Thursday, December 31, 2009

How To Modify Fitness Goals After Injury

I've been talking about how my Twitter bud @kokogirl started up the Twitter Trim Up Challenge (#TTUC) this month. At first I didn't really think about it but have been quite interested and excited to fully commit!

On Monday I wrote about my goals and some of the smaller goals that would get me there. First off, I neglected to mention that my time frame for these goals is the summer. I don't have a specific date per say but somewhere around July for the most part. To me, I need an actual deadline but I also need some flexibility so I don't set myself up for failure.

Next, as the title alludes I do have an injury or two to address. The most pressing that interferes with my goals (among other things) is a neck injury that was sustained in a car accident when I was a teen. The effects have become more pronounced over the years but I am being fairly diligent in treatment. For the most part.

The second injury also started from the aforementioned collision but has only recently re-surfaced. After playing the worst round of golf in my life on Christmas Day, I woke up the following day unable to move my right knee without excruciating pain and discomfort. On one hand, I was excited that I really hadn't lost my swing but on the other I knew that meant no surfing the rest of the weekend.

Okay, let me get to the point - I had a visit with the sports medicine doc yesterday. I got a cortisone shot for the first injury's effects and the second will be further investigated by an MRI this afternoon. In the meantime, I was told that twisting motions would not be advised until the results come in. No twisting motion = no golf until further notice. I can use the elliptical trainer and surf on gentle waves with a longboard. The latter he relented after asking me where and what I surf (it rules having a surfing doc). No rough waves and no riding the shortboard. I can live with those terms for now.

So - to make this post even longer - here are my modifications to my smaller goals in order to reach my larger goals. Modifications are italicized:

1. Be able to participate in a 20 minute surf competition heat without being so winded that I feel like I am going to pass out.
a. Work on endurance by using elliptical trainer at least 4 times a week
b. Do exercises targeted to the upper body and core
c. Surf at least three times a week
on a longboard in gentler breaks until cleared by the doc

2. Be able to paddle out into the 10 foot faces of my favorite swell and catch waves without taking a 20 minute break in between the two!
a. Work on endurance by using elliptical trainer at least 4 times a week
b. Do exercises targeted to the upper body and core

c. Surf at least three times a week on a longboard in gentler breaks until cleared by the doc

3. Consistently drive a golf ball 200 then 250 yards (right now I can get 225-240 once or twice a round).
a. Work on endurance by using elliptical trainer at least 4 times a week
b. Do exercises targeted to the upper body and core

c. Practice at the driving range at least twice a week after cleared by the doc

I'll elaborate on my eating habits to give you the full picture. The only new item is #4. I've gone without adding salt for 3 days now and it's a snap! I think I even feel a little less lethargic? Maybe? Here are my rules for eating:

1. Don't eat when not hungry
2. Stop eating when full
3. Don't add sugar to anything
4. Don't add salt to anything
5. If it wasn't food 200 years ago, it probably isn't food today
6. If it comes ready-made and frozen in a box, it probably isn't food
7. If it contains more than 8-10 grams of sugar don't eat it (total in what you are eating, not just a "serving")
8. Keep hydrated
9. Don't eat any dairy products whatsoever
10. Carefully read the label and truly understand what you are consuming if the case arises that you are going to consume any "processed" foods

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wild World Of Wednesday - Two Contests

First Contest

This is a sweepstakes from Pepto-Bismol to celebrate InstaCool, chewable tablets that give "an instant blast of cool" to provide relief from nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea. You could win a trip to Vancouver for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games by submitting a short essay about a time when you could have used some "cooling out." The contest page says the essay is actually optional and all you have to do is fill out the entry form here. For the full details on this contest check the link here.

Hurry! This contest ends on Monday, January 4th.

You can also get the full scoop of Bepto-Bismol and Team USA here.

Second Contest

This is a also a Pepto-Bismol themed contest. To win a prize pack that consists of a sample of the new InstaCool product and a spiffy commemorative 2010 Olympics pin all you have to do is live in North America and leave a comment about your best Pepto-Bismol moment. The two best will be selected - yup, two winners so let's hear those stories! This is what the pin looks like:

I can't wait to hear what you come up with - be creative! This contest will end on Friday, January 8th so get your comments in. Oh, and yes, you can comment more than once if another idea strikes you.

P.S. They're sending me a sample and pin as well in case you had to know.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Don't Forget To Eat Right

Yesterday I talked about my Twitter friend (@kokogirl) and her Twitter Trim Up Challenge. I am quite excited that I decided to take part and am dedicated to making my fitness goals.

Then it hit me.

I really need to address my diet.

First, let me clarify a few things. As a child, I was that little girl that was taller than all the other kids in school. You know - the tall, lanky one that everyone else made fun of. That is, made fun of until high school when they all realized that ending up being 5'10" was actually pretty darn cool. In addition to being tall, I've never really had horrible eating habits. Even as a child, I was never a big fan of chocolate, fried foods, soda or other decadent ills that break diets. I'm sure growing up in a place where there is fresh fruit year-round and plenty of access to healthier foods helped out.

That said, being a tall girl with a smallish-medium bone structure means that I would never be 100-120 pounds. Trust me on that one. I was 118 when I graduated high school and I looked like Skeletor (well, a skeleton actually). This wasn't due to an eating disorder or anything of the sort, I was just an active girl that ate right.

Today, I'm more like in the neighborhood of 150. Some tiny people tell me that means I'm "fat" or weigh a lot. Really? I've got muscle (you know, that will just happen when you paddle a surfboard on a regular basis), a relatively flat stomach, and wear a size 6-8 at my height. How am I "fat"? Sure, a lot of time I feel bigger than others because I am. Period.

At any rate, I do have one big vice when it comes to eating. Salt. Salt, salt, and more salt.

In my teens and 20s I avoided it completely and only in the last several years did I start adding it to my food. I'm not sure what started it but I use plenty now. Last night as I was having dinner I realized that I really need to stop. Sure, I've never had high blood pressure or any other salt-related issues that I know of but why encourage it.

So I stopped right then and I avoided it for breakfast as well. It's really just a matter of retraining your taste buds. It will be odd for the first few days but then it will be easy.

Oh, and for the record, I've never been one to add sugar to food and drink. I drink my coffee and tea plain and otherwise only drink water. I won't even drink processed juices since they've got so much sugar. If I do have a juice it is fruit alone from a juicer (try Robek's ABC - it's an acquired taste but quite refreshing if you like it). If I do happen to try something that has a ton of sugar it just tastes simply awful to me.

I have a few simple rules to eating:

1. If it wasn't food 200 years ago, it probably isn't food today
2. If it comes ready-made and frozen in a box, it probably isn't food
3. If it has more than 8-10 grams of sugar, don't eat it
4. Don't add sugar to anything
5. New rule - don't add salt to anything.

Monday, December 28, 2009

5 Questions About Fitness Goals

I'm usually not one to do the whole New Year's Resolution thing since I like to set and reach goals throughout the year. However, I decided to take part in a fitness challenge that my Twitter friend @kokogirl started up. The Twitter Trim Up Challenge starts next month.

Now before you get the wrong idea - neither Lisa (@kokogirl) nor myself are fitness experts whatsoever. She's just interested in living a healthier lifestyle and getting her Twitter buds in on the action to help stay motivated.

If you're on Twitter, give her a follow and check out her blog for all the details.

So what are you waiting for? Make some goals and get started!

1. Where do I start with fitness goals?

Personally, I believe that goals must be tangible as well as challenging. I would not give myself the goal of being able to surf Pipleline as well as Kelly Slater by next winter. I would be setting myself up for failure. However, I need to make the goal challenging - such as being able to surf in consistent double-overhead sets for at least two hours.

2. Why do I need to make goals?

If you have goals you can measure your success. Without goals it is easy to get sidetracked since you don't have something to stick to.

3. How should I make these goals?

Your goals should be something that YOU want. If you've got a goal that is someone else's you are more likely to fail. Any way you slice it, you shouldn't set yourself up for failure. Make sure that your goals are within your physical and mental potential.

Next, make sure you have an idea how to get to your goal. If you want to lose ten pounds how are you going to do it? Don't just say that you want to lose ten pounds, say that you want to lose ten pounds and you are going to do it by getting on the treadmill three times a week and cutting out sodas.

4. What happens if I don't make my goals?

If you don't make your goals you should probably just completely give up on setting goals ever again since you will probably never meet them.

Not really.

As the cliche says: if at first you don't succeed - try, try again. Not being successful the first time isn't the end of the world. Give yourself a break. On the other hand, make sure you keep the balance and don't give yourself too much of a pass ticket! Reassess if you set yourself up to fail and then get back out there.

5. What should I do after I meet my goals?

When you meet your goals then make your next goal to keep the progress that you have made. Afterward, push yourself. If I make my surfing goals quickly then I just might try to be Kelly Slater at Pipeline. Or not.

So here are my goals and the rough outline of how I will achieve them. I'll be tweeting and blogging about them as I go:

1. Be able to participate in a 20 minute surf competition heat without being so winded that I feel like I am going to pass out.
a. Work on endurance by using elliptical trainer at least 4 times a week
b. Do exercises targeted to the upper body and core
c. Surf at least three times a week

2. Be able to paddle out into the 10 foot faces of my favorite swell and catch waves without taking a 20 minute break in between the two!
a. Work on endurance by using elliptical trainer at least 4 times a week
b. Do exercises targeted to the upper body and core

c. Surf at least three times a week

3. Consistently drive a golf ball 200 then 250 yards (right now I can get 225-240 once or twice a round).

a. Work on endurance by using elliptical trainer at least 4 times a week
b. Do exercises targeted to the upper body and core

c. Practice at the driving range at least twice a week

For the record - the very first thing I have to do is see my sports medicine doc. Unfortunately, I push myself a little more than I should and did something to my knee that I can no longer ignore. The moral of the story there is to know your limitations. I'm hoping to be back in the water in the next few days so wish me luck!

What are your fitness goals?

Friday, December 25, 2009

I Hate When I Forget

Wow, what a space case! I was so sidetracked with getting to my cousin's house and making my tee time that I forgot to post this morning.

It happens!

I played a horrible game today but I managed to find a video of some guys playing much worse. Bad golf happens.

I hope everyone enjoyed their day - whatever you may celebrate or not!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Confessions Of A Kook

Like golf, surfing has it's fair share of purists (or snobs, bullies, and others that are so much better than everyone else).

There are golfers that believe you must have specific equipment and dress a certain way or you just don't fit in. Forget that - you don't belong on the driving range, much less the course. If your bag is a little progressive or you happen to have a skull on your shirt you clearly must be an undesirable. Clearly.

In surfing if you don't have the right board, the right racks to attach your board to your vehicle, the right form when you duck dive, or the right spot to wear booties then you're clearly a kook.

Guess what? I don't give a rat's rear if someone doesn't like my golf gear. There isn't even a thought in my head about whether my surf gear is appropriate either. You know what? I've got a "pop-out" board in my quiver. It's a blast to ride too. Deal with it. If owning it makes me a kook then so be it.

Who else is a kook? Come on, speak up!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wild World Of Wednesday - December 23, 2009

So I've got a few days off coming up and the temperature keeps dropping. This would be good news if I had a new snowboard. Unfortunately, I have three surfboards and no snowboard at this point. I'm hoping the sales are good this weekend. On the other hand, I really need an in-between surfboard. I just need someone to sponsor a kook like me for all of my boards. Please.

At any rate, I'm a really busy gal this week so enjoy the tasty video I came across today. When you're done with that, head over to the One-Eyed Golfer's blog for his daily "best of" posts to reminisce about golf blogging over the year.

Sports history will return to its regularly scheduled place next week. Promise.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Have Nothing Exciting To Say Today

Seriously, I started writing some witty post for your reading pleasure and it just wasn't coming out right. I thought of doing "best of" like Vince or talking about great gifts like Heather but I am just not feeling it today.

Instead, I found a video that has one of my favorite silly mascot dances along with some other goodies. I just never tire of this!

I know, I'm dull - so here's a very cool link from Surfer Magazine with a slideshow of the surf on the East Coast this month. Brr! I thought 58 degree water and 65 degree air was cold. I don't think I could walk through snow to get to the beach and then jump in! Then again...

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

5 Questions With An IWFL/LFL Player

Are Lingerie Football League players actually athletes? Read today's interview with Michelle Jacot and find out:

Hello, my name's Michelle Amara Jacot, I'm 24 yrs old and grew up with my parents, three brothers, and an assortment of pets in Garden Grove, California. Since the age of four I was submerged in dancing until the age of about thirteen. From that point on I made a choice to pursue soccer, the sport I loved most and continued to play up until my two years of community college at Orange Coast College (OCC) were finished. In high school I also joined the track team and was involved mainly in the high, triple, and long jumps. After OCC, I transferred over to Cal State University of Fullerton (CSUF) and just focused on my degrees: BA in psychology and a minor in sociology while continuing soccer for the Orange County Women's Soccer League (OCWSL). I graduated in December of 2007 from CSUF and since then have traveled, been working as a dancer, model, athlete and enjoyed focusing on the new sport in my life - Football!

1. How did you come to start playing football? What other sports, if any, have you been involved in over the years?

Who knew women's tackle football existed?! I sure as heck didn't! I was at a friend's house and Christy Crizer was the one to tell me and Giovanna Ferraro about the IWFL. We both were ecstatic and decided to go to a training and the try-outs last December 2008. I grew up being around football as my dad (a true 49ers fan!) and brothers all watched the sport when we were younger, but I never was as interested in it because I didn't understand all the plays and positioning that took place! Now that I've learned the sport better and been playing for the past year I love watching football and it helps me notice more about what I need to improve on when I play.

As I mentioned, the main sport I've played throughout the years is soccer. I also participated in jumping for Track & Field, played co-ed softball for two years, and have my outside athletic hobbies such as lifting in the gym, snowboarding, surfing, beach volleyball, wrestling, and anything else I find appealing and fun to try!

2. Which league is the tougher to play in: the IWFL or the LFL? What drew you to each?

It's quite hard to say whether the IWFL or LFL is tougher to play in! The biggest distinguishing factor is the protection involved! If you think about it, it's tougher to play with such minimal clothing & padding while your skin is more exposed to damage; especially when playing on a turf field! But, in my overall opinion the IWFL is tougher in the sense that I am going up against women that can range up to five times my size. In saying this, whether you're in full gear or not, overall body damage is worsened by hitting and getting hit by someone bigger in size than myself. In the LFL, yes there's taller and heavier women than myself but it's more comparable to play against than in the IWFL. Physically, the IWFL is tougher. Mentally, both are very similar in toughness. As an athlete in any sport, you have to be mentally stable and prepared to perform well consistently, take critique, and be open to learning the game and improving as well!

I was drawn to the IWFL at first simply because I thought it was so fantastic and empowering that women were playing full on tackle football! I wanted to be a part of. I'm very free-spirited and always wanting to try something new; and especially with my obsessive sport ventures I just knew I had to try playing for the IWFL. It was perfect opportunity for me (although expensive!) to learn the game and challenge myself and it set me up for then finding out about the LFL! After the Breakers season was finished Coach Manny mentioned that I would be a good candidate for the LFL, so I called Joey Davenport (QB for the Los Angeles Temptation) and ended up getting accepted to play for the LFL. I was drawn to the LFL because it was different in the sense that we're not only football players, but viewed as entertainment as well which I felt could open up more doors and opportunities for me. Yes, we're getting paid to play the sport, but overall I just liked the idea of it and I wanted to continue playing football!

3. Do you find you are taken seriously as an LFL player? How about an IWFL player? Which do you think has more respect and/or recognition?

Just the word "Lingerie" throws people off! It kind of insults me because at times people do not take the LFL seriously; well not until they actually go on the website to see our game clips or come watch a game live. Some people know about it and are total fans and respect us as true athletes, not just women running around half-naked! That's what I hope to accomplish. Yes, we're in tiny outfits, but I want people to know that we're training and playing real football and that we're women trying to accomplish that one day this may become just as big as the professional men who are athletes! I am very respected as an IWFL player because we're in full gear and have almost replicate to that of NFL rules. Still, just like the LFL, many people do not know these leagues exist and it's unfortunate. But because of the lingerie factor and us being viewed and put out there for entertainment and sex appeal, ultimately the IWFL is more respected in certain ways.

4. Who have been your role models thus far? Do you consider yourself a role model?

I can't say I have a single one role model, but there's specific people I've met along the way in my life that offer me outlooks and inspirations that I would consider that of role models. I admire certain people who have certain strengths and have experiences that I look up to and try to accomplish as well. I do feel in particular ways and circumstances that I am a role model to some. I can only hope so. I do feel I have a certain presence and strength that people look up to and I try to be as positive as I can to help others and my teammates out. There's a lot more growing I have to do and in that journey I hope to improve on being more of a role model for others!

5. What are your plans for the future? How much of your future includes football?

I'm one of those free birds where I just do whatever comes my way! I don't have exact plans for the future, but as far as right now goes my near future plan is to travel a bit more and try to do more soul-searching. I will be leaving March of this new year to Europe, thus the reason for not playing for the IWFL this season. I plan on continuing my athletic route in sports and I don't think I will ever give up sports until I'm too old and/or incapable of participating! I do feel deep down, even if I leave the country for a while that I will be back and continue playing football. It's rooted in me now and I would like to learn more and keep advancing as a football player, as well as being part of the wonderful teams & leagues I've experienced this past year!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sneaking Out To Surf

Well, I've got a mountain of work today, meetings I am not really looking forward to, and a ton of things to organize. Instead of spending a bunch of time writing witty banter about sports or something to that effect I am going to go surfing. I've gotta run because my first meeting is at 8:30.

I'm no Mick Fanning but I have fun nonetheless!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Can Playing Golf Help You Lose Weight? Is Golf Really Exercise?

Today's post is written by Matthew Papa, a biologist who enjoys writing articles on sports, health, and diet based on scientific findings. In his website, devoted to best weight loss programs, he provides information on a wide range of topics, from Medifast discount coupons to the Strax rejuvenation lap band procedure.

So...what about the questions posed in the title?

The answer is yes--golf can indeed help you achieve your fitness goals and even lose weight.

Getting people to increase the amount of physical activity they get on a regular basis is one of the primary goals in the on-going fight against obesity and the serious health conditions associated with it -- including stroke, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a wide range of debilitating muscle, joint, and bone problems. For health care professionals, the search is on to identify and encourage more physical activities that people of all ages will actually enjoy doing and therefore be more likely to perform consistently.

One fitness program that has caught on quite well recently is the "10,000 Steps” challenge, which involves encouraging people to wear an inexpensive pedometer all day every day. It can be quite a revelation to see how many (or how few) steps you take each day without even thinking about exercise. For many people, the daily record the pedometer provides is a highly effective motivator, encouraging them to make minor adjustments in many of their activities to increase that total incrementally every day. The 10,000 Steps program has been a great success, in part because it is so easy to do. It requires no expensive equipment or special facilities. All you need is the pedometer. Studies have shown that people who attain the 10,000-step goal are more likely to meet the standard recommended levels of daily physical activity.

Once you recognize that walking really can be a worthwhile form of exercise, it's not a stretch to see that golf too (a "good walk spoiled") could and should be regarded more seriously as a form of exercise that millions of people already partake in and enjoy. The classic stereotype of a bunch of portly duffers tootling around in golf carts doesn't really suggest strenuous physical activity. However, the growing popularity of golf on TV and the celebrity status of the top professional golfers have done a good deal to dispel some of this stale imagery. There are in fact quite a few stellar athletes in the sport, and nary a golf cart in sight on TV.

Golf is in fact a hugely popular sport that for most people does (or can) involve a great opportunity for extensive walking exercise. The average 18 hole round of golf involves navigating approximately 4.4 miles of ground -- not an inconsiderable distance by any means! So the question arises, how does it fit in with the 10,000 Steps goal, for instance?

That’s what physical therapist Sandra Kobriger and her colleagues set out to determine. Their findings were published in the Mayo Clinical Proceedings as "The Contribution of Golf to Daily Physical Activity Recommendations: How Many Steps Does It Take to Complete a Round of Golf?" (Who ever said all scientific research has to be obscure?) Kobringer and her team recruited 42 healthy adult golfers -- 12 men and 30 women — who agreed to play three 18 hole rounds of golf at 3 public golf courses in Rochester, MN, carrying their own clubs or using a pull/push cart for them. The golfers were provided with electronic pedometers that were calibrated and worn in the most reliable and consistent manner.

The study results demonstrated that almost all the participating golfers took well more than 10,000 steps to complete each 18 hole round. The mean number of steps across all three courses was actually 11,948. There was no significant variance between courses or by age or gender of the participants. Obviously, anyone who completes 18 holes of golf is well on his or her way to exceeding the 12,500 step-per-day level that qualifies a person as "highly active."

A game of golf on a lovely Saturday morning in some beautiful park-like setting doesn't provide the same kind of physical workout as a 5-mile run, a racquetball duel, or a basketball game. However, health experts and researchers have come around to the view that many less intense forms of exercise can also yield real health and fitness benefits in the battle against being overweight and obesity -- and are a lot more engaging and accessible for many people. Sandra Kobriger and her colleagues have the evidence -- a nice round of golf would be a great way to get your 10,000 Steps this weekend! Just stay away from the golf carts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - December 16, 2009

Holiday Greetings: My inbox is filling up with holiday greetings from the numerous mailing lists I am on. This one from the Rays is one of my favorites.

Speaking of Baseball:
One fan is keeping up with all of the events, gossip, and other happenings in the McCourt divorce case. Check out Dodger Divorce for the latest on the train wreck.

Surf Story Project: On a less strange note - this Friday is the release party for Surf Story. It starts at 6 pm at the Hurley HQ in Costa Mesa. Check out this link for more details.

Today In Sports History

1972 - Miami Dolphins become the first undefeated NFL team (14-0-0)

1973 - O J Simpson becomes the first NFL player to rush 2,000 yards in a season

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gift Idea: Annika Fragrance

Since she left the world of competitive golf Annika Sorenstam has been quite busy with a new baby and new business endeavors. I had the opportunity to try out her latest offering, a new fragrance called "Annika". It turns out to be exactly as I would expect - a subtle, yet feminine fragrance. You wouldn't expect something Annika makes to be bold and in your face and this most certainly isn't. This scent truly captures what you imagine as Annika the person would be like if you met her in person.

At first I thought there was a hint of a powdery smell but it gave way to a more clean and natural scent. The web and literature copy describe it in this way:

"Annika" boasts rich aromas of amber, vanilla, white flowers and citrus. There is nothing more alluring than natural beauty and the confidence of a woman...a woman wearing "Annika". Prices are $59.50 for 1.7 oz. and $79.50 for 3.4 oz. All domestic orders ship free during this month.

You can order this fragrance online.

I was sent several of those paper inserts that you would normally find in magazines along with my samples of this scent. If you would really like to see what this smells like I'd be happy to send you one of these papers. I've got six of them so just leave me a comment and let me know.

Monday, December 14, 2009

5 Questions About Where Golf Is Going

Golf should be fun. If golf isn't fun for you then you shouldn't play. Now I'll admit, many times I'd rather watch paint dry than watch certain golf coverage but that doesn't mean I am not a fan. I shouldn't have to suffer through another season of Big Break in order to be a fan of golf. (Seriously, who else is tired of that train wreck? I know, that's another subject.)

Plenty of people are speculating that golf will now take a serious nose dive since Mr. Number One is on an indefinite hiatus. Others are hoping for old favorites to shine. Wherever you are on the spectrum, I just want to know:

1. Were you only interested in golf because of Tiger Woods?

2. Now that Tiger is taking time off, will you stop following golf?

3. Why are you so affected by the latest developments with Tiger (if applicable)?

4. Do you think golf can "recover"?

5. Do you believe that golf has lost credibility in the public eye?

I'll still be watching Phil Mickelson, John Daly, Lorena Ochoa, and all of the other excellent golfers out there. Heck, I am counting the days until the next LA Open. I can't wait!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tales From The Inbox - December 11, 2009

Send The HWC A Card
: The Homeless World Cup sent out a card-less holiday greeting. Click here to check it out and donate today. Every small amount helps!

Fresh Air Fund
: The Fresh Air Fund is looking for runners and sponsors to join the Fresh Air Fund-Racers team for the NYC Half-Marathon this coming March 21st. This is a great way to participate in NYC's premier summer road race while helping Fresh Air Fund children. Over the last year, support from friends helped the Fund give nearly 10,000 inner-city children country experiences that they're still talking about! They rely on donations this time of year to keep programs strong for the summer months. Get all the information here.

Las Vegas and Steffi Graf: Here's some information about a new contest from a press release that I received:

As more and more consumers strive to maintain a truly healthy lifestyle, TEEKANNE Herbal Wellness Teas and tennis legend Steffi Graf have teamed up to launch “Win a Wellness Weekend” a sweepstakes whereby three lucky winners and their guests will experience a rejuvenating wellness weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada with Steffi Graf.

As part of the “Win a Wellness Weekend” sweepstakes, three lucky winners and the guest of their choice will fly to Las Vegas to enjoy a relaxing wellness weekend getaway, highlighted by a meet and greet with tennis legend and TEEKANNE tea lover Steffi Graf. Winners and their guests will receive roundtrip airfare to Las Vegas and hotel lodging for two nights. Additionally, winners will receive a $1,000 gift card to spend however they choose during the weekend, a year’s supply of TEEKANNE Herbal Wellness Tea, a personalized, autographed photo of Steffi Graf, tennis legend and brand ambassador to TEEKANNE Herbal Wellness Tea—and the epitome of health and wellness!

The “Win a Wellness Weekend in Las Vegas with Steffi Graf” Sweepstakes runs through March 31, 2010. To enter the sweepstakes employ one of the following methods: 1) visit the TEEKANNE website and fill out the online entry form, 2) fill out entry forms found on displays containing TEEKANNE tea in participating grocery retailers or 3) hand print your first and last name, phone number, email address, date of birth, street address, city, state and zip code on a 3" x 5" piece of paper and mail it with proper postage to TEEKANNE Sweepstakes Department, Redco Foods, Inc., 100 Northfield Drive, Windsor, CT 06095. All mail-in entries must be handwritten and be postmarked by March 31, 2010, and received by April 6, 2010. Winners will be randomly selected and notified on or about April 9, 2010.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Know It's December But...Protect Your Skin From The Sun

As I was diligently working my tail off yesterday at the computer I came across this gem of a blog. Pale Is The New Tan is run by a dude in Burbank and is quite hilarious. Scroll through and you'll find spectacular pics of victims of tanning beds, spray tanning, and the sun.

Why do I bring this up? A colleague mentioned how, although summer is over, I still seem to have a tan. I assured her that it was only the skin that she could see, that being my hands and face. Unfortunately, being one to play plenty of golf and surf as much as possible I will get exposed to the sun.

I believe that in spite of my time outside I've been protecting my skin since I still get mistaken for being much younger than I am...I hope. So what do I do?

Since I can remember, I've been taking care of my skin. Grandmama introduced me to Oil Of Olay when I was like 10 years old and told me I better start taking care of my face. It may sound odd, but she made an impression. I've used a moisturizer with sunblock since my late teens. In addition, I wear a hat and sunglasses wherever possible to protect my skin.

Even when I golf in the desert I wear pants and 3/4 sleeve shirts to keep as much sun off as possible. I keep a spray sunscreen in my bag so I can reapply the exposed skin as often as possible.

What about surfing?

This is more difficult but possible. I keep a waterproof hat on when I am longboarding in calmer waves but a hat isn't always a possibility in the more powerful stuff. I bought some Watermans SPF 55 and Zinka products from Rider Shack. I put the Watermans on all over my face, ears, and neck and then add a line of Zinka around my nose and cheeks for good measure and put lip product with sunscreen on thick. Sure, my face is completely white but who cares? I am certainly not worried about looking pretty when I am trying to catch waves. My poor hands get quite a bit of sun but I do wear gloves when it is colder.

The rest of my body is covered in a wetsuit and booties when I surf except for a few months in the year. If I'm wearing a shortie or rashguard and boardshorts I do get color on the exposed parts of my arms and legs. I do go in with a waterproof sunblock to start, usually a Coppertone Sport or similar product, but it doesn't stay on like the Waterman or Zinka products.

The bottom line for me is that I am not going to hide from the sun. I would much rather be outdoors and active. I will however, do what I can to protect my skin.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday With Big Waves

The waves have to be over 20 feet for the Eddie Aikau big wave event to run at Waimea Bay. In the last 25 years the event has only been held 8 times, including this week where monster sets pounded the coast.

I watched some of the live webcast and was completely captivated. Talk about huge waves. Anything over about 8 feet and I'm not in the water. Even then they have to have a nice shape and long periods between sets or I'll get worn out. After watching some of the event yesterday I wished I could have just 25% of the talent in the water that these competitors have!

Kelly Slater took an early lead, scoring a 98 on one wave but it was not to be. San Clemente surfer Greg Long came from behind to win - by 10 points! Congrats Greg!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why I Still Root For The Raiders

1. They are the only NFL franchise to bring a Super Bowl title to my hometown.

Does there need to be another reason? Yes, Al Davis is nuts. Yes, JaMarcus Russell is taking up space. Yes, they really stink this year.

I don't care.

I was quite a pleasure to watch them beat the Steelers this weekend. It was like the old days where they had a team.

Go Raiders!

Monday, December 7, 2009

5 Questions - Women's Football

There has been a lot of buzz about the upcoming seasons of WFA and IWFL, the LFL, and IWFFA so I thought we could revisit some of the great interviews that have been here with current and former players.

BJ Coletta, Women's Football Talk

Wendi Kali, Portland Fighting Fillies

Amanda Garcia, Southern California Breakers

Joy Barry, Southern California Breakers

Becky Leetch, Southern California Breakers

Vanessa Santiallan, Southern California Breakers

Jody Van Zanten, Southern California Breakers

Oh yes, you saw me mention the LFL. It seems like there is quite a bit of discussion about this league lately - more than past seasons. If you don't know what the LFL is then you can look here.

To keep up on everything in the world of women's football, check out Women's Football Talk. The blog and radio show is one of the most comprehensive locations for everything women's football.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Does Your Ego Get The Best Of You?

I've got a bit of a situation happening this week that boils down to a spitting contest. Certain parties are making sure that everyone involved knows their order on the totem pole and who should be underneath them. You know, making sure their precious egos aren't damaged. In my opinion, these large egos involved are impeding important progress. Although it's a bit of a pain I am sure it will pass. It always does. Unfortunately, it will likely come back.

We all see egos among colleagues, on the road, in the grocery store, and everywhere we interact with others. It happens. Many of us are guilty of showing ours a bit too prominently from time to time. Some more than others.

Today's post is dedicated to the ego, sometimes weak and sometimes strong. For some it can be completely consuming. The ego can be particularly large when there is a lot of money and fame involved.

Here are some links to articles about the ego most relevant to this blog - the sports ego.

Baseballs Biggest Egos

The Biggest Egos In Sport

The Five Biggest Egos In The NBA

Top 10 Most Damaging Egos

Do you let your ego rule you? Do you let it get the best of you?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tales From The Inbox - December 3, 2009

*Today's video has a bit of foul language so if that bothers you then don't watch!*

Wow, December...bah humbug...

Women's Football: For all of you fans of the IWFL, WFA, or other women's football league did you know there is a social media site dedicated to the women's tackle football? Sign up for an account to the Women's Tackle Football Group here.

The IWFL also has their own network that you can join here. *Thanks KD!*

This Week's Sign Of The Apocalypse: I have signed up to play Fantasy Golf. Yes, I know.

Buy Some Cool Gifts: If you're looking for inexpensive, yet cool gifts that are also something that can be used then check these out (and yes, at one time or another I have been given or won samples of these but that doesn't change the fact that I use them and think they are very cool AND they didn't pay me to include them today). These are also easy on the budget:

Photo Ball Marker

The Tote Buddy

Identity Golf

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wild World Of Wednesday - December 2, 2009

Is Everyone Happy Now? Since he's a no-show at his tournament in Thousand Oaks this week, Tiger Woods had to issue a statement. Is he a dirty dog? Yes. Does he deserve privacy? Yes. He is absolutely right that this matter is a personal family matter. He's apologized to his supporters and, more importantly, to his family. Does this let him off the hook? That would depend on with whom. Personally, I wouldn't put up with that regardless of money, fame, or status. Seriously.

Youngest Ever! Stephanie Gilmore has become the youngest surfer - male or female - to win three consecutive world titles. She is the first to win a world title every year that she has competed as a pro! Check out this clip of an interview and her skills. Congrats to Stephanie!

Today In Sports History

1981 - Fernando Valenzuela (Los Angeles Dodgers) wins NL Rookie of the Year

Happy Birthday to...Aaron Rodgers and Monica Seles

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why Should I Write About Tiger Woods?

I played a round out in the Valley yesterday at one of the courses that is operated by the City of Los Angeles. The range was a little dry and some of the fairways were as well. Oh, and you could pay with a credit card for your green fees but only cash for the cart rental. The concessions stand in the middle of the course was cash only too but you could use your credit card in the clubhouse, but only if you spent a minimum of $10. Good thing our 3rd had cash on him - who ever still carries cash?

But the round I was playing is not the title or video I put up today. What started as news of a car accident has escalated into all sorts of shenanigans.

What is really going on?

We will probably never REALLY know the truth. Do we want to? Does it matter?

I know I can sleep at night not knowing any details. Whatever is going on in the Woods family is their business. Of course, being #1 puts you in a massive spotlight and some will even say that makes you obligated to behave a certain way.

Do you want to know what happened?

Monday, November 30, 2009

5 Questions Follow Up: Support Locals

A few Mondays ago I was lamenting that a local icon may close his shop in the near future. Quite saddened by this prospect, I decided that I would make sure to visit and spend money more often.

Yesterday was one such day. The store proprietor was in front and friendly as always. I went inside and as pleasant as he was, the woman behind the counter was not. Greeted immediately with, "Is there something you need?" I was taken aback. The following few moments that I spent trying to get what I needed was spent with me feeling talked down to and given the word "no" over and over. I left.

Needless to say, I am not too excited about supporting this shop further. Sad. Reviews on Yelp are mixed also.

For now, my money will stay with Rider Shack and ZJ Boarding House when I am close to home; Girl In The Curl and Killer Dana in OC; and Ventura Surf Shop in Ventura. The latter I visited over the weekend when I needed some extra straps to keep my stick on the racks. This shop was helpful and super friendly. Everyone behind the counter and on the floor was awesome.

Why does the Zuma Jay experience bother me so much? It's no secret that the economy isn't exactly the best for anyone, much less the independent shops, so why would you treat those customer that do come in like dirt? The surfing industry isn't exactly taking in money hand over fist right now either. When I walk in to a smaller surf shop, regardless of location, they are helpful and really want to earn your business. Usually. I'm not saying that someone needs to fawn all over me and wait on me as if I were the Queen herself. I do, however, expect that when I am asked a question that I don't get snooty or nasty answers.

My five questions today are:

1. When you are treated poorly at your local shop do you return?

2. If you are given bad service do you ever think that maybe it was just an off day for them and you will return to give them another chance?

3. What constitutes bad service for you?

4. At what point do you escalate a bad experience and look for a concession?

5. Should I give Zuma Jay's another shot?

UPDATE: December 1: Well, I did go back and give them another shot. I am very pleased to say that they must have been having a bad day when I last visited. The same person helped me and they were quite awesome! I'll keep spending money with them as the chance arises!

Friday, November 27, 2009

High Surf Advisory My Foot

So I skipped the early morning post to get myself out to my local surf spot. I was awaken by those words that surfers love to hear pass the meteorologist's lips: "high surf advisory, 8-10 feet".


I was meeting up with two of my buds today that are just starting out so I had to choose my location carefully. One has been in the water with me a few times before and nearly took my head off with her board. I say nearly because it is one of those foam deals and that is why I am still here in one piece today. It's all good though, we joke about it. Today she asked to borrow a board so I was going to stay clear of her since it's a real one.

We got to the spot and it looked good - head high as promised. By the time we got in there were a few sets and I caught two but was really lame on them. The third one I was thinking, "This is it, I'm shredding this one!" Then I felt a tug on my leash and something ram into my foot. I turn and one of the fellas had accidentally grabbed my leash as he paddled, which caused his board to run into me. He was extremely apologetic. I wasn't mad. I asked him if he was okay and then paddled off.

Yeah, I know. Not everyone is so nice about that sort of thing. I am just not interested in having issues while I am in the water. Heck, I could be in the office today. Instead, I'm in the water. With friends. For a few hours.

Not a bad deal.

I wasn't even mad at the reports that said high surf. There were a few good sets but then it was like a bumpy lake. Oh well. It was all still better than going to the office!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks And Give Back

Yeah, the economy isn't so great and it's important to be as smart as possible with your money. You know what this means? Non-profits, charities, and those that must have fundraisers to exist are having an especially difficult time. I'm employed, have a place to live, food, nice golf equipment, 3 surfboards, and plenty of clothes. I am pretty sure I have a few bucks to spare for someone else that needs it.

Do you have plenty to give thanks for? Here are some links to those that would appreciate if you could spread some around to them:

Sponsor A Filly: The Portland Fighting Fillies are a new WFA team and they can use your help. Follow the link to sponsor a player. There are other sponsorship opportunities as well. Click over to Wendi Kali's blog and ask her how. This is the inaugural season for this team so they can use plenty of support.

Surfrider Foundation: This organization started on the beaches of Los Angeles County so it is near and dear to me. Their mission and reach has expanded so you need not be close to Los Angeles or the coast in order to benefit from their work.

Heal The Bay: Dedicated to preserving the waters in my immediate area, this organization is also close to my heart.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Yes, another that is very close to my heart as I spent five years of my life volunteering/working for this rescue, rehabilitation, and release facility.

Fresh Air Fund: This organization is dedicated to giving city kids a real summer vacation. You know, the kind with camping, hiking, swimming, and all those awesome outdoor activities.

These are only a few places that one can give to. I've not even covered the tip of the iceberg for deserving charities.

So today, I encourage you to give thanks and give back to those who need you.

What are some of your favorite charities?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday Non-Sport Blogspotting

Yes, I read much more around the internets other than sports. My RSS feed is full of variety. Sure there are a plethora of golf and surf blogs, but I really enjoy stupid humor as well. Today I decided to be goofy and share some of the fun blogs out there that have nothing or almost nothing to do with sports.

One of my favorites that deals with sports and humor is Up Next In Sports. It's a bit like LOL Cats but with your favorite sports figures.

Speaking of...I definitely follow I Can Haz A Cheezburger and I Haz A Hotdog.

If you need some, um, encouragement try Very Demotivational.

Autocomplete Me is a fun time-waster as is Totally Looks Like.

If you like to make scrunchy, ohmygosh-face then check out Cute Overload and Daily Squee.

I have several more but I'll save those for another day!

What do you like to follow other than sports?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NBA Style: Looking Good is REQUIRED

Today's post is from Heather Zeller, founder of the new blog A Glam Slam. Heather blends her love of sports and fashion - part of her bio states: "People have always found it strange that my two favorite things seem to have no connection at all. I can rattle off NBA stats one minute and share my favorite new fashion trends the next. I split my time shopping online designer sample sales while checking on the day’s scores. My two dream jobs are a fashion designer and/or a sideline reporter." I can relate!

NBA style has evolved from short shorts, high socks, and Chuck Taylor’s to baggy shorts, ankle socks, and Air Jordan’s. From Dr. J’s afro and Pistol Pete Maravich’s shaggy ‘do of the 1970’s to Dennis Rodman’s signature pink, blue, green, or yellow hues of the late 1990’s. From Dwayne Wade’s decorative band-aids to Allen Iverson’s black shooting sleeve. From a fashion free-for-all to, gasp, a dress code. Yes, the NBA needed a makeover and in 2005, NBA commissioner, David Stern, implemented a mandatory dress code for all players.

Stern's rules required all players to dress in “business or conservative attire” while arriving to and departing from a game, on the bench while injured, and when conducting official NBA business like media appearances. This change did not come without controversy. The dress code banned fashions often associated with hip-hop culture: jerseys, do-rags, large jewelry, and Timberland-style boots.

But now in its fourth season, who would have thought a dress code would actually improve the players’ fashion sense? A growing list of NBA stars have ditched the hip-hop threads for designer duds, making it just as exciting to see their off-court style as it is to watch them dunk and block shots on the court.

LeBron James, a “fashionisto” in his own right, says: “If you look good, you play good, I’ve always believed that.” ( With the 2009/2010 season in full swing, A Glam Slam takes a look at those who look good:

Carmelo Anthony – Denver Nuggets, Forward

Carmelo Anthony’s style has certainly evolved since his arrival in the NBA. Thanks to his new stylist, Khalilah Williams-Webb, he often sports more mature, elegant looks. Nowadays, he favors sleek, colorful suits and he’s rarely seen without a pocket square. Perhaps this tie and pocket square are a tribute to his alma-mater, Syracuse University?

Devin Harris - New Jersey Nets, Point Guard

Devin Harris rocks a cool and casual vibe, which has come to be known as his signature style. He often pairs a dressed up top half including a blazer, dress shirt, sweater and tie, with a laid back bottom half, blue jeans. And even Gotham Magazine has taken note, as they’ve deemed him one of “New York City’s 100 Hottest Bachelors.”

Gilbert Arenas – Washington Wizards, Point Guard

Gilbert Arenas always throws his jersey into the stands after a game. And he changes into flashy, yet stylish outfits such as this modern, “inside-out” tuxedo suit. When he’s not wearing high-end fashions, he’s designing them. Arenas has his own line of Adidas footwear.

Chris Paul – New Orleans Hornets, Point Guard

A former “GQ Man of the Year,” Chris Paul is always on point when it comes to his fashion sense. His off-court style includes a mix of casual looks and designer suits. And he’s often seen traveling in style too, with his Louis Vuitton Damier toiletry case.

For more NBA style stars, check out’s best dressed style gallery.

Check Heather out at A Glam Slam and welcome her to the blogosphere!

Monday, November 23, 2009

5 Questions About Gifts For Sports Fans

I seem to get a lot of questions from people that go something like this:

"My (niece, son-in-law, friend) is a big fan of (insert sport here), what is a good gift for them?"

Being that it is that time of year when there are many gifts being exchanged I thought I would help out and make a few suggestions based on some of the questions have had in recent weeks.

1. What do I buy for a hardcore surfer?

First off, unless they specifically ask, don't buy them wax. Everyone has a particular preference and there are many types of wax so do everyone a favor and skip this one. What you can get that is both valuable to a surfer and easy on the wallet is a subscription to Surfline.

2. What would be a nice gift for a lady golfer?

All lady golfers are not created equal. Don't assume that simply because you have a woman on your list that is an avid golfer that she'll go crazy over a pink towel and tee set. Why not buy them a towel set that has a logo or activity that you know they are fond of other than golf and include a gift card? It seems more well thought out that way. The gift card can be to their favorite equipment store or to their local course.

3. My sister is a huge (sports team) fan, what's a good gift that isn't cheesy?

Cheesy would be their team shirt in the tired, old pink theme. Don't get me wrong, I have a pink Dodgers shirt and hat and a Buccaneers pink shirt also but I have many more that are the actual team colors. The NFL Shop online has some very cool styles but be careful assuming that the Alyssa Milano gear is the stuff that we all want. The truth is, unless the person you're buying for is petite and thin, many of these designs will fit poorly and annoy the recipient.

4. How do I buy my (sports fan) tickets to a game?

This can be tricky and pricey if you aren't careful. If you aren't a big sports fan yourself and haven't been to the particular venue, get some advice. While I would be grateful for Dodgers tickets in the Pavilion, the truth is I've never sat in those seats and would forgo buying for a particular game if that were all that was available. Bottom line - do your homework.

5. I'm lost - what should I buy for my (sport)-lover?

What else do you know about them? Do they have a local surf shop, golf supply, or mom and pop t-shirt shop they frequent? Why not get them a gift card there? If they are really regulars you can ask the folks behind the counter. Store personnel are a great source of information for gift-giving, especially in the independent shops. You might also try just a gift code to Amazon. They have a very large variety of sporting goods and a lot of great prices.

Good luck! What do you think is a good gift for a sports fan?

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Fantasy Football Team Bites

I don't really care that both of my Fantasy Football teams are stinking up the place. Sure, I'd like to win. Honestly though, there is so much that is ruled by chance that you could spend hours and hours doing the research every week and still lose. We've got a trade deadline today and everyone is trying to get my QBs in both leagues. In one league I have Matt Schaub and Tom Brady and in the other I have Kurt Warner and Matt Schaub. One proposal asked for Matt Schaub for T.J. Houshmandzadeh. As if.

The most frustrating part about Fantasy Football this year? One of the commissioners! Check this out - this person sent me a text message and bet me $50 that the Magic would beat the Lakers in the Finals. This was before the Magic even won the last game. Yeah, you read that right - I got the text before the game was even over that the Magic clinched in. At any rate $50 is the buy in for the league. They want me to pay! What the heck? Am I crazy? Is this person being unrealistic? We both owe each other $50 so how is that not a wash? I'm a little peeved about it because they have been hounding for weeks and put up excuses like "we didn't shake on it". Now I got a threatening text this morning that my team would be deleted? I thought Fantasy Football was supposed to be fun?

Am I crazy? What would you do?