Sunday, February 20, 2011

San Diego State - SMBA '12 Blog

I'm blaming most of the reason that I've been MIA on the fact that I'm heading up the blog for my class. There are about 10 of us that write for it, so I don't do all of the writing, but I do make the attempt to keep it organized and stories flowing. If you want to see what I'm up to - check it out:

I did get an internship already with SDSU's Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator. I'm going to work with her while in classes as much as possible, its going to be a fantastic experience, I'm going to learn a lot from her.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

West Part II - 2 Months Late!

After we left Wichita Falls, we were excited to get to Amarillo, Texas, since Tony Christi seemed to want to get there so bad, we wanted to see the hype.

Nipper was behind the wheel, so I was checking out where to stay and what seemed to be good. I found a hotel that was priced right, non smoking, no pets (Nipper was going to stay in the car) so I called and reserved a room. After I hung up, Nipper said 'was that room in Albuquerque?' Yep, it was. I had to call and cancel, although I promised if we stayed in Albuquerque, we'd use his hotel .

Our first destination was to The Big Texan where we were thinking of trying to split the 72 oz steak challenge. That's right, if you eat a 72 oz steak, baked potato, salad and dinner roll in under 1 hour its free. They even stream people making the attempt.
The Big Texan also has a Motel attached to it, so we reserved a room there but then thought it might be better to stay downtown Amarillo. So we cancelled the room there and headed for downtown. Amarillo does not have a downtown. There is nothing there. Some hotels, a convention center, a bank or two. That is about it. Back to The Big Texan it was, where I made Nipper reserve the room since they hadn't heard her voice. Dinner was gigantic, and delicious!

The next morning we left Amarillo and changed our plans, thanks to Rip's advice to go up North a bit to see Shiprock and the 4 Corners, then the Grand Canyon. So we headed for Santa Fe. We got into SF early enough to check in and walk the streets in the day time. I got a little over excited to see Trader Joe's AND Whole Foods all within a few blocks. The downtown was cute - we went to a few bars and had a good dinner at Cowgirl Cafe, then sprinted home practically before our ears snapped off.

Up early-ish in the morning, we stopped at WF for breakfast and these green things called vegetables, got ourselves some Starbucks mugs, and headed for the 4 Corners.

Insert 2 month's time and a blog that sat in the edit cue...

Ok - well for some reason once I got to San Diego, the hustle and bustle of settling in, starting school and getting bombarded with work made me forget to upload the 2nd half of our trip. EC is going to kill me!

In any case, we went to the 4 corners, the grand canyon and then made a long day's drive into San Diego where we were met by my new roommate BB. It was a fun trip, there were a few times Nip didn't think she was going to live through it, but we won't get into that. I miss here - and every time I go into a Wal-Mart, I look for a package of crayons, pencils and markers all in the same kit for poor Aidan, who didn't actually get what he wanted. I'm sure he's crushed with all of the other fun things Mommy brought home.

I'll try to upload some pics when I get a chance....!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Headed West!

Its the 4th morning of our trip, we've landed in Amarillo, TX already, logging 1700 miles.
We left Baltimore with a car almost filled to the top, hardly able to see out of the back window. By now, things seemed to have settled down and I probably could have fit another few boxes in my car.The first day we hauled @$$ down to Nashville, stopped twice. Once to introduce Nipper to Sheetz, and she took the wheel! (Even after I was told of the story that Mushy had to drive in Spain after he'd shoulder surgery) But hey, we're still here and she's driven every day since... even if she still walks to the wrong side of the car.

We got to Nashville at about 8:30 and ran straight out to see what Music City had to offer. Had dinner at Margaritaville, then went to The Stage on Broadway where we saw the Chris River Band. Then we headed down to Tootsies where we were upfront for the fall of Mr. Tyler Farr. Literally, he sang with the band you see behind Nipper in the pic, was so drunk that he got off of the stage, went to his seat, and fell. Multiple times!

The next day we got to Graceland in Memphis to scope out where Elvis lived. To start, we must say Memphis is an interesting city. It felt like I was driving through the rough parts of Baltimore, then all of the sudden, we were at the home of Elvis. I wonder if people knew we were out of towners, two white chicks with a car packed to the top, bike on the back... not looking to the sides. In any case, this was a treat to Nipper, who just got married in Vegas! Why didn't she wear her dress?! The house was amazing - going back in time! The walls were carpeted or had drapes on them. Shag carpet, jungle like furniture, gigantic kitchen and several different buildings.
After this, we made it to Little Rock for dinner. It seemed like it was a cute town, a nice downtown street, ice skating on the Arkansas River. After dinner we made it to Texarkana, AR where Smoky and the Bandit was filmed (we found this out as we were eating breakfast - thank you MH!).

After breakfast, we headed to Witchita Falls, but not without a stop in Paris Texas to see the Eiffel Tower.
When we finally made it to Witchita Falls to visit Juli and WFAC. Juli treated us to an awesome Texas BBQ at the Branding Iron, and even got Nipper to pose with some real cowboys. (check her FB for a photo) Then we went to one of the weirdest places I've ever been. A drive up bar. Yes, we drove up, a chick came out took our order and served us Red Draws in the car (beer and tomato juice). Where else other than North Texas?!

I will say, I finally heard my first negative thing about San Diego. Thanks Rip! Best stop thus far, next time we'll spend more time with this gang - thanks again Juli!

More to come on our time in Amarillo, TX - aka Armadillo.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

San Diego or Bust

Its official! I am now a student again... uh oh! So now the name of this blog is totally shot, but I'm still going to keep it. I will at some point regain my professional status, and will always be a fan of rugby, or involved with it in some way, and I'm pretty sure I'll always be a woman!

The road trip commences January 2nd with my E'N'B who is flying all the way from Limerick, Ireland to make the journey with me.

Starting January 11th, I will be a Sports MBA student at San Diego State University. This program is incredibly unique, and I've been eyeing it up for some time now. It is one of the only Sports MBA programs in the country, where you do not have to dual major in MS of SM and an MBA. Its also a new program, first graduating class was in 2006 - so very close alumni relationships! I got to meet one of the alumni who is doing great things at Under Armor - she was pretty awesome!

Now - the fun part! I basically have 7 weeks to plan my cross country move, financial status quit my job and say good bye to some really great people I've met in Baltimore, and my old friends in Philly. (Not to mention the car I just bought.... needed to have its transmission and clutch replaced. Yes Mazda, I'm not a fan of yours.)

This is probably the most daunting and intimidating thing I've done, just looking at finances alone is enough to make someone up-chuck. But its also something that I am beyond excited for. No really... can not wait for! I'm convinced that I'm being tested as to my desire for this program by my car issues, and a few other hiccups.... psshhhtttt - bring it on! (no, I'm joking, that was enough thanks!) JB and I sketched out a possible road trip map on our flights to Phoenix a few weeks ago:

The tough part is obviously saying good bye to (most) of the life as I've known it for the past few years. I love Baltimore, I've made some great friends and genuinely feel as though I'm lucky to have been surrounded by these people. There are some that have made a huge difference in my life, and I don't think I could be more grateful. I've gotten to work at some of the best gyms in the Baltimore area, with some of the best coaches I've met yet. With all of the good bye parties and holiday parties I'll be attending - I'm sure we're going to take out 2010 with a bang. This is quite a 'New Year' for me, one with gigantic change! Seriously, gigantic!

SBCF had a party for me (b/c they're awesome) on Saturday which was a 'Centurion' consisting of a lot of beer and a lot of pull ups. Here are the ppl that survived all 100 minutes:
I'm looking forward to the next few weeks! Its a bitter sweet end to 2010!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Paleo Post-Workout Bars

Again, I'm using what I posted on SBCF's blog for here. These are delicious!

I made some protein post–workout ‘paleo bars’ Monday night that are pretty awesome. I mimicked Larabars and added protein.


  • dates*
  • pumpkin
  • pineapple
  • almond milk**

Mixed in:

  • coconut
  • pumpkin seeds
  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • cashews
  • protein powder (chocolate whey)

Amounts are relative – I didn’t measure anything – all of it is to taste. You want to make them really thick so they stay together. Spread onto a nonstick baking sheet (or glass baking dish lined with wax paper) and bake in the oven on 350 for 15-20 minutes. Store in the fridge (not mandatory).

*can sub dates with figs- might be easier to puree. Chop the dates before you try to blend them (lesson learned the hard way).
** can also use coconut milk for almond milk.
*** Larabars use coconut oil.

**** Other possible ingredients: carrots (think carrot cake), ginger, cherries, apricots, almond meal, almond butter, cacao nibs, baked apples, peaches, any sort of nut, lemon, and cinnamon….

These are called “post workout” bars because they contain a somewhat higher amount of carbs than we would normally want to snack on. Restricting higher GI carbs to post workout (30 min) allows us to take advantage of the time where we can absorb carbs without a large insulin release.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

StrongWOman Competitions

I wrote this past for South Baltimore CrossFit a few weeks back, and just thought I'd copy it to my own blog. No need to rewrite the wheel, right? I did make a few edits, and expanded on my teams' events. This all points in the end to doing something that is beyond yourself, both in life and in sport.

The weekend of August 7-8 was the weekend of the Strongwoman. You won’t find very many women competing in, let alone doing ‘Strongman’ style events around the world, so the fact that there were two in one weekend was quite rare, and the fact that MW and I did both was just plain silly.

There is something to be said for women who are willing to step up and do things that are not ‘normal’ and to spare any sort of woman’s lib mumbo jumbo, I’m just saying kudos to those of us who are (patting my own back, and any of the other women at SBCF, Keystone and the Belles). BUT the greatest thing about the competitions over the weekend, was that there were some phenomenal competitors out, including a 58-year-old type-1 diabetic, a mother whose been training for 1 month, a few CrossFitters from around the area, some other rugby players, football players, weightlifters, even some veteran Strongwoman
competitors and a pro highland games athlete. Ladies – picture yourselves at 58 years old lifting an atlas stone over a bar, deadlifting an axle, or taking #250 into your forearms and doing the Conan’s wheel…. amazing!

As for the competitions, Saturday my rugby team (Keystone) competed against the Philadelphia Women’s Tackle Football team (Lady Liberty Belles) in what came to be known as The HERculean 2010. At first, I was bombarded with nervous questions about what each event would be, if each person would be able to do it, what the weights were, etc etc etc. These events were different from what anyone had done previously (with a few exceptions), so there was a lot of anticipation. Keystone defeated the Belles in a very close competition which consisted of the following: Tire Flip Relay, #95 log clean to overhead for reps in 90s, #135 atlas stone over bar for reps in 90s and then a 25M medley of a #200 yoke walk, chain drag, prowler push and anvil carry. MW gets a special shout out for her amazing feat of strength vs the 240lb atlas stone.

On Sunday, Judith and I competed in the Bad Ass Bitch Invitational at Iron Sport Gym, just South of Philly. I woke up pretty sore from Saturday, and was not really looking forward to the day’s events, knowing Sunday was going to be harder. I got there at about 9:30 to see JS making friends and pacing around the parking lot, not knowing if she should register, or if she really wanted to do this. I grabbed her by the pony tail and dragged her inside (not literally) and we both registered for the novice division. We waited for about 40 minutes for things to begin, JS made sure our coach for the day, JF and I knew that she was scared. For what reason? Because it was new to her…. but hey, she was still there! The first event was a press medley, ground to overhead however you can of the following: #110 barbell, #105 axle (2″), #45 dumbell, #105 log. This one hurt my already bruised up wrists from Saturday. Thank you JF for the wrist wraps.

The second event was a jeep pull, where we pulled a jeep that was in neutral a set distance by a rope that was tied to it. This was the most fun event, I thought. Who gets to go into work on Monday and tell people ‘I pulled a jeep this weekend, what’d you do?’

The third event of the day was the Conan’s wheel which is an odd-looking thing that pivots from the center, has an arm that sticks out, with weight that hangs from the middle. You have to Zercher grip the bar, which means you cross your arms in front of you and put the bar as far up on your biceps and forearms as you can. I had an awful grip when I picked this up, but once you’re up there is nothing you can do about it. I was pretty miserable for the entire walk.
They tell you this is about finding a happy place and believing your there… and *$&% was that true. Judith – give your opinion of this miserable torture device. BH – they made me do this as your revenge and I am sorry for all of the pain I’ve put you through pre-front-squat.

The fourth event was an axle dead lift, which is a 2″ round bar with no knurling – meaning the bar is very smooth with no markings to let you know you’re even. I wish I had a picture of JS KILLING a #300 AXLE deadlift, blowing her #275 BARBELL deadlift PR out of the water! Of the entire day, this was the most amazing thing I’d seen.

The final event was loading the atlas stone over a 46″ bar for reps in 120s. By this time, I was tired. My body was done, I was ready for this to be over, to go have a beer, and call it a day…. then I was told that since I was consistent in placing in the top 4 throughout the day, that I was in a 3-way tie for first. SOB! I was the last to go, one of the girls I was tied with got 8 reps, the other (with a hurt foot) got 5. With a strategy in my head, I went out and kept a consistent pace getting the #135 stone over the bar easier than I’d done the day prior (and the bar higher). I got to the 5th rep and missed it, throwing off my pace, got the 5th, and then the 6th… and had 5 seconds to get the 7th. I didn’t quite get it, so I’ll settle for 2nd.

I asked JS her opinion on the competition, she was surprised at how much structure there was in the competition, and how so many women were determined, and strong. You see the people you workout with in your gym and compare yourself to them, but going to something like this and seeing other extremely strong people, its humbling and inspiring. There was so much support among competitors – nobody there was out for themselves and I lost my voice screaming for other people. Everybody wants someone to PR, or to do something beyond themselves, which I believe is something Strongman competitions bring out in everyone at any level.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why Women Should Lift Heavy Things

I've been wanting to do a post on why women should lift heavy things for a while. For ideas and research, I googled quite a few different phrases to see what would come up. One of the first searches I did, I noticed there was a blog titled 'Why Women Shouldn't Lift Weights' which I obviously clicked right on to see if this was a joke... but in the first few paragraphs it seemed to be serious. It talked about how in the past, women had to keep their feminine figures to appease their men, and how if women lifted, they'd look more masculine, or that when they did any sort of physical exertion, they'd pass out (not realizing having their body squeezed together by a corset might have some role in that), etc... so I kept reading for a while until I realized where this guy was going. Dale Andrew, who wrote this blog, closes with this:

"Some women let fear stop them from taking action. Other women push through the b.s. and drag others along with them. You are free to think that women shouldn’t lift weights. You are free to choose ignorance over education. You are free to choose your own conception of what it means to be a beautiful woman. But if you don’t, history shows that men will decide it for you."

This statement needs to be tattooed on Tracy Anderson's forehead. She is the personal trainer of Gwyneth Paltrow and some other celebrities. She has an eerily plastic looking face, and is described by Ms. Paltrow as 'the exercise genius of all time.' Paltrow also claims that she 'works. freakin. hard' as she is holding on to two band type thingys moving them up and down (video link here). To work on their arms, Ms. Anderson explains to 'take 3 pound weights, ONLY 3 pound weights, a woman should never lift more then 3 pounds.' It seems to me that the plastic in Anderson's face has seeped into her blood stream and made her crazy. Maybe just dumb. Dumb crazy - a deadly combination.
Wait wait wait wait.... get this quote: 'When you're 35, you either starve yourself, or you eat and you do serious cardio (as she dances around a room), but there is no free ride.' Holy crap, I can't stop quoting this video. Anderson 'Its much easier to change your body and change your muscular structure if you train, and get used to training in heat.'

I went to Tracy's website to find out her qualifications. Apparently she has done extensive research, and has 'designed the Hybrid Body Reformer, an apparatus that uses a fusion of aerobic and dance movements, to re-engineer the muscular structure.' Does that mean she's a plastic surgeon? No. She has no schooling or training that I can find.

OK - I'm done with that rant. For now.

On to the other research and words of wisdom I've accumulated since I've started to think about this blog post. There are so many directions you can take relating to why women should lift weights; confidence, bone density, all body image results, general sporting fitness, staying healthy, delaying or avoiding becoming decrepit, confidence and any other reason a lady may chose to or chose not to lift something heavy.
Clarification of my definition of heavy (in the lifting sense), it is something relative to each individual, but will be challenging to move it in the direction intended.

You do not get big in the gym, you get big at the dinner table. Women do not have enough testosterone to feed muscles for them to 'look like a man' or through some sort of Herculean effort. One pound of muscle burns 10-20 calories a day, while one pound of fat burns about 5 calories a day. Having more muscle tissue also increases your overall metabolism, which will then burn more calories at rest, you know, when you're not on the elliptical.

On that note... I've let this post sit in my draft box for some time now. I figure today - the day before I go to a Strongman Clinic to learn how to lift cool heavy things and throw kegs, flip tires and other fun things - would be the perfect day to set this post live.

Please feel free to post other resources as to why women should lift heavy things!