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At the Copa Life Lessons from Spinning with Barry Manilow

I was taking a home study course recently, and one of the exercises said to write down 101 things I would like to do before I die. In my first attempt, I struggled to come up with 19! As I thought of what would make me feel like I had really accomplished something, a marathon popped in my head. I have always admired anyone who could run marathon. Boy, if I could do that, that would really be something. Trouble is, I don't like to run.

At the time, I had a friend who was training for a triathlon. I thought, "Well, I like to swim and I like to bike--hey, why not?!" And I wrote it down. There is a strange power in writing goals down on paper.

Now that I had it written, I had to do it! So that's how I ended up in a spin class at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Since beginning my training, I have taken a few of these classes, and they are grueling! The teacher does the best she can, though, to change it up and make us feel like we really are going somewhere and not just "spinning our wheels." And she puts on music to give us something to help pass the time and provide some rhythm in our movement. This particular day, the music she picked was just perfect--for me, anyway. I knew and could sing along with almost every song.

It put a big grin on my face and helped me forget for a moment how hard I was working and how tired I was. And then it happened. "Her name was Lola.

" Something stirred in me. "She was a showgirl." It made my blood tingle.

"With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there." I could not fight the urge to dance! "At the Copa, Copacabana.Music and passion were always in fashion at the Copa!" I sat up in my seat and moved my arms around in time to the music. I sang--I shouted! I was having a grand time. I couldn't help it.

The teacher looked at me and smiled, and then an amazing thing happened--she started waving her arms and dancing, too. And here and there, I even caught a couple of my classmates joining in. By my stepping out and not being afraid to express my joy, I gave permission to everyone else to express theirs as well! It reminded me of the famous Marianne Williamson quote (often mis-attributed to Nelson Mandela), from her book, A Return to Love: "Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." For years I have thought that the best way to motivate and inspire people was to be a cheerleader. I thought I had to stand on the sidelines and shout "Go, team, go! You can do it!" That day I learned a powerful lesson. I learned that the best way to uplift and encourage isn't to be a cheerleader--it's to be an example. Copyright (c) 2008 Margie Remmers.

After her stressful life began causing heart problems when she was just 37, Margie Remmers turned her life around and is now committed to helping others make the transition from "stress-full" to stress-free. To find out how Margie can help you, visit:

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