Tag Archives: Long Story Short

LSS: A step closer to Olympic dreams

After much deliberation, consideration and some practice too, I am officially launching my campaign for a new Olympic sport.

It just so happens that if the Olympic committee sees fit, I may finally have the opportunity to realize my personal Olympic dreams — something I’ve envisioned for decades now.

My interest in this particular potential-Olympic sport was rekindled last spring by happenstance during a monthly ladies investment club meeting. (How many times has that sentence been written?)

Ten ladies of varied interests make up the membership of our investment club. We were all still sitting at the table after dinner when I remembered I had an arm-wrestling contender for my friend Stacey Scarce. If you know Stacey (parish naturalist), you know that among her many talents, is her arm-wrestling prowess. To my knowledge, she is undefeated in the ranks of women and can hold her own with many of the fairer sex, as well.

Another investment club member said, “Oh Stacey, I believe I can take you on.”

And that was all it took to launch a mini arm wrestling tourney. But alas and alack, we were no competition for Stacey. However, one of the women said, “Stacey, if I could take you on with these babies (and she motioned to her legs), I believe I could take you down.”

With those words, my face lit up.

“Leg wrestling?” I asked. “You know how to leg wrestle?”

I hadn’t thought of leg wrestling in many years.

The rest of the ladies in my investment club stared at me with blank expressions.

One of them said, “Jan, darling, there’s no such thing as leg wrestling,” as if we were discussing the Tooth Fairy.

“Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong,” I explained and proceeded to explain the simple rules and regulations of leg wrestling.

Two people lie on the floor, side by side in opposite directions, with their hips aligning. Together they say, “One, two, three.” As each number is called, they raise the leg closest to the other person in sync. On “Three,” they hook legs and try to roll the other person. When one person successfully rolls on to his or her side away from the other person, he or she has won.

Got that?

So we went to my living room and moved the coffee table. I enlisted a volunteer to demonstrate one round and then a full-on Leg Wrestling Tournament was under way.

Mind you, the youngest member of our group is in her early 30’s. She did not participate. We have another member in her mid-30s, but she wasn’t there that night. Most of the rest of us are in the next decade-ish.

Not to embarrass my friends, but the first three or four of them were really very little competition. Some were afraid to try. Finally, Stacey agreed to a match.

While the girl can take all comers when it comes to arm wrestling, bring them my way for the leg wrestling portion of the evening’s entertainment.

Yep, I beat Stacey handily.

She’s convinced I have some secret technique that I’m not sharing. I promise I don’t. It’s sheer strength and force.

We’ve since taken our leg-wrestling tournament on to one other venue. Again, I was the undisputed champion.

Oh yeah, Olympics, here I come. Hello, Rio de Janiero 2016.

LSS: Poetic (in)Justice

April inspires thought and notion.
I set out to see the world anew.
Stippled light and shadows ocean
my spirit another winter through.

I set out to see the world anew
replete and wide, eyes washed clean.
My spirit another winter through,
summer shadows unforeseen.

Replete and wide, eyes washed clean,
the afternoon glow tenders hope.
Summer shadows unforeseen
from the base of a rising slope.

The afternoon glow tenders hope,
A quiet chance for planting.
From the base of a rising slope,
the future must be slanting.

A quiet chance for planting
Doesn’t happen often.
The future must be slanting
for our falls to soften.

Doesn’t happen often,
perfect light and gentle wind,
For our falls to soften;
for wounded hearts to mend.

Perfect light and gentle wind
Sustain a weary soul.
For wounded hearts to mend,
a virtual choir, harmonies whole.

Sustain a tired soul.
Vermilion river flowing.
A virtual choir, harmonies whole.
Children gather, strength unknowing.

Vermilion river flowing,
April inspires thought and notion.
Children gather, strength unknowing,
stippled light and shadows ocean.

Editor’s Note: April is National Poetry month. This poem is written in the form of a pantoum, a format that originated in the Far East. In a pantoum, there are no less than 6 quatrains, though there may be more. The twist to the pantoum is that the second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third lines in the following stanza. Then, to wrap it up, the first and third lines of the first stanza becomes the second and fourth lines of the last stanza. This brings the poem full circle. Additionally, the first and third lines of each stanza and the second and fourth lines rhyme.
Got a poem of 24 lines of less that you’d like to send in to celebrate National Poetry Month? Send it to me at jan@janrisher.com. I may choose yours to feature in an upcoming column. One entry per person, please.