family

Guess the Smell

It’s 7 am on a Sunday. Time to hit the field for day 2 of a tournament. You are in a hotel that thankfully has a bedroom and an open area meaning there is a room with a door that closes. You remain on the open space side for many reasons.

At 7 am you open the door to bedroom to gain access to the bathroom and poof. You are immediately stopped in your tracks with the smell. The scent of sweaty socks. The aroma of a uniform that baked in the heat the day before. The lingering stench. Oh so awful. 

These items are doused with spray to make it another day in the heat wave. On the same body that drenched them with sweat the day before. What will the outcome be at the end of today? Let’s start with a dripping wet uniform and socks that must be immediately removed and placed in a bag to be sealed and put in the trunk for the entire ride home. 

You see the car ride is a whole 12 hours from this tournament. The stink must be contained or we may possibly die of the fumes while in motion. Let’s also note this is not just the uniform and socks. I have yet to get to the bag. The bag which was in the car all night that has cleats and turf shoes in it. One pair is new one pair is old. It simply doesn’t matter. Once the shoe is worn once the stink is embossed in the shoe. Another level of nasty. The foot stink of an elite athlete. Is there anything worse?

I thought my brother’s hockey bags were bad as a child. I thought my gym bag was awful growing up but I have met a new level of gross. My child’s sweet nasty funk. The lingering stink that will turn your stomach. The nasty uniform that you must retrieve from that sealed bag to launder. The socks that were new but now look like they have been worn for weeks without washing. Can bleach even help?

At my house we use laundry detergent. We use bleach on the items that can be bleached. We then use a sports powder to soak away the nasty and it does as the water definitely turns black or grey. We trust in Downy to freshen up what it can. We move on. We repeat this numerous times over a 10 week summer season. Over and over again as somebody thought it was a good idea to use the jersey for games as a pinnie in practice two days a week. 

That means that poor stinky jersey sits in the nasty gym bag fermenting for two days between the weekend of games in which it is then sealed in a plastic bag. I don’t know how this jersey doesn’t grow mold. This is such a disgusting topic but one I know I’m not alone with.

Stinky shoes. Stinky feet. Stinky jersey. Is there a reward with all the stink? I think not. However, I have the pure joy of watching my child do what they love at an elite level while chasing dreams. When I put that perspective into the mix I undoubtedly say the stink is okay with me. Although I will be fumigating my car and anything in close proximity to the infamous bag or uniform pronto.

No deep breaths today. Lots of mints in my mouth to inhale the scent of mint to get through yet another day. What’s your worst stink story? Can you relate to my stinky experience? Can you smell this post?

fitness and nutrition

Year 6: The Open

I was adamant I wasn’t officially participating in the CrossFit Open this year. The main reason for this decision is: I wasn’t feeling like I was in the same shape I was a few years back. Making me think I wouldn’t be happy with my results. I thought about it a good bit. I answered NO, when asked if I was participating many times.

Then I decided to log into my Open app. It showed my participation history and I had already invested five years in tracking my performance. Why not make it six years? Why not see how many years I can physically participate vs focusing on what number I am on the leaderboard?

This year I am 50. I hit a new age band. I had competed in RX the past few years but I have shifted to scaled workouts in most of my recent events. I also focus on going the distance or continuing to move through a grueling wod vs pausing. Slow and steady is my pace these days. It has taken me some time to adjust, but I have come to terms with being a scaled athlete. However, I strive to be the best version of scaled I can be. Thus I will see how I fare as a masters athlete in year six of my CrossFit Open history.

Another fitness benchmark. A couple of weeks of focus and self-motivation. A snapshot of my abilities at that point in time. A worldwide leaderboard allowing me to compare my peers worldwide. Why pass up the opportunity to get better?

Once my decision was solidified I decided to write this post. At the same time I glanced back at what I wrote last year about my Open participation. To my surprise I was on the fence about signing up but I did it. Just as I am doing again this year. Funny how my blog posts serve me purpose time and time again when I want to reflect on a subject. 

My vault is online. Cataloged for many to read. It is by no means all-inclusive memoirs however, the content is genuine. I write with feelings and undoubtedly express emotions to others in a very public way. I’m sure some will read this and the feelings are relatable. Others may lose interest and click away. It’s okay either way. 

As I want to end my evening with a dessert, I instead wrote this blog. In good conscience I will attempt to eat better for the coming days to prepare a tiny bit. Wish me luck. That translates to no dessert. Even if it was my favorite Kind bar frozen treat.

adventure, family, fitness and nutrition

Blue With a Hint of White

I see an abundance of blue. A sea of Carolina Blue near and far. Maybe some white but far more blue. University of North Carolina blue. That soft powdery-colored blue that is easily recognizable as the UNC symbolic color. Nestled deep in the heart of Tar Heel territory on the UNC campus, it’s hard to miss the waves of blue everywhere.

I am here for an event which involves the wearing of the university colors and uniforms. Trying to find a needle in a haystack is a good reference for finding my kid in the sea of blue jerseys. My child is one of of 400-500 immersed in an elite field experience for the sport of lacrosse, which she loves. Last college event was big but not this big.

Hundreds of highly skilled athletes looking to standout while improving their individual and teaming skills on such a big stage. Such an experience to live through as both an athlete and a spectator.

My lens is clearly the spectator but obviously I couldn’t be more proud of my athlete. Spending hours on the field for days with new faces and personalities. Determining if a college athlete life is for her or not. Learning how to adapt and overcome while avoiding injury as well. Training on and off the field. Fueling the body for competition. Resting the mind amidst finals and semester-end deadlines. Challenging herself to be a better version of her. It’s all relative. It’s a process. It takes dedication, determination and a bit of badassery.

I’m a copilot of sorts. The errand girl. The roadie. The fan girl. It’s still a hard job. Navigating maps, finding fields, lugging gear, packing sustainable food for energy, being prepared for any weather, traveling to unknown places, finding accommodations and so much more. I’m in the muck of it all. I’ll wipe tears if they are shed. I’ll pull out the bandaids when needed. I will snap the all the photos allowed to capture the memories as well. I even deal with the nasty attitude when fatigue sets in and nobody is watching but me. No shame in my game/role.

It’s also funny to wade through the cemetery of bags, sticks, jackets, coats, sweats and so on. Where else could you experience the awkward smell of stinky feet and body odor in the cool crisp air? These are the memories I will cherish no matter how gross they sound in my writings.

Our crazy schedule is not for the weak at heart. We spend many days on the road. We spend time away from family and friends. We wake up early. We get into bed late. We battle rain, snow, wind, cold and heat. All to chase a dream. Her dream at the moment. A dream many may not ever achieve and many may never attempt. This is our journey or path right now. Our time together. Wherever she ends up she will know I supported her dream.

As I wrap up this post I take a deep sigh. Reflecting on how grateful I am to be able to take this walk with her. To support her. To praise her efforts. It’s a one of a kind opportunity for both of us. I share this post to provide a glimpse to others who may not have the opportunity to see this lens of life. 

Fourteen states she has played competitive lacrosse in. The sport of lacrosse has allowed her to meet people and see new places while mastering her performance as a woman in sports. I’m not sure how many more states will be visited as she narrows down her college wish list. 

adventure

Tennis Flop

I had a match to play on a Friday night after a long weekend with my partner. It was a little cooler outside than normal and it was late. I wasn’t really sure if I needed pants or a skirt. Long sleeve or short sleeve. The evening seemed so wishy washy.

I started dressed in layers. I slowly peeled them off. One cheerleader arrived. Then two. Then three. Then four or five. It was overwhelming in a way but good in another. So many folks came to cheer us on. The unfortunate part was we were doing awful. A comedy of errors was leading to poor performance. 

Down by one. By two. By three. Four. Five. And then it was 6-0. Just like that we lost the round. We were stomping our feet. There were some chuckles. Some apologies. Some cursing. Some blaming. Some frustration. Some smack talking. It was still a game so onto round two we go.

It was a bit closer but we just couldn’t seal the deal. Deuce. Add out. Deuce. Add in. Deuce. Down by one. Down by two. Get it together ladies was the theme of the evening. More uh oh moments. More you should have hit that. More why didn’t you move fast enough. Is this really happening? Four to zero. Five to zero. Let’s get this one.

We ended the day with another 6-0 finish. The goose egg. The other team skunked us 6-0 and 6-0.  I am sure it’s a first for me not to have earned a point but as you can see above I still laughed hard. A deep belly laugh. No matter how down in the dumps you are performance wise, you can still laugh it off and be light hearted.
We had so much fun sucking today. We let our friends see us at our worst. We will hit the repeat button again tomorrow as we saddle up for a new match on the same court. Will history repeat itself? I hope not. If it does, I guess I’ll have to take another walk of shame.

Losing is part of competing. Losing gives you a taste of humble pie. Losing gives you opportunity to grow. Learning lessons about loss is important. Every true athlete knows this. In the moment and after the sting subsides. The work starts again. Train harder. Think smarter. Challenge yourself. 

It’s even funnier to lose when you realized you signed up a level higher than you should have. I guess one will see if we can get better playing at a higher level even if a lot prematurely. I have grown to love tennis. It’s an easy way to get some exercise. It has the competition element. It’s fun with friends. It’s cool shoes and cute skirts some days too. 

Speaking of days…enjoy yours!

perspective

Observation Overload

I was thinking about a title for this post for a few days. I wasn’t sure how to title it. Being stumped is not something that normally happens for me when it comes to titles. I’m a headlines girl for sure. Wonder why this one stumped me?

Nevertheless I found the title. Now I have to explain it. The observation deck can have multiple meanings for me. For some it’s a view point of sorts. From higher ground. Maybe it’s a skyscraper in a big city with an observation deck. Maybe it’s an observation point hanging over the Grand Canyon. A perch of sorts where one observes people, places, things, sports, and so on.

Recently I was at a tennis match and there was an observation deck filled with spectators. The elevated viewing area offered a different vantage point on the games as compared to ground level. This had me thinking about perches, overhangs, elevated surfaces which I might classify as an observation deck even if not elevated. An observing point for me. The list was endless.

The exercise bike on the second floor at the gym is a perch in my world where one can silently people watch. The bleachers at my kids’ sporting events. I always seem to pick the highest row to see the best view. Then I thought about other perches that may not be so elevated but that I would still consider an observation deck or platform in my life.

To give an example I have this photo below for you to visualize.

The bike view. Can you think of other moving observation platforms? A car. A plane. A train. A motorcycle. While moving what can you see different or up close to? Do you really need to be in a nosebleed section of the baseball stadium to observe the game?

I guess whatever platform or observation deck you have is fine. That’s why I named this Observation Overload. One thought spun in a million directions. For the purposes of this post, my observation point was ground level. Oddly enough I was in the muck of it all when I started observing busted biscuits. One here, one there, another over there. There were no Slim Jims just busted biscuits, the girl nearby noted. What on earth could I be talking about? People. Girls. Females. Fitness enthusiasts. Fun seekers. All with busted biscuits in different variations.

I was observing a bunch of girls, ladies and mature women actively participating in a movement activity outside. All from different backgrounds. Some thicker than others. Some more toned than others. Some older. Some younger. To my surprise, they all had busted biscuits of sorts. I didn’t coin the term but I’m sort of in awe of it at this point. A little distraction of sorts when I was served biscuits at the restaurant I was at the day I wrote this. 

One gal had busted biscuits thanks to all the beers she drinks.

One had busted biscuits because of child rearing.

One had busted biscuits because she recently lost a lot of weight.

One had busted biscuits due to settling over the years. Pretty sure she was in her 70’s. 

So many life reasons for the excess baggage also known as busted biscuits. Interesting odd way to phrase things but I was intrigued. I dazed off a bit in observation mode. Thinking. Wondering. Being curious in general.

Who cares about the busted biscuits? These ladies were moving. Some faster than others. Some with more giggles than others. Amazingly what they all exemplified was beauty. Beautiful stories. Beautiful memories. Beautiful people behind the busted biscuits. Beauty of being a woman with lived-in skin.

As a southern transplant one knows what busted biscuits look like. The container that opens up and oozes out with biscuit dough. I mean a southerner makes biscuits from scratch but a transplant can opt for the container or can of biscuits. The ones that ooze. 

Most people can’t get enough of a good biscuits. Well as a thick girl myself, I have busted biscuits. You know that troublesome area that seems to hold only all your bad choices, stress, aches and so on. Normally right below the belly button. Some call it a pooch. Some call it flab. Today somebody referred to it as busted biscuits. The term made me giggle. Why did I never think of that. It truly is busted biscuits. But nobody throws away the biscuits when they ooze out. They prep them for baking. They enjoy them.

Then I thought to myself I have busted biscuits. But so does every other woman out here. And that’s what is beautiful. Each container of busted biscuits oozed out their own way just the the special person carrying the extra ooze. They didn’t get thrown to the side. They were living their best busted biscuits life in their own skin.

As I drifted in the mind this day. I thought how much I like my busted biscuits. Unique to just me. How lucky am I? How cool is it that all these women get together, busted biscuits and all and just move. Just move that body in the fitness kind of way. Just because you have some extra biscuit ooze upon you doesn’t mean you can’t move or you’re not athletic. 

It just means you have a body that’s lived in. We are all made in different shapes and sizes. Everyone should embrace their appearance whether you are a Slim Jim or you carry busted biscuits.

Hope you enjoyed this lighthearted post about biscuits and observations.