Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good bye 2008!

2008 is coming to an end. I always look forward to a new year, new goals, and a good start to a New Year and this year is no exception. I am ready to put 2008 to bed and bring on 2009. Its been a stressful end to the year, but I have been trying to take a look back to the good things that happened in 2008. Here are some of my favorite memories from 2008, before I slam the door on it.

In March I turned 40, and this is good because at 40, I am in better shape than I was at 30 and I feel smarter, wiser, and more of a balanced person than at 20 or 30. My 40th birthday week was during our Tuscon training camp and celebrated climbing Mt Lemmon on my bike and eating Mexican food at night with my very cool friends, all my favorite things. What a great way to celebrate.

In April Adam and I went to Vegas just the 2 of us. We took our bikes and trained some. Alot of the riding was on the Silverman course (hard and hilly my favorite), and out at Red Rock canyon. But we also just hung out, and went to see "O" Cirque de Soleil. It was so fun because it was a just us trip, no computers and limited cell phone use vacation, very cool.

Then the triathlon season started. Summer is always a blur because of so much racing and training. I did not have a great season this year, but I gained some perspective on triathlon and training and after roughly 16 years of racing all the distances and all over the world, I realize that simplier is better right for me right now and that is what works. I found that I truly love racing shorter and faster distances, and love doing crazy hard workouts and being done and then being able to take care of my kids,and iron-husband; without being a walking zombie or iron sloth. I finished the season racing in Oregon at Nationals. I raced injured, but still had a great time because I loved the race and I got to see my family. It was fun to see Jack play with his cousins, and just to be out in Oregon made the trip worth it.

Jack started kindegarten this year. This is a big stepping stone and allows me a little more freedom. It has been fun to see how much he is learning (he can tie his own shoes now too!) I am so happy he loves school (for now) and is doing well.

In October I was able to go with Adam to Kona to watch Ironman. A trip to Hawaii is always a bonus! We hung out with some really cool friends. I drank great coffee, played on the beach, took some scenic runs, and paddled a sea kayak right next to a group of dolphins which was so amazing.

This year I gained some really cool clients that are super fun to work with and make my coaching job easy, plus have kept some of the greatest clients and athletes ever, year after year. With this crazy economy, I am thankful I have my job and profession as a physical therapist, and am still coaching great athletes. Times are tough for a lot of people, so I feel very lucky.

I am ready for 2009! We are spending New Years weekend in Galena with the MSM kids tri team. Adam will be coaching the team in what they are calling "Camp Siberia" Not sure what it involves, but I will be doing some of it. The weekend will finish with us taking our kids skiing/ snowboarding for the first time! I can't wait.

Happy New Year to Everyone! Best wishes for a successful and healthy 2009!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mini van Mom

Yes its true. I am now the driver of a mini van. I fought it for years, I refused, and in fact for years before having kids would poke fun at the "mini van mom". No cool points if you drive a mini van. But about a month ago I surrendered. The lease on our sporty Pathfinder came up and it was time to make the switch. With kids a dog and 2 triathletes in the house having 2 cars really wasn't an option. We need something with room and function for all that goes with kids dogs and triathletes. I swear with age comes practicality. I wanted something with better gas mileage, room for all the stuff and no huge car payments, yet I didn't want to drive a gigantic tank like a Tahoe or Suburban. So I said ok to the idea of a mini van knowing I would be the one driving it.

On the first trip with all 4 of us in it the kids are going crazy because they think its the coolest car ever, and Adam and I are looking at each other shaking our heads because we can't believe we are now cruising around in a Nissan Quest. The first few trips around town I sort of drove with my head ducked down in case I saw someone I knew, or pulled a baseball cap on tight with sunglasses. I felt like if I were seen by someone I knew they might put their hand over their mouth and point at me laughing!

But after a few trips in the white moon mobile (this thing has a front windshield like the front of the space shuttle), I realized driving it isn't so bad. When going over a rough bump, it is nice and smooth, and my coffee doesn't go bouncing and spilling all out of my cup everywhere. It is a nice smooth ride, not like off road mountain climbing around town. The kids can get in and out of their seats and buckle their seat belts easier than in the big SUV, and this alone is a huge plus when you're hands are full, and you're in a hurry. The kids' seats in our van has the captain chairs....great for two siblings sitting next to each other as there is more space between them!

Of course the benefits of a mini van for a triathlete are numerous. Number one. The bike. There is so much room in the back you can roll that thing right in. In fact my bike is small enough, you don't even have to take the front wheel off. Plenty of room for both bikes, plus a few people to road trip to races. Plus.....you don't have to lift the bike 12 feet off the ground just to get it in. There is plenty of room for gear bags, swim bags, shoes etc. I could even stretch out before a race, take a nap if needed.

So it might not be the coolest or sportiest, it is very functional. That seems to be the theme of my life right now finding ease and functionality to everything. I did manage to find one of my SURF DIVA stickers from my surfing lessons to stick on the back window to added some coolness to it :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Shining Star...

My Grandma, my cousin Grant and I not wanting my picture taken

2 days after Thanksgiving my 92 year old Grandma passed away. It was a stressful couple weeks saying goodbye to her, but have tried to do what she would want and that is to be happy and spread the Christmas cheer, and look for the good in what may seem bad. And with some other stressful and absurd stuff going on, I’m trying to find the bright shiny side in everything.

At her memorial we heard some great stories about her and what an amazing lady she was and all the lives she touched. She was truly a shining star. She was a teacher for 35 years at the same school district, and one of many cool things she did was to start an after school sports program for girls back in the days when girls weren’t allowed to play sports! Could you imagine, no sports for girls? Way to go Grandma ! Girls can rock in sports and she knew it way back then!

So our tree is up, the stockings are hung. I have baked cookies, and played Christmas music and the kids have more Christmas presents than they need. The lights are hung and Christmas is all around. I have to admit I don’t feel the Christmas spirit 100% this year but am giving it my best effort. In fact this year a trip to Mexico sounds more appealing, but growing up I had a million great memories of Christmas and want my kids to have the same memories so…I’m coming around.

So, I know there is a lot of Euncie Bivins Rife in me. Those are the parts that gave me the determination and motivation to get through PT school, train for triathlons and Ironmans and World Championships, and to always look for the shining star when it seems dark and dreary.