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Editorial August 2003
Back to School - Fitness & Focus
By Hilary Williamson

I recently enjoyed reading Gillian Roberts' Claire and Present Danger, whose heroine, Amanda Pepper, is a perky high school teacher with a habit of stumbling over corpses (it's not clear which is more hazardous, her investigations or her day job.) The book seemed apt, given the looming end of summer vacations. Mandy tells us that 'First day back, everything from head to foot is new or newly washed' but 'Twenty-four hours later ... it's the second day of forever' and there's a 'lot of heavy lifting ahead.' How to prepare for it? Working on fitness and focus won't hurt, and here's a (brief) reading list that might help.

Dr. Joyce L. Vedral's Toning for Teens, a fitness book aimed at teen girls, includes detailed workout instructions as well as nutrition and fitness information. Erika Dillman's Little ABs Workout Book is another source of a variety of workouts that are easy to do at home, focusing particularly on abs training. Martial arts (with the right Sensei) is a great fitness option and Burt Konzak's Samurai Spirit : Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life an inspiring read. Or try taking up yoga - 'it's not necessary to 'live in a cave ... and chant funny words', just read I Love Yoga : A Guide for Kids and Teens by Ellen Schwartz & Ben Hodson for background, exercises and meditation tips.

It's hard to focus on studies when your life is disorganized. Organizing from the Inside Out for Teens, by Julie Morgenstern & Jessi Morgenstern-Colon, takes a common sense approach to organizing both your time and space. If it all still seems overwhelming, Richard Carlson's Don't Sweat The Small Stuff For Teens has advice on how to sort out what really matters and what doesn't. And don't skip Ron Clark's Essential 55, an acclaimed teacher's rules (life lessons about 'how we live, interact with others, and appreciate life') for successful students.

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can
do well, and doing well whatever you do
 (Abraham Lincoln)

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