Archive for February, 2012

Linsanity in My Family

Posted in Uncategorized on February 23, 2012 by amylawrencepxp

I wouldn’t say my family is full of sports fans. My mom followed my brother and me to all of our high school basketball games, and my brother cheered me on in college. When we were younger, we’d watch NFL games or the Celtics in the playoffs, and we enjoyed attending NASCAR races when I was a kid. Both my nieces play basketball for their town and school teams now. That’s pretty much the extent of their interest. They’ll do Super Bowl parties every other year, and my mom listens to me on the radio as often as she can. But it’s safe to say most of my family is fairly unimpressed by what I do for a living.

I’m visiting my brother for a couple days, and I got out of bed to see everyone off to school and work early Thursday. After greeting me with a mouth full of waffle, my younger niece threw her arms straight up in the air and began hopping up and down and shouting, “JEREMY LIN!” Imagine my surprise since I wasn’t even sure she knew the New York Knicks existed. My older niece proceeded to inform me that Lin is Asian…which matters in my family since my sister-in-law is Filipino. She lived in the Philippines until she was 12 and still speaks Tagalog. And now she’s a huge Jeremy Lin fan. Ever since she read about him on the web a few weeks ago, she can’t get enough. She watches all of his highlights on YouTube. My sister-in-law can’t name 5 other current NBA players, but she won’t go a day without googling Lin. The best part of the morning was listening to her and my brother argue over who heard about Jeremy Lin first! My brother rattled off a bunch of facts and figures, and his voice grew louder and louder the more excited he got (just like mine does). He went on to say, “Amy, he’s BRILLIANT!”

This the beauty of the Jeremy Lin story: something for everyone. Hardcore fans appreciate his skills on the court. Marginal fans love how he came out of nowhere to take the NBA by storm. Academics tout his Harvard education. The Asian community points to how he’s breaking ground. And what human being hasn’t felt overlooked, underappreciated, and invisible? Who hasn’t run into a brick wall while chasing a dream, but refused to give up? We can ALL identify with his story. Plus, the more we learn about Lin, the more likeable he becomes. Under a white hot spotlight, he remains humble, gracious, thankful, motivated, articulate, thoughtful, and passionate about basketball. He’s amazed by all the attention, and his focus stays on filling his role with the Knicks and helping them win.

Jeremy Lin, add one more item to your incredible list of accomplishments: getting my family excited about an athlete, a sport, and my job! We all watched the Knicks battle the Heat on Thursday night. I enjoyed watching my brother and nieces cheer or groan with every New York play, and I laughed when my sister-in-law couldn’t watch the end because she’d be too excited to sleep. In my mind, a perfect night, thanks to Linsanity.

One answer to the impossible question

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2012 by amylawrencepxp

Ever wonder why you go through hard times? They take so many forms: health problems, money issues, family struggles, broken relationships, job loss, or worse, the loss of a loved one. Ever wonder “why me??” as you suffer through weeks or months or years of pain and darkness when nothing seems to break your way? There’s at least one answer that applies no matter how often you ask the question or how frequently you feel like the bug instead of the windshield.

We struggle through difficult times so we can support and encourage other people going through the same things.

Whatever you’re facing, you’re not alone. Whatever you’re going through personally, professionally, mentally, or emotionally, you can be SURE countless other people are struggling with the same demons and fighting the same battles at the exact same moment. It’s taken me a long time, but I now realize that knowledge isn’t enough. In order to make sure the dark stretches in my life don’t go to waste, I MUST open my mouth!

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is waging a war with drug and alcohol addiction, and it’s no secret. He waited eight years before making his MLB debut, thanks to failed drug tests and subsequent suspenions. After his trade to Texas in 2007, he turned himself into one of the best players in the game, even collecting MVP honors in 2010. Fans won’t ever forget his emotional appearance in the 2008 Home Run Derby at Yankees Stadium when thousands chanted his name as he belted a record 28 homers in the first round. But amidst the glory, Hamilton has made at least eight trips to rehab and suffered through a pair of relapses in the past three years. Instead of hiding his missteps, he’s faced dozens of TV cameras to admit those relapses and apologize for messing up again.

I’ve heard from recovering addicts who admire Hamilton’s courage and vulnerability in going public with every bitter step. He answers the same questions over and over, never shying away from the harsh spotlight that constantly exposes his mistakes and regrets. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is the same way. He spent two years in jail for his role in illegal dogfighting, and he never misses an opportunity to talk about how prison made him a better man, a better father, and a better leader.

What good are the struggles we face if we don’t SHARE them so others know they aren’t alone when they stare up at those same gigantic mountains? My dad was a deadbeat who refused to pay child support for most of my life. His verbal abuse, constant lying, and drug use left an indelible mark. But I’ve crossed paths with many other people who bear similar scars. That’s not an accident. When I hear from someone else with a past like mine, it never fails to lift me up and remind me I don’t walk alone. By opening up, we can offer hope, encouragement, support, and the promise of light at the end of the tunnel. We may be a lifeline for people on the verge of giving up.

We may never fully understand why we suffer through hard times, I’m determined not to waste the tears and the pain and the struggles. And if that’s the ONLY answer I have to “why me?” … it’s enough.

Happy Launching Day!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2012 by amylawrencepxp

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with writing. Always a labor of love and typically weighed down by writer’s block. From English papers in high school to my mammoth research project at Syracuse to beat assignments and magazine articles, I almost ALWAYS procrastinate up to the deadline, and there’s often a fair share of stewing and stress and fretting. I love the finished product, but I hate the process … which is why my choice to start a blog is laugh out loud funny!

This won’t be a blog about me, but it will be my perspective. So in order to understand me a little better, there are a few things you should know.

  • I’m ALL girl – emotional to a fault, complicated, passionate. A friend once told me I cry more than anyone she knows. Ha! Probably true since I cry when I’m happy and cry when I’m sad. I cry every week over Grey’s Anatomy, and I always tear up over the National Anthem at major sporting events.
  • I’m a huge goofball. I once told a reporter I was a “dork,” and he included that in his article. I love to make other people laugh, even if it means they’re laughing at me.
  • I don’t want to be like everyone else. I like to swim upstream, difficult as it can be. It’s not an accident God created me this way, given my chosen career.

When I was in high school, I fell in love with Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics – head over heels, completely irrational, crazy love! My family lived in the backwoods of New Hampshire without cable TV, so the only way I could follow my beloved team was with the radio. During that time, I developed a real affinity for play-by-play. It’s the whole idea of describing the action on the court in a way that people don’t feel like they’re missing a thing, as though they can SEE the game unfold in front of them. It didn’t take much convincing from my best friend to set my sights on a career in sports broadcasting. I used to tell anyone who asked that I would be the first female Johnny Most.

When I started college, lots of authority figures suggested I have a “backup plan,” so I doubled up in communication & accounting – two opposite sides of the same brain. But once I tasted radio for the first time, I knew where I belonged. I’m a radio junkie. It’s part of who I am.

My improbable journey carved a path through New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, western New York, New Hampshire (again), Vermont, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island before arriving in Connecticut … and I still haven’t run out of things to say! The same friend who suggested a career in sports radio also suggested I try my hand at blogging. (You can thank Stephanie!) I’ll tackle a wide range of topics from sports to pop culture to family to travel, everything but politics, and I’m always open to your suggestions. I can’t promise you’ll always agree with me, but I can promise authenticity and honesty and humor. I write just like I talk.

Thanks for taking the time to read … and giving me a secret weapon in my war with writing.

Inside of a week…

Posted in Uncategorized on February 10, 2012 by amylawrencepxp

Thanks for checking on my new blog. The official launch is set for Tuesday, February 14th! Woooooo!