14 Years Later: Larry Nance Jr., Soldier Pen Pal Reconnect


(Credit: sportingnews.com)

from NBA.com


When serving in the United States military in 2003, Bianca Snow couldn’t have predicted that her 10-year-old pen pal would grow up to become a Los Angeles Laker.

Then again, with the way little Larry Nance Jr. wrote about his NBA-player father and his fandom of the Lakers, maybe she could have.

On Sunday, Snow reached out to Nance on Twitter, posting two letters that the now-24-year-old wrote to her while she was overseas.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 12.14.15 PM

(Credit: @yonkbz on Twitter)

Snow told Nance that she kept the letters he sent and that she is glad his dream of playing in the NBA came true.

In a 2014 Facebook status that she also tweeted, she wrote about how the letters helped her and that she intended to thank the person who sent them.

Three years later she did, and Nance responded with an invitation to watch him play.

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(Credit: @Larrydn22 @yonkbz on Twitter)

Snow accepted her pen pal’s offer.

Later she tweeted her thanks from support that poured in from those that saw her exchange with Nance.

Below are the contents of Nance’s letters.

Dear U.S. Soldier,

My name is Larry Nance. I have 1 sister, 1 brother that annoy me all the time. My dad played in the N.B.A.

Thank you for fighting for us in the war. You must be brave and miss your family.

I hope you get home soon and see your family soon.

Good luck.

Sincerly [sic],
Larry Nance

Dear U.S. Soldier,

Is the war almost over? Where is Saddam? How are you? I’m fine. Thank you for writing back. Where are you?

Are you good at basketball? I like the Lakers too they are wining there [sic] series with the Timberwolves. Who is your favorite player? Mine is Shaq. Who do you want to get LeBron James? I want the Cavs to get LeBron, that is because my dad played for the Cavs. His number is retired in the Gund Arena.

And Again Thank you!!

Larry Nance


‘I missed my nap for this’: 101-year-old sprinter breaks 100-meter dash record


Credit: @usatf on Instagram

 July 15, 2017



Watch your back, Usain Bolt — there’s a new 100-meter dash superstar and she looks unstoppable.

Meet 101-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins, who on Saturday became the oldest female athlete to ever compete in the USA Track and Field Outdoors Masters Championships. Not only that, but by running the 100 meters in 40.12 seconds, she shaved more than six seconds off the current certified world record for women aged 100 or older.

Astonishingly, that wasn’t even a personal best. This month, at the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Ala., Hawkins ran the dash in 39.62 seconds. If either of those times get certified in December, she will become the official world-record holder.

And to think, she may have missed her shot at making track and field history if she opted to follow her original plans for the day.

“[I] missed my nap for this,” she said (via USATF) on Saturday at the event at Louisiana State University, not far from where Hawkins lives in Baton Rouge.

View image on Twitter
Hawkins is a natural talent. An avid bicyclist,
she said she only began training for track
and field last year.
“I’m always outside and the phone always rings, and I come running in is how I knew I could run,” she told The Post last month:

Hawkins, who was born in Wisconsin in 1916, said she likes “the feeling of being independent,” as well as the challenge. She also likes impressing her family, which includes the four children she had with her late husband, Murray, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

“Having a momma that can do this pleases them, and it pleases me to please them,” the former schoolteacher said.

Today, Hawkins spends most of her waking hours being active (no surprise). Along with running and cycling, she’s an avid gardener.

She’s also humble.

Asked about how she thought her race went on Saturday, she told the Advocate, “This time I wasn’t feeling like I was going that fast.”

Things Aren’t As Bad As They Seem – An Optimist’s View of the World


Picture credit: Huffington Post

A WONDERFUL piece from Kaia Roman from the Huffington Post about rising above the bad news in today’s world! This is what Some Positive Space is all about.

By Kaia Roman, Huffington Post

Bad news abounds these days. Violence. Hate. War. Terrorism. Environmental destruction. Political insanity. It all seems so…bad. And I don’t know about you, but when my social media feed is filled with the news it has been of late, each story more disturbing than the last, I start to lose hope.

I start to wonder if we’re going to make it as a civilization, or if we’ll soon be handing the planet over to the cockroaches and mosquitoes (nothing seems to wipe them out).

But what if things aren’t actually as bad as they seem? What if our view about what’s happening in the world is distorted by the very means by which we learn about it? In fact, violence of all types has been on the decline for thousands of years.

According to Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, we’re actually living in the most peaceful era since the existence of our species. Pinker crunched the numbers in his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, and displayed the facts in cold, hard diagrams.

Homicide, war-related deaths, genocide, rape, violence against children, direct deaths from political violence (including terrorism)—have all been steadily declining for decades. Seems inconceivable, right? The thing is, we usually don’t see it this way because of both the nature of news and the function of our brains.

As Pinker says,

“News is about things that happen, not about things that don’t happen. If you base your beliefs about the state of the world on what you read in the news, your beliefs will be incorrect. You never see a reporter standing on the streets of Angola, Sri Lanka, or Vietnam saying ‘I’m here reporting that a war has not broken out today.’ It’s only by looking at data on the world as a whole that you get an accurate picture of the trends.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. Our ability to be in constant contact with each other has created a web of support, connection, informed action, and entertainment that I truly appreciate. But our capacity to hear about atrocities in real-time, coupled with our frequent exposure to bad news, activates an inborn cognitive bias in our brains that predisposes us to remember negative input more readily than positive.

This can quickly create a formula for hopelessness.

Our brains have a built in “negativity bias,” which means we pay far more attention to and are much more strongly influenced by negative than by positive information. Our brains are set up this way on purpose—being cautious keeps us safe.

But this negativity bias can override our perception of reality to the point that we see the world as much worse than it really is. And the sooner we realize that, the faster we can turn our attention toward solutions rather than problems.

We’re more empowered to make a difference for positive change when we’re feeling hopeful rather than fearful. In a state of fear, our brain’s amygdala is activated—triggering the instincts of fight, flight, or freeze—which hinders the ability of the prefrontal cortex to do its best thinking.

Look, I’m not suggesting that we all go bury our heads in the sand. But each act of optimism, each morsel of good news, in this day and age, is a powerful act to help to turn the tide.

There is violence, there is hatred, there is darkness in the world, to be sure. But there is also immeasurable love, incalculable kindness, and infinite light. Look for small ways to spread optimism where you can—this can be as simple as a smile.

Every act of love, kindness, and hope—even each positive thought—counterbalances the opposite forces that are also present in the world.

As the song goes, Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.

Check out Kaia’s blog at TheJoyPlan.com and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. She loves to hear from readers!