Category: My Life

Summer!

It’s officially summer for us in Colorado! We have a lot planned, and it all starts next week when I leave to Texas while Jadyn and Isaac are at Mt. Hood in Oregon and Mom and Dad are in Hawaii for their anniversary. I somehow managed to finish with all 4s and 5s for the semester, resulting in a 4.33 weighted and 4.0 unweighted GPA for the semester, which definitely helped my failure of a 4.0 weighted/3.67 unweighted GPA from last semester. AP World History was a challenging experience, but I’m glad I went through with it. I’ll be getting my test scores back in July, so I’ll hopefully be receiving college credit for that. All my other exams went really well, and I didn’t study for any of them minus math, which I really had to work at this semester, and chemistry, which I studied for approximately 33 seconds in rigorous preparation.

I’ve had a lot of time to relax, in preparation for a whirlwind few weeks coming up. We just got back from Denver yesterday, where Isaac had his final lacrosse tournament with the Summit Stix, before he goes off to high school next year. I had a fun time cheering him on and watching him score, which he was extremely stoked about.

I have a track meet on Wednesday I’ll be going to with a couple of friends, and I’ll be running the 100m and 400m. I’ve been running very consistently, training with lots of hill workouts up near our house in Blue River at 10,000 ft, so hopefully it will pay off when I sprint at 5900 ft. I’m looking to go under 12.5 in the 100m and under 60 in the 400m (because I still haven’t done that, for some odd reason. And here I was in 8th grade believing I’d be in the 57s by sophomore year. That was a big fail).

After the track meet, I’ll be packing up for my trip to Texas, where I’ll be getting my license, then going to see our best friends the Halls for a while. After Texas, I’ll be working throughout the summer with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps on some trails, plus some other jobs. I’ve started to buy and sell iPhones once again, so I’ve started to get some income from that.

Anyways, it’s bound to be a great summer with all this, and I’ll be sure to enjoy these next few weeks (That sentence literally means that I lost interest in continuing to write right now, so I’m going to just end it off there). Oh, I also made a new LEGO Stop Motion animation, which you can view here.

 

 

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Nationals and Forward to Next Season!

The last two weeks were a flurry of competitions, school, homework, fun, disappointment, and a little bit of sleep. I had my first boardercross Rev Tour one week ago on Friday, and it went pretty okay. I went out to Ski Cooper Friday morning, and raced hard. The top 32 out of the 38 competitors were seeded into brackets, and I ran a pretty bad time trial, and ended up barely making the cut, qualifying 30th. I got eliminated in my first heat, which I was extremely downcast about, but it was fine for my first Rev Tour ever.


After Rev Tour, all that remained was USASA Nationals. I had both boardercross and slopestyle practice on Saturday, my slopestyle comp on Sunday, and boardercross on Monday. Saturday went pretty well with practice. I landed a couple tricks on the large line at Copper and got my start down on the boardercross course – I was all set to compete.

Sunday went pretty okay, around what I expected, although I think I could’ve gotten a few places higher. I didn’t land my first run, because I sent the second jump too big and overrotated my frontside 360 to a 540, almost landing but ultimately going down.

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Attempting to land my overrotated spin. So close!

On my second run, I once again stomped the first jump, which I sent a backflip off of (although I did send the second one quite a bit bigger than the first time), and kinda-barely landed my 360 on the next jump, but hit the knuckle of the jump and lost all my speed. I proceeded to hit the last jump, but landed on the deck. I guess I can count my second run as landed, but it still only scored me a 24.5.

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Mid-backflip over jump 1

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Anyways, slopestyle wasn’t my main focus to begin with, so I wasn’t that mad that I didn’t completely get my run. I was ready for boardercross the next day, but unfortunately it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I placed 15th in time trials, meaning I got the second gate choice in my heat. My heat started out great, I was out in second place, in a good spot to qualify, edging out the two people behind me around the first and second turns. Around the third turn, I unfortunately got caught up in the slush and slid out. That kinda ruined my day, so yeah. How unfortunate. Only 340 more days until I get to try again!

Racing at Nationals

Overall, this season went pretty well as a whole. I got a few new tricks, and began spinning the large line at Copper, which I thought wouldn’t happen till next season. Early season, I worked on my rails and actually didn’t do terribly at the New Years Eve Rail Jam at Copper, taking 8th/17. I placed third at my first slopestyle of the year at Copper, then won the next two at Keystone and Breck (although I don’t really count Breck as much because there wasn’t really much competition). Boardercross started out pretty terrible, but ended up ok. I lost my first two races, then took second at Copper on day 3. I had a ton of amazing races against some really talented racers, and that definitely helped in my progression. I even got to race Banked Slalom at Steamboat, which was one of my favorite weekends of the season. I’ll definitely be ready for next season, where I plan on competing in Rev Tour and the Hole Shot NorAm Tour. But for now, it’s track season, and time to run.

Competitions, Break and Semester 2

It’s been about two weeks since we got back from Christmas break, and it was definitely a much-needed rest, although we only did a little of that as we were snowboarding almost every day. But still, it was nice to have a break from the constant grind of school.

Over break, we had a photo shoot with Keystone Resort, competed in the annual New Years Eve Rail Jam at Copper, made cookies, shoveled a lot of snow that disappeared the day after, and recently, competed in the first Slopestyle competition of the season at Copper.

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A shot from our photo shoot

Semester 1 ended with lots of work, having 6 final exams in one week. It unfortunately did not get me the grades I needed to maintain a perfect GPA (4.23), so I ended up with just a 4.0 weighted GPA for this semester. Hopefully that won’t happen again.

After we got out of school, we went straight to snowboarding, and never left for the next week 😛 On Christmas, we went out as a family to snowboard at Beaver Creek before going out to a nice dinner. It was a great time, as we don’t get to snowboard all together often, even though Beaver Creek had basically no new snow.

Christmas was pretty great, but after it was over it was back to training. We all competed in the annual Copper Mtn New Years Eve Rail Jam, where I competed directly against Isaac for the first time in the 14+ age group. I had been training on rails for around a month, so I wouldn’t finish like I did at Howelsen Hill last year (10th/10). Isaac and I had a good time, and while he didn’t land the tricks he wanted to, we still had fun. I ended up 8th/17, which was about where I expected to be. Anyways, the tricks I threw will probably be the best tricks I will have done on rails this season, as I’m now training for boardercross.

Fast forward one week later to January 6th. The day before our slopestyle competition. We’d been training hard, and decided to take a fun day with the team before the comp. One of our coaches, Josh, made up a crazy fun game named by our friend Karis, called the Jimmy Points Challenge (completely random name). We’d go around Breckenridge Mountain completing challenges made up by Josh, each for certain amounts of points. Some were trick-based, such as landing a backflip or 540, and others were… people-based? Examples of that included high-fiving an entire family, getting someone to let you borrow their gloves, and even getting a pro to film you. Check out the video edit I made here, or visit my snowboarding YouTube Channel at GabeShreds.

On the day of the slopestyle competition, it had just dumped about a foot of snow, which made riding the jumps extremely slow. I was extremely happy and fortunate to still put down my run anyways (backflip, back 3, front 3), and almost put down my second run (backflip, back 3, front 5) if it wasn’t for the sketchy landing of the last jump. That put me into 3rd place, which meant I got my first Rocky Mountain Series podium. Isaac and Jadyn also put down their runs, which they were stoked about. Isaac finished 7th/21, and Jadyn took the silver with a 2nd place out of 8. Watch my first slopestyle run below:

On the podium with my friend Lachlan!

After the slopestyle competition, school kinda took over again. Nothing interesting happened up until last Saturday, when Team Summit bought time on the boardercross course at Copper Mountain, which is being used for this weekend’s boardercross races. I got to race my friends on the team, and also got some valuable practice for this weekend. The day before, on Friday, I had a real boardercross day with my coach KB and the four Australians that are visiting to race with us. We flew down Keystone’s Go Devil run at speeds above 65 mph, which was immensely fun. On Sunday, it had snowed a ton overnight, so we took advantage of the soft snow and rode the powder. In the afternoon, I sent backflips off of the only two jumps open in the park, along with my friend Akos.

Now I’m gearing up for the boardercross races coming up this weekend. I’m about to get my race board prepped with a base grind, tune and wax. So far I have 6 people in my age group total, and I have the top seed, thanks to my 15th place finish at last Nationals. I definitely want to podium, and hope I can take the win one of the three days. Jadyn’s also competing, and she’s looking really good on the course so far. I’m racing with two of the Australians training with us, so there’s always a potential for a podium sweep.

 

 

 

Weekday Excursions and Cross Country

Even with the constant drag of school, I still have it really good. Like, much better than most kids my age (At least I’m pretty sure. I can’t account for every sophomore in the country). Almost every day, I get out of school early due to my Academic Athlete schedule for snowboarding in the winter. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays I get out at 12:10, allowing for a bunch of free time where I usually go into Breckenridge and do stuff, such as run somewhere, work at YoYoLoco, do some homework, and write these blog posts! The only drawback is that while cross country is still in season, I have to be back at the school at 3:00 (except on Mondays, then I don’t have to go back to the school, giving me around 2.25 hours (subtracting the time on the bus) to do whatever!

A few times (the most fun ones), I packed my ENO hammock and go and chill out and eat lunch in my hammock. I usually hike/run up a ton of stairs to the top of Carter Park, a local park, then set up my hammock in the woods overlooking the whole town of Breck. To sum it up in one of the most overused words ever, it is awesome.

Looking back, I’ve went to quite a few different places. Most days I just go to Starbucks or another local coffee shop, but some days I plan out to go to other, more interesting places. Last week, I went to Silverthorne to go skate at the skatepark (only for 15 minutes though :P), and the week before I went to Frisco, to work at my favorite place there, the Next Page bookstore/coffee shop. In that same week, I went and played tennis at Carter Park with Dad for an hour, and that was great. I’ve gone to a few different restaurants to get food, and overall it makes for some good variety during the school week. Last year was a bit different (I didn’t have a 6th period, so I got out of school at 10:40 on Tuesdays and Fridays), and I got to do a ton of things (like go snowboarding on a weekday, then rush back for track practice!), but this year is still extremely fun after 12:10 on Mondays/Tuesdays/Fridays and after 1:05 on Thursdays.

On another positive note (let’s call this one G# 😛 ), my birthday is in less than two weeks! It’s so weird to think that I’ll be 16 years old (I have no idea why it wasn’t weird to be turning 15, but 16 is somehow more different than just a single digit more), and to commemorate this slightly significant event in my life, I’ll probably write a blog post looking back at the past few hundred blog posts I’ve written. Although a lot of the early ones are just posts I “wrote” with the help of Mom when I was really little, and the period from 2013 to 2015 when I was writing a ton didn’t include a ton of quality posts, there are still a lot that I consider to be influential in developing my writing skills, and (along with the weird ones that I wrote when I was around 9) I’d love to reread those.

Finally, I just wanted to write a quick update on my cross country season. I’ve been doing pretty well (according to my own standards), and recently clocked a time of 20:02, which smashed my previous PR by a minute and 15 seconds. I’m so close to sub-20, and that’s now my goal for the end of the season.

My progression for the season goes like this so far:

  • 22:01 (8/26)
  • 22:38
  • 21:15
  • 21:18
  • 20:02
  • 20:15 (9/26)

I have two races left (assuming I don’t beat any of the top 9 on my team to go to regionals), and my goal is to break 20 minutes in one of them (although I’ll see how close I can get at the next one!).

 

 

Summer

We just got back from our summer travels, and it’s been amazing. I haven’t been posting lately, because I was working on writing a post on school reflections, but I revised it so many times I forgot about publishing it… And that was all I was writing about. Anyways, why talk about school now, when I can talk about all our travels?

 

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been in many states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, (Regular) Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas. It’s been a rush, and we’ve packed so much into the time since we left Breck that I’m having trouble remembering everything that we’ve done.

 

After school ended (I passed all my final exams with almost straight 4’s, ending up with a cumulative GPA of 4.15, with a 4.14 from first semester, and a 4.16 from second semester), we stayed another week in Breck to pack up and get ready for our summer travels. In an unexpected move, we decided to go snowboarding for one last day (in JUNE!) on the hill, so we unpacked all our snowboarding gear (I had packed up and taken apart all our boards), and went out to Arapahoe Basin to snowboard. After a fun day of shredding in the spring slush (and a bit of rain), we headed home and repacked all of our snowboarding gear.

Not much happened between then and when we left, but we did go and visit our friends the Burdick’s (who we know from Team Summit) for a day after Isaac’s final lacrosse tournament. We had a ton of fun with our friend JR, and took his longboards out on the streets and bombed down the streets around his neighborhood.

Well, that was one of the last days before we took off, and when we took off, we were gone. We drove fifteen hours spread over two days on our way down to Austin, TX to see our friends, passing through New Mexico and spending a night in Amarillo. After getting to Austin, we met up with some of our friends at Dick Nichols Park, and then I proceeded to go and hang out with my friend Sage for the rest of the night.

The next day, we went to a trampoline park with all of our friends from Austin, and basically jumped around for a while, before going out to eat with all of them and returning to our old neighborhood for a few minutes before our departure to Dallas.

All of our friends we hung out with in Austin!

We stayed at our grandparent’s house in Dallas for a few days, seeing our cousins again for the first time in a while, and, on our last day in Dallas, went to watch Cars 3 on opening night.

One of my favorite parts of our trip was our stay with our best friends the Halls in Flint, TX, and I had a ton of fun with my friend Noah, building a wooden pinball machine and jumping into their pond at midnight. We stayed for two nights, then left to see our other grandparents in Louisiana.

 

After we left Louisiana, our trip really began. We decided to change our Florida plans and go to Nashville, TN instead to see our relatives and surprise our cousin Oz for his birthday. It was great being back in Nashville again, and it was awesome to see our cousins after not having seen them for a while. We traveled through Kentucky to Virginia after that, and stayed with a lot of our parent’s college friends, who were all hospitable and fun to be around. Isaac even did a Nike Lacrosse camp in Roanoke, VA!

Isaac after his Nike Lacrosse camp

We made a decision to stay in Washington, DC for a while, and it is definitely one of my favorite cities. All the museums, works of art, and government buildings are so close together, it’s easy to just walk, run, or bike around anywhere! We saw some amazing places and things around the city, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Lincoln Memorial, and even got to watch the 4th of July fireworks over the Washington Monument. On the 4th of July, we rented bikes and rode down the streets of DC (the streets being closed for Independence Day), and then watched the fireworks from the Mall.

 

Visiting the Capitol in DC!
At the Lincoln Memorial!

After DC, we headed to Chicago, IL, but not before passing through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. We saw a couple of friends in Pittsburgh, and played chess in a city square. Once we got to Chicago, we only stayed two days, but in that time, we walked alongside the river, biked around the city, visited the huge LEGO and Nike stores, and did the typical tourist thing, going to see Cloud Gate/The Bean.

One of our only photos including all five of us

After our short time in Chicago, we left to Champaign, IL for a Nike Tennis Camp. The camp was a week long, and we got in a lot of match play against many different players. It was a fun diversion from our trip, and awesome to just play tennis all day. When we left Champaign after the tennis camp, I realized that our trip was coming to an end. We passed through Kansas City, MO, and Mom and Dad went to see Steve Martin do a comedy show.

From there, we drove through Kansas, where we drove through a huge storm and saw some tornado-looking clouds (luckily, tornadoes didn’t touch down in the part where we were).

And now we’re back in Summit County, where we’re enjoying a month of fun before school starts. I’ve been running every day to prep for Cross Country season, so hopefully I’ll be ready by the time that starts. I’ve been procrastinating publishing this blog post for so long (exactly one month to the day), but it’s finally done! So, thanks for reading!

Final Competitions!

Once again, I find myself at the end of the competition season. I competed in a total of 11 competitions this season, trying out slopestyle as a secondary event this year, and even one rail jam, because why not? I finished my last comps of the season at Crested Butte, with three boardercrosses. I ended up finishing top 3 all three days, and obtaining my first three USASA medals, which I was extremely excited about. I finished third on Friday and Saturday, and then improved to take the silver medal on Sunday. I raced against some really good competitors, and it was overall a great time. In this post, I’m going to go through each competition of mine from this season and write a bit about them all.
Copper Slopestyle – January 8th 

Best Run – 50/50, Backside 360, Front Shifty Roast Beef, Straight Air, 50/50

My original plan for the competition season was to wait until boardercross comps finished, then participate in one or two slopestyle events. That changed when, after I saw the fun that everyone had in the New Years Eve Rail Jam, I decided to scrap that plan and enter the first slope event of the season on January 8th. I kept my run pretty basic, throwing a backside 360 as my best trick. I ended up placing 11th out of 16, scoring a 39.3. It was a fun experience, trying something new and getting to perform a few of my tricks under pressure. Ultimately, it made me decide to do the rest of the Rocky Mountain Series slopestyle comps, and I don’t regret that in the slightest.

Copper Slopestyle – January 22nd

Best Run: 50/50, Frontside 360 Mute, Backside 360, Front Shifty Nose, 50/50 Front 180 out

Naturally, after the fun I had during the first slopestyle comp, I couldn’t just not do another. I decided to do the next slopestyle comp, and with all the practice I had put in, my trick list had grown, and I think that was evident in my performance. On my first run, I landed hard on my back, but I pulled myself together to put down a solid second run. I finished 9th out of 17, with an improved score of 44.3.

Ski Cooper BoarderX Weekend 1 – January 28/29th

 

After the second slope event, I began to prepare Ski Cooper Boardercross. I had just ordered a new Donek Saber (race board), but it didn’t arrive in time for the first comps. The first two competitions didn’t go very well – I took 9th out of 16 on both days, getting eliminated in the quarterfinals by taking third. Not much else happened besides that, and it wasn’t until the second weekend where things got more interesting for me.

Ski Cooper BoarderX Weekend 2 – February 4/5th

On the second weekend of racing, I was prepared. I had my Donek, I had a good wax, and I had run the course through many times previously. On the first day, I didn’t make it out of my first heat (the semifinals), and raced in the consolation final (video above), taking second in that race. Overall, I placed 6th/9. The next day, which was also the last day of racing at Ski Cooper, I successfully made it out of my heat to go to the finals, where I was in third for most of the race but fell on the last turn and took 4th out of 9 overall.

Howelsen Hill Rail Jam – February 18th

I laugh to myself when I think of participating in this one. Honestly, looking back, I wish I hadn’t competed, because I was totally unprepared for a Rail Jam. In the past weeks leading up to this comp, I probably spent 30 minutes on rails, total. I fell multiple times, and didn’t really have a noteworthy run. I’d say it was a good experience, but I don’t plan on doing any ever again, unless it’s next year’s New Years Eve Jam. For anyone who wants to know, I finished a solid 10th/10.

Keystone Slopestyle – February 25th

Best Run: 50/50, Straight Air, Frontside 360 Mute, Backside 360, Front 180

Now, this one was a fun comp. I decided to do the last Rocky Mountain Series slopestyle, and I’m so glad I did. I’d had practice on Keystone’s jumps, and I put down a solid first run, and was in fifth after the first run. I decided to go for it on my second run, attempting to go front lipslide, frontside 540, half cab, backside 360, with a frontside 540 on the quarterpipe. I’d never spun on the first jump before, but I decided since it was my last slopestyle, why not just go for it? I ended up overrotating the 540 to almost 720, and slipping out. Overall, it was an awesome comp to participate in, but not landing my second run put me in 10th overall. If I had to do it over again, however, I’d still attempt that same second run, because if doing what I usually do isn’t going to get me near the top 5, why not risk something that could?

Crested Butte BoarderX – March 3/4/5th

 

Now, these final competitions really made me feel like all my boardercross work throughout the season payed off. I raced hard, and obtained medals on all three days. On the first day, I had 6 people in my age group, and I qualified out of my first heat to the finals, where I took third. The next day, I again took third (out of 7), with the day going pretty much the exact same as the previous. The final day, after my parents had left and I was staying with my friend Matthew (who was also competing with me), I made finals once again, but this time finishing second, taking the silver medal. The course was pretty intense, but it was nice to have a harder course to race on, as opposed to Ski Cooper where it was basically the first to the end of the start won the race.

Thanks for reading/watching this post! I hope you enjoyed my reflections on my competitions, and as always, you can check out all my competition videos as well as some other of my snowboarding videos on my alternate YouTube Channel, GabeShreds.

Nationals begins in less than a week, and I’m super stoked for it! 

Overlap

I seem to find myself in this position every year… Finishing up one sport while just starting another. It’s a hectic time, but it’s pretty fun to be doing two sports at once! One day I’m training for USASA Boardercross Nationals, and the next I’m running and jumping, preparing for the next track meet (which is tomorrow, in this case).

Around this time last year, I was in the same position – getting ready to race on both snowboards and the track. But this year is slightly different – Different, because I’m now in high school and running track for Summit High School, and preparing for boardercross planning to advance out of a few heats.

The biggest part of managing two major sports at a time is definitely time management, and that’s one area where I’m improving in, but I still need to work on. I occasionally work on homework until well past 10 PM, having only previously completed only a bit of the work. I’m attempting to limit distractions and complete some of my homework earlier than a day or two before the due date to account for sleep. However, after a long, quotidian day of school, it’s hard to come home and continue working. It’s much easier to just go to Woodward with friends, watch a movie with family or simply sleep. But that’s where I’m working to force myself just to do the work, and then backflip/watch a movie/sleep afterwards.

Tomorrow I will race in the first track meet of the high school season, and I’m both nervous and excited. It will be the first meet where I won’t be competing in my main event (high jump), not to mention the first meet where I will race people older than me with far superior skills. But, you never know, I still could somehow finish in the top 8, earning me a podium and earning the team a couple of points. I’ll be competing in the 4×100, 4×200, 200m and Long Jump, which are all events I’ve run before in meets (minus long jump, but I’ve done that plenty of times). If I had to guess, I’d say I have the best shot in either the 4×100 or the Long Jump, where I think I at least have a shot at making the top 8.

And then, of course, I return to snowboard training the day after. Coming from sprinting and jumping all day, I just hope I’ll have enough energy to get down the mountain awake. In other news, I threw some backflips the other day at copper, and I was fortunate enough to have my coach film me, and you can view it below.

Nationals is only 16 days away, which is still crazy. It feels like the season has flown by, and it’s almost time to start editing together a season edit! Although it feels to me that the season has gone so quickly, I feel like I’ve accomplished almost everything I wanted to this season (except, however, for landing a 720. Well, after nationals is over, I’m going to attempt a few). I’ve landed 540’s, backflips, slopestyle runs, and four top 5 competition finishes, with three of them getting me onto the podium. What’s left? A good result at the National Championships. And then it’s off to the races, swapping out my snowboard for a pair of spikes.