Sunday, July 29, 2012

Adventure Camp

One of the highlights of my summer has been taking a van full of kids from the Boys and Girls Club to Wirth Park for Loppet Adventure Camp.  The City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation made this partnership possible.  The logistics weren't easy but with a bike, running shoes, and one van we were able to make it all happen.

Adventure Camp is a full and active day.  With temperatures in the 90s we enjoyed visiting the well for a nice cold drink.

Eric and Kendal visiting Nesse the (friendly) monster in Wirth Lake.

Working on the basics on Day 1 of roller skiing.

It is incredible to watch how fast these young athletes learn.  The first day was pretty ugly and frustrating for most, but by the end of the week the kids were full on skiing.  Fun to watch the struggle and triumph.  At the end of the week we held a roller ski race and some impressive times were posted. Competition is even more fun when we can compare ourselves to the best athletes in the world contesting in London.

The Concept 2 Ski Erg turned a rainy day into a fun day.  Plus it was fun to see how much power your arms can generate, yes they aren't just for balance.

Getting the hang of things and able to ski down the big hill, but taking a quick break before heading back up.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

LCO Club Reunion

With the CXC Team training camps based out of Telemark Lodge in northern Wisconsin it makes it pretty convenient to catch up with my Hayward family and friends while in town.  Hayward was home for a good six years and although I live in Minneapolis it still feels like I am home.  In many ways things are the same, but the most fun change to see is with the kids.  The last time I saw the LCO Boys and Girls Crew was February for the Birkie.
Snack time at The Club, Enjoying milk, apples and PBnJ in the shade.
 I had a very proud moment when I drove up to the Club and climbed out of the car.  A young boy wearing a Boys and Girls Club t-shirt sat at the picnic tables watching me.  As I approached he yelled out 'Hey Brian, How's it going?'  He then came up to me and shook my hand.  'I have a summer job now, I work at The Club'.  TJ told me about how he know works with the younger kids at the Club.  I met TJ my first day at the Club when he was a wild little 10 year old. It is really great to see him grow up and mature and be a responsible teen.  His ride pulled up and he said goodbye.

I came in to the Club and to my surprise found all of the kids watching one of two movies.  In all my time at the Club I had never seen the kids not moving around, but with no A/C and warm weather on a Friday I could understand.

I sort of snuck in to the dark teen center and it didn't take long for the kids to start whispering and word to spread that 'Brian is here.'  Some of the kids I did not recognize but over half of them I knew well.
Who want's to go to the Park?

Lava Tag, our favorite game.

Climbing and Team Work to get to the top. Jasper, Savannah, Aaron, Kiara, and Indanis.
One of my favorite activities growing up was climbing and I encourage the kids to climb as well. There is always a risk of falling and getting hurt, but I think it is important for the kids to learn to climb and fall when they are young so that they are able to do so safely when they are older.  The group loves the Giant Spinning Tree that the park added two years ago.  My only rule is that if you want to ride on top you have to be able to climb up there on your own or with the assistance of a friend.  Not only does this save me from the constant task of lifting up kids, it is great to watch them learn to work together to accomplish a common goal.  The best life lessons can come through the simplest of tasks.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I have had an extended Spring this year enjoying cool weather for my training camp out in Washington State.  The thermometer read 38F when I woke up to head to the airport, with 104F outside in Denver during my layover it became obvious that the heat of summer is now on.

Enjoying a final run in the Mountains before coming home to Minnesota.
 Minneapolis welcomed me back with some wonderful 80F days.  After so many cool days I enjoyed the heat of the sun and we spent most of the day outside at the Boys and Girls Club.

Staying cool in the Gym at the Boys and Girls Club.
 We had a great game of basketball at the Club this week.  With the warm temperatures we had an unusually small group.  We played 5 on 5 with ten year olds, tweens (11-12), and teens.  Often times it is hard for the younger players to get much ball time.  Xavier impressed us all by sinking all most ever three he shot.  Pretty cool for a kid who is less than four feet tall.

Guest Coaching with the advanced crew of the City of Lakes Loppett Nordic Ski  Club.
Muscular Endurance Intervals with 15lbs extra weight