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Lisl Grunewald

I will begin with the cliched lament that I never know how to start these things. For me, this is due to the fact that regardless of what I include in these very limited spaces, I always prove myself infinitely more complex than that.

Whatever the ebb and flow of these complexities, however, there have always been several defining traits that have remained steadfast over the course of my life. The first is the fact that I have always had a knack (and fascination) with machines, with my favorite machine of all being the human body. For me, movement and fitness have never been something one merely does -- sometimes against their will -- to stay in shape; they are a way of life. While I specialize in dance, diving, and martial arts, I will try anything that falls into the "artistic sport" category whenever I can. Almost since infancy, I have never known a feeling more euphoric than having ultimate command over your body.

More recently I have grown to expand that sentiment by taking up fitness training, kinesiology, and holistic nutrition, not only in a quest to preserve my own longevity but also to help others discover how the practice of movement can serve as a healing force and help them live their best and fullest life. My personal method emphasizes the body's qualities of elegance and power, while fueling this elegance and power in the most efficient way possible to attain ultimate longevity. Ultimately, I would love to go back to college and finish my dance degree on the Gulf Coast (somewhere in or not too far from my hometown of New Orleans) while doing a second major in kinesiology, and living and working back home in Louisiana in the dance and fitness industries. My ultimate career goal would be owning a dance and/or fitness studio with a corresponding internet presence connecting dance and movement with New Orleans and Louisiana life.

The second of my personifying qualities, as evidenced above, is pride in my German-Louisiana heritage. I a 6th generation New Orleans native, and the great-great-great granddaughter of one of the city's historical figures, the 19th-early 20th century music merchant and hotelier Louis Grunewald (best known today for what is now the Roosevelt Hotel). In addition to a keen focus on genealogy research in my space time, my research interests regularly expand into German-American history (especially along the Gulf Coast), Germanic mythology, and the Gilded Age. Though I have lived outside of Raleigh, North Carolina for more of my life than I care to admit, New Orleans is, and always will be, my home.

Finally, I am someone who, at my core, thrives on creativity and imagination. I have been known to write poetry and create characters and stories, as well as demonstrate somewhat of an adroitness in Photoshop and similar programs. In the more recent years, I have also dabbled in drawing, music, and crafting when time and mood allow. My preferred aesthetics tend to range from ornate and antiquated, dominated by darker tones, to classy without being in-your-face girly. I don't care much for minimalist art of any medium. Also, contrary to what has been said in the past, I am not fit for a career in journalism or web/graphic design because those jobs trade self-expression (which is my sole motivation) for collaboration with complete strangers. They are also don't come close to fulfilling my need for movement in the forefront of my being.

Like most humans, I have been known to be a fan of various people and entertainment sources over the course of my life. Though there has been many phases through the years, a handful have proven to have perennial staying power. The first is non-mainstream music (with the notable exceptions of Garth Brooks and Meat Loaf). My favorite genres include: symphonic rock/metal, classical, folk, and 90's country. I have a particular fondness for German composers, with my favorite classical composer being Richard Wagner (we share the same birthday), while Hans Zimmer tops my list of favorite film scorers. On the literary front, I remain true to my German roots with a special fondness for Goethe and Schiller. But I also love Tennyson, Victorial Era poetry (in general) and Arthurian Legend. On the screen, I've always idolized Gilda Radner, and my original muse in creativity and in life, was the Australian actress/model Cassandra Harris, who has my utmost admiration to this day. Astronaut Dick Scobee is also a personal role model (and one I would elevate into "hero" territory").

Beyond this point is where my interests take an odd turn. On the surface, I come off as strictly an artist who draws inspiration from her favorite figures and niche historical research. Because of this, I have often been called "predominantly right-brained," and while I would agree I have probably flexed that side more thoroughly through the years, I have always had more or less a 50/50 balance. As the daughter of a mechanical engineer and computer programmer, I grew up on Lotus cars, Grand Prix racing, custom-built PC's, and even firearms. It even turns out my parents met while working at NASA's Stennis Space Center (then NSTL) during the early stages of the space shuttle program, which officially made me a NASA fan. I've always been enthralled with the concept of building something and watching it come to life. My father taught me how to build desktop PC's, and together, we are also learning how to build firearms for target shooting. I would love to expand my knowledge of technology building and restoration, though I am not sure I have any interest in taking it much further than simply a fun hobby, unless it is relevant to my movement and fitness career aspirations.

INTJ / Enneagram 4