From the category archives:

Athletics

Before I start this post, I want to clear something up. I am a bandwagon sports fan. Cardinals, Blues, Rams, etc., I really do not care if they win or lose. However, I do like to join in on festivities. For example: opening day. Technically, the opening day of the season was last Monday, even though the Cardinals weren’t playing in St. Louis, so I decided to go downtown with a few friends and check out the famed Ballpark Village.
We took the metro, which in my opinion is the only way to go because I hate parking. The BPV (I like acronyms, okay?) was only a short walk away from the Stadium stop, and it wasn’t hard to find at all. It’s honestly right next to Busch Stadium, which was a smart move. You can even see into the park from some of the bars inside.
Speaking of bars, the inside layout of BPV is basically like a two story food court, but instead of Hibachi Grill and Chik-Fil-A, it’s a bunch of different bars. They are all slightly different, though, and tied together by a huge 80 foot TV screen in the center of everything. (And in case you were wondering, the beer is slightly cheaper than it is inside the ballpark. But only slightly).
Either way, I was glad to go see what all the commotion was about before the massive crowd descends during home games. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just along for the ride, Ball Park Village is a nice place to watch some baseball.

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So maybe you think that since I’m a senior, with almost 4 years of college life behind me, I have it all figured out. Not really. I’m just making it up as I go. But I can offer some advice based on my past experiences, good and bad.  All things considered, looking back now – I think I made a pretty good run at it. So here are my thoughts:
1. If you’re thinking about playing a sport, and you have the chance to do it, do it. Being a collegiate athlete, even at the D-3 level, is an experience I will always treasure.
2. When that sport becomes stressful and unenjoyable and forced…quit. I quit track and cross country after 3 and a half years (plus my years spent on teams in high school and grade school) because I was burnt out. It was the best decision I could have made. It’s important to experience college as just a normal student as well, not just a student-athlete.
3. If you don’t like sports or don’t want to play, that’s fine. But join something. You’ll meet people, and be able to participate in something you’re passionate about…or find something you never even knew you were passionate about. And hey, if they don’t have a club or organization that fits you, create one. I started an Environmental Club here at Fontbonne my freshman year and it’s been one of my proudest achievements ever.
4. Go out and have fun. The college life is a short one, and it’s unlike any other experience you’ll ever have. Live it up.
5. But don’t forget you have classes. And don’t fail them. You can rage 24/7 for about a semester before you’re gonna have to drop out. Pick a major that interests you, not just one you think will get you a well-paying job. I love the idea of being a dietitian someday, and the fact that I enjoy my dietetics classes really makes life better.
6. Stay somewhat organized. Find a method that works for you – I use the little sticky notes app on my Mac to make daily to-do lists for myself and note which assignments are due soon. I also write out all major assignments due in each class for the semester and tape the lists to my wall, so I can cross things out when I turn them in. Maybe that’s a little too intense for you, but you gotta stay track of things somehow or you’re gonna be stressed when you find out you had a paper due in class today.
7. BE KIND. Seriously. I hate to say it, but some people I’ve dealt with in college are just….mean. I’m not claiming to be a saint by any stretch, but it’s never a mistake to show kindness to someone. Everyone is going through life at a different pace, and the best choice you can make is to show love at every opportunity presented to you. You won’t ever regret it.

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Last weekend I found myself watching excitedly as super speedy, super fit, super awesome runners ran circles around me at my very first indoor track meet, which I attended as a spectator thanks to a never-ending foot injury that’s kept me from running since October. Anyhow, I personally enjoy just going and watching meets because it means all of the fun and excitement of watching super speedy, super fit, super awesome runners without all of the nerves of competing. While I was standing there, taking everything in around me, I couldn’t help but feel this overwhelmingly large wave of sheer love for the sport topple over me like a tsunami. The sound of the gun going off. The bell ringing before the last lap (my absolute favorite part…it gives me goose bumps every time!). The cheers. The short-shorts (my second absolute favorite part). Seeing people leave it all on the line and push themselves past the breaking point. It’s exhilarating. It’s incredible. And I love it.

Becoming a collegiate runner (that’s fun to type) was the best decision of my college career, right up there with changing majors. As cheesy as it sounds, I’ve learned so many valuable life lessons since joining the cross country and track teams last semester:

1.) That I’m capable of handling so much more physical and mental pain than I give myself credit for.

2.) That while we’re constantly being bombarded with messages that life needs to be absolutely picture-perfect all the time (hello, Instagram), real life is beautiful and awesome without all the fancy filters. You should see the ridiculous things kids wear at meets. Heck, you should see me at meets! During cross country season, it would be windy, cold, rainy…the elements forced me to stop trying so hard to be perfect, put on five shirts and two pairs of pants, and accept the fact that my hair looked absolutely ridiculous. And even though I didn’t look ready for social media by any means, I was having the time of my life, running from one part of the course to the next, cheering on my teammates. Isn’t that what life is about? Living? It’s a novel idea, but I feel like we’ve forgotten how to do just that!

3.) That the simple things in life are the best. Things like having teammates to love and see first thing in the morning at 6:30 for practice. Like being outside and breathing in big lungfuls of fresh air. Like playing games like “20 questions” on the stationary bike to distract each other from the boringness that is cross-training.

Since last weekend, I’ve been doing lots of thinking, as per usual. It’s my last semester here at Fontbonne before I head off to another school to complete my second undergraduate degree in chemistry. But then what? After such an amazing final year, I can’t help but wonder if maybe a fancy lab job isn’t for me, especially if the thought of working in a lab day in and day out kind of stresses me out and fills me with dread. I can’t help but wonder if maybe I’m meant to do something else, something that may not make me super rich or whatever, but might make me super happy, like being a chemistry teacher (or professor??) and a coach. Having a team again, getting to share my love for both science and sport with other people would be so awesome! It’s just a thought. Because I think the most important lesson I’ve learned this year is that what really, really matters in life is being happy. Not perfect. Not rich. Not best-dressed. But happy.

Here’s to the future, to track and field, and to not knowing exactly what’s going to happen to me. I’m excited for this semester…are you?

-Carly

P.S. One of my favorite track videos…note that bell at the end! The suspense!

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Okay, this post is gonna be about Griffin Gang, which is one of the organizations I’m involved in here at Fontbonne. It’s new this year, so it’s been a little slow to start, but it has a lot of potential. Its purpose is to support the athletic programs at Fontbonne by having events centered around games and enticing people to come and cheer. If you’ve been reading my blog at all the past few years, you know that I both used to be on a team here at Fontbonne (XC and track, what whaaaaat) and that I am an avid supporter of all the other athletes as well.
The main publicity stunt of Griffin Gang right now is an attendance punch card that allows people to get a free t-shirt once they go to 10 sponsored games. The punches started during the men’s soccer games in the fall, so we are just now getting some people with 10 punches on their card, which is super rad. If you don’t have one yet, come to one of the home basketball games and pick one up! All conference home basketball games will have a Griffin Gang table. There are also raffles, half-time activities, and themed games, which help to generate some interest. So check out their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FontbonneGriffinGang) and come to a game!

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Here We Are Now, Entertain Us

by Marielle November 5, 2013

Who has two thumbs and is excited about Spirit Week?!? Unsurprisingly, THIS kid right here. Back in my high school days, Spirit Week was a super big deal because we got to dress up according to themes (already right up my alley) and NOT WEAR OUR SCHOOL UNIFORMS. Now that I’m in college, I don’t [...]

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Go Cardinals!

by Jennie October 18, 2013

I have always been a Cardinals fan. I love going to their games and the atmosphere at the stadium. It has been really awesome living in St. Louis and going to Cardinals games. The whole city loves the Cards. Everybody is cheering for them. The atmosphere in the whole city is really cool to experience. [...]

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Most Wonderful Time of The Year

by Deanna October 14, 2013

Now, from my title you are probably thinking “It’s the middle of October, why is this girl posting about Christmas already?!” And since you probably don’t know me, that is a very honest question. But for those who know me know that Red October is my favorite time of year. A fall baseball game is [...]

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Lacrosse?

by Jennie October 7, 2013

In high school I played basketball and ran cross country, but I did not plan on playing sports at Fontbonne. However, one night two of my floor mates had their lacrosse sticks out and asked if I wanted to play lacrosse in the meadow. I went and played catch. It was really difficult in the [...]

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I didn’t choose the dance life; the dance life chose me.

by Sarah October 7, 2013

When I came to Fontbonne I had no plans to continue dancing  in college.  I hadn’t even brought my dance shoes or supplies with me!  However, towards the end of August I started seeing flyers up all over campus inviting anyone and everyone to come try out for the dance team.  After much convincing from [...]

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Baseball Heaven

by Abigail October 3, 2013

When someone hears the words “St. Louis”, there are many things that come to mind. There’s the decadent gooey butter cake, Ted Drewes, toasted raviolis, heck, even the Arch. But to most people,(especially those who live in StL), one thing tends to consistently pop into mind. That being, baseball. Ahh, yes, the Cardinals. And with [...]

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