Twas’ the night before Thanksgiving and everyone exits their schools. The leaves are gone and so are the ghouls. This is usually a special occasion and everyone should join. I should be eating some juicy pork tenderloin. My friends are all eating, but something is flawed. For I did not join them, and the same goes for my wrestling squad. I can’t even eat my own turkey, being cut with the knife. These are the troubles of a wrestling life.
This year is the last time I will ever have to uphold this horrible tradition. I really love eating food, especially this time of year. Wrestlers have a huge responsibility that no other athletes have to truly do, that being to watch our weight. I walk around at roughly 143 pounds but have to be under 139.
People tell me, “Why do you do this to yourself?” or “That’s unhealthy, stop it!” or even “Do you ever eat?” Yes I do eat, just not as much as you. Every year I do the exact same thing, so I know how I’m going to feel that weekend. My thanksgiving dinner consists of a handful of fruit and nut trail mix, a lemonade vitamin water, a couple slices of lunch meat, and half a bagel. That is indulging myself. I shouldn’t even have the bagel. That’s like a special treat to us wrestlers.
As soon as I eat this though, my wrestling coach, a.k.a my dad, tells me to go run tonight so I don’t become too fat. I run for roughly 45 minutes to lose probably just the lunch meat and the water. I feel guilty to walk around with the trail mix inside of me, but I know I will lose it in my sleep.
The next day, I wake up at around 7 being 140 and unsatisfied. Everyone else is still in bed with a food coma that I never got. I sit on the couch and with a protein bar in my left hand and a shot glass-sized cup of water in my right. I raise my right hand to the air and make a toast to myself and say, “Happy Thanksgiving”.
This year though will be slightly different. I will run with more energy, I will eat with pride. I won’t walk around guilty, and I will raise my toast knowing one thing and one thing only, there’s a last time for everything.
Brittany Slick & Keri Thomas
As a kid, you are told to never take candy from strangers, never go out after dark, and never use a knife that’s not a butter knife. All of these rules are thrown out the window on one specific day of the year – Halloween.
Halloween has some of the strangest traditions of any holiday, yet it is still one of the most popular holidays to partake in. But, why is that? Throughout the years, the customs have developed, now taking on new purposes and meanings. This has made the holiday less dark, and more enjoyable for all the candy-lovers and costume fanatics.
Then: According to Matt Soniak from MentalFloss.com, the tradition of carving Jack-O-Lanterns came from the old legend of Stingy Jack who, after a life of mischief, was punished by having to wander earth as a ghost. People would carve ugly faces in turnips to ward Jack away.
Now: Pumpkin carving today is seen as a fun, family event where kids carve cute faces into pumpkins and put them out as decoration.
Then: Wearing scary costumes on halloween came from the idea that on this night, dead spirits walked the earth. Dressing up was a way to disguise yourself so the ghosts wouldn’t bother you.
Now: Finding a Halloween costume every year now is a fun way to be creative or become one of your favorite movie characters.
Then: On Halloween night or All Souls Day, people believed souls would be wandering the earth before going to the afterlife. The tradition of setting out food for the spirits as they would travel through, turned into what we call Trick or Treating.
Now: Trick or Treating is the main event on Halloween night for kids; full of running around with friends to go get unnecessary amounts of candy from neighbors.
Then: Originally, a black cat was the symbol of the devil. Since cats were household pets, people started assuming the owner of a black cat to be a witch, which they used to help them perform black magic.
Now: Black cats are considered a sign of bad luck, but during Halloween they are used as decorations and banners as a symbol of this not-so-scary night.
Then: The traditional black and orange colors of Halloween came from the idea that October 31st marked the end of the autumn harvest (orange) and the beginning of a dark and cold winter (black).
Now: Although everything is still covered in these colors, nobody really remembers their origin. The colors just sort of stuck.
So why do we still include these crazy traditions in the 21st century? We, as a society, have monetized and commercialized the Halloween holiday, alike all others. The scaring is supposed to be thrilling. The haunted houses and costumes are supposed to be funny. When we carve pumpkins and light them, we aren’t thinking of it as warding off evil spirits. Like wrapping Christmas presents, their only purpose now is entertainment and decoration. We have turned a dark and scary day into a light-hearted parody of its past purpose, making it only more fun and entertaining to society.
Valentine’s Day used to be the day where you could show extra love and appreciation to your partner, but now it just seems like a day where your partner is basically forced to show their love to you in any way romantically. Why does someone have to buy their partner an expensive teddy bear or get them a dozen roses to show that they care about them?
My ideal Valentine’s Day isn’t like the expectations in this society. Getting roses doesn’t really mean anything to me because they die so quickly and it just costs more money to keep them alive. But rather than me sounding bitter about it, today is a nice day to simply spend with someone or just to be surrounded by people you love and make you happy.
In society, people are pressured to give their partner at least a gift. Something that’s expensive or worth posting a picture about on social media. I guess it’s okay to brag sometimes but there’s a difference between showing off your relationship and genuinely caring about the person you’re with no matter what social media or anyone thinks.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about a couple’s relationship, it can also be about your parents simply showing that they care for you or just having a simple hangout with all your close friends, and maybe giving each other a gift. When I do exchange gifts with my friends, it’s not about how much it costs, but more importantly on the sentimental value of it.
With my mom and step-dad, it’s nice and heartwarming seeing them give each other love everyday and they aren’t even about the gifts anymore. It’s about how much support they give each other and always being there for one another. They also support my three siblings and I a lot, I definitely couldn’t ask for more.
I’m not saying I hate Valentine’s Day, just that the meaning behind it has changed and if I were to receive gifts, I wouldn’t decline. I’m just saying that I don’t need anything from anyone for them to prove that they care about me, genuine love and happiness is all that matters.
What do you think about New Year’s Resolutions?
I believe that New Year’s resolutions are good for people to have. It gives people the motivation to do what they have always wanted to do, or to benefit themselves. At the same time, New Years also seems to be used as an excuse to put off doing what people need or want to do simply because they want to say, “new year, new me.” You should be able to do what you want to benefit yourself whenever, if you want to do something do it now. Do not wait for another year just to make another resolution, take risks.
I think that New Year’s resolutions can set great goals to people who are on top of things. But for me, I guess it doesn’t really matter because, even though it’s a new year, it doesn’t mean I’m going to change what I do unless I really have to. Like for example, if you want to do better in school and get good grades, don’t wait until next year to set that goal. Or even if you want to get better at a sport, don’t waste your time, take advantage of today and just do it.
If someone needs to have the start of a new year to be motivated to do something, they’re doing it completely wrong. If you want something to change in your life, do it today, don’t wait for months and procrastinate. More than half the citizens of America make New Year’s resolutions, less than 10% go through with them. All these “resolutions” do is make the greater percentage of people more lazy and less confident. Failing your goals starts to become a habit eventually, so you have to will yourself to accomplish them. If you want something, don’t wait, do it now.
I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions because I don’t see how going into a new year will give you the motivation you need to change something about yourself that you could’ve changed long ago. If there’s something about yourself or about your life that you want to change for the better, you shouldn’t wait around for New Year’s to finally tell yourself that you’re going to work hard to achieve your goal(s), you should take action as soon as possible. Instead of having New Year’s resolutions I think everyone should try to better themselves every single day.
Thanksgiving has troubled wrestlers for endless seasons in Alaska since the beginning of the sport. Wrestling doesn’t just involve the practicing and meets but also involves eating habits, and Thanksgiving sure does a good job of ruining your weight management.
Not only being a dedicated wrestler, but being the coach’s kid I get a lot of pressure during the holidays. In the first few years of high school my dad really focused on what I ate during dinner time. My freshman year at Thanksgiving dinner I remember finishing my small portion of food sooner than everyone else. Watching the rest of the family feast on bottomless amounts of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more is not the easiest thing to do when you’re starving for 8 weeks of the wrestling season.
Freshly made apple pies from your grandma and thumbprint cookies from your mom are really hard to keep a fork out of, and every year it’s the hardest challenge I am put through. Freshman year I made the biggest mistake of my season and I will never forget it. As soon as it was dessert time I could not take the hunger any longer, so I ate five pieces of pie. Taking one slice at a time I hid in my grandparents garage so my Dad/Coach would not catch me. The day later our team had practice and we had to weigh ourselves. My dad definitely knew what I did to myself. Holidays are a wrestlers nightmare and I for sure learned my lesson of dieting. Looking on the bright side I received a lot of advantages to watching my weight in the future.
Wrestlers used to deal with the obstacle of trying not to overeat at Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas as well, thankfully I never had to experience that much pain. The year before I got to high school the season finally was shifted, instead of it ending in February it now ends in December. This means that I do not have to feel the pain of not eating during Christmas. I cannot thank ASAA enough for ending the season before the feasts start up. Having to avoid one feast instead of two makes the biggest difference. If only people could understand the pain of not eating the great holiday food.
With having three seasons of experience, I feel way more comfortable with not messing up my diet. I can not wait for my brother to make the same mistakes that I have done because of him taunting me with food for years. I visualize coming back from college and eating food in front of him. I deserve some revenge but most importantly I am excited to eat once again. Watching my weight will forever be my nightmare as long as I’m a wrestler.
Verona Kamberi & Farren Linne
Part-time movie stars and superheroes fill the dark night searching for Tootsie Rolls, Pixi Sticks and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups checking homes for the tastiest ways to destroy their pancreas. Carving funny faces into large orange spherical fruits and watching horror movies are all part of the spook-filled night.
Finding the perfect costume isn’t easy. People spend a lot of time online and in stores trying to find the most unique and eye catching costumes. Senior Ingrid Anzueto believes that using your own interests to create your costume shows the people around you who you really are.
“People have advocates toward something so they express that on Halloween,” said Anzueto. “For example, people who love Trump might dress up as him this year.”
Nowadays shock value has replaced scare value when it comes to costumes. It’s about being edgy and even inappropriate. Organizations around the country implore people to not dress as Indians, transgenders, or anything offensive. People value attention and many would do almost anything to get it. Some think dressing up as Ray Rice and his spouse is funny, while most see it as rude and unacceptable. Retweets and shares of these costumes make it seem that this is acceptable behavior, when it’s not.
“Recently costumes have become more offensive both religiously and racially,” said junior Victoria Adams. “Social media makes it seem like it’s okay to have inappropriate costumes.”
The Real Halloween
For some people Halloween is more than just candy and costumes. The most significant part of Halloween for Adams is remembering her late family members.
“I spend my Halloween night celebrating the Day of the Dead with my family,” said Adams. “My family comes together to honor our ancestors and warn off the dead.”
The Day of the Dead, (also known as Dia de Muertos), is a three day Mexican holiday that involves praying and remembering friends and family members who have passed away in order to help support their spiritual journey.
Whether one celebrates the Day of the Dead or Halloween, both include a variety of food. For many trick-or-treating and collecting an abundance of candy is a necessity on Halloween, but not for senior Rizza Rodriguez.
“I don’t trick or treat on Halloween,” said Rodriguez. “I think that when you get to the point where you have money to buy your own candy you should stop and allow children to have the candy.”
Creating a good experience for younger children should be important. Even if you are 16 dressed as Batman wanting to go trick-or-treating, don’t let your peers stop you. Instead have a limit for yourself and make sure not to ruin it for the kids.
Although Halloween revolves around dressing up and having fun, safety is something everyone should be alert about. Junior Sydney Nichols feels like people have taken advantage of Halloween by creating an unsafe environment for kids.
“I feel that Halloween used to be more safe when I was younger,” said Nichols. “Now people dress up as clowns and hand out tampered candy.”
Staying safe by keeping an eye out for kids, trick-or-treating in a safe neighborhood, and monitoring the condition of candy should be an important part of everyone’s night. At the end of the night, going to bed knowing you had a successful Halloween will keep you waiting for next year.
“Even if trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, or dressing up isn’t your thing, everyone should still find a way to enjoy the holiday,” said junior Grant Collins.