Blog post that might be of interest


I realized I should probably post a link in case anyone is interested. I've taken a break from what I refer to as Teh Project, what's been years of work to create a book, and I decided to blog on one of the key issues. I had some doubts about discussing this, but figured I need to get it out there, see what people have to say, see what interest is, see if anyone can lead me to some good stuff so....

I've blogged on the evidence, or lack there of, regarding Celtic, particularly Gaelic as is my focus, women warriors, historically and archeologically, and gave some of my thoughts on the literary material. So .... Once Upon a Time....

Fitness books or other media suggestions?

I was wondering if any one had any fitness media they particularly recommended to women looking to gain real strength? What I'm looking for is obviously not something that spends pages telling women they have to train differently than men in order to get "toned" rather than bulky OR instead says that women "don't worry you can't bulk up like men do." If they say that most people, female or male, won't get to bodybuilder proportions, that's fine (don't you love it when some guy who is fit but far from bulked up himself reassures us that we women don't have to worry about bulking up?). Not having heinous low-fat, artificial food diets would be a plus, but I know I am asking way too much now. It also doesn't have to be woman only or woman focused book if it treats women equally.

musing and brief intro

Hi, am finally getting around to this after saigh_allaidh suggested I post this here (initially a comment on her lj).

So, just cut 'n pasting:
I was thinking of 3 women I knew in my college years who were out of shape and overweight who transformed themselves into athletes after college. This also applies somewhat to myself - my "martial arts years" ranged from my late 20s to my middle 30s. But I find it striking that we all went through a similar kind of transformation around the same time of life - after college. Woman A was a smoker, typical American diet, somewhat overweight. She transformed into a runner and has run marathons. Same for woman B, except didn't smoke, became a long distance bicyclist and after that tri-athlete. Woman C was clinically obese, smoker - lost all the extra weight - about half her body weight - took to lifting weights and put on really impressive muscle. She tried running, didn't suit her.

Anyway, I was just wondering about this pattern, it's almost like we had these crappy habits in college, maybe to cope with college or whatever, and then got healthy and strong later. For me, I can't claim to have become as athletic as these women, but I feel in better shape that I was in in my twenties. My martial arts practice basically dropped off when I started fiddle, and I miss it sometime and if I didn't have to work I imagine I would do that again too... (so many hours in the day...) What amazes me is that I can go do a half hour run or more after not running in weeks (I do walk a lot though)... I never would have thought that possible in my 20s, I figure it's due to overall better eating as well as emotional and spiritual habits.

(end paste)

So, curious if anyone has any similar observations.

As for myself, my main favorite activities these days are hiking (live in the Appalacian Mountains) and running... hoping to get back to a regular schedule. I used to do martial arts from my late 20s to mid 30s but then Irish fiddle took over my extra-curricular free time. :) I also became a fan of Pilates unfortunately after my martial arts days because it could have really helped out with that plus saved me some hip grief.

I have to say that my favorite heroine in the body realm is the incredible Emilie Conrad, who is now 75 years old. Emilie is the founder of Continuum Movement, and Continuum is well, pretty much off any map you've ever heard of - it is not typical physical fitness, it is pretty much downright weird by standard standards, so it's not for everyone. Continuum is involved with primordial body awareness and intelligence, tapping into back to when we were sea critters... literally. If you ever meet Emilie in person you'll freak out that a 70something person can look, talk, and move the way she does (I did one of her workshops a couple years ago). Her site is and there are some vids there - the interview ones with her are probably only a few years old. Continuum is often described as "moving meditation" but it can also be used for strength training. See the vid called "Cass Phelps on the Flight Plan" - halfway through that they add weights to wrists and ankles - or at youtube here: (can't find any vids with women doing this, but there's not a ton of Continuum vids overall).

So... Continuum is another activity I'm trying to get into a regular habit with, along with everything else.
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    awake awake

Incredible Athleticism

I figured pole dancing could be sensual--I'd not watched any that I can remember, before watching this video--but I never knew it could also be athletic! These women could be circus performers with their strength and agility.
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    impressed impressed
Gleann, Grainne


Great fight ends as first round horn sounds, Cyborg punches too much

The last paragraph is enough to make you gag, before you go to the comments. None of them are surprising, sadly. The "prettier" one didn't win, oh the horror! It does make me worried about the sport...and society...that so many respond this way.

In other news, in case you hadn't heard (as no one posted about it here I figure maybe no one did *snerk*) Women's Boxing added to 2012 London Olympics
Gleann, Grainne

Because I don't have enough to play with

I thought I'd post here and in a few other places to see if anyone can help me find more. No, this isn't a "do my homework" post, this is a "please, give me more homework" post. While I have a few things I need to bounce back and forth with a few people, what I'm asking here is if anyone has anything that comes to mind that I shouldn't forget.

Okay, I'm doing research on women warriors in Celtic cultures...mostly Gaelic, but I'm doing some cross-cultural searching as well. Also other I-E cultures. I've been doing this research for a number of years, but, you know, not always loving what I'm finding as well as Life Getting In The Way this has just taken a level that I've not tried to take it to for awhile now.

No, this is not one of those "Celtic women had high status and held all positions men did, yada, yada" things....I'm going through what was actually written and, actually, trying to correct some "common knowledge" BS that is out there. Which, btw, is an often depressing task as there's some great fantasy out there. Very exciting. Hard to figure out how to make the actual tales so inspiring at this point, actually.

But, you know, there's always something missed. Some good source I just didn't catch somewhere. Some aspect that maybe people want to see discussed that I never thought of. And, yes, some piece of fluff that I might want to know exists so that I might have an idea of what needs addressing.

So, no, not asking for anyone to go do research. But those who might have anything, what do you think I shouldn't miss:
Some bit of Irish early Christian mention of a woman warrior, even tiny (I fear there may be nothing more, but maybe there is something I missed...later, historic women are a future project related to this, I'm trying to work on one thing at at time)?
An aspect of Gaelic warfare that should be included?
Is there a good recent book on Celtic women I might have missed?
On Celtic warriors?
On Celtic women warriors? (hey, if someone's done this already and it actually is good, maybe i can get my brain to shut up)
Okay, what about bad ones, because I can always use some more fodder?

I really need some prompting here, because I'm to the point where I'm going to have to finally sort through Fionn's fosterers....and, well, I'd just as soon put that off until I get some more sleep (working lots of overtime...but at least I can write and research at work).

Edited to add, as someone asked: Some of the books I'm using around this subject are: Bitel's Land of Women, Nagy's Wisdom of the Outlaw, Clark's The Great Queens, Patterson's Cattle Lords and Clansmen (edited to fix this title), Enright's Lady with a Mead Cup. Then there are bits from various books on the culture, far too many to list. I'm going to primary sources as much as possible though, various translations when I can find them but my first stop is often CELT when I'm searching something in particular. Oh, I'm also using Ellis's Celtic Women but not in a very nice way...he passes on, and possibly creates, some of the more enticing misinformation out there and I figure it's good to know what is being spread.

Thing is, just because I'm already using a source doesn't mean that I am catching things people might want to see addressed. And, of course, in the primary stories, I could be missing lots of stuff.

(Crossposted to academicpagans hooded_crow oenach womenofstrength and my own journal
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elven glare

showing off in a slightly different vein from recent posts... :D

Breaking the myth that all women (rather than a lot) sat at home and sewed (or whatever), my community theatre group that specialises in newly written stuff about history, are doing a play about the female pirates in the eighteenth Century, Anne Bonney and Mary Reed.
Heres an un-edited photo we took on a replica old sailing ship near where I live. (following due photoshopping of houses and boat replicas name out, this is our poster photo)

And its directed by a female too. me. :)

Famous women of strength

My LJ is mostly about bodybuilding (and that's what I'm into). But I also like seeing female strength spilling over into the regular world, too, not just in bodybuilding. Here are a couple cool pics I've seen recently.

Michele Obama at the correspondents dinner. I think the joke was that she definitely has the right to bear arms, something like that. So cool! Whatever your politics, it's cool to see the 1st lady flexing the biceps!

Mel B AKA Scary Spice. Holy cow! She's got her own fitness DVD, even. She's not big, but she's in great shape, and, wow, that is a six-pack!

And how about this one? Elizabeth Shue from her upcoming movie Piranha 3D. I hope I look that good at 45. From Adventures in Babysitting to Adventures to Bodybuilding!


Any one else got any like this?

(x-posted from my LJ)


Saturday June 13, 2-5PM

Littleton Kokikai Aikido, at Flying Squirrel Consortium: Littleton Mill Building at 410 Great Rd, Littleton, Ma

cost $20, working scholarships available for financial hardship

. Theme: "Five Forms of Harmony"

. Ukemi: front and back falls, introduction to rolling, one attack (tsuki; stomach punch)

. Techniques: kotegaishi, kokyunage "comi nage", kokyunage "straight through", kaitenage, ikkyo

. Ki voice practice (counting, kiai, possibly misogi if there's time)

All levels (no experience -> black belt) welcome. To be taught by yours truly, chief instructor, Littleton Kokikai, with my fellow instructors and y'all :) @ear comfy, easy-to-roll-around-in clothes or gi, plan to be barefoot if possible. BRING A WATER BOTTLE OR REFRESHMENT DRINK!

RSVP or questions in comments (email to this account @ lj works too :)
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Michelle Obama's arms

Seeing things have been quiet here and this is one place where discussing Michelle Obama's arms is perhaps more appropriate than discussing Barack Obama's policies, I thought I'd throw this out here.

A friend and sccharmschool member posted in her own LJ Why all the fuss over a first lady's bare arms? which attempts to answer the question.

I think she failed, so I posted The real reason everyone is nuts over Michelle Obama's arms because I figured I just had to get in on all this considering the theme of my blog.

She even failed to get which decade T2 came out, but at least Sarah/Linda does get a mention.

I figured I'd share it here and see what people think.