But on to the random facts....
Closed canoe slalom racing was my thing all through high school and college. In fact, I even made it to Nationals two years in a row, winning it the second time. I believe it was 1999, but may have been 2000. Women's closed canoe (C1W) racing is not an Olympic sport, but the mens is, so growing up in the sport there were not a lot of women entering. Most went into kayaking as that was an olympic sport. There were 4 of us who ended up at the same races, myself and a friend from my school a year ahead of me, and two older women from elsewhere. We all became friends and enjoyed seeing each other. Races were held every August-November and then again March-May. Our local slalom club, Slimy Pebble Whitewater Team, still hosts a race every August in Ohiopyle, PA.
One of the guys in closed canoe racing (C1) doing the circuit along with us was a little boy about 7ish years old. He was a cute blonde haired little boy named Casey filled with big dreams. He may have been a little younger than that even, but anyway he kicked my butt all the time (thankfully he was in the men's division!). And now? Casey represented the US at Rio in the Olympics in both C1 and C2. He has grown to be a handsome man and is a great competitor.
|That is me in my boat Fugly. National Championships in Southbend, IN. Somewhere between 1998 and 2000. Everything I had for racing was purple. I had wanted blue, but my friend already had all blue.|
Life Time Activities was my high school savior. This goes along with the last one. LTA was an outdoor group at school from 9th-12th grade. I joined in 9th grade with a friend who agreed to do so if I joined track with her. She quit both after the first year while I kept with both the entire 4. My high school years were spent hiking, canoeing, camping and caving. I was filthy dirty 90% of the time and made memories that will last until the day I die. I am still in touch with nearly everyone from the group and even though we all scattered, when we do get together every few years it is like we never parted. This group created SPWT and is how I got into slalom racing.
Rome, Italy was my home for 5 months. I paid my way through college. Living at home and commuting allowed me to have fewer loans and my parents helped buy books, paid my car insurance and kept me fed. Basically I took out the loans for tuition and they helped with the rest. My school offered a new program for my spring semester junior year (would have been 2003) where I could go to Rome and only add the cost of room and board. No change in tuition. I signed up immediately. Next thing I knew, I was on a plane heading to Italy all by myself without knowing another soul. I could spend an entire post on this chapter in my life, so I think I will end this now.
I've been to Italy, the isle of Capri, Ireland, Wales, Great Britain, France and Canada. My favorite was Wales and I would love to return one day. In Italy, my favorite was Pompeii.
I studied Latin for 4 years and was horrible at it. Language is not my forte. I got As because I was good at memorizing and regurgitating, but it never sunk in. We used a series of books that followed a family living in Pompeii, who all then died in 12th grade when Mount Vesuvius erupted, which made it really interesting. I was very excited to get to go to Pompeii in college.
Physics is my arch nemesis. Undergrad required two semesters of physics for my Biology degree. I took physics for medical professions which was basically Physics 101 except all related to IV poles and such. I got an A (see above about memorizing and regurgitating). I then took physics 101 as my second semester. When I decided to go to podiatry school, I needed another semester so I took an online physics 101 which was accepted. So that is taking the same class 3 times at college level plus I took physics in 12th grade. All As across the board. And to this day I could not tell you one single thing about physics, how it works or why. My brain doesn't function like that apparently.
Spring is my favorite time of the year. There is something about the regeneration of the earth, the warm breezes promising to make life a little easier again, the bright neon green of new grass and leaves, and the budding flowers that suddenly erupt over night that just get me to day dreaming and moving with a peppier spring in my step. Spring down here is absolutely gorgeous. Up north, fall was my favorite since spring tended to bring slushy rain and cold weather persisted until summer began. Fall is very nice here, but it is more of a cooling off and reprieve from the oppressive heat of summer with the threat of earlier nights and colder weather that winter brings.
|Beautiful blooming tree hated by almost everyone down here. They say it smells like semen. Not sure how everyone knows what that smells like...|
Reading is one of my favorite things to do. As far back as I can remember, I have always had a book in my hands. I spent my mornings and afternoons on the school bus reading. When I would arrive to a class early in college, I would bury my nose in a book. Currently, I am attempting to read through the list of the 100 best novels of the century and have a good chunk completed. Atlas Shrugged is one of my all time favorites followed by War and Peace. Lighter fare includes the Disc World series. My favorite genre is Historical Fiction though.
I am not meant to own anything by Edgar Allan Poe. Twice in my life, I was lucky enough to stumble upon an antique collection of all the short stories written by Edgar Allan Poe. The first book was a massive single volume containing them all. I had it in undergrad and distinctly remember taking it with me to an early morning class. I never saw it again and must have left it behind when class was over. I asked the teacher and checked lost and found, but it was never seen again. The second time a wonderful first edition series of 10 smaller volumes was found hidden in a local antique book store. I was married by this time and snatched them up greedily. They had a revered spot on my bookcase and all was good until we moved to OH and acquired Bone. Having never had a large dog before, I wasn't aware of the reach they had. Plus Hero was an angle of a puppy and had never chewed up a single article that wasn't a toy. Anyway...one day I returned from class and found Bones laying among the torn remains of my lovely, apparently highly appetizing volumes of Edgar Allen Poe.
|From the internet. Mr. Poe himself.|
I hated the color red until Gem came along. This may actually surprise many of you since currently I am all things red. I never owned anything red growing up and refused to wear the color until 2009. I was shopping for tack the week I purchased Gem and found a red and black trail saddle pad that I liked. That basically spurred the rest of the collection and now half my wardrobe is red.
Dual citizen Italian and US. My brother holds both and all it would take is getting some paperwork around and a trip to the local consulate and I would be the proud holder of my own Italian passport/citizenship. How? My great grandfather came to the US from Italy and never became a US citizen. My grandfather was born on US soil and was therefor granted US citizenship, but still held his Italian. It carries on down the line from there. Not all countries allow you to hold dual citizenship, but thankfully Italy is one of them. I believe I will someday get my Italian citizenship recognized mainly because then Wyatt could which would mean he would have the ability to get free college education in the European Union.
Cheese. It is the one item of food that I could not do away with. It is featured in nearly every meal from adding it to hash browns or eggs in the morning to piling it on salads and sandwiches for lunch to grabbing a stick for snack to the many casseroles we double the volume in for dinner.
I used to do Origami daily until my mom ruined it. I don't recall who did it, perhaps it was my brother or maybe myself, but someone got my mom a daily desk calendar that featured a new origami figure and some paper each day. I was in undergrad and living at home and each afternoon I would come home and my mom, dad and I would sit down at the kitchen table and try our best to make the figure. Some were super easy and fun and others were hard and frustrating. My mom is incredibly competitive and would make us line them up for judging on who "won". Mostly, she just liked to point out our flaws and laugh. It was a great time and good memories.
I love art. I was fortunate to go to a large school where the arts were available at all times. Art was mandatory through 8th grade and then became an elective. I took art every chance I got and classes included: drawing, painting, sculpture, metal art works, and jewelry in high school. In undergrad I snuck in one art class and adored it. Currently, I am loving doing the zentangle challenges online in my bullet journal.
|Zentangles for September|
|October. I've skipped a few that needed more concentration and will go back to do those later.|
While I don't wear any make up, ever, I do love to play with my hair. Not in a braid type of way because the only thing I can actually do is either down, half up or all the way up. I can't do a bun or french braid. Someday I should learn. But....I love to cut it, dye it and go straight or curly. It grows back. You can almost always cover up a bad dye job. Things I have done:
|Super short, natural dark brown color|
|Super short from the front|
|Medium length straight|
|Medium length curly with red highlights|
|Full on blonde! I actually liked it until the roots grew in looking black and I knew I couldn't keep up with it|
|Slowly darkening the blonde, longer, straight|
|Completely natural. Curly and dark brown|
|Current. Ombre natural brown to blonde (though the poor lighting in my bathroom makes it hard to tell) and curly. Just about as long as it has ever been.|
|One of my favorite days in WI|
Well....that is only 16, but I believe that is enough. The remaining 9 will have to wait until some other time.