Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Winter Games: It Goes Beyond Ice and Snow

The Difference

The Winter Games and Summer Games are incredibly different, and I love them both, but for very different reasons. The Summer Games are like attending a large university, with lots of variance in sport and country just like majors and the student population. They’re so large you cannot possibly take it all in, but nonetheless you get swept up in the never-ending opportunity to wave your country’s flag and celebrate your colors. It is the biggest party you have ever attended and almost nobody knows one another, yet you feel a bond with everyone through the love of everything the Games embody. The Winter Games are more like a smaller, “major specific” college where everyone is a tight community, bonded by their love of the elements and their sport. Let’s be honest, cold weather just brings people together … one glass of Glühwein (mulled hot wine) at a time. Winter sports just have a tighter knit group, and you often see the same people at many different events. It’s also usually held in a smaller area.

So there’s no way you’ll miss the Swiss fans and their GIANT Bells at the bottom of the ski hill, the Austrians and their flags both on their cheeks and in their hands, or the Norwegians running the cheer-show at the cross country venue and belting out their famous victory song. And after a day as part of the crowd, you'll find yourself humming along, even if you don't understand the words, with the melodies of the fan stuck in the head.

Preparing for a Winter Games

You would think I’d be packing more for a Winter Games than I did for say London, but shockingly that is not the case. At a Winter Games, you often end up wearing your work gear – big coat, hat, and gloves – to almost everything, so I’m not going to over do it. Talk to me after the Games . . .

Read the rest about the Winter Games on my Babble Voice blog: Semi-Chlorinated Life

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sherman's interview provides teaching moment

I along with most of NFL loving America watched the last few minutes of the nail-biting NFC Championship game between San Francisco and Seattle. I was pacing back and forth and couldn’t believe yet another big game was coming down to the final seconds. I’ll admit, I was bummed. I was a Niners fan all through my youth and still cheer for them in the NFC, but I married into the love of the Buffalo Bills and we ride as a team in the AFC house. But it was the event after the end of the game that had me shaking my head….and I know I am not alone.
I am a Stanford alum and so is Richard Sherman. I know the way we are taught to respect not only ourselves, but also our teammates, our school, and our game. I was cringing watching Sherman. I was disappointed on so many levels, but first and foremost, I was bummed for him. I knew he was going to regret the interview the next day. . .
Screen capture of Richard Sherman interview on-air with Erin Andrews

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gold Meets Golden: My Golden Globes experience

I wonder if the big stars get excited for these big nights? Maybe some do, but possibly the others are tired of the whole thing. Who knows? For me it is SUCH a departure of my day-to-day life that I feel like a teenager heading to my first Homecoming. The most make-up I wear is a tinted moisturizer and mascara! Seriously, I am THAT lazy. I curl my lashes, and I use a bit of mascara. Yes, you read that correctly, I don’t even really know how to do much else, so getting glam and sassy for the Golden Globes was an experience. Apologizes now if I name drop, but it was that kind of night

When I asked my friend Trish Suhr if she wanted to go to a Golden Globes after-party with me, she had the fastest text response in history and then immediately began her trade, organizing. She knew I was gonna show up with my dress wadded up in my U.S. Ski Team Über backpack and my year old make-up. Uh-huh!And that was not going to happen on her watch. So this past Sunday turned into my own grown-up “Bibbity, Bobbity, Boutique”…just much less frightening.

I left my house in Park City at 9:15 am after snow blowing 8 inches of fresh powder off our driveway and white-knuckled it up and over the summit to SLC airport. I saw three cars off the side along the I-80 route, and I was focused and hell-bent on getting to warmer ground. My flight was filled with a ski team from Kazakhstan wearing surgical masks… which always kind of freaks me out but was probably smart for an Olympic athlete. As soon as I popped down into my seat, I sighed with relief. LA and Golden Globes here I come.

Read more about the night's events and check out my photo gallery at My Semi-Chlorinated Life.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Write It Down: Why I Love the New Year

I am a very goal oriented, motivated girl, plain and simple. I like to write it down, see it spelled out, and then focus on it. A goal gives me something to work toward and experience. During my swimming career, I would do this every year with my coaches, and I lived for it – that moment when you get to analyze where you have been and where you want to go, then plan how to get there. It’s like my vitamin boost for life, and it’s exactly why I love the new year.

With 2014 approaching, I realize one major thing: I’d better stay on top of things this year because 2013 went by WAY too fast and time doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. The kids are getting older, our careers are just as intense, and free time is a thing of the past. I had better get things organized so that I can make the most of every moment and remember as much as possible.

I find when you sit down with a piece of paper, or for me a composition notebook, and write down your goals, your dreams, and your life plans for the next 12 months; it can be quite exciting...