From Cooking Light to Brazilian Jiujitsu - thanks to the lady who invented Step Aerobics

I got asked the other day how I got into BJJ.  I'm 20-30 years older than most of the folks I roll with, and most of them are men.

So I tried to trace it back.  And then I remembered!  When I was still working at Kaiser Permanente, Cooking LIght asked readers if any of them wanted Gin Miller, the lady who created Step Aerobics, to design a workout for them.  I'm sure a lot of people volunteered, but I got super lucky and got picked!

She designed a boxing workout and Cooking LIght even sent me a pair of bright pink boxing gloves and handwraps. I liked it. It was hard! You can do it yourself!

And then my gym offered a kickboxing class, and I took it.  The instructor was a black belt in kajukenbo, and he asked if we would be interesred in learning it. It's a mixed marital art.  The "ka" stand for karate, the "ju" for judo, the "ken" for kenpo, and the "bo" stands for both Chinese and American boxing.  I made it from a white sash to orange and was a few weeks away from testing for purple.

When that instructor left the gym, I looked around and got super lucky.  I found Southwest Portland Martial Arts. I started taking kung fu, which is a cousin to kajukenbo. Still I had to start at the bottom again.

Kung fu has been great for me - sparring, forms, and even some grappling.  I have moved from white belt to orange, and am now purple. I hope to trest for blue in the next year.

As part of kung fu, we had to do some grappling: arm bars, rear naked chokes, a mount escape. Then my school started offering Brazilian jiujitsu.  (aka grappling, aka wrestling + chokes + joint locks)

I have fallen in love. In love even more than I am with kung fu. I love it even though I am not a natural, and I don't have much in my favor. I'm 57, I'm not particualrly flexible, I'm a lady, a lot of my partners outweigh me, and I am not all that good at even knowing where my body is in space, let alone other people's bodies.

I don't care.  All I care about is that it's fun.  
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I have a twin!

One of these people isn't me!  But her photo was used for an event I'm doing.  Can you tell which one?  Because even I thought it was me.


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Book Tweep - there's a sucker born every minute

I got an email from an outfit called Book Tweep.

We saw your book "The Night She Disappeared" at Amazon. We would like to help you in the Promotional efforts of "The Night She Disappeared" to boost the number of sales and ranking. We will act as an extra helping hand in marketing your book so that you can get more time to write your next one. You can check our website and discuss your promotion queries and your Book Sales target. For more info just visit our website and write to us.

Hey, for only $14.99 a month you can promote your self-published book through three Twitter accounts that spew endless tweets that I doubt are ever seen and that have a suspect number of followers.

The tweets are along these lines: "Emotional struggles and deep friendships play."

Another red flag for me is the poorly written web site.

How it works?


  • The cost of our book promotion service is $14.99 per month for a single book or a series.

  • You will get one promotional tweet from our each twitter account.

  • We will tweet from 3 twitter accounts so you will get 3 promotional tweets per day.

  • In month total 90 promotional tweets per month for your book at the cost of $14.99 per month to our more than 250,000 followers/readers.

  • In addition to it we will also permanently list your book on our site(1000 to 1500 per day visitors).

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