new year transformations

Time to resolve to do something. Does anyone else love that we create a time of year to decide to do something new/productive/healthy that we have no intention of following through with?

Re-solve – 1. to come to a definite or earnest decision about, determine; 2. to deal with conclusively, settle solve; 3. to convert or transform by any process

Resolve is an awesome word. I especially love that last definition… to convert or transform by any process. I have a lot in my life that needs changing. I believe we need to always grow… have personal growth in many areas of life. The last few weeks have been eye opening to see where I thought I was and where I need to be. It is amazing how easily, subtly pride and selfishness creep into life and put their talons into all the areas I think I am doing ok in. What do I want to transform this year?

My top 3 New Year Transformations

1. Do 5 pull ups – While this may seem like low hanging fruit, I am AWFUL at pull ups. I am fairly strong; I life weights; I’m a goalkeeper and I like climbing. But I was not made for pull ups. Maybe it has something to do with breaking my shoulder in college… that didn’t help I am sure. But I want to work up to being able to do 5 pull ups. It will take me all year, and it will be a transformation.

2. Not run a marathon – I have several friends that enjoy running (being a goalkeeper you KNOW that’s not where I find pleasure). I am not one of them. One good friend finally decided to scratch the marathon off the bucket list. Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to be there to pull her dilapidated body off the group and help recuperate her back to life. I think I will be able to achieve this “transformation.”

3. Pride – No, this transformation is not to become more prideful, but to become less. Now I have tried to “fix” this on my own… totally doesn’t work like that for me. I need some help from God to transform me into the way Jesus was. I mean Jesus defeated this annoying bugger… Smacked it around really. But my goal is to submit my nasty tendency to fight and claw for my own selfish desires that come at the expense of those around me that I love. There may be some progress on this transformation, but its going to be a lifelong battle.

Well, see none of those were completely typical. I didn’t resolved to lose weight, whiten my teeth, or give up smoking. (For the record I do not smoke and think its a nasty, unhealthy, expensive habit that costs our government millions every year in tax money that could be allocated to things such as soccer fields, sports, and education.) There may be more Transformations posted in the next few days. Come back for more! What are you resolving to transform?

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D license

Well this last weekend I spent 3 days working on getting my first coaching license. If any of you have done that you know the joys of these kinds of experiences. The D license is where any college player or semi professional player begins their coaching training. Without that experience people such as parents or high school players need to begin with the E license. The learning that most collegiate or above players gain from the D is organization and understanding the reasons why their coaches have done practices. You don’t necessarily learn more about soccer, but how to organize practices and plan your coaching points. Anyway, I have met a few people that I can coach with some in the Atlanta Area. That will be super useful.

I plan to continue up the USSF licensing track to get my A so that I can get my national goalkeeping. I personally think there needs to be more goalkeeper awareness or incorporation of keepers into regular course because most people just dont know what to do with their keeper. With one year in between each course that means my C in 2011, B in 2012, and A in 2013 IF I can stay on track. Maybe I will be working with someone who will want to pay for these for me. Needless to say many great coaching relationships and contacts can come from these courses.

I have 2 more days left in the course this weekend so if anyone wants to wish me luck, I’d appreciate it… well mostly I want it to not rain ALL weekend.

announcers

In the good ol’ south football is king. Everyone spends their week talking about the previous triumphs or failures and debating the outcome of the coming weekend. Friends and family become enemies on Saturday if you made the mistake of  aligning your allegiance to the wrong team. Much of the hype is propagated by ESPN and other tv personalities. All the tension that build is finally released on game day.

Many games  are televised and anticipated by the majority of fans that cannot travel and attend. This experience of being able to enjoy the game from afar is wonderful until the announcers open their mouths. Seriously, they ruin the game for me. All of them, every single one. I am no the only fan or casual observer to experience the as I like to term it “announcer effect.” As difficult as it is to watch sporting events on mute, the pain of hearing uneducated, poorly spoken, ignorant, unobservant, obnoxious, biased,  or incorrect commentary is too much to bear. My brothers’ had to endure apparently frustrating announcers this weekend while cheering their football team to a win.

Some sports tend to have worse reputations regarding their announcers or commentators. Football, soccer, and basketball tend to have poorly commentated games. It is essential in sports like cycling and track to have educated proficient people explaining to the masses the intricacies of the complicated and relatively misunderstood  competition.

Soccer is BY FAR the worst announced sport. Typically at the international level or for European games they tend to be educated and experienced, making the overall event enjoyable. In my opinion announcers like refs should not be noticed. Currently this minute I am flipping between three soccer games. Two of them are women’s college game in the SEC. I am watching them both on mute. The other game is the France/ Faroe Islands World Cup Qualifier. No muting necessary. I am pleased by the amount of soccer on TV (4 women’s collegiate games currently on, multiple men’s professional and international games weekly), but seriously isn’t technology at the point where we should be able to mute announcers but still get the game noise? Thats my request.

*disclaimer*

This is a generalization. Some announcers are fine, but please strive to be unremembered.

*edit*

The ESPNU first team soccer announcers are the pretty decent.

top ten coffee shops ever – part 2

5. Boston Coffee (DeLand, FL) Boston has the best coffee ever. I have only been in the actual shop a couple times, but it is one of those hole in a wall places that has all these neat characteristics. There are fun couches in a couple smaller rooms in the back. Each table has trivia cards which are really fun to play with your friends. Again the coffee is amazing… my favorite is Irish Eyes are Dreaming. Seriously good. Problem is that I don’t really ever go to DeLand, FL.

http://www.thebostoncoffeehouse.com/

6. ChocoLaté  Coffee (Atlanta, GA) This place was very cool when I spent  summer playing in Atlanta. It had good coffee and these chocolate-coffee bean candy bars. Great comfy leather chairs. That seems to be a theme in my favorite places, gotta have me somewhere cozy. Drawbacks – I don’t live in the ATL and it is a small store.

http://www.mychocolatecoffee.com/

7. AK’s Coffee Company (Auburn, AL) Great little shop in Auburn, AL. I have only been here a few times because it isn’t near where I live. It has good coffee, but not great. It is a great place to study and has a drive through. They have great flavored coffees though, and good snacks and munchies. Again comfy chairs…

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Opelika-AL/AKs-Coffee-Co/10024076854#/pages/Opelika-AL/AKs-Coffee-Co/10024076854?v=info

8. Starbuck’s – needs no explanation. You can get whatever you want anywhere in the country.

9. Peet’s – I like Peet’s, but they usually need better chairs. Also, they have a small menu. I like that they have teas and can add a little variety to my caffeine needs.

Ok, I don’t know any other places well enough (sorry to everyone who added suggestions and comments) to have a 10th. So these are the top 9 coffee shops ever!!

Boston Coffee

Boston Coffee

top ten coffee shops ever -part 1

I love coffee. If caffeine were a substance people cared about abusing then I’d be considered an addict. I have actually gotten worse since I got rid of my coffee maker (and it has gotten more expensive dangit).

*Digression* Question: do you put the period inside the parenthesis or outside?? I keep putting it outside, but I feel like it should go inside. Any thoughts? Please comment!

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops and there are many different things that can make them spectacular. I received a few votes via twitter and text about my friends’ favorites, but here are mine.

1. Toomer’s Coffee Company (Auburn, AL) This place has everything I want in a coffee shop. I literally spend time here 3-4 days a weeks. Usually in multiple hour sessions either reading  my Bible or other books, studying for my Master’s comprehensive exam, or hanging out with friends.

They have amazing flavored drinks and lattes, perfectly brewed coffee that they roast themselves and flavor (try Southern Pecan or Snickeroo or well any of them!), amazing couches, cool art on the walls that adds to the decor with the window wall and cozy atmosphere, and great background music.

This one wins the number one spot because it is amazing and I can’t go try all of your favorites. Try not to get your undies in a wad.

http://www.toomerscoffee.com/

2. Crema Coffee Co (Near downtown San Jose, CA). Crema was an amazing place, but unfortunately I didn’t spend enough time because I discovered it much too late in my summer. They have good seating, a nice shaded outdoor area, a nice atmosphere, but most of all they had one of the best drinks ever. I can’t remember its exact name, but it was an orange mocha. It was chocolaty, orange coffee. Now thats just plain amazing. It also within walking distance of the coolest used book store I have even been in. Check it…

http://www.facebook.com/CremaCoffeeCo

3. and 4. Mission City Coffee (Santa Clara, CA) and It’s A Grind Coffee House (Milpitas, CA). Because they are so close I put them at a tie. They are so high because of what they meant to me while I was in Cali. They were my home away from home. My place to go and hang out with Jesus or read or just have some time alone reading or anything

Mission City has that warehouse atmosphere with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and concrete floors. It is located right of the campus of Santa Clara University. They have a several good drinks and excellent lunch food. As a unique twist for what I commonly see in a coffee shop especially in the south, they serve wine and beer in the evenings. I would imagine it creates a chill atmosphere to sit and be able to talk with friends unlike the bar scene.
http://www.missioncitysc.com/

It’s a Grind is small but being located just 7-8 minutes from my apartment was perfect for a quick caffeine fix or a long stint with a book or Bible. The main factor that caused me to discover this oasis was that my AC broke for several days mid summer. The frigid interior was perfect. They also have incredible leather chairs. Drinks were good but not remarkable, however the bagels were the best I’ve ever had at a coffee shop. The only drawbacks are the small sitting area (25 people max, and that might be stretching it) and the average drinks.

http://www.itsagrind.com/

Thats all for today check back later this weekend for the next best coffee shops.