On the Super Bowl

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Back in 2011, I was writing for 12th Man Rising. I wrote a piece about our Seahawks being in transition. I re-read it yesterday and thought it was worth sharing...

On Being a Patient Fan

Sitting in the stands on Seahawks Sundays gives you more than a front row seat to the smell of garlic fries, kettle corn and the pageantry of the game. It has the undeniable advantage of exposing you to the opinions of all the fans around you as well.

Without straining, I can hear opinions ranging from expectations of recapturing the NFL West to harsh commentary on Pete Carroll and his coaches to staunch assertions that we ought to put Charlie in and set TJ aside. While I fancy myself an optimist and started the season with dreams of NFC West domination dancing in my head, the first few games of this season have been a reality check of sorts… one that has done nothing to dim my love for this team.

 I think I was in denial during The Mora Year… Mourning Holmgren’s departure; convinced that there was sufficient skill on the remainder of The Big Show’s roster; sure that better coaching and an actual awareness of the team’s needs would turn things around. While I was confident any coach (almost) would be an improvement over Mora Jr, I wasn’t prepared for the upheaval the Carroll/Schneider show brought to the roster. I’m fairly certain that the “I’m In” tap was the emotional fuel in the tank that got an unworthy 7-9 team past the champion New Orleans Saints in post season play.

Fast forward through this off season’s strike, negotiations and new player contract… Training camp opens up…Optimism and Reality wrestle for domination in my heart. Optimism puts Reality in a choke hold and Reality taps out.

After the requisite bus ride to training camp, my optimism and I stood sweating on the sidelines watching scrimmage at VMAC. Pete is a ball of energy, working with this scenario and that script. Players are rotating in and out, veterans posturing and hopefuls trying to impress. Even with the compressed preseason schedule Pete and John were still moving pieces around, still looking for the click; that elusive combination of skill, knowledge and speed coupled with the intangibles; instinct, readiness, versatility...

As much as I wish it were different, this team is not your classic division winner, not even a dark horse. It’s a work in progress. An unproven quarterback with an even more unproven back up, scrambling behind a pimply faced, young offensive line that struggles to create the blocking needed for a passing game and learn the rhythm necessary for a running game… Add to that a defense that retired it’s leaders and elected new ones and a special teams corps that is anything but polished.

It’s a promise, this team… A young, tough, fast, hard hitting promise. Like a 90’s Tetris game, it’s a collection of really great pieces that may yet fit together. I can’t wait until it clicks!

-Two years later, we have an exciting young QB and we're in the Super Bowl. And I'm so grateful to Pete, and John Schneider, our GM for putting together a team that pulls together. And our owner, Paul Allen, for saving the Seahawks and having the wisdom as an owner to let the football people do football.

It's good to be a 12!

A Brave New Year

2013 was unexpected and revolutionary. So many dynamics changed... the loss of loved ones, the loss of relationships, the loss of pets... It sometimes felt like being in the middle of a whirlpool , surrounded by people, tasks, responsibilities... and everything swirling madly.

I spent much of the year trying to wrestle situations and people into what I believed were the best solutions. I spent a lot of time grieving and often... grieving again when it didn't work. It was a year of attempting to preserve, defy, restructure, and resolve.

In the end, thankfully....clarity. I cannot change some things. There are some things I've realized I no longer wish to change. And what I'm left with is what I will cherish. These are the feelings, the values and the people that matter.

In 2014, I'm letting go of the things I wrestled with last year. I'm focusing on the things that make me strong and healthy... meditation, yoga, hiking, photography and the people that make me whole. I'm finally letting go of the people that fracture me.

2014 will still be full of difficult tasks that must be done, but no more emotional wrestling matches.

I'm working on grace. And bravery. And not becoming a hermit...

Because this girl in the photo below... she's still in me and she's still an adventurer!

Namaste

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Approaching the Holidays

A man's as miserable as he thinks he is.  ~Seneca

We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong, the amount of work is the same. ~ Carlos Castaneda

One of the blessings of being me aside from having hair that grows like a weed is the ability to be completely at ease when alone.

Self contained...

Self entertained...

If left to my own devices, I'm a Ferdinand the Bull. Meandering... lolly-gagging... daydreaming... distracted... hypnotized by my own internal dialog...

Or hypnotized by the view of life through the lens of my camera.

Not a strategy, just a happy coincidence...

If I do pull my head out of the clouds or out from behind the camera, a good sized chunk of my brain is still running probabilities on the cost of barbecue sauce, pondering the truth behind living on a bayou, determining whether or not I need a new tree topper and deciding how many types of holiday cookies I should bake.

It makes for an interesting internal dialog!

With the holidays right around the corner, my internal dialog is centered around family, football, cookies and recharging my internal battery!

What's your internal dialog?

I've added a couple pictures to my opening photo album. I hope you like them!

Discoveries

I'd never put on a regulation NFL helmet before. Now that I have.... who knew that a football helmet would weigh more that my little dog?

I'd forgotten how much I love the fall... but I can't believe I forgot how much I don't like being cold.

Cassie had to have a bunch of teeth pulled. I think she'll be surprised next time she tries to nip Boy cat and she has only gummies in the front!  (She doesn't put much effort into it, she's just trying to herd him outside).

My hair is long enough to touch my neck again. It tickles sometimes. I really don't want a cold neck this winter.

I'm scanning some of my father's slides from my childhood. That little girl in the pictures was sure full of beans. I like her.

Right now, I think I'm going to go discover some warm socks!

Namaste...

The Rock

Clarity to see what's lies within them, even though an inigma to others...

Empathy, when the load to bear will leave them with weary arms...

Knowledge that the stoic surface is truly an unrealized wish to be understood...

Comfort, when those that should, don't see the obvious...

A rock, that lets the emotions flow over them, yet slows the cascade until it's managable...

An earthly bond between Land and Sky, Wind and Water, Movement and Stillness...

Ill matched, yet perfectly paired...

Beloved...

Lovely

I spent time with Oma and Oma this weekend, took a nap and mostly slept through the night on prime rib and roasted potatoes. Woke up to sourdough pancakes and bacon...

We had a vigorous storm come through the area Saturday and Sunday so I was glad to come home and comfort Madeline.

My Seahawks won in a come from behind victory which showed their grit!

I baked 3 round rosemary breads yesterday... sliced them up and made toasted ham and cheese sandwiches for the family last night!

Today I go back to yoga and find some zen that was so elusive last week.

I'm so grateful for all the things I do have in my life. I have to remind myself not to want more.

Today

Today, I have a few weeds in my yard. But I finished staining the fence before the rains came.

Today, I have kicked but in technology.

Today, I still have a full desk with tons of filing to do!

Today, I have dry rubbed ribs in the crock pot.

I'm going to go home, eat ribs and watch football with my beloved.

It's a pretty good day.

For a Thursday...

Namaste...

On the Road Again

TOG and AG hit the road for yet another bout of inexpensive hotels, hit and miss meals, turn by turn navigation, amazing scenery and more togetherness than any two people should enjoy.

And yet... we love the road trips. We love the spontaneity and surprise of what's around the corner. Last year I made a book of our photographic journey for TOG, and I may do the same this year.

Life is full of adventure. We're going to get ours on.

See you on the highway!

The Journey

If any of you have known me for a over a year, you'll know that I love football in general and the Seahawks in particular. I absolutely love the game and all the competition and coverage that surrounds NFL football! I love being a season ticket holder and attending the games even when my lungs have other ideas!

For the last two years, I've been combining my love of writing and love of football and writing for a fan blog called 12th Man Rising, part of the Fansided network and contributor of NFL content to SI.com. I've been lucky enough to have a feature called The View from Section 333. It's been a fascinating journey, learning to be a sports writer and being fearless in my opinion while other fans agree or disagree with me!

Last month, I had the opportunity to represent 12th Man Rising at the Seahawks All Pro Cornerback Richard Sherman's Charity Softball game. I loved being part of the press and catching the excitement of the game, the competition and knowing it was all going to help Homes for Heros and Richard's Blanket Coverage Foundation!

Following the game, I spoke with former Seahawks Joe Tafoya and Kerry Carter, co-founders of JumpIt Media. They produced the Richard Sherman foundation events, including the softball game which was sold out and well covered here in the Seattle area.

Kerry and Joe offered me the opportunity to work with them on their newest project, Volume 12.

Volume 12 is the power behind the Seahawks fan's attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records record for loudest fan cheer in a sports stadium.

I'm excited to be a part of this process. Part of the joy of football for me is how much it involves the fans in the stadium and throughout the televised audience.

The Official Volume 12 website will be going live in the next few days and you'll be able to catch up with me via the Volume12 blog.

All of which leads me to the future of Asthmagirl. I don't know right now that I'll be able to devote the time I should to Asthmagirl in coming months. But I'm in no hurry to decide right now.

Feel free to leave me your thoughts. I'll be around!

Sending out love, joy and blessings...

Namaste,

AG

Happy World Asthma Day

Today is World Asthma Day. Mmmph.

This year is my 10th Asthmaversary. Thrrrp.

I'm now on some of the strongest meds available to us wheezers.

I have degenerative hip disease.

I've got a husband whose term of affection for me is "Lunger." (Between you and me, I find this charming)

I also have a really wonderful life, a great job, darling daughters, dingbat puppies and a camera fetish.

I guess it's all about balance.

Sometimes I have asthma. Sometimes asthma has me.

I just need to make the most of the times when I'm in charge.

So screw you, asthma. I'm not done yet.

Sincerely,

Asthmagirl

Celebrating a Life

I had to step back for a few weeks and just gather myself...

In March, my beloved Mother-in-law of 32 years died. It's hard to put her life in words but she was a remarkable woman.

Married at 15 and a mother at 16, she had a lively sense of humor, an extraordinary capacity for forgiveness and an often under-estimated 10th grade education. She lived for her children and eventually her grandchildren and great grandchildren. When I met her, she didn't drive and had never had a job. Yet she'd raised 3 children, kept a house, a yard, a checkbook and a smile on her face. After losing her first husband to cancer, she was left with nothing but a mortgage. She got a drivers license, cleaned houses for money, bought a car, got two jobs and finally found a career with excellent benefits where she worked for years before retiring. She met and married her second husband a little over a year after pulling her life together. As a couple, they worked hard, traveled, bought a beach cabin which she loved, and spoiled their grandchildren. After 18 years of marriage, she lost her second husband to cancer. By this time, she had her own health issues including a bad heart, which she rarely talked about. After a series of health scares early this year, from which she appeared to be recovering, the angels took her quickly and mercifully on a Saturday afternoon in late March.

I had the chance to talk to her twice in her last days. And it was comforting to know we'd said all we needed to say to each other before she left.

The one regret I do have is that I didn't hug her when I saw her earlier in the day before she left us. She looked uncomfortable and I didn't want to make her more so.

The promise I made myself after she left us was that I would try to say the words that should be said, hug as often as possible and appreciate my loved ones even more.

So if I haven't told you lately how much I appreciate you, consider yourself warned!

Hugs to all!

AG

By and By

I had started a number of posts a couple weeks ago. They are all still in draft mode as finishing them became the last thing on  my mind with a sudden and unexpected death in our family.

We're healing, but it's a slow process when someone is so beloved.

Just saying that I'll be back soon.

In the meantime, a bit of advice: Make sure you hug your loved ones. Always get that last hug in. It's so important.

AG

Interlude in Paradise

In many ways, Florida was paradise.

At 75 degrees, it was perfect for hanging a sundress on my pasty white frame.

The wild life was more than willing to put on a show!

I loved the "roadside gators"!

The sunrises were to die for... (and how odd it was to see the sun rise out of the ocean instead of setting into the ocean!)

But the humidity as it warmed the day we left, convinced me that while my lungs had enjoyed the brief interlude, they weren't destined to linger amidst the palm trees and alligators in Florida.

So happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest!

And how are you?

Packing Priorities

It doesn't matter whether I'm going on a road trip to the desert or flying to Ireland.

The first thing I think about when I pack is my hair care, because the last thing I want to worry about when I get there, is whether my hair is going to behave... (and it's ability to misbehave is legion). And since I travel with TOG, no hair delays can be tolerated.

That means that two weeks ago, I went looking to restock my favorite hair products, Identity1.

Designed by hair care professionals who know the ins and outs of naughty hair, these products have stood by me from the heat of the Utah desert to a windy ferry ride across the North Sea to Amsterdam to a rainy pony cart ride through the mountains of Killarney, Ireland.

And because they're such smarties, the folks at Identity1 have come up with products I didn't even know I needed... like the quick dry spray. Because who wants to spend 20 minutes blow-drying their hair with a harried husband jiggling his car keys? On top of the fact that it really works, they played a trump card and put a leave-in conditioner in it. Talk about silky!! And don't get me started on the never-greasy nourishing oil which my hair sucks up like a sponge in sea water. Talk about calming it down after a blow dry. Manageable, brushable, touchable...

And then there's subtle products like the thermal protecting gel that provide a little 'slip' for easy blow drying or flat ironing. And let us not forget the illuminating mist to put the shine on your style.

I haven't even talked about the shampoos and conditioners, which are lovely... but here's the most important thing to me:

The products do what they say they will and they do not weigh my hair down. I can easily go two to three days between washes with polite hair. And in a pinch, I could use their hair powder to add volume and fluff the roots.

So, thanks Identity1! Your products are making yet another trek with me! This time we're going to do the humidity test!

Stay tuned!

AG out!