Today, we run together.

Whether you prefer running in the morning or at night.

Whether you prefer running alone or with others.

Whether you’re new to running or you’ve been at it for years.

Whether you prefer running around the block or running marathons.

Whether you live somewhere warm or cold.

Whether you prefer Nike, Adidas, Brooks, Saucony, Asics, or any other shoe.

Today, we lace up and run together.

Today, we run for Boston.

The Biggest Loser Finale...

Miss Rachel weighed in at 105 pounds, and a lot of people are throwing out the word “anorexic.”  Let’s all keep in mind that

1) Anorexia is a mental thing, it’s not a label we automatically associate with skinny people.

2) The Biggest Loser is a game.

3) Some people are actually quite healthy even if they appear very, very small (my sister-in-law is 5'4" and boarders on 100 lbs.  She’s perfectly healthy).

4) Rachel is an incredibly competitive person (she’s also a very wonderful person).  I used to swim with Rachel, she held over half the school records, as well as records at pools around the state, and she did so with a lot of grace.

So why is Rachel so light?  Rachel probably went home knowing that the guys had more weight to lose than her, she knew that she would have to lose more than 5 pounds to win, she went and worked out like it was her full-time job, focusing on cardio, neglecting lifting, and she probably ate/drank very little leading up to the finale for the best weigh-in.  We all know that weight can fluctuate pretty easily.  A meal and a bottle of water could’ve easily put Rachel at 110.  That’s just my guess.  I’m not a doctor, I have not spoken to Rachel since I swam with her, and I have no idea what actually happened.

I would also like to remind you that people throw out “anorexic” along with similar words such as “sickly” and “too thin” when it comes to elite endurance athletes.  That’s how some people are naturally built, and that’s how some people train.  Seriously, have you seen some elite marathoners?

Rachel seemed happy with herself, and I think we all need to respect that before pointing fingers.  She’s going through a major life change right now, and she doesn’t need negativity (or “concern”) from random people on the internet.  I thought she was beautiful 7 years ago, she was beautiful at the beginning of the season, and she was beautiful tonight.  If she does in fact have an eating disorder, as a former teammate, I will continue to cheer for her and support her as she recovers.

Congrats, Rachel.


What I Talk About When I Talk About Engineering

As some of you may know, I will be earning my bachelor of science degrees in chemistry (2015) and mechanical engineering (2016).

I know it’s that time of year when a lot of high school students are frantically trying to figure out what to study in college, and I’ve seen a few posts about wondering if engineering is the right path for some.  I’m going to say a few things about being an engineering student.  (Side note: you can change your major in college!)

  • We’re not all never-see-daylight-always-in-front-of-a-screen-nerds.  That’s just an unfair stereotype.  Like any college degree, there’s a wide range of interests and hobbies within a given class.  While I’m at it, I might as well dispel the stereotypes that we’re all single and socially awkward.  Not true.
  • Girls are welcome in engineering.  There’s not very many of us (7.2% of mechanical engineers are women), but it’s a pretty rare occurrence that any of my lady engineer friends get treated unfairly because of our gender.  Sometimes people are in shock when they find out that I study engineering.  Sometimes I go on dates with guys who get intimidated by what I study (their problem, not mine).  One time a stranger told me, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re incredibly beautiful for an engineer.”  It can get a little weird some times, but most people are respectful.

(That’s me and a prototype of a robot I was working on)

  • Engineering is hard for everyone.  It’s not something that some people are born with the knowledge and are naturally better at.  Everyone struggles, everyone has sleepless nights, it’s ok.  The material gets harder, but you get better at studying.
  • Sometimes examples are boring, but the applications are fantastic.  I’ve spent entire lectures talking about bolts.  I’ve done countless homework problems along the lines of “A force is applied to a beam…” It’s important stuff.  Take some time to realize what learning these things means in a larger sense, and how it will be applied when you’re working on a project. 
  • Engineers are creative.  I don’t know where the myth that engineers are unartistic duds came from.  Engineers are designers.  Look at your phone, your computer, the roof over your head, the cars on the road, that person running with an artificial leg, the clean water coming from your sink, your family member with a pace maker.  Engineers design the world around us, from cell phones to green energy.

Being an engineering student is hard work, but it’s so worth it.  You can spend hours upon hours on a code or a project, and it might not work before your deadline.  But when you do well on an exam, when your lab turns out how you want it to, when your code works, and when your robot moves, it’s all worth it.  Shoot me a message if you have any questions.

- Hannah


For those of you who don’t know or forgot, I switched from biomedical over winter break, worked my butt off all semester, and submitted a special request for a second major (I declared chemistry a while ago).  

Yesterday I checked my email and almost had a heart attack when I saw that I was accepted into the program and realized that sometimes things actually work out how you want them to.  Hard work pays off!