How I Am Saving America's Children

Movement happens when life refuses to stand still.
Most of you know I have what amounts to two jobs.  I'm an office monkey and a writer.  Well, what most people don't know, however, is that about 20 years ago I started my own business ... and that business is helping America's children in the way that the school, medicine and PBS programming can't even dream of.

When I was 21 I was in a high-end grocery store.  I saw a woman who looked to be about 56 years old.  I struck up a conversation with her, noting how good she looked for her age.  "Honey," she asked, "how old do you think I am?"  Never one to insult a lady, especially not one I was hoping to "score" with, I said, "Forty-five?"  She just laughed, thanked me and said, "I'm a spry 73."

A spry 73!  I asked her what was her secret to looking so young and full of energy.  "Honey, I never stop moving."  That is when the proverbial light bulb went off in my head.  "Never stop moving."  Three days later I started Mastering and Integrating Movement (In Every Day Life).  My life hasn't been the same since.

The idea behind my "movement" is "movement."  By using movement in your every day life you will not only feel younger, but you'll look younger, too, and it's great exercise!  Movement gets you moving!  I started out making copious notes on what movements I performed throughout the day and then figured out how to use them more in non-movement settings.  I pulled out my old notebook when I decided to write this, and here is my first entry:  1. Get out of bed.  2.  Stretch.  3.  Brush teeth.  4.  Morning constitutionals. 5.  Pour cereal into bowl and eat it.  You get the point.  You move most of the time, but when you aren't moving, you can be moving, too!

Our skeletal structure is designed solely for movement!
While watching my favorite Lifetime shows, I'm acting like I'm brushing my teeth or picking fruit from a tree.  While standing in line at the grocery store I'm doing karate or trying to eat the most hot dogs in the fastest time.  While waiting for my proctologist to tell me what's wrong this time, I'm swimming or typing on the computer.  I'm moving while doing things that don't require movement.

Of course, this raises questions from people, but when I tell them what I am doing and more importantly why, the light bulb goes off in their heads.  "Movement," they probably say to themselves, "is a cool, serious thing, and I'm going to do it."  I then take that opportunity to promote my two self-published books (Moving My Way to Eternity and This Movement's My Movement, This Movement's Your Movement: The Movement Book) and my three DVD set (Movement is There if You Just Embrace It, which is narrated by myself and Tyne Daly of Cagney & Lacey).  By telling enough people about this unique and exciting form of exercise, I got my first public school demonstration at the Richard C. Fuller School of Accelerated Learning in Fieldbrook, California.  There I showed first through fourth graders the importance of movement.  I started out with a very simple lesson, which I have on my DVD set, and I have transcribed here.

Me:  Okay, I want to see a show of hands for people who don't like movement.  [After scanning the small group of raised hands I call on a boy who looked like he is in the third grade.]  Yes.  You.  What is your name?

Daniel:  Daniel.

Me:  Okay, Daniel, why don't you like movement?

Daniel:  It's stupid.

Me:  [Waiting for laughter to die down.]  Okay, Daniel, well ... you're stupid.  Movement is what enabled you to answer that question.  If you hadn't raised your hand, I wouldn't have called on you.  That, my young friend, is irony.  [To the crowd of children.]  Now who thinks movement is stupid?  [No hands are raised.]  See, Daniel?  They think movement is so cool they won't even move to raise their hands to argue it.  You can thank me tomorrow for blowing your mind today.

After that first, abbreviated demonstration, and after I cleared up a lot of ridiculous criminal charges that made schools question my credentials, I retooled the program, printed some awards for myself using the computer, and then got myself back into the school system.  In no time I was back to showing young children the benefits of moving and talking to teens frankly about movement.  The following is from when I traveled to New York City P.S. 186 to talk to a lot of unprivileged black, Spanish and white teens about how cool movement can be in the course of every day life.  This transcription comes from my DVD set, disc 2, chapter 3: Tell It Like It is.

Me:  I've been where you're at.  Happy to be out of class, but bored listening to some stupid guy tell you not to drink and drive or to always do your best.  I'm not here to tell you that.  Let's applaud that first. [Waiting three seconds for the applause to die down.]  What I'm going to tell you is what I tell everybody.  I'm not dumbing it down because you are young or poor.  I'm speaking to you straight.  Who wants to hear some straight talk?  [Wait for applause.  When it doesn't come, I continue.]  I'm here to tell you about ... movement.

Unknown Male in the Crowd:  Get a real job.  [Lots of laughter.]

Me:  [Waiting for the laughter to cease.]  Let me tell you, Mr. Heckler, this is a real job.  I promised you straight talk, and you're going to get it.  Because I do this movement program throughout the country now, when I go home to my studio apartment, I can afford to smoke good grass and hire a woman if I so desire.  Do I do that?  No.  Not because I have a woman, but because I'm too busy moving and making money to be bothered to go pick up a woman by the pier or have one sent over from an escort service. [Wait for an audience reaction.  They are silenced by my words.]  Now let's talk movement.  You are sitting there doing nothing right now.  Of course, I see one or two fidgets.  That woman in the back is playing with her hair.  But that's not good enough.  You want to have full on movements when you are doing nothing.  When you are just sitting.  Let's have some fun with this.  When you have an answer, just raise your hand.  What is a movement that all teen boys do?  [I see a boy's hand raised.]  Yes?

Boy:  Play video games.

Me:  Play video games.  That's right.  Good.  You use finger movements for that.  Right.  Another one?  [I call on a girl in the middle of the crowd.]

Girl:  Jerk off.

Me:  [Waiting for the laughter to stop.]  That's good!  That's right!  Jerking off.  Show of hands, who does it?  [I wait for the hands.  None go up, so I put mine up.]  I did it.  Right before I came out in the teacher's bathroom.  Why?  To take off the edge of public speaking.  I'll admit it.  Now this motion [I mimic masturbating] can be done anywhere.  [The kids are laughing.]  That's right, it's funny!  It's also exercise.  When I'm doing this [vigorous masturbation movements], I'm burning calories.  Now, don't really masturbate in public.  That's against the law, and in my state of California you get a $200 fine the first time and if they catch you again and you are in the park, you have to go to court and it gets in the papers and causes all kinds of questions from your friends.  Really masturbating in public is illegal.  Fake masturbating movement in public is exercise.  We have a country of people putting on the pounds.  I say if doing masturbation movements in study hall will help keep the country healthier, let's do it.

These public demonstrations, books and DVDs have paid off, and this Friday I am giving my first graduation speech at Eureka High School.  (If you'll be there, I will have books I can sell you that I will also autograph.  I do every one the same way.  "Keep moving, Doug.")  I've written a twenty-minute speech (give or take) called, "Moving Toward a Future.  Moving Toward Health."  I just want to throw out what I'm sure will be choice quotes the newspaper reprints.

"When you're moving, you're not standing still."

"If you want to be inspired to move every day, look at the humming bird.  It never stops moving.  If it does, even to sleep, it falls to the ground and dies.  Look to that humming bird to be your muse."

"When you are in a crowd of non-movers, moving sets you apart."

"Thinking exercises your mind space.  Movement exercises your flesh space."

"We live in a country where movement is free.  If you were living in Iraq or another Middle-Eastern country like El Salvador, you know what happens if you do random movements?  No?  They cut off a hand.  Let's hear it for America!"

"When I first started moving, people looked at me as the crazy guy who has a criminal record because he didn't know he was in a park.  Now look at me.  I'm here talking to you, and what's this movement I've been doing the entire time?  That's right.  I'm shaking your hands.  I bet some of you thought I had palsy."

Movement adds color to a black and white world.
"These are science facts people.  Ninety-eight percent,  that's nearly consensus, of doctors who answered my poll said every day movement helps.  You know what that also says?  Not moving doesn't help.  My own informal science and research has shown me that movement has a 34% cure rate for medical conditions like the common cold to more serious things like liver disease and Old Timers."

"When Bill Gates invented the computer, people didn't know how important he would become.  When Lady Gaga won American Idol, nobody saw what she would eventually be doing.  I'm standing here today proudly proclaiming I am an innovator!  I am a someone!  I am important!  And you, class of 2012, are on the cusp of that happening.  You are witnessing history in the making, and this history isn't the stationary words of some book written by winners.  This history is a moving, mobile force that says, 'Yes, I can!'  Chant it with me!"

Thank you, teachers throughout the country.  Thank you, those who bought my books and DVD.  Thank you for reading.  Now go get moving!


Laura L. said...

This post made me read "Nothing Men." What an eye opener! Have you written any funny novels?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brunell, read your e-mail. I am a woman from Arcata, but no dreads, leg hair or pot. I think I want to get to know you. So, if you are single, involved and unhappy, or just looking for someone to talk to, get back to me. That is a recent photo to.

Doug Brunell said...

Laura, most of my stories have funny moments in them, but I haven't written straight comedy. Ms. Anonymous: I'm not saying anything to that.

Anonymous said...

Why not? Scared of a girl who could give you a challenge? Read the e-mail.

-Doug Brunell "America's Favorite Son" said...

I am not scared of a challenge. I appreciate that you like my work. I am not meeting you, however. That would not go well for you.


M. Coleman said...

I just started reading Melinda. If I was a girl there is no way I would meet with you.

Anonymous said...

M., he is not a serial killer. He writes horror stories. I like horror stories. I made him an offer he can apparently refuse.

M. Coleman said...

If I like Melinda I am going to read Nothing Men.