"The mind controls the body."

Dan Maychunich walked in through the door, fresh out of a workout. Was it a good one? “When I sweat, that means I work hard,” The 71-year-old expressed he had “health challenges,” which turned out to be throat and lung cancer. Three years of chemo and radiation treatments later, Dan enrolled in a government-approved immunotherapy drug for six months. About six weeks ago, Dan had a scan that revealed most of the cancer is gone, aside from a tiny spot on the bottom of his lungs.

Kate Wisel Talks About Writing Driving in Cars with Homeless Men

Perched comfortable on a sunken sofa in a Chicago café not far from her teaching job at Columbia College, Kate Wisel looks every inch the badass. Bits and pieces of her characters from darker pages of her prize-winning novel Driving in Cars with Homeless Men shine through in her outfit, a black hoodie and black jeans. Her debut book is a love letter to women moving through violence. Four linked stories navigate through the old homes, tiny apartments and landscapes of working-class Boston. The idea began when Wisel talked late into the night with a friend in college. Her friend told a story from high school, about a boy who overdosed on heroin. The night of his funeral, the boy’s grieving girlfriend and Wisel’s friend slept in his bed.

Goalkeeper turned runner, Amanda Macuiba, strides toward Olympic Marathon Time Trials

Amanda Macuiba sits perched on a high chair at Chicago’s Native Foods Café. Her outfit is as lively as her personality: her tan coat is patterned with abstract floral prints, her beige sweater accentuated with chunky silver jewelry. Her hair and makeup look flawless, with not a single blonde curl out of place. You wouldn’t guess that this former college soccer star is shooting for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in February.

Game-Changer, or the Demise of Collegiate Sports as We Knew Them? CA SB 206

On Monday, September 9, California Gov. Gavin Newsom passed the Fair Pay to Play Act. According to Forbes, “The bill permits college athletes in the state to hire agents and be paid for endorsements. For the first time, student athletes will be allowed to promote products and companies and financially benefit from their college sports activities.” The proposed law would allow college athletes to hire agents and get paid for the use of their name, image and likeness. It will also make it illegal for California universities to revoke an athlete’s scholarship or eligibility for accepting endorsements.

We the People

The International Orchestra of Refugees (IOR) delegation embarked on a voyage to the United Nations Assembly 2019 Global Engagement Summit on February 22. We discussed pertinent issues related to climate action, empowering women through education, and the refugee and displaced persons crisis. “The refugees are those that flee, not because they want to, or want a better future, but because they are forced to flee by conflict, or by oppression, by dictatorships, by the violations of their basic human rights that they are facing," said His Excellency Mr. António Guterres.

Scott Jurek, Venturing into the Wilderness for North

Scott Jurek ran 2,189 miles in just 46 days in 2015, and set a record for the Fastest Known Time attempt for the Appalachian Trail. That's an average of about 50 miles a day. Or, in more comprehensible terms, 84 back-to-back marathons. He just did it. In North, out last spring in paperback from Little, Brown Spark, Jurek and his wife, Jenny Jurek, describe the resilience and exhaustion on their plunge into the wilderness, and readers hitch a hike for the mucky ride. The Jureks portray what becomes possible when you work to make a dream into a manifestation.

“Breathe, Motherfucker.“

Lake Michigan’s waves lapped up over the concrete edge, beckoning me. It was a warm mid-May day. Snow had fallen only a few weeks prior. Chicago’s weather was as mercurial as my actions. I dove in, fully clothed. My heart pounded erratically against my chest, constricting my breathing. My limbs tingled, and I thought to myself, this is the end. Shortly after that thought, Wim Hof’s famous one-liner popped into my thoughts. “Breathe, motherfucker.”

Gracias, Garcia Boy

DePaul University’s nonprofit Big Shoulders Books press disseminates, free of charge, quality works of writing by and about Chicagoans whose voices might not otherwise be shared. The press is primarily run by students in the university's MA in Writing and Publishing and undergraduate English programs. This interview with Miles Harvey and Emily Olson-Torch highlights Big Shoulders Books' most recent release, "The Garcia Boy," and shares the story of the late award-winning essayist and educator Rafael Torch, the son of an undocumented Mexican immigrant.
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