New Year's Resolutions

1. Get a job. Preferences: Work with a hockey team; Stay in New England, but the Midwest would be fine too. There are not a lot of job openings right now that are hiring for after May 2011, so this won't be more of an issue until that time gets closer.

2. Get back down to race weight (115 - 120 lbs) and tone up. I particularly want to change my two pack + 1 pint that is my belly.

3. Get better at triathlons. This means overcoming my fear of cold water. Just because its cold doesn't mean I'm drowning. I'm also not the only one in the cold water, so I should just suck it up already. My season one goals were to finish every race. My season two goals are to have a better times than last year. Another goal of mine is to finish top three in my age group for at least one triathlon. I also aim to PR in my marathon in February. My previous time is 4:59:11, so it shouldn't be too hard as long as I stay healthy and uninjured. I have come a long way from two years ago.  If I want to qualify for Boston, I should really run marathons more frequently than once every two years.

4. Put more effort into my hobbies, particularly knitting and acting. I let the stress of work and school get the best of me and I feel like it is increasingly more important for me to have "me" time. I have done a bunch more knitting this winter since school ended, but that will likely be left at the wayside once school starts up again. I would like to work on something for at least 30 minutes per week. I also want to put more work into my acting hobby. I do not necessarily mean taking more classes, although that would be nice. I want to get a headshot and resume together and submit them to various casting companies in town. The headshot is the hardest part as they are not particularly cheap. My goal is to audition at least once. That may be a lofty *cough* goal, but I got to start somewhere.

Plans for the new year:
January - Vegas, baby!
February - Survive the crazy hockey schedule. We typically have 2 games per week at a maximum. The first three weeks of February have us playing 10 games. We had a similar schedule last year, and everyone was drained/injured by the end. Hopefully, we all make it out alive and well this year. Plus, I have my scholarly paper due early March, so February would also pit me trying to survive school. Oh, and I'm running a marathon. I need a nap just thinking about it.
March - Hopefully, win a national championship! We deserve it after our February schedule. Happy birthday to me!
April - Go to Minneapolis for the men's hockey Frozen Four
May - Graduate. Yes, you may begin calling me "Master" now. Also, my personal deadline for having a job. Whether or not I start in May, I don't care. I just want to know that I have a job by May. Also, triathlon season starts!
June - NATA conference in New Orleans, Mooseman Half
July - Half way done dance
August - Start new job?
September - Two year anniversary (love you, Benny!), First ever Full Ironman!!! @Cedar Point Rev3
October - off season/marathon(?)
November - Thanksgiving...hopefully, with one of our families. Its been too long since I've spent Thanksgiving with family.
December - Christmas (already?)...again, hopefully, with family.

Anyone else have any big plans for 2011?

2010 in Review

January - You know, the usual. School and work.
February - As you'll find out in my 2011 post, February is usually a crazy month for me at work. Thanks to the Beanpot, we have lots of games all at once in February leading to lots of burn out and injuries...and I'm not just talking about the athletes. Thank goodness it was the end of the season.
March - The Boston University women's hockey team wins their first ever Hockey East title. I still gets the chills when I think about the great overtime victory. I'll have to recap for you sometime my feelings during the game. As a result of the win, the girls also got their first ever NCAA tournament bid. They lost the first round, but it was still a great ride.

April - Went to the Frozen Four in Detroit with Ben, my dad and my brother. It was the perfect location in that it also allowed us to spend some time with Ben's family. We also got to see Wisconsin (Go Badgers!) make it to the final round, only to lose to Boston College (really?). All of the games were blowouts, which kinda stunk. But we did get to see Chris Chelios in person.

Yes, that's my dad high fiving him
 May - End of my first year of graduate school. It all went by so fast. I couldn't believe I was already half way done. I also participated in my first ever triathlon. I finished after almost quitting during the swim. I was having some serious issues with the cold and even asked to be taken to the ambulance boat, but just as I had said that, the boat sank forcing me to finish the swim anyways. At that point, I figured I might as well just finish the race.
June - Went to my brother's high school graduation. Following that, I helped my parents move from Wisconsin to Florida. I took turns driving the moving truck with my dad. We drove straight through and it took us 23 hours! Not to mention, I had never driven a truck before. I treated myself to a week in Florida which consisted of sitting by the pool, swimming in the pool and visiting my friend and former roommate, Brittany, in St. Augustine. I also finished my second sprint triathlon, which went much better than the first triathlon.
July - We celebrated the 4th of July in Boston which was crazy amazing. I also finished my first ever Olympic triathlon. It took much longer than expected due to flatting on the bike course. At that point, I had not yet learned how to change a flat, so I had to wait 40 minutes for the bike mechanic to arrive and change my flat. Ben and I also FINALLY went on our honeymoon to London and Paris. I highly recommend either place to anyone looking for a European vacation, but if I had to pick just one, it would definitely be Paris.
August - Ben and I both finished our first half Ironman at Timberman. I also started my second year of work/school.
September - Ben and I spent September recovering from Timberman and getting back into the swing of work and school. We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary...big success ;)
October - I got to travel to North Dakota with the hockey team. I definitely would never have paid to go there myself, but it was a great free experience. The weekend series marked the beginning of the hockey season.
November - I submitted a case study to NATA which is the first time I submitted anything professionally. I have yet to hear back if I will present at the annual conference, but either way, I view it as a success. Also, Ben and I celebrate Thanksgiving in Boston.
December - I finished my 3rd of 4 semesters of graduate school. I'm almost there! The hockey team is ranked #3 in the nation, which is the highest they have been ranked in team history. Ben and I celebrate Christmas in Boston, which is the first time either one of us celebrated away from family. We made this decision due to the limited time I had off from the hockey team. However, we skyped both of our families so it felt like we were there. We are planning on finishing the year by going to the Nutcracker (first time for me) on Dec. 30 and going out to eat at Legal Sea Food on Dec. 31.

This year really flew by and I'm looking forward to next year. I just hope it doesn't fly by as fast so I can really enjoy every minute of it.

The Goods

Every Christmas, I feel more and more blessed. This year, I received a lot of great gifts from my family and friends. More than anything, I am grateful for the love and generosity of my family, but the material gifts are a great added benefit. Here are a few of the things I got.

Finished product

Got a Hollister gift card from my mom and cashed in big time all of this for $25

Some Abercrombie and plaid

I love monkeys

Ben and I started collecting free rubber it has grown  to buying and receiving them

This is the exact car I want...Union Jack and all

Guess I'll be busy baking cookies in the off season

Display case for my shot glasses

Ben and I love visiting lighthouses, so his parents got us these beautiful mugs

<3 Hockey

Who needs Dunkies when you have Timmy Ho's

Sock monkey ornament

Helmet signed by all my girls

3 Days Until Christmas

This year, my husband and I will be spending Christmas here in Boston. It is our first Christmas away from home and away from our families. That isn't deterring us from sharing the holiday with our families. We have plans to Skype our families to watch each other open presents. For as much as I hate technology when it fails, we really can't live without it at other times.

On an unrelated note, has anyone seen the new Dolce and Gabana cologne commercial? You know, the one with Matthew McConaughey? I find it ironic that after all these stories about him not bathing or using deodorant that a cologne would want him in their commercial. Maybe its their way of saying, "Its so good, even Matthew McConaughey smells good wearing it."

4 Days Till Christmas

Yesterday was my first day off AND home alone. So of course I spent the morning running to the bathroom. What's the point of having a day off if you can't be sick as well? Kill two birds with one stone.

Around 3 o'clock, the buzzer for our apartment went off. I went down to find the mailman just standing in the front hallway. I open the door and he says, "Are you a part of the Berry clan?" I chuckle and say, "Yes". He pointed to a pile of boxes on the floor by our mailbox, "Those are all yours. I didn't know what you wanted me to do with them." "Thanks! Merry Christmas!" I respond.

I grab the boxes and bring them up to our apartment and start to open them and put the gifts under the tree. As I got to the second box, I notice it says "To: The Berry Clan". Here this whole time, I thought the postal worker was being silly, but he was literally reading off of the top of the box. He probably thinks we have a literal clan living here. Maybe that's why we go through so many mail men.

Anyways, picture time...

Our work in progress...we have since added the topper and more gifts

My elfin legs

The view from our apartment yesterday

Weather Update

After much anticipation, it is finally snowing. And it is at a faster pace than 1 inch per year. It was supposed to snow last night for the Patriots vs. Packers game, and I thought it would. A little known secret is that they ship in fake snow to make Gillette Stadium seem more intimidating, but even the fake snow couldn't fall last night.

By the way, I am not a Packers fan or a Patriots fan, but I thought it would be cool to see a newbie QB succeed (even if he did play for LSU).  I felt so bad for the Packers. They were so close to pulling off an amazing win and they just couldn't make it happen. Matt Flynn just permeated frustration, especially after his almost interception. Poor kid. I hope he gets another chance.

Slutcracker Review

The curtains rise to reveal a girl using a Shake Weight. 

Bravo! The play could have ended there and I would have been laughing for hours anyways.

But they didn't. There was an old nagging grandmother. There was a giant dancing dildo powered by Energizer [Playboy] bunnies. And there were pasties....LOTS of pasties. Not to be confused with pastries.

It was very artfully done and was not nearly as tacky as it could have been. They had ballet dancers who have been dancing for more years than I have been alive. The acting was great and the plot itself was hilarious while still resembling closely to the Nutcracker. The first scene was primarily acting out the storyline. The second scene was all glitter, stripper poles, dominatrixes (or is it dominatrices?), and pasties. Did I mention there were pasties in this play?

In conclusion, I suggest that you see this play next year (as I'm pretty sure its mostly sold out for the rest of this year's shows). I also suggest you take your least favorite friends' kids.

Nutcracker Slutcracker

Yes, I am going to both. My lovely and talented husband surprised me last night saying that we are going to see the Nutcracker this year. In all of my 23 years of existence, I have not yet seen the Nutcracker. I have been nagging Ben the past couple of years to take me. I finally got him to cave.

Also, some girls from work and I will be going to the Slutcracker on Sunday night. Yes, that is a real play. It is a burlesque version of the Nutcracker. I first heard about it a couple of months ago from a girl in my acting class who is in the play.

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Simply put, the title says it all. The skies have gotten a little flakey over the past few weeks, but always while I'm at work, so I have never actually seen it. All I really want is a substantial amount of white stuff on the ground, even if its just a dusting. This is Boston after all. If they can through down some serious fake stuff at the Patriots game, they can do it here.

Happy St. Nicholas Day

Growing up, my family celebrated St. Nicholas Day on the morning of Dec. 6. The night before, St. Nick would come and put goodies in our stocking which consisted of the usually candy and various stocking stuffers. A part of that tradition included an orange at the toe of the stocking. I have continued the tradition with Ben. However, we had an orange shortage, so I placed an apple in Ben's stocking and he placed a sweet potato in mine.

My Top Christmas Movies

Note: I am a terrible person and have not seen the classics in their entirety, so I don't feel its right to include them here. This list is merely a "Top 10" of what I have seen.

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
2. Love Actually
3. Muppet's Christmas Carol
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Cartoon Edition)
5. Elf
6. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Wikipedia says its a Christmas movie, so it must be so)
7. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Claymation version)
8. Fred Claus
9. A Christmas Story
10. Home Alone

Now Why Are They All Blinking?

Ben and I are divided on whether or not Christmas lights should blink. I think blink. Ben wants non-blinking. Christmas is the only time of the year when you can decorate your house with multi-colored lights. Why not add a little more fun and have blinking lights? If you want a stagnantly lit light, turn on a lamp. Besides, when was the last time you saw a house on YouTube for having non-blinking lights? NEVER! Its all about the Vegas style Christmas.


Happy Hanukkah II

First of all, Happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish friends.


But who didn't know that already. If you haven't heard any of the Christmas music or seen the sale ads during the past month, I would suggest you get out of bed now.

In honor of the impending doom holiday, I am starting the blog Advent calendar. A blip a day until Christmas about Christmas (or another holiday that occurs in December). I know I said that I was going to start other themes on my blog and all have failed epic-ly. But over the next 22 days, I will post a quick note relating to the holidays.

Today's Advent Calendar: It is my belief that the most exciting part about the holidays is the anticipation and not the day itself. People get so caught up in the gift buying, the decorating, the party going and the preparations.  I get more joy from the preparations than the experience of the day(s). Or maybe I just can't wait for school to be over.

Brain Freeze

I take one sip of the cold, juicy goodness. Yum. Second sip, its getting kinda chilly in there. Third sip, I can feel the numbing pain start and it shoots into my forehead.

I wince. I gently massage my forehead, hoping that I can somehow manage to rewarm my ailing brain.

But it is no good.

I start kneading more vigorously.

Still no relief.

Finally, I start pounding on my head and shaking it to get the pain out of there.

When after much turmoil, the pain recedes and I rest my head in my hands.  I look around to notice that everyone is looking at me in shock, like they had just seen a grand mal seizure. I casually grab my drink, flip my hair back into place and walk away.

*All events are purely fictional. I just felt in the mood for some creative writing.*

Queen Rachelle

In honor of the recent royal engagement, I am proposing again my idea for an American monarchy. Most importantly, I am campaigning to be the first queen.

The news is all abuzz about Kate Middleton's engagement ring. They talk about how it used to be Diana's and how big it is. They are also saying how since the engagement, sapphire sales have increased. Let's be realistic folks. I had a sapphire and diamond engagement ring long before Kate. The royals didn't start the trend. I did.

Plus, as my mother-in-law pointed out, I also got married to my prince in a castle. I'm practically a queen already.

I am currently accepting applications for loyal subjects and k-nigits!


Philosophical thought for the day:

Why do they call it MENopause when it happens to WOMEN?

Why do they call it HYSterectomy whent it happens to HER?

I think it is because they were supposed to happen to men, but they shrugged them off on us women, like they do with everything else.

Where would the world be without women?

Famous Friday

I originally thought about starting a new blog for this topic, but then I realized that two blogs is already too hard to maintain. I don't want to keep up a third. Instead, I am starting "Famous Fridays". On Fridays, I am going to discuss how to become famous and what to do once you become famous. It is also going to partially be satire of those who are already famous.

I got this idea from myself. I always threw around the idea of becoming famous myself. Ideally, I want to become famous the Kardashian way, sit on my [literal] fat ass all day and get paid. I figured that writing a blog about my trip to the top is slightly less lazy. My husband has a quote of me on his Facebook that I said once upon a sober time, "Not many people know you yet, but stick with me and I'll make you famous."

I know its a little extreme, only about 1 in a million billion people actually become famous, and even fewer than that are famous for legitimate reasons. What would be funnier than some random person who became famous for no other reason than he or she wanted to be famous so they wrote a blog about it? Hear me out, you stick with me and I'll make you famous, and I'll stick with you and you'll make me famous. Makes sense, right?

My goal for being famous is to be the only sane and real life person in Famous-town. I want to be the person that all the little people can relate to and look up to. I want to use it as an opportunity to make changes in the world that I can't do as just an everyday person.

And even if it doesn't work out, I still have athletic training (which I also love).

Next week, I will discuss Myspace and how it can (or cannot) be used to skyrocket one's career to stardom.

Happy Meals :)

In California, they are close to passing a law that will ban fast food restaurants from putting toys in certain kids meals. The new law will say that toys can be put in kids meals only if it is less than 600 calories, has reduced fat and sodium, and has at least one fruit and vegetable. The toy will then act as a reward to the kids for eating healthy.

And the most confusing part is that there are people who are against this. My first thought was, "Under 600 calories? It should be lower than that. Do kids meals really have more than that?"

I can understand why the restaurant chains themselves would be against the law. They will be forced to make significant changes to their menu. Plus, they probably fear that they will lose customers. I'm not sure they would lose any more customers than they already are to obesity related health issues.

Another complaint that I heard on TV was that a toy is not motivation enough to get children to change what they eat. I don't know about other kids, but when I was a kid, I wanted to go to McDonald's for the sole purpose of getting a toy. I would easily be swayed to eat vegetables if it meant getting a toy. Ultimately, though, the parents are the ones making the purchase. Although, that could be a good argument against the ban as well. Parents are less likely to be motivated by a toy. They could easily say, "You will eat your saturated fat and like it...toy or not", but I don't know many parents who want to have unhealthy kids. What am I saying? Parents have been buying kids burgers and fries for years, so a lack of toy isn't going to stop them. As one person on TV said, there is nothing stopping the parents from going to a toy store to buy a replacement toy.

Besides, McDonald's doesn't make people fat. I don't know why people say this. It is a completely ridiculous comment. Until I see a study that proves that a plate full of saturated fat and cholesterol prevents weight gain or actually causes weight loss, I will always disbelieve this statement. McDonald's may not be the only reason why 30% of Americans are obese, but it is the most prime example of foods that cause weight gain.

Beginning of Lasts

This morning, I registered for spring semester classes. I have been registering for classes for years, so it didn't even occur to me until hours later that this would be the last time I would register for classes...ever! I can finally see a glimmer of light that is at the end of the seemingly endless tunnel that is school. I am 23 years old. I have been in school for 19 years. Its one of the few things that you can honestly say you've been doing for almost as long as you've been alive.

I have already spent much of this year checking things off of my list, knowing that the number of midterms, papers and projects that I have left to do are dwindling. For the first time in a long time (who am I kidding, for the first time ever) I have been working ahead on my school work. It makes me feel like I can make the end come faster by doing so.

Now, the real question is what I am going to do with my life once school is over. I still have to find a grown up job. At least I still have some time.

Gah! Girls...

So you may remember when I was complaining about people sitting down right next to me when there are a lot of open seats in the room that aren't within my personal space. Well, it happened again today, only that wasn't the most annoying part.

It quickly became apparent that the girl who sat down next to me either suffered from ADD or had a terrible case of egomania. She came in about fifteen minutes after class had ended and plumped down right next to me. Fortunately, she did not wreak of cigarette smoke, but rather cocoa butter (which is only slightly better). She placed her purse on the floor at her feet with the handle around her knees. She pulled out her notebook and pen and set them on the desk. Initially, she just sat there. She did not even furiously write notes before the teacher erased the chalkboard. She just sat there.

I am apparently ungrateful. I bitch when someone sits next to me, but I'm never appreciative when that's all they do is sit. About five minutes following her arrival, she readjusted the position of her purse and then proceed to comb her hair with her fingers. Then she repositioned her purse again and then returned to combing her hair, but over the other shoulder this time. When she was thoroughly satisfied with her hair, she returned to her purse, but to riffle through it instead of adjusting it.

The whole time I'm thinking, "What the fuck is she doing?" Not to mention, she still hasn't touched her pen or notebook.

She begins to pull out various make-up and lotion items and places them on her desk. She determines that her make-up does not need touching up, so she returns them to the purse and places the purse back on the floor. She has a couple different lotions, the exact number of which I am not sure as I am trying to pay attention to class. I do see her out of the corner of my eye opening them one at a time. She smells each one, some of them twice. Once she makes her lotion selection, she places the others back in her purse. She picks up the chosen one and opens it again and smells it one last time, just to be sure. She puts some in her hand and puts the tube away and rubs in the lotion. I bet you can't guess what scent she picked. Yup, cocoa butter. I wouldn't be surprised if they were all cocoa butter.

Now that she has finally got herself situated, she actually scribbles something in her notebook. She spent the rest of class anxiously shifting her weight in her seat while scribbling in her notebook every once in a while. If school is such a waste of your time, save yourself the money and don't go. But if you must, DON'T SIT BY ME!!

My Dream Job

My dream job is one where I plan my life around a hockey schedule. Oh no wait...

For as much as I may complain from time to time about my job, its practically the best job ever, especially considering my relative newness to this profession. Ever since eighth grade, all I wanted to do was be an athletic trainer for a hockey team. Really. I set my goals that high. I can't tell you how many times I have had people say, "An athletic trainer? Really? You can do better than that. You should be a doctor or something." Well, now look who loves their job and who doesn't? Oh, hey!

Some days, I am still in disbelief of where I have been and where I have come to. I pinch myself a lot to make sure I'm still not dreaming. I still have seven months left in my position here at Boston University, but I know its going to be over before I know it. The first three months of my last year have already flown by. I just hope I can find another job that is even half as good. Hopefully, it still means planning my life around a hockey schedule.

One Way or Another

Now, for another episode of "What Really Grinds My Gears"...

My annoyance started when I was younger and growing up with my brother. Being the youngest, my brother so wanted to fit in with my sister and me. He would do anything to get us to think he is cool. That included always picking the right team to win in sporting events, which isn't a hard thing to do when you are cheering for both teams to win. In particular, before the Stanley Cup Playoffs would begin, my sister and I would pick which team we would want to win it all while my brother would sorta sit in the corner and mumble, "Well, I kinda win." When the final horn sounded, usually much to the dismay of my sister and me, my brother would always immediately jump up and declare, "See! I told you they would win!"

Me (or my sister): But you never actually picked a team to win.

Brother: Yes, I did. Besides, I have always been a big *insert winning team's name here* fan.

This scene would be repeated over and over again for various sports and across multiple seasons of sports. By now, my brother has at least ten favorite NHL teams. Not only is it not fair for those of us who do it the old fashioned way and pick only one favorite team, but it takes all the fun out of winning if you are cheering for everybody. It is kinda like the new mindset of youth athletics where everyone is a winner (bullshit, they never fooled me). Besides, when it comes to winning something, even if it is just bragging rights, its just down right cheating.

Which leads me to the real reason why I brought this all up today. My husband is admittedly a Michigan fan when it comes to college sports. As anyone who follows college football can tell, Michigan has had budget cuts over the past couple of years and has not been able to pay for as many wins as they used to. I imagine this is very frustrating for any fan, especially considering how frustrated I get when Ohio State loses once. As the seconds ticked off the clock to another heart wrenching Buckeye loss, my husband proudly declares, "Well, at least one of our teams still has a chance at winning the Big Ten and moving up in the BCS standings."

Me (clearly confused): What are you talking about? Michigan sucks! They lost again today. They have no chance and they aren't even going to be ranked.

Ben: No, no, no. Not Michigan. I was talking about Michigan State. They are undefeated.

Me: Since when was Michigan State your team?

Ben: Since forever. I have always cheered for both teams.

Me: You can't cheer for two teams in one conference. That's cheating. Its like if one team sucks, you can still cheer for the other team. That's not right.

Ben: Sure it is. I grew up a Michigan fan and I went to Michigan State (Rachelle's note: For a year, then he left...clearly, because they suck too), so I can cheer for both.

Me: No, you can't. I grew up a Wisconsin fan, but I don't cheer for them anymore. You have to pick one.

Ben: No, I don't. My whole family cheers for both.

Me: Your family likes Nascar. I wouldn't exactly emulate their stance on sports.

At least I can live with myself knowing that I have devoted myself to one team and one team only. Its what makes it so great to be a sports fan. You live through the highs and lows and the agony of defeat. Its what makes the thrill of victory that much more sweet. What taints the fun of being a fan are the people who jump ship when the team is doing poorly, or who come out of the wood work when the team is doing well. I hardly want to share my "thrill of victory" with wannabe Buckeye fans *cough*Michigan*cough, so why would anybody want to be that guy is beyond me.

And now, I leave you with one word and its definition. It is a word that sums up this entire post.

Bandwagoner: 1. In sports, someone who shamelessly cheers for a particular team not because he likes them or follows them faithfully, but only because that particular team is the "popular" choice or has been or is the top team in their specific sport recently. When that team which bandwagoners follow falls from grace, they gleefully jump on the next teams bandwagon and cheer for that team.
2A fan of a particular sports team who had no previous interest in the team until they began winning. They often will claim that they have been "a fan forever." You must discredit them on every statement they make.

(Definition courtesy of Urban Dictionary)

None Shall Pass

Today was the home opener for the BU women's hockey team. Not only that, but there was also the banner raising ceremony preceding the game to commemorate the Hockey East Championship and the NCAA tournament appearance. A bunch of last year's seniors were there to share in the event. It was so great to see them again.

It was definitely one of the biggest crowds they have had in the year plus that I have been here. I'm sure the free food, scarves and the pep band helped. I really wish this many people came to all of the games. Women's hockey is a great sport, made even better by having a remarkable home team. If only everyone gave it the appreciation it deserves.

The team continued their winning ways with a big 7 - 2 victory over Wayne State. It was even made complete with a hat trick that eventually turned into four total goals for one of our girls. They also tallied their fourth shorthanded goal of the season, which is a lot for four games.

Following the game, the team received their Hockey East Champions necklaces which I assume is to take the place of championship rings. I received one as well. They are really nice.

As I was leaving after the game, there was a crowd of kids asking for autographs at the end of the hall (and its the only way out). I figured if I looked inconspicuous (which is hard to do while carrying a pizza box), I might escape unscathed. I was wrong. Not only was I spotted, but I was not allowed to pass until I autographed arms and posters. I can't complain too much. It is cool seeing kids so excited for this sport that they even want my autograph.

Blog Update

I'm not sure how often I will post on this blog over the next couple of weeks as school is getting crazy with midterms and papers and such and the hockey season is well under way. I will attempt to post at least once a week.

In the mean time, I will continue to update my triathlon blog more regularly as I discuss my off season training. I will use this blog for everything non-triathlon (ie. personal life, hockey, school, work, travels, etc.). Here is the link to my triathlon blog:

Here's a fun picture from our game @Union this past weekend. It scared the crap out of me when I first saw it.

Sentimental Saturday

I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Albany, NY waiting to leave for today's hockey game against Union. We didn't get to the hotel until late last night due to an accident on I-90 which left us at a stand still for an hour and a half.

That is my Twitter update for the Twitter I don't have because, let's be realistic, my life is just too damn action packed for 140 characters.

I need to finish getting ready in a few minutes, but I wanted to leave you with a quote I heard/read yesterday. My student who helps me out with the hockey team has a tote bag that has a quote by JFK on it. It says, "One person can make a difference, and every person should try."

Imagine if every person tried to make a difference, even just a little bit, how much different the world would be. My main goal when I first started athletic training was to help people. I should want to do more than just help them, I should strive to make a difference in their life. The difference between the two is just taking that extra step. Its more than just handing them an ice bag. Its handing them an ice bag and saying, "You played really well today" or "How is your day going?". Its going above and beyond what is expected.

How will you make a difference today?

North Dakota (Part 2)

On Sunday morning, we woke up to newspapers at our hotel room doors. On the front page of the sports page was plastered the headline, "Identical Twin Killing" in reference to the twin Olympians who play for North Dakota. Of course they meant that the twins had done the killing and not that the twins were killed like the headline could have been translated. This was only fuel to the fire for the team.

Later that afternoon, the girls showed why were are ranked higher in the nation by beating North Dakota 6 goals to 2 goals.

Given that we couldn't get a flight out on Sunday, we were stuck in North Dakota until Monday evening. The team went out for dinner Sunday night to Applebee's. As is tradition after the last game of the weekend, if it is a team meal, any food is fair game. I had the pulled BBQ beef sandwich (which turned out to be way to spicy for my liking) and the cookie sundae. I really have a hard time passing up what I really want to eat when the food is free. It was also my second to last day before I start my new diet experiment.

On Monday morning, the team had a short but fun practice. There were a bunch of scrimmages and after each scrimmage, the losing team would have to sing or dance or whatever the winning team wanted them to do. Competition in practice increases 10 fold when there is a "punishment" for losing. It makes what is normally boring for me into something fun to watch.

After practice, the coaches set us free in the local mall. For as small as it was (and considering it was Grand Forks) there was still a good store variety. Because it was Monday, though, in the middle of the afternoon, we were the only ones there.

Finally, that evening, it was time to go home. As is always the case with trips, I never want to go home, until I get on the plane. Once I am on the plane, then I just want to get off, even if that means at home. Off of the plane did not come soon enough. Our plane ended up being late to leave in Minneapolis (all the while, we are sitting on the plane). As a result, we are late to get to Boston, and to add insult to injury, it is raining in Boston and there is a line of planes waiting to land. We ended up circling Boston for 45 minutes. The pilot even teased us a couple of times by lowering the plane and then pulling up, over and over. One time, he even went so far as to lower the wheels, only to pull them back up five seconds later and fly back up. Definitely not what I was in the mood for at 11PM after a four day trip.

In the end, I made it out alive, but only 1.3% awake.

Now, for an explanation on my diet experiment. I figured that the off season would be the best time to lean up and start new and healthier eating habits. My plan is to try various popular diets and comment about them on the blog. I will attempt to do each diet for two weeks and then have a few days "off" in between to allow my body to adjust to a new diet. I started my first diet yesterday and have been successful so far. I am doing a vegetarian diet, not to be confuse with vegan diet. I would probably literally starve doing a vegan diet given my low tolerance for green foods. I also just don't feel like I could get all of the nutrients and calories I need from a vegan diet. Granted, it would only be two weeks, but baby steps first. So far, I have been successful in not eating any meat, but its weird having to make a conscious effort to not eat it. I am so used to being able to eat anything and everything in front of me. I have also noticed that I already eat a lot, if not way too many carbs, so when I eat bad, I don't think it is so much of a meat problem. I have a feeling that being a vegetarian for two weeks isn't going to be that hard.

I Come From the Land Down UNDer (Part 1)

After an eternal stay in North Dakota, and a seemingly endless flight back to Boston, I am finally home. I never thought that a four day trip would feel so long, but it did.

We flew out to Grand Forks on Friday morning with a layover in Minneapolis. I had my first "get me out of here now" moment of the weekend as we were landing. For those of you who don't know, North Dakota is flat. No, flatter than flat. So flat, it is the exact inverse of hilly. I'm pretty sure I could see all the way to the Rockies. In many ways, the landscape greatly resembled that of a quilt. In addition to the exceedingly painful flatness, the land also consists of giant squares of farmland. Each of the squares is the same size, but in different colors. It looks like the largest green, yellow and brown quilt one has ever seen. Another thing that came to mind is how terrible it must be to drive there. You have to drive straight for miles and miles and the only change in scenary is a different color crop. Although, at the same time, it would make for great cycling. There are no hills, no traffic and its near impossible to get lost.

Only car we saw in a while, so I had to take a picture of it

The second "get me out of here now" moment came at the Grand Forks airport. It consists of a single terminal with two gates. There is a single metal detector at security. And you literally step off the plane and the baggage claim is right there. The airport restaurant is a concession stand and there is one very quaint gift shop. The only company that flies out of the airport is Delta and should Grand Forks natives feel the need to get away, their only option by flight is Minneapolis (or at least, in order to get any where else, one must stop there first). On the plus side, there was plenty of fresh, albeit cool and crisp air.
Grand Forks Airport

From the airport, we went straight to the rink for practice. Grand Forks may be small, but they love their hockey as is evident by Ralph Englestad Arena. It is one of the biggest buildings in town and it is by far one of the nicest hockey arenas I have ever seen. In addition to the game ice, there is also a practice sheet of ice in the same building. Both of the hockey teams practice and play games there. For our game on Saturday, just over 2800 fans showed up for the game which is huge for a women's game.
Ralph Englestad Arena

Arena holds about 12,000 spectators

Jumbotron, on Walter Brown's wishlist for next year's renovations

Friday night, we had dinner at the hotel which consisted of salad, rolls, rice and teriyaki chicken. We were also given goodie bags from the hotel that contained more than a weekend's worth of snacks. Most of us were tired by that point and went straight to bed.

Saturday morning, we had breakfast at the hotel and just hung out until it was time to leave for the game. I had managed to get a run in before breakfast. My knee is progressing nicely. It is sore now because the only equipment the hotel had was treadmills, so I had to run every morning.

Saturday's game did not go quite according to plan as the team fell short, losing 5-4. What I didn't realize until Saturday morning was that the game was televised on the Fox College Sports Channel, so I made a few television appearances ;)

After the game, we went out for dinner at a local restaurant. I had a pretty decent flat iron steak, baked potato and a salad. I definitely can't complain when it comes to food when I travel with the team. I am never left feeling hungry all weekend and its usually pretty tasty food as well. I actually feel like I eat a lot, but I think part of that has to do with the fact that the games are usually in the middle of the afternoon, so we only have two meals per day, breakfast and dinner. I try to eat enough to hold me over until the next meal. It is not the healthiest eating habit, but I've somehow managed to keep from gaining weight through it all.

I am really busy again this week with another trip coming up this weekend. I will try to post Part 2 within the next two days.

Everything about today was crazy. I knew going in that it would be chaotic, but I didn't know how bad it would be.

It all started with the nutrition midterm I had this morning. I was warned ahead of time that the material is easy, but the questions can be tricky or phrased funny. Some of the questions were straight forward, but there were a bunch that could really trip you up if you weren't paying attention. Hopefully, I didn't do too badly.

Of course, I realized as I was walking out of the test that I had forgotten my watch. Its normally not the end of the world, except that I was going to work and watches are mandatory. I never thought that the few extra minutes that it took me to go home and get my watch would have prevented me from having to help out with what came next.

To preface, a bunch of my athletic training coworkers (also graduate students) were taking tests at the same time and place as I was. We had gotten done with our tests at a slightly staggered fashion. Adrian got done first and went straight to work. I got done next, but had to get my watch. Beth and Anita (a senior student) got done at the same time shortly after me.

Back to the story, I usually walk along our quiet side street as long as I can on the way to work. The sidewalk is far less crowded and I can walk a lot faster. About three blocks up, I have to turn off and walk on the sidewalks on Commonwealth Avenue which is the main street that runs through campus. It is always full of traffic. That in addition to all the pedestrians makes for just one really crazy mess.

As I was approaching Comm Ave (what it is most commonly called), I see a bunch of people standing on the sidewalk. It is normally busy, but never quite this busy. They were all standing next to a bus stop, but just the sheer number of people led me to believe they were not all waiting for the bus. Straight ahead from where I was walking is one of the freshman dorms that has a 3rd story hallway that over looks Comm Ave. The hallway was packed with people looking out to the street. Now, I knew something was weird. I heard sirens in the distance, but didn't really put two and two together until I got closer. I saw a car on the side of the street with a completely shattered windshield. Oh yes, people gawking at a car accident. I overheard someone say to a friend, "She was just crossing the street and she got creamed."

My first thought was, "Oh my goodness, is she ok? Is anyone helping?" I step out to the street to see Beth and Anita already there. Just when I was about to run up and ask if they needed help, the ambulance pulled up. I decided then that it would be best for me to just stay out of the way and not get involved.

I saw Beth and Anita shortly after and asked if the girl was ok and if they were ok. Apparently, the girl was hit pretty hard. I'm still unsure as to the circumstances of the accident, but according to Beth, the girl was not doing well. The EMT's even told her that they don't think she will make it. I gave Anita and Beth both a huge hug as I can't even imagine being in their position. I also can't help but think what would have happened had I not forgotten my watch and I had been there sooner.

Later at work, we were briefed on how Beth and Anita were doing and were asked to be extra supportive over the next few days.

That afternoon, I was covering practice. I have been with this team for over a year now and this is the first time anyone has come to video record practice. They were doing it for a story on the three girls who are on the Canadian national team. Its hard getting used to it, thats for sure.

In other news, I was really excited for tonight's spin class. It would have been the first one that I would actually be able to attend, but I received an email this evening that said it was canceled. I guess that means no workout for me tonight as the gym is a one mile walk away and I don't feel like walking up there if I'm not going to class. I'll just be sure to get a quick run in in the morning.

Tomorrow, we leave for North Dakota. The hockey season is finally here!

Game One Complete

On Saturday, the Terriers had a lone exhibition game to start their season. It doesn't count towards their record at all, but its a great way to get the team used to playing with each other again (or for the first time for the newbies). Although, six of the ten new players, including the two Canadian gold medalists, did not play in the game, so its hard to tell how good this team is going to be. They played the University of Windsor from Ontario, Canada. The Terriers started the game with all guns firing and scored only 12 seconds into the game, but just as quickly, Windsor responded with a goal of their own. The rest of the first period was played without any scoring. Finally, in the second period, the girls started to get their groove back and started pulling away without looking back. They won the game 4 to 1.

Regular season play starts on Saturday with a weekend series at North Dakota. I am so excited for the trip. I have never been to North Dakota and I have heard that their new ice rink is nothing short of amazing. I will be sure to take plenty of pictures. The whole team is looking forward to this weekend. North Dakota proves to be a huge challenge to start the season. I have high hopes that they will do well this weekend, but at the very least, it will give every one a good idea on where we stand among the better teams in the country. Then its all downhill (I hope) from there.

I'm Shipping Up to Boston

*Duh, Duh* *Duh, Duh*

Nothing screams game time like those notes. The Dropkick Murphy's song is commonly heard at many Boston sporting events, but it is and always will be our song in my eyes. Its the song that the team skates onto the ice to. Its the song that signals the beginning of another period of hockey, another period of kicking butt, another period of Terrier hockey.

When the season ended six months ago, it was time for some much needed time off for everyone. It was time to regroup from a harsh season ending loss. It was time to recover from the long bus rides and bumpy charter flights. It was my time to spend more time with Benny and to spend some time away from the rink. It was much welcome time away, but now I am ready, no, thrilled, not quite, ECSTATIC for this season to start. This past week has been like the week leading up to Christmas filled with anticipation, last minute preparation and sleepless nights.

There is so much to look forward to this year. There is the big trip to North Dakota to open the regular season. There are the games against Boston College. There is the Beanpot. There is defending our Hockey East title. There is (hopefully) doing well in the NCAA tournament. Well, at least I'm hoping for better than last year (8th of 8 teams, but just making it there was an accomplishment in and of itself). There are the ten new student athletes, two of whom won gold medals with Team Canada in this year's Winter Olympics. And most importantly, there is the athletic trainer who is returning for round two, who was not scared away after her taxing first year, who is not intimidated by the daunting second year, who actually knows what is going on and how the ship is run and doesn't have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off.

" find my wooden leg!"

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, my Acting Class

Yes, my title is taking off of Benny's blog.

I had my last acting class on Monday. Well, at least my last class for now. I had so much fun with the class that I am plotting out my attack for my next class. The next hardest class is the Intermediate/Advanced Acting class which is on Sunday afternoons. The next session starts Sunday and I can't quite swing it then. Plus, it just doesn't make sense as I will be gone a lot of Sundays over the next 6 weeks. The next session after that starts in November.

I also joined the auditions mailing list through the company that organizes the classes. Speaking of which, I need Benny to re-do my headshot. The first one didn't come out as well as I thought it would...

I was late to class by about 40 minutes due to work. I didn't miss much as our teacher usually starts class with a few games. During the rest of the game, we only did two exercises. For the first exercise, one person would leave the room and come up with a two person scenario. The rest of the class would come up with an adverb that they would act out in the scene. Person one would come back into the room, pick two people to act out the scene and tell them what the setting is. The two people would act out the scene while also acting out the adverb. The scene would continue for about five minutes and at the end, the first person would have to guess what adverb was being acted out.

The second exercise was by far the most fun one that we did in all of the six weeks of the class. It was an improv exercise. Two people started the exercise by standing in the front of the class. The rest of the class would place them into a random position, and they had to start acting out a scene based on their position. They would continue the scene for about 45 seconds, then one of the other students would yell "Freeze". That student would then replace someone in the scene and start another scene based on the body positioning.  It was so funny and random and off the wall. I felt like it left a lot of room for us to be creative. 

Martha's Vineyard

This past weekend, Benny and I went on our one year anniversary vacation. This weekend also happened to be the last free weekend I will have for the next six months thanks to ice hockey. But really, I do not mind. I love my job.

Benny worked hard to make it extra special for the both of us. After picking up our car from the shop Friday morning, we started making our way down to Woods Hole to catch the ferry. I had never had IKEA breakfast and had been dying to try it, so we stopped along the way. The big breakfast which includes scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon and French toast sticks were buy one, get one free at $1.99 a piece. Needless to say, breakfast was a steal.

After breakfast, we continued our drive south. Once in Woods Hole, we found out that we could park right at the docks because we were bringing our bikes along. We went to the ticket office and bought tickets for the way there and back. We looked at the schedule for the next departure which happened to be at 1:15PM. A ferry named “Nantucket” arrived at the docks around 12:30PM. It proceeded to unload and then reload. Time came and went and before we knew it, it was 1:10PM and there seemed to be no sight of a Martha’s Vineyard ferry. I leaned over to Benny and asked, “Could this possibly be our boat?” Benny: “I don’t know, but I’ll ask.” Turns out, it was our ferry, conveniently named.

We quickly grabbed our bags and bikes and boarded with just a few minutes to spare. At this point, it had started to rain and the water was fairly choppy making us only two of a few people who actually ventured outside on the boat. Benny and I plotted our plan of attack for catching the most crab during this season of Deadliest Catch aboard the new ship, “Nantucket”. We are still both perplexed as to why we not only lost, but we didn’t catch a single crab. Maybe next time we’ll bring our pods.

Once we got to the island, we transferred our belongings from the ferry to the bus and rode down to our hotel in Edgartown. We checked into the hotel, got settled in to our room and then went into town for some shopping. Being that Martha’s Vineyard is primarily a summer vacation destination, most of the shops were having “Closing for the Season” sales. Rest assured, we took advantage of a lot of the sales.

Friday night, we went out for our anniversary dinner. The restaurant was a part of a hotel. It was pretty quiet other than the guests who were there for a wedding. Although, they were more interested in drinking than eating.
Saturday proved to be a far nicer day weather wise. It also so happened to be Tivoli day in Oak Bluffs. Oak Bluffs was only five miles from our hotel, so we rode there on our bikes along the ocean bike path. Tivoli Day is essentially a giant outdoor sale for the shops and rummage sale for the locals. We bought so many goodies that we had to take the bus back to the hotel instead of riding our bikes. Some of our purchases included shirts, a shot glass (I collect them), a skim board and some Department 56 Halloween houses. I am a huge Halloween fan and have wanted to start a Department 56 collection. A gentlemen was selling two houses for $12 total. One had a chip and the other one has burnt out light bulbs. This was hardly a deterrent for me. This was a great start to my collection.

Before dinner, we went for a walk to the Edgartown lighthouse. We saw a lot of weddings along the way, all of them with traditional Cape Cod colors and styles. At the lighthouse, we were able to go to the top. Not only was it a priceless experience to see the island and ocean from that view, but it was amazing that we could even go in the lighthouse.

That night, we went back into Oak Bluffs for dinner. We went to Sharky’s which is a chain Mexican restaurant. For dessert, we went to a little place called “Back Door Donuts”. It is located in a bakery. After the bakery closes for the day, they open the back door of the bakery to sell warm, fresh donuts late into the night. It was shocking that it was located in an alley and yet had a long line of customers. I hadn’t had a fresh donut in a long time, so it was a real treat for both of us. We ate our donuts on a bench on the ocean and listened to the waves roll in.

On Sunday, we only had a couple of hours left before we had to check out of our room and leave the island. We spent the rest of our time just taking a leisurely walk through town and grabbing a quick donut and coffee. The weather was so traditionally fall and the town was so quiet that it made for a really peaceful and relaxing walk.

Everything about the island that weekend lived up to the idealistic fall vacation that I was hoping it would be. The best part was that it marked the one year anniversary of being married to my best friend and soul mate. I could not have asked for a better first year.

What I've been thinking these days...

I still have not decided what I want to do with my blog or where I want to go with it. Instead, I've just been working on this one post. It took forever because I have been so crazy busy. Its just one of a few things I have been thinking about while bored in class. I am open to suggestions for topics or focuses for my blog. I have started a triathlon themed blog. I will mention it a little bit here, but I will mainly talk about it on the triathlon blog.

A couple of posts that I am working on that I will post later are about my recent trip to Martha's Vineyard and a post about my last *sniffle* acting class. Hopefully, its just my last class for now because I really enjoyed it and would like to pursue acting a little more.

Without further a do, here's my official post...

When I was a young lass in school, no one wanted to sit in the front of the class.  First of all, all of the cool kids sat in the back. Second, the teacher was bound to always call on you if you sat in the front.  Sitting in the front also meant you couldn’t sleep, not even for a second. Without sleep, school would pass infinitely more slowly.

As I grew older and started college, it was the same deal, only the reasons had change. Students still wanted to sit in the back to sleep, either to recoup from the night prior or in preparation for that evening’s events. In addition to sleep, students wanted to be able to converse with classmates during class without the teacher overhearing.  They also needed to be able to text everyone and their mom while remaining out of sight of the professor.

Finally, when I got to graduate school, there was a change. Students moved to the front of the class. I don’t know if it is because all of the kids who could really care less were weeded out and all that remained were the nerds who were always subjected to the front anyways or if it was another reason, but it was the way it was. Being that I was used to sitting in the back, and I generally don’t feel like sitting next to anybody, I always make my way to one of the last two rows. I am usually the only one who sits that far back. On rare occasions, though, I am joined by another student, and against my will too. Most often, this student is at least 10 minutes late for class and is probably sitting in the back because they do not want to crawl over students in the front.  And I always know the reason why they are 10 minutes late.  One can’t begin class without one last cigarette.  However, what I do not understand is why they always decide to sit right next to me?  There are two whole empty rows of seats and they chose the one right next to me?  As if the invasion of personal space wasn’t bad enough, they most assuredly wreak of cigarette smoke. Do I look like I could use a friend, particularly one of fragrance? There is a reason why I have already distanced myself from the rest of the class. It definitely wasn’t so I could get my second-hand smoke fix.

There are days that I really do not want to sit next to someone. I even go to extremes and put my jacket on the chair to the one side of me and my backpack on the other. One would think that this is a clear sign that the seats are either taken or I’m just a hot mess and they should avoid me anyways. It has come to my attention that some people just cannot take a hint if it was sitting in their seat. I’ll be sitting there next to the only two things I want to be sitting next to when someone comes running into class, late like usual, walks up to me, points to the chair with my jacket in it and asks, “Is anyone sitting here?” Me: “Well, no, but no one is sitting there either” as I point to the other ten empty chairs in my row.

Now, if I can actually learn to be that much of a bitch, life would be perfect.

The End

Due to the fact that I can't find anything to talk about, let alone something interesting to talk about, I am discontinuing the blog, at least temporarily. I was told that if I expect people to actually read my blog, I can't be so random and I can't talk about myself all of the time. I also have to find something I'm "passionate" about. The problem with me is that I'm passionate about a lot of things, which I guess is too much for other people to handle. Supposedly, readers are only interested in blogs of one passion and get too lost and give up on it if there is a second passion going on. So now, I am off to find one and only one thing that I am passionate about and its not going to be me. This may take a while.

Going for a Spin

Work has been giving me some really long days recently. With the season fast approaching (first practice in less than a week), I'm working hard to tie up the last of the loose ends. Most of the girls have either completed or are at least scheduled to take the Impact test. Also, 15 of the 25 girls have gotten molds of their mouth for custom made mouthguards. Now, they are not required to have custom mouthguards, but they are required to have mouthguards of some sort and custom mouthguards have not been offered to the team in over four years, so almost everyone wants to take advantage of the opportunity. In addition to my time with the team, I had to put in my weekly hours at the Student Health Center yesterday. Because we are seeing so many patients in such a short amount of time, I hardly notice that I am there for 4 1/2 hours. It really flies by. I am also noticing how good (in my opinion) these patients have it. When I see someone for an orthopedic issue, I see a doctor for about 30 seconds and that's it. These patients are getting a full evaluation from me, the same evaluation that I would do on any one of the varsity athletes, in addition to a "check", official diagnosis and order for treatment by the doctor. I guess its just another good argument for why athletic trainers should play a bigger role in the medical world.

So speaking with some of my fellow triathletes, particularly those who are members of Wheelworks Multisport which is the team I am currently competing for, many of them mentioned that they do spinning for off season training. Seeing as it get very cold and snowy and icy (emphasis on snowy and icy) in winter here in Boston, I was desperately searching for alternative ways to get some triathlon training in. I knew of spinning, but generally thought it was for middle aged women or stay at home moms. Turns out, I was wrong, as I usually am. My teammates, male and female alike, admitted that a good spin class works wonders for your bike time. 

My mission: To find a spin class, good or bad, but preferably good

Location: Boston University's Fit Rec. I already have a membership and its just too darned expensive to get one somewhere else.

I started my search through their online list of fall classes yesterday. I'm broke until Friday, but took mental notes of dates and times that classes were offered and generally how much they cost.

I arrive home last night after a long day of work and start the ever tedious task of reading and deleting the 50 emails that I received during the day, deleting more than reading. I wish I could say I'm just that cool, but in reality, I'm just that much of a sucker for free stuff...and apparently I look like I have nothing else better to do with my time than read chain emails. Really, if those were true, I wouldn't be married, I'd have worse luck than my sister (maybe that's what happened to her) and I would have died at least 50 times by now. 


As I'm going through my email, I notice a couple from the BU cycling team. One of them with the subject "Spin Class, Starting 9/16". Why yes, please. At first I thought it was a spin class that the cycling team attended together, but one for which I still needed to pay. Turns out, it is a team run spin class for team members only that is completely free and is held every Thursday.

I love how being a part of the team is really helping me out. I am so stoked for my first ever spin class *eek*!

My First Ride

I'm practically a professional cyclist.

Who am I kidding? But I did go for my ride with the BU cycling team.

I wasn't sure what to expect going in to it. I wasn't sure how fast the ride was going to be. I was just hoping and praying that I wasn't the one that the team would have to keep waiting for (it was a no drop ride). I also wasn't sure if I was going to be the only newbie or if there would be others. There were others. In fact, there were about 10 to 15 newbies (its hard to tell for sure when I myself am a newbie).

In all, there were about 25 total riders. There were the returners, the girl with the single speed, the girl who just bought a bike yesterday, the group of BFF's who thought it would be cool to join a team social group, the girl with a hybrid, two other triathletes and me.

Because 25 riders was far too big of a group, we decided to split into two groups, one that would go about 18mph and one that would go slightly slower. I decided to latch on to the slightly slower group as I haven't really ridden in three weeks and they were planning on going 40 miles. As it turned out, the two groups turned into a boys group and a girls group.

We started off pretty slow, averaging about 12mph. We were hardly a mile from home when we had our first crash of the season. Just bought a bike yesterday girl had issues with her gears, had the chain come off and wiped out. She tried shifting a few more times, but her chain would come off each time she would shift. After a while, shortly before the three big hills, we just told her not to shift anymore. Needless to say, we had to wait at the top of each hill for the stragglers.

As we went along, we started to pick up the pace on the flats to about 16 to 17mph and it actually felt like a fairly comfortable pace for me, even after three weeks off. Also, as we went along, I was able to talk to some of the girls. One of the triathletes said she started doing triathlons four years ago, but has only done sprint triathlons. I asked her how many. She chuckled and said, "Three". She admitted that she has a hard time staying motivated to train. I told her I do too, but when I signed up for the half Ironman, wanting to train turned into having to train. I didn't get a chance to talk to the other traithlete, but sprint triathlete said she thinks that the other girl did Timberman as well.

I talked to hybrid girl for a while too. She is originally from Toronto, lived in Montreal for a while, and is now getting a master's degree at BU. Her boyfriend is applying to medical schools in the US and she plans on doing the same once she gets her master's. I can't imagine what that kind of debt is like, but they are going to have some spoiled rotten kids (if it gets that far).

I think I spent most of the time talking to the single speed girl. Even on a single speed, she was one of the faster cyclists. She said she actually considered riding fixie today, but didn't know how hard we were going to go.

As we went, we had to turn around early as the only girl who knew where we were going had other obligations this afternoon and we weren't going as fast as was originally planned. On the way back, the group of 11 girls became 11 girls and 1 guy who had been dropped by the other guys. The group started to break up into two groups as well. I was comfortably keeping up with the fast group (four of us) which was riding at about 16mph on the flats. We had to stop or slow down every so often so we didn't lose the slower group, again because only one person really knew where we were going. She kept apologizing to us and reassured us that the rides get faster and longer as the season goes on. I said, "No worries. I haven't rode in three weeks anyways, so I wanted more a turn my legs over ride anyways."

In the end, we rode about 23 miles. Not too shabby start to my off season training.

One of the returners lives across the street from me so we rode back together. She said that this is the biggest turn out of girls she has seen for a Saturday ride, although they tend to whittle themselves down quickly. Those who feel like they can't or won't hang, or feel like its just not for them, quit. She said usually there are only 2 to 3 girls at each ride and they just ride with the guys. They also work up to 70 mile rides on Saturdays. I mentioned to her my predicament about being a full time student. She said that the league doesn't really care, but the university might, but she wonders how much the university really checks. She said I am still welcome to ride with them regardless, and that if I really want to race, that we'll try to figure something out if it becomes a problem. They have a lack of female racers, so they want anyone that they can get.

The more I hear about this cycling racing business, the more I want to do it. *Keeping my fingers crossed*

First BU Cycling Meeting

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the BU cycling team held their first meeting yesterday. There was an even number of returners and newbies. There were even some newbies, like me, who have never done bike racing, but have participated in triathlons. They have a workout every Saturday morning starting tomorrow with a 40 mile bike ride to Concord. And this is considered a short workout for them, so I'll definitely get a lot of quality training in this year.

The bad news is that you have to be a full time student to compete in the races and I am not. My scholarship through work only allows me to take up to 9 credit hours per semester. I sent an email to the league asking if there was any way around the rule as I would really like to compete. I honestly do not even understand why they have the rule. If you are paying a shit ton of money for college, and are making an effort to get a good education, they should not be able to turn you away from participating in collegiate sporting events just because you are not full time. Its not even a varsity sport for crying out loud. At least I can still train with the team while being part time. Although, I think that is the weirdest part. You can train and be part time, but you can't compete and be part time. Hopefully, I will get good news from the league, but I'm not counting on it.

12 Days Until Hockey Season

The past couple days have been really intense. On top of being a week into the school semester, I am now only 12 days away from the women's ice hockey team's first official practice. I am really excited for the season to start, but I still have so much to do before the start even happens.

Here is my work to do list (I repeat, it all has to be done within the next 12 days):
- All freshmen, transfer, and returning student athletes who haven't taken the Impact test within the past two years need to take it. The Impact test is a computerized cognitive test that is used to determine severity or presence of a concussion. In order to know that information, there needs to be a baseline to compare it to, and the baseline needs to be completed before practice starts.
- Any one who needs or wants a custom mouth guard needs to have one made. Mouth guards are required in ice hockey by the NCAA.
- Clean and stock the ice arena athletic training room. The arena was renovated over the summer so I had to remove everything from the athletic training room. Now, it needs to be cleaned and restocked. The new arena looks so much nicer. They put in new, brighter lights, new boards, and a new refrigeration system in the ice floor.

- Form a contact and emergency contact information list for the team. I also need to create a red flag sheet which lists all of the athletes who have potentially life threatening conditions, such as asthma or severe allergies.
- Make sure my personal kit is stocked and ready to go.


On the plus side, I have an athletic training student helping me out. Yesterday, we cleaned the ATR and were able to stock part of it. We were able to get done a lot more than I thought we would, so 12 days is slightly less daunting. Also, for the most part, the student athletes have been helpful by doing what I need them to do quickly, so I don't have to try and chase them down to do it. The coaches have also been supportive and have been making sure that I don't have to chase any student athletes down, and if chasing has to be done, they have been doing most of it for me.

17 days until game day...