Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fundraising for Athletes in Action

Lately I’ve been making a conscious effort to do a better job of living out what I say I believe. Sometimes it’s hard. Like when someone asks if you’d like to go on a trip to Puerto Rico with Athletes in Action to lead some track clinics and share your testimony while you're out there. Sure, I’d like to do that, but normally I’d find a bunch of reasons why I can’t. For starters, that’s my first official week of practice so of course the timing is all wrong. Then there is the cost involved. It would be much easier if I could do something local, instead of paying to go all the way to Puerto Rico and do something for others. And of course, sharing your testimony, even just talking openly and honestly about what you believe in terms of faith, is not always easy. I can tweet a scripture, or incorporate my faith in my blog when it seems appropriate, but ask me to get too far out of my comfort zone and I get a little jittery.

But when I thought about it, those were probably the precise reasons why I should go. Athletes in Action is an organization that brings together two of my biggest passions… Jesus and sports. Among other things, it allows athletes to use sports as the platform to reach out to others who might not otherwise hear the gospel. If this was just an opportunity for me to go on a free luxury vacation where I could sit around and do nothing at a time where I had nothing better to do, I’m not so sure that falls under the category of helping anyone or sharing anything. So I decided I would go. I should go. I will gladly step out of my comfort zone because that’s usually where you find the rewarding things in life.

They recommended that we try and fundraise our way there and while that adds a whole other uncomfortable twist to the story, I have decided to at least give the opportunity to any of you who would like to be a part of helping me get myself out there and believe in what I’m doing. It’s simple really…I’m just using the talents God has blessed me with and trying to pay it forward, while at the same time making sure I let them know how my faith is such a big part of what I do and who I am. So, if you would like to give, please know that any little bit helps but also know that I am also accepting prayer on behalf of all you readers who talk to God on a regular basis, and words of encouragement in the comment section from everybody!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Muffin Tops

A few years ago, I realized that it was actually possible for me to develop something that almost resembled a muffin top. (Before you go rolling your eyes I have actual witnesses that can attest to this fact.) This phenomena was something I never experienced in my youth. I was a skinny kid—scrawny even—and developing muscle was the only way I could hope to accomplish any type of curves. If I stopped lifting weights and being active, I would revert back to my scrawny self and look like I needed someone to feed me a sandwich.

So, there were only two shapes my body had ever known… in shape Brianna, and skinny Brianna. But a few years ago I added a new one to the mix. Sure, I was still thin-ish, but the dough boy had dropped off a few extra rolls around my midsection and loaned me a few dimples in the thigh region. That particular summer I had taken a good four months off of training (one of my lost years) and proceeded to eat anything and everything my heart desired. Went I finally got back into training, my indulgent behavior was evident. Not only did I get made fun of when I went to practice in just my sports bra, but the process of getting back into shape was that much more excruciating.

That summer taught me a very important lesson. Namely, that I am vain when it comes to my stomach region, but also that as I get older my body does not act the same way it used to in my younger years. So, now I must monitor the time I spend completely inactive. I have a couple more weeks before I get back on the track but I have spent the last couple weeks getting active. I take spin classes, go to boot camp, and do light lifting…whatever it takes to keep the muffin top from reappearing. I actually like to exercise, and when I get to do it just for the enjoyment of it, I like it that much more.

So, if anyone wants to join me in my civilian workouts, you can find me at the 24 hour fitness. It’s my getting in shape to get in shape time of year.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Fall

Normally I wouldn’t blog about falling. But here is the thing: falling is embarrassing all on its own. It’s even more embarrassing when nobody will help you and wants to just pretend you didn’t fall, and it’s most embarrassing when you are all by yourself and don’t have the support of people laughing. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure people chuckled quietly to themselves or held it in until I was out of earshot. But nobody helped me out by audibly acknowledging what just took place, and that is what makes it 10 times worse, in my opinion. So, I’m rectifying that because I know you guys will be good friends. Here’s what happened…

Yesterday was such a beautiful day in San Diego and I was excited to see that there was a huge festival right by my house in Little Italy. I decided I would go explore by myself, eat some good food, and listen to some music. And I had just the perfect outfit to do it in. Maxi dresses are my best friend on a sunny day. They make you look put together and fashionable, without the hassle of wearing a bra or shaving your legs. I love it. So, I walked about in my comfortable floor length cotton dress eating everything in sight and happily watching old couples dance to That’s Amore. It was a great day! Until…

I decided I was ready to walk the couple blocks back to my place and purchased one last goodie to take with me. It was an apple covered in caramel, dark chocolate, nuts, and coconut and it made me salivate just thinking about it. So, I had the apple in one hand, my blackberry in the other (addiction) and I had crossed the street and was about to step up on the curb on the other side when everything went terribly wrong. The dress is maybe 2 inches too long, which I’ve always found a better alternative to being 2 inches too short. I find myself stepping on the bottom constantly but it has never been so annoying that I was compelled to do anything about it. So, as I was stepping up on to the curb I must’ve also stepped on the bottom of my dress and I instantly lost it. I went crashing forward, apple flying one direction, blackberry in another, and me splattered face first on the sidewalk. Ouch.

I waited a split second to realize I wasn’t hurt and then I’m sure my face turned bright red, or whatever color red makes when mixed with brown. I couldn’t play this off and there were a ton of people that must have seen me but they weren’t saying anything, not even laughing out loud so I could in turn just laugh at myself. So, I kept my head down and gathered the pieces of my blackberry and then went to see if my apple could be salvaged by the 5-second rule. (It was delicious by the way.) I stayed crouched down for a few more seconds contemplating life and praying that the Earth would just swallow me whole, but nothing happened.

Falling is bad enough, but falling while you are by yourself is worse. Way worse. So I hope by sharing that some of you will get a good laugh at my expense and make the whole thing a tad less embarrassing. I’ve lost all my cool points and I’m just hoping to get a few of them back before the weekend.

Please tell me...did you chuckle?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Business Casual

Earlier this week I attended a luncheon up in Los Angeles for people who I’m going to assume had pretty deep pockets. It was a great lunch hosted by the fundraiser group for the USOC and by D.I.S.C., who is the medical provider for Olympic level athletes. From what I could gather, I was a special invited Olympic “guest”. There were two of us, a BMX athlete who actually won a silver medal in the last Olympics, and me, an Olympic… hopeful. Now, if not managed correctly the fact that I actually have not been to an Olympics yet could be a huge let down at functions like these, but I have learned over the years to shine in spite of the lack of hardware. Either that, or I lie. Let’s be honest, nobody is going to go home and google it so who am I to disappoint. (I’m mostly kidding)

So, there were a lot of important business people in their fancy business attire…and then there was me. Perhaps I got the fancy right but I think I might have missed the mark on the “business.” I have a lot of clothes. In fact, my entire wardrobe is split up in between at least three different cities and I still could go a very long time without repeating an outfit. But there are obvious holes. And these gaps become glaring any time I need to wear something that is considered “business attire”. I wear spandex to my office and I go to a church that has no dress code so I prefer shopping for items I will use or something that excites me. Business clothes are boring. They don’t make me feel fabulous and they have no real use in my wardrobe. So functions like these leave me searching frantically for something appropriate.

I figured this presented the perfect opportunity to go shopping. So I bought a new dress that I thought was cute and figured I was good to go. But when I went to get ready, I realized 4-inch heels made a real difference to the length that I never really considered in the dressing room. And my bra kept doing a peek-a-boo. Awesome. There was nothing I could do about the shoes but I did manage to fix the brassiere problem. At the last minute I decided I would at least pull my hair back because in my limited knowledge of what professional women look like, combed hair seemed to be part of the package.

The room was 97% male so I’m going to assume that nobody was that upset with what pretty much amounted to a mini dress. Not to mention, there was a huge poster sized picture of me in my infamous gold daisy dukes at the entrance, so maybe my dress seemed quite conservative in comparison. Next time I’ll do better. Maybe add some pearls…

(and if anyone has some suggestions of good stores to shop at that have appropriate clothes that are still fashionable and not all that boring, I’d love to hear them)

Monday, October 4, 2010


I hate asking for money, no matter what the circumstances. But sometimes, like when people advertise that they’d like to give away money to people if they’re able to demonstrate that they need it and deserve it in order to pursue their dreams, it would be borderline stupid to not try and get your slice of the pie. And that’s basically what grants are. From time to time athlete’s such as myself will get notice that such and such foundation would like to give people some money to help them achieve their goals. Basically all you have to do to receive these funds is meet whatever guidelines they’ve set forth and then convince them that you are more worthy than all the other people who meet those same guidelines.

But while convincing people of things is my strong suit and I tend to be a pretty good written communicator, I am not a fan of having to do so in a formal matter. As crazy as it may sound, I do not like trying to tell people why I’m so fabulous. Crrrraaazzy, I know. Maybe it’s because I often think that I’m not quite as fabulous as I’d like to be but when I’m writing it down, I have to downplay all that and act as if the opposite is true.

Anyway, today I submitted an application for a grant that I heard about almost 3 months ago. The deadline for submission was today and I finished writing my 3 page “personal essay” late last night. I didn’t even ask people to write my letters of recommendation until two days ago. That’s how much I felt unmotivated to get it done. But to not do it would have been just plain stupid.

I don’t know when we find out who receives these grants and I don’t even know how much it will be, but I know that I could sure use the help so I’m praying for people to think I’m fabulous. In the meantime, I figured I should start writing more frequently on my blog. I’ve been slacking lately and whether or not anybody notices or cares is probably debatable. If nothing else, it is good practice at convincing people I’m fabulous. Are you convinced yet?!