Suzy Favor Hamilton: Fast Girl

In my early twenties, I worked the front desk at a print shop in Madison, WI. One of our vendors enjoyed talking about a relative who happened to be an up-and-coming local track star around my age. He was quite impressed with her accomplishments, but not being a sports fan I didn’t pay much attention. The way he kept bringing her up (“She’s really cute…” in what I took as a “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” tone) it almost seemed like he was trying to set us up. At the time, however, I didn’t possess the self-confidence to vet that theory.

I hadn’t thought about this for many years, until I ran across an article about how Suzy Favor Hamilton had followed up her Olympic career with a stint as one of the most sought-after escorts in Las Vegas. What? The quintessential midwestern home-town sweetheart? It proved quite easy to confirm the story, as she has written a biographical bestseller detailing what was revealed to be a long battle with bipolar disorder (and with her antidepressant medication.)

Fast Girl – A Life Spent Running from Madness” works on different levels. It’s an accessible expose of both the high-end escort business and the mental health industry. It’s also an entertaining page-turner of a fantasy adventure. More than that, it’s a cautionary tale about running from one’s problems.

Having lived my life in and around Madison, I was amused by all the local references sprinkled throughout the book. Laudable, though, was the complete absence of any references to cows or cheese. (Further, the only beer mentioned was both brewed and consumed in other states.) Still, there were plenty of landmarks and locations that made me think “I’ve been there!”

Fast Girl is smart, sexy, and real. I found the narrative a little too cozy with mainstream views on psychopharmacology for my taste, and some could see it as just so much excuse-making for selfish behavior. Since I haven’t run the proverbial mile in her shoes, I choose not to judge but to enjoy the ride and hear the warnings. I recommend it to anyone interested in Suzy’s career/s, or in mental health issues.

Knowledge Evolves: a reversible poem about nutrition theory

a REVERSIBLE poem about nutrition

by Joe Disch

(Read top to bottom for the “standard advice”, then from bottom to top to update it!)

Our elders’ wisdom is finally being reconsidered

Modern foods are healthier

No longer do we simply accept

The habits of those who came before us

Now we have learned the scientific wisdom of a diet based on

Whole grains like wheat, corn, and rice

We’ve given ourselves the “diseases of civilization” with

Saturated fats and cholesterol

According to scientific studies,

What’s the better choice?

Refined seed oils like canola, corn, and soy

And we understand we should avoid

Red meat – studies have confirmed it time and again

Everyone knows about the importance of

“This good nutritious breakfast, fortified with 8 essential vitamins and minerals”

We no longer expect to start our day with

Eggs  (especially the yolks – full of cholesterol your body makes even if you don’t eat it)

If there were a single most nutritious food, what might it be?

Modern low fat, pasteurized, homogenized dairy products

Many people don’t do well with

Things like whole, full-fat dairy foods – especially raw milk due to the live cultures

Some are better adapted to what might not be a good choice for others

Listen to your body

Common sense really

Eating fat is

What makes you fat

A higher carb diet is

So obviously

As nature intended

Insulin stores any extra carbs before they can cause damage

When you eat heavily of grains and starches

“Calories in, calories out” is just the simplest math

Your body is so smart

It’s important to portion your plate to meet your body’s energy needs

We now have too many people to feed the conventional way

Soil is becoming depleted of nutrients

Chemical inputs and genetic modification

May in fact be the only viable solution to replace

The gentle dance of traditional, restorative, organic agriculture

Well intentioned ideas sometimes can’t keep up with the realities of life

Move, play, laugh, love

Be sure to get plenty of sleep

Stay hydrated with clean healthy water

Eat a variety of healthy foods, including lots of vegetables

Unless we want to get sicker and sicker

We need to think about where we came from as well as where we’re going

Lessons are learned, and knowledge evolves

(Now read from bottom to top for a different perspective)

“Knowledge Evolves” Copyright 11/25/2015 by Joe Disch. Visit for more of Joe’s work. Not intended as nutritional or medical advice. Offered as an artistic perspective on opposing viewpoints. Permission granted to republish as is, as long as this paragraph is included in its entirety. Links/canonical tags appreciated where applicable.