Friday, September 16, 2011

Cayley and I had to cut our trip short.  I have been feeling severely under the weather and bed ridden for the past 48 hours.  I am a little bummed out because there was so much I wanted to see and do in Puerto Rico before we were scheduled to head back to Miami.  Luckily, the first two days were awesome. We got to see a good friend and spend a ton of time with him and witness one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen. We also got in a few really good practices with the Puerto Rican Beach National Team and some how managed to log a few solid hours at the Blackjack table. Unfortunately, my body decided to throw a monkey wrench into the rest of our plans. So now, instead of spending the weekend in Miami for the Cuervo Open, we are headed back to Los Angeles so I can get healthy again.

Monday, September 12, 2011

We just arrived in Puerto Rico after a long weekend in Miami. 

The tournament setting was tough to beat (minus the billion degree weather) and the competition was the toughest we faced all year. Getting to watch Kerri Walsh play was unbelievable. Seeing how talented she is makes me so excited to work towards that level. The way she moves with such ease and sees open shots on the court all while running, jumping, turning, and barely sweating in the energy vacuum we call sun is beyond impressive. She looks so graceful. 
I can only imagine my heavy feet pounding the sand, limbs spinning every which way, and ricocheting every ball coming in my direction like a rock being sprayed from under a speeding 18 wheeler's tires when I imagine myself trying to replicate something remotely similar to what she was doing so flawlessly. 
Keep in mind that I am also drenched in sweat and sucking in oxygen like it's the last ounce left in all of Miami Beach. And with every fleeting breath, the hot, molten sand looked more and more like a comfortable place to keel over and pass out. 

The bright side: there's room for improvement….LOTS of it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Building an empire requires a blueprint."

I have decided that the best way to proceed with my life is to start holding myself accountable. I mean like really accountable.
I know I take myself seriously, sometimes, and if you sat me down and asked me what my dreams and goals were I would list off a pretty hefty list of them. However, I have recently become painfully aware that I don't hold myself accountable ENOUGH in pursuing these dreams. Like really taking steps (daily) towards making them happen. Yes, I travel the world to play volleyball and yes, I go to meetings to try to get sponsors, but I haven't yet fully dived into putting myself out there and going after my dreams without any reservations. I recently read a book by Steve Harvey, which had nothing to do with what I am talking about now, but, he kept mentioning that people were too scared to put themselves out there due to fear of failure.
So simple yet SO TRUE!
After this self reflection, I have decided that I need to make a weekly goal list to help me be productive and help create movement forward in what it is I am trying to accomplish. My lists can range from money to health all the way to good deeds. Whatever it is I feel like will help propel me and my happiness/sense of self worth forward, then that is exactly what my goals will be for that week.

So taking charge, here's my list.

1. Today is Sunday. I will be down in Puerto Rico for the week. I have really been struggling with my eating but far exceed my necessary and required workouts to stay healthy and fit. So this week I am going to log everything I eat and limit myself to only one dessert item (most likely being a milkshake) until next Sunday so I can kick start my healthy eating plan. I am going to focus on a lower carb, higher protein diet and drop 5 pounds by next Sunday so I can move faster and jump higher for my tournament in Hermosa next weekend.
2. I will respond to all emails within an hour of receiving them. I have been letting too many must-dos become will-get-around-tos. 
3. I am going to improve this week making game time decisions in volleyball. (For those of you who do understand beach volleyball lingo, I am talking about dropping, stopping and moving to dig. Pulling line instead of middle and practicing my jump serve.
4. Do something nice for someone that doesn't involve money. I LOVE doing things for people. Like seriously, LOVE. Giving makes me the happiest kid alive. But I want to do something that takes more effort on my part than just thought and cash. I want to physically put in effort to help someone whether it's coaching a kid or helping someone move or even helping someone with a ride to the airport.
5. I am going to stretch! I know this goal seems so silly but it falls in line with my eating habits. I know what to do and I know what I should do but I don't do it and I can feel it taking a toll on my body. My right ass cheek has been in perma-cramp for 2 weeks because I am too lazy to stretch. My knees feel like they are going to explode because I am too lazy to stretch. My shoulders are so far forward that I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame because I am too lazy to stretch. So, this week, I am taking at least 30 minutes a day to stretch. It can be one long stretch session or six, five minute sessions for all I care, as long as it's 30 minutes a day.

I really encourage everyone to try doing weekly goal lists. I can't vouch for this system because I have not yet tried it. But I am so excited about putting these goals down on paper and out into the universe that I am almost positive it's going to make it nearly impossible to fail.

Today is a day that will forever be remembered throughout the history of the world.
This national tragedy makes me want to do better, be better for the sake of those who have suffered from the loss of family, friends, opportunities, life.
My heart will always ache in memory of 9/11

Never Forget

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My past weekend was spent in Aspen, Colorado participating in the National Volleyball League tournament.
The volleyball courts were a cool little set up with a low key, organic, grass roots vibe right at the base of the Aspen mountains.  Spectators lounged in lawn chairs while enjoying their Labor Day weekend BBQ and players got to explore the town of Aspen in between matches.
So not only did we get to visit this incredibly gorgeous place full of corner cafes, great farmers markets, and participate in the local's granola lifestyle, but the best part of our weekend was that the NVL tournament fell on the same dates as the Jazz Festival in Snowmass.
This festival was such a popular event that tickets were sold-out and impossible to get.
Thankfully a group of friends that road-tripped out to Aspen in a 1982 Airstream RV (that was lacking much of it's once silver luster and sitting on severely undersized tires) were sponsored by Rockstar and had roughly 60 cases of this crack in a can energy drink.  Because (at the risk of sounding overly confident and conceited) we are all brilliant and wildly creative, we pulled up to the Zac Brown Band concert all sporting Rockstar hats and proceeded to tell security we had "cases and cases of Rockstar Energy Drink to unload."
We were quickly escorted to the vendor parking lot, each grabbed two cases of Rockstar and walked right through the vendor entrance, single file, free of charge.
High fives, rolling laughter, and jumping chest bumps were only a few of the ways we chose to celebrate our group collaboration to crash the concert.
Within minutes of our entrance, all cases of Rockstar were distributed amongst many excited consumers, all hats were sitting proudly on many concert goers heads, and we were standing stage front just yards from the Zac Brown Band.
I would be lying if I said I didn't feel super smart and cooler than usual at this point.
More importantly, the concert was amazing!  I'm a little bummed I didn't have a cool pair of cowboy boots or a cowboy hat so I could fully embrace the culture of the country genre, but I still managed to have a blast regardless of my lack of crowd coordinating threads.
We ended the night with a quick stop at the local fire station to unload a few more cases of Rockstar for those hardworking, muscular, brave, dedicated firemen (who just so happened to be gorgeous).  We felt it was our duty to help them stay awake on their long shifts.  Not to mention, my parents always taught me to give back so clearly it was for the greater good of the Aspen community.   And just because I happened to come away with a few pictures surrounded by a group of them doesn't mean my heart wasn't in the right place.  I just felt it necessary to document my community service for the week.
Don't act surprised.  I know you're not.

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!