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isplack, high performing black and custom colored eyeblack, designed for the toughest athletes, stays strong on the harshest athletic fields, and wipes clean when the battle is over.  

isplack Colored Eyeblack | Blog | Premium eye black | Face paint

Read our blog for the latest isplack news and insights.  Isplack products come in your team colors. Our colored eye black, hair chalk, and pencils are worn by the toughest Pro Athletes and most colorful fans

My Turning Point

Becky Wade

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I remember the day the seed was planted.

I was a freshman out on South Boulevard, the official mile repeat spot of the Rice University cross country team, and I was stuck doing the last two reps alone. I’d gone with my coach to scout high schoolers at a race before practice, we’d run a little behind, and I still had two intervals to go when the rest of the girls finished. As they trotted back to campus, Coach Bevan (on his bike) and I made our way back to the start. He gave me a pace to keep in mind, but instructed me to ditch my watch and just settle into a nice, hard rhythm.

So I ran—smoothly, but admittedly a little faster than my prescribed pace. I felt good, I was eager to please, and without a clock, I also wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing. Coach Bevan took my heart rate in between the two miles, didn’t say a whole lot, and let me keep rolling as the last mile progressed.

Afterward, as he wheeled next to me during my cool down, my coach’s excitement was palpable. I’d run much faster than he’d planned, which made me happy. But more telling to him, my recovery rate proved abnormally quick. If I remember correctly, my heart rate dropped below 100 (a general benchmark of recovery) within a minute after finishing my last hard mile. Knowing that I’d come to Rice without much volume or serious training beneath me, my new coach saw in me a wealth of potential. And on our trek back to the training room, he made sure I knew it. I don’t remember his exact words, but I remember how flattered and motivated and empowered they made me feel. If a highly respected coach of almost 30 years believed in me, I figured I could too.

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That was my turning point—the moment my goal changed from making the travel team at Rice to accomplishing much loftier things: NCAA appearances as a team and an individual, school records, All-American honors, maybe even an Olympic Trials berth. And although the transformation began in a moment, it was fortified every day I put in the work and was rewarded with greater challenges and greater opportunities. My path from there was far from linear, with injuries and surgeries and the inevitable slumps. But ten years after that pivotal workout, Coach Bevan and I are still elevating our goals on a regular basis.

 

This is just my story. Anyone who’s stuck with a sport (or any pursuit, for that matter) for more than a few seasons surely has a version of their own. Because belief doesn’t materialize out of nothing. And sometimes a flicker of faith at just the right moment is all that it takes to set a passion ablaze.

How We Eclipsed

Cooper Nelson

By Becky Wade

Before we get ourselves into any trouble here, let us be clear: isplack alone is not eclipse-approved. Among its many virtues, retinal protection and blindness prevention are not included, and we would never recommend extended stretches of sun-staring without filters, glasses, or telescopes.

However, that doesn’t mean that wearing isplack didn’t give us a leg up on mere goggle-wearers during Monday’s epic eclipse—if only for the street cred it gave us at our watching party. It definitely didn’t hurt during our heated games of Corn Hole and Kan-Jam either.

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Football games, marches, and holidays; hunting trips, parties, and eclipses.

There’s a stick for every occasion.

#GetYourColorsOn.

 

First Pitch Blunders

Cooper Nelson

By Becky Wade

Is there anything better than witnessing a truly heroic feat of athleticism?

Last night’s Red Sox game confirmed that every now and then, there is.

The unofficial MVP distinguished himself before the game even began, and all but one person in America absolutely loved it. Overnight, Jordan Leandre, a cancer survivor who was chosen to throw the first pitch, became a hero in more ways than one. (If you missed his moment of stardom, do yourself a favor and catch it here.

In honor of Leandre’s all-star pitch, we went through the archives and compiled a list of our Top 10 First Pitch Blunders. This was no easy task, as there are some truly obscene moments in first pitch history. But it was worth every second of judging and cringing, and we hope that you agree.

#10. 50 Cent: Confirmation that just because you can rap doesn’t mean you can pitch.

#9. Carl Lewis: For such a phenomenal athlete… wow. At least he redeemed himself on his second try.

#8. Jordan Leandre: The man of the hour.

#7. Michael Jordan: This wouldn’t have been that remarkable had the man not played pro baseball. I’m confused.

#6. Miss Texas (2016): Unfortunately, not the worst of the Miss Texas pitches.

#5. Carly Rae Jepsen: Had the ball been a shot put, it wouldn’t have been half bad.

#4. Mark Mallory: I don’t expect all mayors to be good at baseball, but this was truly astounding.

#3. Mariah Carey: What I want to know is if she actually tried.

#2. The Go-Go’s: Who thought this was a good idea? And why did that one lady throw up her arms in victory?

#1. Miss Texas (2014): Are we bowling here, or pitching?

 

Did we miss one? We beg you to let us know.

Sometimes life throws you perfect pitches. Other times it throws you curveballs. And every once in a while, it throws you an abomination of a first pitch. Thank you, Jordan Leandre and colleagues, for giving us some serious entertainment and instant confidence boosters. We hope we have reason to update our list again and again.

From USA Today

From USA Today

Little League World Series Kicks Off!

Cooper Nelson

The South Korea Little League team celebrating their 2014 World Series Title win.

The South Korea Little League team celebrating their 2014 World Series Title win.

Remember back to the good ole days when you were a kid and you and your friends tore up the sandlot in Little League Baseball/Softball? I certainly don’t because I wasn’t very good, but for many little league players all around the world, the time spent in the sandlot has finally paid off. The dream to make it to the Little League World Series has come true today!

It has been a long and arduous journey for these 11-13 yr olds.  They had to play their way through their state and then regional tournaments.  The teams standing have emerged as the best in their region and want nothing more than to be the best in the world. Hundreds of Little League players are bidding on their claim to fame with the support of their friends and family in this 71st Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Little League team celebrating a win from the 2015 World Series.

The Pennsylvania Little League team celebrating a win from the 2015 World Series.

Representing the US, we have groups from the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest and West. There is also the international teams of the Asia-Pacific region , Australia, Canada, Caribbean region, Europe-Africa region, Japan, Latin America region and Mexico. 

We at isplack wish all the teams good luck in their quest for success!

Get Your Colors On Little League,

Cooper Nelson, isplack Evangelist

 

Steeple Mania

Cooper Nelson

By Becky Wade

You know that feeling you get when you see something really special unfold, not knowing exactly what it means but recognizing that things will be different after? The history of sport is full of those goosebump-inducing moments: breakthroughs and buzzer-beaters, clutch plays and upsets, inexplicable displays of strength and poise. This is the stuff that inspires Disney plots. It’s also the stuff that isplack was built on.

Last Friday, the world witnessed one of those history-making moments, and won’t soon forget it. At the 2017 IAAF World Track and Field Championships (essentially the Olympics of a non-Olympic year), hosted by London, a duo of American runners not only defied the odds but pulled off a feat that even the strongest optimist wouldn’t have predicted: for the first time ever, two Americans finished one-two in a world championship distance race.

In just over nine minutes, that 3,000-meter steeplechase represented everything awesome about athletics. There was drama, when one of the pre-race favorites from Kenya failed to advance to the final, and again when the race leader (also a Kenyan) totally forgot to cut in and hurdle the first water barrier. There was grit, when a collision involving a few competitors brought forth some gutsy attempts to rally back and catch the lead pack. There was teamwork, when Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs—the two women wearing red, white, and blue—blew by the field in the late stages to clinch that coveted hardware. And most memorably, there was passion, and lots of it:

(from ESPN)

(from ESPN)

(From The Intelligencer)

(From The Intelligencer)

With that, a new era of USA track and field began. As a female American distance runner myself—primarily a marathoner, but I’ve also raced the steeplechase at two U.S. Olympic Trials—the standard that Emma and Courtney raised affects me personally. It’s proof that there’s always a chance, and it’s a challenge too: to up my game and be ready to strike when that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arises.

 

If you have 60 seconds to spare, I strongly suggest you watch the race highlights here: https://twitter.com/iaaforg/status/896142847459549184.

If you have a few moments more, I dare you to watch Emma’s sister’s reaction without tearing up here: https://twitter.com/SInow/status/896121879899111424/video/1.

Finally, you can find read a great recap for the non-track expert here: http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/20318081/iaaf-world-athletics-championships-2017-emma-coburn-courtney-frerichs-finish-1-2-women-steeplechase-final.

Broncos Training Camp Kid's Day

Cooper Nelson

If you went to Kid’s Day at Broncos training camp, chances are that you were wearing isplack.

 

Last week we pumped up the energy at Broncos Training Camp with our Electric Orange and True Blue isplack.  There were plenty of people that were happy to #GetYourColorsOn: elderly, adults, and a ton of little kids.  We even made a hype video, check it out.

The Denver Broncos are having their final day of training camp tomorrow.  Don't miss out on the chance to see your favorite players up close and get autographs.  Isplack will be there, we'll help you wear your Broncos pride!

Get Your Colors On,

Cooper Nelson, isplack evangelist

Proud to Walk like MADD

Cooper Nelson

This past Saturday, isplack had the opportunity to Walk Like MADD. A Mothers Against Drunk Driving campaign, Walk Like MADD is a series of 5K walks across the U.S. that aim to end driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and to support victims of those crimes. When MADD Denver’s Executive Director Fran Lanzer told our International Celebrator Olja Ivanic a Walk was being held in Denver, we wanted to get involved.

Our Fire Red isplack was the perfect symbol for the event. It’s the official color of MADD and it represents the unity of its supporters. On Saturday, armed with several sticks, we helped the MADD staff and about one hundred walkers get their colors on in honor of those whose lives have been lost to reckless driving.

So far, Walk Like MADD has raised $94,000--already ahead of last year’s donations. However, the $115,000 goal has not yet been met. If you’re in a position to support, MADD is still accepting donations and you can help by clicking here.

Thank you, Walk Like MADD, for allowing us to spread your message through color. We at isplack are proud to rally behind such a cause and to use our products to empower the movement.

 

Unite in your cause through color,

Cooper Nelson, isplack evangelist

Do the Dallas Cowboys Have the Best Fans?

Cooper Nelson

We have heard it for years, “America’s team” A statement synonymous with starred helmets and stars on the field.  Even more so, this statement has become more undeniably true.  According to a recent study in June of this year done by SB Nation, the Dallas Cowboys are the best NFL Fans.  That’s right, not only are the Cowboys “America’s team” but their fans are considered the “best.”   What makes them different than all the other team’s fans?  

  • They spend the most money on their team!  The Dallas Cowboy jerseys and apparel is some of the highest selling. Yeah, perhaps money spent is a good indication about how much you love something, no one proposes with an empty ring box right?   

  • Their fans like to chat it up online.  We live in amazing world where fans can speak directly to their teams and tweet @ them.  The Dallas cowboys take advantage of this and have a robust online community.

  • Their fans are everywhere! No matter what stadium the Cowboys game takes place at the Dallas Cowboys fans are there.  Their fans dominate states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. Their fans also dominate...other nations!  Mexico is filled with Dallas Cowboys Fans.

  • They are loyal.  The love that Cowboys fans have doesn’t falter even when they have a poor season. The Cowboys haven’t won the super bowl since 1996 yet they break records for stadium attendance and frequently have sold out games.  That's some deep love and passion for one’s team.

isplack wants YOU to be the best fan ever.  We want you to get wild, get crazy, wear sports face paint, wear our eye black, because we know it will help you display your passion for your favorite team.  What do you think it takes to be a good fan? Would you argue that your team has the best fans? Let us know in the comments below.

Get Your Colors On!

Cooper, isplack Evangelist