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Archive for the ‘College Life’ Category

When you think of 15 people traveling over 900 miles anywhere, what comes to mind? Now picture 15 college students, traveling over 900 miles to southern California..for spring break! Young and ambitious, we were looking for the time of our lives and when the SoCal coast presented itself, Dana Point became our destination of choice!

As Thursday evening approached, three cars full of amped Boise State students left Boise, drove throughout the night and didn’t look back. After passing through parts of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada and experiencing every type of climate possible we had arrived in southern California, where life is, beautiful! Naturally, prior to arriving at the beach house, we made a stop at Ralph’s; purchasing abundances of pasta, eggs, chicken, taco ingredients and wide varieties of drinks, which would be enough to feed our massive group.

Through the gated entrance and between palm trees we arrived at our beach front vacation home. Like a flood, everyone flew out of the cars and into the house to admire the beautiful home, attempt to claim a bed and admire the coast as the sand came up to the porch, as if the beach was our backyard. By connecting the iPod to the stereo and cracking open the first aluminum can, the spring break week had officially begun.

Bathing suits and towels flew out of suitcases faster than you could say, “beach front tanning”. Throughout the week, the weather was 65-70 degrees, sunny and clear skies. Given that we had been cooped up inside for months in Boise, we were nothing short of pale skinned. Therefore, slight to major burning took place, but not without smiles from ear to ear and happiness that said “this is livin” to accompany the newly acquired tomato look.

When we weren’t soaking up the rays, running along the beach and swimming in the ocean, we made the most out of our trip by taking day trips around southern California. For those who hadn’t previously made it to the happiest place on earth, a trip to Disneyland was a prime bucket list item. With sincere excitement and the opportunity to live the life of a 6 year old, the rides, parade and fireworks made for Disney filled memories.

Another day trip took us to “Saunt Tiago” as the great Bryan Vlok would say. San Diego gave us a taste of the life we all wanted to live. After drooling over a cruise ship the size of a city (that we plan on taking next spring break) we stopped at a delicious mexican restaurant for dinner. As the sun set and the stars came out we noticed the jaw dropping Coronado bridge in the distance. Beautiful in its size and construction we crossed over the water and drove around the secluded island of Mission Beach. While we will return for the night scene once everyone turns 21, the evening festivities took the crew back to Dana Point.

While San Diego couldn’t provide us with a night scene, don’t think we didn’t find a simple solution! Popular in the area were 18 and over clubs and we took full advantage of two local hot spots. The first evening took us to a gay bar by the name of Club Velvet. While a fraction of the group was a bit skeptical at first, they would have regretted not having made the trip. After cramming 13 of us into a Mercedes R300 (three in the front, six in the middle, three in the back and one in the trunk) and raving for 30 miles we had arrived. The night was full of laughing, dancing and karaoke as we made the party our own. Whether certain individuals (Ross) were getting ferociously hit on, ladies were making out with random celebrities (Sydney) or brilliance was taking place on stage through karaoke, we have pictures, videos and memories of Club Velvet that we will always treasure.

On the second night out we made our way to Incahoots in Orange County for country night. To say the least, if you didn’t bring your “A” game and your dancing shoes, it would be tough to keep up. The massive dance floor was occupied shoulder to shoulder for the entire night for synchronized country dancing. Each song played had its own dance; if you knew it you looked like a champ and if you didn’t (like all of us) you attempted to keep up. With a little Idaho country swag we were dancing like it was our job. By the end of the night we were completely exhausted and soaked in sweat. Thank you Toby Keith, Red Solo Cup made country folk out of us!

After days of soaking up the southern California sun, endless late nights of raging, group dinners and day trips, we have all made long-lasting memories and life long friends. The next time you’re thinking twice about taking a 900 mile road trip with 15 people, it should without question be a YES! You never know the wonderful people you’ll meet and the time you’ll share together. Live everyday to its fullest, it’s just more fun that way!

On a final note, be aggressive, find your mystery noddle and love life!

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The word pelada means “naked” in Portuguese, but in Brazil, it also refers to a pickup soccer game. In Trinidad, such games are known as “taking a sweat.” No matter what they’re called, they’re played all over the world—down alleyways, on rooftops, in backyards and prison yards and anywhere else that can serve as a field. For every impromptu match documentary filmmakers Luke Boughen and Gwendolyn Oxenham joined on their journey around the world, they remind us, millions more more were taking place.

Both passionate college soccer stars, Boughen and Oxenham (who also played professionally in Brazil in 2005) set off to discover the meaning the game has for its enthusiasts around the globe. Whether in an open field, in the street or on the beach, from South America to Africa to the Middle and Far East, they found men, women and children alike living, breathing and playing soccer. The game proved a universal language through which the filmmakers (aided by their behind-the-scenes colleagues, Rebekah Fergusson and Ryan White) were able to communicate with their subjects even when no words were exchanged. While they played, they learned about their teammates’ lives and the importance of soccer to the structure of their communities.

Ultimately, Pelada reminds us that play, for adults as well as kids, is the common denominator of cultures that differ in every other respect. Just as they can set up a field and kick the soccer ball, so citizens of the world can learn to respect and understand the game and one another.

—Gigi Haycock

Boise State University, through the help of the Volunteer Service Board (VSB), Student Union Building (SUB) and Boise State Rec Center not only showed us the divine sport of soccer through the inspirational Pelada documentary, but also allowed soccer enthusiasts to come together and play in an indoor tournament to show what “Pelada” meant to them.

Luke Boughen, world traveler, futsal fanatic, and Notre Dame superstar, through the help of Joshua Haines and the VSB, brought the charity indoor soccer tournament to our beloved city of Boise. Not only was Luke able to tell us about the endless experience, knowledge and insight he’d gained from traveling around the world, but it also gave us the opportunity to share with him a little history in regards to the local Boise culture and community. Boise natives and students educated Luke about the Basque community, growing Bosnian and Serbian communities and refugees to name a few that have made Boise, Idaho the wonderful place it is today, even more so as it relates to soccer.

A unique touch to the charity soccer tournament was the entry fee to play. Each team of four either had to pay $10 or (preferably) bring a new soccer ball. The soccer balls were given to local Boise refugee families. The tournament brought 16 teams, 64 players, donating several hundred dollars to charity as well as over 20 soccer balls which were distributed accordingly.

The beautiful thing about the game of soccer is its international flare, respect and appeal. While sports like basketball and baseball at universities bring a majority of local players, or at least individuals born and raised in the United States, soccer brings people from around the world. The tournament represented players from Africa, Bosnia, Serbia, Spain, England, Saudi Arabia, Peru and Mexico, all playing for the love of the game and bringing their own special touch and finesse from where they grew up.

Luke and his wonderful documentary make each and every one of us feel that slight tingle in our feet, passion in our hearts and true love for the game! It has been an honor and privilege to have such an influential individual come to Boise State University and give us a new perspective through the game of soccer.

For the complete photo album click the link Pelada Indoor Tournament Photos

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Fashion can be lightly defined as a current popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. So unless gray sweatpants have become a current popular style, then please, don’t wear them as if they are. In all honesty, I don’t think wearing them can ever be defined as any type of fashion statement. Its the persona of an athlete so to speak, to believe that they’re superior to others in the sense that they don’t have to dress unto a standard. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand sweat pants in the house, at the gym and on lengthy roadtrips, but when one struts their stuff for the remainder of the day, that’s more or less pathetic. But but but, I just got done with practice; sorry, that’s not an excuse! What tickles my humor buds are those who feel accomplished by wearing a pair of jeans, congratulations, you’re like the rest of the world!

The following are reasons in which sweatpants are entirely unnecessary and why there shouldn’t be an exception for those who wear them:

  1. Time: It takes just as long to put on a pair of jeans as it does to put on a pair of sweatpants. I don’t care if you bought your jeans too skinny or your donk makes it difficult to slide them on – that’s simply a personal purchasing issue.
  2. Superiority: You’re no better than anyone else for wearing them. Just because your sweatpants say the sport in which you play doesn’t put you on a pedestal. From personal experience, as one who was once a Division I athlete, it not only makes you look lazy but it puts an image in individuals minds about how a specific sport carries themselves.
  3. Yum: If you believe, even for a moment that you’re going to be picking up your barbie or ken while wearing sweatpants you better think again. Quoted by a classmate of an athlete when they finally wore a pair of jeans, “Wow, I didn’t even know you owned a pair of regular people clothing!” Yikes, really, is that who you want to be portrayed as, the athlete who dresses “down” everyday?
  4. Hard-work: A common excuse, which consistently makes me laugh, is that athletes strongly believe they work harder than others. That based on their hours in the gym, on the court, on the field, etc. that they “deserve” to wear sweatpants. Well I’m sorry to bring it to your attention, but your lives aren’t harder than anyone else’s. For example, athletes practice an average of 20 hours per week based on NCAA rules. A large percentage of full-time students are working a minimum of 20 hours per week as well, for at least one employer. Oddly enough, these “non-athletes” still find time in their day to dress well, what a concept!
  5. Cold: Yes, it’s cold outside, but what makes one believe that jeans or dress pants can’t solve this issue – if you’re really cold, put a pair of long johns underneath them.
  6. Gym: Sweatpants, or an entire sweatsuit for that matter symbolize that you just got done working out. Is that what you want? People looking at you thinking “Did they just get done working out? Why are they still wearing their gym attire?” Some of the best advice I ever received was to always look professional, you never know who you’re going to see or meet.

That said, not every athlete dumbs down their everyday attire by wearing sweatpants, but a large percentage do and it’s like looking straight into the sun; it becomes uncomfortable, forcing some type of squinting behavior until its unbearable making one immediately look away. A pair of jeans, that’s all I ask, and hey, you might even receive a compliment based on the way you presented yourself that day (I highly doubt your sweatpants have received similar, positive compliments).

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Many don’t know the history behind Halloween, whether this is of interest to you or not, let the History Channel throw an ounce of opinionated insight your way. While the history of Halloween is important to about 1% of the population and .001% of the college demographic, 99.999% humor annually over unique costumes or what one may call an outfit. For that reason, follow me on an adventure through the 21st century and how college students have redefined Halloween.

Whether you get excited to run up and down neighborhood’s for goodies because you’re in elementary school, dress up in a frisky catwoman outfit because you’re in college, or hand out candy to little kids as an adult, there are three common themes that outline Halloween:

  1. Getting candy: It doesn’t seem to matter how old you are, everyone wants their sweets in one way of another. Little kids delight in the opportunity to get their yearly fix of candy, college students get their annual consumption by showing off their goodies, and adults enjoy this evening both by handing out candy and by going through past photos that epitomize their “glory days”.
  2. Breaking away: As a child, parents rarely ever allowed you to eat candy on a regular basis. Halloween on the other hand allows the worst stomach aches to come to fruition through endless consumption of sweet sugar coated delights. Equally, as a child or young teenager, parents had strict guidelines as to what costume you wore for Halloween. Now, as an “adult” the ability to make your own choices has spawned the realization that one can dress however they desire. From the refrained outfits to the cleavage bearing costumes, Oct. 31st has become a “people watchers” paradise. And for parents, well, you can hold your younger children to a standard, but for your college children, you can merely hope their photo isn’t absurdly scandalous when it pops up on Facebook.
  3. Passing out late: After hours and hours of door to door candy trips and pounds of candy creating a temporary sugar high, children and parents are finally falling asleep in the early morning hours. For college students, there’s a slightly different take to passing out. A regular night out or a house party has the potential for someone to drink far too much, pass out on the couch and wake up the following morning with a terrible hangover. But what makes Halloween SO much better are the morning afters. Yes, watching someone try to stay composed after 10 beers, 3 AMFs and 8 purple vikings can be quite humorous, but its the following morning that makes for priceless memories. Waking up, in the same skimpy outfit from the night prior is a hysterical sight (especially if you’re coherent the following morning) when your floor is covered by bodies that resemble pop stars, television actors and a plethora of other sleazy costumes. Something I’ve yet to see is a college student wake up last minute (especially with Halloween being on a Monday this year) fully outfitted and slightly hungover for class – now there’s something I would pay to see!

Halloween has taken a 180 degree turn since the 8th century. People continue to dress up (or dress down for that matter) to compete for the most outrageous costume, epitomizing scandalous behavior and naughty intentions. Yes, Halloween makes people a little crazy but it only happens for one night of the year. Therefore, enjoy your outfits and skewed personalities for one night, personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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No freaking way, is he really doing that…in public?

A sublime, transcendent and pleasing feeling consumes me – I feel as if thousands of eyes are touching me from head to toe as I attempt to walk seamlessly. What are they thinking? I silently ask myself. Why would he be doing that…here…in front of everyone? With a confident mindset I continue, trying to recall if I’ve EVER seen anyone else do this. I feel new, unique and slightly scandalous about my behavior but now that I’ve began I simply cannot stop.

I’ve just returned from a 25 mile bike ride, Cartwright Loop as we like to call it, consumed fiercely by a handful of muscle aching climbs and exhilarating descents. I’m thirsty and dehydrated, in desperate need of what one may call the ideal “beverage,” after being torched by the 95 degree Boise rays for nearly two hours. After separating from my coworker and riding partner, I made my way to the college student’s saving grace in Winco.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do it, without locking it up? Well, on this day, I unclipped my pedals, jumped off my bike and attempted just that in front of hundreds of people! As I entered Winco my emotions were racing, everything from apprehensive to energized. There I was, going against what I previously believed, feeling slightly strange and on the verge of totally badass.

What was I attempting? Well, if you pictured me walking through Winco with my road bike because I didn’t have a bike lock, you’re absolutely right! Fully equipped in my bike gear, yes, delicious bike shorts and everything, I made my way past the impulse purchases, produce department and candy section relentlessly calling my name. Then I arrived, still utterly parched from the ride to the gorgeous, mouth-watering and delightful area that I like to call the “fridge of beer.”

Why would I do this, or better yet even care to write about such a subject you ask? Curiosity of course! I was wondering how a typical person in Boise would react to me walking my bike around the store decked out in cycling gear. Utterly shocked and pleased I came to realize three reactions and comments as I roamed the aisles. First, I had a couple guys and gals, probably mid 30’s ask “how was the ride?” with legitimate interest and curiosity. Second, 98% of people I walked by had absolutely no reaction at all – it was as if I was walking around with a shopping cart in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops on a warm summer evening. Third, I did get a couple laughs, but I attribute that to carrying a 22oz bottle of new Pyramid, Fall Red Ale through the store.

Not only were people completely content with what I was doing, they admired it. Boise, you’re awesome, the bike community here blows me away a little more everyday and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it!

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Picture yourself entering the gym, swiping your ID card, hesitantly saying hi to the overly welcoming host/hostess, preparing your walk, swag, or what one may call a gimp down the hall of glory. Turning the corner you approach the point of no return, the battle ground of sheer intimidation and the testosterone infested trenches that one can only hope to survive. Your mouth’s watering, heart’s beating and mind’s racing as hundreds if not thousands of thoughts go through your mind. And then you it consumes you -Guido type individuals, grunting, while unnecessarily throwing large weights to the ground for no apparent reason. No I’m not talking about your perceptions of the Jersey Shore (while it may relate), I’m talking about your everyday weight room!

Whether this is you to a “T” (I’m sorry for you) or you’re the one with these humorous thoughts, live vicariously through me as I express my thoughts toward these swole specimens that think they’re the cats pajamas in the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I love these individuals; they boost my self-esteem daily and allow me to feel that much better about myself. That said, sit back and enjoy!

  1. Legs like toothpicks: I’m sorry guys, but this is NOT a good look! Do a little research on those funny looking things in the corner (squat racks) – you’ll benefit from it.
  2. Grunting: I don’t know if you’re trying to impersonate a women’s tennis player or get your estrogen fix by listening to Katy Perry on your headphones, but it’s highly unneeded.
  3. Throwing down weights: It’s almost like little man syndrome, compensating by driving a diesel F-350, if the weights are too heavy to set down while doing your “curls for the girls”, get lighter weight!
  4. Apparel: Cut-offs, that’s ok, vans shoes, tolerable, and I can even deal with the bodybuilding.com t-shirts, but wearing a hat, is you’re future really that bright…inside? And then to take it to an entirely new level, wearing it backwards, I understand a bad hair day, but it’s the gym – nobody cares!
  5. Swag: In regards to what I like to call “muscle man swag,” swaying back and forth with a pumped up chest and out of proportion arms, you simply look and operate like a robot with the inability to function outside of lifting large objects – congrats.
  6. Headphones: Yes, headphones are fine, but jamming out, pumping up your chest before a “big lift” especially while wearing $300 Dr. Dre headphones – ok pretty boy, go join NSYNC with your cute self.
  7. 2 reps: Oh yes, what I like to call the “2-rep muscle man,” well done you just did two reps of more weight than you could handle – and you will not benefit at all from it.
  8. Bro talk: “Hey bro, what’s up? Oh you know, livin’ the dream, getting my swole on” – I don’t know if it’s the creatine talking or the lack of masculinity you’re trying to make up for, but just because you’re at the gym doesn’t mean that your intelligence level needs to drop 10 fold.

You’re welcome. Now every time you enter the gym aka “muscle mans paradise” you’ll experience joyful remedies toward the absurd look and mentality of what some call “working out.”

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U.S Mountain Biking Championships

By the grace of all that is right in the world, I was honored with the opportunity to travel with a group of Taiwanese journalists to one of my dream events and bucket list items: the U.S. Mountain Bike National Championships.

The atmosphere was nearly out of a story book, my story book so to speak. The racers, sponsors, and crowd electrified the town as Sun Valley would make world class history by hosting this event. Multinational companies including Specialized, Shimano, Subaru Racing, and Scott just to name a few sampled, tested, and showed off their products and expertise.

Specializing in Cross Country and Super D (Downhill) racing, these mountain bike racers were the best in the nation in their age specific categories. Ranging in age from 10-70, and single-speed to multiple speeds, the plethora of racers was remarkable. The events took place on the front River run side of Bald Mountain. Cross Country racers started at the base by River Run Lodge and Super D racers rode up the gondola and fearlessly flew down at excessive speeds, sliding through switch-backs that overlooked 100ft cliffs. Races were extremely fast and efficient with one minute intervals between each heat, allowing for no breaks or flaws from the nation’s top class riders. I was honored with access around the course as a photographer, allowing for great photos and “in your face” riding from these steam engine like racers.

For the next couple days the group of Taiwanese journalists and I epitomized what it meant to spend a summer weekend in Ketchum-Sun Valley. Outside of the unique, high-end mountain bike racing we enjoyed classic dining at the Pioneer Saloon, Kneadery and Sawtooth Club, played on a first class putting course at the Sun Valley Golf Club modeled after the Himalayas at St. Andrews in Scotland, and always finished our evenings off with some epic foothills mountain biking of our own.

Also, in the heat of the biking weekend I had the opportunity to compete in the Fat Tire Criterium, a 30-minute sprint mountain bike race in downtown Ketchum. The exhilaration of racing against experienced riders, zooming around every corner, surrounded by hundreds of screaming spectators made for an outstanding race atmosphere. The Fat Tire Criterium, similar to the Twilight Criterium that was held in Boise a couple days later, brought top tier riders from around the country to compete.

When our trip allowed for some down time you could find me riding the popular mountain biking trails that Ketchum-Sun Valley has to offer in the summer months. One of the Taiwanese journalists and I, who writes for Bicycling Lohas in Taiwan, had the opportunity to ride the pristine trails. Ranging from a relatively easy course in Corral Creek, to an 8-mile descent down Cold Springs from the peak of Bald Mountain was an outstanding experience. With over 450 miles of mountain biking trails, and new trails consistently created, you’d spend your entire life trying to duplicate a trail in Sun Valley.

Since Sun Valley plans on hosting this exquisite event next July as well, be sure to plan ahead for an experience of a lifetime with the U.S. Mountain Biking National Championships in the first class town of Ketchum-Sun Valley.

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