Dvora Meyers, Unorthodox Gymnast

This interview was first published on The Sisterhood blog at the Forward.

Journalist, blogger (and Sisterhood contributor) Dvora Meyers is out with her first book, a self-published collection of six essays titled, “Heresy on the High Beam: Confessions of an Unbalanced Jewess.” In the essays, Meyers, who was brought up Orthodox, examines her childhood and young adult years through the lens of her obsession with gymnastics — both as an athlete and a spectator.

Meyers shares with her readers her triumphs and hardships at the gym and at home in Brooklyn, where she was raised by her mother following her parents’ divorce. After undergoing back surgery for severe scoliosis, Meyers returned to gymnastics for a time. Eventually, however, as Meyers began to shed her religiously observant lifestyle, she also found a different physically demanding activity to love: break-dancing.

Meyers spoke with The Sisterhood about writing “Heresy on the High Beam,” what she learned from the process, and the role gymnastics still plays in her life.

Renee Ghert-Zand: At what point did you decide to write a memoir, using gymnastics as a lens to examine your life?

Dvora Meyers: It started off very innocently. I was starting grad school and I was trying to figure out what to write for my first workshop. It just struck me that at 23, I was as obsessed with gymnastics as I’d ever been. I didn’t do the sport anymore, and I wasn’t that good. But I started to have this sense that the strength and ferocity of this obsession could imply something deeper. My professor said to me, “You’ve got this whole Potok thing, but about gymnastics.”

I decided more recently that at some point I was going to have to look them over, finish them, fix it, put it out there in some form. A month or so before I turned 29, I decided I didn’t want to go into my 30s with this project anymore. I just wanted it out there and I could move on.

Click here to read more of the interview.

© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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