Archives For Strength

It’s JUST a Game

March 1, 2018 — 2 Comments

It’s JUST a game of dribbling, passing, shooting, boxing out, rebounding, fouling, pressing, losing, and winning.

It’s JUST a handful of months out of the calendar year devoted to lifting, conditioning, ball handling, and pushing oneself to achieve more than the day before.

It’s JUST a day here and a night there spanning several weeks gathered together with coaches and teammates sharing meals and laughs.

It’s JUST watching film, checking tweets and snaps, and scouting your competition.

It’s JUST putting yourself out there in front of fans who will both celebrate your successes and ruthlessly judge your every move, decision, and game stat.

It’s JUST a span of three days out of 365 total throughout the year.

It’s JUST something you can’t really describe until you experience it.

Here we are, baby. State basketball is right around the corner.

2018 bracket

c/o @OmahaHSHoops

I’ve written before about the Bellevue West Thunderbirds advancing to the big show. I’ve interviewed their head coach, Doug Woodard, who also happens to be my father-in-law.

Yes, in the grand scheme of life and with everything happening in our world, it’s easy to question how young adults playing a game can mean so much to so many.

Yet the older I get, the more I appreciate the unbridled joy of it all.

TBirds 2018

The 2018 Bellevue West TBirds celebrate their District Championship.

It is a privilege to be able to witness young people working towards and achieving a common goal together. Away from screens, virtual gaming, and online judgment.

This is not only their experience. It is shared by young fans looking up to them with wide eyes of admiration. It is shared by a community that rallies behind them in their chase for the ultimate title.

Nico 2018

Junior Nico Felici cutting down the net while young fans watch.

This is the time of year that you never truly know what can happen, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying.

This is the time of year that you see young athletes’ dreams within reach. When you cheer ferociously for your own team. When you nod your head in admiration for the talent they play against.

This is the time of year when older generations – myself included – live extra vicariously through their offspring.


Myself, my oldest, and my husband post-District win.

Only eight teams remain in Nebraska’s NSAA Class A competition and, in one week from today, that group will begin the journey of survival on the hardwood.

Good luck to Millard South, Omaha Central, Bellevue West, Kearney, Lincoln Pius X, Creighton Prep, Lincoln East, and Omaha Bryan.

Written by Heidi Woodard


I’m here to conquer you, New Year. You should know this about me…I’m not, and have never been, deficient in the confidence department.

But I’m a realist too. And, realistically speaking, I know I represent false hope. Because today I am shouting from the mountain top.

Where will I be in 30 days, 6 months, 1 year from today?

I signed up to run my fourth Half Marathon on May 4, which as my Facebook friends should know by now, means they need to decide if they want to unfriend me. I’m going to publicly share how I’ve either met my training goals or failed miserably. Consider yourself forewarned.

I’ve committed to giving up pop for the next 30 days. Or, as I like to call it, my happy juice. I’m in the process of developing coping strategies that don’t involve the beheading of my spouse or getting fired from my job.

I got on the treadmill and logged a very slow and steady 3.5 miles this morning. It felt good. It always does before you allow the soreness to soak in.

I’ve committed to attending a kickboxing class on Friday. I figure I’ll have a lot of pent-up rage from seeing everyone around me drinking pop by then. My imaginary sparring partner won’t stand a chance against me. I’ll actually likely envision the 20-year old version of myself with her flat stomach and ability to eat anything without regret staring back at me. She’s going down.

Finally, I’ve vowed to read more as part of The Empty Shelf Challenge.

Yep, that seems to be enough crap to concentrate on for now.

Good luck to everyone with all your many resolutions. Let’s remember that, at the end of the day, we’re all pretty awesome as is.

New Year. Same ol me.

New Year. Same ol me.

Written by Heidi Woodard

Let me live on the top of my mountain for just one post. Basking in the sunlight of the “post-race high.”

Credit: Rather Be Running

I completed a Half Marathon yesterday. It was my third time running 13.1 miles. And I completed this feat three consecutive years.

Boo ya, baby.

Back when I created my my LinkedIn profile a little over year ago, it looked a little weird to have Running listed as one of my skills. According to everything I read about LinkedIn, the tool is supposed to be an online resumé of sorts, allowing people to catch a glimpse of your professional career – a snapshot of what you’ve accomplished.

Naturally then, when it came time to list those things I felt I excelled at, I thought Running should be included in my repertoire even though it was a personal versus professional endeavor.

Every runner (or weight lifter, or cyclist, or swimmer) finds a way to stick with their routine through the good and the bad and discovers new ways to mix it up to avoid pain, boredom, and burn out.

I’d be willing to bet the majority of 9-to-5’ers I know working in corporate America run the risk of suffering those same consequences.

Again, this could just be my endurance euphoria speaking, but I have better clarity today for having set and surpassed a goal.

Knowing that I had in it me to follow through on a commitment I made to myself months ago feels amazeballs (thanks to my cousin, Jen, for that phrase).

And it proves I will work hard. In my family. In my workplace. In life.

The results of sacrifice, when you can truly step back and appreciate them, will always overshadow temporary pain.

Oh, and I’ve already re-absorbed more calories than I burned in the past 24 hours, and I wish I could say they were all from fruits and veggies, but…come on…you know me better than that. Here’s to killer burgers and pancakes!

Created by Heidi Woodard