Posted on October 21, 2015 in volleyball

Hey guys! I have awesome news. We had a tournament today here in Columbus. My volleyball team not my soccer team. Soccer team is next week. Anyway, we were totally pumped for this tournament. We like practiced twice as hard as normal. We all knew that we were going to do well. We got there and our rivals from Kentucky were there. They are the meanest team we have ever played. I mean hardcore spikes and everything. They are intense. We usually lose to them honestly.

Our first game went smoothly. We played a team from Cincinnati that I don’t think has been together very long or either just didn’t get along. Whatever their issue was it was a pretty quick game. We won 4-1 which isn’t bad at all. We didn’t celebrate though. We have learned not to celebrate prematurely. One time we beat the first team who really wasn’t that great and celebrated hard core. Then we get our butt’s kicked in the next round. Now we just shake hands and hope that we beat the next team.

The second team was a bit harder to beat. They worked really well as a team, but we were far too prepped for all their hits. We won that game 4-2. During the game I noticed some of my soccer kids in the stand which made me play twice as hard. It made me really proud for them to see me playing hard, having good sportsmanship, and having fun. That is the whole point of being a good role model, always living what you teach.

The third game terribly wrong. We played a team that was very tough. During that game one of our teammates feel when she tried to run at a spike and fell and sprained her ankle. So she had to sit out. We did bring one alternative with us. However she never shows up for practice so we were really worried about what would happen from there. We assumed we would probably lose, but that was alright. We played hard and we gave our everything, but sometimes these things happen. Our substitute came into the game and she actually did really well. She didn’t miss anything. However, she played like she was a one man team. She didn’t actually work with us, she just worked for herself. I made a mental note to myself that I was going to use her as an example to my soccer kids as how not to be a team player. We won the game 4-3, but we had to play hard, had to change our strategy to adapt to the substitute’s game play. It was a bit frustrating and I could see the frustration on my teammates faces as well.

Our final game for the championship was against our rivals. We figured if we made it to the final round that we would have to go against them. We definitely already had the mindset of defeat. We were going against someone we’d never been able to beat with a substitute who was playing her own game. I guess it was wrong of us to go into the game thinking that we were automatically going to lose, but we’d kind of lost hope at that point. Really we were more concerned with our hurt teammate more than anything.

Anyway, we got on the court and we were not completely dedicated to the game. I looked up to my soccer kids in the stands and I made a promise to myself that I was going to give everything that I had to the game. I called my team into a huddle and I told them that I had kids in the stands and I wanted to make them proud so I thought we should all try our very best. They agreed. Suddenly we were totally dialed in. We went into the match and we gave everything we had. We shot up fast to 2-0. I could tell that my team was completely stoked. Their faces were beaming and we were sure we were going to beat these girls from Kentucky for the first time ever. You could see the other teams frustration on their face. Something that I always tell my soccer team is to never allow their frustration to show. However these girls brought it. Suddenly they scored three in a row. We were getting disheartened. I could just feel the defeated energy around me.

Our substitute totally started playing her own game. She actually knocked down one of us because she was chasing the ball. We all have our own little zones that we watch, but for some reason she felt the need to watch everyone’s zone and totally forget about hers. Somehow she left to cover someone else’s area and that’s when the ball was headed straight to the floor in her area. I moved quickly to her spot and spiked it down hard. I didn’t even realize I’d done it until I felt my teammate smack me on the shoulder and tell me I did a good job. It was then our turn to serve the ball. I was nervous as I could be. We needed two more points to win. I don’t know how, but the other team completely missed our first serve. Then we did our second serve and they pounded the ball right back. We were able to spike it down and get our fourth point. We’d finally beaten our rivals. We went insane.

I felt like there were a lot of lessons learned at this competition. We got a bad attitude when we lost one of our teammates. We should have still persevered. Word of the day: perseverance! That is what I am going to teach my team. Not everything always goes exactly as planned, but that doesn’t mean that giving up is the key. It’s most important to have fun and to always keep trying. I’m proud of us. We beat our rival and we learned some valuable lessons. Shannonxx


Posted on October 19, 2015 in Hawaii

Hi guys! Guess what I just got back from an amazing vacation to Hawaii. I went told bed one night and told myself that I needed to just go far, far away. I decided that I should go to Honolulu. On the day of my departure I was so excited. I arrived at the airport and cold not hardly contain my excitement. I told everyone I saw that I was going on a trip to Honolulu. They seemed very unexcited, but I didn’t care I was excited for myself. I got on the planed and suddenly they told us we had to deboard because there had been a delay. I sat in that terminal worried suddenly that I wouldn’t make it to Honolulu. Finally we got on the plane and were able to take off.

We had a layover in Los Angeles and I was able to see the Hollywood sign off in the distance. Of course I took a picture and sent it to all of my friends. I felt like a little kid excited to see Santa clause. I got so excited at the thought that I had seen the Hollywood Sign. It really wasn’t something that I had ever thought about wanting to see, but being  able to see it made me really excited. After waiting at LAX for what seemed like forever I was aboard my next flight to Honolulu. I was so ready to be in the tropical sun and to have a nice relaxing vacation.

When I arrived to Honolulu I was so happy. I was also so tired. I arrived at the Shoreline Hotel located in Waikiki and it was completely beautiful. My room was absolutely beautiful. I went to bed and got some awesome rest. The first morning when I woke up it was incredibly special. Discovering the landscape made me absolutely lost my breath. From my balcony I could see the beautiful mountain in the distance and the beautiful ocean. I went to the Starbucks across the street and had a nice little breakfast. I then went straight to the beach. I am just blown away by all the amazingly beautiful landscape. It is nothing like I see at home. The sun was already well in the sky and it seemed like an endless flow of beautiful ocean water.

I go swimming and the water is absolutely perfect. I notice that as the sun moves across the sky the ocean colors changes. I go an explore the beautiful shops around my hotel and find some cute souvenirs to take back home to my team. By the time I have dinner I am beat and ready to take a nap. I sleep through the night and wake up the next morning at 7 am. My second day is great. I went to beach early and took and awesome swim. I then laid on the beach just enjoying all the beauty and peace around me. I went up to the Diamond Head crater which is an old volcano crater. It is so breathtaking. I get some food and then head back to the beach. I love the amazing weather. I could definitely get used to the beautiful scenery and perfect weather.

My third day was very busy. I booked a lot of activities at Kualoa Ranch. The bus to Kualoa Ranch left at 7 am and it took 40 minutes to get to Keneohe, the city that has the beautiful ranch. I started my day with an awesome ride on an ATV. It was the first time I have ever ridden an ATV in my life. The ride between the mountains and the beautiful mountains was beyond incredible. I’d never seen any landscape more beautiful and untouched in my entire life. After the ATV I took a small break and then headed toward my next activity. I took a short trip by boat into the middle of the famous Chinaman’s Hat and to see the sea turtles. I was so amazed by the beauty of the surroundings and the beautiful clouds in the sky. When we reach the island the view is so beautiful. There were giant sea turtles everywhere. I have a nice meal of rice with beef  and vegetables. The food tastes so amazingly fresh, better than I ever have at home. It was very delicious. On this island I did the awesome Hawaiianin horseback ride. The view was so amazing and had a beautiful panorama view. My group rode right up to the ocean. I’ve never seen any more beautiful and untouched land than I have ever seen.

I was pretty beat by the time I got back to my hotel. I had a small snack and feel asleep. I felt like I was really active, but I was starting to miss all of my amazing friends back home. I wondered if they were missing me as well. When I woke up the next morning I was going to go to the Honolulu Zoo but I decided to rest because I was so active the previous day I didn’t feel like doing another day of walking. I pick up a rental car and decided to explore all the different areas of the island. I drove around and found so many little cute stores. I spent a lot of cash, but I had a gift for all of my special friends and for my soccer kids. I thought it was really important that I took something home to all of them.

When it was time to go home I was really sad, but I was happy to know that I was getting back to my friends. Honolulu was the most amazing place I have ever been. I definitely want to go again for a longer period of time. The people are so welcoming and friendly. The landscape is breathtaking and I love swimming in those beautiful waters. This was definitely a trip of a lifetime. I don’t know if I will ever take a trip like this again, but every moment was so perfect I will definitely never forget it. If you ever have the chance to visit Honolulu then I definitely recommend you do. You will not regret it.

Shannon xx


Welcome to my life blog

Posted on October 13, 2015 in Welcome

Hello my name is Shannon James. I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a while, but have been wondering what I should focus on. I have so many different activities that I participate in I really wanted a blog that focused on an aspect in my life that can inspire others. I play a lot of sports, but play volleyball on a competitive team. I am very big into exercise and nutrition as well.

I have lived in Columbus, Ohio my entire life. Growing up in Columbus was awesome. I did live in Athens, Ohio while I was in college. Ohio University has the best program for coaching education. When I was about 10 years old I decided that all I wanted to do was be a coach. I thought at the time that I wanted to be a coach for college aged children. However, I realized that getting a job with a university or college wasn’t an easy task so I decided to open my own soccer club here in Columbus It has been very successful and I have been able to touch many kids lives. I hope that through my leadership I am able to show these kids how important exercise and nutrition is. I also hope that I am able to teach them how amazing team work is and to be better individuals.

As for the team that I play on. I love my team. We actually have two teams. We have an all female team that competes on the state level. I compete on a national level with my partner. We have never won nationals, but we have made it to nationals four times. Being a coach I always tell my kids that winning is important, but not the most important thing. I have to tell myself that often. I have a very strong competitive spirit. Often I have to pull myself back when I am competing and tell myself that winning isn’t everything.

I am not married and have no children. However, I just started dating a medical examiner from Pennsylvania. He is so wonderful. I can definitely see a future with him. I often wonder just how serious he is, but he is not very good at sharing those emotions. I tend to believe that he is in love with me, but he hasn’t been able to say it yet. He is not into exercise, but he is very much into nutrition so we have that in common. Hopefully one day I can blog and let you all know he has confirmed he really is into me as much as I am into him.

I follow the Paleo Diet. There are many reasons why. I have always followed healthy nutrition due to my active lifestyle. However, in 2007 I became really ill and found out that I have Chron’s Disease. That was the most devastating moments of my life. I kept losing weight because I was so sick. I lost all of my muscle mass. I lost every bit of my energy. The doctors kept giving me expensive medicine after expensive medicine. None of them worked. I literally thought I was dying. Eventually I was given a medicine that cost $900 a month and I began feeling better, but I didn’t feel my best. In 2013 I met a woman who was bragging about being on the Paleo Diet and it helping her Chron’s disease. I began to research the diet. I followed It religiously and I have felt like my old self every since. The amazing thing is I am eating food that actually tastes great again.

I also collect Beanie Babies. It is really weird how this collection started. There was a charity auction in our town for a little boy who had cancer. My father took me to it because the boy and I were in the same middle school. I know my father didn’t have much to give, but he bought what they called a mystery box for twenty dollars. When we got home we opened the box and it had a lot of odds and ends. There were four beanie babies in there though. I thought I was told old for them, but my dad handed them to me and said, “I want you to take these beanie babies and remember that life isn’t always granted.” I felt silly taking those beanie babies. Then a year later my dad went to work and never came home. A drunk driver crashed into his car head on while he was driving to work. I felt like there was nothing to turn to. I had been a daddy’s girl my entire life. I put everything into my sports. My coach benched me though because he said I was playing angrily. He was right. I was. I felt like my life was falling apart. That’s when I started throwing things around my room having a complete breakdown. I picked up one of the beanie babies and heard my father’s voice. “Life isn’t always granted.” That was the moment where I decided I was going to be everything I could be. I haven’t went back to that dark place for a long time. I have had a beanie baby clip attached to my backpack since then. It’s a reminder for me. I also get all of my friends and soccer club beanie baby clips for Christmas to remind them of the same message. If you ever see my team you will see a bunch of adults with beanie baby clips in memory of my father in and reminder of living life to the fullest.

So as you see life wasn’t always peachy. I had my period of dark times, but I strive to be the best I can be. I want to influence my adult team as well as my soccer club to strive to be the best they can be as well. I really hope you love my blog. I have a wealth of information about so many things and so many amazing life experiences. I hope I can inspire you and see the wonderful you.


Introduction to Columbus

Posted on October 11, 2015 in Colombus OH

Hello everyone! Shannon here. I just got done with a run around Columbus and I thought that maybe I should give everyone an introduction to how awesome my city is. We don’t get a ton of tourist here because I think a lot of people do not realize how awesome Columbus is. So I want to introduce you to my favorite places in Columbus.

First off, I love spending time in the amazing Franklin Park Conservatory. This is a beautiful botanical garden that has some of the greatest plants and fauna that you will ever see. Normally in October they do a Scary Plants exhibit that I just love. I really love carnivorous plants. I think it is amazing how we think of roses when we think of beautiful flowers, but not me. I think of plants that eat flies and have big scary teeth. I guess that is the adventurer in me. I remember watching cartoons as a kid and they would have these big plants that eat people. I so wanted those to be real. I’m glad that they aren’t now that I am older, but the love of carnivorous plants stays with me.

If you are visiting Columbus with your children then you have to check out our zoo and aquarium. It is so much fun. They have a lot of animal exhibits. However, my favorite are the polar bears. I’ve always loved polar bears. They also have an artic fox that is the cutest little animal that you will ever see. If you love animals you will definitely want to visit. They have some of the greatest exhibits, like the American Bison, the Aruba Rattlesnake, and the Bornean sun Bear. I can’t even name all the animals I love there. They have so many!

If you love culture then you will love German Village. I could travel around eating in German Village all day. So if you come you need to try out Columbus Brewing Company and Restaurant and then head on over to Winans Chocolate and Coffees. I try to avoid Winans as much as possible because I am an addict. If you really want to have a fun time then you need to go to The Kitchen. It’s one of the participatory dining places where you get to act silly and eat. I love that, but sometimes I get a little shy. Don’t forget to visit some of the amazing shops in German Village either. My favorites are Hausfrau Haven and Schmidt’s Fudge Haus. Yes I have to avoid the Fudge Haus too, but I do meander over there occasionally for a sneak treat.

If you love art then you must visit the Wexner Center for the Arts. This museum is very affordable and has beautiful exhibits. You can also catch a performing arts show at the Wexner. I am excited because in November they are going to have Kneedelus: A Live Collaboration between Kneebody and Daedelus. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the most amazing postbop you’ve ever heard. Did I mention that Adam Benjamin is a total babe? Yes, I may be acting like a groupie, but oh well, he’s a total babe.

While it may seem morbid I really love visiting the Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery. There is a statue there that I love taking pictures of. Camp Chase was once a training camp for the Union Army. However, it eventually became a prison for prisoners of war. The mass amount of history at Camp Chase is amazing and I really love it.

If you love cartoons then you need to go to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. You can literally find information here on any cartoon from post war art to manga. I definitely recommend anyone who has any interest in cartoons. I love that I can go there and find information on both American and Japanese Manga.

We also have the Hoover Dam. Maybe it isn’t as massive as “the” Hoover Dam, but it is a very peaceful place to go. I love walking across the bridge and looking down over the water. There is something very peaceful and relaxing about water. I love going there and imaging how the land used to look before it was built. I bet it was one of the most beautiful places in all of Ohio. It still is very lovely though, but it is an amazing thought.
If you travel through the campus of The Ohio State University then you need to take a look at Mirror Lake. It is absolutely stunning. I like to go to campus for my morning runs sometimes. They have a special even every year called Light Up The Lake. It is absolutely beautiful. Definitely don’t miss the beauty of the campus and the lake.

When I want to get a lot of outdoor activity I visit Alum Creek State Park. Sometimes I go just to enjoy nature but sometimes I go paddle boating. If you’ve never been on a paddle boat then you definitely need to try it. I love the rush of being out on the water paddling along. This is also a great park to bike in. I love biking through the trees. Sometimes I wear a GoPro so I can film all of my amazing action. Of course that means that sometimes I crash and catch some funny film, but I am going to pretend like that part doesn’t exist.

I think that is a pretty decent introduction to my amazing city. You will love Columbus if you ever visit. It’s full of fun people, fun things to do, and great food. I tend to think that Columbus has a little bit something for everyone. Just don’t be like me and try out every single restaurant you see and then have to work out an extra hour for it. I’m kidding I don’t do that too often, maybe once a month or so. It’s hard with so many amazing places to eat. Will write more soon! xxShannon