Emotions and Sports


photo credit: Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated

I tend to be an emotional person. Usually you know exactly how I feel. For better or worse, I’ve made efforts to not be so vocal about my emotions (particualarly in the work place.) But at times, its unavoidable. You’re going to hear my celebrations, complaints and banter on Twitter and Facebook during basketball or football season. If sports can make me jump up and down, have mini heart-attacks and scream at the TV, I can only imagine how the players feel. Why do sports evoke so much emotion in those who don’t even participate in the game? And why do we not expect it from athletes?

In 2012, the Patriots lost the Super Bowl. I happen to be on a plane from Portland to Boston as it was happening. There was a collective sadness as we got off the plane. You could literally see tears in people’s eyes and it was totally silent. You would think that someone died. Why? Because it’s how we connect to others. It’s something that we can believe in. It’s something to get excited about. And the opposite of excited is bound to happen with any team’s fans at some point.

You can probably see where I’m going with this. You shove a microphone in the face of a player walking off the field after winning the biggest game of his career, so far, you’re asking for emotion. Raw, adrenaline fueled emotion. That’s what we saw from Richard Sherman. But stop and think for a second what YOU were doing when this was happening?

If you’re a 49ers fan you were probably cursing at the TV, damning the refs (I agree that wasn’t the right call) and over all pretty frustrated. If you’re a Seahawks fan you were probably jumping up and down, high-fiving your buddies, cheersing the person next to you and screaming (at least I was.) So take those emotions, multiply them by 100 and then you likely have the emotion of a person on the field…of a PLAYOFF game.

While I don’t think it’s right to talk negatively about people, particularly on camera, I think we need to think about what we do expect. Imagine if they interviewed Marshawn Lynch and they got forced one word answers. Boring! As noted in the Forbes post “22 Brief Thoughts About That Richard Sherman Interview,” this is the kind of thing Journalist want. And it’s the kind of televsion you want. You want to see the emotion (mad, sad, happy, whatever.) That’s why you wait to see what the losing coach or QB have to say. You know it’s going to be heavy hearted but that’s what helps people relate to professional athletes. You’re upset your team didn’t win and you feel for them.

So before we go harshly judge the sentiment or reaction of an athlete, think about your emotions related to sports. Next time your team loses or is treated unkindly or you witness a dirty play from an opposing player, think about how you would react in the moments immediately after. Richard Sherman is not a thug. He’s certainly not an idiot. He may not be our idea of “classy” at times, but he’s aware of his behavior. The article he wrote today isn’t exactly an apology, but I think there is a lot of truth to it.

Surfing in Oregon

I don’t know these people or when they shot this video. But I’ve been these people and it was just last month.

If you’re going to surf in Oregon, you own 4 things, besides a surfboard: A wetsuit, booties, a hood & gloves. With the water temperature fluctuating from 45-55 degrees year round it’s NEVER warm. Ever. (It can be colder in August than January!)

Regardless of the time of year, the temperature of the water or the size of the waves, we surf. We surf in December when it’s 30 degrees outside. We surf when it’s sunny and small. We surf when it’s gray and choppy.

I learned to surf in the cold water. When I surf warm water, it’s like shedding a skin. The first time I was nervous. As if my wetsuit, booties, hood and gloves were my protection from whatever was swimming out there there with me.

People always ask you the same question when you say you surf. “Aren’t you afraid of sharks?” OF COURSE I AM! Who isn’t? But if I didn’t do anything I was afraid of my life would be awfully boring. Being in the water, for me, is calming. It’s cleansing. There is nothing bad. There is nothing wrong. There is not worrisome when I’m in the water. 5 people a year die of shark attacks. FIVE. Compare that to cars or even planes and you can see why I “risk” it.

I liked this video because that’s been me and my friends. So many times we’ve driven out to the cloudy Oregon coast only to get into the water for 30 minutes. Then crawl, out of the water, beat up and cold. Or you wait it out so long and it only gets bigger, colder and angrier. Then you sleep on it. You wake up to sunshine and perfect (Oregon) waves.

I’m never going to be a big-wave surfer. But I will always be an Oregon surfer.


Do-it-copy1-791x1024I’m a procrastinator.

There I said it.

I’m an avid list maker and it’s rare I don’t cross off every task. If I make a plan to do something, it WILL get done. I’m dependable. I don’t think anyone who knows me would say otherwise. But the time frame in which the task actually gets done, had me questioning my motivation. Or lack there of.

I recently read a Fast Company article, “The Art of Letting Go: How I Learned to Stop Procrastinating” and came to the realization I don’t procrastinate because I’m lazy. It’s often the opposite.  1. I need time to plan things out in my head, then on paper and then I execute. Or 2. my standards are often set so high I scare myself into thinking I won’t meet the goal.

Or possibly both.

My job expects me to be available during typical office hours, 9a-5p, Monday-Friday. But social media is open 24/7. So I find myself monitoring platforms, updating reports or working on campaign strategies at 11:30p on Saturday night. Is it really procrastinating if I didn’t get the task at hand done by Friday and am doing it Saturday instead? I feel like it is. Technically I’m managing my time well enough to deliver results when expected. But the schedule in which I do it, probably doesn’t fit the average 9-to-5er. Isn’t that really what procrastinating is? Not doing something on someone else’s expected schedule?

Not according to David Mcraney. His post on procrastination says it’s a much bigger problem. That it can manifest itself in every part of your life. He starts out by saying:

The Misconception: You procrastinate because you are lazy and can’t manage your time well.

The Truth: Procrastination is fueled by weakness in the face of impulse and a failure to think about thinking.

I tend to agree…sort of.

I’m afraid my (sometimes) absurd expectations of myself and my work, might not be met. Like when I made a quilt for my husband for Christmas a few years back. I spent the entire week before Christmas in quilt hell. I looked at the fabric for almost 2 months in my living room. I had ideas of what I wanted it to look like, then I doubted my sewing ability. Then I doubted my color choices and bought new fabric. Still just stared at it for another month. But it was finished and wrapped under the tree on Christmas eve.

I, on some level, was afraid of failure. But I was thinking about it. I thought about it every.single.day.

There is a reason the gym is packed on January 2nd. There is a reason stores are open 24 hours the days before Christmas. There is a reason the post office is open late on April 15th. But the reason for each stems from something different inside of us. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s laziness. Maybe it’s bad time management. Or maybe a sense of urgency isn’t created early on so the challenge of completing a meaningful task in a timely manner, doesn’t exist.

Whatever the reason, I do it. There are definitely some things I need to work on when it comes to procrastination. But one thing is certain, I’ll check that box on the to-do list. It might be at the next to the last minute, but it will be done. And on time.


Web Standards Killed the HTML Star by Jeff Croft

I ran across a Jeff Croft post this week that I thought was pretty interesting. Web Standards Killed the HTML Star

Coming from a recruiting background in technology I believe this happens with every technology. Now being on the marketing side, social media specifically, I’m no stranger to having to adapt. I think my job will suffer the same fate to some degree. That’s why learning to expand your skillset is so important. Web development or otherwise, everything evolves, but not everyone adapts.

2013 Mentors & Influencers- Thank You!

2013 was a learning year for me. I learned a lot about marketing, social media, content and myself. I try to learn and absorb as much as I can from those around me. For better or worse, I feel there is always knowledge to be gained, nobody who you come in contact with. But there are a two people who, without their guidance or influence, this year wouldn’t have taught me so much.

Susie Hall– The President of Vitamin T

I’ve worked under Susie in some capacity for the last 4.5 years. The last 2.5 years I’ve reported to her directly (until my recent role change.) I can honestly say I’ve never learned more from one individual, professionally, than I have from her. Besides being wicked smart, she has a way of continually inspiring our entire staff. Her knowledge of the staffing industry, marketing and career development has helped me grow into a completely new profession. Years ago, she believed in me when I came to her with 9 years of recruiting experience saying I wanted to make the move to the marketing side. I wanted run social media for the new brand we were launching, Vitamin T. Not only did she believe in me, she helped me every step along the way. I learned so much about myself, the way I interact with people, process, organization, self assessment and picking my battles. I have a completely different career path now. I don’t believe I would have had this chance many other places. I’m still awfully stubborn, but I’m so proud of who I’ve become and the knowledge I’ve gained, over the last few years. I owe so much of the direction to Susie. I’m sad to no longer be directly reporting to her, but I believe she’ll continue to be a mentor for me.


Nicole Guinther– Event Manager at Aquent

Over the last couple years we’ve worked very closely and traveled the world together. She’s turned into a good friend and a true inspiration. Nicole took on the daunting task of weight loss and living a healthier life in 2013. Down 50 lbs, she didn’t follow a fad diet. She worked out. Hard. And she changed her eating habits. She introduced me to paleo. At my heaviest in years, I decided I would give it a shot. Holy amazing! My skin is better, my sleep is better, I just FEEL better everyday. Paleo coupled with a more active lifestyle has been an incredible change for me. Physically I’m capable of more than I had ever imagined. I don’t see a trainer every week, like she does and I’m pretty sure she is far more regimented than I am. But without Nicole’s determination to do things the right way, the healthy way, I may have never discovered the paleo lifestyle. Or at least not’ve been so inspired to try it out for myself.



Overall, I feel like my career and my health are headed in the right direction. In 2014, one of my many goals, is to continue to seek out professional and personal mentors. I know it’s really my own choices that make these things a reality. But the help of those I admire and trust helping lead the way is more appreciated than I can express. I feel lucky and thankful to have Susie and Nicole in my life!