Sunday, December 4, 2011

WISE: Women In Sports and Events

Last week I was excited to be invited to the WISE Los Angeles Women Of Inspiration Awards Dinner. If you haven't heard of WISE the description from their site says:

"Women in Sports and Events (WISE) is the leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports and events. Founded in 2005, the Los Angeles chapter is one of more than 10 chapters across the nation. Our unique vision empowers WISE to celebrate and connect emerging and established women leaders, to promote one another in career growth and continue to change the face of our industry."

When I got to the event I was treated to several things. First, Carlton Hair was on hand to style attendees hair if they wished. This was pretty fabulous at the end of the day coming straight from the office. They also gave away a big bag of products to one lucky lady. Shi Shi Putter had a setup that you could work on your putting with and gave away a Sweet Spot Golf putter as well. Monte De Oro Winery provided wine for the evening and sent everyone home with a bottle of wine. In addition we were all given really great swag bag.

Indeed, there were a lot of very amazing women there and I was really honored to be invited as a guest. I loved how all of the honorees mentioned in the above graphic were so genuine. Actually, everyone at the event was quite genuine. This was an event where everyone was incredibly friendly, smart, and inspirational. I had some great conversations about golf, broadcasting, sports fashion...and a bunch of other fun topics!

Check out what others were saying about the event with the Twitter hashtag #WISEInspires.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Gift Idea For Golfers

Full disclosure: The Photo Ball Marker people are incredibly nice and have sent me their products for no charge over the last year or so. In fact, when I lost my precious bloodhound they sent me an awesome PBM with his picture. They rock. They haven't asked me to write this post but I am because I think it's a great gift. Buy some!

Photo Ball Marker makes a great gift for the golfer in your life. All you have to do his follow this link, upload your pictures, then place your order. In fact, if you click one of my links here or click through the ad on my sidebar you can get $5 off of your order.

PBM has expanded recently as well - instead of only hat clips or magnets you can get necklaces, keychains, and brooches! I totally wear my PBM button and necklace rather frequently. I've got PBMs for my golf buds too and everyone digs them. How can they not, you're in control of the design. They're your pictures! I always get compliments on the course when I'm sporting my hat clip.

Check them out today and give them a follow on Twitter. Like I mentioned, they're really nice people. Really! Plus, you can get these for non-golfers also! Just order the keychain, necklace, or brooch!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

YMX Review and Giveaway!

Yes, YMX Yellowman sent me a jersey gratis to review and are sponsoring a giveaway but the opinions are my own! Deal with it!

YMX Yellowman contacted me to review a product that was touted as a "multi-sport" piece. Okay, I'm game. I do more than one sport. Although I didn't see my sports on their site I decided to test what they sent on what I do.

I was sent the Winter Flower red jersey with a hidden zipper and 3 back pockets. My first test was skateboarding. I went out on a chilly morning that I would usually wear a hoodie for and this was warm and worked really well. I got the medium and the arms were long enough! This is important for a 5'10" girl.

Today I decided to give it the surf test. Since they're rated at SPF 50, I assumed you could get it wet. Forgoing my usual rash guard I wore this instead. Perfect! It totally worked and had me cozy in the Santa Ana winds under my suit this morning. In addition, the design is pretty sick. After looking around their site I really fell in love with the Asian-themed art pieces they have.

So yes, multi-sport it is. This should work famously for you cyclers and runners (or surfers/skaters like me!)

Wanna win one?

Send me an email at sportswriterchick(at)gmail(dot)com and tell me what sports you want to use it for. The deadline is 11:00 pm on Friday, December 2nd. I'll pick a winner at random.

Good luck!

P.S. United States only please

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rip Curl G-Bomb Wetsuit FAIL

What happens when you splurge and go ahead and pay for the $300+ wetsuit? In my case, you get incredibly disappointed.

At the end of last month I bought the Rip Curl G-Bomb 4/3 wetsuit. I liked the fit more than my other suits and was quite cozy. After less than 2 weeks of wear, the zippered stash pocket on the left leg's zipper broke.

First of all, this was an absurd spot to have the stash pocket in my opinion as it hit right on the left calf. It seemed to assume that the wearer wouldn't have any calf muscle and wouldn't be a lefty. Unfortunately for me, I do and I am.

Rip Curl has had my suit since last Wednesday, November 9. They claim a 48 hour turnaround. Yesterday was the 16th and I still have no suit. I contacted them on social media and they had someone get back to me that promised my suit would be back yesterday.

This is a major mess. It's bad enough that OEMs don't make wetsuits for women that actually surf but now I'm out $300 and the water just keeps getting colder.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Don't Let It Hold You Back

I had a really interesting day yesterday, to say the least. It was one of those that really messed with my confidence. I got out this morning for dawn patrol and had such a hard time at first. Seriously.

It was a little bit of size and some current...but I had that last week. Last week I totally shred the place. I shred so much that people didn't even expect it. It was fantastic.

This morning, things weighed really heavily on me. It took me a little bit to get into the lineup. Actually, it took me longer than it should have. I shouldn't have let that happen.

Life throws you curveballs. Life sometimes chews on you a bit.

It's okay, it happens.

I did make it out into the lineup in the "scary" waves today. It felt great. I knew I could do it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kelly Slater's 11th world Title

They finally got it right and Kelly, or Ke11y, is now an 11 time champion! I've had a surf contest recently myself but not nearly as high profile. If only I could surf as well as Kelly...

See you all soon, much more to come!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gettin' Schooled

I just had to point out a few times where I was recently in the lineup and a few younger surfers thought they would send me to school.

First, a very young teen that I was most definitely old enough to be his mother thought he would paddle into my wave. I was in position but he came over as fast as he could to try and cut me off. Of course, I stood up and rode that left like I meant it. It was a great ride.

Last week it happened again. I went to my local spot and went to a spot away from the crowd a bit. This time two young girls paddled up on either side of me in the lineup. I was stoked to see other girls out there. I nodded and said good morning but they ignored me and paddled into my wave. Nice. The funny thing was that it was a bit rough for one and she had to get out. The other tried to snake me on a left (and I'm goofy so watch out when you try this) and I took it without a problem. She only stayed in another 10 minutes also.

In the crowded summer months a little etiquette goes a long way. Nobody likes a snake and nobody likes a wave hog. I was especially offended because both of these incidents happened at the spot I go to every morning and I had never seen these kids before. I happily welcomed them and they thought different. Sad.

Just remember one thing you would-be snaking youngsters - one day you'll be the older surfer in the lineup.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Surf Contest Fun & Other Surfing Adventures

Last month I had the pleasure of entering a really fun surfing contest. It was put on by a local clothing company and had a bunch of awesome prizes from awesome shops like Rider Shack and ZJ Boarding House. I didn't have what the judges were looking for but I had a blast nonetheless and met a few new cool surf buds so I definitely came out a winner.

Speaking of winning, I'm gonna go volunteer for Stoked this weekend. This is an organization that takes kids surfing, snowboarding, and skating. I'm gonna help with the surfing this time. I can't wait - I always leave events like this totally pumped!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Where have I been? Well, not posting. However, I'll be back soon and tell you a bunch of fun stories:

* Surf contest fun

* Stupid injuries

* Product reviews

* Surfing with a loudmouthed lady, a good friend from high school, and my favorite crowd

* An incredibly amazing round of golf where I was on FIRE!

...and many more...I promise to be back soon....

In the meantime - GO OUTSIDE! It's summer, enjoy it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Favorite Surf Bikini

Amazingly I found my ideal surf bikini on Amazon. Yes, without even trying it on. I'm even writing about how much I love this bikini and I was not sent one to review. Full price was paid so that should tell you just how much I like this bikini. In fact, after I bought one and realized how fantastic it was I bought another.

Triangle tops kill me. They dig into my neck and are really unpleasant after a 2 hour session. Bandeau tops don't work at all for me, there isn't near enough support. One piece suits are really difficult to deal with when you're trying to be Houdini in the parking lot (you know, not dropping your towel whilst changing).

A lovely pro surfer came out with a line that was supposed to be good for surfing. I checked them out and they're great if you're 12 years old or built like you are. Even a few ladies that I know who wear B cups said that the larges were still too small. This wasn't going to work for me.

Luckily, I found a top and bottom that work for me. Yes those links have the sizes I ordered although I probably could have done fine with a medium bottom. For reference, I'm 5'10" , about 145 lbs, and wear a size 4/5 pant and 9/10 top. My shoulders are pretty big from playing sports all these years and I'm not flat chested. No, I'm not trying to brag - just trying to give perspective for you other surf gals that are searching for a good suit.

Anyone else know of some good surf swimwear that doesn't dig into your neck or cause wardrobe malfunctions? Let me know where to find 'em!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Worst Surf Camera Ever - UPDATE

Back in February I bought a Kodak PlaySport waterproof video camera. Do yourself a favor - don't buy it!

I've got to send it back for the THIRD TIME NOW!

When I first got it, I was super excited, got a housing to put it on my surf vest, and went out in the water. The minute it hit the water it died. We sent it back. We had to pay for postage. About a month later it came back.

I took it out a second time. Again, the minute it hit the water it was dead. This time it took on a bunch of water.

We had read the directions both times and put it in water mode. I was only surfing so it wasn't submerged very much at all.

We sent it back. A month later, they sent us another.

I finally took it out today. Guess what? IT DIED AGAIN!

This time I'm hoping to talk to someone and get something resolved. This thing is the biggest piece of crap ever. We're out $150 plus the cost to ship it back once (they paid for the second one).

Seriously? It's not like I was doing anything wild with it. The video above was allegedly taken with the same type of camera.

Anyone have a good surf camera reco?


I first tried to contact Kodak on Facebook but had no luck. Next I found @KodakCameras on Twitter. Luckily, Mary-Irene Marek was incredibly helpful and got someone to contact me in a matter of days. They had me ship my 3x refurbished camera do a different location and sent me a NEW camera just in time for the 4th of July holiday! Now that's service! It's a shame that it took so much effort but it was nice to get the personalized service from Mary-Irene and Ricky (the rep who gave me a call).

This is a great example of using social media for customer service. Twitter is a great medium for this and having dedicated staff that listens to consumer concerns is really the way to go! Brands should take notice and follow this example (I know many have and I say "good job" to that!)

Phone calls didn't work and neither did email messages. The only gripe I have is that the didn't send me the color I had originally and one of my purchased-separately storage cards was destroyed in the earlier attempts.

I plan to upload some of my cool vids soon. The picture is really quite nice. I've just got to get the mounting on my vest right and then I'll be sharing away.

Thanks Mary-Irene & Ricky, you two exemplify what customer service should be.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Write Something Already!

Yes, I've been busy! I do apologize for being absent so long. I've got some book & product reviews coming up for you along with some general blah blah blah. In the meantime check out the surf dog video. I wish my big dude wasn't so afraid of the water. Could you imagine a 140-lb bloodhound surfing?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Book Review: HIGH STRUNG: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Untold Story of Tennis’s Fiercest Rivalry

My favorite part of HIGH STRUNG is the awesome 70s & 80s pics of the awesome hairdos! Seriously though, I was excited to get this book to review to read about this interesting piece of tennis history.

One was an ice-cold Swede with an aura of invincibility. A poster boy for the sport who was equal parts enigma and Adonis. He was tennis’s version of a matinee idol. He was a Houdini in a headband who could outlast opponents for thrilling comeback victories. He was obsessive, unflappable, and unbeatable on grass and clay. They called him “Ice Borg”.

The other was the poster boy for everything that was wrong with Western society. He was a left-handed lightning rod who sought confrontation with nearly every living being on the court while he was in the midst of battle. He yelled at umpires and linesmen loudly and with reckless abandon. He was an exact balance of talent and the temper, perfect biomechanics and boorishness. They called him “Superbrat”.

With all of their differences, their battles were pure tennis magic, and their rivalry the stuff of sports legend. Stephen Tignor’s “HIGH STRUNG: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Untold Story of Tennis's Fiercest Rivalry” (Harper, May 2011) is a marvelously articulated chronicle of the matches that defined the rivalry and the personalities that fueled it.

Both were exceedingly talented. John McEnroe represented the blinding heat of youth. Bjorn Borg was the epitome of cool control. McEnroe externalized everything. Borg’s competitive fires burned deep within him. McEnroe respected Borg and was driven by the desire to unseat him as the world’s #1. Borg was already a legend and sought to remain as the most dominant player in the sport. McEnroe found refuge in the rivalry. Borg found his final opponent.

You can get your copy here.


I was quite excited to get this book to review since I'm a not only a fan of golf but a huge fan of quick, easily digestible reading. This most definitely fit both criteria. For example, who won't appreciate a list entitled, "Great Caddyshack Pick-up Lines"? Most of the quotes come from the Rodney Dangerfield character, of course. "You must have been something before electricity." Epic.

This spring, as golfers everywhere dust off their clubs and begin the long-overdue march to the 1st tee, celebrated golf writers Leonard Shapiro and Ed Sherman aim to fill our heads with all things “golf” and present GOLF LIST MANIA!: The Most Authoritative and Opinionated Rankings of the Best and Worst of the Game (Running Press, May 2011), a comprehensive record of epic moments and massive disappointments, of major heroes and Sunday breakdowns, and of sage advice.

GOLF LIST MANIA! is a celebration of golf. These are our favorite subjects as fans, players, and major championship junkies: Tiger, the Shark, Sarazen’s double eagle, Miller’s 63, Van de Velde’s collapse, Sergio’s light résumé, Lefty’s greatest hits and near misses, Jack’s second places and Feherty’s acerbic wit. Shapiro and Sherman effortlessly compare 2nd rank events and personalities over decades and generations and leave the reader entertained and raring to go for that next tee time.

Top-10 graduates of the Nationwide Tour? There’s a list for that. Top-10 Aussies of all-time? Yep. Top-10 golf movies? Please. Ten best Korean LPGA players? There’s a list for that too. If it’s happened in golf over the last century or so, GOLF LIST MANIA! has it covered.

And interspersed throughout GOLF LIST MANIA! are some of the great golf quotes from some of the most famous and infamous golfers, thinkers, and personalities who ever shanked a three-iron: Bob Hope, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Alistair Cooke, John Updike, Phyllis Diller, Gerald Ford, Will Rogers, Billy Graham, Heywood Hale Broun, Rick Reilly, Jack Lemmon, Hank Aaron; black-and-white photos of golfers who’ve shaped the golf world, past and present; as well as guest-lists from some of the great sources of golf-knowledge in the game: Dan Jenkins, John Feinstein, Lance Barrow, Peter Kessler, et al. GOLF LIST MANIA! is about as much fun as a golfer can have with his soft spikes off. For some, it might be more fun.

You can get your copy here.

Oak Foils Custom Surfboards: Preview of Apryl's OG Dyna-Glyde Scalloped Concave...

Oak Foils Custom Surfboards: Preview of Apryl's OG Dyna-Glyde Scalloped Concave...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Check Out Rickie Fowler's PUMA Style at The Masters

Kicking off the Masters today, 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Rickie Fowler will bring color to the course in his best PUMA styles of the season as he seeks to add a coveted green jacket to his already fashionable collection.

Rickie tees-off on Thursday morning wearing a color he hopes to be wearing again Sunday afternoon – GREEN! Capturing his true signature style, from his Fitted Monoline Flatbrim cap to Cell Fusion shoes, Rickie will rock the PUMA green from top-to-toe.

You can check out the hi-res images here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Product Review: B IS FOR BASEBALL: Alphabet Cards

I was sent a very cool little product to review recently that is a really cute way to teach the alphabet to one of your really cute little ones. I plan on passing them on to one of my cute little nieces/nephews. Here are the details:

As we look ahead to the 2011 Major League Baseball season, artist Doug Keith reminds us that at its root the National Pastime is and forever will be a game for the young and young at heart.

This May, Keith and publisher Simply Read Books will introduce the first in a series that will keep our young sports fans in the game and into learning their ABCs. “B is for Baseball: Alphabet Cards”, by Doug Keith (Simply Read Books, May 2011) is an entertaining and edifying look at the alphabet through the humorous illustrations that capture the spirit and action of the play in the diamond.

The game is here in every one in these 26 cards. From A to Z, young learners will find that “P” could be a pitcher beginning his wind-up; “L” could be an outfielder who catches the ball and the wall at the same time; “A” could be batter practicing his mighty swing; and “Y” could be an ump calling “Yer out!”

“B IS FOR BASEBALL: Alphabet Cards” are about as much fun as you can have off the field and there is no better way for our young fans to get ready for the tee ball, little league and the 2011 season.

The cards come in their own box and are a joy for all ages. I would recommend these for the young sports fan in your life or any child that is learning their alphabet. You can get yours here.

Book Review: REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox

I received one of the most beautiful books to give a review just in time for baseball season. Let me just get one thing strait - I am most definitely NOT a Boston Red Sox fan in any way, shape, or form. No way. That should tell you that this review is quite genuine.

I was told that:

This book is a stunning tribute for the 100th anniversary and covers all of the players, teams, characters, anecdotes, Pesky Poles and Green Monsters that loom large in Fenway lore. It is truly beautiful and will appeal to all fans of the game…not just Sox fans.

“A lovely work of sporting art”—Furman Bisher

“For Red Sox fans, this gem of a book about a jewel of a ballpark is enough—well, almost enough — to banish from all thoughts of Bucky Dent and other disappointments.”—George F. Will

Indeed it is an incredibly beautiful gem that any baseball fan would appreciate that is filled with great pictures and anecdotes. The retro pics are my favorite like the one on page 66 of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. There are so many chapters of the Red Sox history such as Babe Ruth's debut, Nuns' Day, and the animosity between the bleachers and the box seats.

You can get your copy of this beauty here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Much More To Come

I have so much going on these days but also have a few things stacked up that I need to share. I'll be getting caught up this week. Check back here for book reviews, surf session reports, philanthropic reports, and quite a bit more.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Special Deal From Our Sponsor - Photo Ball Marker

Our favorite sponsor - Photo Ball Marker - has come up with a special deal for the readers.

To celebrate our breaking the 1000 mark in Twitter Followers we have set your promo code to give Free Shipping in addition to $5 off this week only.

That sets the price for our Three Photo Set for people going through your ads at $20 (Our Price through Our Web Site is $24.95 + $4.95 = $29.90). It will be good through Sunday, March 13, 2011 and then go back to the normal $5 off.

To get this deal you only have to scroll down a bit and click through the ad on the side bar for Photo Ball Marker and the promo code is pre-populated.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Review: Derek Jeter: From The Pages Of The New York Times

Okay, let me just start this out by saying that I am the FARTHEST thing from a Derek Jeter fan. I'm even farther away from that from being a Yankees fan. This girl is a Los Angeles native that has been a Dodgers fan from the day she discovered baseball. Yes, that means I am accustomed to being in somewhat of an abusive relationship. At least my hometown has a team. I got that going for me.

At any rate, this is post is not about me, it's about the beautiful hardcover book I was sent to review. I was told:

Drawing on over 5,000 New York Times news articles and features, dozens of classic photos and the masterful design of publisher Harry N. Abrams, DEREK JETER: From the Pages of the New York Times is a fitting and attractive chronicle to one of the great players in major league history.

This book is really quite attractive and awesome for Jeter and Yankees fans. I would go so far as to call it a "must have" for that group. Even everyday baseball fans will also enjoy this narrative that chronicles his career from high school days through the 2010 season.

You can flip to nearly any page and get an interesting tidbit about this future Hall of Fame shortstop. For example, one interview piece quotes Jeter as claiming to want to play shortstop since his dad did in college. You know, because when you're young you always want to be like your dad.

This book is a great compilation of Jeter's accomplishments to date with an abundance of full-color pics and quick factoids to keep even the shortest attention spans interested.

You can get your copy here. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Have You Tried Deal Pop?

Hey Los Angeles readers - this one's for you so pay attention if you like local sports bars:

Have you tried Deal Pop? It's one of those deal sites where you can get major discounts on food, spa services, and the like. They contacted me today to help them highlight the latest deal for the L.A. area.

The deal is for a new sports bar called The Varsity and if you go to the Deal Pop link and you can get $20 worth of food and drink for $10. Also, if you enter the code VARSITY20 then you'll get the deal for only $8. Yes, I bought one and am looking forward to checking this place out, especially since they have a dog-friendly patio!

*This is a sponsored post

The Importance of Betting in Sports

Today’s world of sport is not ruled by frenzied fanatics dressing up in team attire and cheering on their favorite athletes. Sports are not even really controlled by respective athletes either, save some up-and-coming sports not yet in the mainstream. More than anything, it is the almighty dollar the rules sport, and thus money precedes any sport’s global success and thus dictates its path.

Money comes not only from fans and sponsors but also from the betting world. Just like those Wall Street guys playing the futures and derivatives game as a separate sport while the housing market ignited and eventually went supernova, millions of gamblers from the across the globe put their “stock” in sport by way of sports-betting.

Sure, a US casino online or a place like Vegas gets the most notoriety for gambling – games like blackjack and the one-arm bandits. But holding equal ground is the world of sports-betting.

The point: the culture of money surrounding a sport, i.e. its monetary potential, is, more than anything, responsible for a sport’s rise.

Take the game of Texas Hold’em, for example. Here you have a game where the primary purpose is, already, to gamble. It’s simple enough, to be sure, and certainly nothing there to make it a “sport,” right?

Well, not so fast. Because of the insane amount of money surrounding the game, the amount of betting potential every card in every hand from every player offers, and the unabashed pursuit of the prize, poker, seemingly overnight, became an internationally recognized “sport,” with ESPN, the king of sporting news, leading the charge on their central network.

The potential for others outside of the sport to make money was one of the biggest reasons this sport exploded onto the world scene. You’ll find celebrity poker players all over the top 10 online casinos and throughout every major land-based poker room in the country. They’re stars of sport now, and the outside money is what lifted the platform to such heights.

With the potential for betting being so important to a sport’s success, other sports and games hoping to make the leap into the mainstream can take a strong and valuable lesson away from watching the rise of others.

If a sport such as surfing or mountain-biking wants to break away from their respective niche markets, regardless of how strong the niche is, and into the mainstream, the money has to be right. Not only will more fans and more sponsors need to put more money into the coffers of owners and event organizers, but the culture has to be promoted from the outside in by a wave of willing sports-betters showing that there’s a broad market with profit potential for everyone.

Exactly how other sports can get this done is up for debate. But much like horseracing or football, it wouldn’t hurt a niche sport to offer odds like spreads and over-under numbers at the gate. Making it lucrative instead of solely entertaining is the real ticket that sells in all of sport.

*This post contains 100% sponsored content

Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Kikkor Golf Shoes

Although I missed the PGA Merchandise Show this year the cool folks at Kikkor Golf didn't want me to miss out on their cool style. Talk about being stoked!

I just got my pair of Retra - Purple Bornelle delivered today. They look even better in person than I had imagined. Seriously!

Not only are they super comfortable but they are incredibly cool looking. I can totally identify with this brand image as I'm not your everyday golfer. Yeah, I'm that golfer that has a more modern style, especially that I'm much better of a surfer than a golfer. Sure, you'll find me wearing some funky vintage styles but the emphasis on the funky! These fit right in with that style as they have that look of a retro running shoe.

I can't wait to get these babies out on the course. Now I've got a really good excuse to get out there this weekend. Woot! Woot!

I have to thank the guys at Kikkor for hooking me up with this sweet pair of kicks. Also, a shout out to my bud Rob for his awesome video that he took at the PGA Merchandise Show this year that I stole from YouTube for the top of this post.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book Review: Run Like A Girl

I was contacted by Mina Samuels, author of Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives about reviewing her book. I was excited to check it out after hearing about it.

Part locker-room confidential, inspiring manifesto, and personal memoir, this book shows us through stories how the confidence women build by participating in sports—whether it’s running or rock climbing, swimming or yoga—can transform our lives in profound ways.

Lively, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking, the candid stories of nearly a hundred women fill the pages: from a U.S.-ranked amateur triathlete who’s raising an autistic son, to a woman who runs her first marathon at sixty; and a young mother with scoliosis who cycles her way back to health; as well as sports icons Kathrine Switzer, Rebecca Rusch, and Molly Barker. These women all share how sports helped them overcome life’s obstacles and achieve the happiness and success they’d been running toward.

I would have to agree that the sports I participate in profoundly contribute to my quality of life. My husband even notices the "high" I'm on after an awesome surf session. That's the ultimate for me. If I can't surf that day, I've just got get on the treadmill/bike/elliptical for at least an hour or I am not human. Exercise and sport are vital for me.

I am really enjoying getting in to this book. It's an interesting read that has great little quotes throughout. Check out Mina's blog and get your copy of the book here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Surfer's Ear or Swimmer's Ear?

The video above really explains the difference between surfer's ear and swimmer's ear quite well.

Surfer's ear develops after many years of surfing in cold water and can require surgery. Swimmer's ear is an infection of the ear. Neither is pleasant.

I'm writing about ears as mine are a bit unhappy today. I woke up with a bit of vertigo so I used up a sick day to stay in bed and try to sleep it off. It seems to be working, the dizziness is subsiding and my left ear just feels a bit heavy. It's been incredibly cold in the morning for dawn patrol so I should really get some ear plugs. Ear plugs are a preventative measure against surfer's ear as are wearing a hood. The latter is a bit difficult for me though. I can easily wear a hood when scuba diving but for surfing it's a whole other thing.

What experience have you had with surfer's or swimmer's ear?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dolphins Playing With Surfers

Yes, it happens. I had only heard about people having dolphins really make contact with them while surfing and had never experienced it first hand (in spite of how much time I've spent in the water). I don't mean just swimming by. That has happened to me plenty of times. I've watched pods of dolphins swim underneath me. Dolphins have "dropped in" on people that I was surfing with. I see them out in the distance feeding, playing, and just swimming by.

This morning was different. It started out like many other mornings. Walking out to the shore, I carry my board to the edge of the water. Next I stretch and put the leash around my ankle. I look up and see a pod of dolphins feeding out in the distance. They seem to be feeding because you can see them circling around one area and stirring up the water quite a bit. Every so often, one or two jump out of the water and chase each other. They seemed to be having fun.

I was sitting on my board in the lineup (well, there was only me and one other guy out there) looking at the swell and waiting for my set. Out of nowhere I felt a THUMP on the back of my board and looked back to see what it was. Just then, one of the dolphins jumped out of the water.

Yeah, it startled me. That would startle anyone.

Next they circled me and the one other surfer in the water. It was as if they wanted to play with us. They eventually lost interest and went back out farther and then headed south.

It was pretty awesome.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Can I Just Embed This Again?

Santa Monica Surfer's El Porto 11/13/10 from Helge Steffen on Vimeo.

This was one of the most awesome days at this spot. The video always makes me smile. I caught so many waves that day! This was only weeks after my 2nd place showing at the Haunted Heats surf contest. I love this surf spot when it's not holding me under and working me over.

Why A Marriage Works

My husband and I have a lot in common, obviously. I don't buy that whole business that opposites attract. Although we appear to be opposites on the surface, we are so alike it's not even funny. That's for another time - this post is about sports.

This morning I was going surfing with friends. Hubby was invited. He doesn't surf but he'll come with the hound and watch. Sometimes he even takes pictures. At the last minute this morning he told me that he was gonna stay home and I should just go. He wasn't being spiteful or smarty pants either.

I went. I met up with 2 guys and 1 girl. He knows I surf mostly with guys. He's cool with it.

No, I don't surf mostly with guys because I don't like to surf with girls. It just so happens that I go at times and to breaks where there are mostly guys in the water. Hubby knows I am out there to surf. He's seen me enough. I get out there and catch waves.

Among the guys I surf with it's perfectly acceptable to stop talking in mid-sentence and turn around to catch a wave. In fact, it's perfectly acceptable to not talk at all. I can't say the same for the girls I usually surf with (with one notable exception - you know who you are).

Now before you call me a traitor to women - take a deep breath. Most of the girls I know like to sit out there and act like a buoy while they chat. I'm not out there to float around. I'm out there to surf. You can come with me - heck - I'll even switch boards with you and chat a bit. However, I am out there to surf. If you're a surf chick and you want to go surfing with me just shoot me a note and you are invited.

During the week for dawn patrol my surf bud is a guy. Sometimes I just go alone. If I waited for someone to surf with me I would never go.

At any rate, hubby is cool with it.

He's now off to the range. I am not a huge fan of staying at the driving range for 3 or 4 hours. He is. I'm much happier playing 18. I can stand a range for about a small bucket - maybe a medium on a good day. I trust him to go work on his game. He's as focused on golf as I am on surfing. It totally works for us.

Why don't I go with? I do sometimes. We just don't like paying for dog daycare every day we want to go out (if you also had a bloodhound you'd understand).

Anyways, this is why a marriage works. We trust each other. We are both obsessed with our sport and understand each others need for their sport.

They might just have to change the definition for surf widow.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Northern Trust Open 2011: Sunday

This post is now sponsored by Los Angeles golf courses. However, the opinions are my own and this is not how I scored tickets to this event. The tickets were from a friend of mine.

I was incredibly excited to score weekend tickets to the Northern Trust Open. Yes, both days. Never mind that I got them for no charge, but they were also Clubhouse tickets. Needless to say, I was pumped.

That was, I was totally pumped until I got there. It's a good thing I didn't have to pay the $75 face value of the ticket. I would have flipped out. Really, the only benefits to these higher-priced tickets were that you got to use the fabulous & clean restrooms in the clubhouse instead of the portables. Some may argue this is worth the extra fee. You did also get access to a private dining area with a VERY limited menu. Yes, you still had to pay for the food and drink and it wasn't a great value if you get my drift.

Now let me just say that I was still pumped to be there. This is my 3rd year in a row at the tournament and I enjoy every moment of it. You did hear me say that I had tickets for the weekend - I only got out there today. No matter what I tried, I could not get hubby out there yesterday. This is quite odd considering I'm the surfer girl that he got into golf about 5 years ago. I love watching it in person so much better than on the TV and the course at Riviera is so awesome to be at. Top that off with the week of rain we've had and I just wanted to get outside.

Anyways - we managed to park at the 9th and see some great players roll by. First was KJ Choi, Trevor Immelman, and Vaughn Taylor. There was a toddler standing close by that said "KJ Choi" as he walked up. The golfer turned and smiled and as he walked up to the tee his caddy handed the youngster a ball.

Next was JB Holmes, Stuart Appleby, and Martin Laird. Its true what they say about Holmes. That guy can crush the ball. Even more interesting is he's not the biggest guy out there.

The next group was Justin Rose, Stewart Cink, and Spencer Levin. They were followed by Harrison Frazar, Jimmy Walker, and Robert Allenby. I just love watching some of these big-name golfers tee off. It's amazing how well they hit the ball and seeing it in person just makes your jaw drop.

Finally John Senden, Ryan Moore, and Vijay Singh were up. Vijay looks so much bigger on TV. In person you see that he's in amazing shape. We stood there in awe as he crushed a massive drive.

And lastly the leaders came - Fred Couples, Kevin Na, and Aaron Baddeley. Somehow, the most obnoxious guy in the crowd was standing right behind us. If you were watching on TV and heard the dude on 9 yelling his encouragement to Couples, he was right behind us. There were also a couple of 12-year-old girls wearing homemade t-shirts that said, "I <3 Baddeley". Many of the media photogs stopped and snapped their picture.

Badds can sure hit the ball. It was epic. Na didn't do so bad either. We totally felt for Couples, you could tell he was experiencing some pain as he winced through his drive.

Overall, it's a great event but they're getting cheaper in a lot of ways. This time they were doing buy 1 get 1 free tickets and let everyone in free after 1:30 pm today. You could tell this affected the rest of the event. A can of soda was $5 and trying to find the free magazine program was impossible. This is the first year I didn't get one. To top that off, there were much fewer food choices this year and those that were available were pricier than Dodger Stadium (which is saying quite a bit if you've ever been there). This year in "The Grove" food court there was ONE choice for food. Outside of this area you were pretty much down to hamburgers and hot dogs. Two years ago they had several clinics and fun things for the fans to do, like taking a picture with a life size Phil Mickelson cutout that they would email to you.

I'll still get down there next year. I love going. Now I've just got to find someone that will take me to play Riviera. I've just got to play this place.

Congrats on the win to Aaron Baddeley!

Book Review: The Undisputed Guide To Pro Basketball

The team at FREEDARKO.COM have a new book out called The Undisputed Guide To Pro Basketball. I was sent a review copy along with the usual press info and dug in.

I've got to say, this is one of the most fun books I've delved into in some time. This isn't to say it doesn't have it's serious content though. There is a legitimate historical narrative that starts things off in Chapter 0 with the time line starting in 1891. Following is info on the early barnstorming teams with incredibly interesting names like The Terrible Swedes and the ladies of the men's rule playing All American Red Heads.

Get a bit further into the book and you've got fabulous infographics like the "Head Hair Key" and "Hair Champions". My hometown Lakers 1975-76 team have the distinct honor of being named the hairiest team. The fun doesn't stop there - there's a section later in the book dedicated to Charles Barkley that's aptly coined "Loud, Fat, and Gifted". Epic.

This book is a must-have for any basketball nut. The authors include a disclaimer that the history is far from complete but they really do include quite a lot in this hardcover of 200+ pages.

You can pick up a copy here for yourself or the basketball fan in your life.

Go Lakers!*

*I can't possibly mention basketball without saying that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Indoor Exercise Routine

We've had a rainy week here in SoCal so my morning routine has been stuck indoors for now. I definitely get cabin fever and really want to spend several hours outside today. Unfortunately, we're expecting more showers. Boo. I honestly don't know how people who have real winters deal with being cooped up for so much of the year.

With my indoor workouts this week I've had a hard time reaching my limit. Yesterday morning I did an hour of cardio and didn't feel finished but I had to get to the office. The day before was 1.5 hours. Today I finally got really good results after 2 hours.

I started on the treadmill on a program called "cross training" for 30 minutes. This alternates from 0-6% incline and from 2-4 in speed. At certain times during the cycle there is a little light that comes on and you're supposed to do work with weights at this point. I used my resistance bands for my arms and did several cycles of curls, reverse curls, and a few others.

Next was 30 minutes on the stationary bike. I've got an older model bike that only has a manual control for more or less resistance. I kept it on enough to make me work hard enough really get a good sweat going. If it ever feels easy then I add a bit more resistance.

After the bike I was on the elliptical for 30 minutes on a "random" program at level 12. It was great and I really worked up a sweat. I especially like how my arms are involved the entire time.

The final part of the workout was back on the treadmill for another 30 for the same "cross training" program. This time I only did isolation exercises with my arms (hold in front of you for 60 seconds, rest for 60, repeat for five times total). By this time my calves were finally feeling it. Success.

I'm in really great shape these days from getting up at 4:30 am and getting in the very cold Pacific Ocean for 1.5-2 hours every morning. I didn't realize how much better shape I was in until recently and it feels pretty fabulous.

I should get back out into the water in the next few days. I had moved from my long to short board recently since the waves called for it now. I had been worried that I would have a harder time keeping up with everyone paddling but that wasn't the case at all. In fact, I out-paddled a guy that was a bit taller than I am (and on a long board) back out to the lineup last Friday. Yeah, it made my confidence swell up a bit but can you blame me?

P.S. I got a new waterproof video cam that I plan on taking out with me quite a bit so stay tuned for dawn patrol vids!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Catching Up With The Latest - Fresh Air Fund

I have been spending most of my time concentrating on the day job and to sticking to my fitness goals (that is, participating much more) and haven't done as much philanthropic highlighting. It's been really good for my overall health and I feel pretty fabulous. However, I need to give some link love to one of my favorite causes:

Fresh Air Fund
: Yep, it's that time of year again. On March 20 the Fresh Air Fund half-marathon is happening. They need your help:

The Fresh Air Fund is looking for runners and sponsors to join our Fresh Air Fund-Racers team for the NYC Half-Marathon this coming March 20th. This is a great way to participate in NYC's premier road race while helping Fresh Air Fund children.

We are also in need of host families for this Summer. Host families are volunteers who open their hearts and home to a child from the city to give them a fresh air experience they never forget.

Go to the link here for more information.

Not every child is fortunate enough to have grown up on the coast of California and able to surf, swim, and dive like I was (or even near a forest or other wonderful outdoor space). Although I didn't have much growing up I always had nature and for that I am quite grateful. Check out the Fresh Air Fund and see how you can help.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Still Got It On a Shorty!

I've been thinking about taking the short board out again. It's been sitting in the garage since the beginning of the summer. Lately, the size of the waves and steep drops that happen at my usual spots have me thinking I was going to snap my 8' if I kept riding it.

So today was the day. I brought out the 6'8" (okay, not THAT short but short for me). Hubby was taking his time getting ready this morning and it was getting closer to high tide. I was worried that the waves would be too mushy if I didn't get out there.

I got out in the lineup and my shoulders were burning! To top it off, my left contact came out somewhere on the way (that really stinks). I gained my composure and sat there for a bit. It was pretty crowded and the mush was in full effect.

I was trying to stay out of the way of all the hot shots that were carving it up. I just wanted to catch a nice little corner and get my bearings. There were a lot of rollers coming though but the combo swell was making it pretty choppy at times. Finally, I saw my chance and went for it. I got right up and had a pretty decent ride. It felt great, I could still get up on my shorty.

It took me a while to get another but when I did it was a very nice right that I dropped in on and made a nice cutback. Overall, the session was quite nice.

I feel good about my shorty and will take her out the rest of the week. My poor shoulders are still feeling it and it honestly strains me to type right now. However, I'm incredibly stoked that I am continuing to improve.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Surfing Inspiration

From time to time, even I get a little burned out with surfing. Sure, it doesn't last long but a very cold or unproductive session can zap my motivation away. Especially demotivating is a nasty wipe out or two. I've had a couple of those lately that linger in the back of my mind when I'm out in the lineup. I'll be waiting for a set and if something looks remotely like one of the waves that I didn't do so well on then my heart will race a bit. I've been working on shaking that feeling but it is sometimes difficult, especially if there's a strong current or consistent overhead plus waves.

I recently stumbled upon a couple of stories that have served as a great point of inspiration. The first is that of Sarah Gerhardt, a big wave rider. Just seeing pictures of her surf Maverick's gives me goosebumps. Sarah was the first woman to ride a wave standing up at the famous big wave spot. In addition to being an elite athlete she's also a PhD in physical chemistry. Go Sarah!

The second source of inspiration is a post on Surfline's Surf Tips With Layne that talks about fear. It's quite good and examines some of the feelings I've had recently, although not in gigantic Hawaiian swell. Still, while fear is good to have a little bit it is not good to let it paralyze you.

As long as I surf 4-6 times a week I'm going to fall off waves, wipe out, and possibly get held under. It's all part of the game. However, I'll also get some great rides, stay close to my beloved ocean, and keep fit in a very fun way. I must say - the good definitely outweigh the bad.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Surf Blogging

Interestingly enough, I have discovered that there are several surf blogs for my main surf spot. However, I never seem to meet these people that write about our favorite spot. Yes, they name it by name - even considering this is a major no-no in the surf world. Although, there is one surf blogger in particular that has a clearly elitist attitude and cites antiquated BS "rules". Even though I don't blog about where I go exactly, I would tell you to meet me there if you honestly asked and wanted to come. I know that I am skilled enough to get my share and that we should definitely share the swell and have a great time.

By the way, today was National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Although I was recovering from a lame hesitation move from yesterday and didn't actually participate in a sport today I do partake the other 5-6 days a week. Yeah, just always remember - don't hesitate! If you do you can really cause yourself some pain and a slight limp for a few days. DOH!

And just for the record, I'm also that friendly chick in the lineup that smiles and greets other women in the lineup rather than giving them attitude. Actually, I show everyone in the water much respect. I seriously believe that you should always surf with aloha and that all surfers are connected by one ocean. I won't drop in on you and I'll even let a wave go that was rightfully mine. There will be more and there is no reason for anyone to get hurt.

So I'm wondering - who out there is an elitist? What is it about you that makes you more important in the lineup than me? Go ahead, give me your best argument and tell me why. I'm all ears.

Maybe this is a bunch of babble. Maybe not. Oh well.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book Review: Scorecasting

I was sent a review copy of the book "Scorecasting" which is actually incredibly exciting for me. Why? I am a total numbers dork. Yep, your favorite surfer/golfer and all-around laid back chick is actually a major number cruncher. In fact, my day job is in advertising doing just that. I'll spare you the gory details there. Just know that I love to analyze everything.

Here's the description I was given:

“SCORECASTING: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won”, by Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim digs into the behavioral dynamics and then delivers readers from the sports clichés and misstatements that have dominated for decades. Leave your anecdotal evidence at the door. Emotion means little here. With a combination of first-rate analysis and first-rate storytelling, Moskowitz (a University of Chicago Booth School of Business finance professor) and Wertheim (a writer at Sports Illustrated), assess the most deeply-rooted “truisms” that haunt the games we love.

Does defense truly win championships? Is there really such a thing as momentum in sports? Does icing the kicker work? Are the Chicago Cubs cursed? Can you really quantify the subjective aspects of sports, like officiating?

SCORECASTING confirms what has long been assumed. Consider:
* Officials are biased…but not for the reasons you think.
* The key to long-term focus and creative play: job security.
* Luck doesn’t make us smarter or dumber, only lucky or unlucky.
* There’s no I in team, but there is one in elite player. You better have one or more if you want a title.
* Using all four downs in football is still considered sports heresy. Wrongly, but everyone punts, right?
* Tiger Woods is, in fact, mortal—and for reasons having nothing to do with Thanksgiving of 2009."

I've just got going in this beauty and can't wait to get going in it. This book is the reason that I want to have an extra 4 hours a day to read. You can get your copy on Amazon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Much Better Session

On Saturday I lamented about getting snaked out in the water and I am happy to report that Sunday's session was much better. In fact, it was so much better that my shoulders were too sore to give it a go for dawn patrol this morning. I was out in the water with a group of friends for just over 2 hours. We've had a great weekend at this particular spot. There were some really great sets that came roaring through.

I'm taking the day off tomorrow to do some surfing early in the day and then heading over to a very cool golf-related event that I'll give you the link to at a later time.

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Getting Snaked

Yeah, it happens. I'll be out in the lineup and there will be a great set coming in. I'll be right there, rightfully going for it and it happens. Some guy will totally snake me and nearly take my head off or come close to inflicting some other injury to me or my board.

If it happens once I usually just let it go. There are plenty more waves and this is not the last time I'll be surfing. However, when it happens repeatedly in the same session and from the same darn person it really bums me out.

The forecast was for some really big sets today. I met up with a group of people that I like to surf with, all of which are incredibly cool. There were about six fellas and four ladies in the group. In addition, there were some other folks I knew just from surfing around the area.

The spot I went to is mostly always friendly. It's one of those more gentle point breaks that beginners and more advanced surfers can enjoy. There were supposed to be consistent 4-5 footers today with some 8 foot sets coming through. I was so looking forward to it.

I got my first ride and a shortboarder came behind me and did a nutty move and just barely missed my head. I complemented him on the move afterward, trying to set up a friendly atmosphere. That didn't work. For the rest of the session this guy decided that he would try to ruin every wave I caught. It wasn't just me though. This guy cut EVERYONE off and made sure that nobody could share a wave with him. Eventually, a couple of other guys cut him off to let him know he was being a jerk but it didn't stop him.

Comments like, "save some for the fish" and "sorry about your small d*ck" started flying around at Sir Snakesalot. I kept a positive vibe and had some nice rides in spite of his attitude. In fact, my last wave was really great since I managed a few cutbacks with someone right behind me. After that ride was over I thanked the guy that was sharing with me for not being an @$$. He was super cool and told me that he only dropped in behind to make sure that Sir Snakesalot couldn't come try to ruin my ride. Nice! There are others that surf with aloha!

Anyways, I hate whining about being run over but it happens. It happens to other ladies in the water as well.

If you see me out in the water just realize a few things: I will never intentionally try to run you over, snake you, or try to inflict harm in some other way. It's not worth hurting someone just so I can grab a wave. If you wipe out and it looks bad, I'll ask you if you're okay. If you need help, I'll totally help you out. If you want to sit by me and take turns with the sets, I'm totally good with that too.

I'm just incredibly stoked to be out in the water and I'll catch my rides regardless of the situation. I'm a firm believer of always surfing with aloha and that we are all connected by one ocean. There's enough stoke to go around.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Morning Routine: On The Go

I realized this morning that I have one other possibility for my morning routine. As diligent as I am about my eating habits I still get lazy about going to the store just as anyone else would. On these mornings I have to get something to eat on the go before I hit my surf spot.

I hit the same 24 hour restaurant whenever I don't have food at home. It's a great little authentic Mexican cafe. Some people might think it's a "greasy spoon" type hole in the wall but it really isn't. There are a lot of smaller Mexican joints around here that are really quite health-conscious in many ways.

For example, at my little spot they make fresh juice that isn't squeezed/juiced until you order it. They also make everything to order and make things fresh every day. Many people don't realize how many authentic Mexican eateries serve fresh juices.

At any rate, my breakfast on the go is:

32 ounces of freshly squeezed OJ with carrot and celery juice
1 grilled fish taco with avocado

I only drink about 25% of the juice and have the rest after I am done with my surf session. One taco might seem small until you see it, it is rather large and is made with 2 corn tortillas with the fish and avocado inside. In addition, the place I go to gives you a small bag of corn tortilla chips with every order. I'll go ahead and allow myself to have 3 or 4 after my surf if it was especially strenuous. Otherwise I give them to someone at the surf spot or the office.

Some weeks I am really, really lazy and will have this breakfast as many as 3 times. Some weeks I am really good about going to the store or hubby has gone for me (I love that).

That concludes my morning routines - all three of them. Yep, unless I am on vacation in another city I will be doing one of the three scenarios that I have described this month.

Next, I'll post about lunch and dinner. I really don't snack very much at all. I know you're just dying to hear about it.

How many morning routines do you have?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Morning Routine: Just Add Water

My morning routine includes water more often than not. Yep, I'm talking about dawn patrol. You know, surfing as the sun comes up. It's better than coffee to wake you up. I also love the added bonus of the diminished sunlight to save the skin on my face a bit.

For the most part, my breakfast is the same as when I get my morning workout at home. However, I space out my breakfast before and after the surf session so I have energy to go and then refuel a bit after.

Pre-surf I'll eat my two homemade shrimp or fish tacos with avocado and hot sauce. I still make my juice but only take a few sips and bring the rest with me to drink after my surf session. In addition, I'll have a couple of oranges and whatever other produce is in season. Lately that has been blueberries or cherries (yum).

Surf sessions in the morning last between 45 - 90 minutes, depending on a number of factors. Lately it has been really, really cold in the morning so I've been able to hang for about an hour. It's been quite a workout the last week or two as the currents have been pretty strong. In addition, the much colder air and water temperature have made it a bit unfriendly in the morning. It's a good thing the local crowd is awesome.

Weekend surfing is usually different. I'll either travel to a break in another county of go to one of the gentler breaks than the one I go to on weekday mornings. It's more of a shortboard spot but I still ride my 8'. Yesterday I went to one of these easier, longboard breaks and couldn't believe how "lazy" I've become when charging a wave. The spot I hit during the week has quite a bit more power to it so I really have to just barely get in the right spot and I've got it. Yesterday's gentler waves meant that I really had to paddle like crazy to catch a ride. I'm used to paddling like crazy to get out of the way of a big wall or a set that's breaking out farther than the lineup. At any rate, I could use a nice, long session at a place that is more in-between the two.

I'm quite happy with morning routine, water or not although I prefer to be in the water. It's all really paid off and I get some pretty awesome compliments lately.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Morning Routine: Sans Water

Yes, I'm stoked on how fit I am now and wanted to share with you some of my morning routines as far as food and exercise. This is one morning's routine when I didn't go surfing. I'll post a surf morning routine at a later post.

Okay, so the alarm goes off at 5:00 am but I'm usually already awake and watching the news. I get up and put my workout gear on and (fortunately) don't have to leave the house because I have plenty of exercise gear at home.

Exercise routine
65 minutes on treadmill - brisk walking speed with first 30 minutes having elevation set to 8 and and first 10 minutes as gradual warn up then final 5 minutes in gradual cool down.

30 minutes on elliptical trainer - resistance set to 10 and random program

15 minutes of stretching - core, arms, legs, neck

Okay, you should know that I am not a fan of "traditional" breakfast foods so my breakfast may look more like lunch or dinner to you.

In the juicer (I don't do caffeine either):
1 large beet
5-6 large carrots
1 large red delicious apple
1 very small piece of ginger

In the pan with olive oil:
4 gigantic freshwater shrimp or 12 jumbo sea shrimp
2 corn tortillas (cooked after the shrimp - do each side of tortilla until desired bronzing has occurred)
1/2 avocado
Sriracha, Tapatio, or homemade salsa to taste.

Put half of the shrimp inside one tortilla with half of the avocado. Top with sauce to taste. Yum!

Sweet part: 2 small "Cuties" (California Mandarins), 10 red cherries, small handful of blueberries

Plenty of water

...and no, I don't add sugar, salt, or other seasonings to anything.

*So yeah, I'm not a physician and don't claim to be an expert an anything except being a dork so follow my advice at your own risk. This is what works for me and it might not work for you. I would encourage you to find the fitness routine that is best for you.

What's your morning routine?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year - Same Commitment To Health & Fitness

I have to say that 2010 was a very successful year for me in terms of health and fitness. Sure, I had some setbacks but it all came out for the absolute best. As a result, I'm close to being in the best shape of my life. Seriously.

It didn't come easy though. In addition, a few of the setbacks were pretty hard to deal with. At the beginning of the year I spent a lot of time in physical therapy, acupuncture, and with sports medicine doctors. There are some discs in my neck that are degenerative and something about that is irritating the nerves that go down my right arm. My right shoulder also gets aggravated rather easily.

At the beginning of the summer I was hospitalized for a few days. Somehow I was incredibly anemic and was having non-stop excruciating indigestion-type pain. This was really the turning point for me and I'm so glad that it all came out the way it did.

Several years ago I was told that I had IBS and that the type that I had meant that I had to stay away from certain foods. I was already what most people considered to be a "healthy eater" and have been either vegetarian, vegan, or pescetarian since I was very young. At this point, I was told that I needed to stay away from corn products and beans. I love beans and really love corn tortillas so this was quite upsetting to me.

After the hospitalization, it turned out that the prior IBS diagnosis wasn't exactly correct and was causing me even more health issues. I even had the diagnosis from a so-called prominent researcher in the field. Yeah, it was more like he was trying to shoehorn me into the diagnosis for his own benefit. The pills he had me on put some extra weight on me and I would run out of steam every day in the afternoon. It was incredibly difficult to keep motivated to be fit, but I was diligent and really made the effort regardless.

Now I am so much better. Like "back to normal" better. All of the extra weight that I put on was gone and I am back to my normal size, which is about a size 6. Yes, I'm 5'10" but I have smaller bones and am very active. I have to clarify that though - I wear a size 6 pant but tops have to be closer to a 10 because my shoulders are too big to fit into smaller sizes. This is not a bad thing though and I am certainly not complaining.

My diet is close to being vegan - the only exception being some seafood. I mostly like shellfish and the lighter fillets (nothing heavier than tilapia or trout). I stay away from processed soy and tofu products, however. In fact, I really only eat what I can see the ingredients to. To me, although some folks think that "organic", "vegan", and "natural" foods that you can get in those fancy stores are better for you I am not convinced. I stick to a produce-heavy diet with fresh seafood, beans, and corn tortillas. Avocados are my main staple, I have them at least once every day. Additives are totally out as well - no salt, sugar, or any other spices. I will add Tapatio or Sriracha to foods or my own fresh salsa. Therefore, those two sauces, corn tortillas, and beer are the only things in my diet that have any processing to them.

In 2010 I also gave up caffeine. This was a product of the hospitalization episode. The physician told me that the four things that should be avoided for being healthy are cigarettes, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. I already didn't smoke or do chocolate (I've never liked it). On the other hand, I love me some Belgian beer so I decided to give up caffeine. Since I didn't have any in the hospital it was easy to give up because I didn't really have to go through the usual withdrawals that you experience when quitting.

I'm committed to keep my new, healthier self through 2011. In fact, my Twitter bud kokgirl is talking about starting up the Twitter Trim Up Challenge (TTUC) again. I'm ready!

Last year I met many of my goals, one in particular was to compete in a surf competition without feeling so winded I thought I would die. I accomplished this and came in 2nd place at said contest. My golf goals need some working on but I spend most of my weather-permitting days surfing so that's to be expected.

Yes, this was a big and long-winded post but there it is. Stay tuned for my 2011 goals and how I'm going to get there. I'll post more of my food recipes and workout routines throughout the year as well.

What are your 2011 fitness goals?