I am still stunned by and will always be grateful for this honor: a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction.
I was in the locker room at my gym on Tuesday night, still in my swimsuit and dripping wet, when I picked up the news on my BlackBerry--which was appropriate somehow, given that my Guggenheim is primarily to allow me to research and continue writing my book on the history of exercise, "Sweat." (Some images from the forthcoming book are in the slide show on the Guggenheim page.)
I had to grab a towel to cover my face as I cried joyfully at this unexpected news. I'm sure the other gentlemen in the locker room wondered what the hell had happened to me down in the swimming pool (!). Finally, I wrapped the towel around me and went outside to call my sisters and editor and friends.
There is the recognition by peers and the grant award itself, yes. But for me, the Guggenheim comes with the knowledge that the artists who have influenced and inspired me most--Oliver Sacks, Diane Arbus, Thom Gunn, Adrienne Rich, Pauline Kael, Mark Morris, Robert Frank, Susan Sontag, Ved Mehta--were all Guggenheim Fellows. To be part of this tradition is just...deeply moving and gratifying.
Causes Bill Hayes Supports
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative