24 Sure Signs You Grew Up In Houston, Texas

24 Sure Signs You Grew Up In Houston, Texas

Like H-town in the summer time, I keep it 100.

H-town, Screwston, Clutch City... Houston truly is a place like no other. Not everyone understands the pride associated with being a Houstonian, but this city undoubtedly is an incredible place to grow up. Here are 24 signs you grew up in Houston:

1. Your southern hospitality goes out the window when driving.

2. You’ve never had a good hair day thanks to the humidity.

3. A trip to the Galleria isn’t complete without seeing someone in a Quinceañera dress.

4. You only go to NASA when your out of state relatives come to visit.

5. Saying somewhere "isn’t far” could mean it's anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes away.

6. You could recognize Mattress Mack’s voice anywhere.

7. Your middle school hangouts included Edwards Greenway Plaza and Memorial City Mall.

8. Speaking of middle school: Rich’s Teen Nights… why just why.

9. You said an extra prayer for your football team whenever they played Katy.

10. You went to Cane's or Whata after Friday night football games.

11. It’s hard for you to say any other name than Astros when singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

12. They’re called feeder roads.

13. You’ve spent a good portion of your life stuck in traffic.

14. “Do y’all want queso to start off?” The answer is always yes.

15. Being called a 281er is almost as bad as being from Dallas.

16. Rodeo season is the best season.

17. Your favorite part of the rodeo: Mutton Bustin’.

18. Scratch that, it’s probably the fried Oreos (or fried anything).

19. You went to Phobia with your high school love interest.

20. .... And if it lasted, probably Zoo Lights too.

21. Christmas traditions included Nutcracker at the Houston Ballet.

22. FPSF was your reason for getting through finals and the best way to start off summer… mud and 100 degrees and all.

23. You hate mosquitos almost as much as you hate Dallas.

24. You can’t imagine growing up anywhere else.

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Swimming Was My First Love

Because it's so much more than just a sport.

Ever since I can remember I have spent most of my time at a pool. Whether it was during the summer months when my brother and I would ride our bikes over to the local pool and meet up with our friends and spend all day in the water. Or when I actually started swimming on a team because someone suggested to my mom that I apparently had some talent for it. Even when my days of swimming competitively myself were over I stuck around and helped coach a High School girls swim team.

There is just something about it when I enter the pool and I get that first whiff of chlorine that makes me strangely feel at home. I could never quite get used to cold water especially when it was way too early in the morning to be awake anyway, but that first dive into the water when all the noise around you magically disappears is something that I have come to love.

Swim has been an important part of my life for more than twelve years now and I cannot imagine it being any different in the future. Some of my fondest memories as a teenager include swim in one way or another.

Not only did I learn how to do the perfect flip turn, or how to improve butterfly so I could drop another second on my PR. Swim has taught me so much more than that. I was lucky enough to have two incredible coaches that helped me navigate not only through meets but also how to deal with life in general.

It was them that taught me that with enough willpower, determination and hard work you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Putting in those extra yards in the pool, coming to practice early or doing home workouts really did show me what a difference I could make in achieving my own goals.

After every practice, my second coach would tell each individual swimmer to make smart decisions. It might be because he repeated that sentence over and over again that it stuck with me to this day. But I think it not only applies to swim but to pretty much any life situation that you might find yourself in. Back then it brought us closer together as a team because we were all giving our best and wanted to contribute positively to the group dynamic.

When I started coaching I realized what a difference this positive reinforcement could do for teenage girls that were trying to figure out their place in the world. Building up their self-confidence and seeing them succeed not just at meets when they swam a new best time but also when they became incredible individuals outside the pool, was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Swim has been there through it all with me and even today when I want to clear my head, I find myself putting on that cap and goggles. There's nothing in the world that a good swim can't fix.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Her Weakness Reshaped Her Strength

"The dead speak for the living and I speak for them." -Dr. Bennet Omalu

  Taking her first few steps into the library, Mrs. Powercouple exhales out her self hatred through the  irony of self help awaiting her attention. Still weak from past failures being revealed to her, Mrs. Powercouple finds herself a seat at the first available computer. Sitting down she takes a deep breath, pinches her tear ducts between her fingers, and proceeds to log into Google's search engine. "Strength", she thought, "how does one develop strength through their weakness?" She was so emotionally drained that with each breath inhaled gave the illusion of pins and needles being forced through her lungs. If she doesn't find comfort through words to block out her in-vain thoughts soon, who knows what kind of selfish decision she would make at this point.

  Frustrated with the lack of insight that she finds, Mrs. P logs off and continues towards the books. Reading off "Natural healing and health," she proceeded without hesitation. Sliding her fingers across the spines of each book in sight she reads off "Light" by Bruce Watson. Opening the book she looks through the chapter titles and finds, "Light and Dark on Canvas." Skimming through the pages she notices a sentence that mentioned Leaonardo DaVinci reading, "he compared light to "a stone flung into the water that becomes the source for many circles."Intrigued by his thought process she continued reading, this time repeating out loud to herself. 

  "Look at the light and consider its beauty. Blink your eye and look at it again: what you see was not there at first, and what was there is no more. Who is it who makes it a new if the maker dies continually?" Closing the book out of reflex, she instantly thought of a movie that she had recently watched, "Concussion" starring Will Smith. In this movie Will Smith (Dr. Bennet Omalu) does an autopsy on a retired football player who went crazy for no apparent reason. After further tests he discovers a chronic disease that he reveals to scientists calling it CTE. After trying to shut down Dr. Bennets study, the NFL were forced to release his work after the epidemic increasing.

  Anyways, Dr. Bennet gave a speech towards the end of the movie that for some reason was revived in her memory after reading this. "The dead speak for the living and I speak for them." Placing the book back in its slot, Mrs. Powercouple's tensed faced loosened into a childlike grin. Now almost skipping, she makes her way back to the computer finding her way back to her original seat. Logging in she opens up "Microsoft word" cracks her fingers for preparation and begins typing. Wondering her eyes across the room, she searches for the right words in her head until, "The woman for the dead" forces her fingers to press on the keyboard. "My weakness is my strength", she thought. "If I'm going to die eventually, it might as well be done for a cause, and my cause begins with the dead."

  

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