Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Whatever Wednesday: Amazing!

Did you watch the Hope for Haiti Benefit last Friday? What did you think?

This performance by Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono, and the Edge blew me away. :) Amazing.

Happy Wednesday! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sporty Saturday Spotlight


This Saturday the sporty spotlight shines bright on twenty-two year old kayaker and skydiver, Samantha Brunner. Check out Samantha’s interview below where she shares what it’s like to compete in kayaking, how she balances school and sports, and much, much more.

Name: Samantha Brunner 0907ee77-a13f-4c2a-8391-60f471760619s

Age: 22

Sport(s): Pro whitewater kayaker, but I also skydive and like most outdoor sports

Hometown: Memphis, TN

High School/Middle School/College: I am currently a student on full scholarship at the University of Memphis. I graduate in May with a bachelors in Exercise Sport Science, then its off to Physical Therapy school

How many years have you been kayaking? I have been paddling for about 6 years.

What was your fave sporty moment or memory?

The first time I ran a creek that I had to fully memorize. The small creek was so consistent that I had to remember all of the lines because there was no time to stop in between rapids. This made me learn to trust and rely on myself.

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from playing your sport?9671c6af-94fa-4877-a6ac-13ec82b2c6e0l

To trust myself. Kayaking, for me, is all about pushing your physical and mental limits and learning to trust yourself. Only you can truly know what you are capable of, nobody else can tell you that. Kayaking is a way in which I learn what I am capable of; it helps me become a more independent person and puts a lot of life’s experiences into perspective.

What lessons have you learned about work ethic from your sport?

Always be a team player. Getting down the river is a group effort. Your friends depend on you to know your skills as much as you depend on them to know theirs. Also, to always be respectful and truthful. Also, kayaking is a pretty poor sport, so you have to learn how to work to make the bigger trips worthwhile and how to do them within a budget. With that being said, I have learned to be able to put a lot of work and preparation into my trips to make them work and be beneficial for both my sponsors and myself.

What have you learned about teamwork?

It is the only way to be successful, you can’t do everything all by yourself. Everyone has something to bring to the table and is better at something than you are. It teaches you when to lead and when to listen.

How do you balance school and sports?

Haha, that’s the hard one. I know that school is more important and I have the rest of my life to kayak. Being in Memphis makes me a weekend warrior when it comes to kayaking. I plan my major trips around my breaks in school.

List the sponsors that you currently have:

Pretty Tough, Jackson Kayaks, Stohlquist Waterware, Keen Footwear, Kavu Clothing, SnapDragon Sprayskirts, Gaia Paddlesports, Grateful Heads Helmets, Freestyle Watches, H2O Audio, Zeal Optics, Colorado Kayak Supply

How do you plan to use your sport to influence others?

When I get out of Physical Therapy school I plan to start a non-profit, whitewater kayaking camp to fight childhood obesity and eating disorders. I find that kayaking is not only enjoyable; it can be a great motivator to get into shape. I want to show how fun kayaking can be and I think that when one is having fun it is easier to be motivated to stay active.

What’s the girliest thing you like to do? (Pretty Tough signature question)

Haha, I think it would be to dress up. So much of what I do requires pants and flats or sneakers (not that I’m complaining) so when I have a chance to have a date night with my boyfriend, which comes once every few months haha, I like to dress up. I’m usually “one of the guys” so this helps remind me that I’m not always. Also, I kayak in waterproof mascara which makes me pretty girlie ;)

Thanks, Samantha! Best of luck with your amazing career.

Do you or someone you know want to be spotlighted? Send an email to Keri Mikulski at kerimikulski(at)gmail(dot)com.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Love You, Grease 2

The other night I caught my all-time fave childhood movie on VH1. Nope, it wasn’t ROGER RABBIT, a Disney princess movie, SUPERMAN, GREASE or even PRETTY IN PINK.

It was… GREASE 2.

Grease 2

At five-years-old I wanted to be Stephanie Zione. I even bought big hoop earrings (clip-ons), cut bangs, begged my mom to make me a Pink Ladies reversible black leather jacket, sang and danced to Cool Rider (I was real bad), and chomped on Bubba Hubba bubblegum like a cow chewing grass. While Sandy from the original GREASE was quiet and nice and girly (except at the end), Stephanie had edge. Stephanie had attitude. Stephanie liked motorcycles, being on the back of one, and bad boys who rode them.

Yes, my parents were worried about me.

And to this day every time I watch GREASE 2, I fall in love with it all over again.

grease 2 - 1

Stephanie, I still heart you.

How about you? What was your favorite movie?

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sporty Saturday Spotlight


This Saturday the sporty spotlight shines bright on fourteen-year-old BMX racer and road cycling mountain biker, Mary Mae Duarte. Check out Mary’s interview below where she shares her fave BMX moment, how she balances school and sports, and much, much more.

Name: Mary Mae Duartemary-sporty saturday spotlight

Age: 14

Sport(s): bmx racing and freestyle road cycling mountain biking

Hometown: Riverside, California

High School: Citrus Valley High School

What’s your fave sport? bmx racing

What was your fave sporty moment or memory?

My favorite moment while racing bmx was when I finally jumped for my first time.

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from playing your sport?

Never give up! And once that gate goes down keep it pedaling!

What have you learned about teamwork?

When you’re all together we all equal as one person. Nothing will be able to happen if one person doesn’t get along with someone else.

How do you balance school and sports?

My dad makes me finish all my homework before I can go anywhere or do anything!

Who’s your fave athlete, both male and female?

My favorite male would have to be Brian Deegan and my favorite female is Danica Patrick! (:

What’s the girliest thing you like to do? (Pretty Tough signature


HA OMG! The girliest "things" I LOVE to do are get my nails done, go shopping, make sure my makeup is perfect! haha (:

Thanks, Mary! I agree. Danica Patrick is amazing. Best of luck with your sports career.

Do you or someone you know want to be spotlighted? Send an email to Keri Mikulski at kerimikulski(at)gmail(dot)com.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Penguin Present

Last Friday my tribe and I took our annual birthday day trip to Atlantic City. Although we left with empty pockets, my daughter gave me the best present ever.


She said I'm always talking about Penguin so I must really like them. :)

How about you? What was your best birthday gift ever?

Happy Wednesday! :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sporty Saturday Spotlight

sportyspotlight3Not sure what you want to do after you hang up your cleats, board, glove, sneaks, shin guards, or stick? This Saturday the sporty spotlight shines bright on Trish Bare Grounds, an athletic trainer from Bare Essential Sports Medicine. Check out Trish’s insightful interview below where she shares her amazing career and fave sporty moments.

Name: Trish Bare Groundssporty.saturday.spotlight

Age: 44

Sport(s): Dance, Equestrian, Track, Cheerleading, Soccer, Marital Arts -- Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) for just about every sport there is at some point during my career but I focus now mainly on action/extreme sports, martial arts, cheer & dance

Hometown: (Just since January) Rebersburg, PA

High School/Middle School/College: Linton Stockton High School, Linton, IN; BA from DePauw University, MS from University of Miami; Yet to finish 2nd MS & PhD at University of Florida

Number: 10

Position: Nowadays Certified Athletic Trainer & Owner of Bare Essentials Sports Medicine Co LLC

What’s your fave sport?

Everything! My favorite sports to cover as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) for the past decade and more have been BMX (freestyle & Racing), Skateboard, Motocross (FMX & Racing), Snowboard, Skiing (Freestyle), Taekwondo, MMA, & Cheerleading know very similar sports! I tend to drift towards the non-traditional sports with more adrenaline these days although I have worked and loved everything from football, basketball, baseball, soccer, & track among many other of the more traditional sports.

How many years have you been playing your fave sport?

I have been an ATC for over 20 years and see no signs of slowing down yet; in fact I thinking I am working more now than I did even 10 years ago.

What was your fave sporty moment or memory?sporty.sat.spotlight.1/2010

My favorite moments come after I have helped an athlete return from an injury, especially injuries that could have been detrimental to their sporting careers (or that thought were career ending), climb up on the podium. Just seeing them reach their dreams are the best moments of all, and I have many from pee wees to high school, to college to Olympic to Pro, and they all mean a lot to me! It is especially cool when that athlete steps down off of the podium and hands me their flowers in thanks for helping them get there, or after their sporting career they return to school to become an ATC themselves!

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from playing your sport?

Patience and persistence no matter how frustrating things gets...and always look ahead with a glass half-full mentality no matter what!

What lessons have you learned about work ethic from your sport?

Same...patience & persistence win the game even when people try to knock you out, and always have a glass half-full...and always, always, always respect everyone no matter who they are.

What have you learned about teamwork?

Teamwork is amazing! Things get done so much better and quicker when you work together and let others help you...everyone can contribute to make it all happen. When someone thinks they are all that is needed that is when things go terribly wrong.

How do you balance school and sports?

For me it is balancing motherhood and sport coverage, and as a single mom that can be rough, but my daughter travels with me to whatever sporting event I am working and she gets to meet some really incredible people...some day I will tell her how famous the athletes she hangs out with were! I have to keep things in perspective, family is always first for me, although I have many sons and daughters out there, just come to an event and you will hear them scream MOM!! Love it! But I have learned over the years that I have to make time for me as well as for family, friends and my athletes, otherwise I go crazy. Since I love my work this is very often a hard concept for me to remember. School, research, and writing take a back seat but somehow seem to get done.

List some awards or accolades you’ve received.

NATA Service Award given to a select few ATC's each year who have volunteered and given back to sport and community over a period of 15 years or more; NCA Trainer of the year for the past 12 years; I have been priviledged to have worked some really cool events from World Cups, to World Championships to Olympics, to Dew Tour & Winter Dew, to local and state events in just about every sport, but the greatest award/reward I have received are the thank-you's I get from my highly appreciative athletes every day.

Who’s your fave athlete, both male and female?

Hmmm, rough question there are so many! I think Donna Vano (snow & skate) would have to be one of my all-time favorite females, but so is Diana Lopez & Kay Poe (TKD) and so many more that I have worked with over the for the guys wow I work with so many incredible people who are also amazing athletes, including Daniel Dhers, Chad Kagy, James Foster, Drew Bezanson, Brandon Dosch, Anthony Napolitan (BMX), Austen Seaholm, Ryan Sheckler, Christian Sereika (SKB), Steven Lopez, Jason Neville, Josh Coleman (TKD).....I could go on for days!

Tell us about your profession.

Athletic Training for me is a way to still be a part of sports I love, especially action & extreme sports, where what I do can mean the difference between being able to compete or not. I can honestly say I love what I do. I get to go to work everyday and simply watch some tremendously talented athletes play the sports they love, and in the process meet some pretty awesome individuals. I give them the added support for development and care of their mind and body that often helps them reach their highest dreams

Why did you choose this profession?

I knew I wanted to be in the medical field, originally thought I wanted to be a surgeon but also wanted to be there when the injury happened all the way until the athlete returned to full participation in the sport they loved, so it had to be Sports Medicine, and I kind of fell into Athletic Training as a means to be there, and not just the office, but actually working on-stie with athletes. When I first joined this profession I was told girls would never do well and to make sure I had a "back-up" profession, which only made me want to prove them wrong, so I set on a path to work to the highest level of sport and hopefully make a difference in athlete's lives, as well as hopefully open the door for other girls who wanted to do the same. If it were up to me I would work for free for all the sports and athletes who appreciate the care I provide if only I had no bills or at least more sponsors that reduced that burden since so many athletes I work with do not have health insurance, so they often go without care unless it is free.

What kind of schooling did you have to complete?

You only have to have a bachelor's degree in Athletic Training/Sports Medicine but I went onto get my Master's and trying to finish up a PhD so that there are never any excuses from my education not being high enough to be hired. When I sat for my Board Exams you also had to have completed 1800 hours of practical work with athletes, after working with over 50,000 athletes during my career I have lost track of how many hours I have put in to this point!

What’s your day like?

Depending on if I am at an event or just checking on the athletes while they are training, I have to be prepared to handle any kind of injury that can happen at anytime, and of course I tend to work those sports which have a greater chance of serious injury even in training. Event coverage usually is anywhere from 10-14 hours/day, while training is generally less than 6 hours of work. I also have to spend time on the computer and phone trying to get events to work, staff to cover the events, supplies for the events, and sponsors and/or donations to cover the cost of traveling to and covering events as most of the sports I cover have little to know budget for medical care among athletes who probably need it the most. I work anything from charity events to help support a local skatepark all the way up to highly televised events, and love caring for all the athletes no matter what age or ability level, they all have their own place in the sporting world.

What’s the girliest thing you like to do? (Pretty Tough signature question)

I loooooove pedicures! And since I wear flip-flops or sandals anytime I am not working the toes have to look good!

Thanks, Trish!!

Do you or someone you know want to be spotlighted? Send an email to Keri Mikulski at kerimikulski(at)gmail(dot)com.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January Book Review Club: Prada & Prejudice

Yay, 2010! Doesn’t feel amazing to begin a new year? I feel refreshed, refocused, and renewed.

The first Wednesday of the month means another edition of The Book Review Club hosted by Barrie Summy, author of the I So Don’t Do Mysteries series. Today, I’m featuring the fabulousMandy Hubbard’s Prada & Prejudice. Mandy is amazing and so is her debut.

Here’s a quick synopsis – During a school trip to England, Callie straps on her brand new Prada heels (attempting to impress the popular girls), trips, and is transformed to Nineteenth Century England.


Five Reasons Why I Enjoyed Prada & Prejudice:

  1. Loved spunky, clumsy, Callie
  2. Energetic and fast-paced
  3. Unique time-travel adventure
  4. Sweet and fun romance
  5. Hubbard kept me guessing

Prada & Prejudice was a blast and exactly the escape I needed to end the holiday season.

Check out the rest of the fabulous Book Club reviews here.

Happy Wednesday!

Disclosure: I often receive ARCs and/or books for reviews (most of the time due to my Chick Lit column for South Jersey Mom magazine and sometimes because I’m an author and other times because I beg). However, I do not blog about every book I receive, only the ones I absolutely adore or feel the need to recommend to fans of sporty lit.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Favorite Gift...

Santa brought Benji a Snuggie! :)

How was your holiday?

Happy 2010!