A Letter to my Teammates

Dear Teammates,chalk1

You are the ones who have seen me at my worst (crying in the fetal position), at my angriest (yelling at the coach and storming out of the gym), and at my best (all the medals, first places, and successful routines).


You are the ones who have embraced me through it all, and accepted me despite my imperfections and mood swings. You have been my supporters, my rivals, and my best friends. You have loved me through the pain, sweat, blood, and tears. You have defeated me and in turn pushed me to become better; I love you for it.

IMG_0624Above everything else, you are the ones who understand me the most. You understand how I think, feel, and function. You understand my OCD behaviors, my stone cold bitch face, and why crying is unacceptable.


No one understands and respects an athlete better than another athlete. We have been through a lot, way more than the general public understands. Countless surgeries, concussions, broken bones, pulled muscles, torn skin, and tape – a lot of tape.



Thank you for standing by my side, and for continuing to be my best friends through life after gymnastics.





With love,

~Brini, Brina, Brinksi, Ween, Sabrina





Children holding hands

I have spent many hours contemplating the word forgiveness.

One word, three syllables, and I’m totally confused by it.

I have forgiven many things. My best friend for breaking my nose, the woman who sued me for backing into her car in the Moe’s parking lot, and my dog for eating my freshly made turkey sandwich. You get the idea. In general people are forgiving, until the one unthinkable act causes you to really uncover the meaning of it.

Will I wake up one day and all of the sudden feel happiness towards those I’m trying to forgive? Should I go to therapy and talk to someone who has no idea what’s going on? Is it going to church on Sunday because He is suppose to forgive everything, so we should too?

I have tried to forgive. I have physically exhausted myself searching for forgiveness, and I just can’t grasp it.

I have come to the realization that forgiveness is deserved for the people you are truly willing to let back into your life. Forgiveness isn’t something that is taught. It’s something that you decide, over time, on your own. The most important thing about forgiveness is that it’s okay if you can’t forgive someone, even if others expect you to.

Forgiveness isn’t always just around the corner. If you ever find it let that person know. Until then, do the best you can.


That Resting Bitch Face


Damn. It’s a tough life being the outgoing introvert with a resting bitch face. That was the most “first world problem” sentence I’ve ever typed, but there are people who understand the struggle.

For instance:

When people ask if you’re okay.

Yes! If we’re not okay it’s probably because we don’t like you.

When someone tells you they have a resting bitch face too.

No you don’t. That’s like telling someone you’re super unique…you’re probably not.

When you get less attention than the always bubbly, loud laughing, jumping bean in the room.

Don’t fret. She’s annoying and everyone will quickly learn that too.

And the worst one…

When people tell you to smile more.

No! We don’t want to because it physically hurts.

The most difficult thing you can do as someone with a resting bitch face is try really, really, really hard to smile all the time. It’s not good for us, and we don’t want to work that hard.



When things don’t go as planned and people disappoint you anger rolls in and happiness disappears. You find yourself crying more than laughing, and wanting to turn back the clock. When you’ve hit rock bottom and feel like you’re drowning in emotions you can no longer control.

Think of it like this…

Though my hindsight is not quite 20/20, I’m starting to think the bad things are blessings in disguise.

Be thankful for the friend who betrayed you now so you don’t waste your time.

Be thankful your parents are moving, so you have a sweet place to visit.

Be thankful for the guy who broke your heart, so you know what to look for down the road.

Only cry for the happiness you lost, not for the people who didn’t care about you in the first place. Always be honest, loving and faithful. Make wise choices and fall in love with yourself, no matter how much of a mess you may be. The rest will follow.


NFL Football

As baseball season comes to an end, sports enthusiasts are looking forward to a fall season full of pumpkin flavored Starbucks drinks, cooler temperatures, and football!

It’s refreshing how loyal a person can be to a team. Professional, college, and even high school football fans have high hopes for their team. Many people watch their beloved team on television, but how much football do you actually watch? I did some digging and found a few sources that have great numbers on what actually goes on when you watch NFL football on a Sunday, or Monday.

In a nutshell you get about 11-12 minutes of actual playing time…dare I ask why we even watch it on tv anymore? 

Here’s a pie chart from http://www.sportsgrid.com

A photo from The Wall Street Journal and from http://www.marketwatch.com

Here are the links if you’re interested in the full articles…





Everyone Is Not a Winner

I was planning on posting a different blog about sports this week, but with all the attention surrounding James Harrison making his sons return their participation trophies I decided to switch it up.

I may not be a mother, but as a former collegiate athlete I have pretty good insight into the lifestyle. As a high level gymnast I remember winning, but most of the time I remember the trophies I didn’t win. The countless 2nd and 3rd place medals, the endless tears, and the heartbreaking losses my teams endured throughout the years. I also remember my parents being at every single meet, watching on the edge of their seats hoping I wouldn’t screw up knowing I would beat myself up. I was harder on myself than my parents were on me. They let me drown in my sorrows until I decided to work harder. They didn’t console me, they let me console myself and were always there, at arms length, if I needed support from them. That’s what made me, and many of my friends and teammates, successful in the sport. Winning was rare, it still is.

It seems like society has turned sports into “everyone gets a trophy.” When in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sports are about teaching kids discipline, hardwork, perseverance, and to keep pushing themselves to be better. When have you heard a parent say, “I put my kid in sports so they can participate.” How are they going to improve if they get a trophy for simply being present? At some point you have to let them fail on their own, without receiving a trophy. Then, you have to let them overcome that on their own.

I want my future kids to learn how to be a gracious loser and a humble winner because the feeling you get as a champion is worth the pain you suffer as a loser. Parents should be there supporting, encouraging, and pushing until their kid is successful in whatever it may be. If that means making them give back their participation trophies, then so be it. 

Losing betters you as an athlete and as a person.