Friday, April 30, 2010
Thanks for sticking with me this week through vacationitis and thin posts of random nonsense. Monday is back to the grind.
Have a great weekend. I'm headed out to surf! Woo!
P.S. Yes, I have been sticking to my health and fitness plans so that I meet my goals. It's amazing how much endurance I have!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Yep, vacationitis strikes again. It causes you to chill out, be really laid back, and get to things when you actually feel like it. While this affliction is overtaking me for now please enjoy this Jamie O'Brien footage with some awesome music. Yes, I've shown it before but it merits a repeat.
Have a great Thursday!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
US Cricket: The US will host a major cricketing event:
"The Pearls Cup series will be the first time major cricket nations have competed in the United States. The games will be played at Lauderhill from 20-23 May and are seen as key to help advance the sport in the country. "We want to demonstrate to the American public just how exciting the Twenty20 format is", said USA Cricket chief Donald Lockerbie."
*Thanks to Katharine for the tip!
Changing Lives Through Football: Ashoka Gamechangers is back with a new promotion called "Changing Lives Through Football". Here's the highlights from the press release:
Nike, in partnership with Ashoka’s Changemakers.com, launched Changing Lives Through Football, an innovative competition to surface the best ideas for how soccer can unleash young people’s potential, strengthen their communities, boost development, and accelerate social change.
Changemakers.com is an open, online community where all are invited to identify, inspire, and bring together the best projects and innovative ideas for empowering youth by accelerating and increasing access to soccer. Submissions will be accepted through June 11, 2010 at www.changemakers.com/football. Entrants are eligible to win prizes totalling USD $90,000.
Anyone can participate by suggesting a project or idea that should enter, posting a comment or question in the online dialogue, and voting for winners.
*Side note: Thank you to everyone that has recently sent press releases - keep them coming! I will get to everyone.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
1. Kelly Slater: Watch the video above - do I really need to explain why? The guy shreds and is in still in amazing shape and pushing 40. How could I not learn something?
2. Debi Purcell: I don't want to get in the ring and fight but I've always wanted to train with MMA pros. Debi is also in fantastic shape and in the 40 neighborhood.
3. Phil Mickelson: As a lefty golfer, I often get confused listening to rightys when they try to tell me how to hit the ball. I could listen to Phil give me some golf tips and not have this issue. In addition, he rules. Period. Count me in on Team Phil.
4. Dara Torres: See a theme here? Yep, she's also in the "older" category at over 40. But seriously, have you seen her lately? I definitely need to spend some training time with her.
5. Lisa Leslie: Sure, she's retired but I'll bet she isn't sitting around letting it all go. I would love to get some tips from her. (Yes, in her later 30's as well).
Interestingly enough, many of these folks are in or around SoCal quite a bit - especially the Los Angeles area. If I should ever be so fortunate to get any training time with any of these fantastic athletes I'd be sure to get pics, video, and plenty of info for you, dear reader!
*keep wishing for me*
Friday, April 23, 2010
I have much in the works for next week. I've got some guest posts coming and have to get interview questions out to some exciting people. Okay, I'll give you a hint: one interviewee is someone in golf that is usually doing the interviewing. There will also be some skateboarding, cricket, and World Cup talk.
In the meantime, thanks for hanging with the blog in this lull.
Also, I want to give a shout out to my favorite one-eyed guy, Vince. Thanks for the props yesterday! Readers, if you haven't checked out the One-Eyed Golfer blog then you really are missing out. Vince posts quality content on a very regular basis.
P.S. While I am taking time off the day job I won't be attempting the shenanigans that are happening in the video regardless of how much golf and adult beverages are involved.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Happy Earth Day! There are plenty of things you can do to make every day Earth Day. Here are some ideas to get you started. I am working diligently on the first one - removing as much plastic from my life as possible.
I also have a confession to make. Although I don't talk about it much, I am pretty passionate about doing my part to live in a more eco-friendly manner. For example, I've carried my own reusable bags for a few years now. Yes, I'm that crazy person in the grocery that puts fruits and vegetables straight into the cart without putting them in plastic bags first. I bring my own reusable bags to put them in after I pay for them. Why does each type of produce need its own bag to separate it from the others within the bag you put them in to take them home? In addition, I haven't bought bottled water in so long that I can't remember the last time. A good protion of the clothing I wear is either from a used clothing store of some form (consignment/vintage/thrift) or a freecycle group that I belong to. I really only buy undergarments and shoes new, even then I look for the greenest product that I can find. I made these changes over time and strive to incorporate other green living practices all the time.
Here are some other Earth Day resources for ideas and events for this month and beyond:
Earth Day Network
Heal The Bay
Go Green Without Going Broke
How Jaded Environmentalists Celebrate Earth Day
P.S. No, I'm not a hippie but have nothing against you if you are.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Here we are - another Wednesday and another wild day. I know I sound like a skipping CD (or broken record, for those of you familiar with vinyl) when I say that I'm trying to get caught up. That's going to be part of my re-examination exercise next week.
My week off the "day job" is also going to be filled with surfing so that is really on my mind right now. Yes, I will be hitting the range and the course as well. How could I not? I'll be continuing my quest for a yoga studio as well, although I did score one DVD so far for free!
P.S. Even though I am incredibly busy, I have been totally sticking to my TTUC health and fitness goals.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
It's that time of year again. The NFL schedule is released today, Earth Day is approaching, and I'm feeling antsy about the blog design/content.
In case you couldn't tell, I have a very short attention span. This blog has never concentrated on only one sport. The fact that I've been able to maintain it over two years with just ONE subject is quite a feat in itself. Sports, health, fitness, and the like are such a big part of my life that it made it easier.
I have many other interests though. If you've ever checked out my virtual bookshelf, aka my posterous account then you already know this. I've used that as the place where I "file" away everything that interests me in my personal and professional life.
I'm taking time off from the day job next week and will re-examine this online presence and my others - time for a spring cleaning. I'm not going to erase the online presence but just take a moment to re-evaluate.
What are you cleaning out this spring?
Monday, April 19, 2010
I was feeling quite festive about basketball since the Lakers are in the playoffs! WooHoo! When I think about the Lakers and playoffs, I always think of this wonderful 0.4 shot that Derek Fisher sank. Love it!
Some time ago I did an interview with a high school basketball coach and I thought I'd point you back in that direction. I remember when high school sports dominated my life and the lives of my parents and siblings. I have such happy memories of those times.
P.S. Go Lakers!!
Friday, April 16, 2010
I have a confession to make.
I am one of those corny people that still has hope in humankind.
I believe in being part of the solution, not part of the problem. I believe that we all benefit when those around us are doing well. I believe in giving someone else credit for what I've done. I believe in trying to leave things in a better condition than I found them. I like to participate in random acts of kindness and to pay it forward.
Last night I had to pick up some groceries after a long day in the office. I was in that daze that happens when you are picking up dinner at 9:00 pm. I was moving my cart down the aisle when I nearly ran into another shopper. She stopped me and asked me for help. Nearly crying as she told me about her boys and I saw that her basket had only generic rice, beans, oats, and bread. My immediate reaction was to give her a hug and tell her that its tough for everyone right now. She burst into tears and told me that even if I couldn't help her with her groceries that I had already helped her enough. Usually, I don't carry any cash but I just happened to have a $10 and I gave it to her.
Sure, she may have been feeding me a line. I like to think that my many years of sales and marketing experience allow me to get a fairly decent read on people. In addition, when you grow up in the "bad" part of town you tend to recognize other poor folks. At any rate, it really doesn't matter.
I did the right thing.
I can look in the mirror and say that I did my best to leave things better than I found them.
If she did the wrong thing, she's got to live with that. Plus, if she's taking that much energy to be that convincing then she deserves my $10 even if she didn't really need it.
My conscious is clear.
Have a great weekend. How about trying to pass on some goodwill while you're at it?
Still Hopeful About Humanity
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Yeah, a quick hit is all I can manage again today. I've got a bunch of goodies in the inbox brewing that I'm getting together for your viewing pleasure but today I've got to run.
Can I just tell you - I simply cannot get into baseball season this year. Don't get me wrong...I bleed Dodger blue and Vin Scully is my homeboy too...but the team is gonna be bad. Sure, a friend pointed out that they are OUR sucky team. Yeah, at least we have a team. I'm still cynical and sad.
Have a fabulous Thursday.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The wild thing on this Wednesday is how busy I am with everything that I can barely get a post out! Instead of witty or whiny banter today how about a video of some fellas riding some spectacular waves? Click here for some other epic big wave photos.
Thoughtful writing to commence in the coming weeks. Have a fabulous day!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The newest piece of my TTUC fitness routine is yoga. It seems a bit odd for me since Los Angeles natives don't really do yoga. Yoga is what people do when they move here because that is what they think we do.
At any rate, I have quite enjoyed my first week of yoga very much. I completely "get" it now.
As I mentioned last week, I got a nice deal on a 2-week pass but I don't think I'll be staying with this studio. It's on the pricey side and, as fabulous as it is, I am just not convinced that I should spend $100 for a membership.
That said, I look to all of you for suggestions. I have space at home as well as the other pieces necessary so I thought I would go it alone. It seems like I can spend that $100 one time at a used book/dvd store one time and get what I need to learn. Please feel free to suggest any books, DVDs, websites, etc. that you think would be fabulous for a beginner. Yes, although I seem to have the strength, balance, and flexibility to keep up as easily as class veterans are I am not trying to hurt myself or get a new injury that I have to deal with.
Also, if anyone knows of a fabulous place near Culver City/LAX/El Segundo area please let me know. I'm happy to try places out to review here or pay a small amount for. The smaller the amount, the better.
Tell me about your yoga experiences - what do you like or dislike?
Monday, April 12, 2010
Some of you may be offended but Tiger's potty mouth at Augusta is the least of my worries, quite honestly. I must confess that I have some seriously bad language on the course and when I participate in other sports. It's pretty easy for me to let out an "oh sh*t" (at least mentally, if I'm under water) when I'm about to get crushed in the surf. It's with equal ease that I curse myself by name much like Tiger has in the video above.
I do, however try very diligently to sound like a grownup that has a bit more self control. I've got a few euphemisms that I let fly out that generally makes those around me laugh.
1. What the French, toast? I first heard this one on that silly Orbit gum commercial.
2. Get the front door! This is an oldie but goody and I've heard many use it.
3. Holy potatoes! I believe this is an Apryl original but could have been dug up from somewhere in my subconscious from an old Batman episode. I did hear somewhere that Adam West lives in Idaho...
4. Mother father cocker spaniel! I got this from a commercial that used to run on the Howard Stern show when it first came to Los Angeles. There was some character that rattled off an entire curse-free tirade a lot like the aforementioned Orbit commerical.
5. Shazbot! or Frack! Okay, that makes a total of six but these both originated from old television shows so I figured they could be on the same line. I'll bet at least one of you out there know where these came from. Come on, guess...
P.S. Congrats on the Masters win Phil! Hooray Lefty!
Friday, April 9, 2010
...then I got distracted by this link that someone posted on Twitter. That got me thinking about this old gem of a flick North Shore. Laird Hamilton is the "villain" in the film and looks absolutely gigantic next to the lead character when they walk out to the water and sports a sweet bowl cut to boot!
I got sucked in to watching this the other day when I was doing my morning stationary bike workout. Although the plot is nothing to get too excited about I was mesmerized by the waves, surfboards, and beautiful people. If you've ever got a bit of time to waste and just want to mindlessly watch something light, this is your ticket.
P.S. I really am enjoying yoga quite a bit. More on that another day.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Say what you will about Tiger Woods and/or Nike. The marketing team/agency for Nike are truly geniuses.
Seriously, using the voice of the deceased Earl Woods as Tiger stands with that pensive stare as if he is actually taking a scolding from his father is a definite advertising milestone that will be discussed ad nauseam.
This commercial will enrage some, delight others, and spark many a heated debate. It will undoubtedly be very polarizing...
...but all the while...people will be discussing the NIKE commercial...
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Yes, a range session with total suckage! Unbelievable shots. Bruised egos.
Yesterday I made a specific point to take a lunch away from the desk that I am normally chained to and went to a nearby driving range. The session started out innocently enough. I took out my most lofted wedge and, after a few practice swings, hit about 5 or 6 balls. Only one of those shots did something odd so I moved on to the pitching wedge. Again, everything went rather smoothly and "normal". Next, I grabbed the 9 iron. The first shot went nearly straight ahead from the spot on the ground and rolled quickly along the grass. Awesome. Then the second hooked hard and went about 25 feet. Great. This sort of nonsense continued regardless of my many attempts to relax, realign, focus, etc. I grabbed the 8 iron to see if maybe I had accidentally banged my 9 against the car, wall, or something and knocked it out of line in some way. This didn't work either. Sure, this was the first range session that I had since the outpatient procedure and adventures in acupuncture but was that knocking my swing off that much? I decided to go to the 3 wood to see if that was off. Pow! Perfect shot. Next, the driver - and, boom! Perfect shot. What the heck? I spent the rest of the session working on the longer shots. I have no idea what's up with the irons but I am sure you commenters will have a hypothesis or two?
In my quest to improve my overall health and fitness I also decided to try something different and introduce yoga in to my routine. I recently scored a great deal through Groupon where I paid only $15 for two weeks of unlimited classes at a local studio. I went to my first session last night and it was a mix of cardio, pilates, and yoga moves and it felt pretty great. I'm headed back tonight to try an Iyengar class. This form is touted to be a great way for me to gain strength and stability in my neck and spine so I am ready to try it out. Overall, I hope to increase my flexibility and promote healing to my injured areas.
*P.S. Groupon rules by the way. Check it out and sign up for the free email alerts in your area through my referral link and I get a $10 credit when you take advantage of your first deal. After you sign up, get your own unique code and refer your friends to get $10 credits to your account. I've bought and used 4 of these in the last month and the discounts for awesome places around town are epic!
*P.P.S Yes, this is the first time that I am honestly trying yoga. I think I did a touch of it when I was a little girl but for the most part SoCal natives don't do yoga and don't eat granola. Those are things that people do when they move here because they think it is the "California" thing to do. I'm not going to take up eating granola, however, there is waaaaaay too much sugar and processing in that for my liking. And no, I am not knocking you if you enjoy one or both of these things - to each their own.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Yep - Masters week is upon us. Much of the country views this as the "official" start of the golf season. I'm lucky enough to live where golf is year-round so there is much less hype since we aren't just thawing out or warming up for the first time this year.
To get warmed up for the event this week, read this interview with my friend BJ. He's an Augusta local and undoubtedly getting busy this time of year.
Vince will be talking about this all week, without a doubt. I know he'll have some predictions up soon.
Wei Under Par has lots and lots of Tiger's return to golf covered. Lots. So does Trailing Tiger. Mike has plenty to say about Tiger also.
Even though he isn't playing this week, Heather has plenty of John Daly coverage. It's pretty hysterical.
Personally, I'm rooting for Phil this week. I'm always rooting for Phil. Call it lefty bias, call it SoCal native bias - whatever it is, I got Phil. Dude seems to get lots of criticism for whatever he does. Oh well, for all I know he's a real tool in person but I'm still a fan. Last week he did something that he was actually praised for when he brought a special caddy on for a few holes at the Shell. The caddy was actually the physician that was treating his wife and mother for cancer. Good one, Phil!
Enjoy the Masters, golf junkies. I'll catch as much as I can but try to actually be outside as much as possible and not cooped up indoors in front of the television. In fact, I'll be hitting the range for lunch today. I've blocked the calendar and am going. Period. I've got to work on my game!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Why do I keep talking about my injured discs? I hope that maybe my experiences can help someone else. I also hope that I can maybe inspire someone else to take care a nagging injury before age and activity makes it worse or to just get off their seat and take care of themselves.
The video above is a pretty good explanation of what happens to discs when they degenerate and what else they can affect. My unruly discs are in the cervical area and not the lower back as the animation describes. Most of my issue is in my neck and down my right shoulder and arm. The things that I've tried to do to heal my issues so that I can golf and surf without pain and/or limitations are:
1. Cortisone Injections: I've had a total of seven so far and there could be an eighth in my future. These have been incredibly effective in relieving pain, removing tight knots in muscles that have been there forever, and restoring flexibility. Getting these shots in the neck and shoulder area hasn't bothered me one bit but, I really didn't feel it so much.
2. Physical Therapy: I have the most awesome physical therapist ever. She's very hands-on and doesn't waste my time by having me come in and do exercises while she watches. Yes, some people don't have equipment at home and won't do movements at home without supervision of a professional. Also, many won't go 3 times a week for a couple of months. I truly believe that going diligently and doing the movements that she has suggested at home has been instrumental in healing my injury.
3. Cervical Epidural Injection: I'm not sure this procedure has done much of anything. The first two days afterward the pain that shoots down into my elbow and right hand seemed to have gone away but it has since come back with a vengeance. In addition, laying on my back has been a bit uncomfortable since the procedure since the injection site is sore.
4. Drugs: Apparently, the treatment for the spasms that happen in my muscles is drugs - Skelaxin, Valium, and Soma. These don't work. When I take them I just catch a buzz and still have the spasms. In addition, it is impossible to get work done during the day so I can only take them at night or on weekends. This pretty much makes drugs worthless to me.
5. Acupunture: As I wrote about last week I have tried acupuncture once. I go back on Wednesday and probably a few times after that. I haven't formed an opinion about this yet but will let you know what I think after a few more visits.
Have you had any treatments for an injury? What did you do and how did it go?
Friday, April 2, 2010
If you've been reading this blog for at least a few months then you know that I have been dealing with a chronic neck and shoulder issue. Basically, I have bulging and degenerative discs in my neck that cause a plethora of issues that transmit down my right shoulder and arm.
You also may realize that I am really, really committed to healing these issues and obtaining my optimal performance when I golf, surf, or perform any other physical activity.
I've had a total of 7 cortisone shots, 31 physical therapy visits, and one cervial epidural injection to treat this. In addition to this I stay hydrated, eat right, and do my prescribed exercises.
The epidural was last week and was the piece that should have brought a lot of relief for the nerve pain that shoots into my right elbow and hand. Unfortunately, the last 2 days have been back to the excruciating pain and discomfort in my right arm. Ugh.
Don't get me wrong - everything that I have done so far has increased my flexibility and stamina. The discomfort, ache, burning, and "pins & needles" feeling won't go away though. Every time one spot loosens up and feels sort of normal, another takes it's place. As I write this I'm having a massive spasm in my back just under the right shoulder blade.
Today I decided to try something new - acupuncture. People swear by it and I found a practitioner that not only has a beautiful and relaxing facility but is a marathoner. He's got rave reviews on the web too. I purposely chose an competitive athlete so that I wouldn't have to hear the "don't surf or golf" bit.
I must say, it was a bit odd at first but quite fabulous. The only time any of the needles hurt going in was in sensitive places on my hands and feet. The combination of the needles, heat, and vigorous massage were quite relaxing. I've got to go back on Wednesday and then determine how many treatments I should have.
Yeah, quite a week scheduled - back to the sports med doc on Monday for a follow-up, PT on Tuesday, and acupuncture on Wednesday. I really hope the latter works. Keep your fingers crossed and I'll let you know how it goes.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
*Today's piece is a guest post by my surf bud and all-around cool chick Becky Leetch. This incredibly dedicated sportswoman has taken up an new sport and took time out to write about it for us.
What is outrigging?
Outrigger canoeing is a sport in which an outrigger canoe is propelled by means of paddles. A variety of boat types exist including the OC1, OC2, OC3, OC4 and OC6. Single hull outrigger canoes have an ama (outrigger float) connected to the main hull by spars called iako . The ama, which is usually rigged on the left side, provides stability. The paddlers need to be careful to avoid leaning too far on the opposite side of the ama, as that may cause the canoe to capsize (huli). I am participating in OC6 with Dana Outrigger.
How I came about the sport.
I first came across outrigger canoeing by total accident. I saw a local shop with SUP (Stand-Up Paddle) boards, and I went in looking for more information. I already surf, so SUP seemed like a natural transition. As soon as I walked in the door the owner said to me, “You’d be perfect for seat-4 in outrigger”! I mentioned that I had just come from a long-standing, multi-year sport commitment and that I wasn’t looking to get fully committed to something just yet. I wanted to enjoy my Saturdays for a while. Right then, the seed was planted.
Several months later, I befriended some old high school classmates on a social networking site who paddle. One of them even posted pictures of the last race of the season - the 9-man Catalina Crossing. Just seeing those pictures and seeing how some of the classmates talked about the sport and different races piqued my interest again. I got the information from my classmates and showed up on the first day of tryouts. The way that these tryouts work is that you tryout the club to see if this is something that you want to do and something that you want to commit your time to.
Leading up to race season.
We have 4 months of practice until the start of race season, which starts in May and ends in September with the US Championships 9-man Catalina Crossing (26 miles from Newport Beach, CA to Catalina Island)!! Practices are Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 12pm and a couple days during the week once the time changes so that it’s lighter later.
My very first day with outrigger was fun, but also boring, as I wanted to get to the “meat & potatoes” of it all. However, before you run you first need to learn to walk so the boring, going slow and learning proper technique must take place before I get all hard core and start paddling in the open waters. After that first day, it did get more exciting. Spending more time in the boats and being out on the open waters. It seems that most of the newbies (like myself) all have a competitive spirit so when we’re practicing we try and race the other boats. Still working on technique, but at least it’s more fun. Being outside of the harbor lets you see a lot of marine life; from the sea lions sleeping on the buoys to the dolphins swimming alongside your boat. It’s coming up on whale season, and to be honest, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared to be in a small OC6 canoe and see some enormous Grey whale swim by.
I've also been learning how to steer the boat. I feel like I'm a natural at this! The steersman is the captain of the boat. They give the orders and they motivate their crew. Since they are sitting in the back of the boat, they see everything with the crew members as well as what's going on around the water. If the timing is off, they can re-focus their crew. If they see a boat or other such object floating object, they can direct to slow on the paddle, or to direct seats 1 & 2 to either "draw" or "uni". This, along with the steersman helps to turn the boat quicker. I like to tell my crew members that my boat turns like my Jeep... It has a super tight turning radius!
Outrigging isn't without it's dangers, though. It is definitely NOT the canoe ride at Disneyland! This past weekend showed me two of the many dangers of being on the water.
The first is when this tandem kayak passed us (inside the harbors channel). They cast a fishing line and were "trolling" at they paddled back to the beach (which is totally illegal). The bad news is that the girl in seat 1 on my boat got hooked on the pinky finger and at the knuckle through her gloves with a three-barbed, 3 pronged fish hook. These jerks had no idea that she was caught in their line. The second of the many dangers is a huli. If you're sitting in seats 2-5 (but more so in seats 3 & 4), when the boat hulis, you have to watch out for the ama coming over and smacking you on the head. Yes, the amas are light, but when they are coming down with force, watch out! The guy in seat 4 got a decent bump on his head from the huli this weekend. Note to self: jump down and not out away from the boat.
Thus far in the two months that I’ve been doing this, my greatest accomplishment is hauling my own butt back in the boat. Week 1 (day 2) I jumped out of the boat on purpose (to change seats), and was humiliated when I couldn’t pull my butt back in the boat without help from others. This past weekend I was tossed out of the boat by a huli and after leaning some technique tips from others, I was able to haul my own butt in the boat without any help!
Everyone is someone’s hero. I thank Apryl for allowing me to share my experiences with outrigger with you all. Stay tuned for my next update after racing season begins!