mscemons

Get to know the real me.

“Shake Them Haters Off”

Well, everyone knows by now that swimming favorite Ryan Lochte hasn’t done as expected in his last two events, the men’s 4×100 free relay and the 200m free. And from what I have gathered after reading several articles, twitter posts, and facebook statuses, many people are thinking that he isn’t all he is hyped up to be.

Really?! I mean, really?! This guy has been swimming for three days now, and he has already swam six times for 1500 meters. No one can say that is an easy feat. I am not a hundred percent certain, but I am willing to guess that is more than most other swimmers up to this point in the games. Lochte has been training for these events for the last four years. He didn’t come here to just give up if he makes a mistake or messes up. He is human, just like the rest of us. And he will find his way back up to the top.

After the 200m free final, you could tell he was disappointed. He didn’t finish as strong as he could’ve, and he didn’t get as good of a time as he knew he was capable of. In a brief interview following the race, Lochte said, “You live and learn.”

Every great athlete falls down at some point in time. And we have seen several athletes do that already at these Olympics. It is not important how or why you fall down. It just matters how you get back up and move on. I predict that Lochte gets back up with that ‘Reezy’ swag of his and comes back full force. Then all those people who were so quick to toss him out as just hype will be eating their words.

I just have to point out that Ryan has done so much for the sport of swimming. He, along with Michael Phelps, is helping to guide and inspire the next generation of swimmers. They are changing the way that people look at the sport. Hopefully one day because of these two great swimmers, swimming will become as popular as other household sports such as football and basketball.

And hey, Ryan has already made my five-year old want to become a swimmer. He has told me that he, “wants to be just like Ryan Lochte when he grows up.” Any time a commercial comes on with Ryan in it, Silas immediately says, “Look momma. It’s Ryan Lochte!” He has become a full-fledged Lochte fan (in case you didn’t know from the pics I have posted on twitter and facebook).

Not only are my son and I both huge fans, Ryan has a huge fan base that even call themselves “Lochtenators.” Hundreds of thousands of people follow him on twitter and are a part of “Lochte Nation.” And with Lochte Nation United, he knows he has all of his fans to help keep him motivated. As a friend of mine put it, he is “still the bomb.com.”

Ryan still has several events to race in these Olympic games. The next of which is the men’s 4×200 relay. So Ryan, rest up. We are all still rooting for you. No matter what any of the haters say, you have Lochte Nation pulling for you. So ‘shake them haters off’ and show all the doubters what Lochte Nation already knows, that this is your time! These are your games!

I think Ryan summed it up best with one of his tweets tonight. @ryanlochte: “The greatest athletes suffer the hardest defeats before the biggest and best moments of your life…God has a plan for everyone 🙂 #jeah.”

You are absolutely right, Ryan. The best is yet to come. Good luck tomorrow and for the rest of the games. Get that gold! Jeah! Go Team USA!!!

Until next time…..

M

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Swim fan

It’s no surprise that I am a fan of swimming. Always have been. Always will be. It just usually doesn’t come out until the Olympics, because we all know that swimming is not a big sport here in Arkansas. It should be though.

I have brought it upon myself to teach my son about swimming. I started telling him about it during the Olympic trials. At times when I usually let him watch tv in the living room, I took over so that I could watch the trials. Surprisingly, he took right to it. The first couple of nights, he would only watch the girls swim. Go figure, right? Boys will be boys no matter what age. He is only 5 and I already know I am going to have my hands full. After the first few days though, he started to watch all of the races with me. He started cheering everyone on. There were a few nights it went on past his bedtime, but he talked me into letting him stay up just a little longer. Nothing wrong with that, right?

I love the fact that I can tell my son about how I have rooted for some of the same swimmers time after time. Several of them are in London competing in their third Olympic games. Swimmers like Brendon Hansen, Natalie Coughlin, Peter Vanderkaay, and of course Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are making this their third Olympic trip.

Some of the other swimmers to watch out for include Cullen Jones, Conor Dwyer, Allison Schmitt, and the heavily favored high schooler Missy Franklin. Cullen Jones has probably one of my favorite stories about how he got to be an Olypmic swimmer. The medal winning swimmer hasn’t always been so lucky in the water. When he was about five years old he almost drowned in a pool at a water park. After that experience, he got into swim lessons so that it would never happen again. Now he has become an advocate for teaching young children, especially African-Americans, how to swim.

My day started out rocky with temper tantrums from my son. But when I told him that if he behaved I would take him swimming, he calmed down and started making better choices. Since I have not been a great pool owner, it’s too small and I get tired of dealing with it, we asked a neighbor if we could come swim in their pool. Silas was excited to get to swim in their pool. We got ready and drove down the road to the pool. Silas always swims with his floatie on. It’s one of those that acts like a life jacket with sleeves that go on the arms and a small part that goes around the chest and hooks up in the back. He got in the pool and started swimming like he normally does. But then he asked to take it off. I was shocked that he wanted to try it. He took the floatie off and got back in the pool. It didn’t take him ten minutes and he was going underwater holding his breath. He was so excited that he knew how to hold his breath. But he wasn’t done. Then he went underwater and started opening his eyes. He came back up and said, “Momma! I can see under the water! It’s so cool!” I was proud of him because that is something that I have never been able to do. We practiced letting him swim to the other side of the pool and then going back to the steps. He did very good for his first time to be in a pool that deep with nothing holding him up. It is a great start for him. Before we got out he told me that he was going to be a swimmer in the Olympics when he gets big. 🙂 Everyone knows that football is my top favorite sport. But I would definitely be okay with Silas being a swimmer. If there was some place closer I would go ahead and put him in lessons and see how he really likes it. But the closest place is about an hour away.

I could see Silas as a swimmer. And hey, maybe it would help calm him down a bit. I mean, swimming helped other hyper and overly active kids like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Well, it seems to have helped Phelps. I think Lochte is still a bit hyper. From what I have read on his Twitter page, he still seems to be a big kid. LOL. I think that is one reason everyone seems to love him.

Until next time….

M

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Rocky start

What a Saturday morning. I had been looking forward to sleeping in a bit since my son had stayed the night with my mom. But I was woken up by the sounds of his cry. My mom had brought him back because he had been having one of his famous tantrums. My son has this habit of throwing terrible fits when he doesn’t get his way. Mom couldn’t get him to stop. So home he came. After about 45 minutes of me having to make him go back and forth from the corner, he finally calmed down. Once he had calmed down, he saw the destruction he had done, throwing toys across the room, throwing shoes, and dumping an entire art box full of crayons and markers onto the floor. Without me even having to tell him, he started picking it up. At least he can do that now. I’ve been wondering for a long time now if he will ever grow out of having these fits. It’s so hard to handle it with just me here to deal. I have no one to tag in when I have had enough and need a break. There are times Silas goes at it for an hour. That’s an hour of him crying and screaming, kicking and throwing, and me doing some screaming of my own. I try not to yell at him. But it’s hard to keep my cool when he does some of the things he does. If I had someone else here it would be easier. I could tag out and let them have a turn trying to make him mind. My son is very “strong willed,” as the doctor puts it. And from what I have read, that means we will butt heads for quite some time. I have my work cut out for me.

On another note. The Olympics are officially underway! I am recording every bit of it so I won’t miss out on any of the action. Phelps and Lochte have already been in the pool for their first heats in the 400 IM. Both made it to the final which airs tonight. Phelps just barely made it the final coming in 8th. Had he been 7 100ths of a second slower, he would not be racing in the final tonight. Glad he edged in there. Even though I am rooting for Lochte, the race would not hold the same excitement if Phelps wasn’t there. Can’t wait to see that race.

Until next time…..

M

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Olympic’s Opening Ceremony

I am sitting here in my living room, watching the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. So far, I have seen amazing art work, spectacular set changes, and some of our favorite story characters come to life. One of my favorite moments, was when the five rings that represent the Olympics came together over the arena and lit up with sparks. It was such an amazing moment that made you feel hope and joy. I also loved seeing the always hilarious Mr. Bean perform his music solo. LOL. Another moment was during the first part of the ceremony. It happened when they were switching between scenes of the English countryside and those of the Industrial Revolution. After the towers for the revolution had risen, everyone stood still. It was a moment to remember all those that have fought for our countries. And to remember those that have paid the ultimate price. It helps remind us all that war is not something that only affects us here in the United States, it is something that affects countries all over the world. Wars happen, and countries fight. But the Olympics help to bring us all together, to show us that we are all here. It is easy to get lost in our own lives. It is easy to forget that there are nations all over the world that go through some of the same things that we do. For these next few weeks, we get to set everything else aside and root for our nations’ best athletes.

The Olympics always make me a bit emotional. And I’m not sure why. I think maybe it has something to do with the fact that it makes me feel hopeful. As a kid, I remember watching the Olympics and then dreaming that one day I would be there. I would watch swimming, and then go out and practice my strokes in the lake next to my house. I would swim for as long as my mom would let me and pretend I was competing in the Olympics. Swimming was so much fun to me as a kid that I probably would’ve done it competitively had there been a place close by. I can also remember watching the 1996 Olympic games that took place in Atlanta. The USA women’s gymnastics team was awesome. I will never forget watching the team competition. Kerri Strug did the unthinkable when she went for the vault in their last event. I can still remember watching her go for the first vault and landing awkwardly on her foot. She shook it off like the champ she was and got ready for her second vault. She went full force and when she landed, she stood on one foot. The poor girl was seriously injured, but she held strong and did what she had to do for her team. As soon as she had faced the judges, she fell to the ground crying in pain and was then carried off by her coach. When it came time to get her gold medal, she was carried out by her coach. I could not imagine what she must have been feeling at that moment. But she showed the true meaning of an Olympian.

Every time the Olympics come around, it reminds me of my own hope and dreams. It reminds me that dreams can come true. I’m sure that every athlete competing had dreams as a kid to be an Olypmian. And now they are. If they can accomplish their dreams, why can’t I? They all work so hard day in and day out to prepare themselves for these games. Maybe if I work hard enough, I can reach some of my goals too. These next few weeks will be filled with hope for so many. For the athletes competing, they hope for gold. For some children watching, they hope for the chance to be able to compete at the Olympics some day. For others of us, we hope for the opportunity to be able to see our dreams come true just as these amazing and inspiring athletes have done.

As an American, it feels good knowing that I donated some of the money to help raise my own country’s flag. Yep. While the US Olympic committee sold “stitches” that would make the flag that our country carried as they marched during the Parade of Nations, I bought a couple. I could not pass up the opportunity to help support our nation’s best athletes. And for the first time ever, US women have outnumbered the US men on the team! How awesome is that? It is also so good to see former Razorback Tyson Gay back for another Olympic games. Woo Pig Sooie! Former boxing great Muhammad Ali also got to be a part of the ceremony. I can still remember when he lit the Olympic cauldron in Atlanta for the 1996 Olympic games.

As the ceremony winds down, the excitement is just beginning. I was very surprised to see that young unknown athletes were the ones to actually light the Olympic cauldron. But the meaning behind it was so wonderful. Let the athletes of the next generation light it, as to inspire the next generation of Olympians. For the next couple of weeks, these games will be the hot topic of discussion around the world. Everyone will be making their predictions about who will win. Millions, or I guess I should say billions, of people will be cheering for their respective country in these 2012 Olympic games. I am so excited to get it started. This will be the first Olympics that my son is old enough to actually watch it and start to learn and understand the importance of it. I can’t wait for him to become a huge fan of it like I am.

Well, it’s getting late and I have a lot of events to watch tomorrow. I am most looking forward to the showdown between Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. Better get my rest. It is going to be a busy couple of weeks.

Until next time…..

M

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Art!

This is the first opening ceremony to the Olympics that I have missed in a long time. But it was for good cause. I had my first canvas painting class tonight. There isn’t much to do in my hometown, so when a local business owner decided to start holding art classes a couple of times a month, I was really excited. It is so great to see people in our little community step up and do something. It goes to show that there are still people who care about the community. It was a lot of fun. We all painted the same thing, but no picture was alike. When we left they were all different peacocks. It was fun having very different personalities come together and have fun. I can’t wait for the next class. They are offering to do door hangers with your family’s initials. I would love to do this, but since I have to different last names in my house, that wouldn’t really work. LOL. Guess I will do a cross instead. And I really can’t wait for the next canvas class. It will be a Razorback! WOOOOO PIG SOOIE!!!! Have to have one of those in my house! LOL! It was a great way to spend a Friday night. Ready to do it again!

 

Until next time…

M

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My Peacock

My Peacock

It may not be the greatestm, but it’s mine! Proud of my first canvas painting.

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Reezy! Jeah!

Reezy! Jeah!

We are huge Ryan Lochte fans in my house! Go Team USA!

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Who will it be? Lochte or Phelps?

Tonight millions of us will tune in to watch the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. I will be recording it as I have already signed up for a painting class (girl’s night at its finest). Everyone looks forward to the opening ceremony because we are excited to see the cultural artistic displays, watch our nations’ athletes march through during the parade, and it’s always exciting to see who will have the distinguished honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron that will be aflame for the entire length of the games. While the majority of USA’s athletes will be marching tonight during the parade, some of the games’ biggest stars will be absent. Much of the swimming team will not participate in the opening ceremony as they have their first races Saturday morning. Among those include swimming favorites, friends and now rivals, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.

During the Olympic trials a few months ago in Omaha, Nebraska, Ryan Lochte beat out favored Phelps by a very slim margin in the 400m IM.  The 400m IM will be the first of three events that the two will go head to head in during the games.

We all know that Phelps is the golden boy who ran away with the competition in the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. We have heard his name for years now. Ever since he came onto the swimming scene and competed in the 2004 Olympics, we have known he was going to be great. He showed us just how great in 2008 at the Olympics in Beijing, when he won a remarkable 8 gold medals. He is now the most decorated Olympian when it comes to gold. All he needs is three medals at this year’s games to become the most decorated Olympian period. But can he do it? It’s going to be tough. His fellow USA swim team member, Ryan Lochte, is giving Phelps a run for his money.

We first started hearing Ryan Lochte’s name in the 2004 Olympics, when he was a part of the gold medal men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team. We heard his name again in Beijing when he won 4 medals, one of which was gold for the 200m backstroke. Something must have flipped on a switch inside Lochte after those Beijing games, because his training since then has soared him to the top of the list when it comes to swimming. Lochte changed up his diet and exercise regimen after the 2008 games. He was no longer going to be swimming in someone else’s shadow. And he has started to prove that by beating Phelps in several events in the last year.

Everyone is talking about these two amazing swimmers right now. I for one, am most excited to watch these two. This is the sport that I will be glued to for the next week or so. I think Phelps will get his record and go down in history as the most decorated Olympian ever. But I think we will all be surprised by a few upsets from Lochte. Lochte has a point to prove. I really believe that Ryan Lochte will be the one standing at the top of the podium with the gold around his neck. He didn’t go to London for the silver. He went for the gold. All of his hard work the past four years will pay off.

So, will it be the golden boy from the Beijing games? Or the underdog that has made an impressive run these past few years. Guess we will have to wait and see.

Good luck to all of Team USA!!! I am so ready for these games to start, and show my son what the Olympics are all about.

Until next time….

M

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Hello blog world!

So, I am very new to this whole blogging thing. But I am pretty sure that I am supposed to start by telling you a bit about me and what my blog will be about. So, here ya go. Me, in a nutshell.
I am a 27-year-old single mom. I have two college degrees and my student loan debt is twice what I make in a year. Go figure right?! I have the cutest 5-year-old son that is getting ready to start kindergarten this fall. I live in small town USA where everybody knows everybody. And everybody thinks they know everybody’s business. I’m sure there is no one else out there that lives there, right? I am a Hog fan for life. WOOO PIG SOOIE!!!! Football is my favorite sport, and I know more about it than some guys in my hometown. If my son doesn’t play football when he gets to high school, my heart will be broken. My best friend is the same best friend I have had since I was in kindergarten. I was brought up with morals and values, of which I think so many young people nowadays lack. I hope to instill these same values in my son. I am very laid back but easily stressed. I have had my shares of ups and downs. I have made many mistakes that I am not proud of. But I would not go back in time and do things any differently. Every choice I have made, whether good or bad, has helped make me the person that I am today. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason.
I think that is enough to get you started. Want to get to know me better, then stick around. I started this blog as a way to just express myself. I have really started to enjoy writing, and I am ready to write about things that interest me. There will be times that I write about the stresses of single parenting, trouble with weight loss (like most Americans), or the stress of work and being in debt. Then there will be times that I will write about how the Hogs are kicking ass and taking names. Olympics are coming up, so you can expect me to write about some of my favorite events. Which by the way include swimming. So ready for the big match up between Ryan Lochte and Micheal Phelps. Overall, this is not going to be a one stop shop type of blog. Any and every topic could end up on here.
Welcome to my blog. I hope you decide to stick around. Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think. I hope this becomes a very positive experience for me. You can also follow me on twitter @mary_scemons
Until next time…..
M

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