What does one wear to the grand opening of a fitness center? Sweatpants? A tidy leotard and tights? Perhaps in ordinary circumstances, but this was the opening of an extraordinary venue by an extraordinary man.
It was a literary event. In attendance were a smorgasbord of smart folks, some lean, some (like myself) a tad round due to countless hours spent sitting, suffering and searching for inspired prose. No matter our fitness level or girth, we all held in common a deep adoration of the 69-year-old, southern author at the helm of the proceedings.
On April 3, 2015, I dragged my flabby fiction-writing self to the opening of the Mina & Conroy Fitness center at 832 Paris Avenue in Port Royal, South Carolina. Pat Conroy, author of such masterful literary works as Beach Music, The Great Santini, South of Broad, The Water is Wide, Prince of Tides, and The Lords of Discipline, co-owns the center with Japan native Mina Truong, his former YMCA trainer.
Conroy blogged about the healthful inspiration for opening a fitness center in this blog entry, which is written as if Japanese goddess Benzaiten smiled upon on every flowing, hilarious word. Read it, you will be glad you did.
Nestled amid quaint cottage shops on Port Royal’s picturesque Paris Avenue, the studio is a small, but mighty, exercise venue with walls of sparkling new equipment, designed to make even the most stubborn, desk-dwelling author break a sweat.
Pat Conroy and his wife Cassandra King (author of Moonrise, Queen of Broken Hearts, The Same Sweet Girls, The Sunday Wife, and Making Waves) signed books at the party. While studio space was tight, there was nary a complaint, as rapt friends and fans stood in line clutching cute book signing number cards (which were ditched at #42 when crowd control was deemed unnecessary). Apparently, we literary fitness fans are a polite bunch.
In case you’re wondering, I wore a skirt; had two beloved books signed; garnered priceless writing encouragement; and nearly swooned when Pat kissed me on the cheek.
To learn more about the studio, or sign up for a session check out the Mina & Conroy Facebook page, or give them a give them a call (843) 263-0548.
Blessings for a state of supreme literary fitness,
~SAVE THE DATE~
SYP Publishing cordially invites you to the launch party for
Waving Backwards, a Savannah novel by V.L. Brunskill
Imagine not knowing who you are,
until you find yourself in a statue 800-miles from home.
July 10, 2015 6-9PM ET at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront.
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