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.

friendship

The Athletic Supporter

Sometimes I come along for the ride. Someone asks me to be there when they have a big day. When they’re competing.

For this enneagram 2, a helper at heart, this is music to my ears. I live for these moments! Put me in, coach! Some might ask, what do you do all day at CrossFit competition if you’re not competing? Why spend weekends sitting in sweltering lacrosse tents at far flung venues? What do you do with all the down time? Why are you there?

Lots of reasons, really. Here’s just a few.

I’m there to cheer. I’m there to take photos of moments big and small. To capture the day so you can see how amazing you are.

To be a clothes hanger for wardrobe shedding right before the big moment, to carry the bandaids and tylenol, to bring the good snacks and the right color gatorade, to apply the oils to aching muscles.

To provide chairs and blankets and hats. Or sunscreen and water and sunglasses, depending on the season. And umbrellas, always umbrellas.

I am a holder of phones, a fetcher of things from the car when you don’t want to get up from your seat. I am the scouter of porta-potties, or just going along for moral support. I am the counterbalance for quad stretches.

I am the bringer of cupcakes for birthdays or Galentine’s day or just because you like cupcakes. Or bagels. Or whatever you like. I am the maker of signs and shaker of pom poms when the need arises. I am a surprise engineer.

Need scissors? No problem. Sanitizer? Got it. Extra socks or tank top or leggings? Check, check, and check. Plates, spoons, knives, paper towels, Everything but the Bagel on cucumbers? Of course!

Sometimes I am screaming, to be that voice of encouragement you hear above the voice in your head. Sometimes I am wrapping you up in a blanket, hugging you and walking you around in the parking lot as your body temperature and heart rate come down. Sometimes I’m just here to listen to what it was like for you, in that moment. What went wrong, what felt good. The lucky sounding board for all of it.

I’m there for the podium pictures and the postgame meal. For the high fives and the hell yeahs.

Still, some of the most important parts of my day are spent in silence, just witnessing your efforts and achievements. Seeing any moments of doubt and staring at you until you look over and see me, telling you with my eyes, you got this. I believe in you. Being a part of it is amazing. Sharing in the memories, the “team mom” as someone recently said. To be a part of supporting someone I care for deeply. This is my purpose.

challenges, fitness and nutrition

Part 3, the Finals

This is the end of the Masters of the Master Competition Series. The finals. The championship. Destination: Texas, USA. The stage is set. The invites were sent out. What an honor to get invited.

The travel was planned. The bags were packed. The plan was in motion. Would I remember everything? Would my bags get lost? Would I be ready? So many variables.

Rise early. Time to grind. It’s competition day. A long day. Many new faces. A new area. A new gym. New rules. Mask on. Mask off. One must be prepared to adapt to whatever comes your way. Oh the nerves that cause trips to the restroom until the first heat starts.

8:28, 11:06am, 1:04pm, and 3:33pm. Those were my heat times. Cold weather. Outdoor waiting area due to COVID. Adverse conditions one may say. Challenge accepted. So many ups and downs for this competition but it was still an amazing experience. The woman above was a fierce competitor and took the #1 spot in our division. She inspires me to work harder. 

  •  I met some amazing competitors from cities I have never been to. I learned their fascinating stories of CrossFit. Because everyone has a story.
  • I was forced to use a port-a-potty multiple times in a day. So nasty. This was also a personal record for me.
  • I watched my favorite age group of 65-70 year old women killing it in the competition. I saw them move their bodies as I did mine. Slower but with such convictions. Now I have goals for myself at that age.
  • I traveled with friends who are like family who supported each other. My favorite word being “incoming” after spending hours in the car together on and off. We even celebrated with fancy cupcakes. We sang comp car karaoke and so much more. Memories were made for sure!
  • My virtual cheers. FaceTime calls. Coaches texts. Gym friends even sent notes of motivation. Social media shout outs. My CrossFit Community is amazing. 
  • I competed solo causing me only to rely on me. I have to put in the work over and over again.
  • My daughter came along and what a great experience for her to see athletes from 35-70 competing for a spot on the podium. She watched intently. She learned movement strategies. She cheered with conviction. This was an unexpected benefit to the comp but one I thoroughly enjoyed observing.

At the end of the day I made the podium. So many emotions and self triumphs. A rebound of sorts. Pushing through movements I don’t like or are not my favorite. Hitting new limits under extreme fatigue. Celebrating after.

Many may question why compete. Many may wonder why travel. Many may think of so many reasons why not to take the risk to compete. Winning is never guaranteed. It’s the journey. The ups and downs. The friendships. The hard work. The spirit of competition. It all fuels the fire in my belly.

Next competition is a few weeks away. Time to rest a day and get back to training hard. Next comp is 4 team members representing different generations. Teen, 20 something, 30 something, and the good old caboose rolling in at 49. 

The comp should be a 2 male / 2 female combo but we are going in disadvantaged with 3 female / 1 male. It’s an experiment of sorts. 3 of my family members will be competing in this one. That makes it extra special for me. My fitness regimen spilling over to my kids is just heartwarming to say the least.

Until next time.