This was one heck of a busy week. For starters, it was ESPYs week, which meant parties every night, tons of athletes, sports folks and co-workers in town from around the country, and little time for resting or sleeping between events. (Or actually getting any work done.) The show Wednesday night was my favorite yet. Seth Meyers put last year’s host, Samuel L. “I freeze when the teleprompter fritzes” Jackson to shame. And I loved that ESPN allowed Meyers and the show writers to have fun at the network’s expense, mocking The Decision throughout the night.
My favorite Tiger joke of the opening monologue: “Everyone, give it up for Tiger Woods! If you haven’t already.” LeBron took a lot of heat (and was booed every time his image was showed on the big screen during nominations), and the Steve Carrell-Paul Rudd skit mocking The Decision was great. I also loved the extra-long hold on Reggie Bush’s face after this opening joke: “Welcome to the ESPYs, where celebrity meets sports. Sort of like a Kardashian’s bedroom.”
After the show, the after parties at Club Nokia and the Congo Room were a lot of fun, as were the after-after party and the after-after- … Let’s just say it was a fun, memorable night and I’m already looking forward to next year.
But it’s Tuesday that put my usually other-worldly energy level to the test. I woke up at 5 a.m. to get ready and drive to Anaheim to report a print and video story for ESPNW and RISE Girls. Shortly before 8, I arrived at the Gatorade Performance Lab, where I met beach volleyball icon Kerri Walsh and a team of scientists. Walsh was in Anaheim to undergo a series of tests to determine her fitness level and how she most efficiently burns energy. Walsh is only eight weeks out from giving birth to her second son, Sundance, and already has a body any woman would envy. She’s in fantastic shape and is already working out six days a week with her focus on winning a third gold in London. And besides being an impressive athlete, she is just the sweetest, nicest, most humble person and it was a lot of fun to spend the morning with her.
I MEAN, IT’S LIKE WE WERE SEPARATED AT BIRTH …
Oh, and did I forget to mention that, just for fun (and video), I was in Anaheim to take the tests right alongside her?
Fortunately, the tests weren’t all that difficult, physically. What they were was tough to do on camera. Talk about checking your ego at the door. “First, let’s measure your height,” Melissa the scientist said. Okay, that’s not so bad. “Now, let’s weigh you.” Ugh! “Now, strip down to your sports bra and workout pants and sit in the Bod Pod (below), where we will measure your body composition to determine your body fat percentage.” Double Ugh! Maybe the camera guy left the lens on. Fingers crossed.
CAN YOU BELIEVE DWIGHT HOWARD (AND HIS SHOULDERS) FIT IN THIS THING?
Next, Kerri and I were strapped into headgear and a plastic tube was placed in our mouths to collect the air we exhaled. Clips were placed on our noses to force us to breathe out of our mouths while we exercised, which took some getting used to. I was taught to breathe in and out of my nose, so that was a tough habit to break on the spot. The tube made it difficult to swallow, so my throat was very dry. “Here’s a towel to catch your spit,” Melissa said. You’re going to drool a lot.” Awesome.
HEY CAMERA GUYS, I THINK IT’S TIME FOR OUR CLOSEUPS!
Kerri and I spent a half hour on the bike, working from a difficulty level of 2 up to 8. The test showed that after only five minutes, and at a moderate exertion level, we were already burning carbohydrates and not fat. Meaning we needed to be ingesting carbs in order to fuel our workout, not just drinking water. Pretty cool, eye-opening stuff. We also took a post-workout cognitive test and were weighed again to see if we’d lost weight during the workout (the goal is to weigh the same). You can read more about the testing in the back-to-school issue of RISE Girls (I know you all subscribe!) and check out a video of our morning on the ESPNW website when it launches this fall.
After the tests, I drove back to Santa Monica, quickly changed and headed back to Anaheim (seriously) with my editor Sue for the MLB all-star game. Highlight: Seeing Hank Aaron walking through security. The game was pretty cool, too.
THE NL ENDED A 17-YEAR DROUGHT. WHO SAYS IT NEVER RAINS IN CALIFORNIA?
The game ended around 9:30 and after a lot of walking, waiting in traffic and driving, we arrived back in Los Angeles for our pre-ESPYs shindig at Boulevard 3 in Hollywood around midnight. Clearly I was wearing my rally cap. The location was great and the party was fun. I saw a lot of folks I don’t get to see too often, chatted with Saints coach Sean Payton and his wife Beth for a while (love them!) and somehow managed to stay awake until the party ended at 3. I arrived home shortly before 4 and was asleep 23 hours after waking up that morning. All-in-all, not a bad day. And, I would learn the next day, good prep for ESPYs night.
STACEY, SUE AND ME … FINALLY HEADING HOME.