slubs in the city

Slub (adj): Maverick; unorthodox; independent in behavior or thought.

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slub of the week: Ahmad Bradshaw

You may be shocked to hear this, but the slubs watched the Super Bowl yesterday . And not just the commercials or the halftime show. We watched the game as well. And gave up watching Downton Abbey to do so.

It was quite the event. Here are the delicious foods that were served: oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies, s’mores cupcakes, lemon teacakes, potstickers, hummus, baked brie, and queso. Possibly not  your typical Super Bowl fare, but it was a delicious, slubby feast.

Now, while some of us are football fans, none of us were really invested in the game. Nonetheless, we chose sides. Obviously. Shannon, claiming that she was supporting America, rooted for the Patriots, along with Anna and our friend Maddie. Nora and I, in our infinite wisdom, chose the winning team, the Giants.

We cheered loudly and often for our respective teams. There was even some smack talk going down. I mean really. Supporting the Patriots? Come. on. Nora and I were called anti-American. Vicious. But there was one thing we all agreed on: Ahmad Bradshaw’s winning touchdown was nothing short of EPIC.

Now, after listening to commentary after the game, Bradshaw had not meant to score on this play. Instead his intent was to run the clock down so that the Patriot’s offense would have as little time with the ball as possible. On the otherhand, according the Huffington Post, the Patriots wanted to “concede a score” so that they would have as much time with the ball as possible. He accidentally scores when the Patriots do nothing to stop him.

But for the untrained eyes of the slubs and friends, it went down like this:

Bradshaw has the ball. He runs. He makes a split second decision to make the slubbiest touchdown of all time. Bradshaw scores the winning touchdown by sitting into the endzone.

I mean, why exert the energy, Bradshaw? You are on the goal line. The Patriots seem completely unconcerned about you scoring. Let your momentum carry you gracefully into a seated position in the endzone. Standing: not Superbowl champion. Seated: Superbowl champion. WIN.

So, to the Superbowl Champions, Ahmad Bradshaw and Giants, congratulations. Congrats for winning a sporting event by acting like a slub. Pretend like you meant to do it. It was truly epic.

slub love, Kat

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yeeeeah…definitely a youtube moment.

What I’m about to say isn’t revolutionary: our lives are a delicate balance of ups and downs, lights and darks, goods and bads. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When God closes a door, he opens a window. It’s all about the yin and the yang.

I’ve been riding on a high these past couple of days. Slugging through a large volume of work has translated into an extremely productive month, and Christmas festivities have me feeling unusually social. Our entire Marketing Development department took the StrengthsFinder test this past week, and yesterday was spent bragging about our relative talents and binging on Christmas sweets.  It’s been a very good couple of days. But this, dear readers, is because Monday was a very bad day. The good must always be tempered by a little bad.

I’ve been informed I’m a decent story-teller, so here’s a story for your pleasure:

I’m a member of Snap Fitness, which is a big deal for me because I’m gracelessly un-athletic and prefer being a slub to being fit. The benefit of Snap is that members with a key card have access to any participating gym across the nation. Another benefit is that there’s a gym on the first floor of Thrivent’s building, so I really have no excuse for skipping an evening workout.

On Monday I waltzed past Thrivent’s gym on my way home because I was “just too busy” to work out. Later, at the slub house, I felt like a total ass for being so lazy. To appease my guilt I decided to go to the Snap on Hennepin. I had only been there once before, but everything had gone as well as was to be expected, so I didn’t feel concerned working out there again.

While I was ellipticalling away, I thought of two things:

  1. My lazy ass will soon be transformed into the ass of every girl’s envy. So that’s pretty cool.
  2. However, it’s slightly awkward that everyone behind me can see me doing intervals, mostly because I’m getting quite tired and sweaty.

I was very distracted by these thoughts, so when I had finished swishing away on the elliptical I didn’t pay attention to stepping off the machine properly. Surprised that the ground wasn’t where I had left it, I stumbled over thin air and launched myself backwards, careening towards the row of bikes directly behind me. Thankfully I caught myself before I actually hit anything. Unfortunately, there was a man on one of the bikes who witnessed it all.

I brushed this incident off, transforming my stumble into a pathetically dysfunctional half-swagger as I retreated. It happens to everyone. I’m a young employed professional, so even after diving backwards off an elliptical I’m still doing better than the 99%.

I moved on to the weight machines. Shockingly, this was the least eventful portion of the night.

I decided to end my workout with a little jaunt on the treadmill. I had been stalling to see if the guy who had watched my elliptical fail would leave, but he was intent on becoming TOTALLY RIPPED ARRRRGH and didn’t seem like he was going anywhere soon. So I clambered onto the treadmill and started jogging away – again, in front of the rest of the gym.

I’m envious of people who run. Personally I hate running, but apparently (according to the StrengthsFinder) I have a competitive streak and won’t settle for sucking at something other people enjoy. Over the past month I’ve been observing the beautiful, fit women who use the treadmill at Thrivent and attempting to emulate their ways. I found the perfect opportunity to show people how cool I am when, while running at the Snap on Hennepin, my stupid water bottle started making loud clanking noises from where it sat on the treadmill.

To my somewhat disillusioned mind, this noise was far more embarrassing than anything I had ever experienced in a gym before. I decided to jump on the sides of the treadmill while the belt continued to run and place my water bottle on the floor. This would make everyone else more pleased with me, I was sure, and would also show them how I am the master of all treadmills (even if I am a dunce when it comes to the elliptical).

The water bottle having successfully been moved to the floor, I prepared to hop back on the machine. Without holding on to the sides. Without slowing the track down even a notch.

This is what almost happened.

I jumped. I pedaled hysterically to catch my footing. I regained my balance. Then I burst into a maniacal peel of laughter because I was mortified beyond description, and my mind was reacting to the situation in ways I couldn’t control.

There I was, the pasty white girl who had mere minutes previously fallen off the elliptical machine, cackling uncontrollably as I ran and desperately watching the TV above my treadmill (tuned to the Military History channel, wtf) in an attempt to regain composure. At that point there was really nothing for it, so instead of leaving Snap with my tail between my legs I continued jogging like I was the undisputed queen of the gym. The girl who was on the treadmill beside me would have undoubtedly argued the point.

As I ran I grew more and more emotionally confused until finally I decided the entire gym was a piece of crap, so after jogging a mile I got off the machine and called it a day. I left Snap in a disgruntled huff.

5 minutes later I returned, defeated, because I had forgotten my water bottle.

You guys: I am officially that girl.

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Natural Athlete

Nora and I recently joined the Y to ensure that we would continue to be mobile in the winter instead of descending into the ultimate slubbiness of stretchy pants, cake, and Arrested Development re-runs (not that this won’t happen). I went to the gym after work yesterday, and being a bit overly ambitious, attempted to use the weight machines.

While using the weight machines I feel like a champion. Like I could lift an elephant above my head and run a mile. Then the next day comes. Oh the pain. The misery. Lifting a pencil is the greatest effort. And this brings me around to my current situation: My arms hurt while I am typing. What. the. heck. I remember the days when I was much more athletic. Much more in shape. And this is the story of my downfall.

It may surprise many of you that I was once a natural athlete. I was not the girl who knocked over glasses, tripped while walking, or stepped on computers (not that I would ever do that now). No, I spent most of my time outside running around, playing sports, and climbing trees. The only barbies I had were missing their heads. I wanted to grow up to be Brett Favre. I was an excellent football player.

And then the last day of 4th grade happened. Now, I went to this progressive, kind of hippy, kind of Montessori elementary school in Des Moines. We were located downtown in order to be nearer to parents and experiences. For our purposes, the most important part of this is that our school backed up onto Nollen Plaza, which had this fantastic stepped fountain and giant umbrella sculpture.

Nollen Plaza

During the summer months, this area is a fountain, but it is drained during the winter/spring months which made it the perfect place to run races. Right? WRONG. On the last day of fourth grade, I was preparing to say goodbye to all of my friends because we were moving to Lincoln, NE. Luckily, I had the whole day to celebrate outside playing in Nollen Plaza and watching movies.

The teachers decided to have us run along the steps, in teams, competing for…well, probably nothing but glory! I was the last runner for my team. As my teammate reached the other side of the  arc, I began to run. I was glorious. I was fast. I was falling.

Now, many of you who know me now would probably blame this on the fact that I am a klutz. But no. Stanley, one of my best friends, had stepped down from her row and into mine, hurtling me down, one, two, three steps.

I couldn’t breath. My arm was bleeding. My hand was swelling. No, it was really swelling. I burst into tears at the first gasp of air. I don’t remember if the fall actually hurt that much, but I do remember many of my friends thinking that Stanley had personally sabotaged me….geez…fourth graders….

I spent the rest of the day in slub-style, slumped on the floor, ice on my hand, watching a movie, and eating candy. Now, a fall, a swollen hand, a scar on my arm…this isn’t all that bad. But friends, it gets worse. So much more worse.

The next day was my brother’s birthday and we were going to the science museum (I told you my family is nerdy). Now my hand was still pretty tender, but the prospects of a giant pendulum, planetarium, and static electricity demonstration garnered my enthusiasm. During the static electricity demonstration, we all held hands in a circle while the facilitator touched a Van de Graaff machine and sent the shock through all of us. Holy hell. That hurt. I yelped and pulled my hand back. I must have made a terrible face because my mom still apologizes to this day for this moment.

After leaving the science museum, my mom whisked me to the doctor where we discovered I had broken….my pinky (metacarpal, not phalange, but really?!) Now, again, I am sure you are thinking, children get broken bones all the time, this isn’t a big deal. Especially because it is your pinky. And you would be wrong. Because it got worse. Much worse.

A cast wasn’t an option. Still okay. Instead they would splint the finger and then wrap it in a huge ace bandage. For 6-8 weeks. Goodbye swimming. But I was handling this as well as any fourth-grader who lives in unbearable humidity in the summer in the Midwest would. Then they began wrapping my hand. The pinky finger was bound to my ring finger, my middle to my first. And they kept wrapping. And wrapping. Until my hand had turned into this:


This is what competitive sports had brought me: I was moving. I had no friends. I had a giant Spock hand. I couldn’t go swimming.

Now, I was also dissuaded from athletics by a mean basketball coach in 5th grade and a soccer team that lost every game in 6th grade…

But never again did I want to be in a situation where I had to look like Spock.

And this is why I am not an athlete.

slub love,