Archive for sports

The Underdog

Posted in browns, motivation, photos, random, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2012 by afuntanilla

Last night, I went to the gym for a run on the treadmill. I hopped on and turned the attached TV to ESPN. I saw there was a college basketball game on. I don’t have any real interest in college basketball, but I left it on because it was something sporty to watch. As I ran, I was in my own world, happy to be moving my body and listening to music on my iPOD. I was sort of watching the game and saw that it was unranked BUTLER vs #9 ranked North Carolina. Because I do follow sports in general, I know UNC is always a powerhouse basketball team and has a legacy of great teams. The game had only been on for a few minutes, but already Butler had a big lead..more than 10 points. And so, it caught my attention. How was this “little” team beating UNC? So, I started watching more closely and I clearly saw how Butler was in the lead; they were OUT HUSTLING UNC! Those Butler kids were getting to all the loose balls, getting the offensive and defensive rebounds and making many 3 point shots. They seemed quicker and hungrier. And this is exactly what I love about UNDERDOGS…whether it’s a team, an individual; whether its sports related of just LIFE in general….I love the EFFORT, the HUSTLE, the DETERMINATION. I love to see all those things put forth and watch it completely ignite a person or a team and be such a huge catalyst going forward. And, this is one of the reasons I love SPORT…because I don’t even have to care about the teams or know anything about them to gain something from watching. Sport teaches. Period. In a world where many negative news stories are out there about individuals and teams, etc…I prefer to pay attention and focus on the lessons, the inspiration, the motivation. And yes, I love the Underdog and will continually root for them.

Where did that come from?? Well, I grew up with 2 older brothers and one liked our local Oakland Raiders and the other one liked the Minnesota Vikings (have no idea why). We were watching football one day and The Cleveland Browns were playing. Brian Sipe was the QB and Ozzie Newsome was the TE. They had NO emblem on their Orange helmets and they were the underdog. Well, right then and there, when I was about 10 years old, i picked ’em to be my team. 32 years later, they are still my team. For those who don’t know, The Browns have been more bad then good. They are currently 2-8 this season and if they win 2 more games before season is over, that would be a victory in my mind. They have had losing seasons for MANY years now and yes, I still remain a fan. I don’t just mean sort of losing seasons, I mean real ugly losing seasons. It seems they have a new QB or a new coach every year. They had some of the best and most fun years to watch during the late 1980’s and some in the 1990’s.  I guess I really have 2 points to this part of my post; that I am loyal, loyal, loyal and even though I watch other football teams and am envious of the better teams, I am sure I will never switch my allegiance. I have even made about 4 different trips to Cleveland to watch the games. The fan loyalty is unreal and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I am proud to be a fan and even still, each week, I hope they will keep playing better and eek out some wins. Last Sunday, I watched the game vs Dallas and the browns surprisingly had a 13-0 lead at halftime. I was ecstatic, but I was not optimistic  it would last. But, I hoped. How had they gotten the lead vs Dallas in Dallas? Just like Butler, they were out playing their opponent. They were NOT the better team, but they were playing better. At least for half of the game. Dallas turned it around and tied the game and won in overtime. I guess this brings me to my 2nd point; you don’t ever quit before the game starts. It would be easy for someone or a team to think they are beaten BEFORE the game even begins…I mean just look at the records of the teams. But, the Browns don’t quit. They play hard and give all they have. As a fan, that is what you want to see. Sure, I want to see them win, but it will take more than the players…they need better coaches, better management and BETTER SCOUTS.

At the end of the day, I also view myself as an underdog. This characterization was much more applicable earlier in my life, but I still think of myself this way. I see nothing wrong with it. It has pushed me to be as successful as a person as I can be. It has kept my humble and to never take anything for granted. I am not someone who is the best at anything, but my mindset is the same today as it was 20 years ago: keep working hard. Stay positive. Don’t let anything keep you down or prevent you from succeeding.

-The Underdog

Advertisements

Knowing who you are

Posted in motivation, running with tags , , , , , on July 26, 2012 by afuntanilla

As I slow down this week in prep mode for race day, I’ve had more time to think and do other things. Not sure having more time to think is a good thing, as sometimes I can get way too much in my head, but well…you know…ok…onward…

So, yesterday, I wanted to move my body, but not run. My first thought was to go for a walk around Shollenberger Park here in Petaluma. It’s a nice 2 mile loop, where you can see all sorts of wildlife. Don’t ask me what kind of wildlife, because I am not the kind of person who knows. All I can tell you is there are lots of birds and marsh type wildlife. (I’m a city girl who was never a girl scout) It is very peaceful, open, and quiet there, so it’s a good respite from being hunkered down in front of my computer which is where I find myself a lot these days. NEED FRESH AIR! But, I did not go to the park. I made a last minute decision to go to my fitness club instead and go for a swim since it was quite hot. I’ve been a member of CLUB ONE for a few months now, but first time in pool. I think my swimsuit and googles were shocked to be put to use. I had a lane to myself and began swimming freestyle laps. By laps I mean I swim to one side, take a breather and go back. Repeat. I am not a swimmer, you see and I quickly remember why I don’t go more often…BECAUSE FR ME IT IS A STRUGGLE. I feel my lung capacity is like zero when I am in the pool. Maybe I am not breathing right. I did a more laps alternating freestyle no breaststroke. My thoughts turned to: “I can’t believe Michael Phelps has done this all day long for YEARS…I can’t believe people enjoy this…it feels kinda boring to me.” and that’s when I realized that the way I think about swimming is what non-running folks think about running. I got out of pool after about 8-10 laps and 2 elderly gentlemen were nearby sitting and chatting. Be said to me, while smiling, “hey, that’s not long enough…you gotta get back in there.”
I quickly replied. “hey, I’m a runner, Not a swimmer.” He smiled.

And there you have it, folks.

Race day is 4 days. Onward!

Take the shot!

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2012 by afuntanilla

From time to time, I like to go out and shoot hoops. This activity usually occurs by myself. For a couple of reasons. 1) I usually go do this on spur of the moment. 2) I don’t really know anyone else who would like to go do this with me. 

So. I go alone which is just fine by me. I don’t like people guarding me and getting in my face anyways. 🙂

I like the freedom to move and shoot with no one else around. I like to dribble and drive and shoot and try to make all kinds of crazy shots. The last few times I have gone out and played, it seemed like i couldn’t make ANY shots. Not even those super close up lay up shots. Nothing was going in. Lay ups, jumpers, free throws…you name it and it just really wasn’t happening for me. Pretty frustrating, but I always kept shooting. Because I like to move. I like to try. I like to keep the challenge going. Even though it can be frustrating, it is still fun. 

And, TODAY, was even more fun. Because most of the shots were going IN. Long range, short range, crazy lay ups…they were all going in the net…..SWOOSH…..and that is what keeps me going…those times when you take the shot and it hits nothing but net….SWOOSH, baby!

So, keep taking the shots. Don’t give up when it might seem frustrating. Keep taking the shot. Because, pretty soon…you will hear it….SWOOSH!!!!

See Jane Run

Posted in motivation, photos with tags , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by afuntanilla

See Jane Run is a women’s athletic clothing store in the Bay Area. I reached out to them for any support they could give me with the 40 mile run. They read my story and said they could send me a running t-shirt! It came the other day in the mail. It’s awesome! A pic of the front:

Here’s what the back says:

Here’s to you.

The broad-shouldered, the knock-kneed, the pigeon-toes, the small-breasted, the wide-hipped, the long-waisted, the short-legged, the stocky, the skinny. And yes, even the perfectly proportioned.

may you live long, enjoy dessert and never stop laughing.

Blisters heal. Muscles recover. Friendships last a lifetime. High heels have their place in the very back of the closet. If you can run a mile, you can run a marathon. There comes a time when you really need to replace your sports bra. No, really. consider this. Only one person wins. everyone else should have a rockin’ good time. yes, you can talk and run at the same time. chewing gum is the hard part. a little chocolate goes a long way. be yourself.

There’s a little bit of jane in all of us.

Pretty freaking cool, huh!

Why Cleveland?

Posted in browns, photos, quotes, random with tags , , , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by afuntanilla

I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious. -Vince Lombardi

Some of you have only known me thru this virtual/online world so I feel I OWE it to you to explain why I root for the Cleveland Browns. At first glance, you might not understand why I took a spontaneous trip up here this weekend from Atlanta to sit in a cold ass stadium and root for a team that is currently 3-11.

Here’s part of the why.

Well, like so many things, it all goes back to my childhood. I grew up in the East Bay of the BAY AREA in a little po-dunk city called San Leandro. This city is right next to Oakland and across the Bay from San Francisco. Of course, logic would have you think I would be a Raider or a 49er fan. Nope. never have been. Ever. Though I currently have no real feeling for either of those teams now, there were many years where I very much disliked them, for various reasons. I’m getting to the Cleveland part…be patient. Thanks.

So, I guess I was about 10 years old. Total tomboy, of course. I grew up with 2 older brothers who were 13 & 15 when I was 10. We grew up in this place:

a pretty dumpy duplex right at the edge of the San Leandro/Oakland border. In those walls, on Sundays, football would be on and one of my brothers was a Raider fan, the other was a Minnesota Viking fan. (why? i don’t know!) I think what happened with me and the Browns was that I was watching a game one day (when i was 10) and just began rooting for them because everyone was against them and they were the true underdogs. Brian Sipe was the QB and some of the other players were Mike Pruitt, Greg Pruitt, Sam Rutigliano (coach) and the great TE, Ozzie Newsome. I liked their fighting spirit, liked their orange/brown colors and liked that they had no emblem on the helmet. Only NFL team to NOT have an emblem. (hope it stays that way)

So, that’s it! I know, it’s not a very GRIPPING story. I’m not from Cleveland. Have absolutely NO connection to this place. Except I do. Cause when I was 10, I latched on to something I could believe in. A team that seemingly was the underdog every week everywhere except in their own city. A team that just reached in and became a part of my life. A team that has one of the best football stories and arguably the best fans in all of sports. So for nearly, 30 years, I have been a fan. Loyal as DAWG! Have had my heart swell with pride and excitement and have had it crushed with unbelievably heart-wrenching losses. In 1993, while traveling in Thailand, I had gotten a hold of a USA Today newspaper and read the news that the organization let QB Bernie Kosar go…half-way around the world, i was in tears.

Kosar remains my all time favorite QB. I know he wasn’t great, but he was my favorite.

This is my 4th trip to Cleveland and my 3rd time watching a football game here. I can’t wait until tomorrow to get out there with the rest of the die hard crazy-ass fans. And I can’t wait to share more of this story with you.