your 9th grader is a wrestler? good for you and him!! i wrestled in junior high and high school, and coached the year that i taught school. other than cycling, it is the most demanding, unappreciated sport a kid can do. long hours of training--year-round--of hard, thankless work. sacrifice, sweat, and all that. >>>>
Yep, Erik wrestled for a season when he was 7, then developed a condescending attitude towards organized athletics across the board till he went to high school, where on the invitation of a boy who was told to find all the big kids, asked Erik to go out for football.
"I think I'll just do it," he said.
Erik said he did it because of the cognitive conflict it gave his academically oriented friends who generally considered jocks as both jerks and dumb. He also thought it might be a way to get that extra muscle he needed to wrench the alpha spot from his big bro.
He didn't get to play all season but for a couple of minutes, but practice and lift he did, day after day. Then, at the close of the season and having a lot of respect for his freshman football coach, who is also the head wrestling coach, Erik signed up to wrestle and may have found a certain calling.
Of course, Big Bro takes the credit. Without all those years of abuse, how would Lil Bro have become mean and tough?
In a week and a half, one of the varsity boys will drop out of Erik's weight class, and Erik will step onto the varsity mat. Despite knowing he'll likely be seeing a lot of the gym lights, he says it's the only way to get better, b/c he'll go to triple the meets and face opponents who'll push him to his limit.
Of course, I'm thrilled, but Erik's always had a warrior spirit and a high pain tolerance, so it's a good fit. Nonetheless, developing the willingness and ability to step into the pain and deliver is something I want for all three of my boys and only they can give it to themselves.
Oh, and football and a few weeks of wrestling did indeed put an end to the regular clashes of titans around the house. Two days before Erik's 15th birthday last month, Big Bro admitted he was outmatched and conceded; however, there was an arm wrestling contest after dinner Monday, and Big Bro won the left handed challenge.
"It's not over yet!" he exclaimed, immediately pulling his phone and tapping away.
"oooo, gotta tell the the girlfriend, huh?" Erik teased.
With Nationals just days hours away, I've been experiencing butterflies in the tummy and other indicators of anticipation. I'll be racing for my age group win on Friday at 1pm, as will my mom, and then aiming for a top 20 finish on Sunday with the elites at 12:30. If it crosses your mind, send out some good vibes around those times. :)
If you want to be among the first to know how things go, subscribe to the twitter feed: http://twitter.com/sydspinnin I'll be posting updates from Natz with my trusty samsung.
I like spreadsheets, but oftentimes the data I want to track is awkwardly removed from where I want to review it. Take tracking your gas mileage. You have to write it down, do the calculations, then if you want to see what it was over a month, etc. You can see how it gets to be a pain. No more and it won't cost you a dime.
Create a Google form and then use your mobile web-enabled phone to enter data wherever you're at. Because Google let's you decide which columns to make public, there's no risk of showing what you may want to keep secret. Behind the scenes you can have your spreadsheet constantly calculating and you can see your analysis when you choose with no big labor investment.
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are right under your nose.
Yeah, it's about photography, but is applicable to anything at which you'd like to improve, so don your lycra and "Cleft Unto the Suck."
[snip] And, even if a given shot is shit — and, most certainly, the vast majority of all my photos are varying degrees of shit — you still learn from the bad ones and no damage is done. Truth is, at the level I’m playing, there’s no real cost associated with failure. Unless, you count the damage of working with unrealistic expectations or the paralyzing joylessness of the conventional wisdom that only some are “Blessed with Creativity…” [insert Tinkerbell glissando]
So, maybe, that’s what really grabbed me last night, when — depending on your perception of how this stuff works — I either started to lose The Fear, or I became one of those horrible little people who doesn’t realize how stupid they look fiddling with a camera. [/snip]
Well, I didn't get what I was after this weekend. I wanted the top of that podium, but you can't make mistakes and get that in the field that showed up this weekend. My best chance was Saturday, but I didn't ensure I was in the gear I wanted off the top of Mt. Krumpit when I arrived at the bottom. I thought I was, but when I mounted at the top and tried to pedal off, I was at a dead standstill and shifting under load doesn't work. The front end of that race disappeared and I spent the rest of the race trying to recover ground. A later mistake in the sand resulted in Kristin Wentworth's taking the 4th spot. Try as I might, she was not to be reeled in and I had to fight to secure 5th.
Sunday, conditions were so slick with mud and I honestly didn't know how I'd do. Tilford gave me a couple tips without which I surely would have placed lower. However, I have to admit, despite knowing what I needed to do to get down the slimy Krumpit slope, it was only on my third approach to the lip that I finally had the courage to go on down and execute the plan . If you watch the video below, you'll see why Amanda won it. She just zipped down. I was careful, but stayed up. Josie won the race for 2nd with her no mistake final lap. I messed up a remount and the trip through the swamp ditch, giving her a gap I was unable to close. She might have still beat me, but I might have given her a better run for her money.
Who knows what would have happened, but I wasn't disappointed with 3rd in the least. Amanda and last year's 30-35 national champ, Josie, are good riders and most definitely earned their spots. I rode well and have a new sense of confidence in the mud.
Here in Nebraska, we don't get much practice in that type of stuff. It's usually dry and hard. Over the last couple of months, I spent a goodly amount of time riding rollers and doing intervals in the loose gravel along the sides of the roads. Both these activities helped me learn to pedal more smoothly and keep a light touch on the front end, which paid off big time this weekend.
I'd like to give a huge thanks to Marc. The periodization plan he put together is working wonderfully and I felt great both Saturday and Sunday. With 3 teens at home, a full time job and all the other stuff I do, there's no way I could ride at this level without a careful plan to help me make the most of the time I have. I don't know what nationals will bring weatherwise, but I think Jingle CX 2008 has me set for nationals. I'm feeling good and think I'm ready.
Additionally, without his help before, during and after the race, Sunday would certainly been an exercise in misery. In fact, I think my friend and next year's teamie, Jennifer, summed the conditions up after her race and before mine... Wet and covered in mud, she said any humor whatsoever, "Have fun. I am done with this s**t."
Other highlights included watching Keith Walberg's movie, "Zero Traction," where Catherine Walberg does the best job describing what being an athlete is all about. I can't recall her exact words, but in short, those times where you really fight for your win or your spot, despite the conditions and in the face of physical or circumstantial shortcomings, are the best, especially when you emerge victorious. That's why we're compelled to go to the line.
Marc and I also got to visit with Kathleen and John, a couple I've admired since I first met them, but with whom I never got much chance to chat. Why the admiration? Well, she's beautiful. He's handsome and they just seem to have so much fun together that it's infectious. Getting to be around people like is one of the reasons I dig this sport. I also have to laugh at (with? maybe someday) the young boy who tossed his specialized down and declared he needed some tires with some traction before his race. Someday that kid's going to be a champ. You can just see it. I wonder how he did in the kids race? I was busy screwing up courage for Mt. Krumpit when they went.
Here's video footage that gives a better idea of how big and steep Mt. Krumpit is. I was wondering who was riding it and who was sliding it. Amanda just zipped down like it was nothing. She certainly deserved her win yesterday.
If you know who took this footage, let me know, I'd like to give credit.