Rowing The Boat At the Outback Bowl

We got our new year off to a rousing start as the Gopher football team took to rowing the boat at the Outback Bowl. Rowing the boat is the mantra Coach Fleck brought to the university. In a nutshell, it means never giving up and working hard through adversity. The actual story behind the saying is both inspiring and heart wrenching. You can read about it here.

For Christmas this year, we bought the boys a few small presents. Instead, we focused on getting them each a marquis experience. Consequently, for Goalielocks, it meant a trip to Tampa to see the Gophers end their historic season at the Outback Bowl. The Mayor will be heading to Lake Placid for a special hockey tournament in March.

Going into the game, I knew the stadium would be filled with Gophers. We were everywhere! The Auburn fans, especially in the upper section, sparsely filled seats compared to the Gopher side. Additionally while the fan support is nice, I didn’t think it would be enough to overcome a strong Auburn team that had defeated Alabama.

Getting into the stadium and our seats was super easy. They had no fan shops open on our level, so we headed back to the 100 level. Not surprisingly, the Gopher gear was flying off the shelves. In fact, the first store we stopped at was out of most Gopher items. While the Hubby and Goalielocks waited in line, I went to check our the field. Fortunately, I was able to get video of the Gopher Marching band’s entire pre-game show. They were incredible!

Before the game started, we grabbed some pizza that smelt incredible. Unfortunately, it was probably the worst pizza I had ever tasted. In fact, it was a gross version of the Italian dunkers they used to serve at my high school. Only instead of $1.50, this bastardization of pizza cost $9.00.  Honestly, we all hated it.

We took to our seats, which afforded us a great view. I got nervous when the Gophers QB Morgan through a interception on their first possession of the game. As any Minnesota fan knows, this is usually a harbinger of impending disaster. Fortunately, the squad shook it off and went back to rowing the back. As the half ended, good guys led the game 24-17.

The second half moved quite a bit faster than the first. Auburn tied it up, which sucked. I started to worry that the wheels or oars would fall of the boat. Thankfully, they didn’t. The Gophers sealed the deal with a 73 yard pass from Morgan to Tyler Johnson. It was amazeballs. Speaking of amazeballs, Johnson has a career day with 12 receptions for 204 yards and two touchdowns. He was unequivocally the MVP of the game.

Throughout the game, the weather was perfect. You know the Minnesotans we’re enjoying their escape from the frigid north. We were surrounded by Gopher fans, so we had a great game experience. Yeah, the pizza sucked, but we didn’t park next to Chic Fil-A for nothing. In the end, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers rowed their boat to a Outback Bowl victory putting the cherry on top of their historic season.

As we move into 2020, we’ll be rowing our boat into a better future for our family. Last year was a time of great change in many aspects of our lives. 2020 is all about renewal and building our collective future. May your new year be merry, filled with learning and most of all love.

All of my Outback Bowl videos can be found here: Outback Bowl Playlist

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2019 is Coming to An End

2019 is coming to an end. After the insanity of the year, I’m not quite sure how to classify it. Was it good, bad or a mixed bag? I started the year with an incredibly hyper thyroid – thanks RAI. By the time mid February arrived, my thyroid and the associated hormones were dead and gone. Therein started the process of bringing my thyroxine levels back to normal.

In November, my last appointment, my levels had stabilized and were within the normal range. Victory was mine or at least partially. It will still take one to three years for the Graves symptoms to abate. Meanwhile, my antibodies are high, so the disease is still active. My goal is to find remission in 2020. Nevertheless, partial victory or not, it is still a victory. Mark one for good year.

In July, I transitioned from working mom to stay at home mom after nine years three hundred and sixty two days with the firm. It was a decade of achievement, change and philanthropy with some of the of the best people I know. Obviously, I was sad to leave the friends and relationships behind, but it had become untenable. I guess initially this could be marked as bad except for….

My oldest decided in June that he wanted to join the Air Force. We were thrilled he had a roadmap for his future, but sad that he may be moving away. As you know, he’s now left for the Air Force and is kicking ass at basic training. If I had been working, I would have regretted every day I didn’t spend with him. Fortunately, I wasn’t working so I got to spend my time with him.

One of my favorite memories from this year is the trip we took home, aka Jake’s Farewell tour, in October. The sole focus of the trip was to connect with our family, especially the grandparents, before he left for basic. Our grandparents, including Jake’s great great Grandma, are getting old. There is no telling when Jake will be able to return to Minnesota to see them.

This trip was soul nourishing. Words cannot describe the emotions I felt as my Great Grandma held Jake’s hand and told him she loved him and was so proud oh him. Or the emotions I felt when Luke’s grandfather afflicted with Alzheimer’s beamed with pride and remembered Jake as Steve (my FIL) told him Jake was joining the military. Unquestionably, these moments will reside forever in my heart.

Jake and I had so much fun with his cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents in Minnesota. It really would have been hard for it to be a better trip. We got to see my a Uncle Craig and even his new grandson Grayson, who is just the cutest. Additionally, we were able to spend a lot of time with Grandma T and uncle Mark. Jake has always had a very special relationship with his great Grandma T as she babysat him while I was in college and throughout my early career. Their bond is special.

The trip ended too soon and we were soon faced with the Thanksgiving holiday and his impending departure. My whole family had already plan to come to Florida for Thanksgiving, which was perfect. We celebrated all the big holidays in one weekend and even got family pictures.

No matter what else happened this year, Jake leaving for BMT was a seminal moment. The days leading up to his departure flew by while the days after have dragged. We’ve cried copious tears of happiness, pride, sadness and longing. Sometimes the tears combine all of the above emotions. Our family will never be quite the same, but Jake is on his way to a bright future and we couldn’t be prouder.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give mention to our newest family member. Our dear friends John and Hanh has their beautiful, sweet Ava on the 15th of December. She has brought so much love and light into all of our lives. We’re blessed to be a part of all of their lives. Meanwhile, Ava and I are best buddies. She’s in Tampa visiting her auntie until January, but her beautiful mama sends me pics so I can see her.

As 2020 begins, Jake’s career with the Air Force will figure heavily in the happenings. Of course, there will be several hockey tournaments and games interspersed in there as well. 2020 will bring graduation from BMT, tech school and FDS. FDS you ask – it’s final duty station. Later this spring we should find out where Jake will be stationed.

2019 is coming to an end. This year there’s no grandiose resolution. Instead, I’ll be focused on getting my health back on track, staying fit and being the best damn hockey/Air Force mom that I can be. As for 2019 being good or bad, I’d have to say it’s been challenging yet stellar! Happy New Year from our family to yours!

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It’s Resolution Time Again

It’s resolution time again my friends.  I can hardly believe that a year has past since I last typed out some idealistic, but achievable resolutions.  When I look back on last year’s post, Resolution Time, I had some great goals.  Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.    I did make some of the 5:30 am classes at Burn and they were fabulous, but I only managed to run one 5k.  Moreover, I didn’t do well, which was disappointing.

Unfortunately, the pain in my left ankle ended up being more serious than tendonitis and tenosynovitis.  I tore the tendon, posterior tibial tendon,  where it meets the bone in my foot.   That diagnosis and associated pain effectively ended my running career in 2018.  As I wrote a couple of days ago, https://flhockeymomfit.com/dignity-in-aging/ , the tear in my tendon was compounded by newly discovered thyroid problems.  Oh joy! There went my fitness goals for 2018.

I was relegated to the pool with my cast cover (affectionately called my cast condom) and my new Aquajogger belt instead of hitting the gym at 5:30 am and logging some serious mileage running.  I totally fit in with the snow bird crowd. My only outlet was swimming or jogging in the pool.  If I’m being honest, I totally suck at both swimming and aqua jogging.  Nonetheless, I found a way to stay active while my tendon had me sidelined.

Sadly, I was prohibited from doing cardio once the severity of my thyroid issue was understood.  Can I tell you that it’s been pure torture? I’m using to teaching Zumba four times a week plus running 20-25 miles during the week.  The inability to do cardio is driving me crazy.  Eventually I bought a nice new bike.  My doc said I could ride it if I could do so non-aggressively.  As it turns out, I’m not really capable of doing that on a road bike.  Thus I’m resigned to riding the stationery bike.

As for travel, I had a fabulous year.  I started the year with a trip to Chicago in January with the Mayor and Goalielocks.  In February, Goalielocks and I headed to Massachusetts/New Hampshire for a tournament.  That trip was a bit of a mess with Goalielocks’ injury.   Nevertheless,  we had a great time exploring the area before he got hurt.  In March, we spent spring break in the Bahamas with our awesome extended family.  April brought an amazing momcation trip to Turks & Caicos.  The trip was absolutely spectacular.  Finally, we hopped the pond to explore Sweden, Finland and Denmark in late October.  I can’t wait to go back!

Lastly, I was able to take on responsibilities with the Broward/Palm Beach PanCan affiliate.  This was my first year serving as team and individual development chair for PurpleStride.  It was absolutely rewarding to be a member of the team!   Goalielocks attended many of the meeting with me and volunteered with me at the event as well.  This was one of my 2018 resolutions that I was not willing to break.  Excitedly, we exceeded our fundraising goal for the event!

Last year was difficult, but wonderful.  I lost a dear colleague in September, which was very hard.  My family and I experienced some serious health issues throughout the year.  Fortunately, 2019 will bring a resolution to my thyroid woes.  I’m looking forward to a fruitful year in which I can get back to doing the things I love and feeling like myself.  Honestly, I’ve been craving a run.   If you asked me five years ago if I enjoyed running, I would have laughed at you.  And now, I crave it.  Life is so odd.

Here are my resolutions for 2019:

  1. Be patient in my recovery.  I’m not a patient person, but given the risks I’ve been compliant with my doctor’s no-cardio/take it easy orders.  Needless to say, I’ll behave.
  2. Focus on getting stronger – more weights/more days in the gym.
  3. Explore the world – nothing feeds the soul more than exploring the globe with the people you love!
  4. Run a 5K and not suck at it.
  5. Involvement with PanCan
  6. Blog regularly
  7. Eat to perform

I saw some great memes this week on new years resolutions.  For example, people will pack the gym (like sardines) for the next 3 weeks only for it to be empty by February.  While I didn’t meet a lot of my goals for 2018 as set forth in my resolutions, I also have to acknowledge that much of it was outside my control.   So this year, if you find yourself unexpectedly out of commission and unable to meet your goals, be kind to yourself.

Happy New Year!

Continue reading “It’s Resolution Time Again”

31 Days

Wow, just like that we are 31 days into 2018.  It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the New Year.  The days and weeks have passed as if they were on an unending conveyor belt.  Now here we are peering into February, girl scout cookies in hand, battling to keep hold of our new year’s resolutions.  Oh, we are fighting the good fight, but those damn Thin Mints are so amazing!  Nevertheless, we fight on!

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My resolution to hit the gym early has hit a snag with the sinus infection and illness in the house.  There are so many people around us that have the flu, so we’re doing everything we can to avoid it.  Unfortunately, this means foregoing the morning workout for additional sleep.  Once I kick this sinus infection, you can bet that I’ll be back.

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As I drove home tonight, my mind was a conveyor belt of thoughts.  I know, I know a blonde thinking.  You’re probably imaging steam coming out of my ears and  you’d be right. I played sports growing up in multiple organizations as did my brothers.  I can’t say that our sports careers were perfect or picturesque, but I would say that the leagues and organizations we were part of actually followed the rules.

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In contrast, my kids experience is wildly different.  In fact, once they’ve aged out, I’ll write a book about it.  Of course, I’ll have to label it carefully as non-fiction because people won’t believe the stories and anecdotes I have to share.  Here’s my biggest frustration.  If you have rules as a league, why aren’t they enforced.  More to the point, why are they selectively enforced?

I can’t for the life of me understand how our league works here.  Truly, it is diametrically opposed to what I grew up with.  Moreover, when we’re back in Minny and we speak to Goalielocks’ coaches or are friends whose kids play hockey, they look at us sideways.  They can’t believe the stories we’ve shared.  It’s the same sport, but wow what a difference.

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I guess it goes back to the sliding scale of accountability, which drives me bat shit crazy.  If you have rules, you should equally enforce them across organizations, teams, and players.  If you sit one player for being late, you should sit them all.  Its no different than how you would/should operate in a corporate environment – everyone is subject to the same rules regardless of who they are or how they perform.  I know, I know, common sense or at least I thought.

Anyway, this aggravating conveyor belt of thoughts is driving me to Samoas, so I’m going to cut my losses and go hang around for a bit in my silk.  Tonight’s song performed by CNCO ft. Little Mix is “Reggaeton Lento.”

Resolution Time

It’s day one of the new year and that means is resolution time.  2017, as discussed previously, wasn’t the easiest of years, but I learned a lot.  We spent our New Year’s eve on a sailboat in Fort Lauderdale.  It was a beautiful evening and the perfect place to ruminate on resolutions for 2018.  Of course, as the year started to winding down, there was a lot of conversation about resolutions.  My goals for 2018 are about making concrete gains in all aspects of my life.

First on my list is my running goals.  My goal is to run 8 5ks, 1 10k and a half marathon.  I know it sounds ambitious, but it isn’t too far above my achieved 2016 goal of 12 5ks. In addition, I’d like to get my 5k time back down under 30 and eventually under 28 minutes. While I cannot run at present, I’m still working towards my goal be it spin class, circuit burn, yoga or assisted stretch.  Hopefully, my tendons will heal quickly allowing me to get back to running soon.

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Second on my list, in line with goal one, is to make at least 2 of the 5:30 am weight/circuit classes at Burn.  One of the things I’ve done well this fall/winter was making strength training a priority.  In 2018, I’m looking to build on this foundation and continue with the weights.  Fortunately, the strength training will also help me achieve my running goals.

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My third goal is to become more involved with the causes I support be it PanCan’s local chapter, ARC Broward or Feeding South Florida.  I love volunteering and I love sharing the experience with my family, friends and colleagues.  There’s something about volunteerism that feeds the soul.

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Lastly, my goal is to live a wanderlust life and share my love of travel with the kids.  Aside from Chicago, Boston, Atlanta and the Bahamas, who knows where 2018 will take us.  I can tell you that my boys are begging to go back to Norway, but that’s likely not on the docket for 2018.  In any event, the goal is to put more emphasis on shared experiences and travel than material goods.

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I started my new year running errands with Goalielocks and the Mayor.  Amazingly, I have not been able to find flip flops for the Hubby despite looking at several local stores.  Apparently, everyone bought flip flops as presents for all of the males in their lives.  While I perused the racks at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Goalielocks and the Mayor engaged in a game of golf on the putting green.  Fortunately, they didn’t break anything and they didn’t get in a huge fight.

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I hope you and your family had a happy and prosperous 2017 with an even better 2018 in store.   In the interim, I’ll being doing my best to keep my resolutions.  Over under on me actually making a 5:30 am class is 10,000,000:1, but hey one can have goals.  While it’s not one of my resolutions, I’ll do my best not to morph into psycho hockey mom territory (aka Megaphone Mom,) but I can’t make any promises.

Tonight’s song performed by Regina Spektor is “My Dear Acquaintance (Happy New Year.”)