Football is Back!!

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How excited are you that football season is back!? I know, EXCITED!!! The NFL season started this past weekend and not without drama, and also, Week 2 of college football.

I was fairly satisfied with the Texans play on Week 1 against the Redskins. Of course, I haven’t seen the whole game yet, because, you know, Kansas City. But, I did see lots of highlights and read up on the stats.

Here are my takeaways from Week 1 for my Houston Texans:

1. I was really interested on the quarterback play, because all of them looked bad in preseason, and I am happy with the way Fitzpatrick looked on paper: NO INT. Before Week 1, the only thing I like about him was his beard. Just kidding.

2. Hopkins and Andre looks solid on paper.

3. The defense was great, especially on paper. Robert Griffin III got destroyed a lot of times, it gave me flash backs of David Carr. JJ Watts, Brooks Reed, DJ Swearinger, and Joseph, all played pretty well, but more importantly: Redskins 6 points.

4. The down side, of course, was losing Jadeveon Clowney for 6 weeks with a torn meniscus. If the Texans win more than 2 games this season, I am a happy fan.

5.And lastly, I can’t believe that Bullock is still on the team, even if he did go 3/3.

Other notables, the Seahawks looks scary good. But, I need to see them play again before I pick them to win it all again. What I like about the NFL is that any team can surprise you, i.e the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs.

Now on to the drama: Ray Rice. I saw the video. And damn. If you haven’t seen it, I am not wasting web space by providing a link. As a mother of (3) daughters, as a sister to (2) sisters, and as a woman, that was pretty disturbing to see. The hit was bad enough, but the action afterwards was even more disturbing. I am not going to go into a tirade, as I am not here to judge anyone. But, I definitely would not want Ray Rice to wear a Texans jersey, if he were in Houston. Domestic violence is senseless and intolerable. Violence against women is unjustifiable and cowardice. That is all.

Extra: I’m glad that the University of Houston Cougars bounced back on Week 2, even if it was just against Grambling State. They play BYU next week, who destroyed the Longhorns this weekend. SIGH. Go COOOOOGS!!

 

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Toddler in the (Home) Gym!!

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Every once in a while, when I don’t feel like running, I (try) work out in the basement. We have a little gym set up down there, nothing fancy, a bench with legs extensions and bench press/squat bar, curl bars, punching bag, and free weights. If I have to go down there, I try to do it when Aspen is napping or before the whole house wakes up. Otherwise, I end up fussing/entertaining her rather than working out. Xavier on the other hand can work out with that crazy toddler running around down there.

Xavier is helping me out with training this week, so when Aspen sees us getting ready to work out, she too has to “exercise”, she says. I protest, of course. But, Xavier says she can come, all we have to do is let her exercise, he says. I have tried to work out with her down there and it usually ends in a war and no workouts.

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Anyways, I start working out and after every rep that I finish, Xavier lets Aspen do her, “exercises”, in between when I am resting. Of course, why didn’t I think of that? He lays her down on the bench and have her do sit ups while she counts out loud. It helps with her numbers, he says, and she loves that she gets to do everything on the bench. If you let her be a part of your workout, she won’t be a bother, he says. Yea right.

But, I do notice that after she does an exercise she goes off on her own and starts playing with her toys and even goes back up to play with her sisters. She only comes back down when she is ready to do her next “exercise”. And surprisingly, I am working out without any issues. And all I had to do was let her exercise. Of course I’m sure that when it’s just me and her, it won’t go as smoothly. But I will definitely be doing that next time she insists on exercising with me, instead of skipping a work out because I don’t want to fight with a toddler.

I am so busy seeing her as a distraction down there, that I forget that she might actually learn something from watching me work out. Maybe, I should see how it might teach her the value of fitness and exercising, and help with her numbers. Maybe. We’ll see. I’ll let you know how the new method, “works out”, without Xavier.

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World Cup 2014 Bracket!!

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The 2014 World Cup is here. Here is my bracket. The semi finals was hard to pick. I am still iffy about my Spain/Argentina pick. Spain has better defense and defense wins championships, but they are old, kind of like the Spurs. I might eat my words here.

Germany was not an easy pick, but giving it all to Brazil would be too easy (even though I read somewhere that no team outside of South America has won any World Cup that has been held in the Americas). And they will probably win it, because Junior is good and they are playing in Brazil.

Another iffy pick was between the Dutch and Chile, I decided on the Dutch because they were there til the end in 2010, so you know, experience, but Chile might edge them out. Finally, I went with Portugal even though Ronaldo is hurt ย because of all the issues/drama with the US coach and what not, and because Portugal is still ranked 4th in the world. Also, I was very tempted to enter a US-Russia match, and decided against it, but will be rooting for it.

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*World Cup logo image from google.com*

 

Run for the Kids!!

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This post is for all of my running moms and friends out there. One of the ways that I attempt to stay in shape, keep up with Aspen, and enjoy alone and quiet time, is by running, (as you probably already know).

Every now and then, to challenge myself, I sign up for races around town or wherever I happen to be. I typically try to pick out races that benefit a cause that I am partial to. It’s refreshing to be able to do something you enjoy and help out at the same time.

Naturally, I thought that the ย Kansas City Royals Charities 5K Run/Walk was a perfect race to participate in. The race benefits the Variety of Greater Kansas City Children’s Charity. Variety is a non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives of mentally and physically disabled CHILDREN. No better reason to sign up and run than to be able to help out our kids in need ๐Ÿ™‚

Click here or on the link on the left side bar for more information about the race and the charity. The link will be available until race day, August 2, 2014.

Hope to see you guys out there! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Sterling Move

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I am a big basketball and Houston Rockets fan, and the NBA playoffs are currently underway. It has been one of the best first rounds that I can remember, like ever. It almost feels like March Madness with all of the extra quarters that has been played.

Unfortunately, it has been riddled with the issues surrounding Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling. Sterling was handed down one of the harshest penalties by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for a wide range of racist tangents: a lifetime ban(never mind that the guy is 80 years old) from the NBA, a $2.5M fine, and pressure to sell the Clippers. Silver has asked for the vote of 3/4ths of the required NBA owners to “make” Sterling sell his team.

Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano

After the punishment was announced, there has been several mixed responses and comments regarding the whole thing. Does the punishment fit the crime? What happened to being entitled to your own opinion? The likes.

So, here are my three cents about the whole thing:

1. The Punishment:

The punishment fits the issue, there was no crime committed, depending on how you look at it. Racism should never be tolerated, and if one has the opportunity to squash any qualms about it, they should take it. The NBA made a statement as to what a bigot’s place in the league is, but I am not sure if the same punishment would have been carried out had the comments been about sexual orientation or say, religion.

2. Donald Sterling:

Donald Sterling was racist long before this event took place. According to wiki, he was previously sued by the US Department of Justice and by former Clipper’s executive/Hall of Famer, Elgin Baylor, for race and age discrimination. He did not become a bigot over night. The league and the players knew before hand what they were dealing with when it came to Donald Sterling.

Side Note: The Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP has previously awarded Sterling with a lifetime achievement award and cancelled plans to award him a second one next month.

3. Donald Sterling and the NBA/Basketball:

After reading some of Sterling’s comments and contract negotiation remarks with regards to race, I can’t help but wonder why no one had previously challenged this man like he should have been. I mean he pretty much believes that Black people are vermin. It took a woman to take him out of NBA arenas. Wiki says that, Sporting News has called him the “worst owner in basketball”, and The New York Times and Forbes have labeled him, “worst owner”, IN SPORTS, and there has been some really bad ones. So, Donald Sterling never was good for the sport or the league and all of this was bound to happen. It just took a long ass time. Money stretches time, I guess.

Let’s hope that all of this helps to preserve some of the league’s and the sport’s integrity and serves as some sort of heed to others out there in the dark. Well, in the NBA, anyways.

EXTRA: Social Media is a force to be reckoned with.

 

Sources: Wikipedia.org

Images from google.com

Don’t “Half” Do it!!

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This past weekend, I decided to run the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon. Big mistake. First of all, I whole heartedly meant to train for this run, I really did. But, I have no idea where time went, and the next thing I knew, it was this weekend. Second of all, I didn’t have to run this thing at all. I had no monetary investments or anything of that sort to MAKE me run it. So, my point is that, if I didn’t think I was ready to run 13.1 miles, I didn’t have to (I think I was just too excited to finally do a run here in Kansas City and because I hadn’t ran a race since the Dallas Turkey Trot this past Thanksgiving Day). But I did anyways, cause I am hard headed, and because I said I was gonna do it, and because I got all the way to the starting line undecided, and then the horn went off, and all of a sudden I was running, and so I had to finish it.

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This is not a post on how to train for a half marathon, rather, it’s a post on if you are not prepared or not properly trained or have not at least done a few miles here and there a week or two prior to a race: DON’T DO IT, NO MATTER HOW CASUAL YOU MIGHT THINK IT IS. I know this is an obvious, “duh”, thing, but to reiterate this point, I’ll tell you what happened to me when I decided to do it anyways ๐Ÿ™‚ The last time I attempted 13.1 miles was the last half marathon that I ran, which was January of 2013. My longest run prior to this run was like 2 weeks before, a measly 2.5 miles. Though it didn’t end (too)bad for me, I finished, barely, but I finished, I did pay for it. It took me fifteen minutes longer than the first time I tried it, and I suffered for it after the race, and the day after, and the day after that. I was hurting everywhere, even my eyebrows and eyelashes were hurting, I think, I couldn’t tell.

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This is how it went: The weather was awesome, the last half marathon I did, it was like a freezing 30-some degrees, with rain, sleet, and bad winds. This one was 80 and windy. PERFECT, I thought. The first 7 miles was a breeze, surprisingly, I hit all of the water station, no GU though, cause I had no idea what it was. I was on my usual pace for what I usually run a 10k. The bands and the music sounded great. Then mile 8 came. And my left knee decided so say, hell no! It kind of like refused to bend a little, so I favored my right knee and continued on. By mile 9, my whole left leg and right knee was like laughing at me and wouldn’t really work, so I brisk walked a little to rest.

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This run was hard FOR ME because of all the damned hills. By mile 9/10 all I can muster was a light jog because all of my leg muscles have given up, like literally. It feels like this: you try to run, but you don’t go anywhere, for real. It felt like a magnet was pulling your leg down every time you try to lift it up. I was still kind of ok at mile 10, but then they want to put the biggest freaking hill at mile 11, and I’m like, I’m done, just get to the finish line, go home, and soak. Also, at mile 10, like right before the massive mile 11 hill or whatever mile it was, someone wants to yell out, “Come on!! You only have 5K to go!”, I thought I was going to lose it. FIVE-FREAKING-K!! I wanted to stop moving so bad, but for some crazy reason I kept jogging, and once I got over the massive mile 11 hill, I trotted to the finish line, and thanked the LORD that I didn’t pass the hell out. I kept walking around once I crossed the finish line because I was afraid I would collapse if I stopped moving. For real. Finally, I stopped and sat down, and it hurt so bad. It hurt to bend my knees, every step hurt, water and bananas didn’t do crap, and, I had to drive home. More importantly, I still had to walk to the car.

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I’ll end there, but the pain lasted for about 2 days. When I got home, my left knee refused to bend. Every time I tried to walk, it said, nope! So I had to pick up my left leg when I went up the stairs or to get in the car for about a day or two. It’s about 4 days later and I have down graded to being just a little sore. It could have probably been worse, I’m glad it wasn’t. So, the moral of the story is train properly before you attempt any race, and don’t half do it, no matter how casual you think the race is, because it isn’t, especially 13.1 miles. The End.

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PS: Do not let the smiling photo fool you, I was smiling through pain ๐Ÿ™‚

In 350 Words or Less

The NBA season is upon us and frankly, with the way the Texans season is going, I am trying not to get over excited. I vaguely kept up with the Rockets during the preseason, and saw glimpses of legitimacy. Superstitious Janis was a little nervous with the winning preseason record because the Rockets seem to do the opposite during the regular season. Nonetheless, because I don’t live in Houston anymore, I can watch virtually ALL of their games, home and away. BAM!

Here’s is my take after the first 3 games, (and I know it is WAY too early in the season):

LIKES: potential, rebounds, Howard, the Beard, and Casspi.

DISLIKES: turnovers and inability to destroy.

If this team stays healthy, they will contend, but already Patrick Beverly is out and Casspi was out against the Jazz. I am not a D12 fan, but if he continues to play like he is playing, stay healthy, be satisfied with a sub-20 scoring average, and don’t whine, I can learn to like. I see lots of rebounds in the future with D12 and Asik, but I think together on the floor, they are slow as heck. My favorite off season acquisition is Omri Casspi, i think he is a steal, if he stays healthy.

However, if we do not limit the turnovers, it ain’t gonna be pretty. For now, I am attributing the 20 average TOs in the first 3 games to the infancy of the season and learning to mesh. Finally, I saw age old Rockets habits in the last 30-40 seconds of the Mavs game, Mavs got within 5 points with 21 seconds left. If we do that in the playoff or against other contenders, we will lose. The Rockets are young and energetic, but they have got to learn how to destroy and conquer, early on.

Prediction: I don’t think we are going to win it all or the West. But I like where the team is headed, maybe next year. And on the oft chance that we do win it all, I will definitely be down for the parade ๐Ÿ™‚

Aspen and I, at her first Rockets game (2012). GO ROCKETS!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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*Image from houstonrockets.com*