Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamp: Counselor Edition

“Ooga chaka, ooga chaka, ooga ooga ooga chaka! I can’t stop this feeeeelin,’ deep inside of meeeee, girl, you just don’t reaaaaliiiiizeeee, what you do to meeeee.

I, I, IIIIII I’m hooked on a feelin’! So high on believin,’ that you’re in love with meeeeeeeeee.”

*BUM BUM*

There you have it, readers. The opening lines of the song Hooked On A Feeling that our camp staff began last week’s skit to. Oh, but I probably should mention the two lines of guy counselors cat calling as the girls walked through them, and maybe I should say something about the provocative dance moves that accompany such catchy lyrics … Just a fun way, after hours of late night and mid-day exhausting practices, to make the campers laugh and end the last full day of Clear Lake/White Pass Cross Country Camp 2015: Week 2.

Never before (even in my short little life of 19 years) have I laughed so much, run so much (okay this one might be debatable), been around such awesome people, or been as sleep deprived as I was as a camp counselor. After 3 years as a camper it was awesome to become part of the staff, and learn the “behind the scenes” of the camp itself. From wake up to lights out, staff meetings, checking rooms for “tired” campers during lectures (punishment for skipping was usually push-ups!), as well as the little organizational and scheduling tidbits that come with running (pun intended) camp for a week. Oh, and while releasing 140 some odd high school aged campers to a group of college students might not sound like the greatest idea, no worries … we have BRUCE. He’s not the head honcho in charge like Mister, but he’s (pretty much) the head honcho in charge of (yes, this joke again) running the camp each week.


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The Week 2 Crew was an eclectic group (but I’ll just mention the college age/fun people, haha only sort of kidding on this one) ranging from the most focused, shy, and incredibly talented Division 1 runners like Keegan (also one of the nicest guys out there, even after “Keegan’s sister” jokes all week) …

to goofy and tall “Bug” who is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met – I can’t help but wish he was on my team at Emory! …

small yet full of energy and swing dancing moves (and hugely humble) runner for UW, Hannah

“hottest guy at camp” and the one who’s a total free spirit, traveling the world through his faith and learning about people and life (and rumor is that sometimes he runs sometimes?) Denver

firecracker and counselor-experienced (a girl much loved by her West Valley boys – gifts and notes and dances throughout the week!) Terra

crazy competitive and driven Dallas (he’s a college age counselor, even with the beard, we promise) …

funky dancing, ALS challenge donor, teacher to be (at his alma mater, at least) and slow peach eating Trevor

short, yet volleyball extraordinaire and knowing the way to my heart with his smooth pick-up lines, Daniel (important to keep his nickname of “Dirty D” in mind during the skit) …

taller, white Van wearing, dorky, and actually the guy who I’ve had a “runner crush” on for years (pretty cool to compete with someone all through high school in your league/district when you were both dominant runners, and get to know them better after competing at different colleges!) Stephen

quiet, yet awesome and funny “devil or angel” (he’s actually deaf and with limited vision, yet still runs, and runs FAST!) assistant coach to the one and only Mister, the one and only Ivan

one of my favorites (oops) of the week, with the best creepy looks, imagination, and leadership of us undergrads, Cory

and then of course there is still Mister, Bruce, LaLonde, Ed (craziest abs and arms and dude ever!), Dan “from Alaska,” Dan “Neeway,” Robin, Matt (also known as Olaf!), and a few other coaches that made an appearance over the week.

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From peach eating to pool parties, to dancing, Jenga, volleyball, milk gallon challenges, running relays, running/climbing to the top of the ski lift, late night snacks and skit rehearsals, cute computer dates, crazy awesome campers, funny mealtime stories, cuddling, and more than anything, being on the go from sun up, to sun down … here’s to yet another year of camp, at the best place in the world, with the most beautiful trails, and coolest people.

Here, too, is to hoping for another year as a counselor in 2016 and to reunite the Week 2 Crew (because Week 1 & 3 can’t possibly compare to the group dynamic we had, or our amazing skit performance).


Oh, and maybe my group (Group 6) didn’t win any awards (and were somewhat average overall), but I definitely think that if we ranked the group photos, our mean mugs would be the best of them. Oh, and one more thing because we can’t be friends with any of our campers on social media … “Running through the six with my woes” was a terrible team chant, but you guys gave it your all, so I guess there’s that. Proud of each of you (but mostly our Volleyball/Jenga/Four Square/every group activity MVP … you know who you are).

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“Shut up and dance with me!”

Again, a few more provocative dances moves (as long as they’re not directed towards anyone but the air? we’re good), and the skit is over. Thinking about maybe putting the full video on here, but I’ll leave a few key terms and let your imagination wander …

cross dressing, fighting, Olaf, swing dancing, future husbands, height jokes, more provocative dancing, finger smelling, a lot more (somewhat appropriate) dancing, skewered Dr. Seuss lines, and most importantly … inside jokes from the week of camp that left everyone slightly uncomfortable (don’t sit on the end of the rows, just some advice), and wishing we could relive the moments just one more time.

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Until next time,

Gabby

P.S: Camp withdrawals are real and I will totally admit to crying a few tears on the way home … But maybe that was just the lack of sleep.

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Confessions. 

I am off to cross country camp tomorrow to be a counselor (AHH, first time), but wanted to blog before going off to get eaten alive by mosquitoes, run trails for a straight week (my idea of heaven) at altitude, playing countless games of volleyball and four-square, eating countless Yami yogurts (omg so good), and hanging out with some of the coolest camp staff, other counselors, and campers out there! SO EXCITED.

Anyway, here are a few things I’ve been thinking about lately and wanted to share. Welcome to the life and mind of Gabby, haha … I think? Thanks to my fellow blogger Brittany for the idea! Check out her blog if you have a chance & want to meet one awesome, Northwest adventuring, coffee loving, and fun gal. :-)

Here goes nothing.

  • I haven’t made a homemade blackberry pie this summer (yet).
  • There are 6 pairs of Asics Gel Cumulus in my house right now … & they’re all the same model.
  • Lately I’ve been listening to the Christmas radio station (98.5 FM for any of you local readers). Nothing better than rocking out to Jingle Bells in mid-July, am I right?!?!

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  • One time I was sitting on traffic because of construction far ahead of me, so I jumped out of the car and moved the cones from the next lane so I could get by & take a different route to cut in front of the long traffic line. Gotta love living on the edge!! … Well, okay, so maybe I wasn’t driving, but I was still there, and it was intense (you know who you are & see? I didn’t even mention the cone incident …).
  • I am SO nervous to be a running camp counselor next week at White Pass. It was great to be a camper for 3 years, just worried I won’t be fun or exciting enough as a leader. Still, can’t wait!!
  • In a month I fly back to school. Goodbye Northwest and hello Atlanta! I guess the confession part is that I’m sad about leaving home so soon. 

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  • I’m 19 and still have 0 cavities. *knock on wood with the hand that’s not flossing*
  • Most of these blog posts take me multiple days to write and obsess over before finally publishing them.
  • Yesterday was my first time going geocaching. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s basically an online  community that shares a treasure map of hidden caches, and when you find them, you can sign your name! More to it than that, but such and adventure and they’re EVERYWHERE.

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  • This week I’ve overslept TWICE. Can I just tell you that it’s the absolute worst way to begin your day? Ughghgh. Maybe this is my body trying to tell me that it’s exhausted? … just maybe.
  • Because I read an article about Shalane Flanagan, my ice bathes are always 13 minutes (just like she does, of course. She’s done okay in the running world somehow! Definitely because of the recovery.). Oh, & I usually use two full 5 gallon buckets of ice. Brrrrr.
  • I ran this morning & it was awesome. JUST KIDDING. Always have hated running in the morning. 
  • After most of my long runs, I like to just lay down in the middle of the road … But actually (sorry Mom). HAHAHA sounds dangerous, but when you live in a cul de sac neighborhood like I do, and finish long runs after 8 pm, there’s never any danger other than the local kids riding their bikes or a stray cat coming to say hi. Puuuurfect way to take a break, if you ask me. 
  • Lately I’ve been obsessing over Kacey Musgraves’ new album Pageant Material … & I don’t even like country music that much!?! Her lyrics are just so catchy and creative.
  • I keep a daily running log on Flotrack (Coacher’s orders), an actual written version, and a normal journal each & every day.
  • Everytime I go to Portland, I wish I lived closer. Such a (weird) fun city.

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  • This isn’t my only blog.
  • My mom & I have nicknames for most of the guys on the Bachelorette and I (not so secretly anymore) am an avid weekly fan of the show. No shame. Well, maybe a little, but I realize that the show is so far from reality that it’s entertaining. Cheers to you, Ryan Gosling Shawn.

  Really though, how could you NOT want to watch a show with this guy on it? ;-)

Not sure how much of a” confession” post this is, but another blogger I follow posted one awhile ago & I just had to see how it would go! Nothing in my life is too secret; I like to think I’m one of those “if you have a question, just ask” types of people. Maybe, maybe not. Either way, here’s a sneak peek into the life of Gabby. The only thing left on my part yet to expose is that 18 confessions stands for 18 days, of both July AND as a countdown! More to come on that, though. ;-)

Until next time,

Gabby

Death by stretching.

Imagine a nice summer day, the yummy smell of coconut, and fun conversation with those around you. Sounds like some tropical vacation, huh? Well, not quite. A nice summer day spent inside the physical therapy office (but there are a bunch of super open/big windows, I’ll give them that), the yummy smell of coconut coming from the coconut oil that’s put on your legs before the pain and torture Astym begins, and fun conversation with the physical therapy assistants who are super personable and are sure to keep you talking and keep your mind off of any discomfort you definitely are might be in. Just another day at physical therapy! Thanks to my plantar fasciitis, these moments are becoming part of my weekly routine.


So to recap how things have been since last week … Astym has been going great! I mean … if sharp plastic tools being scraped along your shins and around your knee & ankle joints can be considered a good time. Did I mention this has all been happening first thing in the morning? Almost like a nightmare, except for the fact that I’m awake and the only other nightmare I can really remember ever having was when I was a little kid and Darth Vader was in my room!

 Astym® treatment is a therapy that regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. Astym® treatment is highly effective and even works when other approaches routinely fail.

Yeah yeah, the official definition of Astym (because who else really knows what it is?). Love the last part, even when other approaches routinely fail. Routinely fail. Haha obviously this is the crème de la crème of physical therapy techniques. Or something like that. ;-)

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… more like “all over my blog!”

Okay, so this physical therapy thing, it’s not all that bad I guess. The people are all extremely friendly and terrifyingly strong very patient with me every morning I’ve been in so far. One of the gals is a student who just started on her clinical rounds and has been experimenting working with me alongside the older, more experienced PTA. A little bit of a drive for torture therapy = Astym, range of movement manipulations by the assistant, half an hour of stretching and mobility, and then finished with ice and e-stim – electronic stimulation. Basically little electrodes attached to my foot that make it tingle in weird ways, while the ice is meant to distract you from it. Nice way to begin the day, I suppose. Oh, and not to mention the super attractive cotton shorts you get to wear if you forget your own (but obviously I would never make such a juvenile mistake, pshhh). Even with all these positive thoughts about Astym, while writhing in pain and still attempting to make conversation, my mind came up with a few (pretty accurate if you ask me) acronyms!

ActuallySuperTerrifyingYerking(apparently this is a word? definition: a thud of blow, as from a stick)Movement

AmazinglySoothingTherapyYieldingMobility

AghhSTOPTchauYouchMergg


Since most of my appointment is really just focused on stretching and loosening up the muscles in/around my foot, my mind wandered about for ideas for this post. What I’ve come up with, I present: the 10 most painful stretches. Once upon a time I started running, and in that, started to stretch more often outside of practice (growing up playing soccer has made me miss stretching circles that cross county teams just don’t seem to do as often, haha), and on my own. Over the years I’ve come across quite a few different techniques, and after beginning physical therapy and learning more about the rehabilitation/prevention side of injuries, I now feel fairly qualified to judge (depending on the circumstance of your body post-run/workout/lift/etc.) how painful some of these stretches are in comparison to one another … At least from my own experiences.

10 Corpse Yoga Pose – something about this position just really gets to me, you know? Maybe it’s all the pressure on my back. ;-) Really though, some yoga can be TOUGH. Havasana? Yeah, no thanks (unless I get a water break halfway through).

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9 Toe Reaches/Hamtring Stretch – the most basic, and while it’s totally effective, I can think of worse.

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8 Wall Calf/Heel Stretches – you can usually feel a pretty good pull on your calves and back of your heel whether you’re sore or not, but definitely not always “painful.”

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7 Towel Pull – this one gets me, I don’t know. All sorts of pulling from the muscles in the foot to heel to all the way up the calf. Always hard to do this one without shoes on when using a resistance band. All sorts of problems with this one. Always seem to be stretching a different muscle depending how you position the towel/band/rope/etc. – stretching muscles I didn’t even know I had, ah!

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Ice bathes – so I guess these can’t be classified under stretches, but if you’ve taken an ice bath, full body or not, you know that they’re not the most pleasant situations to be in. I had an old teammate who would chew/yell into a rag while  just with his legs in an ice bath (all the while the rest of us threw extra ice cubes at him – whoops), yet in college I’ve seen swimmers go full body and not even think twice or seem any degree colder/more miserable. Gotta love the anti-inflammatory perks, but brrrrrrrr.

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5 Hip Flexor Stretch – nothing super special but this one is an ouch from your quads, hips, butt, all the way to the ankles. Maybe I should work on my flexibility …?


4 Foam Rolling – maybe even tied for 3rd depending on the amount of KNOTS in your muscles that day! I’ll admit, I’ve most definitely shed a few tears while foam rolling in the past. Not to mention it’s just kind of awkward to do! I can’t say that I don’t get excited to try different types of rollers though – my favorite is the ones with the thicker ridges (works better = hurts more, ugh).
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3 Golf Ball Heel Stretch – maybe I’m biased since I’m suffering from intense heel pain right now, but golf balls are not forgiving in any way. Ask my parents about my reaction to rolling with this little guy (even after taking some ibuprofen!) = OW.

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2 Astym – again, biased, but at the same time … when a technique often leaves bruises?! My poor scraped skin! Or muscles? Not even sure which hurts more.

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1 Graston – infamous in the athletic trainer’s office at college. Haven’t had it (yet? Hopefully not ever!), but just LOOK at those tools! I see a bit of a resemblance to, oh I don’t know … medieval torture devices? Yeah, basically the same thing. Pshh, “muscle recovery.”

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So there you go, the 10 most painful stretches: a totally unbiased ranking from yours truly! I’d be curious to know how your list differs. Other than complaining about physical therapy (which in reality isn’t all that bad – I secretly am enjoying it … not to mention it’s been effective in helping with my heel pain!), all else is well this summer in the busy life of Gabby. Somehow I’ve managed to blog weekly, see friends, hangout with my parents, have some exciting adventures, and enjoy my time at home in the Northwest. But, as always, I’m procrastinating a run that I have to do and should get moving. After Astym and a handful of other painful stretches (some of which are listed above), I’m not sure how much a “run” this will be versus a very very slow jog. Wish me luck.

Until next time,

Gabby

Anyone and everyone (just not you).

Pop quiz! Here are a few questions I want you to answer and try to remember your total number of checked boxes at the end. Sound good? Okay, perfect – bear with me, this post has more of a point than inspiring flashbacks to the dreaded days of homework, tests, and projects in high school and college. Ugh.
Please check the box(es) that best apply to your life:

[  ] I have two legs (or if not, I have a prosthetic, wheelchair, etc. and am fairly mobile)


Okay, if you checked 0-1 boxes … Congratulations! You’re qualified to be a runner!

I feel like this is gonna be me ...

One thing that always happens when I tell people that I run cross country and track is usually some sort of wide-eyed disbelief (sorry I don’t fit the super skinny, long ponytail with a cute bow, and running around in colorful spandex stereotype, okay?), and some comment along the lines of, “Oh, I could never be a runner!” Well, those people you stand corrected, and I intend to tell you exactly why I think so. I mean, you already passed the (very advanced and certified, I might add) test … so what’s stopping you?

Pop Quiz! (again) No trick questions here, just be sure (again) to check the boxes that best apply to you! Remember to keep track of the number of boxes you check, be honest with yourself, and don’t stress because this test is fake anyway. 

1. [  ] I don’t have time to workout and/or don’t want to

2. [  ] I hate running

3. [  ] Last time I tried to run I realized how out of shape I was and didn’t make it very far and/or didn’t try again

4. [  ] There isn’t anywhere to run where I live

5. [  ] My shoes aren’t “running shoes” from some trendy shoe store

6. [  ] I hate running

7. [  ] It’s too hot/cold/rainy/snowy/perfect weather outside

8. [  ] We don’t own a treadmill and/or I don’t want to run on the track

9. [  ] I’ve injured my ______ in the past and the doc said I can’t run

10. [  ] I hate running

11. [  ] I’m already overweight/underweight so I don’t need to run to lose weight

12. [  ] I think that runners are a weird & eclectic group that I’m too cool for

13. [  ] I already workout or have other hobbies that involve exercise

14. [  ] I hate running

15. [  ] Other: please give a good excuse explanation


If you checked a certain amount of boxes (imaginary checkmarks – whatever), here’s what it means:

0-5: You’re the passive aggressive, silent type, which is a perfect personality type for a runner! From silently cussing out annoying drivers, complaining about the weather/running route/etc., and solo runs of talking to yourself … running will teach you so much about yourself and (more than likely) help you to be more outgoing!

5-10: Well, you’re pretty average, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. You might like to exercise, but it’s a love-hate relationship. You should join the world of running where we run to eat, keep running because of the runner’s high, and the more we run … the better we feel about ourselves and what our bodies can do … As in how many cookies we can eat in one sitting (one cookie per mile, right?).

10-15: From the amount of boxes you checked, you seem like the type of person who is close-minded and hates running. Welcome to the club! Running totally is terrible, painful, and oftentimes boring – you’re right! The thing about running is that as much as you might hate it, each run’s endorphins helps to block the pain … and makes you become addicted to like it just that much more.

So, moral of the story = anyone and everyone can run. Key word there is can. Well, unless you’re bedridden for some reason or the doctor really did advise you not to. I mean, even if you’re missing two legs, or disabled in some way, your excuses are pointless – anything is possible.


Example A: Oscar Pistorius.

Olympic runner from South Africa – a double amputee with bionic legs (let’s not get into the other main reason he’s famous right now, yeah?).


Example B: Forrest Gump.

Not sure why he couldn’t run, I mean he ran across the country and grew a massive beard … (I just wanted to use this picture since it was so fitting, hahaha).

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Example C: Amelia Dickerson

This gal (and her guide) set the word record for the blind 5k in 20:47. I can barely run that even with two working eyes, I can’t imagine running (or racing!) without being able to see. Heck, even trying to walk in a straight line with my eyes closed throws me off. Being blind and active is pretty incredible, let alone running, and running well. Too cool.

Example D: Harriette Thompson

The oldest woman to complete a marathon – just at the fresh spry age of 92. Who care that it took her over 7 hours, that’s pretty awesome. Not to mention the rest of her life accomplishments: surviving cancer, playing as a concert pianist, and being a super cool grandma to 10 kids. Can you say life goals?

I keep thinking, ‘I don’t deserve this [attention],’ but if it helps or if it encourages anybody, it makes me feel good,” Thompson said. “I think if I can do it, anybody can do it, because I wasn’t trained to be a runner. But I have also found that it’s very invigorating. I feel like a million dollars when I’m finished.”


So the point of this blog? Anyone and everyone can be a runner … Just not you. Or, not at least according to you. We’re often our own worst enemies & degrade ourselves in our abilities or potential. Yes, running is hard. Does it take time you’d rather devote to something else? Sure. Is the time spent on a run, struggling to put one foot in front of the other just to cover a distance, worth it? Definitely.

There’s something special about being a runner. Not because we’re special in how far or fast we can run, but in the community of runners across the world that’s unlike anything or anyone else. There’s nothing better than meeting someone else who shares those same experiences: embarrassing snot rockets on yourself, waking up at dawn for a few miles, braving the worst weather conditions, losing a toenail/blisters/every other gross “runner’s feet” problem, & even making it through those days of absolutely zero motivation … Because those are most often the best of runs – the ones that keep us going day after day, month after month, year after year.

So get out there! Not advising you to go out and run some crazy mileage without building up to it (and then blame me when you’re sore and/or injured – whoops), but know that if you want to someday run a marathon, half, 10k, 5k, mile, or even lap around the block … Nothing and no one is stopping you, but you.

Until next time,

Gabby