk” and others with messages about bullying awareness, gay activism and other more political causes.
Hite has also been involved in the Four Freedoms Democratic Club, which served for years as Kansas City’s leading LGBT political organization. But lately, Hite said, Four Freedoms has been disbanding because the members feel that the work of other organizations now duplicates much of what they had been doing.
In addition, Hite runs several times a week with the Frontrunners LGBT running/walking group. In August, he competed in the 5K, 10K and half marathon events at the Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio. He won a bronze medal in the 10K, coming in third in his age group.
For about 19 years, Hite has been in a relationship with Rick Fisher, the executive director of the Heartland Men’s Chorus. They were married in July 2014, and they share a home in the Valentine neighborhood. The two met shortly after Fisher moved to Kansas City in 1996, but not through the chorus.
They met around the time when Hite returned to the chorus after taking a break. Part of the reason he returned was to be able to participate in the convention of GALA, the national group of gay and lesbian choruses.
Hite said he had gone to an earlier GALA convention and “It was a life-changing event, and so I was hooked.”
He and Fisher were able to go together to the 1996 convention.
Although the couple did not meet through the chorus, Hite said it’s common for participants to meet their life partners there.
“I can tell you the names of partners who have met through the chorus,” he said, laughing.
A Raytown, Mo., native, Hite has worked in customer service for the U.S. Postal Service for 23 years.
“I started as a teacher,” he said, “quit teaching after a few years and landed at the post office. And it turned into a career.”
Another role that Hite plays in the chorus is that of a buddy coordinator. The chorus assigns each new member a buddy, who introduces the newcomer to other members, guides them through the rehearsals, and more.
Hite encourages people to audition at the times of year when there are open auditions.
“It’s a great place to meet friends and sing and really make a difference in your community and world, I think.”
Hite spoke of what he feels is the important work of all gay choruses through GALA.
“We’re a part of something that’s much bigger,” he said. “We have important work to do. It’s not just the work we do in our own cities. We help improve the lives of LGBT people. As GALA says, ‘Our Voices Win Freedom.’ "
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at email@example.com.
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Is there any cost?
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Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
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“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at firstname.lastname@example.org.