Vitals: Angie Voorhees, 34, of Rockford, was recently chosen to join the United States of America Federation of Pankration Athlima (USAFPA) team fighting on Sept. 11 against competition from around the globe in Lithuania. Voorhees is a Rockford native and co-owner of Rockford Billiard Café. She is still seeking sponsorship for her trip to Lithuania, and all donations are tax-deductible.
1. If you could choose any elected official – local, state or national – to speak with one-on-one, who would it be, and what would you say? I’d talk to President [Barack] Obama (D) and say that if he wants to help the economy, he should target small businesses and help them out. If he gave a million small businesses $50K each (which is a relatively small number in terms of what they’ve been spending), he could create millions of sustainable jobs versus public works jobs, which disappear when the funds run out. The money would stay here in the U.S., and some businesses would expand into big businesses. It’s a big snowball of good things. I’d also ask President Obama, with all the initiatives that you have, what do you hope people will remember you by 50 years from now?
2. If you were to move away from the Rock River Valley, what three things would you miss the most? I’d miss my business and friends at Rockford Billiard Café, my martial arts family at No Joke Martial Arts and Westlake Karate Club, and the Aldeen Practice Center, along with all the other awesome Park District golf courses.
3. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in martial arts? Try as many schools as you can before joining one. Many schools allow you to participate in classes before paying. Pinpoint your own reasons for doing it, and find a school that matches your needs. Read the fine print, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about fees. I’d recommend places that bill monthly and have a 30-day cancellation notice. Long-term contracts are a thing of the past.
4. What type of competition are you expecting to encounter in Lithuania? There will be athletes from several countries, including France, Italy, Russia, Portugal and Greece. Our team has a competitor in every division, and we have a good shot at winning the gold. The lightest fighting division is 112 pounds, and I hardly weigh 100 pounds, so it will be tough, but I think I can win.
5. Question from last week’s “This week in The Times” participant Lisa Brown: If you currently have a car and for whatever reason that car was taken away from you, what would you do? How would you manage your daily life? I’m into fitness anyway, so I’d just pack my backpack and ride my bike.
“This week in The Times” is a weekly survey of people selected by The Rock River Times staff. The column does not accept unsolicited submissions.
From the September 2-8, 2009 issue