Tag Archives: Sports

Grand Ridge Trail Run 5 Miler

Get ready to run!

I have caught the racing bug.

Colin decided that after his Tough Mudder experience he needed another motivator to keep him running. He found a local race that we could do together before Thanksgiving. He invited Tami and Joe to train and run the race, too. We all signed up for the challenge.

What we didn’t realize was how insane the course would be. “Five miles,” you say, “how hard can that be?” When the first mile is straight uphill and full of switchbacks, you’d think again.

The mountain kicked my butt. I foolhardily made the goal to run the whole race without walking. I did no such thing. But although Colin ran the entire 500 feet elevation gain, he also had moments of walking, so I don’t feel so bad. Thank goodness for the downhill portions of the race!

Trail-running is beautiful, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed the surroundings, even though it was quite chilly and a bit drizzly.

It was a great challenge. I’m so glad we did this, tough as it was to complete. We’re going to make it an annual pre-Thanksgiving tradition.

Any locals want to join in?

Tough Mudder

Colin meets the Tough Mudder

Joe talked Colin into participating in one of the most insane-sounding events around: the Tough Mudder. That’s 13 miles of army-like obstacles taken to the extreme. We’re talking ice water tanks, electrical wires, tubes, barbed wire and, of course, mud. All of it is meant to play on your fears and weed out the tough from the wuss.

Colin was up for the challenge. He trained hard in the month’s time he had to prepare, once we moved to Washington.

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The boys did a great job. Teamwork is the motto behind the event, which they took to heart. They worked together to complete the course, but not without injuries. Joe broke his nose and Colin bruised his rib. But they finished strong. Tough.

I couldn’t be there to witness the thing. Besides having four wiggly kids, they charged admission to be a spectator. So, Tami took these amazing pictures to capture the day.

Way to go Colin, Joe, Luke, and Aaron!

My First Triathlon

I’m happy to report that I completed my first triathlon and I didn’t keel over. I finished strong, in fact. It was a great feeling.

I finished in 1 hour and 30 minutes. I didn’t run the entire way (the hills were a bit much for me at the end and I did not want to puke) but I jogged across the finish line.

Open swimming in a lake full of people is not what I would call easy. Neither is racing 11 miles on a mountain bike, with grandmas passing you when you’re giving it all you’ve got. But I did it, and that’s all that matters to me.

I’m so thankful that my friend Esther invited me to compete in this race. What a thrill to be able to say I finished.

This won’t be my last.

Note: Colin and the kids didn’t end up coming with me to San Jose. Joey was still sick and spending the night away from home would have been a disaster. So they made me these signs and sent them virtually to cheer me on. It worked.

Triathlon Training

Being completely healed from surgery, I figured it was high time to get back into the old running game. I hadn’t really exercised in close to a year. Nothing good was coming from that hiatus.

My friend, Esther, asked me if I wanted to participate in a Tri-for-Fun Triathlon race in June. It was the perfect incentive for getting my butt in gear.

It’s low key: 400 meter swim, 11 mile bike ride, 5k run. I’ve been training for over four weeks now, and so far so good. I wish I weren’t such a wannabe huffing and puffing down sidewalks and slowly pedaling along the roads. Even swimming isn’t as easy as it was back on the high school swim team. But I’m still going, so that’s something.

I can do this. My only goal is to complete the thing. That’s it. If I happen to cross the finish line running then more power to me. But I’ll just be glad to finish on two feet and not crawling on hands and knees.

June 16th, here I come.

Any and all triathlon advice is now being accepted.

Move-a-thon 2012

The Move-a-thon is our school’s end of the year fundraising event. Warren ran last year and finished with 25 laps. This year he set the goal of running 30 times around.

He was determined and took his goal seriously.

He ran most of the entire 30 minutes time, only walking a few laps and stopping twice for water.

With 1 minute left to go, he kicked it into high gear and finished the event with 31 laps, just as the count down ended.

He met and exceeded his goal. Way to go, Renny!

{Thanks to those who supported him financially in this fundraiser!}


Octopus in the Backyard

Having a real backyard with real grass was worth the jump in rent we had to pay when we moved into this house. The big kids are finally at the age where they can spend long amounts of time on their own outside. Sometimes Jake and Joe can even join them. And sometimes we make it a family affair, especially when a good game is involved.

Warren came home from school wanting to play “Octopus,” where someone stands near the middle and reaches out with long “tentacles” to grab the runners. Colin joined in and even played with a handicap by holding Maddie for half the time. Jake and Joe participated by rearranging the cones on the grass.

It morphed into more of a giant chase around the yard, but everyone was happy, so never mind the rules.

I love afternoons in the backyard.


Colin grew up skiing. Besides soccer, it’s what gets his blood pumping. However, it’s a passion he has to keep at bay living here in beach country. He misses it terribly and begrudgingly takes yearly trips to Mountain High or Bear Mountain just to satisfy his cravings.

The lack of mountains with snow makes it difficult for our children to get exposure to such downhill activities. But Colin decided to take Warren up to Bear Mountain this year and give him the opportunity to try it out for the first time. He let him choose between snowboarding and skiing. He chose snowboarding, “So I can get practice for skateboarding,” he said. What a California kid.

Colin and Warren left at 4AM on Saturday morning and drove the 3.5 hours to the resort by Big Bear Lake. Colin reports that Warren chatted the entire trip down. Nothing like an excited 6-year-old to keep you alert in the wee hours of the morning.

Wanting to give him the best chance of success, Colin enrolled him in a day class for beginning snowboarders. We weren’t sure how he’d take to the adventure, especially the chair lift, but he did surprisingly well.

He got up on the board and had some moments of downward momentum.

He also had quite a few moments of sitting around, thanks to a full class.

But despite some boredom waiting his turn, he had a really good attitude. He tried everything and had a good time, especially when Colin took him up by himself during the second half of the day.

Even though he was clearly worried about the chair lift, Colin said he grabbed on when told and made in onto the seat without requiring the operator to stop it. He held on super tight to the bar across his lap, but didn’t freak out. He even dismounted without problem. Better than I had anticipated!

He threw snowballs and tasted the snow and generally enjoyed the day. Colin called the trip a success. Considering Warren wants to go back again, I’d have to agree.

Maybe next time we can make it a family event at Whistler.

Soccer Parties and High Fevers

The end of the soccer season meant time for an award ceremony and pizza party. I was responsible for bringing the cupcakes and Colin, being the coach, was responsible for handing out the trophies and certificates.

We had just returned home from an overnight temple trip. Maddie had woken us up in the middle of the night with an almost fever. Colin had to go driving around Westwood for an open pharmacy to get Tylenol. Of course we hadn’t brought any. By the time we reached our house late Saturday morning, she was going downhill fast.

Our options did not look good. Maddie was clearly sick and would most likely need to go to the ER to monitor her fever and yet we had this soccer party obligation. I was frosting cupcakes while she appeared to be getting worse. Colin was printing out award certificates while she was passed out on the couch. It was one of those situations where we wondered what the heck we were doing.

It was ridiculous. I hated knowing that we both had to do this party even though we weren’t sure how Maddie’s sickness would play out. It’s not like we could even split the duties since we only have one car. Either we were both going to the pizza joint or we both weren’t. It felt like a hopeless situation.

We went forward with our plans, praying that she’d get better and that her fever would break completely. We went to the party, ate our pizza, clapped for the soccer players, finished our cupcakes, and headed home.

{Warren received the “Bulldozer Award,” so dubbed for his ability to plow through many players and still keep going. He had a better season than last. All the same, it was good that it came to an end.}

{My green grass frosting and soccer ball cupcake toppers were well received, even though I learned too late that putting the finished product in the cupcake carrier smashes the topper down into the frosting. Note to self: place the topper in the cupcake after transport.}

She was doing alright but we wondered what would come. When we got home, we called our Home Teacher and asked that he’d stop by and help give Maddie a blessing of healing. Then we waited to see what would happen that night. We did not want to subject her to the emergency room testing procedures if we could help it.

We never had to take her to the hospital. She slept peacefully through the night. By morning, her fever had broken and she was feeling better. A call to her pediatrician the next day provided the antibiotics she needed to fully recover. I am so grateful for modern medicine and Priesthood blessings. She was spared the trauma of the emergency room testing, at least this time. I’ll take miracles whenever I can get them.

Soccer: Season 3

Another year of soccer has begun. Again, Colin is coaching Warren’s team. This year’s name: Lightning Strikes Back.

This time things are going a little better with the “Dad-is-my-coach” situation. Colin worked out a reward system for helping Warren remember to have a good attitude, especially at practices. This system, as you might have guessed, involves receiving LEGOs. Whatever works.

Warren’s first game was amazing. Not because our team won, or scored any goals, for that matter. It was awesome because Warren seemed to “wake up” out on the field and actually engaged in the game the entire time. He can really plow through those kids when he makes his mind up to do so! He was a soccer powerhouse!

After it was over, we went out for the traditional post-game scoop of ice cream.

The kids always go for the fruity flavors. The ones that are brightest and leave the most stains, of course.

I think Warren may have overdosed on his “Cotton Candy” but he valiantly pressed on to finish.

Participating in soccer every autumn is taxing on our family’s schedule. We don’t have a Saturday free until Thanksgiving. But I think this year, our time spent will be worth the effort.

Colin is a fun, devoted coach that knows how to get the kids excited to play. He even designed the team banner above. Warren is improving weekly in his skill level and ability to play the game. And I think he actually likes it.

So we’ll keep going with this fall ritual. At least for a few more seasons.

The High Dive

Warren took a two-week long swimming class this summer at our local high school. I’ve always taught him myself, thanks to my former stint as a private swim instructor during college, but felt that he needed more than I could give now with three little ones in tow. He knew the basics. It was time for a little more.

He loved it. He’s always been good in the water and this class gave him an opportunity to add to his skills. He can swim halfway across the pool and back, float, bob, and sort of tread water. Plus he’s got the beginnings of the back stroke (one of my events in high school) and is generally more confident swimming face up. I feel like he is relatively water safe now, which makes us both happy.

Poor Maddie, Jake, and Joey were dragged along to the lessons without being able to dip in the water themselves, but they were all very good during the 30 minutes. Maddie snacked on Cheerios and dried cranberries to keep her occupied while the boys soaked up all the noise and commotion of the pool. We made friends with other families waiting for their swimming child so it wasn’t all boring. Again, it’s amazing to discover how many people you know in common in this town.

The last day of lessons is a fun time where the teachers do different activities with the kids, including jumping off the diving boards. There are two sizes: barely above the water and 8 whole steps above the water, both in the deep end of course. Kids of all sizes, ages, and abilities can jump off, if they desire.

Warren asked the first day if he’d have the chance to jump off the highest dive and I told him he would. He asked if he should do it and I told him he should, but it would be up to him. He’s not the most daring kid in the world. On the contrary, he is the sort to feel out the situation, standing back to observe before he commits to any action. As much as he talked about it, I wondered if he would actually jump when the opportunity came.

He wanted to do it. I could tell that he genuinely wanted to be that brave and go for it. He mastered the smaller diving board, despite being scared to do it, so there was hope. When the final day came and the kids lined up behind that high dive, I waited anxiously to see what would happen.

He climbed up with fairly steady legs, got out to the middle of the board to where the handle bars ended and froze. People cheered his name and told him he could do it. But he didn’t think so. He burst into tears and said he couldn’t. He turned around and climbed back down the ladder, defeated.

My heart broke for him. I wrapped his wet body up in my arms and told him it was okay. I was proud of him for even trying. I told him he went farther than I thought he would! Through tears he said he still wanted to try, but when the last child finished and his swim teacher climbed out of the pool he knew his chance was over. He was crushed.

I know my children will experience failure. They’ll experience disappointment. They’ll grieve. It’s as it should be in order for them to grow and stretch and become better than what they, or I, can even imagine. This time certainly won’t be the last for Warren. But it was in this moment that I got a glimpse of how painful it is to watch, as a mother. With every girl that rejects him, college that doesn’t accept him, job he’s passed over for, I will see him break just a little bit. That thought makes me ache.

That said, I have no intention of shielding my children from failure. I know they will be better for it. I just hope that I can help them find the tools they need to never give up– to have the strength to try and try again.