Liz Carmouche

Liz Carmouche has been all over the world—born in Louisiana, raised in Japan, served three tours of duty in the Middle East, now living in San Diego—and actually discovered what she wanted to do with her life while serving in Iraq in 2009: she wanted to fight.

Being in the Middle East was like being “in [a] parallel world...where you don't have to worry about bills or obligations to other people, you just focus on your job and getting the job done,” she said. That clarity of mind helped her realize that what she was doing just for exercise, when she wasn't doing her work as a helicopter electrician, was something she actually wanted to do for a living.

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Known for its nickname—the Windy City—deep-dish pizza, breweries, and five-star private clubs, Chicago is an underrated destination for budding and avid golfers. You can play these daily-fee courses anywhere from within the city to its more picturesque outskirts. If you are traveling to Chicago for the first time, here are a few of its most renowned golf courses that you won’t want to miss.

Cantigny Golf Club - Wheaton

Not only is this golf club home to one of the most impressive courses in the country, but it is also famous for its fantastic facilities, delicious food, and breathtaking landscapes. Perfect for golf enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, this course boasts three nines with spectacular views of Chicago’s greatest lakes.

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On a chilly Saturday almost eleven years ago, seven guys booted up and began the practice of a fledgling gay rugby team—they included Ben Marks, Adam Ross, Doug Sladen, Chris Sanders, Daryl Woods, Richard Benoit, and Stan Schklar (who at 55 is still playing despite various broken bones, among other injuries). At Tribe after that first practice, they chose the team’s name based on where they’d initially found their shared interest in rugby (Bear411)—the lack of grizzly bears in Tennessee be damned.

Flash-forward to 2006’s Pride festival, which is when I first spoke to John Purdom, who would become another long-time player and long-time assistant coach. After that, I decided to attend the next Tuesday night practice. From the little I knew about rugby’s specifics, it seemed liked it might be both a nice hobby and a nice workout. I was right, and as someone who grew up playing soccer and wrestling from middle school through high school, it felt great tackling a much bigger guy everyone else probably thought I never could. And as much as it pushed me, I know it pushed the rest of this nascent group of ruggers. What we had in enthusiasm, though, we lacked in practical knowledge.

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