April 1, 2020

My daughter and I started doing a daily workout routine called Insanity.

I cannot think of anything more appropriate for this crazy time than doing something insane. It is an incredibly intense workout. I seriously think I am dying every morning that we do it.


That’s what we are living through these days, insanity.

I woke up at 6 am to watch my best friend’s daughter get married in Israel on Zoom.

It was insanely emotional.

On the lawn in front of their house there was a DJ social distancing with over 200 people watching via the Internet.

The young couple declared their love.

The proud parents spoke. Beautiful people at home were raising glasses of wine and champagne. People were dancing and holding up signs of love and messages of joy.

My camera was off, since I was crying from start to finish. Then, too, in Israel it was 5pm, but in LA it was 7am, way too early to share my appearance.


I remember one of the first “Act It Out” anger management classes I taught. I asked one of the participants to act out a scenario she had just shared in class.

She looked at me and said, “That is insane. I ain’t acting out shit.” I asked again. I explained that by acting it out, we can “try on” our responses and maybe plan how to manage our anger, that sometimes having a plan makes it easier to keep the plan.

She looked at me and said again,

“This is insane, and you are crazy.”

“Yup,” I said, “but you should do it anyway.”

She did and it was amazing.

She and one of the guys acted out a scenario between her baby daddy and her. It was raw and funny. It got a little silly and then really deep.

I froze them. We discussed it and they acted it out again.

My resisting student ended up being quite the actress.

“Ms., that was fun,” she told me.

The following week she told me that she actually did what she had acted out in class when she was with her baby daddy and it worked.

“Your insanity,” she said, “was a little sane.”

“My baby daddy asked me who’s going and teaching me how to talk.

“Isn’t that funny, Ms.?”

“No, that actually makes sense,” I said. “You are doing the work.”

As the man from the computer who was leading the Insanity workout session yelled at my daughter, and me he gave us a really hard set of exercises. My daughter yelled, “NOOOOOOOOOO!”

Her response was so funny we both laughed very hard. I spit out the water I was drinking and we laughed even more.

Even though it was insane and hard, we did it and I hate to admit it, it felt incredibly good.

So, what’s the lesson here?

Sometimes the insanity is not as insane as we think.

Or, once it is over, it is actually okay.

Who thought that a wedding on Zoom would be so filled with love?

I have to say that although I desperately wanted to be with my friends in Israel and celebrate this sweet girl’s wedding in person, there was something nice about sitting in my pajamas and being part of this beautiful moment from the comfort of my couch.

Although I am pathetically out of shape, working out with my daughter in the morning, laughing and having her kick my old butt, is hard but fun.

“Ms.,” she told me. “You got interesting ways to teach us. I never did anything like this. No puppets or your silly ass phones. (I teach with these huge over-sized inflatable plastic phones.) But it’s fun and it is out of my comfort zone and it is teaching me a lot. I am learning that if I want to move forward, I gotta be a little insane. Maybe not as crazy as you, but more than me.”

“Well,” I say, “once you get used to it, it isn’t so crazy anymore.”

“Ms., she laughs, “That’s what is so crazy!!! I really like your classes now!”

This woman, rough, tough, gangbanger, is a store manager at a local supermarket. When I met her years ago, she was angry and insanely defensive. She has worked through her issues and you would never know that she served significant time locked up, was considered extremely violent, and had serious substance abuse problems.

She had been abused terribly as a child and lived an extremely difficult life. It was almost insane to think that she could turn her life around, but she did.

In these insanely difficult times, I think of my amazing students.

My students who cooperate with me even when I ask them to do things that they don’t like.

My students who push through so many hardships and come out on the other side, they inspire me so.

I know we will all get through this and be better for it.

“Ms., you know what the funny thing about insanity is? It is only insane until you do it and once you do, well, it’s history.”

“Ema,” my daughter texted me,

“I am so sore, but I feel so good, don’t you?”

I am waiting for this moment in time to be history.

I pray and hope that we will all be sore, but feel good.

Stay safe!

Stay healthy!

Please, don’t forget to smell the flowers.

This Saturday is my birthday. We are working on creating a virtual platform online. Any and all Donations to The Advot Project would be greatly appreciated.

Naomi Ackerman is a Mom, activist, writer, performer, and the founder and Executive Director of The Advot (ripple) Project a registered 501(c)3 that uses theatre and the arts to empower youth at risk to live their best life.

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