Friday, February 19, 2010

It Pains Me

Tammy's mother spent a couple days in the hospital last week before being discharged after a stress test gave her back her freedom. We were relieved to learn that her doctor couldn't find any evidence of heart damage. Tammy and Charlie left this afternoon on the four hour trip to Babbitt to spend the next several days visiting with her.

I'm loving the Olympics as I always do even though these particular games have been fraught with more than their share of problems. I like the flavor that some of the newer sports add such as the half-pipe and snowboard racing. Not only do the athletes defy gravity but so do their pants. How can you not admire the ability of some of the half-pipers to keep their pants from falling down during their routines when they wear them so low to begin with? But seriously, these guys have a tremendous amount of ability with little fear. Without question I prefer watching the winter Olympics over the summer Olympics even if there is no bike racing.

I tried not to hear who won the women's downhill preferring to watch it the next day in my own time but it proved to be impossible.Lindsey Vonn is local talent getting her start on a little bump of a hill 310 feet high and two miles from where we live. She's not the first racer to come out of their program and compete in the Olympics. Tasha Nelson was a member of the Buck Hill team for eight years before going on to represent the United States at the Olympics in Nagano in 1998 and Salt Lake City in 2002. Kristina Koznick also got her start on the same hill before competing in 3 Olympics from 1998 through 2006. It's the same hill we'd go to when I was growing up not far from here in Bloomington when an afternoon pass with the ski club from school on Tuesday afternoons could be had for $4.

By this time of the year I've usually got at least a few hundred miles to my credit on my bike out on the roads but so far this year I've been content to limit my workouts to my rollers. With sunny skies and a temp in the mid 20's yesterday the urge of the open road was too strong. I suited up for my first outdoor ride of 2010 and spent a few hours working through 46 easy miles. There were some areas where the road was shaded and ice was still a problem but not enough to ever cause me to reconsider being out there.

I finally got into the mix with some guys at work who have been getting together on Thursday nights for boot-hockey. I'm quite sure my legs would've rather stayed home to recover from the ride earlier in the day but I've never been very good at pacing myself. And it wasn't just an hour of slipping and falling on the hard ice either; we were out there nearly 3 hours! There were some super slick areas on the ice where if you didn't get tripped up by them at least a few times you weren't trying hard enough. I've got at least one bruised rib to remind me of the fun we had out there. Of course I couldn't resist the chance to get just a little video for a YouTube upload.

Thanks to Mech-man for providing the lights and generators to give us a fighting chance at seeing the sponge puck.

As I blog this my quads are sore to the point of making climbing stairs an effort. I'd made a commitment to a little guy from our church that I've been mentoring (Manny) to take him to Buck Hill today for some snow-tubing and there would be no explaining to him that I was too sore to slide down a hill. I didn't let him down but I did race him down the hill way too many times.

We bought tickets for a two hour pass and that was enough for both of us. I hadn't done that since I'd been there with Rachel maybe eight or nine years ago and I forgot how chilled you become on the slow ride to the top. There's a nice size fire pit at the bottom to warm up by but that's for wusses.

I'm a wuss.

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