Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's not a cliche to me...

I would guess every girl says this about there boyfriend... So it may seem like a bit of a cliche. 
My boyfriend is absolutely amazing!! 

After a rough day he brings me flowers...
Always manages to send sweet text messages just when I need them..
Plans the best adventures...
He always makes me smile and laugh..
 Brennan never ceases to amaze me!!  

While I was away working camp in Oklahoma, Brennan did it again.  I swear he amazes me everyday. He surprised me with a rode bike!!

We have talked about getting me a rode bike for about a year.  Brennan rides about four times a week with Saturday being his long ride.  He always says it would be so much better if we were both out riding.  So naturally Brennan has had me test out some different bikes to find my frame size.  I planned to really start looking once my life settled down a bit.  Well Brennan just could not wait any longer!  Turns out he had already researched which bike would be good for me and had been intensely searching craigslist.  His search paid off!!! 

Again never ceasing to amaze me a rode bike requires cycling shoes.  He took multiple pairs of my shoes down to the bike shop and got me a pair of cycling shoes. Which fit PERFECTLY!!! Sounds like some type of modern day athletic fairy tale.. Well I can say I have found my prince charming! So when I arrived home from camp he had gotten me a great bike in which he personally tuned up.  A very cute pair of cycling shoes and a helmet.

In my first week I rode a few times alone to get used to everything.  For a total of about 12 miles.  Then we went on our first long Saturday ride.  It was a really great time and very tiring.  But I survived a 32 mile ride on the coast of beautiful San Diego.  So I felt awesome about that!!!  Even ran into my grandpa going on his walk. He was so confused and I was still so worried about stopping at the light, guess he asked where my pants were.  At least that is what Brennan says.

Out on our first long Saturday ride

Well so far I have enjoyed biking.  I have managed to fall only 3 times!!  In about 3 weeks worth of riding. I am told that is really good, however my knee's are skinned and I have a ton of bruises.  So I cannot say I agree with that statement.  I have gotten way more comfortable on the bike though.  Brennan is an amazing coach in all areas!!  Especially with the gears, cause I have really struggled in that department.   

So far we have had three long Saturday rides.  Our longest being 47 miles.  I look forward to all the long Saturday rides we have in our future together and the hundred of thousands of miles we will ride. Plus the memories we will make!!!

Brennan thank you for the surprise!! I love the bike so much!! The shoes are great.  Plus, I have loved every second of riding especially when it has been with you!! Ok except for the falling part..

So it may be a cliche to some....
 However my boyfriend is absolutely amazing!!!! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 3rd- Not just another summer day!!!

So for many people they have just one birthday.  Depending on the individual they may extend that special day to include a whole week of festivities.

However my dad could be considered a lucky man in more ways then one. He literally has TWO birthdays that both happen to be in the same week.  Last week on July 3rd he turned three years old!!  Then on July 9th he turned 61.  Bit of a gap huh? Well we see no reason not to celebrate both birthdays and give him a birthday week.  We even throw in some fireworks on the 4th for him :)

July 3rd marked my dad's 3rd birthday with his new heart. A birthday that comes with mixed emotions.  It is a day that my family celebrates!! It is a day that comes because of a donor and his gift.  A day in which we are extremely grateful.  July 3rd, 2008 was the day we received "the call" that a heart was on its way. I will leave out most of the details except the fact that at this point my dad had been living at UCLA Hospital for over a month. And we were starting to run out of options.  However the call still came as a shock.  Dad managed to get a hold of everyone..  Easier said then done.  But we all rushed to UCLA.  Once we had all arrived thankfully before they took him to surgery.  We all joked and laughed like it was no big deal just another day in the life.  A day that we all remember giving a "Go Team" and saying a prayer for dad and the other family in a cold white hospital hallway.  Only to be left standing there as they wheeled dad off to the operating room.  Standing there with all my siblings trying not to cry.  It was the scariest moment of our lives.

The surgery would last all night and we would be told it was a success in the morning.  However there would still be a few obstacles to overcome.  However none of that worried us. The hardest part was over.  The part of actually getting a heart and getting through surgery.  In those few days I can honestly say I thought very little of the family that was suffering, because it had been a very long time since we had so much hope at the Vessey house.  Later that week I would start to think about the other family and pray for them.  What is considered one of the best days of my life is someone elses worst nightmare.

So July 3rd is my dad's 3rd birthday but it is a day that is much more then that. It is a day that I send my thoughts and prayers to a family who lost a loved one.  A day in which I pray and am so thankful that someone and many other people have the compassion to think of others in being an organ donor.  Because they are giving such an amazing gift, a true blessing!!!

We do not just pray for our donor and his family on July 3rd.  We thank them daily all in our own ways.  For example Christmas morning we all pray together before starting the unwrapping of gifts.  The first gift is usually something that reminds us how thankful we are.  We have donated to causes or other organizations.  Then we receive a gift that we will have as a daily reminder. I have two beautiful pieces of jewelery.  A heart necklace that I wear often inscribed with "New Heart 7-03-08."  Every time I put it on I say a prayer.

July 3rd is a day in which I am so grateful!! Grateful to the amazing doctors at UCLA and now Cedar Sinai.  To the donor and his family for giving such a selfless gift during such a terrible time.  Because of that gift my dad is living an amazing life. I want to share a few memories he has witness because of our donor's compassion and blessing!!

 First high school water polo game
First Citrus Belt League Title for REV 
 First CIF playoff games
 Swimming in CIF Championships
First few high school dances

 First High School Football game
  Smudge Pot Victories 3 on Varsity 
Rivalry Smudge Pot 2011- Sean as the holder getting the ball down to win the game with no time on the clock. 
 Graduating High School
 College orientation at Northern Arizona

 Playing water polo in college
 Her 2nd shoulder surgery
Mountain West Conference President
SDSU Winning the community service award- presented at the MWC Basketball Championships
 All Mountain West Conference Swimming Honors (2009-2010, 2010-2011)
 Mountain West Conference Champions

 Last collegiate swim meet
Richard Deitts Scholarship Winner
 Undergrad Graduation from San Diego State
 Coaching two seasons at the DI level- helping to lead my team to a MWC Championship 
 Master's Graduation from University of San Francisco

These are only a few events over the last three years. Words are not enough to express my true feelings toward our donor. To the donor's family you will always and forever be in my thoughts and prayers.

DAD I LOVE YOU!!! Happy 3rd Birthday..

On a side note his 3 year check up went pretty well and dad plans to play in the transplant vs doctors game again this year.  Last year I believe he went 3-4 or something awesome like that. He even hit a jack!!! Guess he still has it :)

Little video of dad playing in the transplant game

He has even take up cooking... However I think he still needs to work on it!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Insulindependence University (iD)

Brennan's new job has brought about a ton of changes for me as well.  Most importantly it has made it so that I am more involved with the non-profit Insulindependence (iN).  About two weeks ago they had a huge event here in San Diego called Insulindependence University.  The "captains" all come together for this program to learn more about themselves, their diabetes and how to better their diabetes management through athletics. Many use triathlons, others distance running and some the great outdoors. 

So since Brennan works for the organization he did a ton of logistics and other planning for the different events over the course of the week.  Thankfully the start of the week I was also working camp so we were both extremely busy. However while Brennan was setting things up they realized they needed someone to come speak to the Triabetes (triathlon group) about open water swimming and run a swim in La Jolla Cove.  Well guess who he convinced to volunteer.  No I was more then honored to be asked.  Plus it got me out of breakfast duty one morning of swim camp. 

I would leave the dorm at 5:30 to meet the group at La Jolla Cove.  Where I gave a quick speech about open water swimming. Ocean vs Lake, Spotting, swimming a group, entering and exiting, drafting.  Then took questions. I was pretty impressed with my knowledge since I had not raced in a few years open water.  I then took them toward the cove and helped them do some spotting and sent them out.  They seemed to all like the cove and there was a bunch of seals that morning. 

Vic and Brennan getting out of the ocean

A few of the triabetes members finishing up the cove swim

 Since Brennan is also an active member in the triathlon group (Triabetes) and the running group (Glucomotive) who I also raced under in the Carlsbad half marathon last year.  It was interesting to get to see more of what the organization does. I spent Thursday afternoon listening to a few different lectures they had set up for the captains.  I learned some great information about my self in training and then about what Brennan goes through to be able to train and do it successfully.  I then headed down to La Jolla Shores with the organization for a dinner and a bonfire on the beach.  It was a fun event where I got to meet great people.  Who all just think Brennan is doing a great job in his new role with the organization. I could not agree more!!

Friday I had planned to again help the organization.  I was able to help the triabetes group with there swimming this time in a pool.  I led the captains through some drills to improve there swimming and become efficient with every stroke. Then had them doing some swim sets.  They were all great and they seemed to make some great strides and were able to learn specific drills that would be able to help them at home.  It was another great experience.

So overall I loved being able to help out the organization in terms of donating my time and my expertise in the world of swimming. I am a full supporter of Insulindependence. I am IN!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Nike Camps

I have been fortunate that my swimming and water polo has opened many different doors for me.  Over the course of the summer I have been teaching lesson in my parents backyard pool.  I always enjoy spreading the excitement of swimming with others.  I also have gotten to participate as the lead counselor for the last few summers at the Nike Swim Camp at San Diego State University and University of Oklahoma.

Working camp is always exhausting and exciting at the same time.  Being in charge of 50 campers for 4 days can really take it's toll, especially when your sleeping in the dorm.  The San Diego State camp went really well and had a great group of swimmers.  A few with such enjoyment of the sport it almost (I said almost) made me want to get in and start training again. One camper who was only about 12 would ask these questions that were so intense.  Multiple times I had to say I would get back to him because I just did not have the answer and needed to do some research.  Also exciting to get to talk about college and just swimming at the different levels.

The campers at SDSU

Working camp at University of Oklahoma is always a bit more relaxed and then stressful at the same time. For starters I have to fly out a day before camp and of course had plane trouble.  I plan to not fly for a while.  I was supposed to arrive about midnight.  Well in Dallas we got on the plane and started heading for the runway and I noticed a ton of smoke coming from the left engine.  We just kept going and I was wondering if I was the only one noticing it.  Till the 3 year old in front of me pointed it out to her mom and asked her to close the little shade cause she was scared.  We started to pick up to speed only to have the pilot slam on the breaks. Then announce that the left engine would not start. A few things were running thought my mind. 

A) It was smoking the second we pulled away from the gate- what the heck took you so long. 
B) Again, it took you attempting to take off to see if it would just start up after not working for the last 15 minutes
C) Great how long is this gonna take.

Well needless to say we had to wait for a mechanic to come check it out.  Guess the starter had just disintegrated.  It costs us another hour and a half sitting at the gate on the plane. For a whole 30 minute ride into Oklahoma. So I arrived at a lovely 2:00 am. 

Camp would start the next day and go pretty smooth.  This camp is easier in the sense that we only serve them dinner, all the rest of the meals are eaten in the commons.  While at the SDSU camp we feed them all 3 meals a day.  So a lot of energy goes into that process of setting up, serving, and then cleaning up.  Plus its just a bit odd to work a camp at OU since we do not live in Oklahoma. This being our second year it went was much smoother in terms of logistics and finding everything. What is not great about this camp is the weather. It is so hot and humid, you walk outside and just feel like passing out.  The pool is inside which is different for us California people, especially since it has NO ventilation at all. Causing it to be an extremely stuffy and extremely hot, it was always at 90+ inside the facility.  With that lovely chlorine smell. 

So far in my last two years of camp at OU we always have some type of incident.  Last year a girl cut her foot on the bottom of a door and had to go get it stitched back up.  While I got stuck watching all the other campers.  This year we had two things happen both times with the same kid who was 8.  First we lost him.  When I say that do not panic we found him.  Turns out he thought we were leaving sooner then we did and headed downstairs.  Where he then got distracted by a college friend of his. Not sure how an 8 year old has college friends, but that is what he said.  So we decided the rest of the campers and counselors would proceed to the pool as schedule and I went into panic mode.  Searching the dorm. Got his master key to his dorm room to see if he was in there.  Then called the camp director who was at the pool who said he just walked into the pool area.  So after looking like a complete idiot, no harm no foul.  Right?  However the next day would be a bit different.  Some girls were holding a door closed and not allowing him to come in, so this 8 year old got flustered and well kicked the door.  So hard that the shatter proof glass- well it shattered.  Luckily it was the tempered kind so it did not fall out and hurt any of them.  But he shattered a glass door!! Without any shoes on!! Thankfully he did not hurt his foot either. The women working the dorm said she has only seen it happen one other time in all her years of working at OU and that was when two football players were fighting and threw one into the door. And were talking Sooner football players.  Luckily his parents were cool and are paying for the damage.

The campers at OU

Sitting in the stadium at OU

So I have survived another two weeks of swim camp.  I learned some new things and most importantly shared a lot of information with excited campers.  Plus it is always fun to see another university.  Even though I had been to OU last summer, it was great to get back and see more of the university.  As well as  feel the sense of pride these people have in there association and the support of the athletic department.