First blog post

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Ironmanny

This weekend, I’m going to Georgia for my dads next Ironman race. I thought it was pretty clever of me to come up with the name “Ironmanny” because he’s an Ironman, and his name is Manny… it’s cheesy but a fun little family pun. Anyways, the total distance for a half ironman race is 70.3 miles. First, swim 1.2 miles, next bike for 56 miles, and finish it off with a half marathon of 13.1 miles. I am so excited for this next race because I’ve never been to Georgia before, and because the last race my did did not finish. To be honest, that broke my heart. My dad works so incredibly hard for his training; he was training for 6 months and would wake up at 4am before work so he could get time for his training. Last race day however, the swim is what got him. Although it is his weakest of the 3 parts, he was fully prepared. However, being in Wisconsin, the water was much colder than anyone could have prepared for. There was a storm the day before, and the lake water was all stirred up and because of this, the water dropped 10 degrees. Most everyone that went through the swim had some sort of experience of hypothermia, including my dad. Many people had to be pulled out of the water because they could not complete it. The sad part is, my dad did complete the swim. He completed the swim just 1 minute longer than the official cut off time. Although we all left that day upset, my dad learned more from that experience as an athlete than he could have ever before. This race, I know he will do better. In fact, I think he will PR. I have been so incredibly proud of him for not letting that experience take him down. In fact, he wants to go back to Wisconsin next year to conquer that race. This is one of the many reasons my dad inspires me, and this is one of the reasons I have such a strong sense of determination. Ironman races are probably where my dad gets his strongest sense of pride, and rightfully so. We all come together to support him and that is one of the best feelings. Race day goes down like this. My dad leaves the hotel at about 4:30am, and the rest of us leave at about 6am. Everyone meets at the lake where the race takes place, and every person is either divided into a group by their pace group, or by their age. Dozens of different swim caps differentiate these group from one another. One by one, each level is announced and their time pacers start as soon as they touch the water. 1.2 miles later, we get to see each ironman run from the water to transition to their bikes. On the run back, there are volunteers ready to rip their wet suits off of each person to reveal a tri suit underneath. The transitions are pretty incredible; they must store their wet suits away, get any nutrition they need for their 56 mile journey, get their helmet, sunglasses, strap on their shoes, and take off on their bike. This transition has been completed in seconds. After that portion of the race, you can’t really see the transition into running, but if you do, it’s not as personal. During the time in between, the rest of my family and I go through the official ironman booths, get food, and try to update the ironman app to see where he is or if he completed a section or not. Im so excited for this next race, and I can’t wait until it happens!

Loufest

It’s funny how there are certain things in life that you just need to experience. I went to Loufest for the first time 3 years ago, and I’ve gone every year since. Loufest is a music festival made up entirely of local shops, local restaurants, and a huge set list of amazing bands. There is a Farris wheel, a hot air balloon, and everyone there is there to have a good time. The vibe is so relaxed, and I just can’t help but to have the best time of my life there. The first year was hands down the best year of all, for most of the bands that year held a high significance to me such as Hozier and Brandon Flowers, and at Billy Idols show, one of the band members played the guitar with his teeth. I’ve seen people play behind the back before, but playing with your teeth is a whole new level. However, half of the fun of going to a music festival like this is to research all of the new bands that you’ve never heard of, because some of them have ended up being some of my favorite bands to this day. Some bands that I would have never heard otherwise. This past Loufest took place last weekend, and it started off pretty crappy, but it ended up being a great time like always. My best friend flew in from Florida, and I was dying to bring her. I had been hyping it up all these years, and this was her chance to go. See, part of the Loufest experience is who you go with. You need a group of people who are there solely for the music and the experience. Most girls my age go to something like this and are like “omgggg music festivaaallll” and don’t actually give a shit about the true meaning of being at one. Unfortunately, my group kind of seemed to lack the true love for the music, and what they wanted to do most of the time is take pictures and wait in a 2 hour line to get their hands marble painted. Not me though, my friend from Florida and I left the line and ended up seeing some of my favorite shows. I’m so thankful for friends like mine from Florida, because she is just one of those people that you have that soul to soul connection with. I have known her for 6 years and she is the first friend I made when I moved here myself. Since then, we’ve shared a whole lot of music, adventures, laughs, cries, love, and overall, we’ve shared our minds. It’s incredible how just one or two truly amazing people can make up for all of the shitty people or experiences you’ve had. Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you to that special friend for transforming this weekend for me and for always making the brightest out of every moment. It’s such a relief to know there are people out there that won’t change who they are because of other people. I believe this friend will be one until the day I die.

AP Art

This is my first year signing up for an AP Art class, and so far, I adore it. I have had such a passion for art ever since I was little and this is the first art class where I feel truly challenged and where I can feel myself growing. My specialty is graphic design, but I have a feeling I will also be doing some photography as well as painting. I love it because everyone in my class is there because the love art and want to grow. In the past, I have been in art classes where people don’t really care about how their projects turn out, and they don’t take it seriously. I feel as though this class has helped me touch into my creative side, and that is one of the best feelings. Art can be portrayed through so many different things, in infinite ways. Every person has their own style to their work and every piece is unique. I think art can be therapeutic as well. It helps calm your stresses and allows you to express your mind in a very different way. In a couple weeks, I am going to Kansas City with my class, and we are visiting 4-5 different art museums and I’m so excited for that! It’s so interesting to me how different museums around the world have such an abundance of different pieces, yet I’ve never been to an art museum that bores me or has seemed very similar to another. I’m quite excited to see where this class will take me.

U2

I get why people are angry with the trial case. I really do, this nonsense needs to stop and there will be resistance. But why violence? Violence is what started this in the first place. Violence is the reason for protesting. So where would there be justice in any case of violence? At a time like this we need peace. Peace is way more powerful than any fist. Because of this violence, I am missing out on seeing my favorite band, with their best album of all time. 30 years of the Joshua Tree album was going to be a once in a life time chance to see, and all of this violence took that from my family and I. I have been to a ridiculous amount of concerts in my life, more than I could count and I am blessed for that. Im blessed for having seen U2 in their Songs of Innocence tour, but that would not compare to the Joshua Tree show. Practically that whole album is on their greatest hits album. Seeing them the first time was by far the best concert I’ve ever been to, and I know this one would have topped it. Music has been such a huge thing for my family and I, and U2 has been one of our favorites. Bono has been an inspiration to me for how he helps people around the world in under developed places, and his music has changed lives. U2 is as tough as they are beautiful, and it it such a shame that I could not experience such a show. I remember when I saw them the first time, they played their song Every Breaking Wave on the piano instead of its usual music, and I cried like a baby. That was the most beautiful song I have ever heard in my life. What a shame that I may never be able to have an experience like that from one of U2s show again. I hope all of this can come to a peaceful resolution soon.

13.1 Miles

I grew up with breathing problems. Two disorders, VCD and Asthma, have always been there. Breathing disorders that have hospitalized me twice and still haunt me. For my whole life, I have had to slow down or try to take it easy. I swam, played soccer on a select team, did gymnastics, cheered on my high school team, and successfully danced competitively for years. All sports that require short spurts of energy, the only way I could manage. This year is different. This year, I am training for my first half marathon. I decided to dedicate my hard work to St. Jude, probably the most well known cancer research hospital for children. It is non-profit, and any child who goes there isn’t asked to pay for any hospitality, transportation, treatment, or food. Right now, I am about half way through my training. I was so stubborn on setting that goal of the big 13, and I guess I didn’t really think about how hard it would be for me to complete this goal.I get all excited about the actual race, and forget about the training. At one point, I even began to doubt that I could actually do it. But recently, I finally passed my wall. There is a certain point in running where you struggle to make it through a longer distance, but when you pass that distance, miles start to fly by. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that my runs from how on are going to be easy. Any day could be a great day, or an awful one. My body can be prepared and trained, but if I’m having a bad day with breathing, it can ruin my whole morning. Asthma is a respiratory condition where the passage of your lungs swell up. I have had asthma for my whole life, so it is quite familiar to me when I feel it coming on. The one nice thing about stopping asthma is an inhaler. An inhaler is a pressurized substance that you can spray and breathe in, and most of the time it gives you the relief you need. Asthma feels like your lungs are two balloons, but only half of the balloons can actually function. VCD, Vocal Cord Dysfunction, is a curious curse that I was diagnosed with about three years ago. VCD is where the passage to your vocal cords spasm, and you cannot control them from closing. Unlike Asthma, there are no drugs to help you. The only way to get relief is to practice breathing techniques. I had to go to a speech-pathologist to be retrained how to breath, where they taught me those techniques. It’s encouraging to know you are capable of controlling it all, but it’s also the worst feeling because nobody else can help you when you feel like your suffocating. It feels as though someone is grabbing my throat and squeezing. What is best for VCD is the worst of asthma, and what is the best for asthma is the worst for VCD. Before I was diagnosed with VCD, I obviously did not know I was treating my breathing problems wrong. Because of this, I had attacks just about every day. Attacks where I could hear and see nothing because my breathing was so bad, like I was in the middle of passing out but never made it all the way. Almost every day I experienced this for months, until one night I had an attack that went too far and I found myself in an ambulance. Since that night, I knew what I had to do. I had the opportunity to make a change. The best way to get over my breathing problems would be to fight against them. Thus, why I signed up for my first half marathon. It will be hard, but I believe I am finally ready to do this and complete my 13.1 miles.