Monday, February 2, 2015

101 Things About Me

So, a bunch of my favorite triathlete bloggers (Erin, Katie, LeslieKristen, and Kecia) have shared 101 things about themselves, and I couldn't resist jumping on the bandwagon.

1) I am a dual citizen, but currently live in Canada.

2) I grew up all over the U.S. and Canada - living in 11 different cities in my life (so far) - Calgary; Quebec City; Vancouver; Bellingham, WA; Los Gatos, CA; Severna Park, MD; (back to Los Gatos); Bethlehem, PA; Chicago; Seattle; Toronto, and now Ottawa.

3) The longest I have ever lived anywhere is 5 years.

4) In March, I will be at 5 years in Ottawa, and I'm semi-expecting to have a mid-life crisis.

5) We moved so much because my dad played in the NHL for 16 years and has been a coach in the NHL and other levels of hockey ever since he retired from playing.

6) I wrote a college essay about the "athlete's religion" and how growing up with a professional athlete for a father shaped my life. I still read it on occasion.

7) My determination, discipline, passion for athletics, and competitiveness definitely come from my dad.

8) My mom is my best friend and we talk on the phone almost daily.

9) I have a younger sister and she is way cooler (and wiser) than me.

10) I love Italian food.

11) My nickname is Bella, from our Italian family friends who gave it to me when I was a baby.

12) If pasta didn't make my tummy hurt, I would eat it all the time.

13) I was a competitive swimmer through my sophomore year of university.

14) I swam the mile, 1000, and 500 until I was in university... then I became a sprinter :)

15) The thing I miss most now that I am back to swimming, is swimming outside year round.  There is nothing like enjoying the fresh air and sunshine during a hard practice... or seeing the steam rise off the pool on a cold day.

16) I have a food blog - K&K Test Kitchen - that I started with my mom while I was waiting to start work.

17) When I started it, I could barely cook. It taught me a lot and made me more creative in the kitchen.

18) I love to cook Italian and Mexican food.

19) I dream about moving to Australia to train for triathlons during the Canadian winter.

20) In February 2010, my friend Megan and I went to a travel agent and booked tickets to leave for Costa Rica the next day.

21) My biggest fear is being alone when I am old.

22) That said, I love spending time by myself and I don't mind doing things alone - like going to the movies or going out to dinner.

23) My favorite color is blue or anything in the blue-green family.

24) But my favorite color for triathlon is RED. Something about red makes me feel fast.

25) I like to color coordinate my gear - bike, shoes, helmet, race kit, etc.

26) I can't wait to see the Team Canada uniforms for Worlds.

27) I also can't wait to get my team kit for Team Coeur 2015. I'm so excited to represent such an amazing company with an amazing group of female athletes.

28) I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters for a few years, mentoring grade 6-8 girls through the Go Girls! program. It was so fun and so rewarding.

29) I went to Honduras twice with Engineers Without Borders. We were building a new water system for a community there. I am not an engineer, but instead went to help liaise with the community on the social, political, and economic side of things.

Making new friends while checking out the digging of the new water pipeline

30) I also helped found a non-profit that installs wells that filter arsenic out of water in Cambodia, Bangladesh, and India.

31) I have a Masters in Economics.

32) I did my undergrad in International Relations and Economics.

33) I sold children's shoes at Nordstrom one summer during university.

34) I also interned at Goldman Sachs for two summers in Chicago.

35) Chicago is one of my favorite cities.

36) I love country music, especially stuff from the 90's.

37) I also love Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Bob Dylan. I call them my "3 B's."

38) My favorite Songza playlist though is "MTV Beach House," full of rap, R&B and pop from the 90's and early 2000's.

39) And when I get married, I dream of having a Motown band at my wedding.

40) Alas, I am a single lady and I'm learning to embrace that.

41) Sometimes I worry though that I will never find that special someone.

42) Lately, the guys I have dated seem pretty intimidated by my training schedule and that I am so "busy."

43) I love being busy and would rather date someone who got that.

44) Writing lists is one of my favorite things (which is probably why I felt compelled to do this.)

45) At any given time, I usually have 4-5 notebooks, planners, journals, etc. with me.

46) I love social media and blogging, because it has connected me with so many incredible virtual friends.

47) I also met my real-life roommate through Instagram.

48) I prefer comedies for both TV and movies.

49) I rarely watch TV anymore, but I do love "The Mindy Project," "New Girl," and "Parks and Recreation."

50) "The Little Mermaid" is my favorite Disney movie.

51) When I was little, my sister and I loved to play "house" at furniture stores.

52) We would also spend hours drawing neighborhoods on sheets of paper during long car rides, then we would tape the paper together to make a "town."

53) We also made fairy houses in the woods behind our house.

54) I miss the creativity of my childhood.

55) And I would like to spend more time creating things, decorating my house, etc.

56) I love craft beer, any red wine, Chardonnay, and Bourbon.

57) My first sip of champagne was out of the Stanley Cup when I was three (don't judge my parents...).

58) I started drinking coffee with one semester left in my Masters program, not sure how I survived that long without it.

59) That's also around the time that I started eating eggs.

60) As a kid, I played soccer and did ballet, but gave both up to swim.

61) I also played lacrosse for one season in grade 6.

62) I can barely ice skate (kind of embarrassing given #5 above).

63) In grade 5, I played the violin and clarinet. I was terrible.

64) From grade 6-8, I was in the choir at school and sang Soprano (also pretty terribly).

65) I have a really soft voice.

66) I love trivia and knowing random facts.

67) This probably stemmed from watching Jeopardy with my Grandma when I was little.

68) I also LOVE the Olympics and usually cry when they are over.

69) In 2002, my dad, sister and I went to Salt Lake City for the day to walk around the Olympic Village and attend an Olympic hockey game (mom worked for Southwest Airlines at the time!).

70) I am still trying to figure out how I can be an Olympian.

71) The five years that I spent between my retirement from swimming and the start of triathlon training were some of the hardest years of my life so far.

71) Finding triathlon has helped me to find myself again.

72) Dreaming big, training, racing, and challenging myself are some of the things that make me the happiest.

73) I love teaching barre, because it seriously pushes me outside of my comfort zone and because the guests at the studio where I teach are amazing!

74) I am afraid of needles.

75) This means that I don't have any tattoos and only have my ears pierced.

76) I read my horoscope every day.

77) I'm a true Aries - stubborn, independent, passionate, driven.

78) And when I date someone, I always look up whether our signs are compatible. I've realized that Capricorns are really not for me that way.

79) I have a terrible habit of not finishing books.

80) I do love to read though, especially books about triathlon lately.

81) I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

82) This is somewhat of a source of anxiety for me.

83) I do have an awesome, interesting job though.

84) I went to Catholic high school and wore a uniform.

85) I am not Catholic, but I did get "Religion Student of the Year" while I was there.

86) My car in high school was a gold Ford Taurus, with a "swim taxi" license plate holder.

87) I would listen to "California Love" almost every day on the way to swim practice. That and a lot of Sublime, since my sister was also usually in the car.

88) I was a pretty big partier in college at Lehigh... "work hard, play harder" was the motto.

89) But I also managed to graduate with High Honors and get my Masters paid for based on my grades.

90) I love Eskimo and butterfly kisses.

91) I still have my childhood blanket, "Popcorn," that my Grandma made me when I was born.

92) I love celebrating holidays, because I love traditions and I love spending time with my family and friends.

93) I wish I could live closer to my family.

Sister, Ralph the puppy, and me in Arizona at Christmas

94) I have major puppy fever after meeting my sister's puppy at Christmas.

95) But I don't think it would be fair of me to get a puppy right now.

96) That doesn't stop me from looking at the Humane Society website all the time.

97) I love swim, bike, running in Ottawa and am grateful for the huge, supportive endurance sport community here.

98) The large majority of my friends are athletes of some sort.

99) And I am lucky to have friends and family that live all over the U.S. and Canada.

100) I collect quotes about happiness and gratitude.

101) I believe happiness is a journey.


  1. Bruce Springsteen!! My kinda girl!!
    That is so cool that your dad played hockey in the NHL, and also very funny that you don’t skate very well. ☺ You definitely got his “bad ass” qualities with your athleticism and grit.
    Loved reading this. Someday we need to connect, girlfriend!

  2. This was awesome to read and love that I am your best friend. Love you with all my heart. Mommy

  3. Awesome!! Great to get to know you better!!! I am an Aries too!!!!