Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Sports have always been a huge aspect of my life…I grew up as an athlete and now as a coach, I’m on the other end of the spectrum. No matter my status as an athlete or a coach, I will always be a fan.

A true sports fan loves competition and the atmosphere it brings. We not only respect the game, but the players, coaches, and officials too…unless they’re replacement refs for the Steelers vs. Packers game, which is a complete other story I won’t get into today!

With all that being said there is nothing that upsets me more than seeing a “fan” be disrespectful. I’m talking about unsportsmanlike conduct here and it drives me nuts.  I was reminded of this tonight as I sat on the bench of our high school volleyball games and listened to a group of boys yell and make unnecessary and disrespectful noises all throughout a game.

I won’t get into details, but I will say that I don’t think people always realize how much their thoughts, words, and actions will show what type of person you are. Not only are you making a fool by saying and or doing such things, but you are also poorly representing your family, your friends, your school, and your community. You may think you are cool or being cute, but trust me…this is not the case!

One must take responsibility for their words and actions and be respectful. If you’re a true fan and if you really love the sport – you can handle the bad calls and you can handle another team beating you…you can do this while still cheering on your team, and you can still do this with the upmost respect!

As Laurence Sterne said, “Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.”

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hot Date in Manhattan

Last Friday I had a date with an amazing man…a man that both women and men swoon over, a man who has made history, and a man whose values and principles mean the world to him. 
This man was Bill Snyder.

I am almost 100% certain that everyone who reads this knows who Bill Snyder is, but if you don’t, please Google him now. He is one of the greatest football coaches of all time and thanks to Tamren Sturges, I had the opportunity to meet with him.

The receptionist announced my arrival and showed me in the right direction and as I was making my way down the hallway decorated with all-star jerseys, Coach Snyder stepped out in the hall, cup of coffee in his hand, and gave me a huge smile. We shook hands and headed into his office where we proceeded to chit-chat for 20 minutes or so.

You might be thinking…what does a person talking about with Bill Snyder…but the conversation just flowed. We talked about alma maters and careers, football and volleyball, family and friends, and small town life. After asking my dad what he did, Bill reminisced a little bit about his first teaching/coaching position in a very rural, farming community in Missouri. He taught Spanish, coached three sports, and drove the school bus – all for a measly salary…however he thought he was making the big bucks!

Coach Snyder is one of the most down-to-earth, kind, and caring men I have ever met.

As our “date” came to an end, he gave me a jersey and wished me luck for all that I do. I returned the well wishes and said good luck against North Texas tomorrow and definitely against OU next week. He replied, “Thank you, but we have to take one game at a time…we must not overlook anyone.”

I am most grateful for the opportunity to have been able to meet such an amazing man and spend the weekend with Tamren and the entire Kirk/Hood family. It was definitely a weekend I will never forget!

Monday, September 17, 2012

One Child at a Time

Before I go speak at an organized group, I try to do as much research as possible and see if and how my story can relate to their cause or what they are all about. After receiving a call asking me to speak at the Dodge City Kiwanis Club, I wanted to find out more what they were about so I turned to Google.

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit, MI and has grown to more than 8,400 clubs in 96 nations. The Kiwanis are dedicated to changing the world, one child at a time. Up until 2005, their motto has been “We Build”, but in 2005, the Kiwanis adopted a new slogan, “Serving the Children of the World.”

Some of their values include “to give primacy to the human and spiritual rather than to the material values of life; to encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships; to provide, through Kiwanis clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service, and to build better communities; and to develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship.”

I felt like this was a great opportunity for me because my platform for Ms. Wheelchair Kansas deals directly with kids, especially the preteens and teenagers, and so I was super excited for September 11 to roll around.

Dad joined me on this appearance and after we ate, the bell rang and the Kiwanis meeting was in session. After some quick business, I was up and I had the opportunity to tell my story and present my platform of empowering youth to define themselves.

Although there wasn’t a huge crowd, I had a great time and truly enjoyed myself. It was a great opportunity and I hope to be able to get involved with such a great organization!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pass My Blanket, Please

I’ve always been somewhat of a cold-blooded person, but ever since my accident my “coldness” has escalated. Rarely will you find me without a heater on, a blanket nearby, or wrapped up in my heaviest coat and scarf.  My teeth chatter at the drop of the hat and I shiver uncontrollably.

When summer eases into fall, the temperatures usually seem to “ease” as well, slowly getting cooler and cooler. This year hasn’t followed suit so far. Yesterday afternoon a cold front arrived and the temperature dropped at least 20 degrees, if not more. I thought it might be a one-day thing, but that theory went out the window when I woke up this morning.

It was cold and raining. Now, never ever will I complain about rain, but this coldness will just fire up the complaint bug I have in this body of mine. It is way too early for this kind of coldness and it definitely shouldn’t sneak up on us like this!

I had to break out my thick, winter blanket this morning already so if this weather keeps up, I’ll be wearing my stocking hat and big winter coat before you know it…in the midst of September!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tech Savvy Grams

I’ve wrote about my Grandma Bea before (see Pink Squirrels and Hot Tea). She is one of the greatest women I know and she never ceases to amaze me. Today was no different.

Sunday is the day I normally talk to Grams, she comes over after church or calls me sometime in the afternoon…she asks about work and volleyball, I ask about Senior Center and card/domino day with the ladies. Sometimes we talk for 10-15 minutes, sometimes it’s just a quick call. I look forward to seeing her every Sunday so it came as a surprise to me when she pulled in the driveway this afternoon.

As she sat down on the couch, we began our normal catch-up conversation, but not long into that she wanted to talk computers. My Aunt Nancy just recently got her a new monitor for her computer – she needed bigger print and her other screen wasn’t cutting it…she couldn’t see her solitaire game like she used to.

In the process of her getting this new monitor, Aunt Nancy had told her about some pictures she saw of the great grandkids on Facebook. I had already saw the pictures that Grandma was trying to explain to me and mid-sentence she says, “You know I’ve been thinking, I just need to get on Facebook so I can see all of these.” 

My first thought was oh my gosh, I can’t necessarily see my 86 year old Grandma Bea perusing through the feeds of Facebook, but hey if that’s what she wants, that’s what she’ll get!

Grams will need to get the internet first, but as soon as she does, watch out! We might just have a serious Facebooker on our hands!