I remember my senior spring rowing season for three things.

  1. The Title IX 40th anniversary commemorative photo:

IX

2. Almost getting kicked out of the NCAA for a non-reason

3. Purchasing a shirt.

The shirt was a black racerback top with a Harley Davidson logo and the words “FAT GIRL” emblazoned on the front. It was the lightest shirt I owned—a breathtaking 0.15 pounds—which I knew because I spent a non–trivial portion of my life stepping onto the scale, stepping off, taking off my shirt, stepping on, noting the difference, stepping off, putting the shirt back on, repeat.

Continue reading “I remember my senior spring rowing season for three things.”

An Ode to Sucking

If you’re looking for a travel destination in the month of August, I can’t recommend anyplace less than south Louisiana. The heat and humidity at that time of year will make you feel like you’re walking through jello.

Hot jello.

But if, for some absurd reason, you decide to go to south Louisiana in the month of August, I would particularly not recommend fraternizing with fires. It only makes the heat situation worse.

As you may have guessed, I made this mistake.

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I’ve realized how much other people affect my actions, and it scares me.

I want to believe that I behave the same way regardless of who I’m with.

But that’s wrong. It’s terribly, embarrassingly, laughably wrong.

Want some examples?

I walked into the gym with a plan to do a few light cleans and nothing else. Once I got there and began futzing around, a few other athletes started talking about doing a workout together. When I saw the workout’s description as the athletes got ready around me, I hauled out some equipment and asked to do it along with them. It was a split-second decision, but I know for a fact that I would have done no such thing on my own that day.

Continue reading “I’ve realized how much other people affect my actions, and it scares me.”

Have you ever placed a miniature donut on top of a total stranger?

It was Sunday, November 15. I had just finished up a largely unproductive workout at the Crossfit gym and found myself in Starbucks, preparing to bury the benefits of my half-assed cardio in a tall chai latte (31 g sugar, 150 cals). The weekend had sucked.

Why did the weekend suck? On November 13, about 130 people were killed, and another several hundred injured, in a series of criminal attacks on soft targets in Paris. Following that news came a tail of perspective pieces detailing the death tolls of soft-target attacks happening in the Middle East and North Africa every single day. Innocent lives are taken in horrific attacks while I sit across the ocean and lament things like “I bought the wrong flavor of yogurt by accident” and “my mother walked across my white rug in shoes.”

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Moments of Greatness

have heard horror stories about Uber pickups gone wrong. Mostly, I have heard of people accidentally hopping into strangers’ cars and getting yelled at. Welp, I’ve discovered a new ending to the story.

It was evening. It was freezing. I opened my uber app, and three clicks later Jeremy was on his way to get me in a Jeep.

A minute or two later my phone buzzed. So I pulled on my hood, strode boldly out of the Starbucks, and headed straight for the Jeep on the other side of the street.

I opened the door. No one inside.

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I suck at adulting.

At least…I suck at the things that we think of as adulting.

I’m not particularly experienced at being an adult. In fact, a few years ago I remember being terrified of adulthood. I had never been an adult before and could not, in my wildest dreams, imagine myself as anything other than the kid I had been for the past twenty-ish years.

Now that I have survived my first several years as ‘an adult,’ I think that, when we talk about ‘adulting,’ we’re talking about something very specific. Usually, we’re talking about either:

1. accomplishing everyday housekeeping tasks, or
2. keeping up appearances, so we don’t look ridiculous in front of other people.

I suck at both of these things.

Let me count the ways.

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I grew up on some misguided ideas about leadership.

In high school, I looked for a leadership position in every club I joined solely because my admissions counselor told me that “Vice President” would get me into college better than “Member.”

That idea persisted at college. My classmates and I thought leadership titles would help us get jobs the same way they were supposed to help us go to ‘good’ schools.

There are about 7,000 things wrong with that idea (like, what the hell is a ‘good’ school anyway?’), but also, why would a hiring manager care at all that I was an officer of a drinking club with a Model UN problem? Or a drinking club with a salsa dancing problem? Or a drinking club with a Case in Point problem? It’s not an applicable job skill.

And yet, and yet, a competitive attitude about leadership titles seems ubiquitous even after people get out of college.

Continue reading “I grew up on some misguided ideas about leadership.”