What women's rights look like when the two sides come together as one.
What women's rights are when women are no longer manipulated by party rhetoric.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Something Happy for a Change......

Cynthia Ruccia


Although I'm not in that photo above, some of you might know, I started a mid-life "career" in my 50's as a jock. I was a couch potato for 50 years until a life crisis got me up off the sofa and out in the streets walking to ease my misery. I walked and walked and walked and walked, day in and day out. It was fun walking. I got to know alot of my neighbors and learned alot about the life of my suburb. I remember going out one day, and one of the regular runners shouted out to me "you know Cynthia, you'll get there much faster if you run!!"

HA I thought----me run? I couldn't see that ever happening!! Well, soon enough, I got my first breast cancer diagnosis, and as a result, I got a downsizing of that part of my body, and the idea of running took on a new possibility. People in my life were also razzing me that I was spending too much time walking and that it was unhealthy (????) and I should become more moderate in my habits. Well, that really pissed me off, so I decided to tell everyone I was training for a triathlon to get them off my case, and off  I went. I bought a competition bike, got myself a trainer, and started swimming, biking, and running, and I fell in love with the sport of triathlon.

So I've done my fair share of races in these past 8 or 9 years. I've done a bunch of triathlons both of the sprint distance and the olympic distance. I've done three half marathons.  I've done a bunch of those 5-K races for charity. I even raced during my second bout of breast cancer, removing my wig when it got too hot and running bald. I even placed #6 in the nation at the 2007 National Senior Olympics in Louisville, KY. Often I place first in my age group, but honestly, I'm often the ONLY one in my age group---LOL!!!!!!

My second bout of breast cancer a few years ago was serious, but it was a completely different breast cancer than the first one, and it was of the slow growing variety. My doctors threw everything they had at it and as a result of all of that, my prognosis is excellent. I also managed to work out throughout my course of 32 chemo treatments. On  my bucket list was finishing first in the National Senior Olympics in triathlon in Cleveland, OH this summer. I had to qualify for the finals last summer, and although I had finished my chemo, my hair hadn't grown back and I hadn't regained all of my strength, I managed to qualify finishing in the last possible position to still qualify. That part I got to check off the list.

I'd been training hard and feeling like my old self again when lo and behold, I developed a little bit of a problem in my right hip. I went to lots of physical therapy, but when it came down to it, I had to decide to either race and possibly mess up my hip for good, or forgo the race so I could continue running well into the future. I was really mad at that----after all, I'll be 61 on my next birthday in 6 weeks, and at this age, who knows what the future holds? I mean, friends start to retire, the aging process picks up speed, and some of your friends start to slow down and even die. And I've outlived both my parents by alot of years.

Well, I made the decision to fully heal and try again in 2015 in Minneapolis. And I still have that "impossible dream" goal of doing a half-Ironman. But I read an amazing article about the women competing in the 2013 National Senior Games and it is worth  reading. What a triumph!! These are the women who were denied the opportunity to compete in athletics in high school and college and beyond who are making up for lost time in their 50's, 60's, and 70's and beyond. I am woman hear me roar!!!! Here's that piece-----enjoy!!!!!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Let No Opportunity For Hypocrisy Go To Waste

Cynthia Ruccia

It's been a busy summer so far, and it's going to get even busier. Every time I think I'm going to write a piece something comes along and prevents me from doing it. I suppose that in some ways that is a blessing. However, today, I just can't contain myself, so the lawn will just have to go unmowed until I vent my spleen a little.

I had to go to Sacramento, CA on a business trip this week. Of course, since I live in Columbus, OH, there aren't any direct flights to such places, so I had to take 2 three-hour flights each way. I decided to fire up my kindle with "This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral--Plus Plenty of Valet Parking!--In America's Gilded Capital" by Mark Leibovich to keep myself from dying of boredom as the airplanes droned on.

This book was an amazing navel gazing exercise in the overwhelming narcissism that has taken over D.C. these days. I have become cynical over the years about government. I've gone from being a 60's--70's wild eyed hippie idealist to a hard-nosed realist after running for Congress in the 90's after seeing first hand the power of money in politics. I say realist because I accepted that part of the game and became quite good at it----good enough to have raised millions, written a fundraising how-to book, and criss-crossed the country having been hired by state parties from all over the place to teach their folks how to bring in the green. It just seemed practical, that's all. Money makes things happen, so there needed to be plenty of it to achieve the things that I thought were important. It's just business, you know?

Well, just like many of you, I really got my belief system destroyed in 2008 after the whole Hillary/Sarah/sexism fest/debacle. That whole thing went against everything I believed in and I along with 4 million others made an exit from the Democrats. Others have written much more eloquently about it than I, and all of us have had to muddle through a re-set in our views.

I thought I had reached a place that I could live with politically, proud Independent and all, but nothing prepared me for what was in this book------one  I couldn't take my nose out of for the entire 12 hours I was stuck in those planes. This book revolted me, but I couldn't put it down. After reading it, I am so disgusted with politicians and the media (and truth be told, the highly entertaining but narcissistic author----must take one to know one or something like that). I thought I understood the nature of the swamp in D.C., but I knew nothing. It was many degrees worse than I could ever imagine, and I'm feeling like a big rube for ever putting any credibility in any of the players there. I am disgusted with all of them and even more, I am disgusted with myself for my naivete and my stupidity in ever believing in anything.

HOWEVER, I still want to see women reach the highest rungs in numbers proportionally proper (say 50% or so). So it is with this backdrop that I am following the carnival around Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin. I'm not going to offer up any commentary on their hypocrisy. You can read all about it from every conceivable angle by using your search engines.  You can read all sides about whether Huma should leave that weasel, about whether she was complicit and so power hungry herself that she really doesn't care, what kind of disgraceful human beings they both are, blah blah blah. You can read all about all of the major players trying to convince him to drop out, all of the latest polling of New Yorkers that reveals that although his numbers have slipped, there is still support for him, all of it. You can also listen to the poor thing who thought she was having a relationship with Weiner via texting, etc. You can even read about some sleazy sexual details that we really didn't need to know but can't stop reading about . I plead guilty to my own sick voyeurism in all of it.

HOWEVER, what has really blown my gasket is this article which says that Anthony Weiner should stay in the race and let New Yorkers decide whether they want him as their mayor. Actually, I agree with that position. HOWEVER, it is a hard position to square with Obama supporters who screamed bloody murder for Hillary to get out of the race but now can feel comfortable taking the position that Weiner has every right to stay in the race, a position that this article encourages. WTF!!!!!!!!!!

This whole thing is just giving me a high blood pressure headache. After reading what I thought was the ultimate form of cynicism about our national leadership both political and media-wise, I though maybe I was going to be inoculated----finally-----from the venal hypocrisies we are faced with from these hacks every day. But no------begging Hillary to get out of the race because she cannot win but telling folks to let democracy take its course in the case of dick-challenged Anthony Weiner is simply too much. Like I said in the title------no opportunity for hypocrisy must go to waste. Need I say more?