Hoosier Mama

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

IMG_3823 Another week is gone and the pace definitely picked up just as my boss said it would. I was going non-stop for what felt like every moment of each day. From meetings to releases to planning and prep for Monday’s Olympic day and this weekend’s Rhythmic National Qualifier, it was one hectic week.

At the beginning of the week, which feels like an eternity ago, I drafted up skeleton releases for the rhythmic national qualifier happening this weekend. The top junior and senior finishers will go on to the USA Gymnastics Championships in Louisville in mid-July. I also wrote the field of competitors release and learned a pretty cool trick with Excel that automatically put the names into the format we use on that release (Elizabeth Grimsley, Decatur, Ga./Atlanta Gymnastics Center). I might have nerded out a bit with how cool it was… I also wrote about the recent success some of the rhythmic national team members have had internationally as well as a preview for the Gymnastics For All National Championships happening in Orlando, Fla. this weekend.

I also tried my hand at fact sheets for the USA Gymnastics Championships and P&G Championships, which are basically documents saying everything people involved with the events need to know about said events — times, schedule, location, contact info, etc. There was also a release on the T&T scholarship winners and an article for the magazine on the T&T competitors at the Elite Challenge. If I can’t call myself an expert at writing press releases by the end of this summer, something will have gone terribly wrong. I am still trying to get used to the “no fluff” approach.

IMG_3747On Thursday, I got out of the office for lunch with two of the girls in the office. One of them works with Steve Penny and the other works in the women’s program. She’s basically the Hagrid of the office being the keeper of keys/secrets with the women’s program. But of course, we’re not allowed to know any of the juicy information, haha. We ate at a place called Potbelly, which had sandwiches and soup and whatnot. It was nice spending time with people closer to my age/with people in general and not eating at my desk and reading on my iPad during lunch. I also though it was funny that they thought it was so hot and humid outside when it was only in the mid-80s. Normally I’m the one saying how hot it is, but this is nothing compared to Georgia! The fact that it can rain at any moment is more like home though. I swear it can be sunny one moment and then downpour the next. It did cause some amazing sunsets though.

Back at the office the planning and preparation for tomorrow’s Olympic day celebration and cartwheel world record attempt was in high gear. I wrote up a release previewing the whole celebration and how USA Gymnastics was involved as well as one to use after we break the world record if all goes well. I also got to think of a hashtag for people to use at the event and photoshopped signs reminding people to use that hashtag when posting to social media. I might also get to do a Storify of the event! Finally something I’m good at and that’s exciting! I also had my fair share of “intern” duties with looking up and making sure the former FIG U.S. representative’s information was correct as well as more scanning and proofing. I really do enjoy proofing though. Call me crazy.

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As for non-work related stuff, I had a busy Saturday! A guy I met in the workout room from Puerto Rico told me the NCAA Hall of Champions museum was very cool, so that tipped me over the edge on whether or not to do that this weekend. He was right, though. The bottom floor had a display for all 23 NCAA sports as well as a TV for each with trivia, multimedia, a list of colleges and other stuff about the sports. Who knew bowling, rifle shooting and skiing were NCAA sports? Of course, I gravitated toward the gymnastics section. The Gym Dogs were rightfully featured, but the information was outdated and obviously created in 2008 after the team’s four-straight NCAA title but before the last of the streak. Although I’m a gym-junkie, learning about all of the various sports was very cool. Then, the second floor was more interactive with a basketball hoop, climbing rope, rings, a ski simulator, station to call wresting pin-downs, as well as fencing spears (???), pole vaulting poles and javelins to feel how light each are.

IMG_3912After that, I hit up the Eiteljorg Museum for the Ansel Adams exhibit, which was simply fantastic. I can’t say enough good words about it. The prints were fantastic and so crisp and clear and the exhibit had many prints I had never seen before. But it wasn’t just the prints. Quotes from Adams about how he shot some of the images and what was going on when he did and the processes he went through in the darkroom as well as facts about him in general were scattered around the rooms. I will go back in a heartbeat if I find I have time. I also managed my second Chich-fil-a visit in as many weeks and got semi-tan versus red for once! Today’s all about relaxing, spending time in the sun if it doesn’t rain and actually reading some for fun before another hectic week starts again.

IMG_3679I also forgot to mention how the baseball game was last Sunday. A couple words describe it well — hot, murder. The braves got killed and it was a scorcher. But overall it was fun, so that’s all that matters, right? I really enjoyed Victory Field — and my seats weren’t too shabby either as I was two rows back from home plate for only $15. The park overlooks the Indianapolis skyline and there’s a nice lawn i the outfield. I would definitely go back.

On tap is a feature on Youth Olympic Games rhythmic gymnast Laura Zeng, more help with the International Triathlon Union’s 25th anniversary (back from my sports media relations class) as well as Monday’s Olympic Day and much, much more. Only a week and a half until I come home for the Fourth!

Until next time.


“You’re tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.” – Christopher McDougall

The last time I wrote a post, it was the day before my internship began. Now, I’ve got a whole week under my belt and a hectic one at that. So bare with me if this post turns out to be like a novel in length. A week ago I was in crappy Park Place. Now I’m in the awesome Staybridge Suites that comes with complementary breakfast seven days a week, complementary dinner three nights a week, complementary laundry, all the bathroom and kitchen supplies I need and a much better weight room. Not to mention the elevator isn’t from a horror movie and actually has the nice voice of an English lady to tell you what floor you’re on. it’s about 1000 percent better to say the least. Oh, and the elevator is so smooth, if you close your eyes, you can’t even feel it start to move or even when it comes to a stop. IMG_3588Did I mention my new room’s view looks directly at Lucas Oil stadium where the Colt’s play? It’s literally across the street and looks super cool at night when the stadium name is lit up. This place also has way more people my age and one of the managers said that some of the Indian’s (minor league baseball team in Indy) players and their families stay here when they have home games. It’s like someone stayed at a lot of different hotels, decided what they loved about each and put it all into one perfect place.

Monday started my first day on the job. Besides being a lot of boring paperwork and other getting started activities, I actually got to write some stuff. You know how you hear about those journalists just starting out having to write tons and tons of obituaries? That’s basically me. Except I write stuff other than that. However, my first press release was an obituary about some former Olympic medalist who died (no disrespect intended). I also wrote another release on a high school team form new Jersey that won the senior invitational or something like that. I also began the daunting task of scanning in old film slides to put in the archives. I think it took me three-ish days to do all of Bela Karolyi? My favorite from the bunch was definitely him riding on horse back and the animal galloped through a grassy field. Once Bela was done, I got to start on Kim Zmeskal who has at LEAST three times more slides butIMG_3576 probably more. I’ve also been proofing a lot of stuff, which I actually don’t mind since I enjoy good grammar and whatnot. Side note: I’m, like, legit now because I have my own work computer, work phone and work email address.

That first day, Leslie, Scott and I went out to eat lunch for my first day at this place not far from the office. It mainly served quesadillas and pizza-dillas and wasn’t half bad. I’ll definitely go back there some time if the opportunity comes up. The next day was more releases, scanning slides and proofing. Gabrielle Douglas recently had a wax figure made of her, so I wrote up a release about that. I also did my first media outreach to a J.O. kid who made the P&G national championships. it’s weird getting requests from journalists asking to set up interviews for possible stories and being on that side of things rather than being the journalist requesting the interview. Not sure how I feel about it quite yet. Side note: met Steve Penny, President of USA Gymnastics yesterday. He’s a character, that’s for sure.

On day three I started researching older hall of famers that are getting up there in age  — just in case — as well as more proofing and scanning. I also go tot attend my first meeting. I, of course, had no input because I had no idea what was really going on, but it seemed interesting. Planning for the P&G Championships in mid-August have already started!  I also met a girl who works in Steve Penny’s office (talk about intimidating) and the marketing intern who is only a year younger than me and goes to Butler. Thank God for another person my age around the office that’s somewhat going through what I am! Although she started back in March, she can give me the juicy secrets, so I don’t have to figure these things out on my own and inevitable embarrass my way through the days.

IMG_3603Later that night, I also got my first “Go Dawgs!” of the north, which actually made me miss the south — something I’ve never experienced before. These people are missing out without sweet tea everywhere and no Chick-fil-a on every corner. I did locate a Chick-fil-a, so we’re all good. It should tide me over until I fly home for Fourth of July. Moving into Thursday, Leslie started giving me more duties to handle. I drafted skeleton releases for the NFHS state championships that will be starting next year for boys high school gymnasts that don’t have a program in their state. It’s actually a pretty cool concept, and if the media outlets chose to do so, they’ll be using my releases when these high school athletes compete at state. I was also put in charge of the releases for the 2014 Elite Challenge in Spokane, Wash., an even we’re covering remotely. Since the results don’t come in until very late at night, I write up the release in the morning the next day — or rather I fill in the blanks of the pre-written skeleton in the morning the next day. You can find the men’s and women’s synchro release here! I’ll be writing a media advisory for an athlete visit to Louisville as well as writing and remotely covering the rhythmic national qualifier in Lake Placid, N.Y., next weekend.

I also found out I get to go to Louisville a week-ish after the Fourth of July for the USA Gymnastics Championships which is the national championship for trampoline and tumbling, rhythmic and acro, so that should be fun! The other intern there said she got some apparel and stuff when she covered an event, so that’s actually super exciting too… I love clothes — especially athletic clothes. Speaking of athletic clothes, I met some of the USA Track & Field interns today when we visited the Indy Eleven office (Indy’s NorthIMG_3614 American Soccer League team). let me tell you that those interns are allowed to wear tennis shoes and USATF T-shirts and other athletic-y stuff! Not to complain, but unfair, haha. USATF is sponsored by Nike, so it makes sense. That would be cool if we could do that too… I’m sure if I owned Under Armor stuff, I would be able to wear it to work as well, but alas. Indy Eleven was cool. The team is in its first year and we got to hear from the people that worked there all about creating the team and everything that goes into that as well as starting the team up and promoting it once it’s begun. USATF’s offices also look super nice and sleek. USA Gym is painting and redoing most of its office space now, so hopefully I’ll get to see the final product before my internship ends.

It’s only been five days in, but it feels like so much longer already. I’m guessing as I get busier (can I get any busier?), the time will fly by. After five days I’ve also realized I really miss true journalism. Sure, I’ll be writing some features and whatnot, but this job is more about media relations than anything else. At least, if I get to the end of the summer and decide this is not something I want to do with my life, I will have the experience and will know rather than getting into a job and realizing it. I’d say that’s plenty for this go round. I didn’t envision being this busy or realize I wouldn’t feel like doing anything but workout and watch TV/eat food after getting home, but I’ll try to write more than once a week. Maybe getting into a schedule will help. I’m all about routine. I will be going to the Indian’s game Sunday against the Gwinnett Braves. It just so happens former Georgia pitcher Alex Wood was demoted just in time to come to Indy with the team, so I’m looking forward to it. And hopefully lots of pictures are to come!

Until next time.