The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 22, 2001 · Page 23
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 23

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 22, 2001
Page 23
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SUNDAY APRIL 22, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL ENGAGEMENTS / D2 SEW SIMPLE / D5 CROSSWORD / D6 T LIFE STORES OLYMPIC-STYLE WEIGHTLIFTING SUSAN SWARTZ The Press Democrat Santa Cruz, Calif. Bad hair day lasts A writer hopes her precious words will stick around awhile before wrapping fish or going into the recycle bin. Maybe they'll end up on a refrigerator, or Disney will buy the film rights and Sandra Bullock will make the words immortal. Sometimes writers become known for coining a phrase that becomes part of the culture. Writer Alice Kahn is known for creating the term "yuppie," and the late Herb Caen gave us "beatnik." Now, I must boast, I have been linked to three little words. Weeks ago I got an email from a researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary who had traced the first published use of the expression "bad hair day" to an old newspaper column of mine. Ha, ha, I chortled to myself. He must be looking at the photo over the column. But no, Jon Simon, who lives in Washington, D.C., and has the delicious job of snooping out word origins, was asked by his editors, the ones in the real Oxford, to check out something I wrote in 1988. Jon — we've now talked by phone — explained his dictionary colleagues had earlier discovered a 1993 discussion on the origin of "bad hair day" by wordsmith William Safire, who traced it to Garry Shandling, the comic with the funny hair Shandling had, in 1991, complained to a magazine about having a bad hair day. After digging deeper, the OED sleuths found my earlier reference published in August 1988 in the Houston Chronicle. My words got to Houston because my column is sent out nationally by the New York Times News Service. The original column, published in Santa Rosa a few days before Houston, was a grumpy little essay on how we of imperfect hair envy those lucky ones with well-tamed locks and wonder if they, too, have low self-esteem moments. The line was: "Even those who emerge from the sea to casually braid their shiny wet vines into a thick coil with a hibiscus on the end also have bad-hair days." There it is. Did I make it up, researcher Jon asked. Had 1 read it somewhere or overheard it? I confessed that while I have long wished for long, luscious hair and experience days of general unmanageability, I cannot claim to be the mother of bad hair — the thing or the psychological condition. Maybe I heard it on "Seinfeld." But "Seinfeld" wasn't on in 1988. Back in 1988, we had three hair-obsessing teen-agers around the house. Maybe one of them declared she hated her hair and now her day was wrecked and it later drifted into my computer. But I don't think so. That is also around the time I met my friend Miriam, with whom I have bonded over a number of shared gripes, including difficult hair. She might now try to claim she said it, but I point out that it matters only who first set it down for others to read. That's how the OED works. They don't care who first uttered it on the street. It has to be documented. They are looking for the history of usage and need it in published form, says Jon, who was once assigned to trace the word "arachibutyro- phobia," which means fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth. Neither can I claim credit for bad hair, although in my own case I believe it comes from my father's side. But look where it got me. The next edition of the esteemed OED will say something like: bad hair day, coUoq. (orig. U.S.) a day on which one's hair is particularly unmanageable: (hence) a day on which everything seems to go wrong. My example and my newspaper will be credited, but likely not me, says Jon. Only you, and my hairdresser, will know. ^45 the coach of a group of young lifters, Dennis Espinosa carries weighty Reps and Sets Team Sallna coach Dennis Espinosa helps Christian LInenberger with his form. Espinosa says by starting young, Christ- Ian could develop Into an Olympic welghtllfter. Photos by JEFF COOPER / The Salina Journal Christian LInenberger, 7, strains to lift a personal-best 68.75 pounds during a recent training session at Reps and Sets, 703 Bishop. Christian began lifting weights about nine months ago after a doctor assured his mother that Olympic-style lifting would not be harmful to a child that young. Olympic lifting requires speed, agility By GARY DEMUTH The Salina Journal For the third time this evening, Christian LInenberger is going for a personal best in weightlifting. The first two times ended in failure. He has one more chance. Christian stares at the barbells at his feet with a fiery intensity, as if he could raise the bar by pure willpower. He rubs his hands in a bowl of white chalk and pats them together, the dust billowing into the ain The other weightlifters in the gym are quiet, expectant. Christian's coach, Dennis Espinosa, tells him to go ahead, go for it — and be careful not to bend his arms during the pull. Christian nods and grabs the bar. In one swift motion, he pulls the bar to his clavicle, level with his shoulders. His face reflects the strain, turning bright red. The others in the room chant for him — "come on," "over your head," "you can do it." Christian grunts, thrusts the bar into the air and splits his legs in proper Olympic style, one leg shooting forward, the other behind. Both the bar and Christian wobble and sway, and for a moment it seems as if he'll collapse. But he holds steady "That's it!" Espinosa says, jubilantly Christian drops the bar back to the platform and sighs in relief. The other weightlifters cheer and pat him on the back. Christian grins. He has beat his previous record. He has lifted 68.75 pounds, more than 20 pounds greater than I want to give these guys an opportunity to lift themselves to the top. - Dennis Espinosa Reps and Sets Team Salina coach w his weight of 46 pounds. Quite an accomplishment for a 7- year-old. Lifting up the team Christian is the youngest member of Reps and Sets Team Salina, a weightlifting club that meets every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at Reps and Sets Gym, 703 Bishop. Espinosa, the gym's owner and weightlifting coach, formed the team a year ago. There are 11 members, most teen-agers, although there are a few preteens such as Christian and even one lifter over 50. "Basically, there are three categories of lifters: school-age, which is 7 to 17; junior, 17 to 19; and seniors, anyone above 17," Espinosa said. "I work with all ages, but most of this team is young." Espinosa's goal is to train team members in Olympic-style lifting and encourage them to enter championship weightlifting meets arovmd the country as well as condition them for other sports such as football, baseball and soccer. For Espinosa, 52, this team is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. His goal is to create champions but not just by building their strength. Through weightlifting, he said, he wants to promote character, integrity and responsibility in these young men. "I want them to be responsible athletes and good sportsmen," he said. "I always say to them, 'Your efforts here, and your success out there, is my success, too.' Muscles and veins pop out on the right arm of Zack Taylor as he goes through a workout recently at Reps and Sets. Taylor won first place in two meets, Jan. 27 at See REPS, Page D4 Richardson, Texas, and March 31 at Onaga. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BRET WALLACE, ASSISTANT EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT

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