I've noticed that I'm really good at throwing around the "favorite" word. I have a lot of favorite things. Food. Movies. TV Shows. Races. Running Shoes. You name it, chances are I've found something I love about it. So from now on, every time I mention something is my "favorite" I'm going to give ya the details. I'll be sure to sort it out by category.


As far as I'm concerned, this whole page could be devoted to food. But I realize people would start to look at me sideways. All this girl does is eat? I was raised in a family that celebrated everything with food. You had a good report card? Pick your favorite meal! The first warm summer day of the year? Hot dogs on the grill! Dad had a great day at work? We're all going out for dinner! Friday? PIZZA. I enjoy all foods. I'm really not picky at all. There are a few condiments I won't touch but very little things I won't try. The older I got, the more I realized how much food affected how I felt. As I got more and more serious about racing, I started to mix up my diet. I started to fuel my body properly. And I've never felt better. That brings me to my first "favorite."
  • Run Fast Eat Slow, By Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky
I realize this is technically a book but if used correctly it can truly feed your soul. Shalane Flanagan is a professional runner for Nike, 4 time Olympian, and an all around amazing runner. She recently published her fueling secrets with Chef and college friend Elyse Kopecky. No recipe is to complex. And the BEST part! She actually stresses that she will never count calories. In fact, she doesn't even know how many calories are in any of her dishes. This woman is speakin' ma language. Just honest to goodness whole food that nourishes your body to it's prime. Do yourself a favor and buy the book.

"Breakfast Meets Dinner Bowl"
"Superhero Muffins"

TV Show(s)

  • Chicago Fire/PD/Med

I don't have a ton of time to sit and watch TV, but this series of TV shows demanded my attention. I only started watching the Chicago series a year ago, but I caught up pretty quickly with all of the time spent on my computrainer. You'll never meet a bigger badass than Sergeant Hank Voight. You'll find yourself second guessing all of your thoughts and actions thanks to Dr. Charles. And you'll surely want to find a way to start a fire in your own house just so Lieutenant Kelly Severide can come rescue you. You'll thank me. I promise.  

Sport(s Team)

  •  Baseball, The Chicago Cubs {Warning: This favorite is a semi-novel}

I've never played a single out of organized baseball. Not one. And I'd confidently dare you to find another non-baseball playing female who knows more about the game than I do. (In fact, I know who they might be because I either grew up with them or met them along the way, **cough cough Leah Groat & Beth Papanek, tee-ball doesn't count**) But in my house, baseball is a way of life. My dad used to quiz me during games over the years, randomly throwing baseball and/or Cubs trivia my way. Get the question right, I'd get a quarter. Answer wrong and I owed him a quarter. Being the daughter of a coach, I've endured more baseball related dinner conversations than I can count. I sat through all 10,384 of my brother's little league games growing up. I've been thrown into "keeping the books" at the last second of a game when the usual score keeping Dad didn't show up more times than I can count. I've received phone calls from Mark's coaches, mid-game, asking for baseball related favors in the middle of a Sunday afternoon.  I've housed multiple college summer league baseball players from California, turning our friendships into family and sharing baseball love the entire time. Like it or not, this game is in my blood.

The Chicago Cubs. For a long time, I didn't realize people liked other baseball teams. I didn't know anyone who was a Cardinals fan, or a White Sox fan (growing up in central Illinois). The older I got, the more I realized how special our team really is. The history, the comradery and loyalty of our fans, and the faith instilled in our hearts. There's nothing like it. My father grew up in Chicago and spent most summers at Wrigley Field for under a quarter a day (transportation and hot dog included). He has his memories, and I have mine. Ernie Banks was my dad's hero. And about 2 and a half years ago, I spotted Ernie Banks at O'Hare airport on my red eye flight to San Fransisco. And not a single person knew who he was. I made a scene, made a stranger take our picture, and immediately sent it to my father, beaming. He boarded the plan with the first class passengers and when it was finally my time to board the plane, he was sitting in his seat with his heart warming smile, winked at me and whispered, "Go Cubs" as I walked by him.

Growing up, Sammy Sosa was my hero. Well before his days of home run scandals, I loved him. I remember one of my first Cubs games. My dad made a sign for me to hold, and right after batting practice I stood by the dugout and my dad got Sammy's attention and begged him to come sign it. He looked me in the eyes and say "after the game!" As soon as the last pitch was thrown I ran down to the dug out and explained my story to the usher. She told me, "No, go to the parking lot. That's what he meant, I promise." I trusted this stranger. My dad and I rushed the to players lot. We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, Sammy comes pulling out of the lot. He waved the fans away and told the usher, "I'm not signing autographs today." And then he saw my sign, stopped his car, pointed his finger at me and told me to come over. I was speechless. He signed my baseball and let my dad talk his ear off for 90 seconds before he pulled away.

While I grew up with names like Grace, Sandberg, Prior, Wood, Sosa, and Alou, it's the names like Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Arrieta, Lester, Lackey, Fowler, and Heyward that are making history today. And if you don't know the history between Rizzo and Lester, I urge you to do your research, you'll need a tissue for sure. In light of recent events, I'd be lying if I said I haven't been emotional about my team lately. This game and this team have provided an escape from reality my entire life. It's provided me with some memories that I'll forever hold near. I've watched my father cry, both happy and sad tears, over this team. To say the Chicago Cubs franchise holds a special place in my heart is an understatement, much the same for people like my father and brother. And I want this season to end in the best way possible not for me, but for them. I want them to see history. While I grew up loving my running shoes, they loved the game. 

"Let's play 2!"
Circa 1995

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