Lets GO LAKERS!!

This past Saturday I went to my first SUNY Oswego hockey game. I was so excited that I thought the game was at 12 p.m. got ready made breakfast only to see it was 7 p.m. Fail I know. Anyway I’ve been wanting to go to a game for sometime now. First because I have school spirit  and secondly because supposedly we are really good (more on that later) so I wanted to see what all the “Hoopla” was about.

When we first arrived at the game(got there a lil late)

BOO! BOO THAT MAN! (Morrisville’s goalie ..supposedly he is really good don’t ask me his name though -shrugs-)

Some Lakers & those other guys

Face off:

I had really good seats in the student section I was Rink Side:

We lost the game so that was slighty disappointing. From what I’ve heard about how good our team is and the final scores I usually see you could tell that Saturday just wasn’t their day. They have been on the road for quite some time and when you are that good everyone is gunning for you. I’m not one to judge because we all lack effort sometimes. I’m writing this post instead of doing homework(shrugs) HEY MA ! lol.

All in All though I had the time of my life. I am definitely going to the next game. The student section is too live. I even started the “Lets Go Lakers” chant in the 3rd period when I worked up some nerve. So its official you can’t come to Oswego either as a student or a visitor and NOT go to a game that’s a crime. UPD will arrest you.

-Lifetime Laker Fanatic Now

Broomball Triggers Competition at Oswego State

Broomball? Um, what is that?”

That was my initial response three years ago when my new friend, Hannah, asked my roommate, neighbors and I to play in a broomball league throughout a portion of the semester. I had no idea what this game was, nor had I ever heard of it. But did that stop me from playing? Not a chance.

Broomball, she explained in a less efficient manner, is a game similar to ice hockey. There are two teams consisting of six players, including the goaltender. The object of the game is to score more goals than the other team. Sounds simple, right? Well, take off those ice skates and put on sneakers, and instead of a hockey stick, replace it with a “broom.” Oh, and you get a miniature ball (about the size of the balls you use when you play basketball in your room, with the hoop attached to the back of the door) instead of a puck.

Needless to say, I fell in love with the game. We played various teams at around 11 p.m. every week, providing a relief from homework. My friends and I were so psyched about it, we even planned to sign up every year for the rest of our college career. It was freshman year then.

We were intense players freshman year.

It’s senior year now and I played broomball again for the first time last night since freshman year. College got in the way — suddenly my classes were harder, I had to work more hours and homework became more prevalent than gallivanting across the ice. Last night, however, kicked off a fierce competition between the employees at Campus Recreation and Cooper/Glimmerglass Fitness Centers. Although every member of my team (the fitness centers) hadn’t played in the same amount of time as myself or longer, and Campus Rec plays nearly every day, we couldn’t say no when they challenged us. So I put the homework aside for an hour and shuffled onto the ice once more.

After two 20-minute periods of a lot of falling and checking into the boards, Campus Rec added their first tally to the win column with a 5-0 victory. However, they believe that this was a one-time deal. What they don’t realize is that we don’t give up that easily. I have a feeling that I’ll be on the ice much more often this semester, whether I like it or not. My co-workers and boss might get upset if I don’t.

Broomball originated in Canada, but is now played across the world, particularly in the U.S., Australia and Japan. It’s a recreational sport, but play can often get intense. By the end of the game, I was sweating through my face mask and my shirt had subtle sweat stains. Not bad when I was playing in a freezing hockey rink and I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and sweatpants.  It definitely made up for my lack of a workout yesterday; I burned about 476 calories in an hour. So if you ever hear broomball being promoted in your area, don’t be afraid to give it a shot!

Have you ever heard of or played broomball before? What do you think about the sport?

A Weekend Split

The first road trip is always a big test for a team, especially when it involves a 9 hour bus ride. Our destination: Adrian, Michigan . . . and our goal: Beat Em’!  The trip begins with giving jobs to every player, whether it be packing the stick bag or just grabbing the coaching board. Usually the more heavy work goes to the freshmen– everyone does their time. It’s just a seniority thing. Once we get the bus packed it’s time for some beautiful singing from the freshmen until we get off campus– just a little tradition we have to start the trip off right. Once we get settled down most players either do homework or take a nap. Then comes the next typical question by any athlete, “where’s the food?”

Four hours into the trip we stopped at Wegman’s. Each of us were allotted $12 to spend on whatever our little hearts desired. A teammate (Emi) and I decided to pool our money together. With it we each got an entree (chicken) and two sides (squash and green beans), a roll of spicy salmon sushi, two spring rolls, and a mixed concoction from the salad bar. Pretty good for two people.

With bellies full we popped in a movie, Get Him To The Greek. That killed about 2 hours of the bus ride  which was followed by some more napping. Finally we arrived at the hotel and were divided up into rooms. As soon as our heads hit the pillows we were out like a light. 8:45 AM Breakfast time. 11 AM Pre-Game Skate. 3 PM Pre-Game Meal at Adrian College’s dining hall. 5:15 Team Meeting in the locker room. Warm up at 5:30 and then the 60 minute clock started at 6pm.

Our warmup on the ice was good but not great. I think our legs were a little dead from the 9 hour bus ride. I also think that we underestimated Adrian and the type of intensity they were going to come out with. The first period they were all over us, constantly pressuring us in our own end, and making us cough up the puck. The second and third period were better but not enough to catch up to Adrian with a 2-0 lead.

As the buzzer sounded, I left the ice feeling disappointed in our team’s overall performance. I definitely felt that we could’ve won the game and that we should’ve been more prepared mentally for the game. However, the mental aspect is something only an individual player can control. I think that will be one of the things our team will need to work on this year. We need to be mentally prepared for every game and not walk in like it’s just another game. Every game is a test, every game is an opportunity to climb a little higher up the mountain.

Our second game was exactly how we need to be for every future game. Everything just clicked in our off-ice and on-ice warmup and from the first drop of the puck. We knew what to expect and instead of trying to play to them we made their team adjust to us. We dominated in every area of the ice. After the 1st period it was clear who was controlling the game. The ice in Adrian’s zone was completely cut up and the ice in our end looked like the Zamboni had just iced the surface. The energy in the dressing room was amazing and everyone was completely focused. The next two periods we dominated and the final score was 3-1.

I breathed a sigh of relief as we laid on the grass outside of the bus waiting for the rest of our teammates. There were about five us just lying there, looking up a the clear blue sky. The temperature was just perfect, and just above us were the Canadian and American flags flapping in the wind. It was almost too good to be true. It felt so good to leave Adrian with a win. Yes, it would have been better to win both but I think losing taught us a valuable lesson; we need to come prepared to every single game because you never know what to expect.

This year I am very excited for our team. I know we are going to accomplish great things for this program. Will it be difficult? Yes, of course it will but I think that’s what makes it that much more worth it.

Getting Flexible with Tara Stiles

I don’t know about everyone else, but I take the term “group exercise class” very seriously. As in, I don’t go unless I have a friend tagging along. Call me crazy but I need to have that moral support when I’m exercising in front of a group of strangers and the instructor can zero in on me at any second. I know from working at a gym that most instructors don’t judge (unless you show up to spinning class in cutoff jeans and hiking sneakers), but you never know about the other participants.

That’s why I dragged my best friend, Liz Shaftic, to a new yoga class when she came to visit here in NYC. After taking a six hour bus ride to arrive at 42nd Street at 12:30a.m. on a Friday night, you’d think I’d let her snag some extra shut-eye the next day, right? Wrong. We were up bright and early to head to Tara Stiles’ Strala Yoga in NoHo.

Due to some unexpected subway construction that seriously derailed our arrival, Liz and I kicked things off to a good start by showing up nearly a half hour late. However, we were still able to grab a yoga mat and jump into downward dog with one of the most prominent yoga instructors in the nation (Not to mention her husband, Michael Taylor, who’s studied and practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than two decades, joined us for class).

Now, before you start thinking I’m a huge yoga guru because I work at FITNESS and really love participating in fitness-related activities, let me explain something: yoga has never been on the top of my priority list. I usually forget to stretch before and after my workouts (I’ve gotten better, though!), so contorting my body into various positions and holding them peacefully is not something I’m usually good at. But being the adventure-seeker that I am, I figured I’d give it a shot.

Although the “Strong” class I took is normally an hour and 15 minutes long, I was only there for 45 minutes and I still got a sweat-inducing, muscle-blasting workout. Tara took us through a variety of poses that didn’t just stretch the muscles. We did core, leg and butt exercises that really strengthen the muscles as well. By the end, my tank top was drenched with sweat and I realized I shouldn’t have bothered to shower before class. Don’t forget I was only there for 45 minutes — I can only imagine what I would have looked like if I was there for the full class.

Tara was also extremely nice and helpful with each class participant. She corrected my form when necessary, as a good instructor should, but she didn’t point it out to the rest of the class. In the middle of a pose, she quietly walked over and adjusted my body. And to make things less embarrassing, she cracked a joke and always had a bright smile. I noticed she was like this with all the participants rather than just with me because she knows I work at FITNESS.

Although all these things are great, I haven’t even gotten to the best part: the price. Yoga classes in NYC are typically $20 per class and can be close to $300 a month if you’re a regular goer. But Strala Yoga offers a unique, affordable opportunity: $10 a class.

“I want to make yoga affordable for everyone so that it can be something that’s easily integrated into everyday life,” Stiles told me after class. “We make the classes enjoyable and affordable, so we always have people coming back for more.”

This really could be the best deal around. So if you’re in NYC, pick up your yoga mat (or rent one there for $2) and head over to Strala Yoga. I promise, you won’t regret it. And look for me while you’re there — I’ll probably be the girl near the back trying to twist in various directions.

Tantalizing mind games

Ghana just beat the U.S. in the 2010 World Cup :) My friend Jenny who I met in Ghana is at the World Cup; I hope she saw it. My boyfriend and family says I have no national pride, which is slightly true. I was rooting for Ghana because I want to see a country whose main sport (arguably only main sport) is football succeed at what they do best. I get annoyed with the inherent winner-take-all attitude of American athletics. Why do we HAVE to be the best at every single sport in existence? Ghana beat the U.S. in two consecutive World Cups. Should we have hard feelings because the U.S. lost or should we be proud that a country whose intense focus on football reaped winnings?

I choose to sympathize with Ghana and give them as much congratulations as they deserve. I hope they win the World Cup!

Moving on to the title of this blog, “Tantalizing mind games,” I’ve been racking my brain recently with trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life in the next year. A lot of good things have happened to me over the past couple of months. Got several big-ticket scholarships, got to go to Scotland, got to see the family in California, got my summer job back, and got to move in (partially) to my apartment in Oswego.

It’s hitting me every day: holy cow – I’m going to be a graduated senior within the next year, and I’m going to have to figure my life out!

I have so many thoughts running through my head, hence the mind games. I’ll think of possibilities for employment, where I’m going to live, how I’m going to afford everything. It’s like chaos in my head. I love to plan things out from week to week and have intricate details about what I’m going to be doing. The problem with planning for my life after college is that I can’t plan out what I don’t know!

I’ll be graduating with a journalism BA and global studies minor (which sounds good on paper but doesn’t actually count for anything concrete). I KNOW that I want to work as a writer/communications person for a nonprofit that works toward equal human rights/eco-justice/environmental justice. I want to be with my boyfriend, Josiah. The problem with that is that we have to wait until he finds out where he’s getting into law school. The options are: UCLA, UC Berkeley, San Diego Law School, possibly Georgetown, San Francisco School of Law, and others. This means that I have to find a job wherever he’ll be located. I wish I knew so I could start looking!

I also want to go to grad school for either journalism, nursing, environmental science, or global/international studies/diplomacy. They’re related, right? Sounds near impossible, but I think that our generation will be one where everyone has five careers or something. Hopefully.

Do you see my predicament? This is a dysfunctional blog – just like my creative non-mathematical mind on Sudoku. Sometimes I naively plead: why can’t this be easy?! Growing up is definitely not easy. I look forward to figuring out what I’m going to do. Hope these mind games clear up!

Just Do It

Cloud nine can’t even begin to describe the state of euphoria I am in right now.

After working all day,  my fitness editor, Mary, asked me to attend a press event with her. Clearly, I said yes. Then I found out it was for Nike and we were testing their new products that are launching in July. I couldn’t have been more psyched.

After our car service dropped us off at 555 West 18th Street, we mingled with other editors in attendance and waited for the event to start. For those of you who are not familiar with the media industry, press events are attended by various editors, writers, staffers and bloggers from multiple magazines. The goal is to find out about new products and come back with any new, exciting information that could possibly run in the magazine. Usually, you get gift bags as well so that all of the promoted products can be tested!

When the program began, a lot of the new products were discussed and technologically explained. Nike’s new gear is launching in July, and it ranges from new sneakers to sports bras. Everything discussed today was geared toward women because, well, everyone there was female and worked at some form of a women’s magazine. I’d tell you about the new stuff coming out, but you’ll have to check out my health and fitness blog, The Pulse, for that insider info.

A huge surprise came next.

Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder for the 400-meter and 4 X 400 m relay, spoke to us about proper preparation for running. I was slightly star struck. To make it better, he also Skyped (possibly another system used, but I think it was Skype) with Sanya Richards, the defending U.S. and world champion in the 400-meter. She provided tips specifically for females to prepare their mind and body for running. But again, if you want that info, you’re going to have to check out The Pulse.

Finally, we were decked in Nike’s latest gear from head to toe, all the way down to the socks and sports bras. Everyone decided to run two, four or six miles and Nike brought in professionals to pace us throughout our run. I stuck with two because of my blood disorder, but I think next time I’m going to tough out four. Oh, and Michael Johnson ran with us two-milers! (I finished the run before he did, if that counts for anything.) And yes, we got to keep all of our gear, so I now have a ton of new fitness gear!

So this is just a few toes dipped into the ocean of things that magazine journalists are able to experience. I can’t wait to dive in.

Getting ready to celebrate the earth!

Mother Earth Week is coming up NEXT WEEK AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

On a sidenote: I’m stressing out right now. Amidst my several articles due for JLM 310 and 309, papers for Eng 220, exams for Fre 202, homework for GLS 316, upcoming concert and voice lessons for MUS 497, events to organize/publicize for JLM 495, AND putting together a whole week of environmental awareness events = I am trying to remember to eat and sleep!

I overbook myself, but it’s an addiction because I love being busy from 7 a.m. to 11/12 p.m. every day. It’s a curse I tell ya. But, something tells me that this will all amount to something in the end, so I’ll keep at it.

Bitching aside, are you ready to love ya Motha? Mother Earth Week starts next Saturday at 10:30 a.m. by Mary Walker Health Center where we will be walking along the lakeshore east and west of the building, cleaning up loads of plastic and general trash. That’s just the start. Sunday is our prep/have fun with Indian color festival pigment battle day. That should be fun… the rest of the events are online at our Web site: Students for Global Change.

Two things I wanted to highlight, though were the environmental panel and Oswegostock.

The environmental panel (check the event page on Facebook) is on Tuesday, April 20th at 7 p.m. in Lanigan 104. The point of this panel discussion is to spread the awareness about particular, multidisciplinary sides of climate change and the move toward sustainability. We have professors from the psychology, chemistry and political science departments addressing issues from each of their respective disciplines.

Dr. Kestas Bendinskas, a very active scientist who studies the impacts of coal gasification and such, will address the science aspect of climate change.
Dr. Lisa Glidden is a political science teacher who will talk about existent and future energy policies and the different global policies on the environment.
Dr. Dave Sargent will address the issues of behavioral changes to adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle. He will address issues behind the psychology of climate change and sustainable life as a whole.

I will sit on the panel too as a moderator and move the conversation along while addressing and student questions there are.

The second event that I wanted to talk about is Oswegostock! This will be the most exciting festival you’ve been to ever, better than the orignal Woodstock!!!! Okay.. maybe not, seeing as how there won’t be any drugs or alcohol floating around the event. But, nonetheless. this will be an event to remember.

During Oswegostock, we will have several bands playing sets while we partake in arts and crafts, food, and games. There’ll be frisbee games, bubble making, tie-dyeing, eco-friendly craft making, and anything else you would like to do. THIS ISN’T A HIPPIE EVENT! It is meant to bring together the Oswego community where people will be enjoying good music and listening to speakers on the environment.

So, with all that said, I won’t bore you anymore! Come out and enjoy Mother Earth Week. E-mail me at kraymond@oswego.edu for more information or visit our Web site at http://s4gc.blogspot.com.

Leaf-Raking!

Today representatives from our athletic teams went leaf raking in Oswego!  SAAC (student athlete advisory committee) set up this volunteer activity for us.  It has been something that happens every year, and it’s really cool because we get to help out the older people in the community and also make Oswego look nice!  The athletes split up in teams of 5-10 people and get a list of lawns to rake.  All senior citizens or other people in need have the opportunity to sign up, and I think they are all very grateful for this.  It was great being able to help these people out, but it was also a really fun time!

One of the houses that I went to was a former Women’s Swim coach, Grace Mowatt.  She shared stories with us about when she used to coach the team.  It was really fun hearing about how different things were before, and how our program has evolved.  Grace and her husband even gave us pizza and cider!  At least that was pretty exciting for me… like most other college kids, I always love free food. :-p    I could tell how grateful they were, and that really made the whole thing worthwhile.  At the other house that I raked, I got to jump in a huuuuuge pile of leaves.. that’s always fun, no matter how old you are!  The pic below is right as i was jumping into the pile of leaves… with just my feet sticking out :-p

Community service is something that a lot of people dread doing, or think that it will not be much fun, but I’m telling you right now that it is as fun as you make it.  I used to really hate raking the leaves in my yard growing up because it was a chore that I had to help with every year.   To be honest, the first time I signed up to do the leaf raking in Oswego,  I wasn’t very excited about it, but it ended up being a lot of fun.  I got to go out and do something different for the weekend, I bonded with my teammates, and I made a difference in my community.  That really beats sitting on the couch all day.  I even got back in time to watch the football game!  (GO BILLS!)  The bottom line is, get yourself involved in community service, because there are lots of people out there that need our help.

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Apple Picking in Oswego!

I love the Fall. Even though it means that its getting colder and raining every other day in Oswego, it’s still such a beautiful time of year. Every Fall, at home I used to go apple picking with my family, but now since I’ve been to college it’s been a while. This year some of the girls and guys from my Swimming and Diving team decided to go. We had a lot of fun picking apples and then making a bunch of pies and stuff after! Being here in Oswego, we have the opportunity to take advantage of doing the apple picking and things like that with some awesome orchards around. The place that we went even had kind of a carnival with games, food, and lots of people. It was definitely fun to get away from schoolwork and normal weekends to do something different. For those of you who are reading this, THERES STILL TIME! Make a day out of it… nothing like apple picking and some Sunday football after with some apple cider and pie :)

fellow teammate, Emily!

One of my teammates, Emily!

allmost over… sigh.

wooowww…. Summer is almost over. it crazy how the cold winter months drag so slowly, yet the warm pleasant ones fly by soo quickly. However, I do have to say that it has been an enjoyable time off of school and at home with my family and friends….lets recap…. I went sailing everyday for 8 hours and got paid. I went to a few regattas and hung with some awesome people. Free concerts every Tuesday in my town, and The Fray concert at Darien lake. Awesome vacation in the Outer Banks with Old Friends. Rode a jetski for the first time, and went wakeboarding. I’m also going to a Bills Preseason game Saturday. … i’d say thats a pretty solid summer. I’ve also been named one of the captains for the swim team and I have been already beginning to plan things for the upcoming season. I am really looking forward to my senior year and what new things it will bring. Also, A shout out to all the new swimming freshmen, you guys are in for an awesome ride :)

alright.. kinda late so ill keep it short, but I just wanted to drop a quick line in case you thought I forgot about ‘ya ;)

a little surf-time on the beach :)
a little surf-time on the beach :)
<3 Leah