Friday Fun: Killer Ducks & State Swim Prep

This weekend our oldest (9) swims in two relays at the 12 & Under Short Course State Swim Meet.
He'll swim a 50 free as part of the 200 Freestyle Relay and a 50 fly as part of the 200 Medley Relay. I'm really excited for him and the Sharks!
Last night the team had its state pasta party at the high school and each swimmer got a bag of goodies.
Inside Truitt's bag was a rubber duck. He explained later that he and his teammates noticed the duck has long eyelashes, which was not acceptable. So they took their sharpie markers and decorated the ducks.
Meet Killer.
It makes me smile. I love being his mom and watching him grow up.
Questions for You:
- What would you name this duck?
- How do/did you prepare for big meets, tournaments, matches etc?
Photos by me.

Dancer Meets Triathlete - Oscar Week!

Dancer Meets Triathlete: Oscar Week!
When Oscar-nominated Natalie Portman was training for her role in Black Swan she studied with the New York City Ballet five hours a day for six months. For cross-training, she also swam.
With the strength and agility required for Black Swan, I bet Portman would make a solid triathlete.
Let's compare:
*(D) Dancer, (T) Triathlete

Training schedule: (D) Obsessive, (T) Obsessive

Clothing: (D) Leotard, (T) Trisuit

Modesty suggests: (D) Black tights, (T) Black tri shorts

Performance enhancer: (D) Leg warmers, (T) Compression socks

Underlayers: (D) Commando, (T) Commando

Quick costume changes required: (D) Offstage, (T) Transition tent or on the fly

Wear and tear: (D) Bloody toes, chafing, blisters, (T) Fin bites, saddle sores, raw heels

Covers the butt: (D) Tutu, (T) Sparkle skirt, running skirt, transition skirt

Crowns: (D) Tiara, headpiece, feathers, (T) Swim cap, bike helmet, world championship crown

Hairstyle: (D) Bun, (T) Two braids

Segments: (D) Intermission, (T) Transition

In charge: (D) Director, (T) Coach

Shoes: (D) Tap, jazz, ballet and pointe, (T) Bike, run or tri

Laces: (D) Satin, elastic, (T) Speed

Bag: (D) Duffel, (T) Tri backpack

TMI: (D) Shaves more than general population, (T) ditto

In peak form: (D) Mesmerizing, (T) Effortless

Venues: (D) Talent show to Broadway stage, (T) Indoor, traditional, off-road and winter

Footwork: (D) Beautiful feet, (T) Born to run

Race preparation: (D) Dress rehearsal, (T) On site walk-through

Begins: (D) Curtain opens, (T) Cannon fires

Audience, spectators appreciate: (D) Gorgeous lines, (T) People watching

Concludes: (D) Nailing the finish, (T) Sprinting across the finish line

Post-finish: (D) Encore, (T) Sign up for another tri!

Questions for You:
- Is Portman a triathlete?
- What elite triathletes have dance backgrounds?
- How has dance helped your skills as a triathlete?
- What did I miss?
And finally, "Who's dancing? Come on, who's dancing? Want me to get it started?"
-- Elaine Benes youtube clip

- free media download from Black Swan,
- me in a tutu and
- me in my tri suit & sparkle skirt after a local triathlon.

2x Winner via The Facebook: Thanks USAT & USYS

I like movies. I like winning. So in the spirit of 21 & The Social Network and I'm happy to declare Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner upon winning two facebook contests. How exciting!

To celebrate hitting 50,000 facebook fans USA Triathlon offered fans a special prize for liking its post. Over 1,000 people liked the status and USA Triathlon selected 50 fans as winners, including me (ask 21's main lead Ben to do the math for should be easy).

I've been using my prize, two pint glasses, to celebrate. This weekend we celebrated with Coach Nick and his team's fifth straight Div. 2 State HS boys swimming title! (Congratulations to Neil also!)

I also won a soccer coaching kit thanks to United States Youth Soccer Association and Sports Authority. To enter you posted your favorite drill or lesson and you got extra entries if people liked your idea. There were 83 comments, some with a bunch of likes. I wrote about a drill I do with disc cones, Star Wars-style defense and body contact, it's really fun.

This is what I won: 8 bibs, 6 cones, 2 size four soccer balls, 12 water bottles, 1 clipboard and a large ball bag! Cool!

I've coached boys and girls from age 5 to 17 at several levels. I'm currently coaching our Kindergartner's team the U7 Lions. We start up again in early April. Gooooooooo Lions!

Questions for You:
- Have you won something on Facebook?
- What sports have you played or coached?
- Thoughts on 21 or The Social Network? As a college rower, it was fun to see the rowing element in The Social Network. As a Wisconsin rower (the one in red), I got to row with the Radcliffe lightweight 4 at Eastern Sprints. I was the Wisco spare and the Radcliffe stroke had a 104 fever--so I filled in, what a fun opportunity.
- And yes, I had to check facebook before going to bed after finishing The Social Network...

Valentine Surprises, Glo-golf and Pearl iZUMi

We surprised our friend and former neighbor Mary Stroebe with special Valentine's Day balloons. She wasn't expecting our visit and at first she thought we just brought the balloons to show her. We all got a little teary when she found out the balloons were for her. We love Mary.

Find out more about Mary in my post here. She did her first triathlon at age 77 and competed right up until age 90. She stars in the film Mary and Bill.

Our boys made homemade Valentine's Day cards for us and I made sprinkle cupcakes for the family. I also enjoyed indoor mini-golf with our third grader. When I asked at the first hole if we should keep score he said, "why, it's just for fun." Sounds good to me, we're a good match!
(This photo was taken in the blacklight room of the minigolf course. I added a photoshop feature to it and realize it's a little creepy -- look at my teeth!)

And right before dinner the doorbell rang, a big box arrived from Pearl iZUMi! Thanks to Outside PR and Pearl iZUMi I have a chance to test out some of their new products! Oh my, we're definitely talking my love language with fitness clothes/shoes!

When checking out their web site this morning I learned the name Pearl Izumi comes from the gem "pearl" and an area of Japan known for its clear water "Izumi." "Literally translated, our name means, "fountain of pearls" the web site says.

photos: Mary and I. Homemade cards. A sneak peek at the Infinity shorts, can't wait to do some active research **yes I added temporary sparkly hearts just for the photo! And me at mini-golf with a black-light/solarized photo treatment.

Questions for You:
- What scares you most in my minigolf photo, the eyes, teeth or appearance of horns above my head in the background?
- What would you love to review?
- How did you celebrate Valentine's Day?

Friday Fun: Look! A Bat Carrier!

There was this one time...

I was running errands with the kids, hands gripping the wheel at 10 and 2. My tense posture and aggressive eyebrow scowling would for sure create a permanent crease, like a super wrinkle. We were actually headed to the Super, otherwise known as SuperWalmart (though my kids pronounce it wool-mart).

You see, I was in heavy traffic in a roundabout. I'd need to stay in the zone to make it through.
Because of my intense concentration, I didn't think much about the delivery truck we were following. Then my kindergartner says, "Look! It's a bat carrier!!"

What? Where? Oh, I see. To a six-year-old, a Bacardi truck and its massive bat logo, looks like a bat carrier. Cute.

Just in case you'd also be confused I've pasted in a Bacardi desktop download for you so you can see the bat. (bottom right corner.)

At least now I was smiling as I rode the corner.

On Topic:
- Any roundabout discussion must include this European Vacation clip. (can't embed)
Big Ben! Parliament! Watch the official trailer at imdb.

Questions for You:
- Bats: cool or scary? I think they are cool and scary.
- Roundabouts: easy or stressful? They scare me.
- London: yes or no? I've been twice and would love to go back.

image: free desktop download from

Black Swan - Pointe Shoe Envy & Ugly Feet

I took 10+ years of dance growing up starting with ballet and later switching the jazz. I've taken classes as an adult and would love to try more in the future.

I also love movies. So, it's really easy to get me to see a dance movie, perfect combo. Even if the storyline isn't great (Step it Up 3D), as long as the dancing works, I'm good.

My regret with switching to jazz is that I didn't stay in ballet long enough to get pointe shoes & an amazing tutu, like Natalie Portman's character in Black Swan.

WOW. If I had them I'd twirl around my kitchen nonstop.

Most dance/ballet movies include a montage of sore, bloody injured feet and the special tricks dancers use to care for their feet and prepare their shoes.

While currently a triathlete, and not a principal dancer, I too have foot issues:
  • * Something happened while wearing fins at my last masters practice and I have raw sore spots on both feet.
  • That same weekend our third-grader scooted a chair and landed the metal chair leg's pointy base on my bare foot (the bruise is nastier than this picture.)
  • I have weird foot tan lines from Florida,
  • odd pre-bunion type shape on the right side,
  • my toe nail polish isn't great,
  • bulging veins and more.

Overall, this is a pretty ugly foot picture and I'm a little shy about sharing it. But I'm grateful for where my feet have carried me and look forward to many many future adventures, whether barefoot or en pointe.

On Topic
Black Swan trailer
Step it Up 3D *The move at 33seconds is fascinating.
Ballerina Project
Oscar nominations (With Best Picture, so far I've seen Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, 127 Hours & True Grit.)

Questions for You:
- Why does every movie lately have to be in 3D?
- How do you feel about your feet?
- Best picture opinions?

photos: one of my early ballet photos, I'm in the center back. My foot, by me.