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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Thursday night, I got a call from Nancy at Sunshine Studio asking me if I'd substitute teach her Saturday morning class. I said 'yes' without hesitation (partially because I say 'yes' to things easily) and then when I hung up the phone I thought "Holy Hell, Cindy. What are you thinking? You are corralling drunk mini golf teams on Saturday!" Then I snapped out of it. This is how I ended up wrangling yoga students in the morning and corralling drunk mini golf players in the afternoon. I don't know why my weekend suddenly became a western, but Yee Haw! I needed to teach some yoga. I need some practice before my workshop in April. 

Subbing for an established teacher is not easy. Yoga students get attached to their teachers. They love their teacher. My students loved me, even that one student who never looked pleased with any part of my classes. She gave me a gift when I left and told me how much she'd miss me. Any way, I recognize how difficult it can be for a student to walk into their class expecting to see the teacher they love and then finding a complete stranger standing there instead. The students at Sunshine were very kind and accepting and they tolerated my wacky instructions with smiles. At the end of class, one of the students approached me to tell me that I gave a cue to come into a pose in a way she had never heard before and because of that cue she was able to come into the pose pain free for the first time ever in all the years she has been practicing yoga. Then I hugged that woman tightly and burst into tears because I suddenly remembered why I used to teach. All the anxiety over teaching a class after so long of not teaching just vanished. I'm not saying that I am ready to start teaching three classes a day on top of my day job again, but this occasional teaching gig seems to be good for my soul.

From there, I met Michael for lunch and then we were off to our designated volunteer post for the AIDS Walk Open. We were in charge of the mini golf hole at the Ragazza, a tiny little Italian place in Westport. Their food is delicious and they also make their own limoncello. There were a few times that it got really crowded and rowdy in there, but I think our volunteer team did a good job of keeping things organized. Laura, the owner of Ragazza, was the most gracious host. She was often out from behind the bar to take pictures of teams that showed up in costumes. We had one young man who took off all his clothes and one point was directing traffic in the street. He then sat down at one of the outside tables to eat a meatball and when the event bus pulled up he hoped on with the cast iron skillet that the meatball was served in. I yelled at Laura that I just saw him get on the bus with one of her skillets and she was able to rescue it before the bus pulled away. 

This year's AIDS Walk Open was giant! The event raised over $25,000 for AIDS Walk KC. Josh, the man who coordinates this event, does an amazing job of rounding up sponsors, bars and volunteers. And let's talk about the bars and restaurants who sign up to do this every year. All of the places on the mini golf pub crawl tour have been wonderful. Yes, I know that this event is good business, but still. They have a mini golf green taking up some space in their place as well as crowds of silly teams that include the occasional strip-down drunk guy. I think I had more fun volunteering this year than I did participating, but I have a feeling that it wouldn't matter one way or the other. The AIDS Walk Open is just fun. The best part is that it is fun for a good cause. Day drinking for charity! 

Speaking of doing good things. It is never to early or to late to donate to my AIDS Walk Fundraising page! Every dollar makes a difference.