Thursday, December 3, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
I may have heard this sentence more times than anybody in the history of the LDS Faith.
“Relax man, It’s only church basketball!”
Not that I am a hot head, quite the opposite. I am very level headed even after a couple uncalled fouls or an intenional cheapshot.
I get the relax comment because I have no offense and only one speed on defense, full speed. It’s not intenional. I just can’t turn it down. It doesn’t matter what the score is, or the fact that I have never even played a basketball game that mattered to anyone but myself, when I play defense, I only run a full court press, usually by myself. The worst part is, the more it bothers my opponent, the more I enjoy it.
I think it all stems from my personal belief that when you have short comings in anything, the quickest fix is to turn up the intensity. The second quickest fix is to put on your mean face. No doubt these are personal beliefs fueled by a lifetime of wrestling.
As a wrestler, I never felt bad about giving up one point for unnecessary roughness as long as I had at least a two point lead. In the video below I get a particular bargain on a unnecessary roughness call, leading 10-2 with less than a minute to wrestle and only being punished one point for a hum-dinger. I'll take that deal every time.
Recently I decided I needed to start doing what I could to pass the mean faces and intensity on to my offspring. Not that I would let any of my girls wrestle, but heck, life is just more fun if you have a good mean face in your arsenal. So I decided to get Jilli Bean started by working on her mean face and it seems to come pretty natural for her. Judge for yourself.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
With the exception of the Kevin Feterik years, I have started every BYU football season since ‘84 with the same hope: To go Undefeated and win a national championship. Then as soon as we lose a game I am grounded back in reality.
“Our neighbor brought over four sweet Dodger tickets and a parking pass for tonight’s game. I told him we would definitely use them.”
“What? (A look of disgust on my face.) Are you kidding? Do you remember we are playing #3 Oklahoma today? You think I’m going to the Dodger game?”
(Rangi Smart Rules of Negotioation #1: The more unanswerable questions you can ask, the stronger your argument becomes.)
“You better take those tickets back up the street and tell him to find somebody else.”
Never having been to a Dodger game, Sara really wanted to go and at one point said she would take the kids by herself if I didn’t want to go.
An hour or so went by and I started to soften. After all the BYU game started at 4:00 and the Dodger game not until 7:15, and let’s be realistic BYU was a 22.5 point underdog. My expectations were that the Cougars would probably be down 3 touchdowns at the half and the second half would be straight torture.
Of course any other night I would love taking my family to a paid Dodger game and I had never even used a prefered parking pass before at any athletic event. The fact that each ticket had a 50 dollar face value, might have influenced me as well.
But still could I short sale my hopes for a national championship before the Cougs had even taken the field?
On the other hand I would be a hero to Sara at least for the day if I agreed to go to the game.
Maybe I could have the best of both worlds, watch the first half of the BYU game and then when it was no longer a contest, please my wife by taking the family to a free Dodger game.
So that’s what I went with, and as I’m sure you know, the football Gods punished me for it.
I watched the first half in HD at a friends house, most of the 3rd quarter video streamed on my computer, and then I sweated out the 4th quarter with only phone updates after big plays. It was a terrible way to witness the biggest Cougar win of the last decade.
When I got the call that they missed the field goal we were walking into the game and I went a little crazy and threw some things around. Sara finally had to tell me to calm down because I looked like an abusive parent/husband.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
This year the guys trip was one of the manliest sort. We had all been talking about it for years but it was yet to make it to the top of the priority list. This year there would be no more excuses. For there was no need for detailed preparations, permit applications, or expensive purchases at REI, we were going Old skool…getting back to our roots…our deep roots… almost caveman status, we were going to be men of the wild, we were setting out to tame nature. What could be more simple and manly than that. No food, no water, no gear, simply the clothes on our back, knives and a flint (of course with some exceptions for diabetics). Our only objective… to survive. We originally wanted 4 days and 4 nights to see how we would fair, but family commitments limited us to 3 nights and, if you round up on both ends, 4 days. The takers this summer were the regulars Bram, Rocky and myself, plus first timer Beetle and previous 26 hour survivalist, Roman. Rocky got a hot tip and chose us a sweet spot up above Strawberry Resevoir. The following log loosely documents how the trip went down.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
At first the questions he asked were ones I was eager to answer no to.
“Do you smoke?”
“Are you currently taking any medications?’
“Do you use any illegal drugs?”
As the list progressed, the questions started to get less obvious.
“Do you skydive?”
“Do you white water kayak?”
“Do you hang glide?”
“Do you do any kind of Winter Mountaineering?”
“Not since the accident.”
After admitting I didn't participate in about ten different Mountain Dew sponsored sports, I was starting to wonder what was wrong with me.
“Do you race moto-cross?”
“We owned motorcycles when I was younger? Does that count?”
“Do you own a motorcycle now?”
“Do you race any other type of motorized vehicle?”
“If we get a red light next to another mini-van, I will sometimes rev my engine and see if I can get the other driver’s attention.”
“I’ll mark that as a no.”
I was starting to get desperate. It appeared I was an insurance company's dream. Was I going to have to go through this whole list without answering yes to one single question? Where was the surfing or mountain biking question? Was I really living that boring of a lifestyle?
Then finally, it came…
“Do you participate in rodeo?”
My face lit up, “Yes….yes I do!”
Just to be able to answer yes to one question from the life insurance survey was well worth whatever it adds to my monthly premium.
Enter Strawberry Days Rodeo 2009 Wild Cow Milk.
Though ‘The Bold and Gold’ doesn’t go to the formality of assigning official positions on our team, most years Bram and I end up doing the Bull-dogging. Those are the guys who basically take the cow in a headlock and try to hold on until the cow finishes imposing her will on you. This is totally different than a wrestling headlock in which you are on the offense, this is straight defense. You try to dig your heals in and sit back into the cow to take some fight out of her but really it’s mostly survival.
Feet in tangles and nowhere to go but down!
I was going down, but I was going down swinging. I had no choice but a last ditch effort to go on the offensive with the only thing I had left, my headlock.
It is said that a wrestler with a good headlock is never out of a match. I was never that wrestler. The only effective headlocks I ever used were to give Rocky noogies back when he was four weight classes smaller than me.
After what feels like two lifetimes of wrestling, this would be (if it worked) my first ever headlock in competition and it would come against an opponent who had out grown my weight class some 800 pounds ago.
Pulling with everything I got!
No time to calculate angles of leverage, just throw my hips in on instinct and apply as much torque as is humanly possible by a 34 year old ‘has been.’ To my surprise as I was falling to the ground I felt the cow's head following me. For a second I even believed I was going to put her all the way on her side, but the fact that she had four legs saved ole Bessie some face.
It was a moderatly sucessful headlock and definatley the most successful one I had ever thrown. True she wasn’t pinned but given my opponent I felt pretty good about the result and it did save me from a trampling that would have left a mark (or two.) Unfortunatley it happened about 10 seconds too late and we were left grasping for third again.
And so I’ll have to go to church another 52 Sundays without a buckle for my belt. (Sara will be happy about that.) At least I have this sweet picture to show the insurance salesman when I have to renew my policy. (Thanks Rach for documenting.)
Monday, July 6, 2009
Dear Mountain Bike Action Magazine,
This letter is to inform you of my wife's eligibility for the mountain bike lessons. I have been a weekend warrior mountain biker for the past 14 years, but have never had a healthy budget for mountain biking. I have mainly used hand-me-down bikes from my older brother or garage sale finds for my ride. I decided about a year and half ago I wanted to introduce my beloved wife to mountain biking. I felt this would be the perfect inexpensive way to get away from the kids every once in a while, get a little physical exercise, and enjoy the awesome mountains in our area. I decided a new mountain bike would be the perfect seventh anniversary present.
Beetle raging on his hand-me-down hardtail.
At the time my current set up was an old specialized hard tail with just over 7 millimeters of its original 100 millimeters of travel on the fork, and about 3-5 useable speeds depending on how good of day it was having. I knew my wife would need a decent bike to ensure a successful introduction and since funds were tight and my wife monitored our bank activity very intensely, I knew I had to be sneaky. I set up a savings account that was automatically deducted from my paychecks so I could save the funds needed to purchase her first mountain bike. I found a screaming deal on an entry level full suspension bike about three months before our anniversary. So despite the short comings of my hand-me-down hard tail I elected to spend the money I had saved on a sweet new ride for my wife. Sure it meant rocking the beater bike for at least another season or two but at least I would be doing it in the company of my beloved wife.
I have never been good at keeping secrets but somehow I managed to wait until a week before our anniversary before I gave it to her. She was so excited; I think it had to be one of the best presents I had ever given her. We went mountain biking that day and had an awesome time. She did however crash on a very smooth, fast, loose area. We got pictures of her first crash, and the minor scrapes that came with it. She didn't seem to mind too bad and admitted to having a really fun time.
Crash number two was only a few days after that on some loose dirt on a switch back. This crash did not go over as well because her hip landed on a cut off stump. She suffered more scrapes and a nasty bruise on her hip. I could tell she was hurting from this wreck, but she toughed it out and enjoyed the rest of the trail.
Mt. Biking Bliss.
At this point I should have stopped to think why she kept wrecking on loose dirt, and maybe given her more time to develop on lesser trails, but I didn’t. I was eager to share the full mountain biking experience with her. So the next weekend I found a sitter and brought her along with the crew to my favorite downhill romp. This was by far the longest and most technical trail we had been on, complete with stumps, rocks and a few drops. I knew the trail was a little out of her league, but I figured she could walk it on anything she wasn’t comfortable with.
We were having a great ride, me leading the gang and my wife being content to bring up the rear. It all seemed too good to be true. About ¾ of the way through the trail I stopped to let the group catch up. A few minutes later everyone had caught up except for my beloved wife. After about 15 minutes of waiting we all started to get a little nervous. I was especially concerned because I had seen a Mountain Lion on that very same trail about three weeks earlier. I started up the trail on foot since my bike was having a particularly bad day and only offering me two speeds. I had gone about 50 yards when I found my wife (I actually heard her before I saw her.) She was crying uncontrollably walking her bike down the hill. Her knees were bleeding and she was covered in dirt. She had found a way to lodge a stick through one sidewall of her rear tire and out the other. In my 14 years as a mountain biker I had never before seen such a feat. The stick was slapping against her frame with every rotation of her tire. When I asked her why she didn’t pull the stick out, she sobbingly replied “I thought it was like when you lodge something into your eye, you aren’t suppose to take it out until you get to a doctor.”
She had tried to ride over a rock that had about a two foot drop on the other side of it and had a nasty crash. She was beaten up pretty badly, her knees were cut up and she was bruised all over. She said she was done mountain biking, because she did not know how to do it. She cried for a few minutes after that, and then we investigated why she had crashed. Apparently I had never taught her how the brakes work and she was mainly using her front brake. This is why she would lose control when she would brake on loose dirt. I felt bad and apologized for not giving her proper instructions before sending her down the trail.
That was the last time she used her bike that season and to this day I have not been able to get her back out on the trail. She does ride her plush full suspension bike from time to time on the road (It’s the wrong size for me), but says she is a little too timid to take it on any trails. Meanwhile I am still riding my hand-me-down hard tail. The only thing that has changed for me is I am down to 5mm of travel and I am alone again. Talk about your all time back fire.
I feel at fault for her not wanting to mountain bike. She loved the few rides she went on despite the crashes she had. She says she would like to get back into mountain biking but does not feel confident enough to do so. With our kids becoming of age to start mountain biking I would love to make it a family activity. I know mountain bike lessons would give my wife the confidence to return to the trails. She loves being with me and our kids, and loves enjoying our beautiful Utah Mountains. Please consider my wife for the mountain biking lessons.