Category Archive: Community & Lifestyle

A different kind of locker room talk: The power of words

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been intrigued by language. This connection to language is part of the reason why I became a professor of communication, why I write this blog, why I love to read. So, I imagine it will come as little surprise when I tell you that I believe words do matter. Words …

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Is this Normal?

First Ironman

Several years ago, I wrote about the joy of the first time finish line, as a reflection of my first Ironman. Not many race experiences can compare with that feeling that takes over the first time you cross the finish line of an unknown distance or event. It’s empowering. It’s extraordinary. It’s addicting. But, the road to that …

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What’s my story?

Readers, forgive me. It’s been two months since my last post. This is the point where you, my readers, absolve me of my blog transgressions. I’ll wait. … Okay, thanks. It’s not that I’ve been at a loss for words – far from it. My draft folder is FULL of the ideas I’ve had since …

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Daddy’s Girl

boat days

Seventeen years ago, our phone rang in the middle of the night. I didn’t hear it, so John wound up answering it. He came into the bedroom, “Maria…” I stirred. “Something’s wrong. It’s your mom.” I looked at the clock it was o’dark thirty – maybe 3 a.m.? I picked up the phone and all …

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On Role Models, Possibilities, and Equality

Outside of my endurance sport life, I’m a professor of Communication Studies at Rowan University, in Glassboro, NJ. (Read: Nerd.) In my research and teaching, I examine how communication creates meaning about “things” – people, places, objects, events, ideas. I know what you are probably thinking: things exist, that can’t be changed no matter how we communicate or think about them. …

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Patient Aggression: Reflection on the Year of the Plow Horse

Little did I know a year ago, when I dubbed 2014 the “Year of the Plow Horse,” how much I would come to depend on the characteristics of the reliable ol’ plow horse to make it through some of the more challenging races I’ve done. The plow horse is a strong, sturdy animal. She has a lot of …

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Liminal State: What’s next?

As a young graduate student, I learned about the concept of liminality. In Anthropological theory, liminality is described as a state of transition during rites of passage, such as those associated with the transition from childhood to adulthood. Liminality is a betwixt and between state in which you are no longer who you once were, but you have not yet transitioned into who you …

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Age is a just a number & sex is just a division

Unless you consume absolutely no mainstream or social media of any type, it’s very likely you’ve seen this incredible feat by Kacy Catanzaro, the first woman to finish the American Ninja Warrior finals course. It’s incredible. It’s inspiring. And, it made me weep, thinking of how accomplished, how fulfilled this woman must feel. But, the more …

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Beyond the White Line: Ironman Lake Placid Spec-Train-Teering Weekend

In 2009, I was a volunteer at Ironman Lake Placid. It was the first time I saw an Ironman live, up close, and personal. What I saw that day amazed me. A H. M A Z E .B A L L S. There is absolutely nothing like the first time you spectate an Ironman. Personal. Physical. Primal. …

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Life is an Adventure Made for an Adventurer

In 2010, John and I were training for our first Ironman in Lake Placid. During that training season, I was thrown off the road by a car, and it shook me. I remember being so afraid to ride my bike outside. In fact, that crash affected my cycling confidence for at least 2 years. (I’m …

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