Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Top 10 Olympic Moments

I love sports, its in my blood. Nothing gets me going quite like a sporting event.  The excitement, the drama, the athletes, all of it.  I also love this country! Combine sports and the USA and I'm in heaven!!  So it shouldn't be a surprise that I thoroughly love the Olympics! I love everything about them.  I love seeing the host nation and learning more about their culture and country. I love the Opening Ceremonies.  Seeing each country walk in and feeling the unity gives me goosebumps. I love hearing the back stories and yes most of the time they make me cry. And I love seeing the athletes perform on such a grand stage.  Watching someone strive to reach their dream is INSPIRING!! I've watched the Olympics for as long as I can remember and each Olympics have provided some amazing moments.  And as someone who loves hearing back stories I've watched many moments from Olympics I wasn't alive to watch.  So after all that and since the 2012 London Olympics are going on right now I decided to list my top 10 Olympic moments.  Please take the time to watch the video clips.  It may take up some of your time but I promise it will be worth it!

10. Kerri Strug- At the 1996 games in Atlanta the "Magnificent 7" won the gold medal in the Women’s Team Competition for the first time. It was an epic win for the United States, considering the former Soviet Union had won the event in every Olympics it had entered since the 1950s. The team was packed with all-stars, and the competition full of dramatic moments. The most dramatic moment came when Kerri Strug, despite injuring her ankle on her first vault attempt, stuck the landing on her second go.

9.  Dan Jansen- Ten years after his Olympics debut, speed skater Dan Jansen finally won the gold he had fought so hard for. After falling short in Sarajevo, Calgary (racing the afternoon after his sister’s death), and Albertville, Jansen finally struck gold.

8.  Jamacian Bobsled Team- Who doesn't remember the movie 'Cool Runnings'?!  In the country’s first ever appearance at the winter Olympics, they may have come out medal-less, but certainly won the hearts of Olympic viewers (and the media) at the 1988 Calgary games.

7.  Mary Lou Retton- In 1984 Mary Lou Retton became the first American — male or female — to win a gold medal in gymnastics. She was only 16 at the time, and had only minimal experience competing internationally, but she received perfect 10s for her stunning performance on the vault.

6.  Nadia Comaneci: the first 10- Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci won three gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, and became the first female gymnast ever to be awarded a perfect 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event.

5.  Derek Redmond- A British runner specializing in the 400 meters. He tore his hamstring halfway through a semi-final race in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. He refused to give up and rose to finish the race despite his intense pain. But what gets me and makes this one of the most memorable moments came next, when his father leapt over the railing from the stands and helped his son complete the race. Steps from the finish line and with the crowd cheering them on, he let go of Derek, so his son could cross the finish line by himself. The video below isn't the greatest quality but it is so touching. This moment is why I love the Olympics.

4.  The 1992 Dream Team- Jordan. Johnson. Bird. Barkley. Malone. Pippen. Ewing. The 1992 U.S. men’s basketball team featured what was arguably the greatest assemblage of athletic talent in Olympic team history. The all-star American squad put up triple-digit scores in all 7 rounds, sometimes blowing away teams by as much as 60 points. Even the gold medal match against Croatia, with a final score of 117-85 U.S., was a slaughter. In 2010 the team was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, one of only eight squads to ever earn the honor.

3.  Jesse Owens-  So obviously I wasn't alive for this moment but it is one that has touched me and made me so proud. Jesse Owens wasn’t “supposed” to win. He was black and he was competing in track and field in 1936 Berlin. But in one of the greatest demonstrations of actions speaking louder than words, African American sprinter Jesse Owens shocked his Nazi hosts by winning four gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and the long jump. This grandson of slaves won with conviction and with grace!

2.  Michael Phelps-  So it was a hard decision not to put him as number 1 seeing as I'm kind of in love with him!  But my feelings aside, his performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics was amazing!  He took home 8 gold medals, beating Mark Spitz's record of 7 gold medals in one Olympics. Of all his races none was more exciting then the men’s 4x100m medley relay. The French were supposed to win, in fact one of the French swimmers, Alain Bernard, said they would "smash" the Americans in this event. But oh how wrong he was.  The last seconds of the race were so intense.  Jason Lezak was behind Bernard and it looked liked Phelp's 8 gold medals dream was over.  But in the last seconds Lezak gained on Bernard and when thrust his right arm for the wall, desperation and determination met perfect timing. The lunge beat Bernard by an eye blink.  A finish that could earn its own spot in my greatest moments!  Michael Phelps 8 gold medals and Lezak's comeback finish were nothing short of miraculous! 

1.  Miracle on Ice- In 2004 I sat in a theater next to my dad and with the rest of my family to watch a movie called 'Miracle'.  It would be the last movie I would attend with my father.  As I sat watching I asked myself how I had never heard of this story.  I sat on the edge of my seat and when the lights came up in the auditorium I was changed.  The story of the 1980 USA hockey team is truly miraculous.    The U.S. team was made up of mostly collegiate players and they were not expected to advance past group play. The Soviet Union was consider the greatest team having won the gold medal in 1956 and every year since 1964.  The Rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviet team only mirrored the political and military tension that existed between them at the time because of the Cold War.  The met each other in a game that the Russians were supposed to dominate.  And according to the media the day before the match, unless a miracle happened, the Russians were expected to win not only that game but the Gold medal too.  Little did they know a miracle was indeed going to happen!  But the more I think about it, it wasn't just a miracle.  It was a coach that used strange but effective coaching tactics.  It was a team that came together and formed a bond and a family.  It was the belief that they could win and that belief affected every minute of the game.  They never gave up and at the end of 20 minutes the came out on top.  So whenever I think that something is impossible I think of this moment, pop in the 'Miracle' dvd and watch the impossible happen!  

Here is one of my favorite scenes form the movie.  Herb Brooks pushes the team nearly to the breaking point after a lack luster performance against Norway.  He makes them skate after the game.  Before this moment each player had identified themselves as an individual and as a player of their college.  What Mike Eruzione says not only stops the drill but is the start of them uniting as a team!

And the pre-game speech by coach Herb Brooks.  Very inspiring!

I hope you enjoyed these moments.  They are truly inspiring and help us remember to never give up and that with enough dedication, determination, and motivation your dreams can come true! 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 28

"To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn’t winning, and it isn’t losing. It’s not about pride, and it’s not about how you appear, and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and doesn’t leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not giving in or giving up. Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not defeat. To let go is to cherish memories, and overcome and move on. It’s having an open mind and confidence in the future. Letting go is accepting. It’s learning and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow. It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will have soon again. Letting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving. Letting go is growing up. It’s realizing that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy. To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path, and to set you free.”

Wow its been 28 days! I didn't really know what to expect when I started this cleanse. I had hit rock bottom, I was in a very dark crazy place and I knew I wanted & needed to change. I was determined to see this cleanse through no matter what. My intention at first was never to get over my friend or move on from our friendship. It was to move on from the crazy place I was in, get over my inappropriate feelings for my friend and to learn to love myself. And I accomplished all those goals thankfully. Well I'm still working on the loving myself and staying out of the crazy dark place. But I've come so far!

The last few days I have realized that my friendship is over. I'm done fighting for something that the other person doesn't want. I hate feeling unwanted and like I don't matter. I feel like this is so hard for me and so easy for him. I think one of the worst feelings is feeling like you don't matter or aren't wanted. It's so hard. I've driven myself crazy thinking about it but I have to let it go. I know I matter. I know i am and was a good friend. I know I'm a kind, caring person. I know that his life without me is missing something special. But again I have to let it all go.

Im also beginning to realize that the healthier I get the less I need the relationship. For most of my life and for all of my relationship with him I've been someone that needs to be taken care of. I needed love, attention, time etc. And if I didn't get it I was devastated and would self destruct. Well no more. I'm taking care of myself. I'm no ones charity case or project. I'm so done with that. And my friend played the caretaker role so well. Thats what our friendship was about. I needed him, he took care of me and in the process he escaped things in his life he didn't want to deal with. We were the definition of co-dependent!! With the help of my therapist I see this and I see how relationships like that can never work.

One thing I loved about our friendship and I miss the most is being accepted completely just the way I was. But again my therapist pointed out that with complete acceptance and no expectations there is no responsibility or motivation to be better or do good things. And he's right. I started becoming a person with no responsibility with no desire to do the things I knew I should be doing. I'm not blaming anyone but myself. I make my own choices. But its easy to just let everything go when no one expects anything from you. I cant have relationships like that.

No one knows what the future holds. I will always love and care for my friend. I want nothing but happiness for him. And I do hope that one day we can have a conversation. And honest real conversation. I would love to have closure and I think I deserve it. But for now I'm doing my best to let go.

I've worked really hard these last 28 days but this is just the beginning. I have so much work to do. Life is a continual process. But I am SO proud of myself. I really really am! I am in such a deferent place then I was 28 days ago. Here's a little list of some things that have changed:

I haven't had a drink in 7 weeks.
I haven't taken any prescription medications in 7 weeks.
I'm back in school.
I'm going to institute.
I'm going back to church.
I'm more active and have lost some weight.
I'm more social.

Again can I say that I'm really proud of myself?! I'm so thankful for this cleanse and the help its given me. I'm thankful for my family and friends who have been there every step. Those that didn't leave and that have been supportive and loving. To those who have listened to me or read my many texts, thank you. I'm also thankful to my loving Heavenly Father. I truly know that I couldn't have done this without Him and His help. I truly am blessed with so many great people in my life. I couldn't have done this without all of them.

I have a long road ahead of me but I know I can do it. I did these 28 days! And I can't wait for each new day and the progress I'll make!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 27

“Sometimes it happens in an instance. We step up, we see a path forward. We see a path and we take it. Even when we have no idea where we’re going.”

The last couple days have been hard emotionally. While I'm proud of myself for coming this far with the cleanse and the progress I've made, some things are still really hard. I get to the point where I'm confused and don't know what to do. So it was great that I had therapy today. I have an amazing therapist. He is truly the greatest. He is so helpful and he gets me to see and understand things I've never gotten before. Today was no different. I was able to realize some things that helped me feel better. I also realized that I still have some work to do. But I'm willing to do it and I'm in a good place to take on all the crap.

One of the things I realized is the type of person I want to be and the type of people I want in my life. I think I'm a pretty non judgmental person and I don't intend to change that but I am going to be more selective about who I let in my life and who I let become important to me. I need honesty, communication, loyalty, trust, and understanding in my life and in my relationships. I also expect that from myself. I love the changes I've made in my life this last month but I still have a long ways to go. But I know I can do it. I'm stronger then I ever knew and tougher then I look! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 26

Today was a hard long day. I had 10 hours of school and I was super emotional all day for some reason. So when 9pm rolled around I was ready for a distraction in the form of movies!

Me, my mom and some friends first went and saw Brave. It was pretty good although I felt like it was Brother Bear 3 at times. But the main girl was really inspiring and I even got teary eyed at the end.

Then we went to the midnight showing of Magic Mike!! I've been waiting for this movie for a long time. It was so good!! There's nothing that cheers me up like half naked men! And the audience was so fun. Best midnight audience ever! Thank goodness for distractions! :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 25

So tonight after a long day at school me, my mom and my sister all watched Bridesmaids.  One of my daily activities was to watch a comedy and laugh out loud so it worked perfectly.  I seriously love that movie.  It is so funny.  But I also got some good inspiring things out of it.  The first is the quote "You are your problem but you are also your solution."  I love it!  And it so fitting!  The second thing is the song Hold On.  When I was young I loved Wilson Phillips and would listen to their songs over and over.  So I know the song by heart but the lyrics are especially fitting right now.  So I included a video with the lyrics of the song.  Listen to it.  Its a cheesy song but its good.  :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 24

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that's what you've given me"

I'm not sure how or why my mind does what it does. If I could seriously figure out how to master my own mind/thoughts or if I had on on/off switch it would make my life so much easier. Seriously!

So today was another family day. It was a good day and I had a lot of fun BUT I was bombarded all day with memories of my friend and the fun things we did. It seemed like everything I did, every song that came on the radio, everything someone said, everywhere we went triggered a memory. And while I was a little sad because It reminded me that those times are over and aren't going to happen again I was also happy. Happy because those were such good times. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with him.

Now I know our friendship wasn't always the healthiest and at the end I was really crazy and not in a good place. But the good times were really good and I had a friend that loved me, believed in me and accepted me just the way I was. That kind of love is rare. And even though I turned it into something weird, and twisted, and went to a very dark crazy place I'm thankful for it. Because without this friendship I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't be on this journey.

So while today was a weird intense day it made me realize just how thankful I am for the friendship. And that I'm finally to a place where memories make me happy and not devastated. This is progress!! :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 23

I had another fun day with my family.  My sister and brother in law are in Park City so my mom and I are taking care of my niece.  I spent the night last night so I could be here in the morning to help get her ready for the day and to spend some time with her.  Her parents ended up missing her a lot so we decided to make a trip up to Park City so they could spend some time with her.  I think the highlight of the trip for me was playing in the big bathtub with Mckenzi.  After we went swimming in the pool we went back to their suite and Mckenzi and I (in our bathing suits) got into the big bathtub.  We filled it up with warm water and turned the jets on.  We had so much fun splashing and playing.  We didn't want to get out but we had to so we could get ready for dinner. Seriously my niece brings me so much joy as does the rest of my family.  I just wish my other niece and nephew lived closer.  Because nothing cheers me up like seeing their bright shinning faces.  I love them more then I can say.

I'm really enjoying family time but sadly it will come to an end as I go back to school Wednesday but I do have other fun things planned for this week that I am excited about!  :)