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One of the highlights of my two weeks in Montreal this summer working for Outgames I was squiring Patricia Nell Warren around the events for two and a half days.
Warren is the author of the groundbreaking gay sports novel, The Front Runner. It’s the story of a college-age runner, Billy Sive, and his ex-Marine coach, Harlan Brown - their love for their sport and each other. The story ends with Billy unable to finish the men’s 5,000 meter race at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. You’ll have to read the book to find out why.
When Outgames called, Warren was more than happy to come to Montreal 30 years later and complete that last lap on Billy’s behalf. When she did, the crowd at the track and field stadium went crazy.
As Warren sat in the sweltering heat waiting to walk the symbolic final 50 meters of Billy’s race, gay men from 30 to 80-plus years of age came over to tell her how much The Front Runner meant to them. “I read it as I was coming out,” one said. “I knew I wasn’t alone.” “Thank you so much for writing that book,” said another. “It gave me the courage to say who I was.”
Giving voice to LGBT people in sports has been Warren’s passion for more than 30 years. A long-distance runner herself, Warren was instrumental in achieving equality for women in that sport. She, along with 11 other women runners, crashed the Boston Marathon in 1969 to illustrate the ludicrous ban by the Amateur Athletic Union on women competitively running more than two miles. A few years later, the rules were finally changed, and women runners were 50-mile marathoners.
Now, Warren has just published another book about gays in sports, but this one is a nonfiction work. The Lavender Locker Room: 3,000 Years of Great Athletes Whose Sexual Orientation Was Different comes out this month and has already been met with praise from LGBT and straight athletes alike. The book is a collection of essays she has written for Outsports.com, the LGBT sports website.
The Lavender Locker Room chronicles LGBT people in sports from the first out love relationship between Greek athletes Achilles and Patroclus to well-known gay athletes Dave Kopay, the former NFL player, and tennis great Martina Navritilova.
But between the opening and closing chapters are the fascinating stories of athletes that we don’t know.
The lover of England’s King James I - now sometimes called “the gay king” - George Villiers was knighted as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber. But more important to the sport of horse racing, he was also designated as the “master of the horse.”
“I think I’m the first one to really put together the whole story of Villiers,” Warren told me in a recent phone interview. “Racing had become the sport of kings. Villiers started the breeding program. He got the ball rolling. We owe him the horse. The story is so colorful it’s almost like an historical romance novel.”
But for Warren, it’s not just about athletes who are gay or lesbian, but about how LGBT athletes have helped to define the sports they loved.
“Gay people have tended to focus on the political and psychological part of coming out,” she said. “But it’s [also> really important to look at the sport at the moment that these people appear.”
Warren explained that people don’t tend to think of Amelia Earhart as a sportswoman, “yet she was one of the people who made the presence of women in air racing possible.”
“Earhart may have been one of air racing’s ‘odd girls,’ in a day when the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ were never spoken openly,” Warren writes in the chapter on the famous flyer. In 1929, Earhart and 19 other “sky girls” - as women flyers were called in that day - entered the first national Women’s Air Derby and broke new ground. That same year, Earhart and 98 other women pilots formed the 99s, the first women’s pilots association, which Earhart helmed as president. Soon after, men and women were competing against each other in air races.
Warren went on to explain in our interview that two men - one gay, the other bisexual - also had an impact on racing in the air. Extremely closeted Alberto Santo-Dumont pioneered balloon racing, and Howard Hughes, who Warren calls the “ultimate bisexual,” left quite a mark on air racing as well as on airplane technology.
“We are the creative ones,” she said.
How true - and Warren’s work, whether fiction or non, bears this out as well.
Libby Post is the founding chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda and a political commentator on public radio, on the Web, and in print media. She can be reached at LesbianNotions@qsyndicate.com."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
· Can be self-collected under supervision by lightly-trained individuals (so no onsite medical professional required)
· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“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 email@example.com.