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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

I used to do gymnastics when I was little. I wasn't very good. I did get first place in competition for the balance beam a few times, but that was about it. The balance beam and the vault were my two best events. I was mediocre in floor routines and absolutely the worst in uneven bars. I could never pull myself up onto the top bar. Our coach, Mr. McLaughlin, would lift me up so that I could grab the top bar, but then he'd just walk away with me dangling there for what seemed like forever. You could leave one event out in competitions and I always left out the uneven bars. I was pretty decent at vaulting. The thing about the vault is that it really is a no fear event. You have to be all pot committed before you even start your run to the spring board. I had that part down; I tended to get a little wild at flying over the vault though. The balance beam was my shinning spot. I could balance while dancing across that narrow beam like a boss. 

I used to play the piano when I was little. I was mediocre at best. I could read music and memorize pieces to be regurgitated on the keys. I lacked passion and desire and discipline. I rarely practiced unless Mom was in one of those "I'm setting the timer and you are practicing!" moods. When recital time came along, I could perform my piece without error, but also without enthusiasm. I was never comfortable on the piano bench and I have short fingers that had to stretch too far for some of the keys. Piano led to percussion, where I was effortlessly good at playing snare, tymphany, and xylophone. Percussion was something I could play well without trying and didn't require much passion. Percussion somehow led to the cello. The cello turned out to be the instrument where I had to practice and no one had to tell me to practice. The cello turned out to be the instrument I wanted to play. 

I used to draw. I have sketchbooks filled with pencil and pastel drawings. I went through phases where I drew page after page of whales, then horses because most girls go through a horse loving phase and of course there are pages of elephants. My inspiration came from National Geographic magazines or whatever was sitting on the dinning room table. I sketched what I saw. One of my fruit bowl sketches is framed and hanging on my Mom's wall. I had the best flower and flower parts drawings in my Taxonomy of Vascular Plants class in undergrad. I was not an artist, meaning I wasn't good at composition or developing a particular style. I wasn't motivated to take art classes or dig deep to find my inner Georgia O'keeffe. I grew up in rural Oklahoma with a black and white TV. This was a way to entertain myself. 

So, why am I telling you about things I used to do? I don't know. I'm bored and unmotivated to write. I think writing about nothing is going to get me writing about something. Those are all things I didn't really have a burning passion to keep doing, but I still managed to hang onto something from each task. I can still balance like a boss. I can still read music. I can still draw a pretty realistic killer whale. I did retain some skills that I acquired from things I used to do. That's really not why I'm telling you about those things. They were things that came easy to me until they didn't. Does that make sense? The balance beam was easy until I had to start flipping off the end, which was fine until my body got too tall and weird to flip. Instead of trying harder, I just quit. The music stuff was easy, but when all my scholarships came from scholastic merit, I didn't really need to focus on the music any more. So I quit. Becoming a better sketch artist would have required more work. So I quit. 

Getting my camera out sometimes is very much like digging out my old sketch pad. It is work and most of the pictures I end up taking aren't any better than my fourth grade drawings. I don't take enough pictures. I focus too hard on composition instead of just taking pictures to see what will turn out. I spend too much time futzing with settings and wondering if I should just switch it to auto pilot. Writing, putting words here or anywhere is hard. It doesn't serve me any kind of purpose other than getting the random clutter out of my head. Sort of like how knowing how to read music is a useless skill for me now. Photography and writing do not make me any kind of money. There's no point in doing either of these things. Yet I do and I don't want them to become things I used to do. 

So...I'm going to try to find some motivation to keep on keeping on.