What I’ve Learned From 4 Months Of Diehard Mariners Baseball Fandom

Although there are endless wonderful things to do in Seattle to be a diehard fan about, one recent development is my four month (or could be more than that?) relationship with America’s pastime (does anyone see the sarcasm in this name for baseball?). Living in Seattle my whole life means automatically you are a Seattle Mariners fan. Well you like to make people think that. Still, even back in 2014 when I was dating a diehard baseball fan, I still had not embraced fully the “true to the blue” motto that I was surrounded by on a daily basis ( Yes, I have spent a Friday evening watching a single game in sweltering evening sun, but tell you that would take away from the atmosphere I am trying to get you to envision. So ignore that post).

In the four months of summer, I decided to not only punch out a four part series on baseball as the road to God (I know you are sick of me typing this out again, so this is the last time 😉 ), signing up for a 5K that let you run inside the ball park, and buying not one ticket, but a few, I dived navy blue ball cap- first into the apparent heartbreaking nightmare that is the Seattle Mariners. Yep I said that! I attended games at T-Mobile Park, streamed the games online, had the scores posted to my home-screen on my Galaxy phone, bought the ridiculously priced apparel- you know the drill right?

In fact I went so far as to venture out to some guy I knew who was a diehard fan to go to a game with me (boy did that turn out to be a three strikes out moment!). Still I found my grandma would be proud of me if she knew I went to a baseball game with a bunch of girls who liked baseball and still could sit through all nine innings. Even with trying to pray- praying hard- for the Mariners to win more than a few games, I still found the whole experience be a fabulous time (beer may have been involved) to do something old school American. Since we have reached the end of the season, I hold my steadfast commitment to “staying true to the blue.” For now.

Through the months of diehard (sorta) Mariner baseball fandom, I’ve learned quite a bit:

Those Baseball Sayings:

There are a ridiculous number of terms for various things in baseball that can be hilarious when you put them into everyday terms. Case in point;

Or is just me? When I really think about, dating is like a game of baseball and the terms above can be applied to the whole process. Take “home run” has many versions of meaning the same thing; “dinger, ” and “fat bomb” Just imagine during a baseball game, a date turns to you with a zinger of “playing hardball” with my heart. Let along the other variations of home run! Okay I will leave it right there.

Pitchers vs. Cows in Bullpens:

There is a sizable chance cattle would do a savvier job at maintaining a team’s lead than many of the pitchers paid millions to throw a ball come waltzing out of the bullpens. Mariners may no longer have ‘King” Felix anymore, but jeeze what the hell was that pitch? Same goes for batters, if someone pays you $330 million to hit a baseball, it’s advisable that you do so.

Image result for cows on baseball
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Baseball Pants and… I lost train of thought:

I have this thing for a particular third baseman on the team

Since the Mariners franchise went in and cleaned up the roster, there has been some really nice new players to watch. I realized I should have held on to that dream I had in high school of marrying someone who gets paid $450 million (or in Kyle Seager’s case $19.5 million) to play a child’s game.

Also those baseball pants don’t hurt either! I think from this day forward I rather take a guy in baseball pants then skinny jeans any days.

Baseball Hall of Fame:

…is by far better than watching any entertainment award show. Plus when the new inductees this year had a Mariners player, it got even better! Just like how Seattle celebrated the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, so did all the fans celebrate Edgar Martinez getting the much deserve Hall of Fame status.

Always fashionable in the stands:

I don’t know, but donning a baseball cap, sunglasses, team shirt, blue jeans, and sneakers never goes out of style-ever. Well for girls is does not. No matter what body shape someone is, everyone looks good in the team jersey or shirt. Look up baseball outfits on Pinterest and you will see what I mean.

mean look at those smiles!

Maybe next year I can move on to being a diehard Tacoma Rainer’s fan? After all that is the Mariner’s minor league peeps are at! As every Mariners fan keeps saying “keep up the fight.” (Now I’m going to put away my Mariners shirt with my summer stuff).

Tanzania Two Years Later: What I Have Learned

In spirit of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit to Africa in the next few weeks, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what I have learned two years later from my own trip to the African nation Tanzania.

Every so often there will be a spike in views of the Tanzania posts from over two years ago. It seems like it was a lifetime ago when I look back on how much life has changed since I touched down on African soil. From the moment I touched down in both Ethiopia and Tanzania in the spring of 2017, a massive paradigm shift happened, and long after I came back a few weeks later. This paradigm shift changed a lot of the way I live my life today, and the way I see my contribution to the scientific community. I will never forget the people I met while working with Convoy of Hope in the Arusha and north part of Tanzania. Each one left a lasting imprint on me, and the lessons they taught.

Changes Perspective About Life Going Forward:

Travel has the ability to change how you view your life and how the life you still have left could be lived. Seeing first hand how someone else lives their life, and how your life impacts the outcome of this person’s life. Living in the western world, the life I have taken advantage is not the norm around the world (Call it being naive back then. No longer naive anymore.).

Vaccines and Basic medical care are a luxury few people can afford without help:

Vaccines are a luxury to many people living in areas where disease is ramped and the cost it take for an individual to get the basic medical needs is even more heartbreaking. Many children around the world do not even have the option to get vaccines that could save their lives and some who do survive into adulthood will live with disabilities from complications from the disease. When you are boots on the ground and see mothers lining up outside a clinic in hope of being lucky to get their children the basic medical needs taken care of, you realize not to take for granted the ability to have access of basic medical care.

Made Me A Better Scientist:

There is a picture on my desk at work of smiling children I met while helping out with Convoy of Hope’s nutrition program. These smiling faces are my motivators to reach for the impossible and make it possible for them to one day not see malaria, cancer or even Ebola no longer in their communities. Science can be seen as one of the seven dangers to human virtue- science without humanity. Since my trip I look at what I do everyday in the lab differently and bring human element to it. No longer treat my work as a means to and end for someone’s own gain, but as a gain for everyone on this earth. The best scientists are the ones who take the time to get down in the trenches- away from the lab bench- with those who’s lives will benefit or affect on the discoveries made in the lab.

Puts Global Health Into Perspective and Environmental Issues Impact us all

What is global health? When in East Africa I found global health is not about the basic medical or disease state of the area, but the health of the people, communities and the environment as one. Most communities is Africa have at least one environmental issue affecting the health of the people living in the area. I will never forget seeing the huge mounds of trash piled near bodies of water around Arusha, children and animals drinking polluted water from the same source. Also how hard it is to find inexpensive ways to get the critical medical supplies to remote areas of the African safari without compromising the effectiveness.

Met Other Christians and Others With Different Faiths:

While over in Tanzania, I volunteered with Convoy of Hope- a global Christian aid organization- that truly practice “love your neighbor as you would yourself.” Did not matter if the community Convoy of Hope was helping was Christian or not, Convoy still helped them out. In those community, there were a diversity of Christian faiths that made hearing about their faith, is and will be still the best interactions I had there.

We Are All Humans with a common thread that links us all

While sitting with a group of Masai women on the village asking each one of us questions about life as women, it occurred to me how little differences we have. No matter where in the world each of us lives, we all want the same things for ourselves, our children, our neighbors and the country we call home. We are truly all humans with a common thread that links us all together.

Culture is beautiful, and happiness is a state of mind

I believe happiness is a state of mind, and the people I met while in Africa taught me the simple lesson of this. Sitting on a street corner in Arusha eating BBQ chicken listening to the last call to prayer from the local mosque, was true happiness with a dose of real culture. For a moment in time I was enveloped by beautiful humble heart people who taught me their cultural heritage of no worries friend means no worries in life.

Which leads me to….

Rafiki Hakuna Wasirvasi (Friend no worries) is missing from our Western society

There is nothing Lion King about this phrase. Before, I lived in a world of constant worries about life, future, other people, etc. When I spent sometime in the vastness of north part of Tanzania and Ethiopia, it felt as if time had slowed down to a relaxing pace. My worries melted away and the people I met along the way treated me as a friend. Worrying about the small stuff is not a way to live or love the people around you. This concept I am still learning everyday while going through my daily life.

I could go on about all the wonderful lessons learned. Yet it would be hard to give full justice to all of them in a single blog post. Traveling outside our own countries gives us all lessons to bring back home and use in our lives. Gives us an experience even Instagram cannot capture fully.


Beauty of The Skyhomish River

Early crisp clear mornings, when summer starts to fade into autumn and all around nature is still waiting for the sun to rise. These are the moments I live for, the moments when the quiet sound of nature waking up for a new day. Here near the shore of the river is where life takes a pause, a breath, and a reflection.

Funny how in the constant movement of our lives, we forget to bring ourselves back to a peaceful state. A state of peace we search for in our busy lives, but never seem to find within ourselves. The state of peace for me has always been fishing. It does not matter if I caught anything or not. It is more about being in the present moment of peace within nature-within the energy of flowing water.

With the autumn season, the stillness of a crisp mornings and evenings along the Skyhomish River only magnifies how beautiful nature is if choose to pause for a moment in time to soak it all in.

A beautiful morning on a river bank…..

Skyhomish River-Monroe WA

Commit To Being Healthy| 200 Days of Becoming Healthy Version of Me

At the beginning of the year I had this goal about my health and fitness. It first started as a diet goal of being on Whole30 for at least 90 days. Turns out instead of being on a “diet,” I refocused on being committed to being healthy for 200 days leading up to the Refuse To Abuse 5k. Now after 200 days of this goal, I thought it was time for an update and overview of how I felt throughout the whole process. No, I haven’t loss the weight I thought by the end. In fact, I’ve gained some, but I think it’s important to share what I’m going through so others who are going through similar things can feel encouraged to keep striving toward their goal. First- I will not be sharing comparison pictures because as one blogger pointed out, a picture does not do justice to how a person feels about their results. To base how healthy a person is by how they look you will miss the real important aspect of being healthy is. Second- I am still continuing on this goal for the rest of the year, just not documenting it every month from this point onward. Third- it is never too late to start being committed to being healthy! Just start today! Okay lets get on with the recap!

Recap

The two-hundred days of this goal started January 2nd to July 20th.

How Was I Successful?

I finished the 5K in 45 minutes! Also I have a better understanding of the definition of being healthy is for me. Even if I did not loose weight I had planned to, I was still successful in figuring out what healthy lifestyle moving forward in my thirties.

Finished my 5K and added this new bling to my collection!

What Didn’t Go So Well?

Having accesses to unhealthy food at work. There was always temptations flouting around at work when it came to food. It seemed there was always some catered event, leftover pizza in the break room and the office candy bowl. I know if a fact I’m a stress eater, and anything chocolate is my weakness. The first 90 days on the Whole30 was brutal when Kit-Kats are staring at you and all you want is to eat all the Kit-Kats by the end of a stressful day. Also the food truck rotation didn’t help much either when someone in the office kept stealing your lunch ( who steals salad?).

What Could I Have Done Differently?

We all wish stress could magically disappear when we are trying to improve our health. If I could go back over the last 200 days, I would change how I managed all the stress. In a few of the posts on this goal I noticed there was a pattern of stress needing to be dealt with. I could have added more self-care time to my week to manage all the stress from a job that was too demanding at times (boss emails you Saturday night about work the following week!). Also working more on the mental health side of the equation than just the physical side. I focused more on the physical aspect than the inner mental aspect which could have contribute to unnecessary food issues.

How Do I Feeling?

Runner’s high is one hell of a feeling! I feel better about myself for completing this one goal of committed to being healthier version of myself for 200 days. I feel whole lot better physically and mentally than I have in a long time. There is this optimism present in my life right now even when current issues with stress from major events happening while doing this. The Whole30 is known for the non-scale victories of clearer thinking and more optimistic outlook after being on it for more than thirty days. Its like a runner’s high!

What Motivated Me?

Motivated by crossing the finish line at a 5K is what motivated me to do this. After all it had been a few years since I ran my first (and probably only) half-marathon. Taking up running again after a few years off had it’s challenges, and training for a 5K was a good starting point to get healthy again. Another factor motivating me was the fact I had for some time had an unhealthy relationship with food and yo-yo dieting kept me in a cycle of self-hating which took a form of doing Whole30s at the beginning of the year only to fall off the healthy train after completing them. By combining the two, it helped me stay on track.

Non Scale Victories

  • Falling asleep more easily and staying asleep.
  • Healthier gums and whiter teeth (Dentist noticed this at my last check up).
  • More optimistic, laugh more, and more outgoing in social situations.
  • Recover more effectively from exercise.
  • Outside more often.
  • Need less caffeine to get me up in the morning.
  • Healthier relationship with food.
  • Hit a new personal best in running and in healthy eating.
  • Fewer blemishes, longer stronger nails and thicker hair.
  • Less bloating after eating.
  • Became more consistent in moving and exercise throughout the day.
  • Drank more water throughout the day.
  • Improved performance at work.

Need To Improve On- Non Scale Victories

  • Not using food as: comfort, reward or as stress management.
  • Handle stress and anxiety better.
  • Improvement in mental health.
  • More defined muscle tone and leaner appearance.
  • Not getting cranky when I haven’t eaten in awhile.
  • Longer mile hikes without legs giving out.

I Give Myself 4/5   Stars

As you can see, even after seven months in on my goal I still have some improvements to make. Being committed to being a healthy version of myself takes time, patience and constant improvement daily to stay healthy. As I said above, this goal is not done with me crossing the finish line of my 5K, but keep striving to improve further until the end of the year. One thing I have learned is being healthy is a lifestyle change that you have to make an effort to make changes on the daily. Being committed to being healthy is one large goal with many mini goals needed to reach the target goal. Either way, diet alone does not get you there, but a combination of diet, exercise, and self-care helps to get there in the end. To all my reader who followed along, thank you for the support as I document this journey to crossing the finish line at Refuse to Abuse 5K!

Cheers to a well done goal!

Blog Posts In This Series:

30 Days Whole30 60 Days Whole30 90 Days Becoming Healthy 120 Days Becoming Health 150 Days Becoming Healthy 180 Days Becoming Healthy 20 Days Before Race Day

Running The Bases| Refuse To Abuse 5K

What does a person do on a beautiful sunny morning in Seattle? They get up early to run 3.1 miles around a baseball stadium. This past Saturday I participated in Refuse to Abuse 5k at T-Mobile Park. The race benefited the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), a non-profit that seeks to end domestic violence through advocacy and action for social change. This advocacy towards ending domestic violence is close to my heart since I am a survivor of dating violence and as of today eight years later, I am thriving in a life I could never have imagine if I didn’t get out of that relationship. For a few years I have wanted to participate in this run, but it was not until this past March I could finally do it. Yes I did the whole thing by myself with my mom at the finish line cheering me on.

Sooo… I got up at an early hour to make my way to T-Mobile Park for the fun 5K race. For the past few months I have been training for this moment, and the day had come to see if it worked.

I started out some how in the section where all the walkers were instead of the joggers. By the end of the 3.1 miles I came into the finish line running my hear out. YEP!

I did do mostly power walking through most of the course, but there were times where I jogged a bit to make up for lost time. At one point I jogged-more like ride jogged- down the ramps from the top deck to the players tunnel. A part of the course ran through areas normally restricted to to the public like the tunnels below the stadium where all the player locker rooms, Mariner offices and operations are all located. I even saw people handling player uniforms before the game that night!

I did same most of my energy for running across the warning track towards the third base line where the finish line was. I think some people where a little muffed by my full on speed past them, but who cares I wanted to run the bases from home plate to third ( I know backwards!). Just having your name announced as you cross the finish line like done at the beginning of a game was to awesome for words.

I’m the one in the background!

After coming across the line, I strolled towards the bullpens to collect my prize, a medal to commemorate what I had just done. Having my mom waiting to cheer me after finishing was my “grand slam” and me finishing was my “home run” after all those years of healing.

Runner’s high was real!!!

I finished my 5K at 45 minutes and 10 seconds! A little bit slower than my last, but this time I stopped to take it all in.

Seeing T-Mobile Park all lit up by morning sunshine so early in the morning is a breath taking sight to behold, and as one person has said to me, magical-majestic. Time truly holds still in that moment.

Seats At First Base| Night At A Mariner’s Game

Weekend of July 20th was a very busy weekend not only for the Refuse to Abuse Mariner’s Care 5K, but the weekend where all baseball fans turn their attention to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame inductees. This year the Mariner’s own Edgar Martinez was inducted into the class of 2019. For both Saturday and Sunday the Mariners celebrated this monument milestone with Funko Pop heads of Martinez, replicate plaques and a live streaming of the event to all fans in the ballpark before the afternoon game on Sunday. Oh how exciting to be a part of history-baseball history.

The game on July 20th was against the LA Angles (yep saw them in June) and this was the night to celebrate not only getting a free collectable Funko Pop of Martinez, but to celebrate all the hard work leading up to me crossing the finish line earlier in the day at the Refuse to Abuse 5K (more on it later this week). Originally I was going to go with a friend, but the friend ended up bailing on me last two weeks before show time. In the end I found someone else to go with me in the end. Hence my Dad enjoying a beer, Mariner dog and watching baseball live in action.

The Funko Pop up figuring was handed out to the first 20,000 fans entering the stadium. At one point while walking to our seats, a guy bought (yes bought) one of the Funko Pops off us for $20. I still cannot believe that happened to us! Apparently theses Funkos’ will be worth some money on the eBay market once Edgar Martinez is established in the hall of fame.

Edgar Martinez

Our seats this time were the best! I had picked them out back in May after the discount tickets were available from Refuse to Abuse 5K. The seats were along the first base line, and had a great view of the action. Throughout the game, there were so many foul balls flying into our section and at one point a person in the first row did get hit pretty hard by a foul ball. The kicker, those where my original seats before Ticketmaster timed me out for taking so long to pay! I could have ended up with a ball!!

There were a good few people who were Angles fans sitting near us. At one point there were some crazy comments going on around us over one of the players on the Angles team. Mike Trout is the name. At one point a few of the Mariner’s fans started to call him “salmon” as if something funny. There were three Angles fans with jerseys with Mike Trout’s name on them sitting in front of us.

There were a lot of crazy moments in the game, and a few moments where you could not believe you just witnessed some funny thing a player did. I have always loved baseball when it is not being serious all the time, but has some humor to it. I even got to see my favorite third baseman Kyle Seager. Man I love baseball pants!

At the beginning of the 9th inning, it was time to start making our way home before the large crowds started. At this point the game was a tie with 2-2 since 4th inning. When I got home, the score had changed to 2-6 with the Angles beating the Mariners. At least the game was good and not watching a team loose without a fight.

As you read this, by the beginning of the coming week, another Mariner player will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Maybe one day the Mariners will make it to the World Series. There is always next year!