Friday Randomness – Nov. 11

Okay, before you do anything else, you must watch this video from Nike Women.  I defy anyone to watch this and not immediately want to lift weights and do push-ups until your arms feel like spaghetti.  I mean, I woke up at 3:30 a.m., which is a zombie-making hour, and even I am all pumped to hit the gym at lunch time after watching it.  Here’s a bonus: the video is set to “Don’t Give Up” by the Noisettes, which is one of the best songs ever for inspiring a kick across the finish line.  Here’s another bonus: it features two of my favorite lady athletes, Allyson Felix and Hope Solo.

I am constantly on the lookout for ways to relieve stress, especially since I made the sad realization a few weeks ago that I am prone to seriously ouchie stress headaches.  As a result, I really liked Gala Darling’s tips for “getting calm in a world full of crazy.”   BTW I love Gala Darling’s site, which is all about radical self-love.  We live in a culture that often barely disguises its hatred of humanity which means daring to truly love yourself – and others! – is often one of the most radical acts a person can undertake.

Here’s some good news in a week that seemed sadly bereft of it: Paula Radcliffe will get to keep her marathon world record.  The IAAF isn’t budging on its women-only rule (boo, IAAF! Boo!) but at least they aren’t stripping Radcliffe of an honor she rightfully earned.

Sprinter Natasha Hastings wrote a piece about appearing in ESPN Magazine’s “The Body” issue and she looked at it as a celebration of her body:

For me, it was a celebration of the athlete’s body. It was a way of showing how we come in many different shapes and sizes, and a way of showing the hard work that we put in every day. The poses reflect our sport in some fashion, so it wasn’t just aimless, nude photos. There was a story to tell. We’ve all achieved some great things in our careers, and our bodies and looking the way we do played a big part in that.

Talk about service-y!  A New York-based engineer developed a fruit label that dissolves into an organic soap that dissolves pesticides, fungicides and that nasty wax that keeps produce looking perky.  Considering how much gunk is sprayed on our fruits and veggies (if you don’t go organic that is, which, *gulp* guilty as charged), this needs to become a thing RIGHT NOW.

I’ve been really getting into yoga in the past few weeks, and so when a friend shared this post from Curvy Yoga, called “Yoga from the Wounded Place,” I read it and found it very interesting and relevant to the things I am learning.  I particularly liked the idea that yoga helps you learn which parts of your body, and consequently your heart and soul, are in need of healing:

These traumas don’t necessarily have to be what we think of as traumas (although they certainly may be that, too). They may also be the ways that we brace ourselves for stress, hold ourselves back from emotion or don’t keep our boundaries firm (or even set them in the first place). But as we find them, our attention can dig them out, and we can find even just another smidge of freedom — in our left knee, a slightly deeper breath and/or our willingness to engage with the world directly, rather than using one of our myriad hiding techniques.

This gallery of models’ feet from recent runway shows has left me feeling like I will never complain about black toenails and callouses the size of silver dollars ever again.  I hope all of those ladies have good podiatrists – or at the very least, a trusted pedicurist – on speed dial.  (h/t Autumn)

Tara Mohr has a list of ten rules for brilliant women, which means every single person who reads this blog should click on the link.

Ultrarunner Ashley Walsh just launched a blog called Ultra Chicks Unite, and recently she posted an article/interview about Ellie Greenwood.  Ellie Greenwood is awesome for many reasons (as is Ashley!) but maybe the  most spectacular is that she entered the Western States 100 as her first 100-mile race – and she won.

So we all know that bikes are a earth-friendly, body-loving, fun way to get around, but did you know that bicycles were once considered a symbol of women’s emancipation?  This cool fact becomes kind of sad when you realize that bicycling actually has a pretty big gender gap. Sadface.

You know that much-ballyhooed “Freshman Fifteen” we were all warned about?  Looks like that may have been total bullshit.  Jezebel goes further and pins the blame on Seventeen magazine. I know I had some pretty major weight fluctuations when I was a young college-going lass, but I know what happened.  My Freshman Twenty-Five was due to my discovery of certain, er, herbal refreshments coupled with a Burger King on the first floor of my dorm.  That was followed by the Freshman Negative-Fifteen, thanks to my decision to date a beautiful boy who was still in love with his ex-girlfriend.  Smart choices, I made ’em!

A recent study by the American Association of University Women found sexual harassment is “widespread” among 7th-graders through 12th-graders.  A little over half of girls reported being harassed, while 40 percent of boys were harassed.  What was that about sexual harassment not being a real thing, John Derbyshire?  Or is that just what he tells himself when he’s drooling over teenage girls. (h/t Title IX Blog)

Here’s an antidote to Adriana Lima’s sad liquid-only diet:  Figure Olympia champ Nicole Wilkins recently shared her workout-and-diet plan in an interview with  I’m pretty sure I couldn’t stick to this plan, either, but hey, if I had to choose, I’d pick Wilkins’ plan over Lima’s any day of the week.  (Especially if it meant I could have a pair of cut-like-diamond biceps like hers.)

Here’s an example of structural discrimination at play – a recent study found that many medical schools neglect health issues specifically related to people who are gay, lesbian and transgendered.

A former marketing executive with companies like Nabisco and General Mills has jumped ship for the locavore/real food movement, and he’s blogging about it.  I haven’t read his blog yet but I’m guessing it’ll be a must-read for anyone who cares about food.

I’m not going to spend much more time talking about the things happening at Penn State, if only because my blood pressure can’t take it, but I wanted to share two relevant links with you that suggest that what happened with Jerry Sandusky may not be an isolated incident of institutional failure.

First, Ken at After Atalanta reminds us about former women’s basketball coach Rene Portland, who was protected by the university for years, even though she had been accused of discriminating against openly gay players.  Portland once even told the Chicago Sun-Times that she lets parents know that she doesn’t tolerate lesbianism in her teams: “I bring it up and the kids are so relieved and the parents are so relieved. But they would probably go without asking the question otherwise, which is really dumb.”

Second, Joe Paterno came under fire from the National Organization for Women in 2006, when he downplayed allegations that a player for an opposing team had raped a woman.  It seems to me that Paterno has had an ongoing issue with recognizing the severity of sexual assault, particularly when it involves football players and coaches.

And finally, because I hate to leave this post on such a negative note, I’d like to share this post from Nerd Fitness, which is a good reminder that we’ll always have a billion excuses to not go for a run, to not eat food that is good for us, to skip the gym, to blow off yoga.  In the end, it just comes down to one thing – how badly do you want it?

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