...And I'm Back!

This is my third blog in four days. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. :P

Yesterday, I spent most of the day volunteering at the track meet. It’s probably a good thing that I was out and doing things – I was distracted and didn’t have the time (or the privacy) to be sulky.

I got to the Hecht Athletic Center at 10 am, where I met Dani, the athletic department intern that’s in charge of volunteers. She took me and the other girl that was there, Kadisha (not sure of the spelling), back into the gym to get our t-shirts and assignments.

I think I know what I’m wearing when I go to a day of track in London next summer! ;)

There were three other guys that were volunteering in the gym when we got there. They ended up getting assigned to the hammer throw, and Kadisha and I were sent to javelin. There are a couple of high schools that send the kids on their track teams to volunteer at our meets, so most volunteers were high school kids. Our assignment was to retrieve the javelins after they were thrown, and then run them back to the athletes. There were a ton of high schoolers assigned with us, so I wasn’t really doing as much as I would’ve liked.

These kids were a trip, though! It was really just one girl in particular. Let me give you a taste.

Her: What’s your culture?
Me: …What?
Her: Your culture.
Me: …I’m not really sure what you’re asking.
Her: Okay, see. I’m African-American. [Turns to another girl] You are…
Other girl: Hispanic.
Her: And YOU are…
Me: …White?
Her: [bursts out laughing]
Me: Um, I’m sorry, I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m white.
Other girl: Do you want another name for it? Ummm… European? Caucasian?
Her: SEE! Okay, there you go!
Other girl: [whispers to me] Don’t worry about her. She’s crazy.

I was honestly a little bit afraid of her. Not in the I’m-going-to-do-everything-you-tell-me-to-do-ma’am kind of way, but in the oh-god-everybody-does-everything-she-tells-them-to-do kind of way. She’s the bossiest girl I’ve ever encountered, and the other five girls that had the same assignment were like dogs on a leash. “Tink, it’s your turn!” “Emily, you want to go up further than that.” – I swear, she was the ultimate queen bee. But the best was when she grabbed my arm and tried to shove me into the throwing area to pick up a javelin.

No, she wasn’t trying to kill me. She just thought it was my turn to go and apparently really wanted me to get there super fast. So she took my elbow, yelled “IT’S YOU!” and shoved me in the right direction.

It WASN’T my turn, though, so Kadisha was already running to get it. So I turned to this 15-year-old girl who thought she could boss me around and said, “Please don’t touch me. Just tell me next time. But seriously, don’t touch me.”

I think I handled myself rather well, considering I kind of wanted to hit her all day.

The women’s event was first. We got a break in between, when Kadisha and I helped Dani put ice into some coolers, and then had lunch before the men’s event. The girls were in awe of one thrower from UConn. It was adorable, they were like his groupies! After the men were done, we got another break. Kadisha and I watched some high jumping. Miami has no javelin throwers, so it was nice to see an event with some orange and green!

Then it started raining (read: making you wonder where Noah and his ark were), and the day kind of went downhill from there. Kadisha left at 3:30 to go to work, and I was stuck in the gym until the rain let up and I could leave. Dinner got there at 4:15, though, so I got more free food! And I talked with Dani a little bit about her internship. She says they like hiring people that are genuinely interested in getting involved (i.e. volunteer), and she said she’d put me in touch with her boss about doing more volunteer work in the future.

In typical south Florida fashion, the rain stopped, and it was sunny again when I was walking back to Pearson. The puddles on US 1 were almost as high as the curb in some places, and I was thinking about how funny it would be if a car drove by and soaked me. Andddd then it almost happened! It was a pleasant fellow in a large truck speeding down the road and not caring that he was potentially drenching a pedestrian. Luckily I was able to dodge out of the way, and he only soaked my calves. Miami drivers – gotta love ‘em! (Not.)

I got back to my room at 5:30, and I was DISGUSTING. I don’t know how people live in Miami during the summer! I had to get dinner before work at 7, but I showered anyway. I really have to start remembering that volunteering isn’t the most glamorous of jobs. I’ve now officially frozen my butt off and lost my weight in sweat all in the name of experience. The all-access privileges are rather fun, though!

But it was really exciting being in the presence of Coach Deem! I saw her a bunch of times throughout the day, but I didn’t talk to her. I kinda figured she’d be a little bit busy, ya know, coaching track and field and all. Kadisha said she has friends on the track team who say Coach Deem is “ruthless.” Really? The nice lady that talked on the phone with me when she was walking her dog is ruthless?

If you say so!

All in all, I was feeling pretty okay… until I went to work. Hearing about other people that’ve worked at the wellness center for half as long as me getting promoted was NOT fun. For the first time in my life, I had to take a walk so I wouldn’t do or say something I’d regret. Luckily, roaming the gym is a part of the job, and after a few laps, I’d calmed down and decided to just ask my boss what’s up.

Susanna, the leader on my shift, actually calmed me down pretty well. It was good hearing “it’s just the gym” from someone. I knew that it’s just the gym, but actually hearing it kind of made it make more sense. It’s more of a pride issue, I guess.

But it’s okay! I have the newspaper going for me! I’m the opinion editor next semester, and I’m super excited about it! :) I’d take that over being fitness leader any day. So, wellness center? I’ve got two words for ya!

Something finally clicked as I was walking back from work. I’d decided to do all sorts of happy things for myself – namely, eat chocolate, watch Castle, and sleep a lot. So I stopped and got a brownie at the C-store, and as I was walking down Stanford Drive and looking up at the moon, I felt this really random flicker of optimism. Out of nowhere, I decided that I’m okay. Everything’s going to be fine. I just needed my 24-ish hours to be sad, get mad, and gear up for round two.

What does round two entail, you ask? I emailed SNY about helping with Mets games against the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium towards the end of the season, when I’m back in Miami. I emailed USA Swimming to thank them for the opportunity, tell them I’m still very interested in the position, and ask what I could’ve done that would’ve made me a better candidate. I’m going to email Dani about speaking to her boss. I’m going to email the executive director of the Miami-Dade County Special Olympics about volunteering in the fall. My mom sent me info about other internships that I’m going to look into ASAP.

And then there’s Svein. There’s a communications internship with USA Figure Skating that he told me about. Unfortunately, it’s for an academic year, which I wouldn’t be able to do if I want to graduate on time, which I told him. But then he said he’s close friends with the head honcho over there, and he’ll ask him if I can intern for a shorter amount of time.

I’m not sure what I did to deserve all these favors he’s doing for me. I thank him in every single email I send to him, and I feel like a broken record, but what do I even say to things like this?! The thank you card I’m going to send to him when this is all resolved won’t even scratch the surface of my gratitude. So Svein, if there’s even the slightest chance that you’re reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

And thank you to everyone that’s been so supportive these last few days. I truly appreciate every call, text, email, comment, wall post, and tweet. I’m so lucky to have you all in my corner!

I think the biggest sign of my improvement happened today, when I successfully listened to Good Life without wanting to do harm to my iPod, and was able to look at my Olympics calendar (April, of course, features swimmers) without giving it the death glare. Success!

And so concludes the most bipolar three days of my life. Bring on the monotony of classes!


  1. I couldn't be more proud of you right now!!! You DO have so many wonderful people (and things!) in your life! Keep doing what you're doing...it's working!

  2. Been mia for a few days....if there is one person I have no doubt will continue to work towards her dream....it is you!! Whatever happens along the way is all part of your amazing journey. Congrats on your Promotion - well deserved :)