Friday, September 9, 2016

UTAH HIGH SCHOOL TRANSFER RULE

So I haven't blogged in a few months... Going back to school full time, working full time, and coaching has consumed my life from 4:30am-10:00pm to say the least. I like to think I'm a pretty busy individual and a lot of times I wonder why I do try to cram 100 different things into a 24 hour day but its because that's how I function best. I'm like Michelle, I do better under pressure and with my days scheduled out and jam packed. 

A quick update on this post and whats brought it about... Lately I've had a lot on my mind and have been quite opinionated and writing really helps ease my thoughts. So here's the situation... In the state of Utah they're currently discussing this new transfer rule that would all together eliminate transfer rules. Right now in order to transfer high schools you have to go through a long process and sometimes, the transfer doesn't always get approved. Obviously moving into the school's boundaries is your best bet, but some kids try to switch schools without moving. There's nothing wrong with this, if its for the right reasons. Here's some situations just from within my own team:

1. I have kid on my team now who transferred to Mountain View last year. They live out of boundaries and to spare you the full details of the transfer, it was for 100% legit reasons, all being non-athletic. This is a hardship transfer (from my understanding, I could be wrong). She was enrolled at a different school, then transferred out of boundaries to another. As a coach, I lucked out on getting her to be a part of the team. As I said though, her reasons were legit. Some kids transfer to because of playing time, they think they're the star, they want to be the only star, and so naturally since the grass is greener on the other side ALWAYS (not really) they transfer. Simple truth to it all:

Legit reasons = Transfer approved.

2. I have another kid who moved from another state and enrolled at Mountain View. Guess what... her transfer got approved. She moved, literally moved across the country to Mt. View boundaries and enrolled at Mt. View as her first school. So yes, it was approved. The whole open enrollment thing is really enough I think. Kids can go to whichever school they want, as long as they start there from day 1. I have another kid who is out of boundaries but she attended the Jr. High that fed into Mt. View and now she's currently enrolled at Mt. View. Smooth and easy, no problems when you FOLLOW THE RULES for going to an out-of-boundary school. 

3. I know of kids who started at an out-of-boundary school and ended up transferring to the school whose boundaries they actually live in. I had a teammate at Timpview who started at Centennial Middle School (Timpview's feeder school), attended Timpview, then transferred to Provo because she actually lived in Provo boundaries. Her transfer was approved.

All of these situations they followed the rules and look what happened, transfers were granted. Yes I am a high school coach and I have transfers and out-of-boundary kids, but they did it the right way. I won't lie, at one point of my high school career I thought it would be so fun to transfer to Lone Peak or Skyline and play ball with my club ball teammates. We all did summer ball together and we all wanted to win state; therefore, transferring would guarantee more fun and a state championship... right? False. When I asked Michelle she literally laughed at me. Just laughed and told me no and that I was staying at Timpview. My stupid 15-yr-old mind really thought that transferring was going to solve all my dreams and goals. As it turns out... I spent more than half of high school on crutches, still won a state championship, still won region championships, and still went to college on a D1 scholarship. Steve has been a college coach forever and has seen it all. He's a great mentor to me as far as dealing with kids and pares and he always tells me two things:
  1. If you're good enough, the colleges will find you. If they don't, what does that say? Well, you probably need to go spend some time in the gym.  
  2. Work hard and humbly, then let your play do the talking.
I hear of so many kids transferring because they aren't getting playing time, they want to be the star, the coach is rude to them. Frankly if a team is winning, you're getting playing time, and you're filling a stat sheet why transfer? Because you want to win state? Because you're not THE star, you're A star, but you're not THE star? As a coach I want loyal kids who want to win; who care more about the Wins and Losses column as opposed to their own stat line. Being on the star on a team who's 2-19 says something too. Going to a high school with a power house football team people always complained about Timpview recruiting. Just in my 4 years there lets talk about the top kids who were in boundary kids: Harvey Unga, Stephen Paea, Stephen and Britain Covey, the Reynolds brothers, the Bills brothers, and my personal favorites the Kaufusi brothers. All these boys were Timpview boundary kids. It's fun looking at pictures of Corbin and Bronson from flag football up to their state championship teams. Why? Well, the kids who won it are the kids they grew up with.
Lets say they pass this ridiculous rule, no more transfer rules. So lets make a bet. I bet every football player is going to want to transfer to Bingham or Timpview, every boy basketball player is going to want to transfer to Lone Peak, and every girl soccer player is going to want to go to Davis. Every good athlete is going to want to go to the top school in their sport. Some schools will drop in enrollment, and high school coaches will be stuck coaching virtually a club team; A team of All-Stars pulled from all over. If I wanted to coach a club team I would, but I don't. I enjoy high school sports. I enjoy the concept of a team, the concept of winning, of building a program. I did club ball and it brought great memories.  None of which are documented. There's no building with banners for your club ball achievements. There's no newspaper articles about winning some random tournament in Portland that one summer. In high school if you win you get the banner hung in the school, you get the trophies, you get your name in the paper, etc. You can't take that away. You look on college athlete's profiles and it usually doesn't mention the club team you played for. It does mention your high school team. As Urban Meyer puts it, "What means something is the recommendation of the high school (football) coach." I think I speak for all high school coaches in Utah when I say we don't want to coach a club team.
Utah high school sports need to be kept the way they are, ok maybe a shot clock is desperately needed, but transfer rules are there for a reason. I'm sure the people who want this are the charter schools who are recruiting the 5A and 4A kids (how many violations have they already had?), and the parents and kids who think they're some grand exception to the rules. If I have the choice to go to a 2A charter school and a 5A public school and I have some promising athletic ability you better believe I'm going to the 5A school. Nothing against smaller schools or charter schools they serve their purpose, but yes if my parents had sent my brothers and I to a smaller school we would look like all stars too. Accept the challenge high school sports and bigger schools bring. Going 15 and 10 against a fellow 4A team looks a lot better than going 30 and 20 against 2A teams. 
At the end of the day, open enrollment gives you the freedom to start where you want. If you have legit reasons to transfer and you take it to the board they're going to approve it. If your reasons aren't and the motivation behind the transfer isn't reasonable (aka athletics) then maybe you need to take some advice from my Dad and go spend more time in the gym. Fingers crossed they leave high school sports the way they are.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

My Famous "Little" Brothers

At the ripe age of 26 and half… I’ve spent 22 of those years here in the lovely state of Utah. Of those 22 years, my family has been affiliated in one way or another with BYU or Utah football. Now in this  world there’s different kinds of people. There's cat people and dog people. There’s Nike people and Under Armor people. There’s Brick Oven Pizza people and Little Caesar’s people. And there’s even Swig people and Sodalicious people. Well, growing up in the state of Utah there also two kinds of people (sorry Sara Reale, Utah State didn’t make the cut)… There’s BYU people and there’s University of Utah people. Most people in Utah are die hard BYU fans, or die hard UofU fans. Just the way it is. Any given weekend in the fall time and people in Utah either have a blue flag hanging from their front porch or a red. In the situation of my cousin Hillary they have both (her husband is a Ute but we still love him). Now both universities are great schools, but we bleed blue for BYU. So in this smaller state of two main local football teams and basketball teams, you could imagine how well known the players are. Lucky me, I not only have a dad who coaches but also three brothers who play/played/will play sports at BYU. We are going to focus on my two brothers Bronson and Corbin, and what it's like having famous LITTLE brothers.

Going anywhere with Bronson or Corbin is always entertaining. They always get a handful of people asking for photographs. They even get some kids asking for autographsand signing anything from their t-shirt or their arm. You would think I’m hanging out with Kobe Bryant with the publicity these two get when we are around town. But the boys handle it well. They grew up loving BYU and love all the fans who are always so supportive. Now always in the background of these encounters you'll usually find me snapping a pic or two to send Michelle with a smart-Alec comment like “big time” or “goals.” I had my moment of fame in the state of Utah. People enjoyed me because I got cancer and was bald and blah blah it's a boring story really. But at the end of the day, I can't help but giggle all while my brothers are busy being famous. So, here are the thoughts that I have while my “famous” little brothers are signing autographs while we are out and about:

1. “If only these people saw how Brons and Corb eat at home and not in public.” – Poor Steve and Michelle. Not only have they had to change our diapers and take us countless times to the ER, they've had to supply food to feed these giants. Just so you have an idea. Daryl is probably 5’7” and the smallest by far. Devin is 6’6” 250lbs. Corbin is 6’10” 260lbs. Bronson is 6’8” 285lbs. And I’m 6’0 215lbs. We are quite larger than normal people. Each one, Bronson and Corbin, consume I would guess we'll over 5,000 calories a day. Now when my brothers eat in public they’re pretty good about using napkins, wiping up their messes, even using utensils. When they eat at the comfort of their own home you would think they’re a starving child straight from a third world country. They’re ravenous. You learn to eat fast around here because chances of you getting seconds if you eat slow aren’t too good. They eat right off your plate if you’re dumb enough to fall for the old “whoa look at that” trick. Utensils are optional, and mixing your whole plate of food into one big pile of lord knows what is a must. You can always tell where Bronson and Corbin sat at the dinner table due to the mess around their spot. They’re like Hansel and Gretel, leaving a nice little trail all around the table where they ate and usually all over their face as well.

2. “If only these kids knew that Corbin got grounded this morning for not making his bed.” – Yes you read that right… Sometimes Corbin still gets grounded. Sometimes I still get grounded. And sometimes Bronson gets grounded and he doesn’t even live at the house anymore! This is the thing, you step into the Gypsy’s house you are now the Gypsy’s property. Our cousin Jared gets grounded and was spanked as a small child at our house many of times.  Just the way it is. Keep in mind. I’m 26. Bronson’s 24. Married, and 6’8. Corbin's 22 and 6’10. Michelle is a whopping 5’10”. Weighs virtually nothing. And she can boss the lot of us around better than anyone I know.Saturday chores are a must, and taking turns helping clean up Sunday dinner is required. The thing is though, these two boys love their mother and have learned to respect her and all women and hold them in the highest regard. So yes they may be BYU sports stars, but yes they must still make their beds and do the dishes just like you or they get grounded.

3. “These children think Brons and Corb probably do something cool in their free time.” -- It's true though. I know for a fact people assume Bronson and Corbin in their free time must live some awesome life. Like they wrestle bears or something in the back woods of Provo Canyon. This is so false. These two are about as normal as normal can get for teenage boys. Notice how I said teenage boys… More like young boys. First of all these two get together and they all the sudden are 10 and 8 again playing Smash Brothers on the N64 or ping pong. They fight over Xbox controllers, as well as which games they want next (Yes this happens and did the other day at Game Stop) and sometimes even fight over food. They’re quite normal nerdy guys. They love Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit and can tell you anything you want to know about any character, especially Corbin. They both have an awesome Pokemon collection and could quote all of Twilight. They know the ins and out of every Star Wars movie and love the old Godzilla movies subtitles and all. They also know the words to every Sound of Music song, ABBA, and Cher songs.

4. “If only these people knew how these two learned their work ethic.” – Located up on the Eastern side of Provo is a lovely neighborhood grocery store. It's owned by the Day family, naturally it's called Days Market. I’ve heard so many people ask my brothers and myself what our parents did to help us “excel” in athletics. Well for starters, we didn’t spend all our time doing sports. So many people think we spent hours training and doing those speed training coaches and everything but no. The second high school practice was over the 3 of us rushed over the Days, threw on our aprons, and that's when the real fun began.This is where Bronson and Corbin and I spent many hours in our high school years. There came a time where the three of us would get to work together on an occasional Saturday or Thursday night. The three of us worked at Days Market 3 sometimes 4 times a week closing shifts and sometimes 12 hour shifts on Saturdays to pay for our sports. I remember Bronson calling everyone at the store begging them to let him take extra shifts so he could pay for his state championship ring and his Hawaii trip for football. These two not only worked at the grocery store, but they also did yard for our neighbor. Not just normal yard work, hard yard work. I went and helped them one day because they needed it and well I lasted about an hour. They worked so hard for every little thing they wanted. Sports are expensive. High school and club teams. Working and paying for our own sports made us not only appreciate them but we learned so much. I know those two especially learned how to work hard doing all that yard work for good ole’ Joe Armstrong. But,  mostly I just enjoyed the late nights at Days Market with the boys playing way more than working.

5. “These people think these two are so tough. Please.” – Ok so one would think that my boys are the toughest kids you’d ever meet. They’re huge and both weigh well over 260lbs. But here’s a secret. They’re both quite softies. And that's what makes them the best, they’re like big teddy bears. Growing up I wasn’t he nicest big sister and I was actually taller than them. I distinctly remember once I caught Bronson lying. Keep in mind this is when I as taller than them. I tackled him, pulled his pants off, and threw them up on the power line. I continued to chant “Liar liar pants on fire hanging from the telephone wire.” Bronson was in tears. I got in trouble, but that didn't stop me. I soon learned the game keep away. And Corbin was quite the easy target. 
He was much smaller than Bronson and I, and he was always sucking his thumb so he only had one hand available. Corbin was always the monkey in the middle and always was until Michelle would make us stop and find something new to play. Corbin was also our target for everything though. When we would play 007 on the N64. We would see how many times we could kill him a 20 minute game. We used to make him run under the trampoline while we would jump on it and he would have to dodge our jumps (Don’t judge us I know it's dangerous but we were young and dumb). We once even tied him up in an inner tube, flipped it upside down and timed him while he escaped. Corbin’s terrified of heights. Bronson is terrified of spiders and still makes Corbin kill them. My younger large brothers are quite normal and at the end of the day aren’t as tough and rough as they appear on the field or court. Let’s just be honest, they’re lucky they’re taller than me now!

Now my brothers Bronson and Corbin really are all stars (Sorry Dev, you’re on a mission and are the youngest and spoiled) not only in their sports but in life. You can learn so much from them! They may eat like animals from time to time but they love to eat and make sure their bodies are always fueled. They eat good (for the most part) and make sure they are always fed and fueled for their practices, games, and weekend spike ball tournaments. They learned house hold chores and can both clean a bathroom better than most people I know, and they learned to respect their mother while doing so. They are both the biggest nerds. Playing their Call of Duty and Diablo and arguing about Lord of the Rings theories. They weren’t completely sport oriented. Michelle made sure we were well rounded. They held jobs all through high school even during sport season, took piano lessons, sang in Timpview’s choir, and both took guitar lessons. I think what makes them such special boys is when they’re off the field and court. They love doing service for people in the community and are both quite tender boys. They might be sport all stars and BYU famous but my baby brothers are quite normal. With the exception of their caloric intake and height and weight, they are just normal boys. They understand the important things like friends, family, and treating others kindly. And they know that at the end of the day, there's more to life than football and basketball. 

How lucky am I to have such great examples for younger, larger brothers?

Monday, April 18, 2016

The L Word


Love is a strong word and used to show a deep adoration, fondness, affection, attachment, and sometimes even a strange obsession for someone or something. So yes the word love is a big word. Some people like to hand out the word love like Michelle hands out gummy bears and skittles to small children, but it's not a word to just be said about anyone or anything. It should be saved for special people, special occasions, all at the opportune moment and right time. So with that all being said…

My name is Alexis Kaufusi. And I love Food.

This is probably the truest statement I’ve said in a long time. I love food. Without a doubt in my mind. I don’t understand how people can just not love food. 

1. Food makes me happy
2. Food makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside
3. Food is always there and never talks back
4. Food is dependable and guaranteed to make me smile

I could go on and on for days about the reason as as to why I love food but I think you get the idea. I’m that person who wakes up at 3:00am because I’m hungry and craving an omelette. I’m that person who would drive 45 minutes from Provo to Salt Lake to get Chipotle. And I’m that person who when I travel I immediately Google to see if there are any restaurants in the city that were on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. Yes I am a bit of a fatty I can’t help it. But as my father always says,

“I would much rather die fat and full of yummy delicious food than die skinny wishing I had ate that piece of apple pie.”

 I find that as a great motto to live by. Now a few years ago I discovered I had this stupid intolerance to gluten. Did that hold me back from loving and eating food??? Absolutely not. If anyone knows me they know I clearly love food and I love to travel. So without further adieu… Here are my top 5 favorite restaurants. Ever. 

#1: Wahoos Tacos; Laguna, CA
Oh my goodness… We all know I love tacos. They are the staple to my diet and I could eat them everyday with ease. Finding a good fish taco in the state of Utah is a little difficult sometimes considering we are land locked and the fish isn’t all that fresh. So if you ever find yourself in Laguna wander over to Laguna main and get yourself some Wahoos! My favorites are the grilled fish tacos or the carne asada tacos, along with a side of chicken tortilla soup. Don't forget the chips and salsa and guac too! Now their fish tacos are the best. They use Mahi-Mahi but you can also get salmon. I love both grilled to be honest. Their tacos are amazing 2 is so not enough so just plan on getting 3-4. The food is light, fresh, yet so comforting. Something about tacos and a bowl of warm chicken tortilla soup after a long day at the beach just makes your life 100% better than it was before. Apparently there are some Wahoos in Vegas and some in Colorado… Currently thinking about driving to either locations…

#2: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana; West Hartford, CT
So once upon a time I went to Connecticut and got to watch the American Conference Tournament aka UCONN Women’s Basketball.. While I was there I was privileged enough to get to partake of the best pizza I’ve ever had in my freaking life. For me, I’m over American pizza. The thick crust, the obscenely ridiculous amount of cheese… No thank you. It's heavy and just not all that appetizing. While I was in Italy I fell in love with thin crust traditional Italian pizza where the sauce to cheese ratio favors the sauce. There’s a restaurant in Salt lake called Setebello that always was my favorite thin crust pizza, but then I tried Frank Pepe’s. Talk about mind blowing experience. I just got, well you know, an original pizza. Tomato sauce, mozzarella, some basil. The typical margherita pizza. Best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. First they bring the pizza out on a big tray, yes they're that big. Then you take a bite and the tomato sauce is fresh, the cheese is melted all the way through, and the crust is thin yet crispy. So, wander up to the New England area, find a Frank Pepe’s and treat yourself to the best pizza you’ll ever have. 

#3: Lucky 13; Salt Lake City, UT
Look at this. My hometown making a showing with the good food! So I actually first heard of Lucky 13 while reading a Buzzfeed or something like that’s post about some of the best burgers around and fancy that, Salt Lake City, UT had one of the burger joints. So I made my way to Lucky 13. It's this little dive looking bar next to the baseball stadium in downtown Salt Lake City  and well, their burgers and heavenly. Before you even devour your burger, do yourself a favor and first order some chips and salsa. Why? Because everyone loves some good chips and salsa as your pre-meal snack! Now my personal favorite burger is The Real Double. Double meat, double the cheese. The trick is to get it with Swiss cheese. I’m not a huge cheddar person and the Swiss just adds a different level of taste. Now Lucky 13 has all kinds of burgers. They have one that has peanut butter one it, one that's a foot tall. Yes a foot tall aka 12 inches. They also have a burger that's between two grilled cheese and even a burger challenge. You finish the foot tall burger along with the grilled cheese bun burger (also smothered in some habaneros) with a side of fries all in one hour and you get $200 and the food is completely free as well. So, if huge burgers are what you crave head to Lucky 13 in the 801 and prepare your stomach to be so full but so happy all at the same time. 

#4: Pine State Biscuits; Portland, OR
For anyone who knows my family knows that the Kaufusi kids love egg sandwiches. Steve has made us egg sandwiches since we were kids and now that we are all grown up we make our own with our own little twists. Example: I always add chicken sausage to my eggs and top it with some avocado. Corbin sometimes puts peanut butter and jelly between 6 egg stacks. The bottom line, I love egg sandwiches. Steve always has been the front runner of the egg sandwich race until I went to Pine State Biscuits. While wandering Portland I stumbled upon this place and fell in love. Now don’t waste your time getting anything but the Reggie Deluxe. It's fried chicken, bacon, cheese, and an egg all between this heavenly biscuit. The biscuit is what really does it for me. They’re homemade and just really make a difference for that egg sandwich. But it gets better. All that delightful press stuffed between a homemade biscuit is now covered in gravy. If you’re still hungry after your Reggie Deluxe then you need to order some of their blueberry corn meal pancakes. Now they do have other yummy options but just get the Reggie Deluxe and some pancakes and be ready to have the best breakfast sandwich of your life. 

#5: Wailua Bakery; Haleiwa, HI
Now anytime I go to Hawaii, this little place is a MUST!! You all need to go. Right now. It's a cute little shop in Haleiwa and be prepared to want to buy and eat everything. I think I spent a solid $30 just for myself last time I was here. First of all everything is homemade and fresh. It's super healthy (for those of us trying to eat better) and it's so refreshing. So whenever I go I always get the bakery club. It has turkey, cheese, Wailua avocado, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and sprouts. ITS AMAZING! And it's huge. This isn’t some dinky turkey sandwich. It's a hefty sandwich! Along with my sandwich I always get a min Acai bowl. It comes with homemade granola, organic honey, shredded coconut, and homegrown bananas all on top of some Acai sorbet. Now you must also try the following at one point of another: A Hot Hunk of Bread. It's $3 and you get a slice of their fresh hot bread with butter. I always get honey on mine. Also try their cookie ice cream sandwich. It's the best you’ll have. Lastly, you have to get their Banana Bread Pudding. Talk about the best bread pudding you will ever have and its homemade with fresh bananas grown right in Haleiwa. I know this all sounds too good to be true, but it's not. Go to the North Shore. Go to Wailua Bakery and check it out for yourself. It's the #2 reason I love going to Hawaii besides the ocean. 

Now I know that's 5 different restaurants... but I have to add in a surprise plus one feature to this list. Think if it like when you're preggers and you find out you're having twins instead of just 1 baby. This is that extra surprise and you're just so happy! So, I covered the basics but I forgot dessert. Now dessert is a very important part of any meal. And sometimes as normal human beings we can't help it but get those sugary cravings. So here is my favorite stop for desserts:

#6: Clark's Island Donuts; Utah County/SLC County, UT
Now Clark's Island Donuts is this orange food truck ran by the Clark family. It used to be parked in Provo on 900 E. and I would find myself always going here to get donuts. It then moved to Center St. in Orem. Everyday on my way to basketball I would drive by and of course stop and get one. These little donuts are a piece of heaven covered in sugar. There's the regular non-filled donuts that you can get covered in sugar or cinnamon and sugar. Or there's filled donuts that can be filled with cream, or coconut, or chocolate, or whatever flavor they have at the time. Coming from donut expert Miss Carlie McCall, she claims these are the best donuts she's ever had. Carlie is my friend who travels a ton working for ESPN and who has had every donut and been to every donut shop there is in this country and she agrees, Clark's Island Donuts are the BEST donuts ever! Lately they're parked at the Soho Food Park up in Holladay, UT so make sure you check them out. Your mouth deserves the greatness that comes with these donuts. 

So as I’ve been doing this blog I have gotten quite hungry. As pathetic as it is yes my mouth is currently salivating and I just want some of everything I’ve talked about. Now I love food. Food has a way of bringing people together and making potentially awkward social situations not nearly as awkward. And it tastes amazing. Don’t forget, it's better to die fat and full of yummy food than regretting you didn’t eat that dessert that one time. Anyways, people who love to eat food really are the best kind of people. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dreams. Dreams. Dreams.

I'm not sure what is more depressing. The fact I haven't blogged since October 15, or that  its Kobe's last season in the NBA and the Lakers are sucking. Add in Duke losing to Oregon, Abby Wambach retiring, and the lack of a Panera in the state of Utah and all are valid reasons to be quite depressed. Since October my life got  crazy busy. Being a head basketball coach, working full time, being a single mother (dog/cat moms are moms too), on top of trying to get skinny I can honestly say I haven't had time to sit and blog my thoughts. Ok that's a lie. I have had time. But the little free time I have I have been reading. Plot twist... I love to read. People act to surprised when I say this. When I say I love to read I legitimately mean I love reading books. The fact I can read 2 paragraphs and the following happen:

1. I end up in a whole new world.
2. I forget the problems of my life and the sometimes crazy world we live in.
And 3. I manage to come up with so many different voices for the characters that my creativity  just blow my mind.

So I've been reading. And I've read quite a lot actually. I'm trying to average a book every 10 days... I don't just read, I read fast as well. Need a good book? Well I have a ton I could recommend and will even give you a synopsis free of charge. I swear some days I think I need to become a publisher or a writer of some sorts just because I love to read and write. But I also am afraid that will ruin it for me you know? It's like growing up and you have your best friend everyone thinks you're dating and you're not. And you end up thinking well maybe I should date them they're my best friend, but you don't want to ruin it with kissing and all that relationship crap. That's how I feel sometimes when I feel the need to actually do something besides reading and blogging for entertainment. I don't want to ruin it.

Anyways... I'm currently sitting on an airplane flying home from Indianapolis and I wanted to talk about dreams. Not like the dreams you have at night. My dreams usually consist of me owning many animals usually a dragon, sloth, lion, bear, multiple St. Bernard's, etc. But dreams. Like how Michelle (my biological mother) dreams that one day Lavell Edwards Stadium will have caffeinated Diet Coke so we don't have to sneak them into BYU Football games  anymore. Or like my brother Corbin wishes to have biceps like former Senator Schwarzenegger. Dreams. Some dreams are realistic. Some aren't. Some dreams come true exactly how we wanted, and some don't quite take the path we expected. That's the dream I want to talk about right now. The dream you have... That doesn't work out. It happens, just in a round about way that you probably aren't too happy about. So this all makes sense we are going to use my dreams. The dreams of 14 year old Alexis because those dreams are a lot more exciting and realistic than the dreams of my 26 year old self (pet dragon, acceptance letter to Hogwarts, finding out Lagertha Lothbrook is my great great grandma...). When I was 14 years old I as a freshman at Timpview. I was sitting at this banquet for the Nike Tournament of Champions. I didn't really know anything about women's college basketball. All I knew was Steve went through a job change and my family had just converted from Utah to BYU fans and I wasn't happy. Steve didn’t really consider my future plans into this whole job change. I was going to play for Elaine Elliott at the University of Utah because she had been telling me since I was 7 that I was going to play for her. That's all I knew. So sitting at this banquet the key note speaker who was some great basketball player I hadn’t heard of. And that the speaker was none other than Diana Taurasi. Well I honestly couldn't tell you the details of what Diana said in her speech. All I remember was by the time she was done, I wanted to be her. I wanted to go to the University of Connecticut. I wanted to play for Coach Geno Auriemma. And I wanted to go to the final four and win national championships and go to the WNBA. While at this tournament I had a good showing  and a not too shabby freshman high school season. Started every game. Had a few double doubles. Made it to the state championship and lost. That summer I worked hard. I traveled with a club team. Played with my high school team. I was set on going to UCONN still. Then set back one happened. An avulsed deltoid and a shattered ankle during the first week of fall practice. I came back from the injury. Traveled all summer. You would never know I had shattered it that previous season. The letters and offers poured in. Utah, UCLA, UNLV, Colorado, Gonzaga, TCU... But no UCONN. Not yet at least right? I felt like a celebrity and I won't lie, my pride got the best of me a handful of times. The end of the summer I committed to the University of Utah. I after all was going to play for Elaine Elliott like I had always planned, and if Geno offered me I would cross that bridge when and if it happened. I was pretty high on life. Fifteen years old and already committed to a D1 one program. Then set back number two. Torn ACL, MCL, Meniscus. Terrible triad as my doctor called it. This injury happened and all the major schools backed off. After some conversations with my parents and some tears and frustrated exchanges of words I decommitted from the University of Utah because a new offer had come in. Guess what... It wasn't UCONN... It was BYU. And while it wasn't the offer I had been waiting for, it was the one my parents were waiting for. During the exchange of frustrated words and tears I realized that I wasn't going to play at UCONN. As Steve puts it (Michelle's husband and my biological father) I was a big fish in a small pond. Why go be a small fish in a big pond so I could get eaten up? Why not be the one doing the eating? So I committed to Brigham Young University where I went on to play my college career. Consider the UCONN dream… Shattered. But it's ok. Life goes on and basketball goes on. I continued with life accepted that UCONN wasn’t an option and began my college career at BYU. Which was plagued with injuries as well. Compartments Syndrome during my redshirt year was the only injury I would have. I was sure of it. Well if any of you know anything about me you know I was sooooo wrong. 
I was soon diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and that was the downfall and really the end of my college and basketball career. As much as I wish old lady pick up and Rec ball counted it doesn't.  

Well obviously that whole "Be the next Diana Taurasi and go to UCONN and the final four and win a national championship or two and have Geno tell me to get on the line daily" dream didn't work out. Clearly. But guess what? The dream came true. Kind of. I've spent the last 5 days at the NCAA Women's Final Four. A dream I've had for the last 13 years of my life came true. I was surrounded by basketball greats. I saw Geno make history and Stewie win her fourth national title. I was right there during the whole game and the post game interviews and the cutting down the nets. I was there. Would I have much rather been in their spot? Actively participating as opposed to sitting on the fifth row drinking an overpriced water bottle? Well yes obviously. But everything happens for a reason. Obviously there’s a reason I didn’t end up being the next Diana Taurasi. I’m also sure there’s a reason I ended up at BYU and not Utah. There’s a reason I got cancer and was plagued with injuries my whole basketball career. There’s also a reason Chick Fil A only serves breakfast till 10:30 but we can’t know the underlying reasons to everything all the time.



I look back and I am so thankful that things went the way they have. If I had ended up my dreams coming true I would have been diagnosed with cancer 3,000 miles away from home. I wouldn’t have had a trainer who knew me as well as my family history well enough to see the red flags. I wouldn’t have had been 30 minutes away from the leading research cancer hospital in the world and the team of Doctors and Nurses who saved my life. I wouldn’t have met my best amigos. I wouldn’t have got to see my siblings sporting events. And I wouldn’t have been able to learn lessons and be where I am today if I had ended up anywhere besides BYU. Now dreams… We all have them. Big, small, realistic, unrealistic, we all have dreams. Dreams are meant to followed just like how rules are meant to be broken. SIKE. Bad motto. But by all means, if you have a dream you need to follow it. Especially if it's something you want. Do anything and everything you can to make it happen. And if life has something different in store just remember it's ok. Life goes. And for all  you know your dream may come true maybe just not in the way you expected it to. And if it doesn’t that's the best part about dreams, you can always come up with new ones.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Control the Controllables... aka your Attitude

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I needed to control the controllables I would so rich! I would probably have enough cash money to be living in my storage unit tiny home, up in Seattle, with a large fenced in property for my 6 St Bernards and 5 Cats, with my significant other and maybe a kid or two... I know my all time goal in life is so appealing right? The bottom line is though, I am always told I need to control the controllables and to stop being a control freak. Being a Virgo woman (born between 8/23-9/22) I cannot help but want to control every aspect of my life. It just comes natural to me. I am the worst delegator alive and I always have this burning need in my heart to be in charge. As Christian Grey put it, "I exercise control in all things." As I've gotten older though I've realized you can't really control everything. You sure as heck can try but unless you're a multi millionaire like Christian Grey or a wizard like Albus Dumbledore you can't really control anything at the end of the day. You'll just end up tired, frustrated, and stuck in your comfort zone where you have control. You can't control the weather, you can't control whether or not someone loves you back, and you can't control the ridiculous high prices of Nike apparel. The only thing you really can control is your attitude in the situations that are thrown at you. Attitude is everything and can make or break any situation. Having a bad attitude towards things can make life a living hell while a good attitude can make a tough situation easy-peezy. It all depends on if you see the glass as half full or half empty. Attitude is everything.

Bad Example:
Being a high school basketball coach I love when I see players with good attitudes. I didn't realize how bad my attitude as a player was until I was a coach. I honestly don't even know why my teammates liked me let a lone put up with me. Sports is a great example of where attitudes are something that are so crucial. While I was at Timpview playing basketball I had a different coach every year I was there. I remember with the one specific new coach I had the worst attitude. I didn't want them to be my coach, and I didn't respect them. It showed that year as a player on the floor. I was a selfish player, I wasn't coachable, and in the end it cost us the state championship. My attitude carried over to my college career. The first two years were great. Then cancer happened, and well then my stubborn feministic ways got the best of me and by my junior year I wasn't invested. I had a chip on my shoulder and a bad attitude. I was coming off chemo and my body wasn't adapting to college basketball as fast as I wanted it to or as good as I needed it to. I rode the bench for a whole season and found myself frustrated and with a bad attitude. It ended up being a huge factor in the end of my college career and I went out with a bad taste in my mouth for the game I once had loved so much. It took me a few months to touch a basketball again, but in those 6 months I had to rebuild myself up. I had to get a new attitude to my new life. I went from college athlete to college graduate looking for a job. It took some adjusting, but with a major attitude change I soon grew to love my new life. I loved my job, I loved working (even when it was two jobs at times), and I eventually found my old love for the game of basketball. I look back and wish so bad I had a "cup half full" attitude and realized I couldn't control my health, or who my coach was, or who my teammates were. What I could have controlled though was my attitude to those things. As I said before, when I coach girls with good attitudes its such a relief. In sports, someone's attitude can make or break a team. My attitude broke my teams in the past so as a coach, its something I've really emphasized. Good attitude towards the game and my players so hopefully it will rub off on them. A person with a bad attitude will not only never progress, but their bad attitude affects everyone around them. The best thing you can do, in any situation good or bad, is have a good attitude. Good attitude = Good outcome.

Good Example:

So as well know once upon a time I had cancer, well I still have it but once upon a time I had to actually fight it and what not. Anyways I won, Alexis: 1 Cancer: 0. But during the whole process my team of doctors made it very clear that attitude was 90% of the battle. They emphasized again and again that I needed to keep a good positive happy attitude and let the chemo do the rest. So naturally like a good little cancer patient, I did. Now this is easier said than done when. Imagine sitting in a room with friends and family and they're all crying because you're "dying" and you have to stay positive... now thats kind of a dramatic example but thats how I felt. Staying positive through those 6 months started out easy. Something about shaving your head and having an Iron Man like port installed in your chest was exciting and fun. But it gets hard when you're constantly puking and can barley walk 10 yards to the bathroom without taking breaks. Martha was right though as she always is, attitude is everything. Throughout it all I kept a positive attitude, I found the silver linings, and rather than thinking "man what if the chemo and cancer kills me and I die?" I thought "man how awesome are my scars from all these surgeries going to be in like 5 years after I beat this?" Its all about perspective. When you have a good attitude good things happen. Whether the situation is something like cancer, or the attitude towards the cashier at the grocery store who won't stop talking, if you have a good attitude good things happen.

Now lets be honest... there's just some situations where having a good attitude is just hard. Some people just are naturally not optimistic. Myself included. I like to consider myself a realist. I like to think with my head and not my heart. I never really liked to think the extreme worst or the extreme best, but I definitely wasn't optimistic. I was told a lot that I shouldn't be so pessimistic, but I'm not pessimistic I'm just realistic. That was always my reply. I noticed that in most aspects of my life I was taking a realistic approach and was a lot of times a glass half empty kind of gal. I've been working hard to turn that around and be more optimistic and more of a glass half full kind of gal. I saw the importance of a good attitude while going through cancer so why not apply it to all aspects of life? Why not be optimistic and have a good attitude at all times? Yes that sometimes sets you up for even bigger let downs and disappointments, but there's always a silver lining to be found in everything that happens. Our attitude is probably the only thing we can really control when things go bad, and our attitude is really the one thing that can make a bad situation bearable. It can be the game changer when you get diagnosed with cancer or when you spill your taco all over your white shirt. 

At the end of the day, our attitude is what will determine how we react to any situation in life and to people. Something like a good attitude can take you as far as you want it to and can be what you need to get through anything good or bad. It opens up the doors to opportunity and really just living in general. Worrying and trying to control everything in life is exhausting. Trust me, I didn't it for 25 years! You can't control people, you can control traffic, or the opportunities that are given you. But you can control your attitude 100% of the time and when you have a good attitude, good things happen. I'm a firm believer in good and positive energy. I believe in karma. I also believe that a good attitude will get you farther in life, it will help you escape your comfort zones, and its the only thing in this crazy life that we can control. So control it, rock it, and let your good attitude work for you. 



Friday, September 25, 2015

Change is Inevitable, Progress is Optional


 I haven't blogged in a minute... and I can't even begin to say 1. How mad I am I haven't found the time and 2. How much I've missed it! I have been writing, just not for public eye. So FINALLY here's a blog that I had time to put together and that you all can enjoy. So this week I had my birthday... I turned 26. First of all, I don't like my birthday. The last few years it lost it's excitement. I was sitting in bed last night trying to keep Bella and her slobbery adorable face off the bed and I couldn't help but see the changes from 25 to 26, because trust me there were plenty of them. Change is something I have never been fond of. While reminiscing on my life at dinner Sunday my brothers brought up the day we moved to Provo how I cried and cried and cried. I think back and I was such a brat when we first moved to Provo. I didn't want to move to Provo. I had plans to finish Jr High at Olympus Jr and go play basketball at Olympus High School for Coach Ashton and hang out with Diane Tempest everyday. I had plans and this whole "lets move to Provo" thing wasn't a part of my plans and just really screwed it all up. But, being a child I didn't have a choice so we moved to Provo. Change down to the simplest of things, like when Costco started carrying a different brand of plastic cups, or when Paradise Cafe changed their menu. I just don't like change; but something happened between 25 and 26. I changed. I didn't just make little changes, I made some major changes. I lost some friends along the way, good Lord lets be honest I lost myself along the way. But during that time I made new friends, I found myself, and I found out what was really important to me and who.

Change 1: My priorities.

Now I always thought I had my priorities together my whole life. I always put my family first. My stomach second, basketball third (because ball is life), and somewhere is a 3-way tie for fourth between work, the gym, and my friends. In reality though my priorities were 1. have a good time, almost too good of a time usually 2. my friends 3. my family 4. work and 5. basketball. I didn't realize how skewed my priorities were until about 9 months ago. In the battle to figure out what really is important and who really is important I lost some people and gained some. I realized just how important a select few were, and how two faced others were. I realized my relationships with people are important and I needed to not be so selfish in them. I needed to prioritize the people in my life who were loyal and stayed by my side through my OCD fits and my sometimes rude mannerisms. I also realized I needed to get ride of some of my rude mannerisms. But I have as of late prioritized the people who matter. The list is short and sweet, but its a lot better than having a huge list with semi-loyal friends. Between weeding out the good and the bad people, realizing there's more to life than basketball, and trying to show with actions instead of words my priorities are finally in order. I wont like lie, is much easier when you know what and who comes first. 

Change 2: Actions, not Words. 

I feel like for a long time I was the queen of talk. I always would make commitments I couldn't keep, just because I don't know how to say No. I got that from my mother. But I would spread myself so thin then have to pick and choose which events or plans to go to or that I needed to miss. I always would feel bad. Not just because I wasn't missing things or canceling plans to be a jerk, but because I didn't know how to make time for them all. I was running myself ragged for a second there and soon just stopped trying all together. I found myself saying things but not following through. Saying I felt one way but acted another. I just was a lot of talk, and while what I was saying was all true how I was acting was the opposite. I mislead people and got a reputation for being flaky and just overall a bad friend. At the end of the day I realized that I needed to be better at showing actions. Yes that means not as many activities, but quality is better than quantity and actions will always mean more than words. I also realized I was scared to show actions. I've always been more of an introvert. Not really one to open up or show a lot of emotion. But because of this I saw people not believing me and questioning me. I knew there was only one thing to do: suck it up and let my emotions and feelings show through my actions.

Change 3: Humility and Acceptance

For the first time in my life I felt humbled. I have had some truly humbling experiences, but having conquered them with just a few scratches I felt indestructible. I've accepted, and if you know me you know how hard it was for me to say this, that for once in my life I wasn't always right. I wasn't always right about everything. I had to accept that it's ok to be different. That just because someone doesn't think how I think or do things how I do them, doesn't make them less of a person. I learned the hard way that just because I'm a minor OCD germaphobe (ok maybe major) doesn't mean I can expect other people to be the same. The last year I have had to humble myself more than ever before. I had to accept that at the end of the day, regardless of my achievements and my beliefs, which I thought were superior to others, I was just human. I wasn't irreplaceable or indestructible. I was both. I stopped thinking to myself, "why do they do that they should do it my way" and changed my thought process to "ok I do that this way but why do they do it that way and is it better?" I realized I needed to give people, activities, and really everything in life a fair shot to prove my stubborn head wrong. I've tried to be more open minded and with that comes many humbling moments of me realizing I'm wrong. But its ok because everyone is wrong sometimes. Even me. 

Change 4: Comfort Zones are Overrated

I'm the kind of person who likes structure and a routine. I literally do the same thing everyday down to what I eat (except taco tuesdays) to the time I read my book, write in my journal, leave work, and when I drink my water. I have my schedule down to a science where I do the same things everyday. I don't like to be in situations where I don't know the out come, or where there's a chance my true uncoordinated self might be revealed. I don't like to try new things, and I don't like when my schedule is disrupted. I now realize that I'm not a new born child with a schedule and that life is meant to be lived outside your comfort zone and not in it. Today I went on a nice long drive just to clear my head after an exhausting week and just drive and sing. I was talking to my friend Krystin and she was shocked that I wanted to go camping with my dog in the middle of nowhere, that I wanted to watch a baseball game and actually watch and cheer, that I wanted to leave my itty bitty comfort zone. In a way I was like Bilbo Baggins. Living my happy little life with nothing exciting with a routine and everything. But how boring of a book would the Hobbit and LOTR had been if Bilbo had never left the shire with Gandalf? Yes that was the ultimate Lord of the Rings reference, I'm a nerd what can I say. My comfort zone has been the size of a pea and I have stayed within its boundaries for farrrrrr too long. Its time to live a little and get a little dirty and have some fun. 


This last year I have grown so much and learned so much about myself, about life, and about who I really am. It was a growing experience and at times I wasn't fond of it but I knew I had to so I could keep progressing. I realized so many small flaws and stupid things I let control my life and because of it I found myself missing a lot of what was going on around me. One of those things was my phone. For a while I was so obsessed with social media. How many followers I had who was following me blah blah blah. So high school of me I know I'm embarrassed for myself. Today I sat down and deleted probably half of the people on my social media just because I didn't know them, they had no purpose in my life, and then I gave myself restrictions. I can't believe at 25 I was letting my phone and social media consume me and I was missing out on so much going on right in front of my face. 

Taking time to sit and write down small goals has been the best thing for me to get where I am today. Its nice to have changed so drastically in a year. Change is inevitable. Its all around us from the changing of the seasons to the changing of clothing styles, change is everywhere and its going to happen. I think the best part of change is when you change yourself for the better. When you change who you were to become someone better, thats the change thats good. Thats the change thats the hardest but its so worth it!! So here's to my start of a new year of life. I hope the next year I can keep changing and progressing all while living outside of my comfort zone, keeping my priorities straight, staying humble, and using my actions and not my words. At the end of the day I want to live a life full of love, adventure, and excitement and to do that changes needed to be made and they were. Won't lie, I'm terrified but I'm excited to finally be outside my comfort zone and living life the way it was meant to be lived. 

Remember: If you want something you've never had, you've got to do things you've never done. Get comfortable with being outside your comfort zone, because its the only way to grow. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

#LikeAGirl


The other night we were watching the Oscars as a family. We had a $15 iTunes gift card on the line for whoever had to most guesses right of the winners. If you watched the Oscars I'm sure you can recall Patricia Arquette's speech. Its gotten a lot of media attention because at the end of her speech she says:

"We have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America," 


 During her speech the cameras then move to show Meryl Streep, one of my favorites, standing and clapping along with JLo standing and clapping next to her. Of course seeing this I got all fired up being quite the little feminist myself. Bronson thought he would make the comment that its bad to be feminist because they're crazy. I will never forget what my Mother shot back at him so quick I didn't have time to even get my two cents in. Michelle said, "Bronson being a feminist just means that I believe and fight for women rights. I think women should be treated with the respect and dignity as men do. Is it bad that I want to be respected and seen as an equal at work and in the community?" Well that shut Bronson right up. I think a lot of people see the extreme feminists and think they are a little on the crazy side. From the beginning of time women have been treated lesser to our counterpart, unfortunately. The other night I had a funny experience. Every night I go to the gym. I lift, I run, and then lastly I get some shots up and work on my game. The courts were empty when I got there so I was able to get a main hoop but they started filling up fast as the night went on. Soon two guys came in. They were all decked out in Adidas BYU gear (BYU is sponsored by Nike. Giveaway they weren't all that great) and came off as your typical pick up ball jerk. They came up to me and asked if I would shoot on the side hoop so they could have the main hoop for themselves. I politely said no thanks and went to go about my workout when they stopped me again. They continued to tell me how they needed the main one bc they wanted to play one on one and their buddies were coming anyways. Rather than asking me to move again the one boy looked at me and told me to move. I smiled and giggled then looked at them and said how about I play you both in a game of 1 on 1 to 11 by ones and twos winner gets the court. They both started laughing like I was crazy. Well, they weren't laughing when I beat them both in a matter of minutes. After this I got thinking and thinking and thought, if I ever have a daughter I don't want her to ever feel like she's not an equal? Do I want boys and men to view her value as less than theirs? Do I want her to lack the confidence in herself as a woman? No. The thinking continued and I thought about what Michelle did to prepare me for life. How she helped me gain the confidence I have and thats needed to survive in the world. There hasn't been a time in my life where I felt I wasn't equal to the men around me. If anything I've always felt I was above them. I thought about what Michelle taught me. What Steve taught me. What the women in my life have taught me. What basketball, friends, school, my siblings, cancer, and how every aspect of my life has led me to be who I am today: a feminist. A strong proud woman who demands to not only be treated as an equal to men but also demands the same respect that men receive in the work field, on the basketball court, and anywhere and everywhere I may be. 


At the top of the page there's a YouTube that really got me thinking. I saw this commercial and it made me a tad teary eyed. I never thought about the saying "like a girl." I would be lying if I said I've never used the phrase. If you read my previous blog I talk about how I was raised with all boys. In my mind when I think, oh I play basketball and xbox like one of the guys. I never saw it for what it truly meant until just this last year. I loved that in the YouTube above the younger girls have all the confidence in the world. They don't see throwing like a girl as a bad thing. Or running like a girl. So where's the breakdown? When does playing ball like a girl become such a bad thing? When was being a girl such an insult to society? So I'm going to remind you all what it means to run like a girl. To fight like a girl. To throw and play ball like a girl. I think people forget just what us girls are truly capable of. 

Running is something I will never be fond of. I hate running probably because for so many years of my life it was the punishment for crappy basketball play. Its the worst part of my work out when I have to stop lifting and go do cardio. So when one runs like a girl what does that mean? When I think of one person and one person only when it comes to running. Michelle. If you were to tell you 3 things about my mother I would tell you this 1. she needs diet coke and water in large volumes throughout the day 2. she just wants to watch downtown abbey everyday all day and 3. she loves to run and will out run you on any day. My earliest memories of my mother are driving around the night before a long run leaving water bottles in bushes. Riding my bike with her on her runs. Things like that. My mother has ran everywhere. No matter where we are on vacation or where she is for work she goes running. She's ran in China, Canada, Boston, Hawaii, all over southern California, Florida, the capitol building, wherever she can get a jog in she will. If I ran half as good as my mother I would probably be 20lbs skinnier. Running like a girl isn't a bad thing, in fact a few years ago there was a little girl who was quite the running back. She became a huge hit on YouTube because she is only 9 years old and was running circles around the little boys in her pee wee football league. Sam Gordon actually is from Salt Lake and I was able to meet her a few summers ago when she attended a BYU basketball camp I was coaching. Check out her high lights here  she runs better than any of those other little boys and looks just as smooth out there as some of these college running backs. Running like a girl obviously isn't a bad thing. 



Girls and fighting I feel like can be taken in a few ways. There's fighting like literal throwing punches, there's the emotional fights that we all go through, then there's the physical fights that come along with health issues etc. When I think of fighting like a girl I think of first and foremost the amazing Ronda Rousey. Ronda is a UFC fighter. She's 10-0 and is to make it simple for you all that don't know her, she's the UFC champion for women. If you don't know who she is google her. I don't think anyone would want to get in a fight with Ronda Rousey lets be honest. She's a beast in the ring. ESPN did a short video on her check it out. UFC for so long was a men's sport but she came in and was the first women to sign with the UFC in 2012. She's set a trail of what women can do when given the opportunity to compete in what was once that to be just a man's sport. Ronda has not only proven she deserves to be a part of the UFC but also has done it better than any man or woman has. So Ronda is a great example of the actually fighting, they lets punch each other for the hell of it. But there's another fight and not everyone experiences it nor does everyone win this fight. This fight also is very familiar to me and its the fight with cancer. To explain a little bit about this fight I chose one of my own personal heros. Her name is Tenley Wilson. When Tenley was 2 years old she was diagnosed with AML. Tenley's family just happens to be one of our closest family friends from Salt Lake so it was so sad to hear about her diagnosis. It killed me to think a two year old little girl was going through what I had. The needles, the constant IVs, the pain, the nausea, the hair loss, everything I went through she was going through. But she was only two. But you know what, when I went and saw Tenley there wasn't a doubt in my mind she would fight and eventually overcome her cancer. She was sassy and spunky and you could just tell she was a little fighter and she was. Fighting like a girl means fighting like Tenley, which it completely fine with me. 


Karlie Harman, a 15 year old girl out of Virginia is the quarterback for her football team. When she was told she throws like a girl and she said, "I take that as a compliment because yeah I throw like a girl because I am a girl. I throw with power and dedication." Talk about confidence. At 15 years old there's a significant different in the athleticism between boys and girls. Boys are usually much farther ahead than the girls. But as you watch Karlie out there she plays with heart and she just plays football, and she's quite good at it. Football has always been a guys game. But every now and then you hear about girls like Karlie, or like Sam mentioned above and it makes you wonder how different the game with be with more teams had a girl on the team. Not just any girl, but a girl that can compete and hold her own out there. I know for a fact Karlie Harman throws a football a lot better than I do and probably better than most boys lets be honest. Besides throwing a perfect spiral most importantly Karlie Harman plays with confidence and doesn't see it as a bad thing that she throws like a girl. 



Playing ball like a girl I feel like really became an insult when the fat kid from the Sandlot said it as an insult. When I think of playing ball like a girl my mind automatically goes to some of the greatest women basketball players of all time: Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Lisa Leslie, Maya Moore, Candice Parker, Becky Hammon, Elena Delle Donne, and Brittney Griner just to name a few. Mark Cuban back a while ago joked that he wanted to take Brittney Griner in the second round of the NBA draft. Diana Taurasi was said to be the only woman that would be able to hold her own in the NBA. Its a given obviously not very women can dunk. Some people think that because of the lake of dunking that takes away from the game. I think thats a lie, if anything it makes it so that you're watching good fundamental basketball not a dunk contest. Playing ball like a girl isn't a bad thing. You have to accept some of the harsh facts, yes Lebron would beat Maya Moore any day in one on one. But does that mean that playing like Maya Moore is a bad thing? There's a reason Becky Hammon is an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs, because she understands the game. She plays ball like a girl and now she's teaching Manu and the boys how to play ball like a girl. I take pride in the fact that I understand the game of basketball; that I can hold my own when I play with the guys and dominate when I play with the girls. 

When I was at BYU in one of my classes I learned that between the ages of 8-10 boys naturally become more coordinated. By the time kids are 12 boys are three years ahead of girls athletically and coordinately speaking. Is coordinately even a word? But you get what I'm saying. Boys naturally have more muscle mass. They're naturally more coordinated and athletic. So when you find a young girl who can compete with the boys, its a big deal. She physiologically speaking has the odds against her. Its a rare find. When you find girls who can play alongside the boys. Who are confident enough to know they're good enough to play with the boys. I know I used a lot of sports and athletes as examples, but in any situation in life no matter what it is, it isn't a bad thing to be a girl. Its nice to see TV shows, books being written, and movies being made with strong female role. Just in the last few years we've had Divergent, Hunger Games, Wild, Revenge, and Frozen all have leading ladies. Being a girl isn't a bad thing, its one of the greatest things in the world. Its time that women start being treated as an equal to men. That women get the same rights, benefits, respect a men as well as  being viewed just as knowledgable as men in the work field. Doing things like a girl shouldn't be an insult anymore. It should be a compliment in the highest form. There is nothing more beautiful that a young girl who has confidence and who is proud of who she is. If she can keep that confidence throughout her life she then becomes a strong confident and independent woman which is one of the greatest achievements a young girls can achieve. I think of everything Michelle has taught me. How a woman can run for a city office, how to feed the masses, how to use mind over matter, and even how to do a cartwheel. But the most important thing Michelle has taught me is to be proud to be a woman and to be a smart, independent woman who never gives up and does what she wants when she wants. My mother taught me to be a feminist, to believe and fight for the equal rights of women all over in every aspect of life and to stand up for myself. She taught me by example to be proud of who I am and never back down. Some of the greatest lessons I think a mother could ever teach her daughter.


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