5 Important Tips for a Team Road Trip

By: W. R. Widmer Jr.

For most of my life now I have played team sports that have required road trips in some shape or form. Since the start my collegiate career way back in 2010 for TCU’s Lacrosse team I’ve learned that long road trips are inevitable. Over the years as a player and now as a coach for Griz Lacrosse, I thought I would share some tips and tricks on how to make a team road trip easier.

Pack The Night Before

Personally, packing is not the most exciting part of a trip. Coaches demand that we be ready to go at a certain time (usually before the sun comes up). I have found that packing the night before prevents me from forgetting anything in those early morning hours when I am not thinking clearly. In addition, line your bags up at the door so you can have a smooth exit out of your apartment or dorm.

Carry Both Card and Cash

To get to a game you will have to travel though the middle of nowhere. And in the middle of nowhere often times you will find technological conveniences are nonexistent. It is crucial to have cash and not just a card on a road trip in case the store where you are trying to buy snacks is still stuck in the ‘50s. Being hungry on the bus is miserable.

Portable Chargers are Worth Their Weight in Gold

Missoula to Portland on a bus is anywhere from 8 to 12 hours depending on external factors. So even if you charge all your electronics the night before, you will run out of battery life on a haul like that. For $25 to $50 you can get a good quality portable charger that will keep your electronics charged and you blissfully entertained while the hours go by.

Bring Food and Drinks on The Bus

One of the reasons I pack and line up all my stuff the night before is to save time in the morning. With that extra time, I always run and grab food and coffee to bring on the bus. Doing this will save you money over the length of the trip, since prices in food vary from location to location. Additionally, you don’t always know when and where the team will stop for food, having your own will prevent any unforeseen problems.

Bring a Pillow is Key

This one is a little self-explanatory. Not all buses or cars have comfortable seats or headrests. In my case, the Griz Lacrosse team bus has some hard armrests. I always bring a pillow on bus trips. It not only makes the ride more comfortable, but I avoid dealing with hotel pillows that I am not used to.

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What Losing Friends Has Taught Me

By Gianna Pagano

My Sophomore year of college I met a girl and we instantly connected on so many levels. From that moment forward we became best friends and we were practically inseparable. We did everything together, and I literally mean everything. She was the person that I looked up to for advice on family, friendships, boyfriends, and even academics. Not only was she nice, but she was smart, loyal, spontaneous, hilarious, and most important, she always supported me whenever I needed her.

As we get older and mature into who we decide to become, we often grow out of friendships or lose touch with them. A lot of the times these falling outs can be completely unintentional. Whether we get busy with school, work, family, new relationships, or we simply just change, the truth is that this is just the reality of life. 

I’m sure many of you have experienced something similar, and you can relate that it isn’t easy. There was never an argument or a huge fight that ended our friendship, we simply had a falling out. The past few months have been extremely difficult for me, and I feel that both my friend and I have missed out on being there for each other for many important events.

Having a falling out with a close friend can be emotionally draining, so here are 5 recommendations that helped me and can help many others going through the same process:

Give yourself time to process your emotions and understand the situation

A breakup with a friend can be just as tough as a breakup with a significant other, and it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions. To cope with your emotions, start by giving yourself time to grieve and assess your feelings about the situation so you can come to terms with the reality of losing a friend. During grieving, ask yourself: Are our problems beyond repair? Did they do something unforgivable? What caused this to happen?

Since the breakup with my friend, I have experienced about every emotion possible. I initially tried to brush it off and pretend I did not care. However, as weeks turned into months, I realized I was genuinely hurt by the situation and I missed her. I experienced a range of emotions: jealousy, anger, disappointment, loneliness, and confusion. I cried, A LOT.

It is important to remember that it is okay to feel vulnerable during these situations. You might force yourself to hold in your emotions, but bottling up your feelings is not healthy and it is normal to cry it out. 

Look at the situation from their perspective

Everyone has flaws, even you. Try to be more self-aware and understand you might have been in the wrong too. If you both equally contributed to the falling out, then you cannot throw all the blame on them nor should you hold a grudge. It is better to ask yourself: Why did the friendship end? Should I have tried harder to maintain it? Remember, friendship is a two-way street and it takes two people to communicate.

You should take into consideration how they are feeling. When you lose a close friend, it is likely that they are also experiencing the same or similar emotions as you are. And guess what, she probably misses you just as much as you miss her.

Do NOT make your mutual friends choose a side

I cannot express this one enough. A good friend would NEVER try to put their other friends in an uncomfortable position by forcing them to take a side. This problem involves two people, and no one else. Your mutual friends might be hurting too because they’re conflicted and feel they now have to split their time. Making your friends choose a side will only cause more drama and could ultimately make you lose those friends too. 

When both of you are in the wrong, you must be mature and refrain from speaking negatively about them. In my situation, I know that the girl was and still is an amazing person, so I never could say anything bad about her. Talking crap to your mutual friends puts them in an even more difficult position, and frankly, it will make you look petty.

Make new friends

Moving on is never easy but making new friends can be when you put yourself out there. While you may think that no one will ever compare to your lost friend, surrounding yourself around different people can fill the void and offer you new friendship qualities. Evaluate which qualities you look for in a friendship, then find the courage to expose yourself to new people.

I used to struggle when it came to making friends, and when I was younger, I honestly did not have that many. After my falling out, I decided to put myself back out there because I was tired of feeling left out. I ended up meeting a few girls recently that welcomed me in with open arms and have since become people I could not imagine my life without.

And finally, reach out when you are ready

If you are as stubborn as I am, this will be the hardest part. This requires you to be the bigger person and to take initiative. If you realize that you still want them in your life, start by apologizing or reaching out. If the two of you are still unable to resolve your issues, then at least you know you did everything that you could.

I found myself reaching out many times during the first few months, but I eventually stopped because nothing was changing. We would agree that we both missed each other and wanted to resolve our issues, but after each time I reached out, I never heard from her again. It turned into a never-ending cycle and only caused me more pain. I finally had to accept that when she was ready, she would let me know. 

If the friendship was genuine, remember that this is only temporary. Eventually you will both come around and have the opportunity to discuss the situation, but for now it is going to take some distance. In the meantime, be patient, focus on yourself, and understand that sometimes people change.

Expectation is a Curse, Unless it Isn’t

How often in our lives do we find ourselves over analyzing or even mourning the circumstances in our lives after some situation or, more often, some person doesn’t live up to our expectations? Then again, how fantastic is it to be in the middle of a moment that so far exceeds anything you could have imagined that you almost have to pinch yourself to make sure it’s real? For what it’s worth, these are universal human experiences because we are all blessed and cursed with the ability to imagine what we want and then to desire that it comes into our lives.

Since it is a universal human experience, it probably means it’s also a necessary part of the human experience and one that has contributed to our evolution in one way or another. Without expectation of reward, positive or negative, why do any of us leave our houses in the morning and face the day? It is because we have expectations that the day offers something new and amazing, or that it will at least move our lives forward. Hope, after all, is just another name for positive expectation.

The dictionary says that expectation is both A) “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future” and B) “a belief that someone will or should achieve something.” I think this perfectly captures the dilemma of expectation. Expectation is a belief about the future and a belief is not necessarily a truth, nor does is guarantee an outcome. Expectations are sort of like goals, except that people rarely put effort into the creation of expectations. A goal is a decision injected with purposeful action, whereas an expectation is an idea mixed with varying levels of conviction. For the most part, goals are actively pursued and expectations are passively accepted.  

I believe that the way people understand and manage expectation is a defining factor, if not the defining factor, in the quality of their lives. Expectation can act as a guide, allowing us to move through the world with some evolving hope about what we may encounter in the world. Otherwise, expectation can become a liability when they are rigid and inflexible, eventually dragging us down into a fog of disappointment.

This topic has been at the forefront of my mind because I just experienced a wildly challenging period in my life. One in which I have felt my motivation, focus, energy, and self-worth drain out of me through the cracks that appeared in my well-being during this time. These cracks and the collateral damage they created in my life were all caused, in their essence, by my expectations. More accurately, it was my relationship to my expectations that lead to all this difficulty.

For the better part of a year, I have been grappling with various expectations that I let become a prison cell around my life. This time taught me a lot about how powerful expectations can be when they become too inflexible. One of the nefarious qualities of expectation is that when we commit to them too strongly, the doors of opportunity to anything else slam shut. For me, I had created a scenario in my life based on the assumption that when people say they feel a certain way, they will behave a certain way. As I read that sentence now, I see how ridiculous it is because I know it’s completely untrue. But I believed so overwhelmingly in what I felt and how I expected things to turn out that any reasonable perspective was completely lost.

Because of this, I pushed for things to be a certain way despite a horde of circumstances that absolutely required flexibility. I spent every day wanting things to be a certain way and then felt progressively worse as each day passed and what I expected never came to pass. This made every part of my life difficult, making me question my motivations, my abilities, everything. Needless to say, I don’t recommend letting this happen in your life.

If we allow expectations to exist with some lightness in our lives, free to evolve with changing circumstances, instead of hurting us, they can buoy us when things get tough. Strong, heavy expectations keep your focus in the future instead of in the present moment.

Here’s the challenge with adjusting your expectations: when someone says they have low expectations, what is your initial reaction? You probably react with concern, confusion, or pity. But this reaction is a mistake. Having low expectations is not the same as having low ambition. It also doesn’t mean a loss of faith in people. Instead, it means being ready to let people and situations unfold naturally without the need to push for particular outcome. I’m not saying people should stop expecting others to treat them with respect or fulfill their responsibilities, but if expectations get set of everything and everyone around us, whose fault is it when these expectations are not met?

The only person anyone can or should expect things from is themself. While this might sound sad, this is actually a good thing. First, others WILL show up for us, even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. If there is a time in life when it seems like no one is there or expectations won’t be met, turn to oneself to get through it becomes an incredibly powerful and transformational moment.

This blog post is just me scratching the surface of a pretty intense topic. Changing the way we manage expectations isn’t something that happens overnight. We have to shift our mindset and that should be done thoughtfully and at our own pace. But it’s definitely worth it.

For a more clinical breakdown of this topic, check out this link.

Written by Chris Jambor

Adulting 101

A·dult·ing:
Verb 

1. Being a responsible adult. Used by immature 20-somethings who are proud of themselves for paying a bill.

 

Technically, I am not “adulting” yet. But May 13th is approaching fairly quickly, and that is when I am SUPPOSED to (apparently) embark on this next chapter of my life. In order to prepare myself for this whole “adulting” thing, I asked some of my “adulting” friends to offer some advice for all those in my shoes. Here are the most important (and some hilarious) responses that I got:

ONE: “Junk food and beer make you fat”

But how do you adult without those?? Especially the beer… AMIRIGHT?!

TWO: “We’re all just pretending to know what the eff we’re doing.. no one reallyyyy knows”

OOOOH, thank god.. But can everyone stop pretending because you’re making me feel like shit?! Thanks.

THREE: “You will have to work 10 x harder than everyone around you in order to prove that you’re not just another millennial with a degree & a dream”

FOUR: “Marrying someone rich isn’t a bad idea”

I’ll never admit who said this… let’s just say she didn’t marry rich 😉

FIVE: A little disagreement among some adulters:

Adulter 1: “Don’t settle down until you know yourself”

Adulter 2: “Sort of agree but I think people focus a lot on feeling ready and I don’t think you ever have that completely ready feeling.”

OK, go with whichever one you like better. Adulter 2 is my sister sooo, I’ll go with her 😉

SIX: “Bills are real”

Some of us learned this in college, but if you didn’t. WARNING: bills are real and due every month… bummer!

SEVEN: “Having good credit is everything in adulthood”

Not really sure what this means, how to do this, or why it’s “everything” …

But one of my more “mature” adulters gave this piece of advice… so let’s make sure we have good credit people.

EIGHT: “Start saving for your 75-year-old self.”

Ok, this is boring, seems kinda lame, but I guess we’ll thank ourselves later.

NINE: Adulter 1: “Your fridge gets disgusting if you don’t wipe it down 1-2 times a                  month.”

Adulter 2 added: “Pay special attention to the veggie drawer. A lone zucchini left at the bottom can ruin your Sunday”

TEN: “Little things happen all the time and they add the f up. You can pretend you have your adult budget figured out but until you are knee deep in adulting, you have no clue how much it costs to adult.”

ELEVEN: “The dentist isn’t an option….”

I mean…. Was it ever an option? But ok, yes.. go to the dentist adults.

TWELVE: “You are going to turn 30 wayyy sooner than you think and for some reason at age 30 if you don’t have your shit figured out, you WILL go into panic mode… Be ready”

THIRTEEN: “Don’t ask too many people for their opinions. It gets too fuzzy. Trust your gut. Have two really close friends that you trust.”

FOURTEEN: “You are actually busier post college. I was excited to not juggle work and school. In reality, I had way more time for friends and hobbies when I was a student. Can’t explain why or how, but it’s true. Life only gets fuller and busier as ‘adulting’ takes over!”

Yikes….. not really what I wanted to hear. This is reality though, people.

FIFTEEN: “You can’t decide if you admire someone until you have had a peak into their whole world. If someone seems successful at work, look at their non work life. If they are living in a way you admire there too, then they are the type of person to look up to. If you spend your time admiring: Person A) because they are bad ass at their job and loaded or Person B) because they are at all of the school events and soccer games you’re going to feel like a failure in your own life you can’t do all of those things. Find people who have a work/life balance to look up to. They are the people who are truly successful.”

WOAH. Shit just got real. But some really solid advice!

SIXTEEN: “Just because you’re done with school, doesn’t mean you’re adulting”

PHEW!!!! That’s what I like to hear…. I’ll hold off on the adulting then.

Thanks to all the ADULTERS who contributed. You all are kicking ass. To those of you about to start adulting, good luck & let’s be bad ass adulters together!

Get Strong. Get Big. Ditch Broscience.

I have put in a great deal of effort researching and thinking about how to maximize the results I see from lifting while minimizing the time I spend in the gym. Like most people, I have many other things competing for my time and I like to see fast results. I am going to talk about a few pieces of misinformation commonly spread in the fitness community that could waste your time and effort. So, whether you are about to start your first lifting routine or have been a gym rat for years, here are a few ways to maximize the results and efficiency of your weight training.

Ditch the Bro Split

In a drug-free lifter, muscle protein synthesis is only elevated for 24 to 48 hours after being stimulated by exercise. This means that if you want to make the most of the time you spend in the gym and gain strength and size as quickly as possible, you should be working out all the muscles you want to grow every 48 hours. The all too popular “Bro Split” routines have a person hitting each muscle group once a week. These routines are not optimal for drug-free athletes because they will only induce muscle growth in each body part 2 days a week. Full body routines or upper/lower splits should be used instead.

Ditch Isolation Movements

Isolation exercises confine all movement to one joint (think bicep curls and calf raises) while compound lifts involve movement in multiple joints (think bench press and squats). Many bodybuilding routines rely heavily on the use of isolation exercises but this is not time and effort efficient. There is certainly a place for isolation exercises to target specific muscle weaknesses but the most effective workout routines are built on compound lifts. Not only do compound lifts save time by working out multiple muscles groups simultaneously, but they have also been shown to increase testosterone more effectively than isolation exercises.

Ditch the Pump

Many bros focus on maximizing the “pump” or temporary swelling of muscles due to an increase in blood volume. They don’t focus on progression and end up using the same weights workout after workout, week after week, and not making substantial gains. That is because, in drug-free lifters, the pump is not a driver of muscle growth or strength gain. What will result in substantial gains is progressive overload or the increase of work and intensity over time. This can mean lifting more weight, doing more sets, more reps, or taking shorter breaks between sets. In any case, making progress every week in each exercise is the best way for a drug-free lifter to make consistent strength and size gains.

Sample Workout

To give an example of what an efficient routine might look like, here is a sample full body workout that I might do every other day. It focuses on all the major muscle groups, can be completed in as little as 30 minutes, and offers major gains if used with the principle of progressive overload.

Bench Press        3 sets x 5-8 reps

Squat                   3 sets x 6-10 reps

Rack Pull             2-3 sets x 5-8 reps

Chin Up                3 sets x 6-10 reps

OHP                     3 sets x 5-8 reps