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As the holiday season continues and the new year approaches, it’s time to find a gym and get in shape! I told myself this minutes after the Tough Mudder in Sarasota a couple weeks ago. There was one specific incident that really stuck and pushed me to join a gym immediately. I found Pivotal Fitness and joined as soon as the soreness from the Tough Mudder wore off. You can find a location on their website at www.pivotalfitness.com.

At Tough Mudder Tampa 2011, I cruised across the Funky Monkey Obstacle…this year…well see for yourself!

Funky Monkey - just start and hope for the best

Funky Monkey – just start and hope for the best

It's GO TIME!!!

It’s GO TIME!!!

here comes the "slip"

here comes the “slip”

It's all over now...

It’s all over now…

exactly what I did not want to do...make a splash

exactly what I did not want to do…make a splash

Now the embarrassment of swimming to the ladder, while everyone watches

Now the embarrassment of swimming to the ladder, while everyone watches

I’m hoping this little mishap will not happen during the next Tough Mudder I participate in. Until then, we can only hope and try to get in better shape!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our much anticipated Tough Mudder video is finally complete!!!!

Special THANKS to Janine, who spent nearly 4-5 hours working on cutting this down. We have nearly all 24 obstacles. As the battery was running down, we missed a few obstacles at the end to ensure we had Funky Monkey, Everest, and Electroshock Therapy. This was my first time running with the GoPro2, which I HIGHLY recommend, and definitely learned a lot from it. I videotaped way too much of us just running which really isn’t necessary. People will not watch this to see us run, as I 100% would not. 🙂 They are watching to see the OBSTACLES!!! I hope you enjoy.

Cannot wait to video Tough Mudder Miami with the new GoPro3 and what additional tweaks we can make to the video afterwards!

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Team Blood Bath & Beyond will look to again battle mud, water, tunnels, electric shock, and much more during the Miami Tough Mudder at Homestead Miami Speedway on Saturday March 2. We aim to cut our time down by nearly 30 minutes at this event! We are looking to expand our team even more, so if you are interested in this grueling 12 mile/24+ obstacle course…please let me know as soon as possible. Our team has officially been registered at http://toughmudder.com/events/miami-2013/. If interested, I can provide more specific details. Register by Friday at midnight, and receive $5 off. (I can provide you the code)

Come be a part of something extremely “electrifying” and rewarding. There are not many people that can claim they are TOUGH MUDDERS and earn their orange headbands!!!

Blood Bath & Beyond

Blood Bath & Beyond

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For Team Blood, Bath and Beyond…last year’s Tough Mudder in Tampa was not enough. We wanted more!! We added some depth to our roster and made the journey from Fort Lauderdale to Hi-Hat Ranch in Sarasota, FL to take on the 11.2 mile/24 obstacle course. We crushed the course in under 2 hours and 45 minutes and walked away with Tough Mudder’s famous orange headband, our Dos Equis beer, and A LOT of pride and gratification. This year I decided to wear a Go Pro camera on a head mount and could not be any happier with the amazing pictures we were able to obtain from the video. I apologize in advance for the lengthy post but I want to give everyone an idea of our experience at Tough Mudder Tampa 2012. I’ll start with the map of the course we completed/obstacle list, and a team photo!

2012 Tampa Tough Mudder map

2012 Tampa Tough Mudder map

pre race pix

Janine and I pre-race.

Janine and I pre-race.

 

remember you signed a death waiver

One of our favorite signs of the entire day. Each and every Mudder must sign a “Death Waiver” before he/she can participate.

The race always begins with an amazing emcee, the national anthem, the Tough Mudder Pledge, and then you are off! They did provide us with a small change this year as you had to climb one Berlin Wall before even starting the race. I’ll provide you pictures and commentary from a few of the obstacles along our journey.

beginning of race speach

Countdown begins…no turning back now!

Underwater Tunnels

Obstacle #2 – Underwater Tunnels

Underwater Tunnels - We Made it!!

Underwater Tunnels – We Made it!!

 

Obstacle #2 - Log Jammin'

Obstacle #3 – Log Jammin’

My shadow made the picture. I feel like Peter Pan! (since I was wearing the camera, I fortunately or unfortunately were not in many pix)

My shadow made the picture. I feel like Peter Pan! (since I was wearing the camera, I fortunately or unfortunately were not in many pix)

Obstacle #5 - Arctic Enema Definitely one of the worst feelings I've ever encountered. Last year there was no ice...this year there WAS! If I had to guess I would say the temperature is under 30 degrees.

Obstacle #5 – Arctic Enema
Definitely one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. Last year there was no ice…this year there WAS! If I had to guess I would say the temperature is under 30 degrees.

jump and hope to not freeze

jump and hope to not freeze

FREEZING! It's so cold you nearly forget how to move your arms to get out.

FREEZING! It’s so cold you nearly forget how to move your arms to get out.

Obstacle #6 - Mud Mile #2Jump the mounds and hope you don't slip into the mud.

Obstacle #6 – Mud Mile #2
Jump the mounds and hope you don’t slip into the mud – we had a couple close calls

mud mile 3

For those of you that do the 5K Warrior Dash...here is your finish line. In the Tough Mudder, we've only just begun!

For those of you that do the 5K Warrior Dash…here is your finish line. In the Tough Mudder, we’ve only just begun!

Obstacle #7 - Boa ConstrictorIf you are claustrophobic at all, stay away!

Obstacle #7 – Boa Constrictor
If you are claustrophobic at all, stay away!

tunnels 2tunnels 3

Janine made it!

Janine made it!

Obstacle #8 - CliffhangerWe weren't quite sure what to do here...jump and risk injury or GET MUDDY!!!

Obstacle #8 – Cliffhanger
We weren’t quite sure what to do here…jump and risk injury or GET MUDDY!!! We got Muddy!

Obstacle #9 - Berlin Walls #1We got smart this year and used teammate, Max, to get our girls over the wall. The guys were able to jump and pull ourselves over.

Obstacle #9 – Berlin Walls #1
We got smart this year and used teammate, Max, to get our girls over the wall. The guys were able to jump and pull ourselves over.

It's all about the teamwork!

It’s all about the teamwork! 🙂

again only certain body parts continue to make the pix

again only certain of my body parts continue to make the pix

atop Berlin Walls

atop Berlin Walls

Obstacle #10 - Electric EelWhat we thought would be a nightmare, turned out to not be that bad. Only 2 of our 11 team members got shocked.

Obstacle #10 – Electric Eel
What we thought would be a nightmare, turned out to not be that bad. Only 2 of our 11 team members got shocked.

electric eel 2electric eel 3

Obstacle #14 - BallshrinkerThe name sums it up...

Obstacle #14 – Ballshrinker
The name sums it up…

ball shrinker 2

slippped and nearly lost the Go Pro here

slippped and nearly lost the Go Pro here

Team Blood, Bath & Beyond

Team Blood, Bath & Beyond

Obstacle # 15 - Walk The PlankDefinitely one of the most fun and entertaining obstacles. As they tell you nearly 5 times before the race starts; if you can't swim...DO NOT JUMP!

Obstacle # 15 – Walk The Plank
Definitely one of the most fun and entertaining obstacles. As they tell you nearly 5 times before the race starts; if you can’t swim…DO NOT JUMP!

I went first so I could get down and video rest of the team

I went first so I could get down and video rest of the team

Max doing a back-flip

Max doing a back-flip

the girls getting ready to take off

the girls getting ready to take off

Obstacle #19 - Wounded Warrior Carry

Obstacle #19 – Wounded Warrior Carry

girls turn to carry

girls turn to carry

Obstacle #20 - Trench Warfare

Obstacle #20 – Trench Warfare

For people taller, like myself, this is more difficult than it looks...and dark!

For people taller, like myself, this is more difficult than it looks…and dark!

Obstacle #21 - Funky Monkey

Obstacle #21 – Funky Monkey

and I'm off...can I make it......

and I’m off…can I make it……

not this year. We'll just say I needed to rinse off. :)

not this year. We’ll just say I needed to rinse off. 🙂

Obstacle #23 - EverestDefinitely the most anticipated event of the day. Our entire team crushed this on each of our first try. Proud of everyone!

Obstacle #23 – Everest
Definitely the most anticipated event of the day. Our entire team crushed this on each of our first try. Proud of everyone!

made it

made it

Laura

Laura

Janine

Janine

Jess...nearly lost her.

Jess…nearly lost her.

Obstacle #24 - Electroshock TherapyFinal obstacle of the day. The one most of us were dreading.

Obstacle #24 – Electroshock Therapy
Final obstacle of the day. The one most of us were dreading.

Here we go...

Here we go…

last year I was lucky, this year not so much. Two volts of electricity nearly put me in the mud.

last year I was lucky, this year not so much. Two volts of electricity nearly put me in the mud.

Orange headband time...very much earned!

Orange headband time…very much earned!

We did it and we'll be coming back for more. We are planning to participate in Miami in March, hopefully Indiana, and Tampa again next December. Bring it on!!!!

We did it and we’ll be coming back for more. We are planning to participate in Miami in March, hopefully Indiana, and Tampa again next December. Bring it on!!!!

Blood, Bath and Beyond cannot wait for our next Tough Mudder adventure. We are excited for Miami in 2013 and we’ll see where rest of the  year takes us. You can visit other TM events at (http://toughmudder.com/events/) We wore our Tough Mudder apparel and orange headbands with pride the rest of the weekend…meeting a lot of other great Mudders along the way. Until the next one!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My favorite and by far the happiest time of the year, are the holidays. For 28 of the past 29 years I have been very fortunate to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my parents and sisters. (yes four of those years were spent in Evanston, as I was not able to leave campus because of basketball practice but we have always made the best of it) Last year I decided for the first time to stick around Fort Lauderdale and not go home…I quickly realized that it just was not the same. So this year I jumped aboard the 737 AirTran flight and headed north for much colder weather.

This five-day jaunt allowed me to spend a lot of time with my parents, sisters, brothers in law, grandparents, aunts, uncle, and cousins. I even had some time from some old high school buddies.

The trip began Wednesday night with a quick visit to the Mexican Restaurant in Paoli. I will never make a trip home without at least visiting this place once. The frozen margaritas are to die for! I spent the rest of the evening helping mom carve the four turkeys she had prepared. It’s hard to believe, but it was nearly all gone by the time I left yesterday morning.

Carving one of four turkeys

Thanksgiving day couldn’t have been any better. We spent the morning fixing last minute dishes and looking for Janine in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Her family helped carry the Pikachu character balloon in the parade, as this is an annual tradition for their family. My entire family then filled our bellies with everything from turkey, mashed potatoes…to broccoli casserole and pumpkin pie. I decided this year to take smaller portions on the first go-round so I would still have room for seconds….it still was tough to go back.

My Meal!

As I’m sure everyone knows, Black Friday came early this year. Certain stores opened their doors a few hours early. Paoli, Indiana does not provide nearly the stores that a major city would, but we made the best of our choices. WAL-MART…here we come!!! We decided to brave the crowds and ventured out to Wal-Mart in Paoli. It was an absolute mad house but I was able to purchase a few dvd’s that I wanted and a 16gb disk for the new Go Pro3 camera I ended up buying later that evening. You can see the craziness in the picture below.

The MADNESS…just for Dvds!

I spent Friday night with some old high school buddies at the French Lick Resort & Casino. I was able to play black jack and roulette for nearly 3 hours and left even. Something that NEVER happens. We ended up at the one and only (literally ONLY) pub in Paoli.

Paoli Pub (the one and only)

Finally rounded out my amazing weekend by helping decorate my grandparents Christmas tree, along with my mom and dad’s tree. This is a tradition we have kept for many years. I could not have asked for a better weekend with family and friends. I am extremely grateful for the people I have in my life right now. From my 84 and 85 year old grandparents to my two-year old nephew…they all mean the world to me!

I am extremely excited to get back to Paoli for Christmas in just over three weeks. Let it snow…let it snow…let it snow!!! 🙂

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The smell or turkey, homemade mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and much more is sneaking up on me as I count down the hours until my flight leaves for Indianapolis this afternoon. I am now just a short time away from being back in Indiana for Thanksgiving with my family. I am praying that the flight attendant strike for Spirit Airlines at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport does not cause any additional trouble to the schedule of my flight or anyone else. Luckily for me the strike is taking place at Terminal 4, which should not cause any additional issues. Thanksgiving Eve is the most traveled day in the United States annually and a flight attendant strike could cause added problems that travelers are not expecting. *The American Automobile Association projects that 42.5 million people will either drive, fly, or take the train to their Thanksgiving destinations, the largest number since the beginning of the recession. For more information on the strike, please visit – http://www.sun-sentinel.com

Getting back to Paoli, Indiana is not easy when you must fly in to either Indianapolis or Louisville, KY. I am grateful to have two amazing sisters that were both willing to scoop me for the two-hour hike to southern Indiana. Hoping for a little “travel luck” and I will be back home by 5:30pm this evening, more than likely sipping a frozen margarita at the local Mexican Restaurant on the town square (see picture below). I am extremely excited to spend a few days with my parents, sisters, brothers in law, grandparents, aunts, uncle and cousins. Living in Fort Lauderdale, I have to take advantage of the few days throughout the year I do get to spend with the family.

I am also sure a quick jaunt to the French Lick Resort & Casino will be in order. (http://www.frenchlick.com/gaming) My brother-in-law cannot pass up the opportunity to play a few quick hands of blackjack or throw the dice at the craps table.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Enjoy and cherish the time you do get to spend with your families.

 

The historical Paoli square, where I am hoping to visit the Mexican Restaurant this evening.

*Information provided by www.cbsnews.com

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As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, the Northwestern football team will look to finish an incredible year by defeating Illinois in Evanston next weekend. If it were not for 2 extremely close losses (Nebraska and Michigan) and a tough defeat at Penn State, the Wildcats could hypothetically be playing for a spot in the National Championship game. Unfortunately that is not the case but the Cats will be playing for an opportunity to compete in a very high-profile bowl game, possibly the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day.  If they were to venture to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl, I can ensure you I will be there supporting and cheering on our Wildcats! Let’s hope they can finish the season strong and end with one of the program’s best records in recent years.

The Northwestern Men’s Basketball team is off to a fast start, 2-0, defeating Texas Southern and Mississippi Valley State. They will look to maintain their undefeated record this week before heading to the South Padre Island Invitational over the holiday weekend. After a couple close calls the prior 2-3 years, the Wildcats will look to do what no other program in the history of Northwestern Basketball has accomplished…finally earn that inaugural birth to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I am confident that this is the year!

Please follow the Northwestern Men’s Football, Basketball, and many other sports teams at www.nusports.com.

Kain Colter continues to carry the Wildcats to one of their best seasons in recent years.
*photo courtesy of http://www.bloguin.com

 

You cannot say enough about Coach Fitzgerald and what he continues to do with the Northwestern Football team.
*photo courtesy of http://www.sippinonpurple.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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