Abby Wambach Speaks #Forward | Paying Attention to What Matters

Dear Kid,

While you were (doubtless) studying on Saturday, I was hanging out with my new BFF Abby Wambach.

Ok, she’s not exactly my BFF because I haven’t actually met her and by “hanging out” I mean listening to her speak at the Women’s Fund event. But I was in the same room and I had a great seat and the rest is semantics. Thank you Girlfriendology for the great ticket.

It will not stun you to learn (and by “learn” I mean be reminded) that I don’t take shorthand. [Do kids these days even know what shorthand is?] So I cannot replicate the afternoon verbatim. But I can share some of the highlights.

First a couple of people from the Women’s Fund spoke. The Executive Director talked about understanding the economic situation so many women find themselves in. Best quote: It’s not enough for someone to occasionally beat the odds—we need to change the odds.

Then a woman told her very inspiring story of making it from a high-school drop out single mom to where she is today.

Abby Wambach's biggest fans. Cincinnati Women's Fund. DearKidLoveMom.comAfter that we learned a little more about the Fund’s work and then two young ladies were introduced. They’d been chosen (via a big contest) as the biggest Abby Wambach fans. A-dor-a-ble. Even better because they got to talk about why they love her and then introduce her. She hugged them. We all kvelled.

She hugged them. We all kvelled.

Here’s what I think about Abby: she’s pretty amazing. She’s not the slickest person you’re ever going to meet (thank goodness!). She’s real. She knows who she is, she’s comfortable with who she is, she knows that All is not Right in the world, and she’s Taking Steps to do what she can do. She’s real and I loved it.

Abby Wambach speaking at the Cincinnati Women's Fund event on gender equality. #Forward #Important #LookUp

She’s also angry. Angry that she—the best soccer player in the world (repeat: the world. The entire freakin’ world) was payed bupkis and the pretty dang good men (but not even close to the best) were payed ridiculous sums. NOTE: She should be angry. It is not even close to right.

Some of my favorite moments from hearing her talk.

Speaking to a group of little girls at a soccer event: I want you to feel you’re actually equal to the boys—because you are.

Talking about how to make the group more successful even if you’re one of the standout players and learning leadership from Mia Hamm (“You’ve heard of her? Yeah, she’s pretty good.”).

About the 2011 World Cup when the American women lost and having to “find different things to do to not have the same outcome.” Think about that. The best player in the world saying I have to be even better, I have to question myself, I have to work harder, I have to try different things. Impressive.

On teamwork: We have to figure out ways to inspire each other.

She talked for a bit about the relationships we have with our devises rather than each other. Kids are not learning how to connect as people. (Hopefully, there are more houses like ours where no one would dare come to the dinner table phone in hand.) She also talked about the very real problem that what we see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. is the edited version. We delete the ick photos. Which is fine—except then people often have a skewed vision of the world in which everyone is perfect—except them (enter emotional problems, stage left).

Her biggest message was about gender pay equality. Basically, women not getting paid anything near what men are being paid. Personally, I find it revolting that in 2017 we are having this conversation. Not that we’re having the conversation, so much as that we have to have it. How is it possible that equal pay is not a done deal? How is it possible that paying women the same wages we pay men is not something we do everywhere? How can this still be?

Abby: We don’t have to pay women more. Just pay men less. That will get their attention.

The room was stunned. I think at first we were all shocked that someone would even contemplate paying men less. Then we tuned into the reality of the statement. Yep, that would get men’s attention all right.

Abby Wambach talking with Betsy Ross about gender equality. #Forward #Important #LookUp

I consulted My Friend the Internet. Not only are professional women athletes underpaid compared to their male counterparts, female athletic trainers are also underpaid. And underpromoted (hello, glass ceiling).

Think this doesn’t impact you because you’re male? Of course you don’t because you are a wise child. But in case you’re not sure, it impacts everyone.

Look up, lean in, pay attention. Perhaps right now you can’t do anything except be aware. You’re a college kid, I get that. But as you move forward, as you meet different people, as you hold different roles, be cognizant of what you can do to change the status quo and create a new reality.

Love, Mom

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Sauna Etiquette and Other Important Things

Dear Kid,

As the song says, there are some things you just don’t do. You don’t pull on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask of the Lone Ranger.

And you don’t pour water on the heating element of a sauna when other people are expecting a dry sauna experience.

It turns out that some people (me) thought you should save water for a steam room and never ever pour water on the “coals” of a sauna. It further turns out that the experts on the internet are quite comfortable with the idea of a wet sauna experience in which one adds water and keeps the temperature at a lower level.

Hey! Guess what happened at the gym the other day? Jenelle and I went into the sauna expecting dry heat and this chick kept pouring water on the rocks. We were not amused.

If I'd wanted steam I'd have gotten a cup of hot coffee. DearKidLoveMom.comIf we’d wanted steam we’d have gotten nice hot beverages. We wanted dry heat.

Not having consulted My Friend the Internet, I was convinced that the chick was a heathen and going to break the sauna and electrocute us all. Turns out I was wwwwrong, but facts are not the point here. The point is that it’s a public place and you follow public etiquette in a public place.

Why didn’t we say anything?

We tried the subtle method of delicate commenting, but she had headphones on and her music was cranked loud enough for the entire city so I’m pretty sure she didn’t hear us.

More importantly, she looked like she could kick our butts without breaking a sweat.

Love, Mom

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March Madness and Saint Patrick’s Day!

March Madness and Saint Patrick’s Day!

Dear Kid,

As you may have heard, we’re in the midst of March Madness.

This means that some people are spending 20 hours a day watching basketballs on multiple screens (hmm…who could that be?) and others are blinking in confusion (either because they know nothing about basketball or because they are too busy drinking green beer to care).

Happy Everything! DearKidLoveMom.comHappy Saint Patrick’s Day.

So it turns out that lots and lots of people care about basketball. A lot.

Even those that don’t care all that much seem to find it necessary to flip back and forth between channels if there is only one screen (like in our family room, but I’m not naming names).

So far (in March Madness), there have been upsets, questionable calls, kind of ho-hum games, and knuckle-biters. This was entirely predictable.

Coming up, there will be upsets, questionable calls, ho-hum games, and knuckle-biters. This is entirely predictable—I just predicted it.

Love, Mom

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I Have a Piri-What?!

Dear Kid,

Turns out I have a piriformis. But you knew that. 

Just in case you were sleeping the day they talked about it, the piriformis is the muscle that keeps your hips from falling off. It’s located behind one’s behind and helps one stand on  one leg without falling over.

At least that’s what most people use their piriformis for.

I was going to put in a picture of actual muscles, but it turns out I prefer them covered in skin. And often times, clothing. So I chose this muscle model instead.

Some people use their piriformis to cause piriformis syndrome which means (more or less) pain in the back. This is not a recommended use for said muscle because it hurts (and can cause other problems which allow doctors to send their children on wildly expensive educational jaunts).

Not to worry. I don’t have piriformis syndrome, and my piriformis muscle is not causing me any pain.

It seems my piriformis is more or less a freeloader, just hanging around for the good times but not doing any actual work. Which means that while I have no pain (yay) I also have pretty much no stability (we knew that a long time ago).

The piriformis is a muscle in the gluteal region. It was named in the 16th century by Adriaan van den Spiegel, who missed out on a prime opportunity to name a muscle after himself.

I discovered this because a very nice Physical Therapist (and we know what I think of physical therapists) named Julie set up a table at the gym and (gratis-for-free) examined people in the name of Injury Prevention. I like preventing injuries as much as the next person, so I volunteered to have her poke around my muscles.

She found the spots that hurt. (See: Beliefs about physical therapists, above.)

Her first thought was that my hamstrings were too tight. Then she started bending my legs around, discovered that I take after Gumby, and moved on to jabbing her thumbs into my hitherto napping piriformis (at which point I moved on to jumping 6 inches off the table).

She enjoyed that so much that she did it again on the other side which only caused me to spasm and question whether she’d gotten her degrees at the Université de Marquis de Sade.

She gave me some exercises to do on a daily basis (and by daily basis I assume she meant every month or so during daylight hours). I’ve done them twice. At least I’ve done the ones I remember twice. If I remember correctly.

It’s not that I think she’s wrong. It’s just very hard to find time to do them (and by “very hard to find time” I mean I just don’t really want to).

You might wish to study up on the piriformis and how to strengthen it. I hear it’s lots of fun to torture your mother in the name of good health and stability.

Love, Mom

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I Can’t Keep Quiet | The Sauna and Real Responsibility

Dear Kid,

I have started sauna-ing.

Sitting in the sauna is what you do after you’ve been exercising hard and want to relax your muscles.

It’s also what you do if you haven’t been exercising hard enough and want to sweat anyway.

Sometimes sitting in the sauna is a time for quiet (and warm) reflection.

Other times, it’s an interesting conversation with people you might never meet anywhere else.

I mean how often do you go up to someone who is working out and randomly start chatting? OK, in my world it happens more often than you might think, given that I seem to have a way of introducing myself. And when J and I are at the gym together, you can imagine that we manage to meet all sorts of interesting people.

Last night (after our very intense workout), we were in the sauna, solving all the world’s problems, when we got into an interesting conversation with a woman who is approximately your age (and by “approximately” I mean exactly give or take a few months).

We started talking about the movie Twilight (which I have not seen, but I read one of the books a long time ago). This very insightful woman was saying how she’d rewatched the movie recently and started noticing how the relationship was a very abusive one (emotionally speaking). Which got all of us talking about why women do some of the things we do and enter into some of the relationships we enter into.

Many people (more knowledgeable than I) have written (much better than I possibly could) about the insidious little steps that seem (more or less) harmless at the time but in reality lead to the next one and the next one and…

We (and I mean all of us) have a responsibility to watch for subtle signs and signposts. To watch over our friends, our family, people we care about, people who are only on the edge of our awareness. To reinforce the “rightness” of standing up for ourselves. To give women permission to listen to that little warning voice we so often ignore. To insist that they respect themselves. DearKidLoveMom.comWe (and I mean all of us) have a responsibility to watch for subtle signs and signposts. To watch over our friends, our family, people we care about, people who are only on the edge of our awareness. To reinforce the “rightness” of standing up for ourselves. To give women permission to listen to that little warning voice we so often ignore. To insist that they respect themselves.

I’ve been obsessing over MILCK and I Can’t Keep Quiet. Hopefully, you’ve heard it already. If not, here it is.

Love, Mom

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A Perfect Sunday

Dear Kid,

A Perfect Sunday (obviously) starts with the night before. Last night Dad took me to see the North College Hill Community Theater production of The Real Inspector Hound. The accents came and went a bit, but it was delightful (I LOVE Tom Stoppard [the author]) and a nice little space. The only thing that could have improved it would have been to tie it with another of Stoppard’s one act plays. On the flip side, with only one act we got home before bedtime.

Also last night the Puppy slept through the night. Which was a Big Freakin’ Deal. We are quite hopeful that this is a sign that the 4am barking phase is over and done with.

Today, I hope to get to the gym early and be home in time for the most important event of the year. You got it: the Puppy Bowl.

This year they’ve included several “disabled” dogs. Um, “differently-abled” please. The really wonderful news is that all these pups are from shelters and have now been adopted. Big cheer from the endzone if you ask me.

Also, flippin’ cute.

As a conversation stopper, "I don't drink caffeine" was right up there with “Let’s talk politics and religion.” DearKidLoveMom.comThen there’s football.

I really hope it’s a good game. It’s the last one of the season and I hope, hope, hope it provides 100% in the way of entertainment and sport and 0% in the way of scandal. We, the People, need that.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining, the streets are clear, and the coffee is hot.

This is shaping up to be a perfect Sunday.

Love, Mom

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