Monday, August 29, 2016

Who am I?

I have been an athlete my entire life.  It is literally all that I have known.  From an early age I became accustomed to being celebrated for my athletic achievements.  When I was a kid I competed in gymnastics and played youth soccer.  Every kid on my team received an award merely for participating, which was a concept my young, competitive brain couldn’t quite reconcile.  I have never really liked attention and have always been the quiet introverted kid, but without even knowing it being celebrated as an athlete became a staple in my life.
I knew early on that I wanted to be a collegiate athlete.  I didn’t know what sport I wanted to participate in, but I always knew that I wanted to continue to pursue my passion for sports.  I initially tried out for soccer at UCDavis and was devastated when I did not make the team.  After licking my wounds and after much pressure from the coaches, I reluctantly made my way out to track practice.  It didn’t take me long to realize that track and field was where I belonged.  I worked hard and I could directly see my work pay off in times and results.  I competed against myself every day, received praise when I succeeded and picked myself up when I failed.  I knew the emphasis was student first and then athlete, but in my heart I was always an athlete first.  I dressed and prepared for practice every morning before school and consistently biked to class, fully outfitted in spandex and covered in bags of recovery ice.  Without even knowing it I became addicted to identifying as an athlete. 

After finishing my four years of collegiate athletics I struggled to figure out what was next.  I watched my boyfriend at the time sign an MLB contract and have the opportunity to continue to play baseball.  I was envious of his opportunity and anxious to find my next athletic ‘fix.’  It came soon after, in the form of bobsled. 

I can’t say I immediately fell in love with bobsled.  Our relationship has always been complex.  I loved competing and I loved pushing my body in training, but there were many other complexities that took some adjustment.  As time went on, I learned to love the integral details necessary to be successful in the sport.  At some point our relationship and I was head over heels in love and 100 percent in.  My identity evolved from athlete, to bobsledder.  It was who I was for eight years.  My daily successes were celebrated as I easily settled into the lifestyle.  In the back of mind I knew I could not be a bobsledder forever, but I was willing to sacrifice my entire self for one goal.  I convinced myself I had balance in my life and that I was prepared for the inevitable end of my career.

In 2014 when I did not make the Olympic team and chose to leave the sport, I realized how unprepared I really was.  I felt like a kid who had just graduated college, riddled with extreme uncertainty and unsettled that the college experience was over.  It was almost as if I had excelled in sport and regressed in every other aspect of my life.  I had to relearn what seemed like basic domestic skills.  I was overwhelmed by simple interactions and felt like an alien trying to assimilate to a life that was very unfamiliar.  I desperately tried to just be normal. 

I vowed to be courageous and brave throughout my major life transition.  I did not have any idea where my life would take me and I was scared of all the future unknowns.  It was incredibly overwhelming and admittedly often still is.  Thankfully my sister and brother in law opened their doors to me with no questions asked.  They were patient, kind and didn’t push me any harder than I needed to be pushed.  They weren’t hard on me, but also helped to give me a little nudge when I needed it.  They knew that it is my nature to hold myself to unreasonably high standards under every circumstance, so offered what I needed most; unconditional love and support.  If it was not for my family I would have never been able to use the last two years to explore different opportunities.   

My sister and brother in law gave me the gift of time.  It is a gift that I don’t know if I will ever be able to repay them for.  I was able to try different paths and see what fit for me.  I knew when I was done with bobsled I would never go back to the sport, but I was not satisfied with the athletic footprint I left.  My family supported me when I started playing rugby, even if in the back of their heads they thought I was crazy.  It was different this time around.  I was a recovering bobsled addict and I was well aware of the consequences if I did not continue to maintain the balance I had fought to find.  

After ten years of elite athletics, I gave rugby what I had left in my body and mind.  I gave it what I could as I simultaneously worked hard towards establishing future plans.  I ended my elite athletic career on a high note and can be at peace with the legacy I left.  Rugby has given me lifelong friends and a community I will always be a part of.  I am very proud to have contributed to the first Women’s Olympic Rugby Team and to have competed for the National Team.  I know celebrating participation ended with youth soccer, but in this case participating was one of my greatest athletic achievements.  Crossing over to rugby, learning the game and the skill was arguably one of the most difficult athletic experiences of my life.  It is an achievement I am very proud.

I am now in training for the next Olympic quad, but this time in a different capacity, as a student.  When I am doing schoolwork I often think of the days struggling on the rugby pitch when I thought I had nothing more to give.  Those days remind me just how tough I am.  I think in the midst of everything I lost sight of that.  I know my classes will push me and I will often feel just as uncomfortable as I felt the first day I slid down the ice or tied up my rugby cleats.  I know it may never get easier, but I will adjust and it will get more comfortable.  My identity will continue to evolve as I take risks and discover who I am.  I have learned that there is not just one element to who I am, but instead my identity encompasses many.  I am an Olympian, a former student-athlete, a retired bobsledder, a rugby player, a student, but most importantly… I am a fighter

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Guest Blog By: Geneva Azevedo

Very rarely do all four Azevedo girls end up in the same place at the same time. In the past few weeks the four of us have been fortunate enough to be in the same town multiple times.  For anyone outside of our family, it can be a bit overwhelming to be around all of us at once.  We are loud, talk over each other and laugh at inside jokes that our audience may not be privy to. 

It has been about 15 years since Emily and I have lived in the same town, and now we are a mere bike ride away. It may not seem like much, but it has been amazing to have been able to have dinner with my sisters multiple times this week.  However, having all my older sisters nearby can also have its downfalls.  At some point one of us is bound to look at the other the wrong way or say something in the wrong tone and it can quickly progresses downhill from there. But what I find so great about having siblings is one minute you can be arguing over the smallest thing and the next you are laughing at a shared moment from earlier that day.  A bond like that is irreplaceable and one-of-a-kind…or in our case, four of a kind. 

Now that Emily and I are living in the same town, our bickering will probably increase, but so will our dinner dates, our froyo runs, our road trips together and our time just hanging out together. I wouldn’t trade this bonus time with my sister for anything in the world, even if it involves a few squabbles along the way.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Warrior IG

I have always been very proud to have earned the title of Olympian.  It is an honor and something I have taken very seriously.  I believe an Olympian must carry themselves a certain way and continue to live life embodying the Olympic ideals even beyond sport.  I represented my country and I find it important to continue to make my supporters proud of the person I have become.  I have tried to live my life with integrity, respecting the Olympic Rings and the Olympic movement.  

Many athletes have done everything right, trained hard, lived a life of honesty and purity, but are not recognized.  My teammate Irene Gardner is someone that embodies an Olympian.  She is a warrior.  Although she was left off the Olympic roster, Irene has done everything she can to help USA Rugby and our team be as prepared for Rio as possible. 

She is selfless, pushes her teammates to be their best and continues to be a sounding board.  Irene is one the most determined hard working people I know and is completely deserving of being celebrated.  Her work ethic is impressive, but what separates her is the size of her heart.   Irene may be small in stature, but has a huge heart.  She is kind and giving and has an unprecedented ability to make the people around her better.   It takes a special person to push aside personal disappointment for the benefit of the team.  To me, Irene represents the foundation of what the Olympic Games is built upon.  Because of this, in my eyes, Irene is an Olympian.  I will always look up to her as an athlete, but more importantly for how she presents herself.      

Monday, July 11, 2016

Any life changes can prove to be difficult.  Change is defined as doing something different and transition is the action of undergoing change.  I am learning that the more I can prepare for change in my life the smoother the transitions is.  In 2014 upon retiring from bobsled I was faced with an enormous amount of change.  I moved from my home in Colorado Springs.  I needed to find a new way to support myself.  Additionally, I encountered a huge shift in lifestyle change after being provided for by an Olympic Training Center.  Simple things like grocery shopping were completely overwhelming.  On top of everything I was dealing with the disappointment of missing the 2014 Olympic Team and faced with the challenges of trying to figure out what was next.  I was completely unprepared.  I was ready to move on from bobsled, but struggled daily with the face that it was not on my terms. 

The enormous amount of change I was experiencing seemed to compile and paralyze me from moving forward.  I tried to be brave every day to work towards an unknown goal.  Although my family couldn’t completely understand what I was going through they have been patient and loving with me as I’ve worked to figure myself out.  I was not pushed to move forward quicker, but was allowed time to grieve the loss of my life and gradually explore the overwhelming amount of future options. 

I have learned that along with preparing a plan, surrounding yourself with people who support you, not judge you and will love you unconditionally, helps the process.  I have been fortunate to have been able to use the past two years to explore different career options and narrow down what direction I want to go.  I think I have learned that I may never know exactly what I want to do, but it is important to be brave and dive into options.  I can still continue to explore and move in and out of jobs as I see fit. 

Soon I will be going through more major changes.  I am still nervous, but I feel significantly more prepared this time.  I have learned that I thrive in the routine that athletics provided me, so it is important for me to create a similar structure as I begin school in the fall.  I will be surrounded by my family support and I am more confident than I was a year ago.  Although change can be difficult, it can also be very fun and exciting depending the perspective you chose to take.  I know I will continue to be overwhelmed but utilizing the tools that made me a success in sports I am confident that I can achieve anything that I want to. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Future Rugger! #GrowtheGame

Rugby in America is in its infancy, just like little Avery Marie.  I have only been playing for two years and have seen incredible growth, especially in Women's Rugby.  I am excited to see the growth of the game after the Olympic Games in Rio.  I know the Nation will fall in love with everything about rugby, just as I did.  I can not wait for the opportunity many young girls will be given in the future because of rugby.  Some colleges have begun to make rugby a varsity sport and are offering young women scholarships.  I am hopeful by the time Avery is on her way to college Rugby will be mainstream and supported by most colleges. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016


I have always valued my personal space and have never been much of a hugger.  Every now and again I would grit my teeth and suffer through an occasional hug when socially necessary.  A simple high five has been my go to form of acknowledgment for many years. 

When I started playing rugby I quickly learned that a personal connection with your team is a significant part of the culture and the game.  I observed that hugging is a big part of this.  For the first 6 months that I played rugby I weaseled my way out of many hugging interactions and was ‘forced’ into others.  My teammates began to catch on to my disinterest in hugs, but over time I have grown to appreciate and understand the importance of them.  I have since made a list, so that future ruggers can be prepared for all the appropriate times to hug your teammate.

Appropriate times for Ruggers to Hug:

·       When you are saying “Hello”

·       When you are saying “Goodbye”

·       If a teammate is sad

·       If a teammate is happy

·       When you do something well

·       When you do something not so well

·       If a teammate is injured or sick

·       If your teammate is healthy

·       When you haven’t seen each other in awhile

·       If you saw each other yesterday

·       If you just think a hug is needed

·       When you don’t think a hug is needed

·       After surviving a terrible workout together

·       To celebrate victory

·       To mourn defeat

·       Any other situation not listed above

I have learned that a hug is appropriate in any situation and is a small piece of showing your teammates you love and support them.  I am sure when I am done with rugby the connection with my team will be something that I miss.  I am thankful they have ‘taught’ me the importance of a simple hug and how it can positively effect a person’s day.    

Sunday, May 15, 2016

I came across this blog post recently and can very much relate.  I have learned to appreciate the silence and am grateful that rugby has given me the opportunity to cherish the last moments I have as an athlete!   

Without The Game by: Lexi Panepinto

For every senior collegiate athlete whose season is about to end or has already ended, this one's for you.

Silence is usually described as a feeling of stillness; a state of peace, a split-second of quiet, a season of serenity. It’s harmonious and soothing and usually portrayed by unruffled waters or someone sitting in tranquility. This is what silence looks and feels like to a lot of us most of the time. We long for a moment of silence in this loud and crazy world. We crave it and when it finally comes, we close our eyes and hang on tight to it, for it is ever-fleeting.

But, what if this isn’t what silence always looks like? What if there was a silence that hung around for a little while? A silence that is deafening, unwanted, and conflicted. A silence that looks more like someone struggling to stay afloat in rough waters rather than someone sitting peacefully near unruffled ones. What if silence looked like this instead? What if silence felt like this instead? What if I told you that this type of silence actually exists? Would you believe me?
Almost all elite-level athletes—college, semi-pro, or pro—experience this kind of silence. There comes a time, whether due to injury, retirement, or ineligibility, where the silence sets in. No more cheers of the crowd chanting. No more recognition for record-breaking performances.

No more noise, clamor, or commotion. Just silence -- echoes of what used to be.

Some might say that this is too drastic and dramatic; that sports are just a silly game us athletes play and that we need to get over it. But what those people might not understand is that losing the game is like losing a part of ourselves. We’ve spent most of our lives dedicated to our sport—years preparing, conditioning, competing. We’ve not only invested ourselves physically, but mentally and emotionally as well -- becoming consumed with the wins and losses, the highs and lows. It defines us in a way. Gives us purpose. Gives us an identity. It becomes our world and we become wrapped up in it. So that is why, when it’s all said and done, when the final buzzer buzzes and the last whistle blows, it’s a big loss -- probably the biggest loss in all of our athletic careers.  At this moment, we’re left to undergo some serious life re-evaluation; left asking who are we? What do we do now?

As the collegiate fall season nears an end, the first wave of senior student-athletes begins to face these questions. Less than 2 percent of collegiate athletes will go on to play pro, leaving 98 percent subject to the silence soon. Sure, there are adult leagues and beer leagues we can go on to join, but it won’t be anything like the game we played in high school or college. We’re competitors; we love the thrill of a rivalry, the pressure of a playoff game, the grind of going to practice every day, the feeling of being victorious, the locker room celebrations, the long bus rides. We live for that. And while recreational sports may still have all of that, it won’t ever have quite the same feel as it once did.

This transition is something that we rarely talk about. But, I say, if every athlete is bound to go through it at some point, why not bring it to the forefront and acknowledge it? Through sports, we have been  lucky enough to create more friendships and memories than most people dream of. We have grown as people and learned more lessons from athletics than school could ever teach us. So, when that moment comes, when the clock strikes 0:00, and it’s all said and done, while inevitable sadness will strike, I’d like to offer a little bit of advice.

Take it all in. Take a look into the stands to see your family and friends who have been there to support you every step of the way – remember to be thankful. Take a look at your teammates to the left and to the right of you, and think about how these people, who have become your family, have shaped your life – remember to never let these relationships go. Take a look at playing stage, whatever it may be, one last time and replay all of the great victories and celebrations – remember to cherish those feelings of triumph. Take time to reflect on all the years you’ve played – remember to never take those years and opportunities for granted.

Finally, no matter how deafening it may be, take the time to listen to the silence, because while our sport has certainly molded us and inarguably impacted our lives, it is in no way definitive of who we are. Remember that, and more importantly, believe that. Believe that you are just as important and just as valuable to the world as you were when you played your sport. Because if there's one thing I know for sure it's that being a good person is what truly matters in this life. Who you are without the game is what matters and how good of a person you are doesn't change just because your playing days are over.

The silence will only begin to fade, once you believe that.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

It was quite and honor to compete for Team USA once again!  I truly enjoyed having my name on the back of my jersey and my country on the front.  It is an accomplishment that I am very proud of and something I never thought I would do again.  I competed 8 years for USA bobsled and realized that I never had my name on my uniform, so this experience was very special. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hydration is Key!

I have grown accustomed to carrying around a water bottle with me at all times.  It is very important as an athlete to be sure that you are always hydrated and prepared for the next training session.  It is just as important to improve health to maintain hydration daily.  The Boys and Girls Club recently installed a new water cooler, which allows the kids to have highly purified water directly from a tap!  It is quite and upgrade to the typical water fountain.  The only catch is that the kids are required to provide their own water bottle to drink the water.  Many families are unable to provide a water bottle or do not understand the importance of hydration. 

ITA and L.L. Bean asked what could be done to benefit my program at the Boys and Girls Club and of course the first thing I thought of was providing the kids with water bottles!  I was so excited that just a week after asking for L.L Bean water bottles they all came in the mail.  It seems like such a small thing, but it was really special to me that with the help of L.L. Bean I was able to provide the kids with water bottles.  The kids were so excited to receive their new bottles and immediately put their names on it and went and filled them up.  Thank you to ITA and L.L. Bean for keeping the kids at the Boys and Girls Club healthy and hydrated!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Irene and I after the tournament
Recently my teammate Irene Gardner presented me with my first USA Rugby Jersey! What an amazing honor and thrill represent the United States once again and even more incredible to hear Irene's presentation.   
Em, I know this is a long awaited opportunity. We talk about being resilient and determined and you are a true representation of such qualities. I have not met someone so dedicated to sport as you. You have trained at the highest level in 2 sports. You have transferred your knowledge and passion to rugby, and have been utterly determined to understand the game and adapt to the physical and mental demands of the sport. 

I am proud of you in all you have worked for, your patience, and your selfless efforts to make your teammates and this team stronger. 

I am honored to present you with your jersey for your debut for USA rugby. 

Be proud and believe. And know I do. Let your passion drive your play. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Welcome my new niece Avery Marie Chisam!  I was so lucky to have already been in the area when she was born, so able to meet her.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

2010 Olympian Bree Schaaf Announces Retirement

By: Emily Azevedo

Bree Schaaf can always be spotted by her infectious laugh and her witty sense of humor. Her teammates know her for her unconventional dorm room cooking and her passion and love for sliding.  When she was not sliding, she had an unorthodox way of exploring her musical and culinary side, traveling with her key board and harmonica.  After spending over a decade sliding down the ice, Schaaf is moving forward and taking on more of life’s challenges. 

Schaaf began her career after attending her first skeleton camp in December 2002, leaving her family on Christmas day to pursue a new dream.  Her older brother, Tim, was involved in skeleton and convinced Schaaf a standout volley player at Portland State University to give it a try.  She spent the next five seasons competing National and International on the skeleton circuit and had her break out season on the World Cup tour in 2006-2007.
Schaaf a self-proclaimed “head dragger” was tired of scarping her head along the ice and was determined to convince the bobsled coaching staff she had the skill and physique to transition into Bobsled.  In 2007, Schaaf attended her first bobsled driving school and immediately fell in love with the sport. 

“Sliding was all about extremes for me, exploring personal boundaries in all directions. Hysterical laughter, hysterical crying; strength and speed numbers I never thought possible, resilience I never knew existed” Schaaf Said.  Schaaf is extrememly grateful for “the opportunity to travel the world, learn languages, and play amongst my favorite international band of crazies.”
Winning the 2009 Bobsled National Championships proved to be a major turning point for Schaaf.  It gave Schaaf the opportunity to compete and gain valuable experience on the Olympic Track in Whistler where she and teammate Emily Azevedo surprised the world with a 6th place finish. 

Earning her Olympic berth was still going to prove to be a challenge for Schaaf.  Throughout the 2009-2010 season Schaaf not only had to learn to drive European tracks, she was also required to beat out other nations to earn a spot as the Americans third sled.  This was a challenge that Schaaf and Azevedo were up for.  “Bree and I believed in eachother and that is how we earned our spot in Vancouver” Azevedo said.  “We had many challenges along the way, but we always had a deep rooted belief that we could accomplish our goal”

In January of 2010 Schaaf and Azevedo were named to the Vancouver Olympic team where the pair placed an impressive 5th place.  After Vancouver Schaaf was determined to change the sport of bobsled becoming the first female to pilot a four women’s sled down the Lake Placid bobsled track.  She became a pioneer for the sport and paved the way for future female bobsledders. 
Now days Schaaf can often be heard calling Luge races or coaching Paralympic skeleton athletes.  Her goals have shifted from winning medals to merely appreciating the little things in life.

“For the future I hope to let go of the need to push things too far, and relax into the beauty that is everyday life,” Schaaf said.  “I want to have goals, but have satisfaction separate from them. I hope to explore my curiosities and do what I want to do, irrelevant to what I should do or what will bring prestige and attention.”

There is one thing that can be said, Schaaf had a huge impact on the sport of bobsled and on the many friends she has made all over the world.   

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rio Rugby Dream

Written by: The Rugby Republic
Olympian Seeking The Olympics. Sounds like a classified. 

All of the ladies vying for a spot on the Team USA Rugby 7s team are aiming for their first Olympics, well nearly all. There is one who already has the title of Olympian and that rugger is Emily Azevedo!  Azevedo has a great story on the path she’s taken to bring her to this point!
The former high school track star from Chico, California used those skills to land her at UC Davis, where she was a member of the Aggies track team there running the 100m hurdles. Watching the winter Olympics, Azevedo became intrigued by the bobsled events and the next thing you know (it wasn’t that easy it was years of hard work and training), she made the USA team and competed in the two women bobsled event competition in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. She finished an impressive 5th at the games. Azevedo has medaled a few times in the world championships for Bobsledding.  So how is she now in line for 2016 Summer Games in Rio and for Rugby???

Told you this is a good journey. Azevedo only took up rugby a year and a half ago! She has played with the Berkley All Blues and this past summer she played 7s with a successful San Diego Surfers side.

How she came to the game of rugby is not unlike many of us, by chance. Azevedo told us “I was on vacation with some friends in Hungary. A girl approached me at the gym and asked me to come play touch rugby with her and her team. I immediately fell in love with the people I met out there and knew when I moved back to the Bay Area I wanted to find a team to play for”.

When Azevedo retired from bobsledding in 2014 she sought out rugby as just a way to meet some new friends and to just have fun.  She ended up with the All Blues and played with them that summer (2014) and trained with them in the fall before she moved to the OTC in the spring. Once she was in San Diego and training at the OTC she knew she needed to get game experience and so this past summer (2015) she played 7s for the San Diego Surfers.

We asked Azevedo if her experience as an Olympian would be used by the team. Azevedo pointed out that there hasn’t been women’s rugby 7s in the Olympics before so there are a lot of unknowns for the team and for USA Rugby. “Because of the Olympic experience I have had I am able to share with the girls what to expect and to help them all in preparing for Rio” noted Azevedo.

Azevedo comes to the team preparing at the OTC having had professional support in terms of coaching, training facilities, etc as a bobsledder. She is also in the Resident program at the OTC in Chula Vista for rugby and so we asked how much of a boost is that in preparing the team as she has some great perspective from her pervious stints with Team USA.  Azevedo said “Throughout my bobsled career I lived at a training center… for about 8 years. The resources that the OTC is able to provide do help athletes compete at the top level”.  She also pointed out “Although there is still a huge financial sacrifice for the athletes the training center helps to curb the cost of food, sports medicine and training facilities. It allows us to be able to train for rugby fulltime with is valuable for many of the athletes we have that have not grown up playing rugby”.
Azevedo points out that without the resources of USA Rugby and the resident program at the OTC most would have a hard time training full time.  “Many athletes are able to be successful without the training center resources, but may have to be more creative with how they are able to train and fund their daily lives” shared Azevedo. She also highlighted that the OTC allows the USA Rugby 7s athletes the opportunity to train fulltime as a team, which should yield a competitive advantage.
Rugby we know provides life longs bonds. Now part of team (at least successful teams) preparation is a form of bonding, but on the same hand and in the case of these athletes like Azevedo they are training together and competing with each other for a limited number of spots. We want to know how that is handled?  Azevedo said, “I think I come from a different perspective because I have gone to the Olympics and had thought that I was done as an athlete.”  Azevedo goes on to say, “I would love to make another Olympic team, but the most important part of this journey for me is the friendships and the bonds. I think that we are able to continue to maintain a team atmosphere and we ALL realize that if we are selected or not we are all a valuable part of the process and the team”!

Azevedo is always working to give back to the kids and she has used her work with the Boys and Girls Club to do that work. While she participates in a variety of activities with the kids at the Boys and Girls Club she also tries to expose them to the game of rugby.  Azevedo said “I bring a rugby ball with me and try to get the kids up and running around and just having some fun. The most important thing to me about rugby is to have fun, so I try and show the kids how fun rugby can be and maybe someday they will want to try and play”.  Now that’s a solid strategy that Azevedo is employing so those of you who work with kids or volunteer, try this! We all can help grow the game.
We have seen the growth of the game in resent years and especially with youth and girls and we asked Azevedo her take on the growth of rugby. “It is exciting to see rugby grow especially for girls in America” shares Azevedo “and I think the Olympics will be a huge platform to expose young women to the sport”. Azevedo continued saying “The thing I love about rugby is it is a very inclusive sport and literally everyone can find a place to fit into. I think many young women will find this attractive about rugby”.
As we learned more about Azevedo we realized that she’s spent most her adult life after college training and living at training center which is great for training but as noted not lucrative. We asked Azevedo about that and she explained “I have been an elite athlete for close to ten years now. I began bobsled right out of college in 2006. I graduated from UD Davis with a degree in Exercise Biology. I originally had hoped to be a strength coach, but after being in a weight room for so many years I have recently started applying to law schools and hope to pursue law next fall.

We want to thank the San Diego Surfers and the Berkeley All Blues for connecting to Emily Azevedo, and to Emily for her time.  Azevedo’s story is unique but doesn’t vary from that of most successful ruggers which is finding the game by chance, falling in love with it and then dedicating all your effort to getting better at it. You can follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyAzevedo.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

This week at the Boys and Girls Club we learned about the different food groups on the food pyramid.  It was eye opening to hear what the kids thought was healthy food and what they did not think was healthy. It made me laugh when one of the boys was very confident when he was explaining to me that cereal had its very own food group.  It was very clear to me how important early nutritional education is for children.  Obesity is a huge issue throughout the nation and education for parents and their children plays a huge role in the fight against childhood obesity.  I was excited to teach the kids how to make choices when they are deciding on what to eat and how their plates should look with their meals on them.  Each of the kids was given a paper and they had to decide what foods were in the proper food group and how many servings of each they needed per day.  I was happy to see that by the end of the course most of the children understood the importance of eating healthy and how to make it happen.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

2015 in Review

Played Vegas 7's Rugby with Atlantis

 Coached the Lady Cavaliers Rugby Club

Worked at Cocina Mexico and ate many burritos!

Moved to Chula Vista to pursue Rugby full time

Worked at the Boys and Girls Club

Went to Alaska with USA Rugby
Nebraska Football Game


Played Rugby in Tobago!
Broke my Finger....

Fixed my finger
Broke my Clavicle..
Fixed my Clavicle!
Hopefully 2016 will be a fun, happy and HEALTHY year.  I am looking forward to new adventures and excited to see what this year brings.  I am grateful for the opportunities 2015 has given me and thankful for the many friends I have made along the way.  Watch out 2016!