Three, Two, One Strike You’re Out

Saying Take Me Out to the Ball Game is a story about a girl, is like saying God is woman. Oh, wait! That tune IS the tale of a girl!

Last night, CBS’s evening news broadcast brought tears to the eyes of every girl who ever wore a snapback. The seventh-inning song, Baseball’s National Anthem, is about a Katie Casey. A girl who, when asked out on a date, didn’t want to go sit in a movie theater, she wanted to go eat peanuts and watch baseball.

The song, written in 1908, came at a time when women were beginning to stand up for themselves.

HOW APPROPRIATE.

Could there be a better time to bring this to light? Today, women across the country who have experienced sexual harassment are stepping up to the bat. Saying, hold on boys, no more one, two, three strikes you’re out. Now, you are out on the first damn pitch.

We here at Athletchic couldn’t be happier that the lyrics of baseball’s National Anthem is about women’s rights. Ain’t that like hiting a line drive below the belt. (Let’s stand Harvey Weinstein on the pitcher’s mound during batting practice.)

In honor of the women who had the courage to stand up to sexual harassment in these past few weeks, this year during the World Series, we Athletchics have decided we will still stand and sing Baseball’s National Anthem. You may not be able to hear us over the din of the crowd, but listen closely. The words have changed. Now, it goes like this:

Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s three, two, one strike, you’re out,
At the old ball game.

 

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Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer. You may follow her on Twitter @Tweetyz or on instagram @athletchicz, or check out her author website at www.cyndiezahner.com.

 

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Peppy in prAna

prAna Product Reviews

 Women’s Uptown Pant

  • Product Number: W4UPTP315
  • Color: Cargo Green
  • Size : Medium
  • Price : $89.001

Although in a very big transitional point in my life, I am currently seven months pregnant, I am still true to myself. What does that mean? It means I have not changed one bit, except my tummy is a little larger than normal. I haven’t not become any less curious or energetic. I am still running, hiking, climbing, doing yoga, working out, just a bit slower than usual.

So being that my weight and size is changing, I was looking for multi-use, durable, versatile and stylish piece that I could use in different areas of my wardrobe. While looking for pants, I wanted something that I could bum around the house in, something I could wear hiking and something that would be acceptable to head out in, whether to work, the grocery store or a friend’s house. I searched literally EVERYWHERE and resulted to all black yoga pants (which get boring after a while) and wearing a LOT of dresses.

I was literally in a fashion depression and then I came to prAna’s website where I searched for pants. The site had many great options but I had never purchased anything from prAna before. Would the pants fit right? Would they look okay on me? Was the material going to be sturdy? I decided to choose just a single pair of pants to test out the quality of prAna’s products. I went with the Uptown Pant in the Cargo Green color. A couple days later the pants showed up at my house. I have to say, I really did NOT think I would love a pair of pants this much. I never order pants online since they don’t ever fit right. Plus, I am more of a yoga pants and jeans kind of girl. However, the Uptown Pant from prAna soon became one of my all-time favorite pairs of pants.

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They are perfect for the adventurer in us all. They are light weight, breathable, loose fitting, durable, airy, comfortable pants. Whether you are road tripping for hours or hiking the desert, you will be able to move about the car or world comfortably in this pair of pants.

They are perfect for relaxing around the house. The breath-ability and looseness of the pants makes these the perfect pair of pants to bum around home in. They are comfortable and airy and great for your normal laid back days.

They are perfect for the working girl. These pants are beautiful and stylish. I have paired these pants with black flats and a blouse and turned them from hiking pants into a business casual look at work. I have worn these out to dinners with friends, to the grocery store, any and everywhere.

8They are even perfect for the pregnant girl! Although these pants are not your typical maternity pair of pants, they have been great for me even at seven months pregnant! The elastic through back waistband makes it easy for me to get into the pants at this stage of pregnancy, and yet will still fit once I am no longer pregnant. I love that this is a piece that I can wear at all stages of life.

What I am trying to say is these pants are EVERYTHING! I am very critical of pants. I have the hardest time fitting into certain pants. Different styles that look great on certain people always look horrible on me. When not pregnant I wear a size six pant. I have wide hips and thick thighs (thanks to soccer). It is so hard to find a pair of pants that fits just right. I am five feet, four inches tall, a lot of pants are too long for me, so I constantly find myself rolling my pant legs. I have to say, even with all of these issues, I ordered a size medium and these pants were perfect!

If you too are looking for a versatile pair of pants that are light, durable and comfortable, use the promo code FAJZ15 on prana.com to get 15% off these pants and many more products from prAna. I promise you, you will not be disappointed in this pair of pants!

Women’s Sway Tank

  • Product Number: W13170213
  • Color: Black
  • Size : Medium
  • Price : $69.00

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As a runner living in California, I am a tank top kind of girl when it comes to attire for my work outs. Choosing the women’s Sway Tank was an easy option for me. What I love about this product is that the tank has a built in bra that is beautiful. The website also offers a Roxanne Capri that matches the bra, which would make an awesome outfit to wear to yoga or to go grab groceries in.

In terms of functionality, this top is best suited for and also intended for yoga. Wearing this top to yoga class was great. I was able to move about the class freely in this top without pulling at it or struggling with it during different poses, positions and stretches.

I have also used this top to hike and climb in. I actually loved it to hike in, especially when I was in the desert. The material is light and keeps you cool.

Because of the lightness of the shirt, weight-wise, I tried it out on a run. For me, the bra did not offer enough support while running. This is not a problem unique to this top, I have never found a top with a built in bra that I felt offered me enough support. All other activities I wore the top for the support was great and keep in mind, this top is not intended for running.

So for all you yogis out there, this top is perfect for you!

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Additional prAna Product Information

I take pride in the things that I endorse on my site. Some products are greater than others, but prAna has seriously impressed me. prAna’s motto is:

Welcome to a world where we re-write the rules, re-route the road map, and let all routines be damned.

A world for the curious. For the creative. For the spirited; where we play long, travel light, and trust our instincts.

Welcome to prAna – Design that sets you free.

When I read this I honestly thought maybe my long lost twin was out there creating a line of clothing specifically designed for me. Everything above, is me! On top of that, prAna stands by all of their products. If you do not absolutely love your prAna purchase, they will offer you a full refund or exchange. (See details at: prAna.com/returns or call 1.866.915.6457).

prAna created sustainable products as they strive to minimize their impact on the environment and what it means for future generations. They go the extra mile to design everything with the best possible materials and practices. So if you are a lover of planet earth, this company is for you!

Both products purchased meet The bluesign® criteria. This is a system for sustainable textile production. bluesign® eliminates harmful substances from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. These products are created with minimum impact on people and the environment with the highest level of consumer safety. It ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide and provides confidence to the consumer to acquire a sustainable product. You can find out more about bluesign® criteria at www.bluesign.com.

Added a few extra details to this piece:

  • Recycled
  • Organic
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • Hemp
  • Fluorine Free
  • PFOA Free

As if I did not love these products enough, the backbone of prAna’s company makes me love their products even more.

So for all of our readers or followers who are interested in prAna products, use promotion code/coupon code FAJZ15 to get 15% off any items on prAna’s website.

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Jessie Zahner is the owner of Athletchic.com. You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter at @Athletchic.

The Baby Inside My Baby

We athletchics believe we can have it all: family, career, exercise, and possibly travel the globe. But what happens when we get the big news? Hear those seven words that change our lives?

“You are going to have a baby.”

Well, we still believe we can have everything our heart desires, after all, we are tough. Invincible. Our low BMI and healthy living will catapult us into healthy pregnancies. This is going to be easy.

Right?

Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.

When it isn’t

Thirty-four years ago my OBGYN gave me the bad news: I was dilated to five at thirty weeks gestation.  High risk. He sent me home with a note for work and sentenced me to bed rest.

Yes, sentenced. Any athletchic would consider being confined to the couch a sentence. For a good eight hours of rest? Okay, we would welcome that. But for ten weeks? Yikes!

My first thought was how could this happen to me? I was a runner, swimmer, skier. I batted balls back and forth over nets and against walls and bats, all while working a full-time job. I worked hard and played harder. Was in perfect shape. You name the sport, I partook.

High risk pregnancies happen to the best of us and when it does, we adjust. We heed our doctor’s advice and we rest. Pushing ourselves to the limit and taking risks is fine, when it is just us. But when we are carrying a child, we submit. (It is the only time in our lives that submission is necessary.)

When I was pregnant with my first child, Jessie (Athletchic), I discovered my mother took the famed DES pill. The technical name for DES has long escaped me. But its purpose was to help women who had trouble carrying babies get to a full-term, healthy delivery. Unfortunately years later, the female babies of those mothers who took the drug were plagued with a barrage of female and fertility problems.

I had six pregnancies, three healthy children, and a hysterectomy at age forty. And I was one of the lucky ones. Many DES babies couldn’t carry babies full term at all.

And, I don’t own the corner on tough pregnancies. Lots of women have them. If it happens? Simply, you adjust. It’s not forever. (Only a blink in time when you’re my age.)

What’s good is that high-risk pregnancies are not the norm. Having a baby is natural, and most women have a much easier time than I did.

When it’s easier

Let’s not confuse easier with easy. Pregnancy is challenging. You have another life inside you, and you become concerned with everything you put in your mouth, the amount of rest you get, travel, even the weather can be a challenge. (A friend of ours, Athletchic Elana Morales, was born a week late in Houston, Texas, on the Thursday after Harvey reared his ugly head!)

But my baby, Jessie, is having a baby and, while for years we worried that she would go through the same troubles I did, she is healthy and active and beginning her thirty-third week. Working, walking, hiking in the mountains, and even able to do a little running, she hangs onto every word her OBGYN gives her.

What is important to remember about pregnancy is that we are all different and no two pregnancies are the same. You’ll hear stories spanning from women who didn’t know they were pregnant until delivery (secretly, we long to be them) to those who knew the day after they missed their period (when the aroma of their daily coffee made them throw up in the sink.)

Each pregnancy is as unique and diverse as the baby inside you.

A little advice from an expectant grandma

Listen to your body and don’t listen to anything or anyone else except your doctor. Or at least only half listen, because people talk too much about the problems and not enough about the joys.

If you asked me what my pregnancy was like thirty years ago when it was fresh in my mind, I would have complained about the morning sickness. Twenty years ago I would have mentioned not being able to see what color shoes I had on in the morning. (Yep I got it wrong a few times. One black. One blue.) If you asked ten years ago, I’d mention my worries about the rising college costs.

And if you ask me today, thirty years later?

I remember little hands and feet fluttering inside me; my husband stroking my belly, trying to get closer; never being alone; reading softly to my unborn child; and closing my eyes and holding tiny, terrycloth sleepers to my cheek in anticipation, knowing I had already fallen in love.

Some of us have a hard time and for some, the months pass easily by. Whether you must plod along bravely or are one of the lucky ones who sail by, my advice is savor this time you and your baby have together. Because before you know it, those tiny toes pushing at your belly will be strong enough to carry that child far away from you. She will be off in the world standing on her own, maybe—like mine—with a baby in her own belly.

I love you and that little girl inside you, Jessie. More than you know. I’m counting down the days, hours, and minutes to November 11th. See you soon.

Enjoy.

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Gigi, Cyndie Zahner, is a freelance writer and about to be a grandmother for the first time. Follow her on Twitter @tweetyz, Instagram @athletchicz, or on her author website at www.cyndiezahner.com.

2017 NBA PLAYOFF FASHION & STYLE – ROUND TWO

We are back with Round 2 of our 2017 NBA Playoff Fashion Report! Although we will miss Russell Westbrook in this round, we still have some guys who would give him a serious run for his money in this round. So let’s begin with our best dressed!

BEST DRESSED

(Image courtesy of Cleveland CavaliersBoston Celtics, and Washington Wizards)

  • #1 — Lebron James

    Taking our number one spot on and off the court is the Cavaliers star, LeBron James. The King pulls together a complicated but fresh look for Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs. As we have seen all throughout this offseason, jackets are everything! LBJ styles his look with one of the most popular pieces in menswear this season, the camo military jacket. He pairs it with a simple white tee and painted jeans. James finished the look with matching green shoes, and complicates it with red and black striped socks that tie into and bring out the patches of his jacket. The Kings tops it all off with a neutral colored hat. Complicated in the most perfect, off the run way, way! We only wish we could pull off a look like this!
  • #2 — J.R. Smith

    Runner up for this round is Cleveland Cavaliers J.R. Smith. The Cavs guard goes trendy with this all camo in this A Bathing Ape sweatshirt and matching baseball cap with matching high top sneakers. J.R. not only kills us with his on court thoughtlessness, and trickery (tying other players shoes together while the foul line), he also kills us with this look!
  • #3 –Isaiah Thomas

    Opposite of the camo trending look, Boston Celtics, Isaiah Thomas pulls off a classic style in Round 2 of the playoffs wearing all black everything! The staple piece in the 5’9″ pointguard’s look is his black hooded letterman’s jacket. Again, menswear jackets are everything! #GetBucketsAndJackets
  • #4 — John Wall

    Finally we have a suit break the list at honorable mention. This Washington Wizards #Wallstar kills the suit game with this nicely fitted navy suit and red power tie. He polishes the look off with a pair of shades. His future was so bright, boo! We want more J.Wall!

WORST DRESSED

(Image courtesy of Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards)

  • #1 — Kelly Olynyk

    This man has been haunting my dreams both in game and now out of game. This outfit looks like a middle school boy heading off to the bus stop in the 90’s.
  • #2 — John Wall

    Camo is totally in this season but camo on camo? It doesn’t even match John Wall! I love you but I just cannot!
  • #3 –Isaiah Thomas

    This look is not all that bad right?! Isaiah is always so stylish but honestly, I am so confused by the black lines on this shirt. Did someone get out black tape and just place it across IT’s chest to make this look more interesting? So confused!

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Jessie Zahner is the owner of Athletchic.com. You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter @Athletchic.

2017 NBA Playoff Fashion & Style – Round One

The time has come for the NBA Playoffs so we are back with our 2017 NBA Playoff Fashion Report! Now that round one is officially finished, we here at Athletchic put together the best and worst dressed of round one as well as popular trends around the NBA during the first round of playoffs! 

Best Dressed

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Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook is not only known for his triple doubles but also for his unique fashion. This year, the point guard did not disappoint. He won Athletchic’s best dress of the NBA Playoffs – Round One with this patterned short-sleeve button up, navy bandana, sunglasses and beat up cropped jeans. Although most men could not swing this look, Russ rocks it with confidence and completely pulls it off. We love it Russ!

(Image courtesy of OKC Thunder)

Runner Up

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Memphis Grizzlies, Guard, Wade Baldwin doesn’t fall far behind Russell Westbrook in the fashion department during the first round of the NBA playoffs. Pictured here, pre-game, wearing a tee by Chris Brown’s Black Pyramid Clothing, a flannel tee tied around his waist and camouflaged skinny jeans. As if his look couldn’t get any more fire, he paired the look with probably the hardest pair of shoes to get your hands on, the Yeezy Boost High-Top Glow Brown Suede Sneakers by Kanye West and Adidas. Seems like Baldwin is a fan of musicians. Either way, Athletchic is obsessed with this look!

(Image courtesy of Memphis Grizzlies)

 

Honorable Mention

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Honorable mention in fashion for the first round of the NBA playoffs goes to Chicago Bulls, Small Forward, Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Buckets looks like he just walked off the runway in this Saint Laurent floral patch jean jacket which didn’t break this 27 year old millionaire’s bank even though it cost $3490! And he isn’t the only celeb that rocked a jean jacket this week. Kanye West, Future and Jared Leto were spotted this week wearing denim jackets too! So look out men, jean jackets may just be the new It jacket of 2017! Butler rocked the Parisian look by pairing it with light skinny jeans and a maroon tee underneath! After seeing this round one look, the women of Athletchic will be rushing to the re-create this look for themselves!

(Image courtesy of Chicago Bulls)

 

 

Fire

(Images courtesy of Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder)

NBA players aren’t just talented on the court! These guys really know how to pull off street fashion! Check out looks by LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas, James Harden and more above! All of these players pulled off fire fashion during round one of the 2017 NBA Playoffs!

Fouls


1. Rajon Rondo’s Short Sleeve Suit Coat

Poor Rajon Rondo! The Chicago Bulls, Point Guard helped the eight seed pull off two stunning wins in game one and two, while on the road in Boston. Unfortunately after an injury the team went on to drop four straight, losing the series. But the Bulls aren’t the only losers in April 2017. Rajon took a second loss with this short sleeve suit jacket. I mean, I get it, “How does he fit that cast in a jacket?”  Honestly, I don’t know but cutting the sleeves off a suit was not the first idea I would have come up with! Although I loved the color scheme, I had to pause the game to rewind and re-look at Rondo’s interesting outfit. I have never seen a men’s short sleeve shirt coat. There is a first for everything I guess!

(Image courtesy of Boston Celtics)

2. Russell Westbrook’s KISS Button Up 

Now you may see this next picture and wonder how someone could be on the best and worst dressed list all within the same series. Well ladies and gentleman, leave that to your boy Russell Westbrook who wore this interesting combination of a short sleeve button up KISS shirt and tight red athletic pants. Sorry Russ, I love you, the way you play on the court, the shade you throw during interviews and I even love your fashion, but not today. This shirt is frankly scary!

(Image courtesy of Oklahoma City Thunder)

3. Jerami Grant’s Red Camo Sweater

I am still unsure of what exactly this sweatshirt Jerami Grant is wearing is. Is it Camo? Is it some weird trippy tie dye? Is it velvet? What is it? I get that he is trying to out-do Russ on the catwalk but bro, this just is not working out. You can’t beat Westbrook in the style department, even if he does end up next to you on a worst dressed list. So let’s tone it down, just a notch!

(Image courtesy of Oklahoma City Thunder)

Not Sure What to Think

(Images courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Milwaukee Bucks)

So many looks here! Good? Bad? I honestly don’t know and it is driving me crazy!

“What is Jerami Grant doing in a women’s black demin jacket? Spencer Hawe’s shirt is a joke right? Is DeAndre Jordan actually pulling off a Canadian Tuxedo? Are Dante Exum’s pants too short? Is he too tall? Are they women’s pants? Men’s capri’s? Help me understand! Is Mike Conley wearing shoulder pads? Is Zaza Pachulia wearing dad khakis and a women’s coat? What is happening?” All thoughts that ran through my head while taking one look at the collage of pictures above. These looks could be good, they could be bad, I haven’t been able to figure it out quite yet.

Round 1 Trends

All Black Everything

(Images courtesy of Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, and Atlanta Hawks)

This round of playoffs did not shy away from classic fashion statements like all black. Here, we see players pull off the timeless look with a flair of their own individual styles.

Best in Black

  1. J.J. Redick (Top Left) – The Los Angeles Clippers, Guard kills the black-on-black-on- black game rocking a bomber jacket, tee and skinny jeans.
  2. Andre Iguodala (Top Right) – The 33 year old veteran of the Golden State Warriors totally rocks an all black look with a fitted leather jacket, a tee and skinny jeans.
  3. Kyrie Irving (Bottom Left) – The Cavs star Guard pulls off his all black everything look with a hoodie, baseball cap, tee and long black coat.

Children’s Back Packs

 (Images by Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks)

Yes, this may sound odd but if there is one thing that round one of the NBA Playoffs has taught me fashion-wise it is that children’s backpacks are a fashionable accessory staple for the modern day jet setter! Check out the stars of the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards rocking their children’s backpacks!

Vans

(Images courtesy of the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies)

Old Skool classic Vans have made a strong showing during round one of the playoffs. (From left to right) Wade Baldwin, Andrew Harrison and Jaylen Brown paired their Vans with black skinny jeans.

Red Sneakers

(Images courtesy of Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies)

Red sneakers aren’t a piece of a wardrobe, they have their own wardrobe! No one walks into a store and purchases a pair of red sneaks without thinking about it. These sneakers are unique in that, once purchased, the individual must then go out and create some type of wardrobe built around these shoes. With shoes at the center of a look, you can almost always guarantee fire and these NBA players proved that once again. (Left to Right) Jarell Martin, Chris Paul, John Wall, and James Ennis all rocked all red shows during round one.

Suits

(Images courtesy of Toronto Raptors, Portland Trailblazers, Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, and Utah Jazz)

Last but definitely not least, suits! Although street style is everything right now, suits are never out. Check out the NBA players who rocked the classic look during round one of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

That is all for round one NBA Playoff Fashion, check back at the end of round two for more NBA fashion finds!

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Jessie Zahner is the owner of Athletchic.com. You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter @Athletchic.

I Decided Big Sean’s Pop-Up Shop was Urban Street Fashion Gold

Friday, February 3rd Big Sean dropped his fourth album, I Decided. To amp up the release, he simultaneously unveiled I Decided pop-up shops in four cities:

New York – 127 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

Detroit – 1441 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Toronto – 12 Ossington Ave, Toronto ON M6J 2Y7, Canada

Los Angeles – 501 N Fairfax, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The shops were open Friday and Saturday 5PM-11PM and Sunday from 12PM-6PM. Pop-up shops are the new way to stay in the “in crowd” when it comes to urban street fashion. Items at the shops are few and limited, wait times to get in are hours long, prices are well over ten times the cost to create, and when the shops close people race to produce knockoffs to sell online at a fraction of the original cost.

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So are the shops worth it? YES! The products in these stores turn to instant fashion gold. Big Sean’s shop did not disappoint! The experience was like no other but not necessarily in a good way. After two hours of waiting in line on a cool Saturday night, I entered the small shop with the other ten people who were already inside. Yes, that’s right, two hours in line to shop with ten people. The bouncer at the door counts people as they enter and exit the shop allowing only 10-15, of the hundreds waiting in line, in at a time. When I entered I wondered if this is how the Kardashians feel when they go shopping, everyone leaves the store and it is you and your 12 friends. The shop held fours rolling racks with a very limited number of shirts, hoodies, sweats and bomber jackets — one in each size. Two benches of baseball caps and winter hats displayed the I Decided and No Favors headwear for purchase. A giant tree sat in the middle of the room with a white Beats Pill on the ground playing I Decided on repeat. Purple and blue low lights kept the shop dim while a strong aroma of weed filled the room as the employees smoked. When I entered the store, I felt like I was entering his album, his dreams, thoughts, the inner workings of who he is as a rapper. I dig it.

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How it worked is you can go through and decide (hehe) what you want to purchase and in what size. Let one of the staff members know what you would like to order and he or she heads into a back room and comes out with everything you need. You then walk right up to the register, where the weed smoking cashier will check you out, no wait, because there are only nine other people in the store! Check out what was featured at the shop below:

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Jessie Zahner is the owner of Athletchic.com. You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter at @Athletchic.

Women Need to Back Fox’s Pitch

Women in baseball. Is it far-fetched? Let’s compare swim caps to ball caps: Katie Ledecky to Ginny Baker.

If a jocular pat on the behind after a good inning (episode one) was all women need overcome to play ball, one of us would be kissing necklaces, counting steps, and spitting sunflower seeds by now. But other hurdles antagonize us.

Athletchic is first to commend—celebrate!—the birth of Ginny Baker into the MLB on Fox’s new Thursday night prime-time show Pitch. Sure, she’s tall, dark, and stunningly beautiful (we are still talking TV here) but she brings with her a plethora of real-life problems that might occur if a woman suited up. And that’s a pretty big if.

If a woman can play ball. Can she? We can’t look at all the angles to that question but let’s look at a blaring few.

Physicality

Pardon the pun but do we have the balls to play? Technically no. Figuratively, yes. Our hearts, lungs and muscles may be smaller, but today science constantly raises the bar. Better training, equipment, and nutrition make us bigger, stronger, faster.

Disagree? I challenge your opinion with two words: Katie Ledecky.

I know. Good as she is, her 3:56:46 in the 400 freestyle still lags 16 seconds behind the men’s record. But hear me out. There are 30 MLB teams (I think you know where I’m going) with rosters of 25 (I could debate that number but don’t need to) for a total of 750 male athletes playing professional ball. So let’s take balls out of the scenario (and at the same time leave them in) and convert those players to swimmers. Teams of 25 swimmers on 30 teams swimming the 400 freestyle and guess who shows up as number 311 on the men’s list at http://www.fina.org/content/swimming-world-ranking right between good old Alex and Eric?

You got it. Our man Katie.

In fact, look further. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the Archie Bunkers of men’s baseball, but that puts her way above Ginny Baker’s fifth-on-the-roster spot. Hell, a few torn rotator cups of team mates and Ledecky is in the starting line-up.

So move on to a second hurdle.

Punctuality

How’s the timing? Is Prime Time the right hour for a story about a profession female ball player?

Baseball is all about timing. Stepping up to the plate, swinging the bat to meet the pitch perfectly, tagging home plate before the ball slips into the catcher’s mitt. Does Fox earn a run?

Athletchic encourages more women and girls to get behind Ginny Baker. We feel she’s arrived on the mound at just the right time. If you don’t think so, we challenge your opinion with one word. Hillary.

With public audiences drooling over Hill versus Donnie reality TV (oh wait, strike reality), what’s a little girl-meets-boy on-the-pitcher-mound saga? Fox couldn’t have timed this show better if they tried. It seems orchestrated from the upper deck. And if you feel the possibility of having a female president in 2016 doesn’t prove perfect timing then let’s mention Mo’ne Davis. (Athletchic isn’t sure she wasn’t the inspiration behind this story.)

Years ago, a little girl didn’t have the opportunity to play ball like the boys. She grew up on the sidelines tangled in ribbons while boys logged precious minutes, hours, days on the field. Don’t think that doesn’t count. How many families taunting boys with major league potential didn’t pack bags for those snowball prodigies and send them south for winter to spend more time with a girl’s best friend? (Don’t even tell me you didn’t get that.) Time spent in the diamond is everything.

Fox’s Pitch is the story of a girl, Ginny, with a talent, pitching. She has the balls to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the boys and play major league baseball. She’s fifth on the roster, and her feminism may have saved her from a trip back to the minor leagues, but sometimes physicality and punctuality has to be brushed aside and an exception made. Because on this television show, out in the stands, little girls sitting in bleachers have tossed out their Cinderella costumes for Ginny Baker costumes. They wave signs that say “Go Ginny” with thoughts of “it could be me” dancing in their heads.

And out in TV land, little girls sit on couches, wearing Nike sneakers, drinking coke, and responding to their brothers when they say, “that could never happen,” with a hard, cold, determined and strong, “don’t be so sure.”

What could be better than that?

Thanks Fox. Girls? Let’s get behind Ginny Baker and support Pitch.

_____________________________________________________________________________ Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer. Follow her on Instagram @athletchicz or Twitter @tweetyz.

 

About to Get Married? Here’s What You Should Know.

I married my husband 35 years ago today. It was picture perfect. A bright sun warmed the October air, and orange and red leaves glistened in a light breeze. Our families and friends watched as we travelled up the long Cathedral aisle, hand in hand, as Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Zahner.img_2923

A lot has happened since then. We buried our daughter, Jackie, born prematurely. Raised three healthy children. Built a house. Spent time with ailing parents—all four gone now. Met friends. Said goodbye to friends. Ran marathons. Hosted a wedding for our eldest daughter. And shed tears as we watched our three beautiful children move away, one by one, to begin their own stories.  When all was done, we faced each other, alone, and wondered what was next.

We were next. We’d weathered several storms, survived some of life’s hardest challenges, and found ourselves back in that same place—walking hand in hand.

How did we get here? A little bit of luck and lot of craft.

I have some words of advice. Take them with a grain of salt. I’m not a professional. I’m an amateur and still learning. Not sure what it takes to get to 50, but here’s what you need to know to make it to 35:

It will be hard—the whole 35 years.

However hard you think it is going to be—it is harder. Yes you will have good times—great times, but you will have to work toward that marriage every day for the rest of your life. If you don’t believe that, postpone the ceremony and wait until you do.

The honeymoon is over when the honeymoon is over.

Your first year living together will be one of the hardest. It’s not all happiness and wrestling under the covers. It’s compromise and realizing the person you married is human.

You can argue and go to bed mad.

I know. Jeff and I have done it many times.

You can even stay mad for the whole day. Maybe two. But not much longer. Time should soften misunderstandings, disappointments, and anger. Too much time can send you in different directions. Remind yourself you are in this for the long run. Never leave. You can ignore each other, but come home every night.

There are going to be times when you feel like running away. When that time comes, stay. Plan a trip together or even separate trips with friends. A weekend away with your best friends will rejuvenate you as long as you pay attention to my next piece of advice.img_2931

Never cheat on each other.

People are not going to like this, but cheating on your spouse is like signing the divorce papers and tucking them away for the future. Don’t do it. Yes, people make mistakes and there are couples who weather through this storm, but they are rare.

So if the temptation comes, stop, ask yourself if you are truly ready to call it quits.

Hold hands when life is unfair.

Burying our parents was horrid, but burying a child crushed us. Realize we all grieve and mend differently. Be patient with each other and when you are both ready, talk about what you’ve learned from life’s crosses.img_2927

We saw a sibling and his wife face Alzheimer’s and dementia this past year. It put life in perspective for us. We changed. Vacationed. Took weekend trips. Long walks.  We made arrangements to spend more time with our kids, and Jeff encouraged me to retire from my full-time job. I did.

Finally, love each other repeatedly.

You can never say “I love you” too much.

Talk to each other. Dream with each other. And never ever stop playing.

Happy anniversary, Jeff. I’m the luckiest girl in the world. Yes, you still make me mad lots of times—really mad. But then, how bad could it be?  I’m still in love with you after 35 years.

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Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer. She has been married to the love of her life Jeff Zahner for 35 years.

Follow her on Twitter @Tweetyz or Instagram @ahtletchicz.

Pitch -A Prime Time Series with Pitch-Perfect Timing

Is this concept far-fetched? A woman playing professional baseball?

If you answer yes, then ask yourself what the responses would have been 100 years ago to this question: Is this concept far-fetched? A woman president?

I thank my lucky stars times are changing. I am the mother of three strong children. Two are girls and today those two girls have so much opportunity it would make my grandmother’s head spin.

But I digress, back to baseball.

Pitch is the new “what if?” series on Thursday night. What if a girl made it to the MLB? What if a teammate hit her on the butt after she had a good inning? What if the crowds got behind her just because she was a woman? What if she was named an all-star, not because she was deserving, but because she was the only woman to make it to the major leagues?

Starting to sound familiar? If not, you aren’t a news junkie glued to the presidential election like me.

This prime-time show has been timed perfectly. It isn’t merely about pitching and batting. It’s about women. Struggle. And Life. Its name, two-fold. It pitches the story of female pitcher Ginny Baker and the concept of a woman submerged in a man’s world. Which one of us hasn’t walked that baseline?

As if a girl playing baseball wasn’t a big enough dream, last night producers elected Ginny to the MLB all-star team. Clearly she wasn’t the best candidate—but she was a girl. And girls have dreams. And dreams pay big at the box office. So regardless of how skilled (qualified mind you) she was, the voting crowds of baseball fans checked her name (on the ballot) and Ginny became an all-star.

I’d like to stay out of politics but this is way too tempting. Fiction assimilating reality. Pitch comes at a time when we girls need to dream big.

I listened as Michelle Obama spoke yesterday with the emotion and poise of a woman who knows her place and importance in history. One who doesn’t want our world to take the slightest step backwards for our girls. So she’s encouraging a vote for Hilary. I envisioned she and her girls, later that evening, sitting down to watch all the news reels about the elections and her perfectly executed speech and happening across the silly little drama series of a female pitcher who dared to dream big. I think she’d like it.

I’ll be blunt because I can. I’m not crazy about Hillary. She will never understand my middle-class trials. I hate her hand in Benghazi, cringe about her emails, and worry she’ll open the borders and ask the middle class working souls to pick up the tab. Political analysts will crucify me for this but at 59 years old, I’ll blame this skeptical opinion on my upbringing: The Republican Party protects the rich. The Democratic Party protects the rich and the poor. No matter what promises they make to us, we middle-classers are left standing alone, fending for ourselves.

Case in point: I hear Chelsea Clinton came to my hometown. She flew in and out for a $250 per plate luncheon. Didn’t speak to a soul other than those she was paid to speak to. It saddened me. I’m so proud of Hillary and Chelsea as they trudge down the line, stamping a path to make future travel for women easier. But I can’t help but feel the Clintons think they’re above the rest of us. Too good for us.

Still, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. Why? Well because I am a woman and the mother of two woman, and the alternative? I can’t possibly go there—take that step (or maybe even a giant leap) backwards.

Hillary may not go down in history as the best president, but she won’t be the worst. Likewise, she may not be the best role model (I’ll never condone staying with a man who has cheated on you countless times) but she won’t be the worst. She’ll take her spot in history, well, because it’s time for this story. Just like it’s time for Ginny to play ball.

I love Pitch. It’s so fictitious, it’s almost real.

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Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer and faithful fan of Pitch. Follow her on Twitter @Tweetyz and Instagram @athletchicz.