Posts Tagged ‘Sports’
April 14, 2014
Good Afternoon! I realize I am posting a bit later than normal, but I promise that there is a very good reason for it.
Last night not only marked the end of an NBA season for Scott and I, but also a closing to a chapter in our lives together.
(Also, linking this marvelous milestone up with Katie!)
Those of you who have been following the blog for a while already know that NBA Entertainment is what brought Scott and I together.
Back in the summer of 2007, I tried out for the Orlando Magic Dancers, and to this day we still have the professional sports entertainment itch in our bones. Last night marked six seasons performing in the league together, and today I am scratching my head at how in the world it all went by so fast.
My Last NBA Game
This year has proved to be a challenging one for me, both mentally and physically. Going into auditions this year, I had no idea what to expect and can without a doubt say that I was a part of a one of a kind experience.
Coming from another team, I did my best not to compare this to that, and took the opportunity to experience being a part of a different team in a different city. The 2013-14 season proved to be just that!
Without much time to reflect right now, I wanted to quickly highlight the game last night… but I will be sure to check back in the next couple of weeks with more posts and pictures.
Just like all games, I arrived at the arena hours before the doors opened for practice on the court with my team. We spent the next few hours getting ready in the locker room for Power Hour, appearances on the concourse to interact with fans before tip-off.
As I changed from my sequin dress and into our first half outfit, I couldn’t help but think that really was the last time I will be donning sequins, with the exception of the occasional fun birthday or New Years dress. The feeling of turning that along with the rest of my uniforms in was truly surreal.
Into our cut up tees, I made sure to snap a few photos with some of my teammates.
Unlike my closing game with Orlando, I knew ahead of time that this would be my last time dancing with these ladies on court and did my best to soak every little thing in.
Ready for intros, we grabbed our white hoodies and team chiropractor, Dr. Chad McKernan for a thank you photo.
As we made our way back stage, we spent a little more time getting to our spots, knowing that was the last time we would all be experiencing intros together.
With the dimming of the lights, we took the court for one last hurrah as the 2013-14 Detroit Pistons Dancers.
Even though we didn’t end up getting a win, we finished the season on a good note with an amazing and loud crowd cheering us on.
While changing out of our uniforms for the last time, the reality of turning in more than costumes set in. For a lot of us, we would also be turning a page and embarking into a completely new chapter in our lives.
After saying many goodbyes, we stopped for dinner at Trattoria Da Luigi in Royal Oak before arriving to our entertainment teams wrap up party.
(Unpictured spaghetti dishes as well as multiple baskets of bread!)
Everything was delicious, and Scott and I made a note to revisit more this summer.
One hundred percent content after a couple of glasses of celebratory wine and a good Italian meal, the group of us walked over to Fifth Avenue to say our goodbyes one last time.
There, we caught up with fellow entertainment teams and wrapped up the end of our season with lots of laughs and hugs.
After a full day of smiles and tears, we each parted our ways and only hope to see each other again over the summer.
It’s crazy going from seeing the same group of people multiple times a week (sometimes even every day!) for eight months to nothing. Each year, I take what I can from the experience and feel blessed to leave with a handful of friendships I know will last much longer than our time on the team together.
This morning, I woke up feeling good. A little sad, but overall happy with my decisions over the past few years. Through the good times and the bad, I made my way through six seasons getting the most I could out of every opportunity, and took in everything I possibly could without any regrets.
I am looking forward to sharing more about my time as a professional NBA dancer, but at the moment I must hurry out the door to my post-season treat to myself: a massage!
Thank you for following this journey with me, and I promise to have much more to share coming up!
April 11, 2014
Good Morning and very Happy Friday to you!
Today I have plans to get an oil change, head to the gym, and put our house back together from getting our carpets cleaned. I’m not going to lie… it’s kind of nice not to have a million things going on at once today.
As of right now, the only plans I see happening this weekend are early tomorrow morning and all day Sunday for our very last home game of the season. It’s crazy to think the end is already approaching!
As I wrap things up with my team this weekend, I am excited to share more of my plans for the summer and the upcoming year with you. I still have a lot to figure out, but already have a list of goals I am excited to move forward on. Can’t wait to share more!
Until then, we have Friday Favorites. Because it’s Friday and that’s what we do around here. I’m so glad a lot of you enjoy this series and I hope you feel inclined to play along in the comments section (and link up!) too.
Friday Favorites #32: Week of 4/11
• Zulily scarves (and sale!)
Rarely do I get suckered into impulsively purchasing online, but I have been on the lookout for lightweight infinity scarves for spring. And I may or may not have ordered three of them… Jackpot!
The early birds reading this might just catch the sale that is currently going on, pricing each one at $7.99!
• pet care + supplies
You might have caught a couple of posts about our fur kids and their health issues this week. First, I mentioned a change in Roadie’s behavior since moving up north, then expressed concern for the kitties and their dental care.
All is good with them, but after our vet visits, I am making a point to take precautionary measures for potential issues in the future. One thing my vet recommend for healthy teeth and gums are dental treats!
As well as some help in the hair ball department.
On my last visit home, my mother raved about “the antler” that has kept their puppy occupied for hours upon hours. She purchased hers at a dog show, so it was a pleasant surprise to find one on an impromptu visit to Petsmart.
It’s a real antler (yeesh) – most likely from an elk or deer – that lasts for months at a time and is great for keeping dog teeth clean and healthy. I also figured it was about time to invest in a tooth brush kit.
And finally, I stumbled upon this calming spray that smells amazing.
Although Roadie doesn’t ever really have that wet dog smell, I thought it would be nice to give him a good stress-relieving spray every now and then. I also like that it’s calming, and hope it makes him feel like I do after a nice hot bath with lavender soap and oils.
Plus, it’s Burt’s Bees brand, which has never disappointed.
• spring weather
Can I get a “heck yes” for this local weather report I’m seeing?
After a winter I hope to never have to experience again, I can’t even express how excited I was to see temperature in the 60s and 70s pop up in our forecast for the weekend!
I’ll just go on and pretend like I don’t see the drop back down to the twenties on Monday. (<- What? Why?!)
• sunset runs with Roadie
A solid week of amazing spring weather makes me want to do nothing but go outside and enjoy it. So we did.
After months and months of a dry running outside spell, I almost forgot how awesome sunset runs around the neighborhood are.
Avoiding our normal trail, Roadie and I took a different route along a main road last night and found nothing but pink skies and mother nature as our stunning backdrop.
It was so refreshing and felt easy to fly through the miles. In fact, we hit a new Roadie distance record of 4.5! I am so proud of ‘em.
Speaking of running…
• 75 Thoughts Every Runner Has While Out For A Run via Buzzfeed
Hehe. Totally. #3 crosses my mind EVERY time I go for five miles. And #9.
Anddd #17…. and #27… this could go on for a while…
• this photo that makes me what to be a Bulls fan
source (<- oh, hey Friday Favorites!)
I mean really. I have followed Jessica Garvin on Instagram for a while now, and her cuteness never ceases to amaze me.
For all you mommies out there, she also runs an incredible blog and is the photographer and DIY crafter I aspire to be one day. Like I wish I had even one thirtieth of her talent.
Anyways, she is sporting this tee with her adorable baby bump and husband!
• this salad
Baby spinach, spring mix, red, yellow and green peppers, cucumbers, shredded carrots, green olives, chick peas, feta cheese, cut up quinoa burger, ground pepper and a chipotle onion flavored olive oil.
Yeah… I might just make more for lunch later.
• yoga burnout pants
I mentioned these pants a few weeks back when I received a shipment from Reebok. Well, ever since the first time I put them on I haven’t wanted to take them off.
I have worn them around the house, to dance practice, to bed, around town, and even on the running trails.
Paired with these Reebok Skyscapes, I feel like I might not even be wearing any clothes at all. I’m that comfortable and I love it.
That was fun! But now I would love to hear from you…
February 10, 2014
Hey, hey everybody! How was your weekend? Quick? Relaxing? Eventful?
All of the above over here. Except… exchange relaxing with insanely action packed and there it is.
Although it’s the shortest month of the year, February is for sure the craziest for Scott and I. We have nine home games with four of them being back-to-back Fridays and Saturdays. Once the madness is over, I am then flying to Orlando for our Orlando Magic Dancer reunion to perform at that game as well! I guess you could say I am putting in my time on the court this year.
Anyways, I have something very exciting to talk about today and it involves checking something off of my bucket list. I am also linking up with Katie to share the story!
But, before we get to that I am going to quickly recap Friday and Saturday. Both days revolved around Pistons home games.
I spent Friday cleaning the house, then had to hop in the shower around lunch time to get ready for the game and weekend ahead. We finally pulled a win and to celebrate we hung with friends and enjoyed a night of games on the Wii.
Scott and I both woke up mentally and physically tired Saturday morning. Either we are getting older or… nope. I’m pretty sure that’s it. We’re getting older.
When my friend Alex called to see if we wanted to grab brunch, we were more than down! We went to a snazzy place called Toast in Downtown Birmingham, and everything was so good. I will most definitely be revisiting and writing more about it soon!
I ordered a special that included an omelet with peppers, tomatoes, spinach, feta, chick peas and hummus! (What?) I have never heard of using hummus as an omelet topping, but it tasted delicious. Also, I got the pleasure of introducing grits to Alex.
Being from the South, it catches me off guard when people haven’t tried them before. I grew up with grits as a side for breakfast and even the occasional dinner! She loved them, naturally.
Before long, it was time to get in the shower and get ready for another home game. We won again!
This time, our celebration called for a girl’s wine and game night at Alex’s afterwards.
I want to personally thank Nichole (and apparently her brother) for supplying this bag of gummy bears the size of our heads.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t dig into it quite a few times.
After an already physically demanding weekend, all of us agreed that we could treat ourselves to pizza. Still being health conscious, we chose to order the veggie pizza with gluten-free crust and a side of gluten-free bread sticks.
It wasn’t bad at all! With some of the stomach issues I have been having lately, I like to stay gluten-free whenever I can. I don’t limit myself to strictly gluten-free products, but if there is a substitution available I go for it. It seems to be helping!
For the remainder of the night we had a blast drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity.
We also might have dropped the gummy bears into our wine for flavoring.
Every single time I play that game I laugh so hard I cry! It’s so great, yet so inappropriate. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning laughing our heads off and I am so thankful to have girls like these in my life up here.
Skiing at Mt. Holly
Sunday started actively with a halftime rehearsal for tonight’s game. I ended up hanging with Nichole after for the rest of the day before our plans to meet up with her family to ski later that night.
I know I have lived in Michigan for almost a year and a half now, but Scott and I still have yet to check off a lot of activities from our Michigan “to-do” list. My first sledding experience just happened earlier this season, and I haven’t attempted to put on a set of skis since I was in middles school.
Prior to our move up here, I had only seen snow a handful of times. I had only been skiing once in my life, and that was in Michigan while visiting a couple of family friends when I was a pre-teen. From what I remember, I did okay on the bunny slope but that was as much as I could handle.
Pizza (the wedge position) and french fries (the straight position) was all I knew. I saw the beginner’s course just around the corner, but had a fear of even going on the ski lift up there to the top. Heights really aren’t my thing.
I left that day realizing I may never ski on a “real” hill, and I was okay with that until recently. Since then I have gone sky diving, zip lining, and repelling from over a hundred feet up. It was time to reassess my fear of heights!
When Nichole’s family invited us to join them on an evening ski session at Mt. Holly, I knew this was the perfect chance to face my fears.
We arrived to the ski resort right before sunset with just enough time to change into ski clothes and snap a few photos before it got dark.
Everyone in Nichole’s family has tons of skiing experience, so we had quite the selection of ski clothes to borrow from.
Naturally, we picked the matching retro jackets to be obnoxious. They both were from Nichole’s mother’s ski days back when she was our age!
Her father is a part of the Ski Patrol there, her brother was a part of a speed ski team, and all of them have the capabilities to teach a snow newbie how it’s done.
Scott met us after a full day of events and was quite tired before we even started. Knowing that, I was excited to see him arrive right after us!
Since our arrival time coincided with the hill closing break, we took advantage of it and grabbed a quick bite to eat in the ski lodge. It was packed!
After all of the paperwork and ski equipment rental was taken care of, we finally set out for the hills.
Scott, Nichole, her brother and mother headed straight up to the trail while I stayed back to ride the “magic carpet” up the bunny hill and learn the basics from Nichole’s dad.
(sorry for the blurriness)
Skiing is a lot more complicated than I remember! I got off to a rocky start when I couldn’t even figure out how to walk or slide in them. With a little assistance, I made my way up the “magic carpet” (<- bunny hill ski lift) and drug my feet across to the middle of the hill. Her dad coached me through all of the basics, and after a half hour I felt really confident about turning and stopping.
When we arrived, I had no idea I would then be heading up to conquer the big hill with the rest of our party. In fact, I verbally fought the idea for a while.
After some reassurance from everyone who witnessed my bunny hill moves, I hopped in line and tackled the ski lift with the rest of them. Let me just say that that in itself is an accomplishment!
We made it to the top of the hill and against my better judgement, I agreed to slowly make my way down it with wide turns and a team of coaches surrounding me.
My first run started out great. I took off nice and slow, shifting my weight from one foot to the other, keeping my wedge tight. About a quarter of the way down, I saw Nichole and Scott stopped on the hill, looking back up at me. I was directed to “stop” and tried my hardest to do so. But instead of stopping, I kept speeding up.
At the halfway mark, I realized there was no turning back. I was going to get to the bottom of the hill somehow and I was just praying I made it safely. I kept hearing screams of “pizza” and “put more weight on it” in the distance, but knew at that point that nothing was going to work. I honestly had no idea what was was going to happen!
Needless to say, I made it to the bottom before everyone else and officially earned a title of “Speed Racer”. With a runny nose and teary eyes I admitted I had no idea what I was doing! Apparently, everything I learned prior to the hill escaped my body and I needed to regroup before even thinking about taking another stab at it.
My biggest problem was that I kept my weight forward. Doing so eliminates any control you have at the front of the skis. Also, I wasn’t keeping my shins against the inside of my boot. I was trying to work from the back of them which also wasn’t helping me connect my legs to my brain commands.
I swore I wasn’t going back up the hill again. I was really shaken up and didn’t think I had what it took to gain control in the right way I needed to. I had no problem revisiting the bunny hill for a minute and applied some corrections.
Against my better judgement (for the second time), I agreed to go back up the ski lift and give it another go. This time I was determined to take it slow with really wide turns, and it went a lot better!
The third run was the first time I actually felt like I was getting the hang of it and wasn’t scared for my life. I followed Nichole’s tracks the entire way down. Weaving my way downhill and through the snow finally became fun!
Feeling accomplished, I decided to end on that note and warm up inside with the girls. We left the guys to race down the hill by themselves and enjoyed sitting by the fire in the meantime.
I felt very blessed to be surrounded by such a caring family. With my family still in Florida, it’s comforting to feel like I somewhat fit in with another one in between our visits home.
Over a couple of rounds of hot chocolate, we talked about the day and Nichole’s mother let me in on a little secret. I had just conquered the blue trail!
For those who aren’t familiar with the difficulty of ski hills, it starts at bunny then goes beginner (green), intermediate (blue), advanced (black). No freaking way!
To celebrate, I proudly put on my Mt. Holly Michigan pin and toasted with a spiked hot cider. Cheers!
The boys joined us upstairs shortly after and we spent the next hour or so watching Olympic Speed Skating. I tell ya, I have a whole new appreciation for those athletes! Racing downhill at speeds of 90+ is absolutely incredible and I just sat there with my jaw dropped watching them take jumps and turns like it’s nothing.
Scott, on the other hand, had hit is energy quota for the day.
For someone who hasn’t been skiing in over ten years, I was very proud of him as well!
A big shout and and THANK YOU going out to the Josey family for helping me conquer my fear of skiing yesterday. I am very excited to go back and try it again soon!
Now I’m off to get ready for another home game tonight. See you again in the morning!
Questions of the Day
• Have you ever been skiing?
• What is one of your biggest fears?
February 1, 2014
Happy Saturday! Anddd first of February for that matter. (Whoa!)
I hope you’re weekend is off to a great start. We have a home game tonight, but before we get to that I have some cleaning, working out, and party food preparing to do. What about you… any plans to watch the big game tomorrow?
I will be experimenting with a new lightened up pasta salad to take to a bible study tomorrow, and if it goes well plan to double it up and serve again later. Fingers crossed it’s a win!
If you plan on attending a watch party and want to bring something other than a donation to the pizza, wings, and beer fund, here are are ten crowd pleasing lightened up dessert and side ideas. Because somebody’s gotta bring the healthy, good eats!
Lightened Up Game Day Sides + Desserts
(My one claim to fame with BuzzFeed!)
Also, check out these Easy and Healthy Game Day Recipes from FitFluential for more ideas!
Before I go… we have a giveaway winner to announce!
Thank you to all who entered the Adult Vitamin Gummies Giveaway. I really enjoyed reading about your vitamin routines and supplements of choice. It looks like I am not the only one excited to try the gummy versions!
• Entry #233: Kalena Taylor - “I take a multivit, calcium, and vit c daily :)”
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address to claim your prize. You have until the end of Monday to do so or I will be forced to chose another winner.
Happy Super Bowl Weekend!