Your Inner Underdog: Finding Reasons to Believe

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“Great moments are born from great opportunity” – Herb Brooks

All too often we are dwarfed by the media’s sensationalism of celebrities, money, fame, fortune and all the glutenous impulses that drive us all to the brink of insanity. Why is it we feel the need to live vicariously through Brad Pitt, The Bachelor and Kim Kardashian? I wish I had an answer. I wish I knew why a billionaire in Texas is giving five million dollars to a presidential candidate when every street corner in New York has a homeless person waking up each morning wondering where his next meal is.

Where do we find salvation in the direction life is taking us all?

Many of us joke about the apocalypse. Those that believe in the complete word of the bible do know this would not be the first time wen went through a planetary cleansing exercise. Maybe this is our time. Maybe we are all about to embark on a temporary extinction. With movies like Melancholia and The Road even Hollywood is monopolizing on the anticipation, fear and mockery of the end of the world.

So how do we find hope in a world crippled with the death of morals and convictions?

We live vicariously through the moments where ordinary becomes extraordinary. It is when the underdog, the unknown, the weak create miracles. It is when the Chilean Miners escaped to hug their families one more time, when 20 college hockey players on February 22, 1980, gave the United States a reason to believe again, when a young woman diagnosed with cancer, not only beats the disease but was able to celebrate life.

American freedom was one of miracles of all time. An under-manned, under-equipped, under-nourished army of colonists who had nothing more than the idea of a promise of a better tomorrow, banded together and with nothing short of will and hope defeated the greatest military in the world. A true David and Goliath story.

Then there are moments. Moments that bring us to the brink. Moments that shower us with tears of sadness and happiness simultaneously. It is these unforgettable moments that truly reminds us without spoken word that life is worth living and worth dreaming.

It is the speech by Jimmy Valvano, who had the courage to get up in front of a live audience and an international television audience on the brink of death from cancer to talk openly about his disease and his love for his family, fans and sports, it is Pat Summit, one of the greatest basketball coaches ever addressing her fans and disclosing her early dementia diagnosis and it is John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting a flag at his fathers funeral because he doesn’t know why but knew it is the right thing to do that makes it all memorable.

Sometimes you just have to believe in the unbelievable to find your inner strength.

I am here to tell you, life isn’t easy. I won’t pretend it is or even tell you things get better. We will all undergo challenges, moments of weakness and doubt but something somehow finds its way to us when we truly need it. It is as simple as a hug or a sign but its message is loud and clear.

In a world that is 26,000 miles in circumference and 6.3 billion people deep, I suppose we are all underdogs.

It is those rare few the dig into the trenches of their soul and use all the energy in their heart to find the finish line that keep us all believing in something great.

Without a reason to believe, what do we have?

What the Charleston Lady Was Doing While Her Other Half Watched the Epic Finale of the 2016 World Series

By, Minta Pavliscsak
  • Enjoying the crisp fall evening on the patio while sipping a glass of wine and sneaking a few pieces of the kid’s Halloween candy.
  • Hanging out with her man because she is after all a true Southern Bell, and supporting his interests is just part of what we do. {…even if there may be texts exchanged with the bestie about how cute that one player’s butt looks in his uniform.}
  • Sleeping – hopefully not interrupting any important plays with the occasional, adorable snore.
  • Finally catching up on her DVR shows on the smaller T.V.
  • Using her man’s credit card to buy those shoes she has been eyeing for quite some time now. -How that matching belt made its way into the shopping bag is a mystery to her!-
  • Constantly refilling the chip bowl and mixed nuts while making countless pigs in blankets, all while keeping the coffee table her honey and his friends are huddled around clear of empty beer cans and bottle caps.
  • Taking advantage of an empty house to sit around in her favorite baggy, ripped sweats and bleached stained hoodie for once…crazy hair and all.
  • Getting hit on at Mac’s Place -unbeknownst to her significant other- by some guy rooting for the opposing team, despite the fact that her and her man have been sharing a plate of nachos since the second inning and he keeps drinking her beer because he refuses to take his eyes off of the screen.
  • Pretending to show interest in the game but instead, plotting her moment when she gets to use the line that starts with, “Honey remember that time when I sat up with you after midnight watching the World Series?”
  • Cheering right along by her love’s side because she has always been a Cubs fan.


World Series 2016 Video

Charleston Guide for All Personality Types (Adrenaline, Creative, Foodie, Learner, Music)

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

What is your personality type Charleston?

Are you a:

  • Adrenaline Junkie
  • Creative Genius
  • Foodie
  • Lifelong Learner
  • Music Maniac

No matter which category you fall into, we have you covered.? Here are a few tips and links to help you feed your passion.? Because in Charleston, passion fuels excitement.? Let’s make your Lowcountry experience exciting, memorable and fruitful.

The adrenaline junkie is always on the go.? They love the outdoors, sports and keeping active.? It can be a jog or bike ride or kicking back a few beers at a sporting event.? What does Charleston offer for the adrenaline junkie?

The creative genius is a snob; a creative artsy snob.? Not a bad thing.? They appreciate all the creative talents in Charleston.

Foodie.? Oh, the foodie.? A true culinary connoisseur.

The lifelong learner has a constant thirst for knowledge and information.? We have a bit of that.

There is so much more, but since you are a knowledge sponge, we will leave some of the additional research to you.

The music maniac.? We love the true music aficionado.? They feel it, understand it and appreciate it.? Here are a few venues to light your fire.

There you have it.? Whether you are an adrenaline junkie, creative spirit, foodie, learner or music maniac, here is a taste for all the incredible options in Charleston, SC.? Bring an appetite for fun and excitement.






Monkeying Around at Wild Blue Ropes

One of the many reasons we celebrate Charleston is the unique and challenging activities that surround us.? We are becoming a mecca of health and wellness with Yoga in the Park, rock climbing walls, shagging, boot camps, Sky Zone, disc golf and now a rope challenge course that defies gravity offering children, adults, and families and teams the opportunity to motivate, break down the barriers of fear and use the principles of balance, athletics, courage and fun in a memorable way.

Wild Blue Ropes from a distance, as you drive down Folly Road, continues to turn heads daily.? Its complex structure and stimulating visual has created quite a buzz.

We decided to take the challenge head on.? Not notoriously strong on the balance side,? I was? a little concerned, but after only about 20 minutes, I began to rely less on the rope supports and more on my balance skills.? Careful:? the first time you look down, it is a doozer of a view.

Enjoy our personal playtime experience at Wild Blue Ropes

Looks a bit intimidating.

Early on, we were holding on for dear life.? No fear! No fear!? All fun.

Starting to feel much more comfortable.

This challenge looks a little tricky.? One step at a time.

Just hanging around.? Nothing to it.

Look, walking in the path of Big Foot.? Watch the footsteps…

We had a long fulfilling afternoon at Wild Blue Ropes.? Let’s just chill and relax for a while high off the ground.

Overall, this is a remarkable experience.? Wild Blue Ropes has catered to everyone from under 10 to 74 years old and like us, they left energized, fulfilled and wanting more.

This is high on our list of unique fun Charleston activities to put on your personal bucket list.

Wild Blue Ropes – Folly Road, James Island

Roller Derby Brings the Spirit of Competition and Sisterhood to the Lowcountry

Photo by Phil Lackey
Update: The Lowcountry Highrollers kick off the new season on August 29th, doors opening at 4:30 at their new venue at 3337 Business Circle, North Charleston, SC.? Come out and show your support.? Learn more at Lowcountry Highrollers Official Website

As I spoke to Lori, a seasoned member of the Swamp Foxes on Wednesday evening, I could see the team in the background doing drills and stretching exercises in preparation for their closed scrimmage at the Hot Wheels Skating facility on Folly Road. Ranging from age 18 to 45, this group of women includes a former competitive fencer, speed skaters, nurses, writers and a chef. This is the makings of a true sisterhood who has found a release hidden behind their skates, pads and helmets.

Lori’s passion dates back to her youth when she watched hours of bouts on television and sought the opportunity once she learned of the league. Along with the other skaters, Lori sees Roller Derby as part of something much bigger than herself. It is a community partnership, an organization fueled on education, awareness and a sense of teaming unlike anything you may ever witness.

Full gear for a roller derby athlete can run about $600 or more. This is a pertinent amount for the dedicated girls who are practicing and competing for nothing more than pride and charity. Sponsor a Skater is one of the many examples of community partnership that embrace the passion of this sport. Donors, sometimes anonymous, provide funding so that the athletes can have the opportunity to skate, hit and score.

During each bout, you will witness banner ads, raffles, announcements, flyers and digital ads promoting businesses from around the Charleston area. These sponsors are part of the well-oiled machine that keeps this league thriving. The athletes, coaches and referees are not paid. In fact, each bout supports a local area charity. All other funds raised provide for rentals, insurance, equipment and marketing to help keep the dreams of these girls alive. The compassion and commitment of the league to support local area charities is infectious. MUSC Sports Medicine even offers free healthcare assistance to any player injured during a bout or practice.

Stepping into a situation with a limited understanding of the rules and regulations was a challenge for me, but meeting the girls and spending time with Lori, put my lack of knowledge at ease. The exuberant dialogue offered a wealth of information about the sport, the dedication year round of the competitors and the community partnership.

Whether you are a member of the Ashley Riverdolls, Swamp Foxes, Heartbreakers or junior derby, conditioning, training and preparation are a part of everyone’s routine. Players interested in competing must complete two stages of assessment before they can clash in a bout. From conditioning to technique, the league takes great precautions to ensure safety and health.

Photo by Phil Lackey

Each and every player is given the chance to learn leadership, project management, marketing and teamwork. This is a beautiful ecosystem in place. Each member must be part of at least two committees (marketing, media, sponsorship, etc.) and there is a rotating coaches program where players take turns coaching a practice or scrimmage. It is, in a way, a utopian society with no hierarchy and a communal lifestyle.

Why choose Roller Derby? For some it is a way to stay in shape. For others, finding a sisterhood bond. Ultimately, roller derby is a healthy escape from the pressures of personal and professional lives. Most of us spend our lives working the “day” job and at the end of the day, a release is a breath of fresh air.

This is a breath of fresh air.

I spent a few minutes watching the scrimmage. Two minute intervals; jammers, blockers and pivot, all packed together. It was a rugged form of poetry. As they bunched together, you could see the competitive drive as well as the strong team concept. It is truly a remarkable experience.

If you have never witnessed a bout, go enjoy the experience. Do it for the charity, do it for the action, but most of all, do it to show your support for the ladies and gentleman that dedicate hours in preparation for each bout.

Before each bout, when each player is introduced and they skate a lap around the track while others eagerly wait for their announcement while listening to their motivational music, watch closely as you cheer them on. Look at the fire in their eyes and the spirit in their glide. It will inspire.

Photo by Phil Lackey
Photo by Phil Lackey

You enjoy all the energy on October 12 at Hot Wheels on Folly Road as The Swamp Fox Militia take on The Holy City Heartbreakers and November 9 for the Home team championships – Roller Derby Schedule

Learn more today – Roller Derby Charleston SC