Monday, October 19, 2009

The 80's Ladies Run Wild

The 80’s Ladies were dressed to the nines and ready to take on the “Run Wild Race” in authentic 80’s leotards. Flashy colors from head to toe was the only requirement of our theme.
Participating in running events and road races has always been at the top of my ‘to do’s.’ I believe this started because as young tots time outs and groundings didn’t exist. Instead, my brother, sister and I would have to run laps around the cul-de-sac for punishments. Somehow the cul-de-sac laps brought an enthusiasm to running for my brother, sister and I.
Road Races have never lost their excitement, but have become even more exciting when there is a special twist. Rockin’ the side ponytails the 80’s ladies were ready! I can assure you that competing in a race with water obstacles, splashing through a creek, jumping over hurdles, crawling over hay bells and doing high knee lifts through tires sprawled over the course does become complete when wearing lavender leg warmers.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Urban Assault Bike Ride

Racing against the clock my teammate and I sprinted through Elitch Gardens for a ride down ‘Splash Mountain.’ Equipped with a bike helmet and gripping tightly to four multicolored beads I closed my eyes as I double checked to make sure the seat belt was securely fastened. I told myself getting drenched from the biggest wave in Denver would be worth adding the fifth bead to the string.
My race partner and I, soaked, sprinted out of the park after grabbing bead number five, in order to prove the challenge was completed. We hopped on our bikes and mapped out the next check point in our heads. Navigating through the streets of Downtown Denver we pulled up to a swimming pool. Before we even had time to think about a strategy, we were swimming across the pool, fully clothed, to collect our final bead.
I quickly learned that no challenge is off limits at The Urban Assault Bike Race. There are six check points set up across the city and each features a different challenge. One challenge was riding under a limbo stick on a mini bike. Other challenges included bike jousting, a three legged race in extra large shoes and a moving newspaper toss. The goal of the race is to map out the most efficient course, ride the fastest and complete the challenges with no hesitation.
After all the beads were collected it was time to pedal in high gear to the finish line, hop on a big wheel bicycle navigating through an obstacle course to splash down to the finish on the water slide.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Missing Signs

Driving out of my neighborhood I cranked my wheel as far left as I could to avoid being swallowed by a life size disaster! The biggest pothole I have ever seen was lying right ahead staring hungrily at the bumper of my car. The rainy Colorado summer may have brought out the greenest landscapes I have witnessed but the moisture also brought out a hole in the road that almost damaged my car beyond repair.
As I pulled over to regain my composure I had an idea. I gathered my partner in crime and we made a sign to place next to the rain filled pot hole that read as follows, “No Swimming Allowed.” Living in a neighborhood where humor is always on the fly, we knew it would be sure to gain a few laughs.
The next day our sign was GONE!!! Rustling out more construction paper it was time for round two and this sign read “No fishing either.” I was pretty positive that no fish were living in the water but didn’t want my neighbors getting any wild hairs.
A few days later the no fishing sign was swept away as well! It was time for the final sign that read, “Missing Signs, Reward Offered.” You know we never did get those signs back but the pothole was soon repaired.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Freshly Made Cider

Cranking the wheel clockwise, I quenched my thirst by making fresh apple cider with an authentic apple press. Two pounds of apples picked right off the tree allowed me to make a whopping 12 ounces. Drinking the strongest cider I have tasted, I strolled through the restored cozy cottages and unadorned classrooms of the “old days” at the 35th annual “Lakewood Cider Days.”
I watched the craft and skill of knitters and lacers who are downright focused and incredibly patient. My curiosity came on strong as I had thoughts of driving an old John Deer tractor, or the 1932 navy blue classic car that caught my eye, or writing letters to friends and family on the type writer. Drawn in as I listened to cowboy tales and watched their roping skills accurately swoop around a group of twenty kids, I wanted to change into a prairie dress and stay awhile.
And by awhile I mean at least a week! This way I could drive that tractor, bake that apple pie and ride those horses! I’ll raise my glass of apple cider to cheer the storytelling of the cowboys and cowgirls, and cooks and craftsmen that allow legends to keep on keeping on.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Family Comes Together in Oklahoma!

My Grandpa turned 80, even though he says he’s only 40! All the aunts, uncles, grandchildren and cousins came together at Lake Murray to celebrate.
Even beyond waterskiing, wakeboarding and tubing on the lake, nothing could compare to the appreciation I gained for my Grandpa that weekend. For the first time, he opened up and told us stories of every stretch. From working midnight to 9 a.m. for years and years to driving the school bus in his retirement years, I recognized his tremendous work ethic. I saw his passion for his family upon learning that he took my dad out driving in the country when he was in 5th grade and they got pulled over. When the officer asked for my dad’s drivers license my grandpa simply said, “He don’t got one!” The paper foiled their attempt to hide the ticket from my grandma when it was published in the local paper. When I asked my grandpa if he ever had a tattoo, he surprised me when he said “yes.” He went on to tell us there was a rooster on his chest, but all that’s left now is the tale end. His quick wit and sense of humor made the trip, for all of us.
Despite all the good conversation, my heart did sink at one point on the trip. My grandpa took the boat out for a spin. Sitting in the bow of the boat I was focused on the breeze and waves. When we halted to a stop, I whipped around to see flashing red lights...on a boat. Oh the boat patrol got us for something! My cousin had decided to stand up, unaware that it was illegal to do so in a moving boat. A quick slap on the "Tahoe" boat and we were cruising again, hoping this wouldn’t also be published in the local paper.