Well, this year will mark the first vegetarian Thanksgiving for me. So far, I’ve been taking it in stride and have been thinking of extra side dishes I can cook up to make up for the big empty space on my plate where turkey used to reside. Will green bean casserole, the delicious sweet potato with marshmallows on top dish, and stuffing taste the same without turkey? Only time will tell.. I remember as a kid going to my grandparents house for Thanksgiving and being so excited to bring home some of the turkey, honey baked ham, and rolls so I could make sandwiches for the next week trying to relive the awesome Thanksgiving feast we had had. I guess this year the theme will have to just be being thankful for what I am able to eat and continuing from that focusing on what I do have and not what I am lacking overall in my life. Thinking about this has given me a great reminder to just give thanks for what I do have and can do instead of focusing on what I can’t have and can’t do. Rugby has made me frustrated because I can’t do everything which is so foreign to me because I am so used to being able to do everything in soccer and now I am trying to grasp even the most basic skills of this new sport that is, needless to say, very complicated and skillful. So I have to focus on what I can do and from there turn my weaknesses into strengths. It’s a very powerful and freeing feeling when you appreciate and are satisfied with what you have. Mind you, you do need a certain level of desire to better yourself but to be able to take a step back and just sit in thanks is definitely a necessity. So this Thanksgiving I may not have turkey but I will have extra servings of my favorites dishes to make up for it 🙂
To be honest, the first time I saw a friend of mine reading a graphic novel I just saw it as a big cartoon. The thought even crossed my mind that maybe my friend was too lazy to read normal books! I never would have thought that in my English 102 class we would be required to read one. Luckily, my perspective over the quality of graphic novels changed over the years after glancing through a couple and realizing how intricate and meaningful they are. Having pictures to go along with the words makes the experience that much more dynamic and eye opening. Each choice in each panel and line adds another level of complexity and depth to the story. The novel I decided to read is called “Not Simple” by Natsume Ono. The title first caught my eye but then the fact that the book is written backwards secured my decision. I like things out of the ordinary and this book sure fits that. As the author of the blog post I linked said, “Not Simple, by Natsume Ono, is a graphic novel for those readers who like a touch of the different.” I encourage you all to look into reading graphic novels as it definitely is a different reading experience.
An ACL tear is the injury every female athlete fears the most and according to this website , “ACL injuries are up to ten times more common in women than in men.” Just in the past week, two friends of mine have torn their ACL both for the second time. It’s devastating and heartbreaking to see it happen and to know that they have a long journey ahead before their body will return to it’s former strength. I have fortunately never torn mine but I have watched countless friends and teammates tear theirs. Some are able to recover and some never do. I had one friend tear one ACL twice and the other once and mentally just couldnt play sports again for fear that she might tear one of them again. Right now, we have three girls on the rugby team out with ACL tears. The recovery time spans from 6-9 months depending on the doctor and the type of surgery you get. Either way, it is a devastating and potentially career ending injury that can strip the skills and confidence from even the best players. The determination and pure will to recover is a feat in itself but then to play again takes an extra level of passion.
It’s amazing because I once played on a club team that really emphasized ACL prevention exercises yet within two years, 6 girls on the team had torn their ACL. I have so much respect for those who are still playing after ACL tears. But what concerns me is why more hasn’t been done for the prevention of ACL injuries. It will be interesting to see if someone can come up with a more effective strategy and uncover the mystery of the ACL tears in female athletes.
If you want to read about a real badass of female sports check out this article about Michelle Akers. I went to one of her soccer camps way back in the day after she had just had knee surgery for probably the 15th or 16th time. She would train with us then go ice it probably 4 or 5 times a day. It was amazing to see such an athlete and to just be around her. I have no clue how she managed to get back from that many surgeries but from reading about the kind of person she is if anyone could do it, it would be her.
A friend of mine posted this video to her Facebook and it caught my attention. I am a lover of inspirational, wordy, and thought provoking things so naturally I found this video captivating. I sent it to my Dad who commented saying,
I replied to my Dad saying, ” I just found it thought provoking! I enjoy things like this even if it I dont necessarily agree with them. I think the person who did this youtube video was taking out of context what it was originally meant for and applying it to today in order to make a point about our society.”
I love moments like these where a domino effect occurs… the video –>me–>my dad–>me! I was reminded of the importance of perspective and how things can be taken out of context yet can hold a new meaning for the viewer. I also found it interesting how powerful images and connotations can be in shaping our perspective (how he looks like Hitler). Overall, this provided a great example for some psychological principles to be tested! Either way, I found this to be very soul stirring. Enjoy!
I’m a big believer in motivation and finding things, people, pictures, songs, etc that can bring that passion and dedication out in you. After a rough loss this past weekend to NC State, our rugby team was pretty down, confused, and frustrated. We had been making so much progress and were hoping for a big win and when the opposite happened, we didnt know what to think. For me, I live for these moments. They are the turning points that you look back on as either a time when you grew up and stepped up or as as a time when you should have. Either way, you walk away with a new perspective and lessons learned. It’s going to take a lot of work but I believe in what our team stands for and what it has stood for in the past.
An article was posted a couple days ago that has UNC ranked number 9 in D1 Collegiate Women’s Rugby! In particular the article said the following about the program here:
“We’re also keeping an eye on North Carolina, which graduated 15 players and will be without Kimber Rozier and Katie Lorenz come matrix season. The Tar Heels are also waiting for starting scrumhalf Hannah Samad and star wing Holly Zoeller to heal up.
“On the upside, we’re currently rostering almost 50 players every weekend,” UNC coach Johnathan Atkeison said. “We’ve got the best recruiting class we’ve had since I’ve been here, and they’re really learning the game and our system quickly. The level of athleticism among the new players is really amazing, and I think that as the season goes one, we’re going to be able to open the game plan up very quickly to take advantage of their speed and power.”
We have a game this weekend against NC State but who knows if everyone will get playing time since we still have 50 people or so on our roster. On the upside, we won our Carolina Invitational Tournament two weekends ago and from that experience learned a lot about our potential and our weaknesses. The pieces are finally coming together and we are hoping to have a good showing this weekend!
It’s been two years and not a day goes by that I don’t think about the strength, courage, and hope of Breanna McMahon. She is the epitome of determination and never cease to amaze me. When I want to give up, I think of her.
Two years ago, my current soccer team was trying to raise money for a tournament in North Carolina called CASL. It’s a big showcase tournament and we were all excited to participate but our funds were low. So we planned a car wash and everything was going great. I remember talking with someone on my team about how we needed to do another car wash soon because we were just having way too much fun and were making a lot of money. As the day wore on, some of us who had cars got our cars washed. Bree decided to help Chelsea, another teammate of ours, wash her car and was guiding her car up the angled driveway when Chelsea accidentally hit the gas instead of the break and pinned Bree against the wall of the garage we were using. Long story short, Bree had to have her left leg amputated slightly above the knee and the right leg was left in shambles. Countless surgeries later, she is back trying to play soccer. I remember when she first said she was going to play again. It was almost immediately after the accident and we all looked at her shocked. But we knew if anyone could do it, Bree could. It hasnt been an easy process. It hasnt been easy to talk about. I have learned so much from that day and I know I will continue to until I die. It’s strange when you look back and remember how it felt in that moment and to look at your life now. If you want an inspiration, google this girl. She will be your inspiration in a heartbeat.
Now that I am playing rugby, I use her story as motivation for the hard workouts we have. I am out with a second degree MCL sprain right now and was running stadium stairs while the team practiced. I felt my legs giving out and my breathe quickening but I thought of Bree and added 10 minutes onto my original goal because I know that that is what Bree would do. This hasn’t been one of those “happily ever after” stories but it is a story that needs to be told because there is no one else like her.
Here are two of my favorite pictures from that night:
Here is a picture of Bree and I at another tournament dressed out in our uniforms:
One of the most amazing things that came out of this awful and tragic experience was the wonderful community that formed from this team I was on. I was playing with girls who were a year older than me so they all left for college after the season but when we are all in town, we get together for dinner and icecream. We end up hanging out for at least 6 hours talking, laughing, and catching up on eachother’s lives. Some girls who moved away (one to Maryland and another to Texas) fly back just for these events because we know how important it is that we remember that we have each other. We may not be playing together anymore but we will always be each other’s teammates and, in a way, family.
There is something about playing a sport in the rain. I dont care what it is (except maybe golf..). Braving the elements and having the rain drops pour off of you just makes you feel like you are in one of those underdog movies preparing to take on the world. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic but if you have ever played a sport in the rain you know what I mean. In my mind, it gives the sport more character. Last night at rugby practice we were literally were practicing from the second it started running to when it stopped and by the time it stopped, man, it was cold. Having been a soccer player for so long, I have come to appreciate how hard it is to control a ball when the ground is wet. Now playing rugby, I am realizing the same thing. Numerous times during practice, people would literally bounce the ball from hand to hand up to five times and still drop it. The ball was straight up elusive last night. But that made it all the more fun and adrenaline pumping when you successfully caught or completed a pass. Only downside to practicing in the rain and cold for me is the long walk home.. it is just about a mile from hooker fields to granville and I had the pleasure of walking back completely soaked while bracing myself against the freezing cold wind. Luckily, I made it back and am not sick today so it was once again all worth it.
Fitness is not fun.. but i try to tell myself it is to make it a little more bearable. Part of me trying to get in shape is attending 8am fitness sessions Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. It’s not easy or pretty but it’s rewarding and completely worth going to class drenched in sweat for. This morning I nearly slept through not only fitness but my 9 am class due to the fact that my phone doesnt make any sounds anymore! For some crazy reason, I woke up at 7:34 exactly and popped out of bed and was out the door as soon as possible to walk to other side of campus. I have to say that this past week’s mornings have been absolutely perfect. so cool. so refreshing.
I arrive at the Ehaus fields only to find out that it’s just me, a girl named Kimber, and our coach. Kimber is on the national team and has been playing for almost five years so needless to say I was more than a little worried when Johnathan, our coach, said Kimber would be running fitness today. There is just something awesome about playing alongside someone who you know is at such a high caliber and this morning I felt that as well as a lot of pain in my legs trying to do the workout she had for us.
Rugby is such an interesting sport because it seems that people are introduced to it extremely late compared to other sports. I love asking the returning players how they got into rugby and what made them stay. On the flip side, it’s awesome to be going through the process right now and figuring out what is going to keep me in it for the long haul! We have our eyes sight on making a National Appearance this year and I hope to be a part of it!
Okay, so maybe I am not a guinea pig but I have participated in 5 psychology experiments now! 2 have been online and 3 were done in Davie Hall (the psychology department). As usual, I arrived way too early and ended up sitting and waiting before each session. I couldnt help it though because I honestly was too excited to see what the experiments were and talk to the people conducting them. I can’t disclose exactly what they did but I have to say that each gave me an awesome first hand experience of what a real psychology experiment is and how to trick/test certain characteristics of people.The other thing that really got me fired up about majoring in psychology was talking to the people there! Afterwards, they shared with me what the purpose was and encouraged me to email them afterwards if I wanted to hear what the results were. I got some helpful hints about which classes to take and how to find what my focus should be. Overall, it was a very insightful and entertaining experience. I have two more this week.. one on Wednesday and Friday and I couldnt be more excited 🙂 Being busy is a great feeling especially when it’s doing the things you love.