Olympic Story – John Orozco

I’m a sucker for a good Olympics story.

A story of struggling, a story of adversity, a story of conquering.

John Orozco, an Olympic gymnast from the Bronx, has such a story.

John’s dad saw a flyer for free lessons and jumped at the chance for his 7 year old to participate.

Once Orozco reached a certain level and needed more intensive coaching, the entire family worked at the gym since they were unable to afford it.

When the family would travel to away meets, they would cram John’s mattress into the back and sleep in the car.

Now when you see his mom and dad in the stands in London you just feel the overwhelming pride they have for their son.

I came across this music video starring John and wanted to share it with you.

I’m a fan of the music and of the athlete.

Is there a special Olympic athlete you’re cheering on this year?

Old Timey

My husband and nine year old went to a hockey game with my son’s friend and his dad.

The friend was asking all kinds of questions to his dad.

“What year did the Stars first have a team? Why do the referees where black and white stripes? What’s the most popular kind of skate used by the players?

The dad turned around and said to his son, “What do you think I am?…An encyclopedia?”

The friend scrunched up his face and said, “What’s an encyclopedia?”

Alex, ever the knowledgeable one said, “It’s sort of like an old timey Wikipedia.”

Running for Pie

If you’ve read my blog anytime in the last 3 months you know I’m training for a half marathon and pretty much hating every step of it.

Regardless of this dislike, I am committed and will push on for two more weeks.

One big hurdle in getting to race day is over for one of my sisters and me.

On Thanksgiving we ran 9 miles. Definitely an accomplishment for us.

We ran 4 miles before a 5 mile Turkey Day run.

I use run loosely for myself but Kelly truly rocked it on the run.

7 AM before our run, about fifty degrees outside, apparently Kelly had some dribble issues that morning

Since we were running on Thanksgiving morning I felt I had a built in dangling carrot.

Mile one, I was running for turkey.

Mile two, I was running for stuffing.

Mile three, I was running for gravy.

Mile four, I was running for mashed potatoes.

And mile five, I was running for PIE!

My strategy worked for awhile but around mile four (really mile eight for us) is quite working. Right along with my Ipod. Now, I could hear my huffing and puffing along with everyone who was passing me by. Instead of mashed potatoes and pie I thought about pain and more pain.

Despite my negativity, I finished the race. I might add that I finished immediately ahead of a woman pushing a triple stroller containing two year old triplets.  Some would be ashamed of that fact but I’m focusing on the AHEAD OF A WOMAN part.

It took me just under one hour and two minutes to complete the race while Kelly finished right at one hour. What can I say, her entire five miles were devoted to wine.

No Team Here

I had planned to write about something else today. Something cheerful and happy. Instead, I just got off the phone and feel like crying.

Last year one of my boys played on a winter basketball recreation league. We were invited through a friend who knew the coach. It was an eight game season with one practice a week. Being his first season, my son was hesitant at first but came to love going to practices. He always had a smile on his face and always followed directions.

My son was not the best on the team, the son’s coach was. My son didn’t play all the time, the coach’s son did. 


My son never cried on the court, the coach’s son did. My son never threw a fit in a game,  the coach’s son did.

My son was just thrilled to be on the court. He once said to me, “Mom, one day I’m going to play in the NBA.” He barely touched the ball during games but he thought he was a star.

For the past month I knew registration for winter basketball must be approaching. Today I looked on the website and saw that the registration deadline ends in two days. We never got an email from the coach.

Good riddance I thought. We’ll get on another team.

But suddenly the tail end of a conversation made sense to me.

Last week at soccer practice I walked up on a conversation between our soccer coach and two moms. I heard, “So they’ll both play?” The response was, “Yes.” The coach then quickly walked away.

Fast forward to today when I called one of those moms and asked if their son is playing basketball. She awkwardly told me the coach had asked her son to play on his team for the upcoming season. Outwardly I was laughing and making light of the issue but I had tears forming.

Again, someone doesn’t want my kid on their team. It feels like shit – I want to scream and shout and say, “You’re missing out on a great kid! He wants to play!”

What happened to “we are a team,” or “every person on this team is valuable?”

Joining a team at six should not be about ability, it should be about fun. Yes, you can learn techniques and be excited about wins but a bigger message should rise above it all. Sports are fun and can be for everyone. Sadly, the adults involved are forgetting this message.

Ever gone through this?



It’s been a week since I wrote the post above. Though still annoyed, my husband and I have found another avenue for our son to play basketball.  We have signed him up with a Christian youth league where the emphasis is on everyone playing and having fun. While we feel really hopeful that this will be a positive place for him to be, it hasn’t stopped me from making snide internal comments to the soccer coach during the last two weeks of practice.