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.