Wild Weekend: Football, Classes and Marathon (Parking) Madness!

Let me first state that no, I did absolutely not run the Marine Corps Marathon this morning. But living along the path of the course has made today a bit … challenging. But I’ve learned throughout the years that there will be a few days a year that my neighborhood becomes a traffic nightmare to accommodate a race.

The highlight of my weekend, naturally, was something I’ve been looking forward to since … well, two years ago, to be totally honest. My Clemson Tigers made their FINAL trip up to the University of Maryland before they leave the ACC at the end of the school year, and I talked my girl Helen into joining in on the fun with me.

We got to hang out with the Tiger.

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And I made a new friend.

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Our seats weren’t great, but I figured it made more sense to get tickets through Clemson and participate in the whole alumni tailgate experience. It was so much fun – and so cool to see all the orange and prove to Helen that there are plenty of other Clemson crazies such as myself out there – and age is not a factor. There were people who could be my grandparents screaming “Go Tigers” … not to mention this SUPER CUTE little kid who was one pumped little super-fan – during his cheering, Helen looked at me and said would be my kid someday (of course I agreed). Unfortunately, near the end of the game it was so cold we couldn’t feel our hands, feet, or faces … and that’s when the game got interesting. Seriously … we left with less than 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter, and we missed FOUR touchdowns! My Tigers came out victors in the end, so all is still well.

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I started both my mornings with classes, as well, this weekend, which is always a good time. I had just enough time yesterday morning to get home and get cleaned up and oranged-out after my Pilates class at Sport&Health, and then this morning, I purposely tried to plan ahead, knowing the marathon route was going to make the morning difficult – and I still ended up running into some issues. But I guess that’s why I left about 30 minutes earlier than usual … because it took me 15 minutes, three marines, a police officer, and a traffic officer to figure out how on earth I was going to get to the gym. Hey, marathon organizers … maybe when you say streets will be closed at 8:30, you don’t have them already blocked at 8:15? Just a thought. Perhaps Piloxing fuel this morning?

Anyway, it was a fun weekend – it definitely is starting to feel like fall (I’d like to know how we skipped from 80 degrees to 50, though, thanks).  Congrats to all those who ran the Marine Corps Marathon this morning! I saw quite the crowd running past my building when I got home from the gym this morning. I’ll have to get the recap on the race from my customer/direct manager tomorrow morning at work – this was marathon #3 for him. I, however, don’t really see the need to spend that much time running. The older I get, the more things start to ache, and I don’t even want to know what would bother me if I decided to run three or more times my normal run.

Have a great week!

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The Evolution of the Football Helmet

If you’ve been reading this blog, taking classes with me, or checked out my Twitter feed (@StrongFitSarah), you know that if there is one thing I am as crazy about as I am fitness, it’s college football! With the season getting into full swing – and my Tigers still looking strong in the top five – I was thrilled to find this graphic, depicting the evolution of the football helmet.

Technology has truly come a long way, and with the increase in safety concerns, so has the football helmet. Hard hits, week after week – and for many players, throughout most of their lives – have made researchers more interested in the long-last effects of concussions … and what can be done to lessen any lasting damage. Today, helmets are being developed to provide feedback that not only keep players safe on the field, but provide doctors and researchers with data that can help reduce – and maybe someday even eliminate – the medical issues that could result from even one concussion.

Read on … there’s some interesting stuff in here. And GO TIGERS!

Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com

Nuk Hopkins: From Tragedy to Tremendous

As many of you know, I am a big Clemson football fan. Okay, huge Clemson football fan. Okay … is there something bigger than those two? Because that is what I am.

You’ll also know that I’m a sucker for an inspirational story. I was in awe when I read a story on Dabo Swinney’s journey from a poverty-stricken home life to one of the youngest head football coaches in the nation. I was moved to tears when ESPN did a feature on Clemson’s resident war hero, Daniel Rodriguez (you can see my post about the story here).

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photo from independentmail.com

Once again, I found myself touched by a story about a Clemson football player overcoming some incredible odds to be, as many analysts predict, nine short days from being a First Round NFL Draft pick. I’m referring to one of the stars of the 2012 season – DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins. I had no idea that he had experienced such great tragedy in his life. It would be easy to just give up and assume that life will deal you the same cards as those around you, but instead, relying on sheer determination and a will to succeed, as well as a great sense of faith (you’ll note that, surrounded by his teammates and coaches, Nuk was baptized after a practice last fall). You can read the entire inspiring, incredible, touching, and yes, horrifying, story here.

My point? Not that Clemson football is incredible (well, it is, but that is not what I’m getting at here). But that if you want something bad enough, you have the power to make it happen. All of these men have overcome incredible odds stacked against them, not only surviving – but thriving.

Never let a bad day or a disappointment get you down. You are in control of your destiny – and your attitude, coupled with your will to succeed, can bring you victory in whatever it is you seek.