Things I Am Not For Halloween

…dressing up in anything provocative cute and going to a party.

…dressing up at all cute or not.

…Trick or treating or walking around in freezing cold weather.

….Consuming excess amounts of sugar and chocolate

…Going to a house party or the bars

Things I am doing? Daydreaming about excess amounts of chocolate, posting from my phone from another amazing hotel bed, and passing out on the bus ride home.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

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Throwback Thursday, Diving Edition

I started diving as a 13 year old, taking a break at 14, and coming back at 15. I turned 17 at my first Junior Nationals, and 18 at my last. In 2009 I made finals at my first Senior Nationals and have made appearances at Nationals on off since moving in Iowa in 2010. I’ve represented Iowa ever since, and I’ve actually reached my final college season.

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2008? Maybe?

A lot has changed since I started diving came to Iowa last year. Overall, I can’t imagine my life without diving. Even now as I sit in my hotel room in Minnesota, at a school where I thought one time was the place for me, it seems so strange to me that tomorrow is my last meet here. Outside of the physicality of diving itself, it has given me more things than I possibly could dreamed of for myself.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over Canada, the US, and various parts the world for diving and because of diving. I’ve lived in two of the greatest cities on the continent- Calgary and Iowa City no not biased at all.

I’ve met the greatest friends I will ever have, and will always have. The friendships I have created and developed through this sport will always be the greatest thing I ever received.

The diving community is a small community, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. We support each other, we all know each other, and we love each other.

I know I’ve been struggling to recap my Vietnam experience, because how do I put that into words? But…diving? When I retire, whenever that may be, it won’t even be an experience to write about. It will have been my life. Even now diving has been the last 8 years of my life- that’s not an experience to be recapped or summarized. It even seems funny to say as a blogger/writer, because I always want to go over things and relive them and experience the moments over and over again.

How would you summarize the last 8 years of your life?

This time your late night rant was brought to you by a five hour bus ride.

Four Things I Miss About Vietnam

I told you I’d get around to this one, but I didn’t anticipate the struggle. When starting this post I actually titled it “Top ____ Things I Miss…” because I figured I would start writing and see what I ended up with. Even after hitting publish on this post, I know there’s no way to quantify that experience. While I type this even, I’m Facebook messaging with one of my girls. We communicate now the same way we did then- lots of smiley faces.

What do I yearn for now that the weather is getting cooler and I’m losing my Vietnamese faster than I could imagine for how little I knew?

1. The Kids. I’m not even going to build up to the end of the post for dramatic purposes and say the kids at the end, because that would not do them justice. I miss how they ran up to the bus every morning when we showed up for school. I miss how they laughed at me when I tried to count to ten, and how complicated their version of rock paper scissors was. I miss how happy selfies made them, and how they cheered their hearts out for their teams on competition days. I miss giving constant piggy backs and trusting a ten year old to ride around with me on the back of their bike.

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2. My Co-Coaches. Linh (“Luten”) and Tut were my saviors the entire time. The saved my butt the very first first day, and blew me away every day after that. Tut never failed to have the kids laughing hysterically, and Linh always told me what to order when we ate street food so I didn’t die of spicy foods. I remember Linh telling me the rain always reminded him of romantic movies, and Tut sharing that he loved jazz music. I miss drawing on the chalkboard, and the kids teasing me endlessly for my lack of artistic talent compared to those two geniuses. I miss creating lesson plans even, and I miss how those two pushed me beyond my comfort zone as a teacher- letting me really engage with the students despite the communication barrier. I remember the three of us teasing each other, and then crying together on the last day. The only day they had difficulty translating what I had to say.

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Our puffy eyes giving away that this photo was taken on the last morning

3. Da Nang. Too vague of a heading? Not too concerned. I had never heard of Da Nang before this trip- Ho Chi Ming in the south and Hanoi in the north sure, but this city in central Vietnam is not to be missed if ever traveling in that part of the world. We were told from our Vietnamese coaches that Da Nang was where Vietnamese vacationed…good enough for us! While the Vietnamese tended to hit the beach around 6am to avoid the suns rays, we soaked up the sun on deserted beaches. We always felt safe wandering the streets. I miss the way people would come up to you in street just to say hello, and to ask where we were from. I miss the supermarket, and the fresh market. How dogs and children played in the street and how every hotel had a rooftop patio. I miss the more touristy towns, like Hoi An and Hue, but to Da Nang felt like home, for a few weeks at least.

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4. Being a Regular. I worked at Starbucks, I know how it is. The baristas knowing your drink without asking, the only conversation needed being about your day. We were regulars. Every single lunch hour, we hopped a block over and enjoyed the freshest coconut water you could possibly find. This man, whose name we learned was “Tum” was the goofiest Vietnamese guy we interacted with. He always knew we wanted our coconut water with ice, and would would fake pour vodka in every single time. We’d watch tv with his kids while he took a machete to the massive stack of coconuts out front. One time he asked me out to lunch (when we had a translator with us)- not sure how that would work out. After we went to a hair salon and Abby died her hair burgundy, he played with it for a solid five minutes before picking up his machete. Some days we didn’t even go for the 65 cent coconut water, but the non-verbal social hour that always ended with us giggling uncontrollably at his antics.

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Did I run out of things I miss? Not in the slightest. But did I run out of time because I have homework due at 9:30am? Yes. And I’m still not packed for the team going to Minnesota tomorrow soooo Part Two can be a work in progress :)

In the Swing of Things

So we’re nearing the end of October, midterms are long gone, and we’re starting to daydream about Thanksgiving break! Just to give you a little update on what’s been going in life…

One: I’ve been doing yoga- multiple times a week. My room mate just spent some time at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and came back with 2 DVD’s- Yoga for Divers with two different levels! They were made by an old team mate of mine and are amazing quality. I feel like as long as I keep up with it it will really benefit my training!

Two: I can’t stop taking selfies of my hair. I started wearing a cap in February, when my hair stopped growing and started turning white #chlorineprobs. Now after months are tender loving care my hair is LONG and I am OBSESSED. Remember this photo from this post? Yeah I didn’t take it for the post. I took it because my hair looked awesome

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Three: I’ve been asked to be the student speaker at the athletic department all-staff meeting in November. So I don’t have a lot of public speaking experience, but I’m REALLY excited. I’ve been asked to talk about experience at Iowa and the Coach for College program I did in Vietnam. I’ve started drafting speeches already, and thank god I started early because I am finding it IMPOSSIBLE. I have absolutely no idea how to summarize the last four and a half years of my life at Iowa, and no idea how to describe a month teaching in Vietnam. I need way more than 20 minutes- more like a lifetime and a couple photo albums.

Four: I have learned…that I am NOT the kind of blogger that should be blogging everyday. I work better with larger pieces that I afford to dedicate more time to, and I love including and editing media, doing a little promotion, and just giving each piece the attention I feel it deserves. I’m going to finish what I started, but hey. Worth a shot :)

Five: Three more blog posts in my self proclaimed Blogtober challenge, and I have to ask myself…did it work?

Well I’m definitely back in the swing of things in terms of life, and writing. But I don’t know if it was writing (almost) every day that did it, or just time passing by anyways. Maybe I didn’t need a challenge, or a goal, or a quota.

Maybe I just needed the time to pass.

Four Olympians inducted to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

For several summers in a row, I worked and volunteered at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. If you live in Calgary or the surrounding area, or are planning a trip to Calgary, I could not recommend the Sports Hall enough!

Team Canada - Official 2018 Olympic Team Website

On Wednesday, October 22, eight Canadians – four of them Olympians – were inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. 

The Olympians inducted were Horst Bulau, Pierre Harvey, Geraldine Heaney and Elizabeth Manley. Also joining the Hall are pioneer freeskier Sarah Burke, rugby legend Gareth Rees, and former basketball coaches Tim Frick (national women’s wheelchair team) and Kathy Shields (senior women’s national team).

Here is a look at the Olympians – Bulau, Harvey, Heaney and Manley:

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Something Important is Missing Here…

So I’ve been blogging pretty consistent for the past few weeks here, and if you’re a regular lauren elyse CAN reader you’ll have noticed a certain, lack of something. My favorite things.

Where’s the food at?

It’s an important question and a constant thought in my daily internal dialogue. But in all seriousness some of my favorite things in the world are eating, cooking, baking , meal prepping, blogging recipes, food in general, etc… and it’s been lacking on the blog of as late.

Well folks there’s actually a reason for that. Due to some of the deregulation of many NCAA rules over the summer, athletic departments all over the country can provide more meals for their student-athletes. So basically when I’m done with morning weights I can grab breakfast and lunch for the day. On my way to class in the morning I can swing by my campus student-athlete service center and pick something up too. There are two convenient grab and go refueling stations now on campus, and they’ve been an absolute lifesaver. Other side effects?

  1. I’m eating healthier. Instead of packing two granola bars and a peanut butter and jelly, I can grab a salad with chicken, fresh berries, and almonds. The availability of fresh fruits of veggies has been amazing. Even healthy choices like string cheese, Greek yogurts, and natural almonds are available which is better than my grabbing a latte or some type of energy bar from the gas station.
  2. I’m saving money. I haven’t bought food for lunches in nearly a month. I’m also not throwing out food that goes bad in my fridge, which was normally the tail end of fruits or veggies. Healthy dinners I can pick up on the way home from a refueling station or make do with what I have already in the pantry.
  3. I’m not blogging recipes. The downside to grab and go food :( I do actually really miss cooking. Once winter sets in too I’m sure I’ll want to create some of my own things, like hot meals and crock pot dinners! I still have a stew recipe that’s been sitting my drafts forever, and now I’ve finally accepted fall is here and upon us and I can’t get away from it I’ll probably want to get into an autumn mood by cooking :)

Let me know what you’ve missed! Baking? Meal prepping? Breakfast, second breakfast, lunches, dinners, desserts?