Sitting, the new killer? Stand-up desk hack

The new killer it seems is sitting. Studies are popping up everywhere and being cited by such publications as The New York Times, The Globe and Mail and dozens of other news outlets about the dangers of sitting for too long.

Long before these studies came out I have always wanted a stand-up desk. It just makes sense to me, I don’t feel as good or think as well when I’m sitting as when I’m on my feet. In August, Forbes posted this article with some great looking options for stand-up desk. All of which look pretty attractive, are functional and are pretty much out of my price range. Besides, I just bought a desk from the antique mall down the street that goes with my metal bookshelf (purchased from a neighbor who was moving to LA.) I love my metal desk for several reasons, one being it is big, two: it’s retro and cool, three: it reminds me of my dad – who had a similar style desk in our garage when I was growing up.

So I won’t purchase a stand-up desk anytime soon, but I created a hack that, is super functional and makes me really happy!

FBX headquarters (Chubbs in charge)

Lots of flexibility and functionality in this simple stand-up desk hack.

I had a square wire shelf left over from a set of cubbies that I bought and only needed half of. You could use almost anything that is slightly larger than the set of 3 plastic letter trays. I currently have them attached with a rubber band so the wire rack won’t slip off the tray. It’s a bit ghetto (hey, so am I deep down :-)), but it works and I feel so happy! I know soon I can make it more attractive, but the functionality is primo!

Other benefits:
Whatever reference materials I need for the projects I am working on are right under my computer.

I can move it forward and back on my desk so if I need space to work on something on the desktop, it’s there and I can sit if I want to.

Standing when I work makes everything feel easier to me. When I sit down and start working on something, then discover I need something from across the room…it feels like a chore to get it (and there is good exercise in standing up and sitting down) but when I’m standing everything is in my reach.

Standing doesn’t have to be stationary! I can dance, shake my butt, lift my legs, wiggle around feel more free.

I’m on a mission to get you to Sit Less and Dance More. I hope you find this helpful. If so, leave a comment. If not, leave a comment. If you think it will help a friend, share it!

Deep breathing lesson – energize and destress

There has been a great discussion in one of the business Facebook groups I am a member of where Mia Rose asked about breathing techniques that energize. That inspired me to create this video for her and for you, I hope you try it. Let me know how it goes for you!

The contest has begun!

It’s fun to think that because I took action and decided to go for it and just make the video, that now more people are learning about the Freebox!  What a great feeling – I love that sometimes things I do on a whim have a real payoff.  I am sure everyone who posted deserves to win, and I’m pleased to be in the top 5. But I really hope I get to get on stage and dance with Tony and all the people at UPW!

Here’s the link – From Team Tony: Meet Mary, who believes in changing people’s state through moving their bodies. She recorded a year of dancing videos and wants to help serve others to dance the world awake! Want to help Mary go to UPW? Share this post or use the following link on Twitter or your blog:


“Spiral of Service” collaboration with Soul Motion creator, Vinn Marti and projection artist, Nihan Yesil

My dear friend and teacher Vinn asked me to create a video to go with his reading of this passage he wrote called Spiral of Service. I agreed then thought about it for a long time with no real idea of what to do for it. Then I was visiting with my friend Nihan at her studio and had the idea to ask her to play with me. She had done a simply breathtaking live performance piece where she had projected images on a dancer (her equally talented and cute sister) to an original score. Her work is very inspiring to me

Vinn is the creator of the Soul Motion dance ministry and he is responsible for opening me up as a dancer and a person more than anyone else I’ve ever known.

It’s an honor to collaborate with them.

Freebox Evolution

This blog has been a very personal account of my journey of posting a dance video everyday for one year. During that year I experienced a full gamut of emotions – bliss, frustration, deep depression, love, elation and lots of self loathing and self pity. It was a brilliant process to put myself through. Now that I am enrolled in the Robbins-Madanes Institute for Strategic Intervention I am gaining a great deal of perspective on my emotions. It’s a great gift to have these videos because I remember my state for everyone of them and now I understand so much more about how those negative emotions served me in the past and how I no longer need the uglier ones that were habits of my mind.

I’m happy to report that now that almost a year has past since The Freebox Everyday Dance Project’s finale, I am able to look back on the project with a great deal of love and respect for myself and all the people who supported me through it. I also can see that there is a lot of good in what I was doing. Creative, poignant, funny, goofy, strange – but a full artistic range was expressed in the pages here.

Where would it all lead I wondered. I don’t know the answer to that completely yet, but I do know that my mission is still to dance and get people to dance with me. But even more than that it’s to champion dance for the healing tool that it is. Through dance we can experience our soul and there is little that can match that. I appreciate my many teachers, but especially Vinn Marti, creator of the Soul Motion movement community ( for gracing me with permission to find the courage to dance from my heart and to share from my authentic truth.

This blog will evolve to expand The Freebox from a blog that charts my personal process to a place that invites others to join the movement literally. The Freebox is a space of growth, healing, community and fun. Oh yes, FUN! That is our main goal. Thank you for checking in here…and I look forward to sharing the evolution with you.

Begin again…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the days when when I was posting everyday. I was talking with Mark about what I miss about it – not including the silly amount of stress I put on myself to get a video out everyday – but the flow of our lives. One of the big things I loved was coming up with a concept and taking action on it right away. There was a sense of urgency that forced letting go of perfectionism and fostered action.

For a long time I didn’t look at this blog or watch the dances, but lately I find myself surfing over to Youtube and watching as a witness. I like what I see and it makes me want to dance more. So I figured, why not. Why not just post a video when I feel like it? Maybe I’ll find a theme to work on, but in the meantime why not just dance? So here it is, yesterday’s dance. I showed it to Mark last night and he said he could see some real shifts in my movement approach from the videos of a year ago. I’ve been working on opening up my upper back and I can see it too. I was happy with the balance on some of the moves that surprised me when they showed up. It’s a one take improv dance – oh what gifts show up in just listening….

Energizing the Staff at Head Start of Shawnee Mission

A couple of weeks ago I got a call from Terrie Van Zandt-Travis, Executive Director at Head Start of Shawnee Mission. She asked me to come out and energize her staff for the start of their school year on Monday, August 1.

She said she had saved the Kansas City Star newspaper article about The Freebox Everyday Dance Project since June 15, 2010 and was excited to have the opportunity to do a video with me.
My visit was a surprise to the staff, but they all were good sports and played along. We danced to ABC by the Jackson 5.

That’s a Wrap

It’s been over 4 months since the final video of The Freebox Everyday Dance project. Most of which time I’ve been working in a restaurant, building my teaching business and helping Mark get his book, Riding Man, on Kindle (it’s by Mark Gardiner – and it’s a brilliant book about following dreams). What I haven’t done is blog, Facebook or think about The FED project.

As I write this, I am acutely aware of an unfolding crisis of potentially epic proportions happening right now in Japan. I am praying for the safety of my friends Sato, Mariko, Satoru, their family and of course all of Japan. I ask myself how to live when tragedies of such proportions exist. The only answer I can come up with is to do so with reverence and appreciation for what I have and to spread joy. Tragedy will continue, it needs no help. Spreading joy in the midst of it is valuable work.

That basically sums up why I did what I did last year. I’ve been asking myself what it was for, what it was all about and what do I have to show for it. The world may never pay me money for frivolously spreading joy, but I’m in it for the long term rewards.

Thank you Edward Kramer, Tracy Phillips and The People’s Post in San Diego for producing this wonderful

Dance Kansas City

I’ll soon re-organize this blog as an archive of the Freebox Everyday Dance Project and retire (or at least officially go on sabbatical from) blogging here. I have gotten some very sweet messages from people saying they miss my videos and asking if I will make more. Thank you! I’m taking a break from making videos for now – but there are 365 so I’m sure if you look you can find one you haven’t seen. I’ve had such a wonderful experience with the Freebox project and met so many people. I feel I really stretched myself and have grown from the experience. It feels like I just need time to process the changes and what meaning the project has had for me and for others.

In the meantime, I’m refocusing my energy to my new teaching business I’ll be teaching my lessons mostly at Ballroom Unlimited in Mission, KS. In some ways, I’ve come full circle – back to teaching ballroom in a studio owned by one of my former competitors and teacher, Perry Gingerich. Perry has welcomed me with open arms and he remembers me in the hey-day of my competitive dance days. It’s really nice to have such a warm welcome. An added bonus that I hadn’t expected is that I’ve been warmly greeted by his students – and even ran into an old friend from years ago who still takes lessons with him.

I’m strangely excited to mix the old and the new and to return to my former passion, ballroom dance with renewed vigor. The studio is warm and friendly and I feel optimistic that I’ll be able to work closely with the other staff to continue to develop my dance knowledge and even create some fun show numbers together.

I love teaching and I’m looking forward to building a student base. If you know anyone in the Kansas City area that’s interested in learning to dance, I’d appreciate if you send them my way.

Dancing everyday = major life improvement

I got this in my email today from Diane – a friend who chose to take up my suggestion to dance everyday and find out for yourself what good things can happen. She keeps a blog about it here: Just a note: she’s on day #44 of this blog but she actually kept another blog “dance a day challenge” for about 166 days before deciding to begin again on her birthday 44 days ago.

Thought you might like to know this. Last night, as I was dancing that fox-trot, it occurred to me, so clearly, that without your inspiration with your dance a day challenge, I would be missing this huge thing in my life. Sure, it’s only a 5 minute dance and maybe another 5 – 10 minutes to write it up with the pictures and the video link, so what’s that? 15 minutes of my day – but the rewards from that concentrated time are rich beyond words.

My dancing has improved, in spite of the fact that I rarely go dancing anymore now that there is no more Tuesday night thing (still working on replacing that in my life) and I am so much more in touch with what is going on internally when I dance – the emotional and spiritual components, especially the spiritual, had been lost on me. Dancing solo, though, I am not thinking about following, which frees me to think about all that is going on inside of me during that particular dance.

Oftentimes, I start out totally bummed out or disgusted with some parent’s complaint against me. The last thing I feel like doing is dancing, but I have made this commitment to myself, so I go forward. Every single time – yes – 100% of the time, as I walk to the stereo to turn it off, I am laughing, saying out loud, “That was good,” or “That was fabulous!” – but never have I ever even one time said – “Oh I wish I hadn’t done that.”

All of this is to say that I am so surprised at what an impact this Dance a Day Challenge – turned Dance a Day Celebration has had on my life – my whole life, not just my dance life. That, and of course, to say thank you – you have made a difference in my life, and I wonder how many other people you have affected in a similar way, and you just don’t know it.

I send you thanks and love across the country, my friend.


Ok, I’m tearing up now. Thanks Diane!