Randoms in my world

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So a few days Scott and I went to P.F Changs and this is what my cookies had to say. I am hoping this is a good sign because I am really struggling with the whole Thesis thing…..I need motivation and inspiration….

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Which I am getting neither of in my Physical and Motor Assessment class.  UGH. The material itself is and CAN BE really interesting, but sadly my initial excitement for this class was washed away and replaced with overwhelming boredom. Just gotta put my head down and plug through my professors boring and uninspiring lectures.

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Inspiration was indeed found by my little study buddy one night. He loved picking out the letters and sounding out words. So incredibly cute, and wow, what a smarty pants.

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So this week has been HOT AS HELL. We had 109 degrees here in parts of San Diego. And it’s mid-September!!!  I was getting in my car from school the other day and saw this crow sitting under a bush. I thought to myself “Don’t blame you buddy! Its too hot to fly”

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S0 to prove a point, my class is so exciting to its students that they watch live TV (tennis matches) during lectures. I tried really hard to not burst out laughing!

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If you have read earlier posts, I find beauty in strange places…. I just thought the structure looked cool with light and dark squares with the shadows dancing across it.

Will the Yoga Mat Be My Church?

For the longest time, I looked down on yoga as some “fru-fru” artsy -fartsy thing where you lay on a mat, chant and harness your chi. I was always seeking the latest fitness craze and serenity and I weren’t exactly friends. Then I started taking basic yoga classes at my gym, and  became friends with a girl who taught yoga.

Things began to slowly change when I ran the Rock and Roll marathon in 2008. As a supplement to the rigors of long distance running, I tried yoga and reformer Pilates, and began to see glimpses of why is was so popular. In seeking different studios, I struggled with the idea that yoga is both a physical AND spiritual practice. I wanted to grunt, sweat, feel my pulse race, muscles sore- I didn’t need bells ringing, chanting or incense burning.

Fast forward several years, and death, cancer, marriage, moving, college (and eventual graduation), and a job change put a serious dent in my attempts to dedicate any time to my physical well being, let alone nurturing my soul. There was this voice in the back of my head imploring me to seek balance, be physically and mentally in tune with the world. Being the ADHD-crazy brain that I was, quieting my scattered, noisy brain had always been difficult, but I kept looking for ways to tap into the mental aspects of exercise.

Cue the introduction of two people who have sparked a new found curiosity into the practice of yoga: a fellow student in my graduate program who is doing research on yoga and related injuries. She is a dedicated student, teacher, writer, lecturer and all around really nice woman. You can follow her by visiting her website -Jules Mitchell Yoga. I love how she is brings the science of biomechanics and injury prevention into the practice of yoga, as well as putting a more scientific, research oriented, academic spin on things.  The other person is a feminist scholar and researcher in my department. I wrote a lot about her in the Spring, as I really loved her Sports in US Culture class.  Kerrie is doing some great things with yoga research too, as well as some activism with a group called  Off the Mat. Check out her contributions to yoga and efforts to abolish sex trafficking in India by visiting her blog.

These two women have sparked a new flame of interest in the meshing of the mind and the body in the practice of yoga.  So this summer, I have begun what I call an adventure into learning about yoga from all aspects. I promised myself that I would be open-minded to the idea of chanting, finding my Third Eye, and working on improving the ability to do a headstand AND have a clear mind.

I consider myself like a newborn baby right now, absorbing philosophies, names for poses, the poses themselves and trying to connect into my mind. After a month, I am seeing the puzzle pieces and can see how things fit together- mind, body, spirit. I have dedicated this practice to myself, and given myself one full year to explore this whole yoga thing. So far I am loving it. Every time I am on the mat, I dedicate my practice to my girlfriend. I send her good thoughts and healing vibes in hopes that the cancer that has invaded her uterus will leave, and allow her the ability to bear children.

I hated church growing up, and still dislike church, organized religion, the Bible…. it just hasn’t sat well with me my whole life. What I have allowed myself in my new yoga practice is the belief that good thoughts and good energy can make a difference. So call them prayers if you will, but I liken my time on the mat as a time to worship.  Worship my body and its wondrous capabilities. Worship my brain for its powers, but more importantly, I make the time to dedicate my practice to someone or something that I want to send good thoughts and energy to. This is the imbalance that I think I was experiencing, so my hope is that not only will I be able to do the amazing things this woman does, but bridge that gap that I lack between the physical and the spiritual.  I look at this woman in envy because she embodies the attributes I seek: strong, flexible, sexy, peaceful, confidant. 

I love the idea that for this, I don’t need to go to church every Sunday, I just unroll my mat.

Namaste!

“A” is for Revenge!

Class Description Units Grading Grade Grade Points
COMM 611
Sem Negotiation Conflict Rsln
3.00
Graded
A
12.000
KIN 577
Sport in U.S. Culture
3.00
Graded (CR/NC Available)
A
12.000
REC 527
Legal Aspects Leisure Services
3.00
Graded
A
12.000

So I found out through a “source” on the inside at SDSU the real reason why I didn’t get into SDSU’s Master’s program, even though I got my BA in Kinesiology there. It proved firsthand that it’s not WHAT you know,but WHO you know. How unfortunate that the Graduate Adviser for the program I was planning on applying for was the same professor teaching my last class as an undergraduate…. the class I needed to leave 10 minutes early every class to get to work on time. The semester in which I was working 50 + hours a week, and dealing with major family health issues. Needless to say, it was not my best semester. I still graduated a full semester early with a 3.0 GPA and worked 50+ hours a week. Regardless, my lackluster performance in his class sure did effect his decision of whether I was ‘grad school material” or not. He thought I wasn’t cut out for it, or so I found out… he denied my admission based on some pretty lame assumptions and personality differences.

Fast forward, when I was accepted to CSULB, I made it a personal goal to get straight A’s in all four semesters. Part of the motivation was to see if I could do it for myself, and part of it was just to prove that bastard wrong. This is my second semester of getting a 4.0.

Behold,  Dr. V.  at SDSU:  Mr – ” she’s-not -cut -out- for- grad- school”……SUCK IT!!!!!!  🙂

Go Beach!

CSULB Memes

So Ive discovered CSULB’s memes Facebook page, and boy is it funny.

According to Wikipedia : A meme is “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures”

Here are a selection of  CSULB related memes. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Go Beach!!

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day!!

Hats off to my amazing mom, my wonderful mother in law, and all the woman who help raise children!

Goodbye JuneBug

So I wrote this blog for my U.S Sport & Culture class, which is by far my favorite class I have taken at CSULB. The blinders have been removed and I truly can look at sports through different lenses.  If you want to read a few books that will give you a taste of the social issues surrounding sport, read these two:

  • D. Stanley Eitzen and George H. Sage, Sociology of North American Sport, 8th edition, Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2009
  • D. Stanley Eitzen, Ed., Sport in Contemporary Society: An Anthology, 9th edition, New York: Paradigm , 2011

I love the Anthology. Great essays by Dave Zirin, who now I follow daily on Twitter ( @edgeofsports) and Michael Messner. Topics include History of sport, growth in North America, social problems and deviance in sport, social and political issues, women in sport, LGBT issues, sports and the economy, interscholastic sport, collegiate sports issues… its been a great ride. An added bonus, my sports obsessed hubby is excited that I can “talk the talk” a little bit.

Anyway, I digress. Here is a copy of the blog I wrote about the recent suicide of San Diego’s beloved Junior Seau:

         Turning on the television, radio, or surfing the web in the past few days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a sport media outlet that is not dominated by both, the tragic death of former Chargers linebacker and future Hall of Famer Junior Seau, and the fall out from the alleged New Orleans Saints bounty program.  Looking into these two unrelated stories, it becomes apparent that these stories carry a deeper connection than one would think.
            According to an ESPN article, Boston University has requested to examine Seau’s brain in a continued study of head trauma experienced by NFL players.  Last year, BU performed a similar study on former Arizona Cardinals defensive back Dave Duerson, who also died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.  They concluded that Duerson suffered from degenerative disease of the brain, which was caused from repeated head trauma and resulted in chronic depression.  Regardless of the results of the current investigation, the NFL cannot hide from this issue.
            NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, has put his money where his mouth is on the subject of NFL player safety.  The culture of football has a hard hitting nature, in which Goodell has made an effort to temper.  In the wake of Junior Seau’s death, the NFL is also currently handing down suspensions to four Saints defensive players for their participation in a “pay-to-injure” program, after already suspending head coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season, as well as defensive coordinator Greg Williams who is suspended indefinitely.
            Former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White was quoted in an ESPN article stating, “The players sanctioned all activity and enthusiastically embraced this program.  They always had the option to say no.  They didn’t say no.”  These players have each pledged to appeal their suspensions and their appeals will no doubt be backed by the NFL Players Association.
    After listening to excerpts from Greg Williams’ speech in the locker room before the Saints’ playoff game against the 49ers (especially what he said regarding wide receiver Kyle Williams who was coming back from a recent concussion, urging players to target his head), I am disgusted with the mentality surrounding the NFL.  As if the black eye to the Saints organization isn’t enough, not even the cautionary tale of Junior Seau will prevent these players or the NFLPA from fighting back against these punishments.  It is amazing that players cannot see the adverse effect their actions are causing to each other and what hoops these players will go through to defend these egregious acts.  I’ve heard many former and current player’s quotes stating that these punishments are too harsh, and that loosing an entire season robs a player of a substantial portion of their career.  But what about the players they attempted to injure and what effect that would have on their career.  Much worse, what effect this unnecessary violence will have on the victims lives and the people around them.  In our class reading by James Bryant, his idea of sport as a social product is none the more obvious here.  NFL officials cannot make light of this issue as violence will inevitably bring the demise of its players and deter fans from this popular commodity. It is time for a change in the NFL.  The matter of player safety is no joke and needs to be taken seriously by the NFL, the NFLPA, and even needs support from the fans.
                 Also written was a similar article about Junior Seau by a classmate Bryan C:
                                                                                
          For those who love football, the news of Junior Seau’s death came as a huge shock to the NFL, and to San Diego, for which Seau has had a profound impact on the community. For San Diegans, Seau IS San Diego. There is Seau’s the Restaurant, his Seau Foundation, his work with local schools. The list goes on and on, not to mention he is one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise.According to reports, Boston University is requesting Seau’s brain to study the effects of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), in which links were investigated between long term head trauma and it’s effect on players post retirement. Dave Duerson and Andre Waters also committed suicide, and studies revealed Duerson also suffered from CTE. It will be interesting to see whether Seau suffered from CTE as well.

       In light of these studies, and in the shadow of  “BountyGate”, perhaps these tragedies may provide greater fuel  for team owners to offer safer plays, stricter penalties for intentional hits that cause unnecessary injury,and supplement education  for fans to help remind them that ultimately, this is JUST a sport, and if players are suffering from injuries so severe that they resort to suicide, perhaps fans need to re-examine how their zealous consumption of football is possibly contributing to this problem.

Sadly, we will never fully know the reasons leading to Juniors death, whether it was CTE, depression or other demons. What San Diego knows is that the community lost a great player, a great community leader, a great father and #55 will forever be a reminder of “Junebug”. But as Dave Zirin wrote in the Nation, the status quo is simply unacceptable.

Here is a video of how the Kook remembers Junebug.