The Meaning of Names

I love etymology. One of my former favorite tasks at the hospital I work for was putting newborns in the computer with their brand new monikers. I found it so fascinating to know what their names meant, who they came from, or if they were simply made up by their parents. This is one of the reasons I actually kind of enjoy walking through cemeteries. I like to look at all the different names and wonder if they had some sort of effect on their life. So after laughing at the picture of me wearing three different brands of sports gear the other day, I wanted to know what each meant.


Nike–the winged Greek goddess of victory. (In Roman, her name is Victoria). I find it really interesting that they chose a female name to headline their company when we can’t deny that most sports are male-dominated. I love that they chose this goddess to headline their company. Nike’s logo is a “swoosh” or check mark. My art history professor told us that it was based on a wing, but I have found nothing to support that fact: the designer, Carolyn Davidson, simply wanted something simple that conveyed motion and looked good on a shoe.

Nike Logo

About Nike’s slogan: their catchphrase “just do it” supposedly stemmed from murderer Gary Gilmore’s last words before a firing squad. Interesting, right? My friend Nicole led me to this link last year.

Another fun fact: The designer of the swoosh, Davidson, received $35 dollars for her work. She was later given stock in the company as a ‘thank you’ and is now worth over $600,000.

Reebok–the Afrikaans spelling of rhebok, a South African antelope or gazelle. One of the two founders, Joe Foster, found the name in a South African dictionary he was given for winning a race. Reebok is now a subsidiary of Adidas and has been since 2005. The original logo included the Union Jack, due to the company’s origin in England, which later changed to a side stripe-cross check, and is now just logotype.


I completely understand the meaning of the brand name, but I find the dictionary story a little sketchy. Why was an English child given a South African dictionary for winning a race? Seems like a very strange prize….

Adidas–When I was in middle school, kids were made fun of for wearing the Adidas logo because someone started the rumor that it stood for ‘All day I dream about sex.’ (Does anyone else remember that?) As with most childhood rumors, this was not true. Adidas stems from founder Adolf (Adi) Dasler’s name.


Adidas has several logos, all of which contain three stripes. Many believe the stripes represent Dasler’s three sons.The most popular logo features slanted stripes representing a mountain, which indicates the challenge to be faced.

Another fun fact: Adolf’s brother Randolf started the rival shoe company Puma.

There, that was a fun lesson, wasn’t it?

I learned something very important yesterday: hot weather + speed training = NO. Just no. It was my first day doing real speed training, and I tried as hard as I could, but it was just too hot to do the whole workout. I was supposed to run my “slow” intervals at 11:15-11:45 and my “fast” intervals at 9:35-9:45, but I had absolutely no idea how fast I was going and burned myself out. Here’s a snapsthot of some of my workout times:

Mile 1: 11:25

2:00 min fast: 9:02

2:00 min slow: 11:22

2:00 min fast: 8:42

2:00 min slow: 11:05

2:00 min fast: 9:46 (hey, too bad I can’t remember what that felt like, because it was on par)

2:00 min slow: 12:29 (burning out….)

Etc, etc.

Total miles: 3.36          Duration: 35:32         Pace per mile: 10:35

After I finally pressed “Stop” on my iPhone, I hit up the restroom to splash cold water on my face. I was smart enough to bring my large water bottle with some Powerade beverage enhancer mixed with water to keep my electrolytes on par, so that was a good thing. But I was sweating so much that I actually sweat completely through my capris, making it look like I peed myself. Awesome. This is why I usually only buy black bottoms.

imageI slowly ran the half mile back to the trail head and did fine. But I need to rethink my summer training plan. I just can’t do fast runs when it’s that hot outside. It’s not fun, and it’s not safe.


It sure is pretty, though!

Whenever it’s hot and I exercise, my hunger cues seem to go like this: can’t stand the thought of food; don’t want to eat anything; not hungry, not hungry, not hungry, not hungry, oh-my-gosh-i-need-to-eat ALL THE THINGS!



Whole grain saltines (they come in rounds now, too, which I like), pepper jack cheese, watermelon cubes and pickled herring.


Cucumber slices, pickles, and olives.


I also had a few small handfuls of Dave’s salt & vinegar chips, and I finished the night off with an ice cream bar.

Dave and I ate dinner while watching the newest season of Arrested Development, and I’m sad to say that I’m not really a fan so far. Fortunately, my expectations weren’t high, so I’m not too disappointed.

Now I want to know: What does your name mean?

My name, Chelsea, is an Old English name derived from a district in London meaning “the place where chalk and limestone meet.”


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