It's a little weird writing something without worrying about an editor's opinion. Check that, my wife is right here making sure I write an approving piece. Sigh...
It's been an exciting few weeks, with a little bad and lots of good in the mix. The bad was Erika's back -- for some reason unbeknowest to us, sudden back spasms hit her a week-and-a-half ago. She was bed-ridden for two days. Thanks to the advice of our parents and a med student buddy of ours (Dr. Dave), her back kept improving and now is pretty much healed. Only a slight amount of stiffness remains.
One nugget of advice from my mom that Erika loved was the purchase of a Wii Fit (probably the only purchase Erika loved in her life...she hates spending money). Apart from the regular exercises, we can actually set up specific routines that string our favorite exercises together. It's a much more friendly workout option than the classic visit to the gym. Honestly, Erika's a lot more consistent with it than I am (the Wii Fit even tells Erika's character that my character hasn't been in for a while. The game tattles on me!)
Still, my lack of exercise isn't an indication of lack of work. The opposite, actually. With fall sports starting up, I've been getting a lot more story assignments from the Herald (and the college paper as well). The most exciting story happened just yesterday: covering the BYU Cougars' football season opener. It was amazing.
For obvious reasons, Erika was very proud of me, and took a picture of me leaving for the game, complete with press pass and laptop backpack (her backpack -- she let me borrow it).
It sounds a little silly to talk about a sports game as personally meaningful, but this one was. I walked into the huge press room at LaVell Edwards Stadium and felt the atmosphere of both crazy sports and professional media people. I saw my place-holder tag at my station, the view on the field and thought, "Yes. I was meant to do this."
At about the 5:00 mark of the fourth quarter, all the reporters went down to the field to be ready for post-game interviews. With the Cougars making a last (and ultimately successful) defensive stand for the win, the atmosphere was electric. Being in the middle of all that was mind-blowing. I probably looked like the big-time rookie I was -- constantly swiveling my head and taking it all in.
The interview room had 12 arena-like chairs for reporters. Since there were plenty more than that and I was a rookie, I stood/squatted on the side aisles. I guess I could have taken a photo when actual coaches/players were at the table, but I was too worried about missing anything important.
There were five reporters from the Herald there -- four full-timers and myself. It was really great of my editor to ask me to come along. I wrote the notebook story on the game, which consisted of a small lead story followed by random facts and tidbits. Some of those facts were obvious, others I dug for before finding a correlation (like the "Fifty's the magic number" point).
In short, it was a great experience that made me feel even better about my career path -- and my ability to do well in it.