Sunday, July 28, 2013

"OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!"

It's been quite a year so far.  I've worked very hard with my club, with my teams, and with my own personal goals.  I'm now into year two with my club, and some things are going better, some things I'm still trying to figure out.  I hosted my second camp, bringing my good buddy "Coach Neil" in to run it.  I started a Kinder Academy, which has gotten better numbers than I had anticipated.  And I recently got back from Spain.

Spain was the major accomplishment for this year.  I took four of my U16 boys to join Coach Neil's group from Bethesda, Maryland.  It was a great experience.  It was fun to experience a different culture, be immersed in another language, and to be surrounded by high caliber coaching.  We spent six days in Maryland training, then headed to Madrid to train at the Real Madrid complex for eight more days.  I met a lot of people that I think will forever change my life.


I documented daily about that experience on my team blog.  It was awesome sharing that experience with those four boys, but on a more personal note, and aside from soccer, I feel like a changed person.  There's so much more that I want to experience.  Over the last week, it's been difficult trying to adjust back to life here in Cache Valley.  Something seems to be missing.  It wasn't until today where I think I was able to pin point what it was, as I came across a Dr. Seuss book as I was cleaning.  "Oh, the places you'll go!"  It was exciting having something to plan for.  First this year, it was my half marathon in Moab.  I was SO disciplined in my training.  Then it was Spain, where I spent a lot of time with the four boys in preparing them, again extremely disciplined.  Now I'm thinking... "What's next?"  And that's where my sense of feeling lost comes in.  I don't know what's next.  Of course there's the tournaments, the fall season, but nothing on a personal level.  So I pulled out that Dr. Seuss book and began reading.  When I got to the page that says...

"And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done."

Those words are so true.  It's so hard to get yourself out of a slump and into a routine.  And for me, to be disciplined, I need something to work towards.  A goal.  I just can't figure out what my next goal is.

I have my toughest season ahead of me, as Fall is the most demanding of my time.  I'm coaching three teams, pretty much, I have a club to run, and it's College season, where I'll be reffing as well.  This year, I have quite a few out of state games.  With that much on my plate, it's hard to find time for myself and take care of my body how it should be.

Tomorrow I have a game, and the one thing I love most about playing is I feel like I get my individuality back.  I play for me.  I play because I love belonging somewhere, and lately, with my team that's the only place I feel that sense of belonging.  I hope tomorrow can be my new beginning where I can be disciplined to get myself out of my slump.  Step one is to remove negativity from my life.  It's so draining mentally and emotionally.  Step two is to get my workouts back.  When my body feels strong, my mind feels strong, and I'm so much more at peace.  Step three is to target a new goal.  I need a plan.  I need structure.  And I want to experience more that life has to offer.


Just my thoughts I wanted to sort out.  I hope this next week can bring me some answers and ideas, and something to look forward to.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

BELIEVE

"Happy New Year! This morning I wanted to encourage you, unlock something inside of you and release something great into your life. I asked God what I should say to all of you reading my facebook this morning, and this is what I got. 

I just want to speak a spirit of confidence and boldness to all the men. I pray that men across this nation would rise up and know their identity, that they would know the strength that they have and they would use it to love, to lead, and to bring about change. I pray that men would lead by example. Even if they didn’t have a man in their life growing up that spoke encouraging words to them, my prayer is that they would be the men in others lives to say 'You are strong, you are courageous, you can do it, you are needed, you are loved, you are one of a kind, people look up to you, Don’t be afraid, you are powerful, You are not alone.' I want to encourage all the dreamers out there who have ever thought to themselves, 'wouldn’t it be awesome if I could do that' I want to say to you that you can! why not? seriously, why not?? Why not you? Someone has to do it so why not you? Why can’t you be the one to create that, build that, be that, write that, save that, own that? You are the only thing holding you back from taking those steps of faith. Despite what your circumstances say I just want to speak life in to you. God has a plan for you. Not to harm you but to prosper you, to give you hope and a future. To those of you who are scared to dream because you think you don’t deserve it I just want to say to you that is a lie that you have been agreeing with for far too long. You have something great in you that the world is waiting for. You don’t need to have been born with good looks and money and fame. You just need to have a determination to be exactly who God created you to be and nothing less. I want to give you all permission today to believe in yourself. I want to give you all permission to dream the dreams that God has placed in your heart. He created you specifically and uniquely for a purpose. Ask Him today what that is. I’m speaking to myself today too. There are still dreams in my heart that I want to see in real life, not just in my mind. There are times when I doubt myself and what God is doing in me and how He is using me. There are times when I need to remind myself that I can do it! Sometimes I need to remind myself that there is something inside me that the world is waiting for, that the world needs and they are not going to get it if I just sit on my butt and coast by or if I stay locked in a place where the fear of failure paralyzes me. I want to be brave. I want to live at my full potential being exactly who God created me to be.
Happy New year everyone. 2013 here we go!"


-Anjelah Johnson


This is the first inspiring thing I read to kick off 2013.  If you don't know who Anjelah Johnson is, she's an amazing comedian who I got to go see perform exactly one month ago in Anaheim with Teresa and Mitch.  Not only did I get to see her show, we managed to get to meet her backstage for a meet and greet thanks to Mitch and his "it can be done" attitude.  Here's the pic.






Her words were just what I needed today.  For the past few days, while coming back from a California Christmas trip, I've been thinking about what's next to come.  2012 was all about opportunities and making the most of every opportunity that presented itself to me.  I traveled a lot, starting off with the "B" course in Florida, Vegas a few times, Denver, and California a few times.  I feel like I accomplished a lot in 2012.  It all came at a price though, as I missed a lot of family time, my own personal wellness time, i.e. working out, and of course I lost a lot of sleep.  I'm proud of all that I've done, though, but I'm also ready to move forward.  I created a belief that it takes a year to get over a bad year, so I'm putting a lot of faith into 2013.  My mantra for this new year is IMPROVE.  I'm determined to not only live by last year's motto by seizing opportunities, but to improve in all that I can.  I want to improve me as a person, including my health, my spirituality, my... zen so to speak.  I want to do all I can and improve my talents, my coaching, my teams, and my club.  And yes, I need to improve my attitude towards life.  My cynical nature tends to flow through my veins, so that's where I'm hoping my "zen" idea can fall into place.  I'm in the process of redecorating my office, turning it into my zen/yoga room.  A room where I can focus and find peace.  The painting is all done, I've taken apart my old desk, and I'm in the process of de-junking everything.  I'm just waiting to get my new desk, I need to hang up all my "framed art," and organize all of my soccer and workout stuff.  It should all be done within the next week.  I'm so excited for this big change.

So that's project #1.  Improve my zen.  As far as what this year has to bring... I'm going to believe that there will still be ups and downs.  I'm going to believe that I'm strong enough to shoulder the weight of the downs.  I'm going to believe that I can and will improve.  I'm going to believe that this is going to be a great year.  Welcome 2013.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

2 Years Missing and No Whipped Cream

It's hard to believe I haven't updated my blog for two whole years.  I guess that's what happens when you get back into coaching.  I'm now onto my third year with a third club.  Two years ago, I was with Avalanche, then gave Infinity a try, but that just wasn't a fit for me.  This year I started my own club.  FC Bayern Utah.  It's been a lot of hard work that no one will ever fully know.  It's a constant roller coaster.  The highs are high, the lows pretty much make you want to slit your wrists, and there doesn't seem to be much in between, which reminds me of a book (The Talent Code) I've been in the middle of for six months now.  In this book is a metaphor from football coach Tom Martinez.  He says... "The way I look at it, everybody's life is a bowl of whipped cream and shit, and my job is to even things out.  If a kid's got a lot of shit in his life, I'm going to stir in some whipped cream.  If a kid's life is pure whipped cream, then I'm going to stir in some shit."  Well... I could definitely use some whipped cream.  September has been rough.  Too many games to coach, too many teams to train, too many parents with unrealistic expectations.  How do I take everything on my shoulders and still remain sane?  Pray for whipped cream is all I've got.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sly versus Time

Ok, so I have been terrible keeping up the last 6 months. I chalk it up to my hectic schedule combined with a little bit of laziness. Here are the highlights of my spring and summer.

LA JOLLA - This is our second time running the La Jolla half marathon. Ami and Teresa ran a great race, both PR'ing. I didn't quite run the time I had wanted, but still ran a great race.


Yes, we are lame, and by "we", I mean Ami and Teresa. We didn't get our shots after the race and took these in Teresa's backyard 2 days later. Ami and Teresa had family problems they had to address after the race, and I'm hoping they learn their lesson for next year to take the time to get pictures done anyway. You two...


Chris met us down in La Jolla to cheer us on and keep Brandon company. We are enjoying some Cold Stone before our post-race lunch.


Ami, Teresa, and me back in LA at Houston's for a post-race dinner.


YAY! Chris joined us again. I can't wait to go back out to Cali.


VEGAS BABY! - Kami and Neil put together a coed team to play in Vegas. Minus the poor officiating and the dirty teams, it was a lot of fun.


I was so glad Riley was able to go with us. He killed everyone on defense, and our favorite moment was when he tracked a guy down and CRUSHED him near the sideline, launching him out of bounds. Serves him right to mess with any of us...


Unfortunately there were no shots of the moment when Greg and I collided, resulting in me getting knocked out, and Greg getting a "Sly sized" bruise on his shoulder as he landed on top of me. I came home with my very first concussion. Thanks Greg, for the memories. :)


Me, Kami, and Annika chillin' in between games.


Club Atletico. We made history here.


RAGNAR RELAY - This year our team name was Justice League 2010. I recruited Tony to our team this year, and we had a blast. Minus the chaos at the finish line again.


We ran into the Ashcroft clan at exchange 6. What a fun bunch. :)


I was runner #10 this year, and my first run consisted of 3.6 miles. It wasn't too bad, other than the fact that I didn't come across too many other runners and I barely finished at a +2. Just look how fast I'm going... my hair is flying in the wind. :)

My second run was a long 7.7 miler. I killed it on this run, and finished at about a +18. Here I am tallying my kills.


Tony was super excited as he finished his last run. The poor guy had battled a bad cold all weekend. Good thing I brought those sports beans with an extra kick of caffeine.

My third run = "Ragnar". It was a gut wrenching 4 mile run all uphill. I ran it in my Wonder Woman costume (swim suit), and was cheered on by every passing vehicle. I actually felt great when I was finished and could have gone a couple more miles.


Since I felt so great, I ran the very last leg to the finish line. Kami had pulled a muscle, so Neil covered her last run, and I took his. My fourth leg was a 5 mile run to the end. I ran pretty strong until the last mile or so when I was thrown a bunch more uphill runs. I ran as hard as I could, and still finished with a +5. Only problem was, my van was held up trying to get to the finish line venue, and I had to cross without them. Come on Ragnar, you killed our buzz once again.


Me and my bro... I'm pretty sure I'm his favorite sister.


CHERRY HILL - All the siblings (minus Ami & Brandon, and Mitch), and all the nieces and nephews spent an afternoon at Cherry Hill on Kenna's day. Of course when it comes time to get a group picture with all the nieces and nephews, it's virtually impossible to get everyone to cooperate. I think it's more fun this way anyway. You've got Porter and Easton flexing their muscles, Fallon holding an uncooperative baby brother Hudson, all while wishing she were somewhere else. Emily Ty, Quincy, and Mia trying to get a good pose in for the camera, Ellie, not sure what is going on, Kimball hiding and flashing his devious grin, and AJ flipping his eyelids for the next shot. Ah... good times...


Kimball taking his time getting out of the Double Dragon slide area. This was unfortunately cut short due to some little kid "pooping" in the pool.


I was shocked Easton wanted to go down this slide. Just before we were about to go down, he turned to Melissa and said... "I don't want to get my eyes wet." She of course responded by advising him to close them as we went through the waterfall. He did pretty awesome and didn't freak out at all. Please don't mind the "butt shot".


Porter and I cruisin' down the Double Dragon slide.


Hudson and Fallon floating in the Lazy River. I'm not sure what Hudson finds so funny.


Quincy, Emily Ty, AJ, and Mia all sticking together down the slide.


FREEDOM RUN - This year Tony had to bike the run instead of run due to some cracked ribs, and once again Emily Ty and AJ went along for the ride.


This was the funnest race I have ever run. I had decided not to kill myself and go for a PR, and to stick with Teresa and run along side of her. It was nice to run with someone and have Tony and the kids on bike support to keep us motivated.


SOCCER - I've been coaching two teams once again, and I had both teams entered in the Striker's Cup tournament in Layton. I coach a U11 Sol FC team with Tony in which Emily also plays on, and I am now coaching a state U14 Avalanche team. They are all a great bunch of girls!


My Avalanche team won the championship game. It was a great start for us, as we were able to learn to play a new brand of soccer. We are bound to come across some adversity, but I am optimistic that this team will be State Cup contenders once again.


ANOTHER HALF - I ran the Top Of Utah Half Marathon with my friend Kami, and met up with another friend Nicole.

At around mile 4, I was SO SO happy to see Neil so I could give him my camera I was carrying and shed all my extra clothing. He saved me!


At mile 8 or so, I was happy to see Tony, Melissa, and the kids holding a sign cheering me on. It gave me new life, as I thought I was "tanking it" due to a lack of training. When I got to the finish line, I had actually PR'd by about 7 minutes. I finished in 1:39:12. Unfortunately as I had stopped abruptly, it also caused me to dry heave a few times. That's never happened to me, and I managed to keep my breakfast down. Whew...


I'm not sure what's in store for me next, but it is the fall season, which most likely means lots of travel. My first out of state game comes up Oct. 8th at Boise State. I'm praying for NO snow.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sly versus 26.2


So 16 weeks of training and a 5 month California visitation drought finally came to an end. On March 21st, I ran the "Stadium to the Sea" LA Marathon, which went from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. We were worried about traffic to Dodger Stadium and race officials recommended runners to be there 2 hours prior to the race. We got there with no problems, so I had a lot of time to kill. I saw Chef Gordon Ramsay, American Idol singer Allison Iraheta (she sang the National Anthem), and NBA player AC Green (motivational speaker). I sat near the centerfield wall wrapped in a blanket, waiting for the race to start. Before I knew it, it was time to line up and I hadn't even warmed up yet. Oops. Mistake #2 was getting stuck in the 11:00 pace corral. I should have wedged my way up closer to the front as this cost me about 6 minutes of time trying to break out of the pack and get into the rhythm of my pace. Mistake #3 was not using the port-a-potty before lining up. About 10 minutes before the gun was about to go off, I decided I needed to pee. It took about 8 miles to get the though out of my head, and the worry that my pee was weighing me down.

Instead of breaking the race up into 5 phases like I had planned, I ended up focusing on each mile, one at a time, trying to stay right around an 8:00 pace. This worked well, and some miles seemed to come super fast. Once I hit mile 20, I picked up my pace slightly, and really kicked it in the last mile and a half. I was cruising past people at that point. I decided a little too late to go for my goal of qualifying for Boston just a little too late. My finishing time was 3:42:08, 1:09 off from qualifying. I definitely ran a little too conservative, but I felt like I finished really strong. Overall, I was happy with my race. There's a possibility I may run it again next year... we'll see. Ha ha.

Other celebrities running were Shia LaBeouf (Transformers), Sean Astin (Lord Of The Rings), and Audrina Patridge (reality star).

The rest of the trip was great. A short meeting with Chris, massages, New Moon, and good family company. I recovered remarkably well, only sore for about 2 days (going down stairs sucked), but was able to run 4.5 miles and play in my 2 soccer games 3 days post race. I was a little nervous about being ready for the La Jolla Half Marathon 5 weeks after running a marathon, but it looks like that won't be a problem. I got back into training with no problems, and 13.1 miles seems like a breeze now.

Here's my marathon journey...


video

3 weeks from today, I'm out of this miserable weather and back in Cali. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sly Versus The Little Things


I've recently decided that being single is GREAT! I don't have to answer to anyone, can come and go as I please, and have the remote all to myself. My life has been such a whirlwind lately, and I think it's time for me drop all the drama with guys and dating, and to appreciate the little things in life, like...

#1 - M&M mini's. What sets these M&M's apart from the rest of them is they just melt in your mouth with the perfect ratio of shell and chocolate. I prefer eating them two at a time.







#2 - Sweat pants. There's nothing like the comfort of putting on a nice clean pair of sweats. I do prefer pocketed ones, because one must have chapstick available at all times.


#3 - Gloves. One thing I hate, is having cold hands. During the winter especially, I will play indoor soccer while wearing the thin knit gloves the entire game. It may even be the source of all my power. That and yogurt.


#4 - Dictionaries. I prefer to spell things properly, and try to always have one handy. I also like to look up unfamiliar words. For example, I learned one last week while watching Survivor, and I was sure it wasn't a word. Ignoble. Yes, it sounds stupid, but it is an actual word. It means... not noble or mean.


#5 - Grapefruit spoon. Yes, a spoon with jagged edges so you can cut the wedges of a grapefruit and then immediately spoon it out for a nice healthy snack. This is my new favorite utensil ever. It beats out the electric knife.


Well, those 5 are a start, and boy do I feel better.


To be continued...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Two Steps Back

Marathon training has been going great. Or should I say HAD been going great. Last week I ran a new long run record of 20.5 miles on Sunday, 9 half mile repeats with 1/4 mile recovery in between with virtually no fatigue on Tuesday. Wednesday, was lower body strength training and 2 indoor soccer games where I scored a hat trick in one game, and 2 goals in the second. Thursday... a little bit of rest and recovery with U17 training. I was looking forward to Friday, which is plyometric day, but woke up with the flu instead. I hadn't been able to eat or drink anything all day, but knew I had to at least hydrate myself. After speaking with Teresa, she suggested grape juice. Now grape juice to us is a comfort drink. It reminds us of our Grandma, because she always had grape juice. Well, the thought of grape juice didn't sound all that bad, so I forced myself to sip some throughout the rest of the day. There were moments where I thought I was feeling a little better, and would drink several sips. I was WRONG. Now, I weigh the pros and cons of my decision to drink grape juice.

PRO #1 - The thought of drinking it didn't completely repulse me.
PRO #2 - It was probably the most pleasant thing I have experienced in reverse.

CONS #1 - I was left with a big purple mess to clean up.

That's right, projectile vomiting all over the bathroom floor, toilet, AND my pants. Thank goodness for tile floors and black pants. I still don't regret my decision.

Anyway, I spent all weekend on the couch. I had high hopes to work out on Monday, but was too exhausted after work. It is now Tuesday, and I was able to complete 4 half mile repeats before getting too sick to continue, and pushed through a little bit of upper body strengthening. I have 25 days until my marathon, and I am determined to overcome this setback. Of course, I could use all the support and motivation I can get. :)