Where Football is King

If I’ve learned anything from living in the south, it’s you don’t kid when it comes to football.  Want to know where people are on a Friday night between September and November?  Check the high school football field (they even made an entire TV show about a southern high school football team for crying out loud).  When I was in high school I think the team was made up of about 400 guys out of oh, I don’t know 401.  I think the requirements to be on the team were (1) that you had to be male and (2) at least partially breathing.

For a while the high school stadium was bigger and better than the university’s and they seemed to always be expanding and adding on.  Plus the football team got new uniforms every year and were taken out for steak dinners at the end of season regardless of their record for the year.

I know what you’re thinking.  “Bitter, party of one?”  And you know what?  I am bitter.  We girls on the track team were wearing outfits circa 1982 and had about 15 min to run in, grab some dinner from McDonalds and then head back on the short bus to eat it.  And when I graduated girls track had been conference champions every year since the early 80s and had taken state more times than not.  The football team?  Not even close.

A week from today I’ll be starting grad school and to be honest, if I think about it I get nervous.  So I prefer not to.  A little denial never hurt anyone right?  But I have had to go the rounds with the financial aid office because it became apparent communication wasn’t their strong suit.  Going over fees I came across this:  Mandatory Registration Fees – $405.50.  Er, I’m sorry how much was that?  For a second I thought I read over four hundred dollars in fees.  Oh wait, I did??  So I continue reading to see what these mandatory fees include.  Stuff like campus radio (uh, ok), student health center, student center, blah blah blah.  None of these are more than $15 so where is my money going?  And then I read it:

“For this fiscal year, certain of the mandatory fees have an

administrative charge assessed on them.  This administrative

charge will be used this fiscal year to support UCA’s transition

to NCAA Division 1.”

Translation:  You have to pay $400 more dollars so UCA football can compete in a higher division.

WHAT???  AGHHH!!!!! Are you KIDDING me right now?  (Nope, remember they don’t kid about football)  And the real kicker is that they used to have this money.  But a few years ago they hired a new president who ended up embezzling hundreds of thousands of the university’s money and despite that, they still gave him a 6 figure pay out because he stepped down before his contract was up.  Smooth. Real smooth.

So it looks like things haven’t changed much from where they were 13 years ago.  Football apparently still rules, only now I’m out an additional $405.50 because of it.


5 Miles Baby!

Yesterday I accomplished a big goal of mine that quite honestly I never thought would actually ever happen.  I ran for 5 miles!!!  For me personally this is huge.  I knew it was going to be a good running day because I still felt great at 2.5 miles so I thought my goal of 3.5 miles that day would be easy and could probably push to 4.  When I got to 4 I figured why not go to 4.25?  As I was almost at that distance I flirted with the idea of 5 miles but thought I should just try for 4.5 instead.  At 4.35 my knee started to hurt a little but not so much that I couldn’t keep going.  I finally just decided that I would push to 5.  I mean, I’ve always wanted to and why not let that be the day right?  So, I keep going and at 4.65 my knee starts to really throb and I begin thinking, “What if my legs give out from under me while I’m running?  Maybe I should stop.”  “NO!  If your legs give out at least you will go out running as far as you can without quitting.  If you just stop you’ll always wonder if you could have really run the whole thing.”  “Hmm, good point self.  Carry on.”

At 4.75 my knee is killing me but for heaven’s sake I’m almost there.  “What if by pushing my knee to keep going I damage it permanately?  What if I’m never able to walk again once I get off this treadmill?”  “Well, if that’s the case then at least the last thing your legs did was accomplish one of your goals.”  “Well, what if..” “Shut up already!  Geez, for the love! You have .07 miles to run you’ll be fine for crying out loud you big pansy.”

As I finished I was really surprised that I wasn’t even breathing heavy and aside from my left knee hurting, I felt great.  I mean really good – happy and energetic.  I thought of Legally Blonde when Reese Witherspoon’s character said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t. ”  I don’t know about happy people not shooting their husbands but I was definitely feeling happy.

When I first started focusing on running about three months ago I could barely finish one mile and I would be breathing so heavy afterward you would think I was about to hypervenilate.  I don’t know all the technical mumbjo jumbo for the asthma I have but it seems to kick into high gear when I get active.  I know I had severe medical problems when I was born but neither one of my parents ever tried to keep me from playing sports or joining any type of teams.  So I just struggled through it not knowing any better.  I played basketball one year and volleyball the next just to see if I could.  I stuck with track for 6 years running sprints and was actually pretty good and for 11 summers I played softball.  I guess it was my own way of giving asthma the finger.

I never thought running anything longer than 400 yards was ever going to be possible but a few months ago I thought “Why not?  According to the doctors you’re not even supposed to be able to walk and look at how active you’ve been.  Stop telling yourself that you can’t and just do it.”  So I did.  Sure my knee is still a little sore today but I’ll get over it.

Do I think I’ll run another 5 miles today?  Heck no!  Do I think I’ll run it again this week?  Not likely.  But it doesn’t matter if I ever do it again because I did it once and honestly, that’s good enough for me.

I Now Understand…Sort of

Guys seem to have this obsession with video games that I can’t comprehend.  Truth be told, I lost interest after Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt.  This isn’t to say that I haven’t TRIED to play since then but have failed at all attempts.  First comes the slight, dull headache.  Then comes the rapid eye blinking/squinting to keep them focused on the screen.  Next we have slight dizziness which leads to a full on headache.  And if I continue I am directed straight to motion sickness and must close my eyes and lie still for a few minutes.

Lastnight this all changed.  A few friends got together and we played the Wii.  Holy Crap!  I could very easily become addicted to this.  I had to refrain from the impulse of petting it while repeating “my precious” over and over.  We played tennis, baseball, and bowling and to my surprise I’m actually pretty good.  Of the four of us playing, none of us had ever played on the Wii except the owner but her scores weren’t that much higher than mine (and it wasn’t because she sucked).

Where I was once going to put my tax return straight into the bank to have for emergencies, I may now have to catergorize owning the Wii as a matter of life or death and therefore must purchase immediately.  And Terry, if you’re reading this, I bowled a 193 and that was my first time.  It can only get better.