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Grateful for Oswego

It’s safe to say that these last two weeks are ones that won’t be easily forgotten. Sandy ripped through NYC and changed many people’s lives, and it’s going to be a long time before we’re back to “normal.” I give major props to Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC companies, though, who have worked tremendously hard to help this grand city bounce back quickly and safely. And as I said in my last post, this community is amazing. I’ve never been more proud to live in the city that never sleeps, and I hope the rest of the country realizes how much we all care about one another.

Since Sandy hit land, I’ve had a lot of time to think. The main emotion coursing through my veins? Gratitude. I am so grateful for so many things. I have a great job, live in a wonderful city, have amazing friends, a kind, loving family, a roof over my head. I could go on and on, but I imagine you don’t want to hear about every tiny thing I’m grateful for. There really are a lot.

One thing I’m really grateful for? My education. I went to college upstate at SUNY Oswego and really bonded with a lot of people there. I know I can say with complete confidence that there’s no way I would be where I am today, doing what I’m doing, if I hadn’t gone to school at the little college on Lake Ontario. It was truly the perfect fit for me and I look back on every memory I made with nothing but pure happiness.

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to head back up to Oswego for three days. But not just for any ole’ visit – I was officially invited back by the college as a guest speaker for the creative writing Living Writers Series class. To me, this is EPIC.

I remember when I took that class during my sophomore year of college and fell in love. I was already thoroughly immersed in my college experience and loved all of my classes, but LWS took the cake. I loved meeting people who were successful in my chosen fields, and I loved that their experiences spanned over so many different genres. I remember telling my friend that it would be so cool to come back one day as a guest speaker myself.

Little did I know I’d be asked back a year and a half post-grad! And let me tell you, they welcomed me back with open arms.

The topic for my presentation was about how I went from “Subscriber to Staffer” at FITNESS, so I talked a lot about my experiences in college and how the steps that I took back then really helped me succeed once I graduated and land my dream job. I spoke for about 40 minutes, then opened it up to Q&A for a half hour. Let me tell you, students have a lot of questions!

I couldn’t have been happier. I really had such a great time speaking with the students, answering questions, telling stories and basically just telling them what I did so they can think about stuff to do while they’re still in school. I guess I’m a role model now. I can dig it. I mean, they took me out to dinner. Free food = Sam is there.

I got to reunite with a bunch of friends who are either just finishing up school now, or randomly happened to be in town the same weekend I was, too. It was a big mix of fate with a smidgen of planning, which made for one hell of a reunion weekend.

I got to meet up with a ton of people who I haven’t seen in a very long time, which gives me all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings.

Anyway, I’m just feeling very, very grateful these days. I’ve had such a blessed life and I wanted to gush about my school for a bit. And since this is my little space on the Internet, I can do it ūüôā

Oh, and for those of you who followed my Facebook and Twitter feeds, you know I nabbed a PR at the Disney Wine and Dine half-marathon this weekend! I promise to be back with my race recap and thoughts on Disney races in general. Right now, I hear a foam roller desperately calling my name…

Now it’s your turn:¬†tell me one thing you’re grateful for these days!

I Graduated College!

I know that it’s been forever¬†since I’ve blogged and when I have blogged, it’s been quite a sporadic experience. Please let me apologize! For all of the readers that I haven’t lost, thank you for sticking by me and having faith that I will return. You were right, I am back!

So what was I doing this whole time?

Graduating!

I did it!

And everything else that accompanies graduation, including finishing projects and attending banquets…

Senior lunch and champagne toast.

Journalism banquet with my sports boys.

Honoring the Oswego State celebration of Bridge Street Run…

Signing of the white T-shirt.

Clearly, it's not an actual race.

And the "whaddup" face comes out.

Bonding with my gym ladies…

We can rough you up.

But we have a lot of love to give too.

Sometimes we try to act normal.

And my gym guys…

Gotta love Tony.

Plus getting to know some new-ish friends (Newish? I’ve known them awhile, but didn’t really know¬†them. You get it, right?)

Rachel and Christine.

Eli and Sam. Same name as me, I know!

Cody.

Basically, I’ve been busy soaking it all in and creating memories that I won’t ever forget. The last four years have flown by so fast and well, I don’t know when I’ll see these people again, so I devoted every waking moment to them the last week or so. Yes, blogging fell by the wayside and exercise even took a backseat. Do I regret it? Not one bit.

Don’t think I completely fell off the wagon though. I knew that when I graduated I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the amazing scenery in Oswego, so I made sure to hit the pavement by the lake.

Sunset runs are the best. I trekked down to the lake after to get this shot.

I'm going to miss this view.

Peek-a-boo.

It all came to a close on Saturday when I walked the stage to celebrate receiving two bachelor’s degrees — one in journalism and one in creative writing.

I'm a big girl now.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. The last few weeks have been unbelievable, so it’ll be a challenge transitioning into a new life chapter. ¬†But what about you? What have you been up to? What was it like when you graduated from college?

For your entertainment purposes, here’s a video that should be about love, but somehow it turned into a rockin’ graduation song for many of my friends and I throughout the week. Apparently we don’t go for Vitamin C or other artists who’ve put out traditional graduation songs. Throw it back and enjoy!

Fitness Passions

Fellow blogger Julie, over at Peanut Butter Fingers, posted a fun survey pertaining to things you’re passionate about. I decided to answer the survey, but make mine all about fitness! Drum roll, please…

Four TV shows I watch during cardio:

  1. The Biggest Loser
  2. The Bachelor/Bachelorette
  3. Dancing with the Stars or America’s Best Dance Crew
  4. America’s Next Top Model

Four things I’m passionate about:

  1. Testing new workouts.
  2. Outdoor activities (hiking is my favorite!).
  3. Training and helping others reach their fitness goals.
  4. Fighting cancer.

Beautiful survivor cake from RFL 2010.

Four things I’ve learned in the past:

  1. Don’t let the past hold you back. Who you were back then doesn’t define who you are today.
  2. Always be open to change. You never know what amazing things will happen.
  3. Communication is key. You need to know your limits and clients need to communicate with me to help me determine theirs.
  4. Find your reason. No matter what it is or who it is that motivates you, your passion is what’s going to push you past what you thought was possible.

Four things I’m looking forward to:

  1. Graduating in May and looking for jobs to moonlight as a personal trainer.
  2. The half-marathon I’m going to run in April.
  3. The triathlon I’m going to compete in this spring.
  4. Relay for Life at Oswego State to raise money all night to fight cancer.

Four things I love about winter:

This one’s tough for me because I’m not a huge fan of winter, but here’s what comes to mind…

  1. Ice skating.
  2. No humidity.
  3. Snow shoeing.
  4. Kisses under the mistletoe. (Did you know kissing for one minute burns 26 calories?)

It’s your turn! What fitness things are you passionate about?

Broomball Sparks Competition at Oswego State

Broomball Ball

Image via Wikipedia

Broomball? Um, what is that?”

That was my initial response three years ago when my new friend, Hannah, asked my roommate, neighbors and I to play in a broomball league throughout a portion of the semester. I had no idea what this game was, nor had I ever heard of it. But did that stop me from playing? Not a chance.

Broomball, she explained in a less efficient manner, is a game similar¬†to ice hockey. There are two teams consisting of six players, including the¬†goaltender. The object of the game is¬†to score¬†more goals¬†than the other team. Sounds¬†simple, right? Well, take off those ice skates and put on sneakers, and instead of a hockey stick, replace it with a “broom.” Oh, and you get a miniature ball (about the size of the balls¬†you use when you play basketball in your¬†room, with the hoop attached to the back of the door) instead of a puck.

Needless to say, I fell in love with the game. We played various teams at around 11 p.m. every week, providing a relief from homework. My friends and I were so psyched about it, we even planned to sign up every year for the rest of our college career. It was freshman year then.

We were intense players freshman year.

It’s senior year now and I played broomball¬†again for the first time last night since freshman year. College got in the way — suddenly my classes were harder, I had to work more hours and homework became more prevalent than¬†gallivanting¬†across the ice. Last night, however, kicked off a fierce competition between¬†the employees at¬†Campus Recreation and Cooper/Glimmerglass¬†Fitness Centers.¬†Although¬†every member of my team (the¬†fitness centers) hadn’t played in the same amount of time as myself or longer, and Campus Rec plays nearly every day, we couldn’t say¬†no when they challenged us. So I put the homework aside for an hour and shuffled onto the ice once more.

After two¬†20-minute periods of¬†a lot of falling and checking into the boards, Campus¬†Rec¬†added their first tally to the win column with a¬†5-0 victory. However, they believe that this was a one-time deal.¬†What they don’t realize is that we don’t give up that easily. I have a feeling that I’ll be on the ice much more often this semester, whether I like it¬†or not. My¬†co-workers and boss might get upset if I don’t.

Broomball¬†originated in Canada, but is now played across the world, particularly in the U.S., Australia and Japan. It’s a recreational sport, but play can often get intense. By the end of the game, I was sweating through my face mask and my shirt had¬†subtle sweat stains.¬†Not bad when¬†I was playing in a freezing hockey rink and I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and sweatpants. ¬†It definitely made up for my lack of a workout yesterday; I burned about 476 calories in an hour. So if you ever hear broomball being promoted in your area, don’t be afraid to give it a shot!

Have you ever heard of or played broomball before? What do you think about the sport?