Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Spring Routine

The past three weeks have marked the most amount of time I have spent in one place for the past year.  I enjoy the excitement of travel, but it has been nice to have a standard routine.  After taking a good week off from training I have been easing back in to activity with a nice morning workout followed by some sort of house project and planning for this next training and racing season.

The weather has been fantastic all spring in Minneapolis and I have been able to make the quick 2 mile ride to the Boys and Girls Club.  The opportunity to spend a few hours with the kids every day has been huge in building their trust.  I remember the change in the kids at the LCO Boys and Girls Club in Hayward after being able to spend consistent time with them and it is fun to watch the trust grow with the North Minneapolis kids.
Kendral working on his homework packet of the week.

Our focus this week in Power Hour has been reading retention.  In addition to regular reading we are asking the kids to tell me of Mr. Vain what they read.

I have also started a new program called Triple Play where we focus on a healthy eating and lifestyle.  We are learning about nutrition and how to read labels on food.  We are also learning some of the major muscled in the body and how to strengthen them.  Several of the teens in the program have the desire and potential to play professional basketball.  We have talked about how most pro-basketball players play in college and the importance of being an all-around athlete. 

We have also talked about the importance of getting 1 hour of exercise a day, regardless of whether you want to be a pro athlete.  Plus, you are never to old to jump around and have fun.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Recharging the Batteries

The 2012 ski season came to a close with the 50km National Championships in Craftsbury, Vermont.  The organizing committee and hosts, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center did an amazing job making the event happen.  When we arrived in Vermont we were greeted with temperatures in the upper 70s and the prognosis for the week was looking grim.  It is impressive to see what can happen when a community comes together.  The organizers focused on defending a short course of snow by trucking snow on to the trail from two incredibly large stockpiles of man-made snow.  

We raced 33 laps of the 1.5km course for the 50k.  The lead pack was quite large until about 8km to go which made for pretty exciting skiing.   I finished 11th which I felt pretty good about after struggling at the beginning of the week.  After a surprise second place in the hill climb up Jay Peak I was hoping that the longer slower pace of the 50km would treat me better but I think that I am pretty worn out after the year.

One of my favorite things to do after the ski season is to experience something totally different.  It was quite the shock to leave simple Vermont and head to the Big Apple.  I am not much of a big city person but it is fun to experience a completely different lifestyle.  Plus it was great to take advantage of being on the East Coast to visit family.

Tara (my Sister), Caitlin and Simon enjoying $1 slices of pizza.  Perhaps the best deal in New York City.

The New York City girls (Caitlin Grandma, Mother, and Caitlin)

We arrived back in Minneapolis for the Easter weekend.  I am looking forward to being home and in one place for a while.  The Minneapolis schools all had Spring Break this week and the kids were excited to have us back in the 'hood.'  I am not sure where they all came from but at one point there were 15 kids working and playing in the backyard.  Check out Cailtin's blog for some great pictures on the garden project