Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Running for Something

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 8, 2013 by Once Unwanted Girl

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A lot has gone on the last few days but I am going to leave you all in suspense and talk about Friday.  I had previously taken the day off because I had committed to participating on my brothers Ragnar Relay Race team for the 2013 Cape Cod Mass run.  The Ragnar consists of 192 mile run over a 2 day period of time for a team of 12.  We began our run at 8:30 am on Friday and finished on Saturday around 5:30. I was runner number 8 so I had my first run around 3ish on Friday, 2 am on Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon around 2. My first run was rough because I had been pretty stressed out that morning because I had taken off work for the run and there had been an issue with an order and it was partly my fault. So me being the paranoid freak that I am… felt awful about it and felt powerless that I couldn’t help. Thank goodness my bosses are awesome and he reassured me that everything would be fixed and sure enough he handled the situation. In between runs we were crammed in the van going from check point to check point and I felt my muscles tightening up. My night run was cool and peaceful.  At some points it was a little scary running in the total darkness with my blinking butt light, reflective vest and headlamp but I enjoyed it overall even thought it was only 39 degrees out. The lack of sleep and uncomfortable living conditions for the duration of the race sucked but I was able to suck it up and finish my legs. It was really great to be a part of such a hard working successful team and all of the participants in the relay race were so supportive. There were times that I felt like I couldn’t run another step but someone would pass me and say your almost there you got this and that was the little boost I needed. It was great to see that even though competitiveness is important so is encouragement and support for our fellow neighbors in this crazy thing called life.

Conclusion: My team finished 192 miles by Saturday evening and averaged 10 minute miles.  I honestly didn’t think I would have been able to finish 15+ miles in that short span of time in those conditions but I did and I even impressed myself.  I used to be the chunky little asthmatic girl who couldn’t run for anything but I completed this feat with my best running times ever and I feel great! Our bodies are capable of so much while we are young and one day they will get older and we will be limited in doing what we want to do physically  so I plan on really following my New Year’s resolution and eating better/staying fit because if you don’t care of your body no one else will. 

Ignorance is Bliss but I Need the Truth

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 31, 2013 by Once Unwanted Girl

So I have decided that I am definitely ready and interested in truly beginning the search for my birth parents and possible siblings in Paraguay. I’m not going to lie and say i am not shaking in my boots because I am but this is something that I just need to know.  Everything in my life is finally falling into place and I know who I am but there is still an emptiness that needs to be filled.   Really thinking about my adoption and the life I could have led freaking blows my mind. I sometimes get so caught up in my current life that I rarely stop and think how lucky I am to be here. I have always wanted a sister and I may very well have one but she may not be as fortunate as me.

Yesterday I stopped to see my parents and grab my mail that has yet to be rerouted to my new address. Of course my mom made me a yummy broccoli soup and stuffed bread lunch and I was in heaven. After I ate like a glutton, I decided to grab my baby book and my the Precious Moments journal that contains the memories of my mom while she went through the adoption. I haven’t looked at any of this stuff in years and I am excited to go through all of her memories and incorporate them into my book.  I have also rented a total of 8 books from the Wallingford Library so I can begin the immersion into the history of my birth country. I will be spending the next few days reflecting and reading up on as much of my history in 1989 as I possibly can. I  promise that I will have a great post for you all this weekend. I hope you are all excited for me to officially kick off this journey to my past.

Ignorance is bliss but all I want as I get older is the truth about me and my life.  I want to be able to completely put together the pieces of my identity and I am happy to admit I am ready for whatever good or bad things may be revealed. Carpe Diem all and wish me Good Luck!

Steelers Week 2 Redemption

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl


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The Pittsburgh Steelers started off the season on the wrong foot but it is important to realize that the 1st game of the season doesn’t determine a teams long term success.

It was unfortunate that the Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs last year due to the ridiculous TD the first few minutes of overtime and to start this season off by being defeated by the Broncos yet again, left a bitter taste for Steelers fans.

However, Haley did not let this negative energy deter his offense from taking control of the gridiron for a total of 36:36  against the New York Jets.

Going into the Week 2 game at Heinz field, Rex Ryan’s Jets were feeling pretty optimistic and strong coming from their 48-28 point domination over the Bills. However, all that glitters is not gold because Sanchez was only able to throw for 138 yards with 10 out of 27 completed passes. His gorgeous new muse, Eva Longoria apparently didn’t give him enough inspiration this week.  

Pittsburgh was able to come through strong even without star defenders, Polamalu and Hard-Hitting Harrison. This was definitely a great opportunity for some rookie defensive players to shine. Woodley and Hayward each had a sack on Sanchez.  The Steelers defense performed well and it was great to have safety Ryan Clark make his season debut. During an interview with Clark he said ” I am looking forward to the New York Jets in the week 2 because I want to be able to play!” It was quite evident that Clark was happy and ready to be on the field. He was the leading defensive player with 7 tackles and 1 assist. Larry Foote followed with 5 tackles and 2 assists. 

The beginning of the game was in the Jets favor but the Steelers took the lead at the half as Miller scored a 1 yard touchdown and Suisham had severa solid kicks which contributed to the score.

Oh my third quarter blooper!

Note to Kerley: Never take your eyes off the ball!!! It leads to the possibility of getting bopped in the head. This careless play led to the Jets fumble as Mundy recovered and gave Pittsburgh excellent field placement.  

Ben took a chance in the 3rd quarter and “put his faith in his guys” with his risky 37 yard throw to Wallace. Ben knew that Wallace wasn’t open as he ran down the field neck and neck with Kerley. Wallace was able to exhibit his amazing talent by keeping both feet in the end zone to score that athletic Touchdown.

Redman had a pretty fancy spin move as he gracefully ricocheted into the end zone which brought the score to 26-10 in the fourth quarter.   To sum things up, Ben was able to complete 24 of 31 passes and lead his team to a 27-10 victory.  As the season continues, Ben will be another step closer to surpassing the 27,898 career passing yard record of Terry Bradshaw.  

Next week the Steelers (1-1) take on the Raiders (0-2) and it won’t be decided until closer to Sunday whether or not Tomlin has Polamalu and Harrison play.  Either way it is safe to say that the odds are in the Steelers favor week 3.  

An Olympic Push By the Fab 5

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 2, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

Today marks the first day of the 3rd month since I began this healthy new lifestyle.I have lost 8 pounds and over 3 inches every where which is pretty impressive, if I say so myself.  It hasn’t been easy and I thank all of those who put up with my crankiness in the beginning from the change in diet.

My only concern is that I’m starting to reach a plateau and I blame all of the BBQs and birthday get togethers the past month. Damn you 4th of July and all of your delicious hot dogs, steamers and oh so alluring desserts!  I have been slipping A LOT lately when it comes to the diet side of things and I haven’t been hitting the gym up every day. 

Watching all of these Olympic athletes is motivating me to get back into my groove because I was feeling so good and I don’t want to lose what I created the last two months.  After watching the US gymnasts win the Gold I am deeply impressed.  This group of young women absolutely dominated their events with a final score of 183.596. They were able to defeat Russia by a whole 5 points.

 Through thick and thin these 5 ladies stick together while sticking killer landings! After Jordyn Wieber failed to make all around individuals she put her  disappointment aside and congratulated Aly.  She didn’t let the loss get her down and mentally prepared for Team Finals and focused on the bigger picture: GETTING A GOLD FOR THE US! This behavior coming from such a young Olympian is quite admirable and shows the maturity and dedication to her team.  Speaking of a young Olympian Gabby Douglas is only a mere 16 years old with mounds of experience under her belt.  While Kyla Ross is a year younger as a special performer.  Every young woman on this team brings a dedicated and inspiring demeanor which is exhibited through their successes and interactions with each other! 

The last time the United States won a Gold Medal in gymnastics was 16 years ago, before Gabby and Kyla were born.  I think it was definitely about time that we took control of this Olympic Event and I’m proud of the Fab 5 for being the captors of this amazing accomplishment! This team deserves quite the praise and is a reminder that you can do anything if you focus and set your mind to it! 

So tomorrow I am cutting out the take-out and junk I have been eating on my breaks at work so that I can not only get in even better shape but SAVE MONEY!! Thank you girls for being so inspiring and kicking butt! Image

This May Sound Like A Big Contradiction, But…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 16, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

By: Ashley B. (Sports Chat Fanatic Writer)

As a University of North Carolina fan, it is often difficult for me to acknowledge anything positive about Duke University, especially their basketball program. However, over the course of the years, I have come to learn about and respect head coach Mike Krzyzewski for the way he can lead his team through both the good times and bad. My entire life my family has always instilled in me to be a leader, not a follower. “If you keep up with the crowd, you only get as far as the crowd,” my grandmother would always tell me. I started to fall in love with basketball (see earlier blog post) around the same time my grandmother felt the need to remind me more than usual about being a leader (something about being in high school and being faced with difficult choices). I constantly observed Coach K’s body language and mannerisms both on the court and during halftime and post-game interviews and decided that I needed to know more about this charismatic man. That was almost seven years ago, and today my admiration is only more intense.

 

Mike Krzyzewski [pronounced Sha-shef-ski] is one of the most notable athletic leaders in both professional and collegiate sports. After resigning from military commission in 1974, he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for Bob Knight at Indiana University. Knight was Krzyzewski’s head basketball coach at West Point and is credited with helping to mold the strong leader we see on the court today.  Next, he took his first head coaching job at his alma mater in 1975 where he won Coach of the Year honors from two separate organizations.  In 1980 Krzyzewski landed the position he still holds today as the head men’s basketball coach at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. In 2005 he was named head coach of the US National Men’s basketball team and won his third Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing games. The national team has a record of 35-1 under Coach Krzyzewski and is looking forward to the summer games this year. As a sport management major, it is easy for me to say that Mike Krzyzewski is the leader I aspire to be most like for his winning record and ability to transform young men from high school standouts to professional basketball players. However, there are many layers to the man known simply as “Coach K” that make him my leadership idol.

 

“I don’t look at myself as a basketball coach…

I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball.”

 

All of Coach K’s teams are centered on five fundamental components: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring, and pride. “I like to think of each as a separate finger on the fist. Any one individually is important. But all of them together are unbeatable,” he has said. These qualities are not only important to an athletic team, but in the business world as well. Genuinely caring about your mission and taking pride in completing it with integrity is something I believe every human being should be focused on during the course of their career. Trusting your team to have your back and to be honest with you at all times is vital to success. Even if a coworker or teammate does not agree with something you have said or done, having the confidence in each other to know that the lines of communication are always open will lead to a solution that perhaps neither of you would have seen otherwise. Collective responsibility is crucial to any business in order to avoid playing the blame game if a plan does not go accordingly. Putting others down, in business or in basketball, does not help any situation improve. It is best to acknowledge any wrongdoings on your own part and focus on ways to avoid them and improve for your next project or game. I admire Coach Krzyzewski’s consistency in the way he leads his teams both on and off the court.

 

Mike Krzyzewski has said that occasionally during practices he will let his assistant coaches take the reins so that players have the opportunity to learn from all perspectives of his staff. Even though the assistants may be repeating the message he was trying to convey, listening to a different voice helps players grasp the concept better, which leads to team improvement. Krzyzewski sees everyone he comes in contact with as an individual and looks to bring out the best in them so that they may bring out the best in the other people around them.  I hope to emulate this practice in my future career. My goal is to be an athletic director at the collegiate level, so where Coach Krzyzewski is today and where I hope to be in the next ten years are not that far apart. During my time as an intern at a junior college I witnessed the importance of trusting your colleagues and allowing everyone equal time to shine. Believing that you are the only person on your team who knows best and not allowing others to contribute is detrimental to the well being of that team. Regardless of the national attention he received for becoming just the fifth coach in college basketball history to win 800 games at one university, Coach Krzyzewski was fast to share the credit with everyone on his staff. When Coach K set the record with 900 wins at Madison Square Garden, countless former players were there to celebrate with him. I hope to one day be even remotely successful in comparison to Coach K, just so that I may have the opportunity to thank all of the people who helped me get there the same way that he has.

 

Playing sports provides a different opportunity for every participant. Whether the athlete sees being involved as a way to avoid doing their homework for a few hours or as something more serious such as a way to escape from a troubled home life, understanding their motives is the most important step to successfully guiding them towards their goals. I am an assistant cheerleading coach for a team of seven to ten year old females. In my first year I had to quickly realize what Krzyzewski has known for years: that being firm and fair may work in getting some members of the team to focus and work harder, but other members of the team may misinterpret your message and feel put down by it. Evolving as a leader and altering your style when the situation requires it is something I learned to master over the course of my coaching career. Another amazing leadership quality I see in Coach K (and one that I have embedded in my own style) is his balance between acting as a coach and as a friend, and his ability to recognize when his team needs a particular side to shine through. Taking the time to learn about the core values of a person and always being emotionally, not just physically, available for communication is what I believe the foundation of Duke’s success to be.

 

Choosing a career in coaching is choosing a lifetime dedicated to helping people reach their potential while teaching them the value of teamwork and responsibility. On top of coaching both collegiate and world-championship teams, Krzyzewski hosts a conference on leadership for business professionals, holds camps for basketball enthusiasts of all ages, and oversees the Emily Krzyzewski Family LIFE Center. “The Emily K Center,” as it is known to locals in Durham, North Carolina, is an after-school program whose mission is to help disadvantaged youth and their families in the community realize their potential through the motto Dream. Do. Achieve. Students in elementary and middle schools are a part of the Pioneer Scholars program and have a focus on academic and self-confidence fundamentals. Once in high school, students continue their progress in the Scholars to College portion of the Emily K Center curriculum. Harnessing leadership skills and making students realize that they do have the power to make their dreams come true are the main goals of the counselors and tutors at the center. Coach K has credited the community center in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois as being a place that helped him feel welcome in a part of town that was not always friendly to the Polish-American community, and he hopes that the Emily K Family LIFE Center will continue to provide the same feeling for the hundreds of youth it serves every day.

 

There are many other reasons I admire Mike Krzyzewski as a person, not just as a leader, that could constitute another post all together. The manner in which he treats his family, past players, and colleagues in both the sport and business worlds is one of respect, honesty, and humility. He is not only the leader of a basketball team, but of a large family as well, whom he includes in all aspects of his life whether they are basketball-related or otherwise. As I stated earlier, I am planning to have a career in athletics, and there are few leaders besides Coach Krzyzewski who are worthy of being admired for their leadership style. As I continue to grow as a person and as a leader, I will carry with me all of the wisdom he has shared with the world through his books and television interviews.

 

“During the season, your team should be led with exuberance and excitement. You should live the journey. You should live it right. You should live it together. You should live it shared. You should try to make one another better. You should get on one another if somebody’s not doing their part. You should hug one another when they are. You should be disappointed in a loss and exhilarated in a win. It’s all about the journey.”

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1bhSqg2CyM

Everything Happens For a Reason with a Little Bit of Luck

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

The 2012 NFL Draft has finally arrived and in honor of this day I wanted to take a further look into Andrew Luck the All American Stanford QB and the fabulous Baylor player RG3 a.k.a Robert Griffin III.  These two individuals have been blowing up the internet scene the last 3 months and will be the top two draft picks for this 2012 NFL Draft! Not only are these young men exceptional football players but they are quite bright and put the jock stereotype to shame.

 After seeing Luck at the Walter Camp weekend in New Haven I was very impressed with his demeanor and attitude not to mention his ability to play some football.  Even though Luck was projected to be the #1 draft pick in 2011 he put the opportunity on hold and returned to Stanford for his redshirt junior season and to finish his degree in Engineering and Architectural Design. Kudos to this young man for avoiding the temptation of the money and game to obtain his degree thus enabling him to have an opportunity for success outside football should anything ever happen to prevent him from playing.  At Stanford Luck was the first freshman to be the starting Quarterback since 1996 and had 2,929 yards of total offense which is the 5 highest numbers in Stanford History.

Now on to the next one, RG3 began playing football for Baylor and started 11 out of 12 games his freshman year. He also received Big 12 honors from the league’s coaches quite impressive for such a young player.  In 2009, RG3 suffered an isolated ACL injury and was unable to play the remainder of the season.  Sometimes a knee injury can really upset a player’s future but RG3 was unhindered by this injury and quickly bounced back. He won the Heisman trophy December 2011 and set the record for first ever Baylor player to receive this prestigious award.  He made the decision to forgo his final year of college football eligibility for the NFL draft. He graduated with a degree in Poli Sci and a 3.67 GPA and began a MBA in Communications.  In addition to the Heisman, RG3 also won the Manning Award and the O’Brien Award among several other high achievements.

These two individuals are no joke and will do big things for the Colts and Redskins! Here’s to the 2012 NFL season thank goodness that September is quickly approaching and congrats to all the draft picks everything happens for a reason!!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

I swear I will be posting the interview ASAP.. my company FairfieldCoupon has been taking over my life in a good way!!

Sports Chat Fanatic

Yesterday was a very special day for me.  I had my first LIVE interview with a former NEW YORK GIANTS Defensive End in my hometown of Milford, CT!  It’s crazy that a year ago I was filming a silly video about my Pittsburgh Steelers from the comfort of my University of New Haven dorm room using my bootleg digital camera.  AND look at me now, I am recording in a legitimate studio thanks to my friend Gregory at Studio 95 Photographix! AND not only is the equipment fabulous but I had the opportunity to interview Leonard A. Marshall who played for the NY Giants for 10 seasons, the Redskins for 1 and the Jets for another year before retiring as a Giant!

It’s like Jessica Biel’s quote in Summer Catch “IF YOU WANT BIG REWARDS, YOU HAVE TO TAKE BIG RISKS.” This quote has always been a favorite…

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