I am experiencing a severe lack of ideas of what to write about right now, so I thought to myself “What’s an extremely general topic that I could write a few paragraphs about?”. And this is what I thought up.
Music is a pretty significant part of my life. Not just playing an instrument (although I do love to play keyboard as often as I can), but listening to different songs, and each one of their different rhythms and sounds. On a typical day in the car, traveling around the country and driving for more than 4 hours, I can easily listen to music for most of the ride, which somehow helps pass the time, even though I’ve listened to those songs multiple hundreds of times.
Another reason I like music is because it can help me focus. When I’m gearing up for competitions, similar to probably most every other athlete on the planet, it helps me get in the zone. Whether it’s snowboarding or track (It doesn’t really help that much to gear up for tennis :P), music never fails to psych me up (Unless it’s something like Beethoven’s Symphony #9, which I actually listened to the first minute or so of before a competition just because I accidentally clicked on it. It didn’t help). I even was listening to music for a couple of my slopestyle runs last snowboarding season, which totally helped me focus on the tricks I was throwing (although it was a pain to setup right before I dropped).
I do love playing the keyboard, and I’m attempting to learn to play some of my favorite songs by ear. I’m close to being able to do it, and I can identify the key of each song if I try for a while, and can pick out the right hand melody if I practice for a few minutes, but still can’t instantly hear and play or even nail the individual left hand notes of the bass/background beat, resorting to mostly chords. But that’ll all come in time.
So that was my completely arbitrary entry on a random topic that I picked simply because I was listening to music at the time of writing. Hopefully you enjoyed those possibly parenthetical paragraphs, and I’ll be writing again shortly.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
8 days. 8 days until the end of the school year. It seems so close… Yet there’s one big hurdle standing in the way – Finals. I have three of them – in English, math, and science. I took my AP Computer Science exam last Friday, and I think I did well. As for the other three, I need to do well on most of them if I want to finish with a 4.16 GPA. I’m not worried about my math and science finals so much as my English final, but I’ll need to still put in a decent amount of studying for math and science (English is just a class presentation rather than a written final).
I’m already looking ahead to the summer, and looking at our travel plans, I can tell it will most definitely be one of the best summers of my life. We plan to travel to Texas, then scale the east coast before coming back to Colorado in August.
It seems as though the school year has gone on forever, but in actuality it’s only been 9 months. I’ve gotten my morning routine down, waking up at 6 AM, packing my school bag, eating breakfast, and occasionally doing the dishes. Although I wake up at 6 on most days, that doesn’t mean I can’t sleep in. On weekends/holidays I’ve slept in as late as 11:30. It’ll be nice to have summer vacation and not have to wake up that early.
I’m still counting down the days, as I have since school began (On the first day of school, I was like “Only 284 more days of school left!”). I’ll be writing another blog post after school ends reflecting on the past school year, so hopefully that one can make up for this one and its sub-par content (in my opinion).
I know I write this blog post every year, but I like it – it’s a way for me to reflect on my track season and all my competitions. It’s not only track season that’s winding down, either. There are less than 15 days left until June 2nd, the last day of school! I can’t wait to be done with Freshman year and begin what seems to be for me the longest awaited summer of my life.
Track season started off with two meets a week, for three weeks. Lots of running, jumping, and a bit of throwing. Getting back into high jump was extremely fun, with me having not done it since we were in Sedona in July. At the first meet of the year in Rifle, I discovered that I needed to start working on my sprinting endurance and speed, as I ran the slowest 200m of my life that day. I didn’t feel that bad about it however, because earlier that day I had tied my PR in long jump at 17’6″.
The second meet in Ft. Collins went around the same. This was my first time high jumping at a varsity meet, and it was… quite an experience. I discovered the bar started at 5’6″, 4 inches taller than my personal best. As you would expect, I failed, and pretty bad at that. But once again, I ended up jumping farther than I’d ever jumped before in long jump, at 17’7.5″, with a last-second third jump after I’d failed the first two.
The rest of the meets up until the league meets were pretty stereotypical. I ran a lot of events, with the 100m, 200m, 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, High Jump, and Long Jump. I improved my 200 time slightly, but it still wasn’t the greatest at around 27 seconds. My high jump was pretty uneventful, as well as all over the place. Sometimes I would jump really well in practice, and then completely fail at a meet, or almost clear 5’4″ and not even come close to clearing 5′ the next meet. Two of the meets ended up getting cancelled, which sucked, but it gave me more time to train for the league meets.
A few weeks ago, I competed in the JV league meet, which was pretty fun as everyone wasn’t as good as at normal meets. I failed to come close to my PR in Long Jump, but still ended up taking 8th and scoring a point for the team. I cleared 5’2″ in High Jump, taking 5th, which I was really stoked about. I also ran the 800m and 200m (back to back!), which was, to sum it up in a word, painful. I ran 2:35 in the 800 (which was fine with me, cause I haven’t ever run it before), and a slow 27.4 in the 200 (I was extremely tired after running the 800).
After the JV league meet, I got prepared for our final big meet of the season, our varsity league championships. I got put in the 4×100, 4×200, High Jump, and Long Jump, and aside from the fun I had from actually competing, the entire experience was awesome. We drove out to Grand Junction, where we stayed the night at a hotel (because this meet was a 2-day meet) and ate out as a team. The first day of the meet, I long jumped 17’2.5″ to take 10th overall. As that was the only event I had that day, I basically just slept at our camp and watched other people run. The second day was a bit more eventful. We took last in our relays, which was expected, but I ended up jumping a new high jump PR of 5’3″.
At our final meet of the season, I got put in the 100m, 400m, High Jump, and Long Jump. I basically failed in High Jump, only clearing 4’10”. The 100m went really well – I won my heat, in a time of 12.9 seconds. But, the 100m wasn’t my main focus of the day. I had wanted to run the 400 all season, but didn’t get the chance to. My goal was to break 60 seconds, and I tried really hard, but to no avail. I ran a 26-second first 200, then around a 34-second second 200 to finish with a time of 60.9 seconds. Regardless of my time, I ended up placing 7th overall, and scoring 2 points for the team.
So that’s how my track season went. I realize this post was a lot of numbers, and I keep trying to stop myself from solely writing times, lengths, and heights, but I still have a lot to improve on. I think my track season went really well for Freshman year, and I hope to improve my times greatly next year.
Here’s a comparison of my track times from 7th grade to last year to this year (my 7th/8th grade times may not be completely accurate because all the meets were hand-timed, compared to the FAT of this year. There were a few times after the school season where I ran in other meets, and I still count those as part of the previous school season)
You know, reflecting on the snowboard season, I realize I made some big improvements. Going from 42nd place at nationals to 15th? Not one, but three medals in a season having previously earning none? Breaking the highway speed limit almost every day standing on a plank of wood? Not all of that comes without proper training and instruction.
For the past few months, I’d been training for Nationals, and after the slopestyle regional competition season ended, I devoted most to all of my time to railing carve turns, going fast, and pumping to generate speed in order to improve my form for boardercross. Matt, the director of the Team Summit snowboarding program, devoted his time every weekend to helping me nail the proper boardercross technique before nationals came around. He’d always walk me through the different drills, explaining the technical parts of the various things we did, as well as give a demonstration of the form (even if it was most of the time…. backwards :P).
Not all my time spent with Matt this season was coaching and training, however. One day (definitely one of my favorite days of the season), I got to go out to Breck with Matt on a weekday, and just shred through some steeps, trees, and snow-covered river banks. It was a great time, and provided me some time away from training to relax (well, as relaxed as you can be while trying to not hit any trees through a steep forest). Matt always makes everything fun, whether it was leading me to explore some new areas of Breck I’d never ridden or racing me down the mountain.
I love Matt’s coaching style, as he always seems to push you just past what you think are your limits, and ultimately helps you to become a better rider, no matter the discipline. At competitions, he’s basically my ideal coach, whether it’s recording my races/practices, waxing my board before I compete, or giving me tips and critiquing my form before the next round of boardercross. Whatever the case, he always helps me to progress and achieve my goals, whether it’s landing a front 5 or landing a spot on the boardercross podium.
So, to conclude, I just want to say: Thanks, Matt, for all the skills you helped me develop, all the motivation to achieve more in snowboarding, and all the support throughout the season. Here’s to next season!
It’s finally done (albeit very hastily)! I have compiled and edited together the best clips of my snowboarding season. It wasn’t my best editing, because I just wanted to get it out, but I still like it nonetheless. Most of my season was dedicated to boardercross, but I had a fair amount of slopestyle training and that comprises most of the video. So, without any more procrastination, here is my season edit from the 2016/17 snowboard season.
Also, here is the link to Jadyn’s season edit, which I also edited. Isaac has a season edit, but it was blocked on YouTube due to us using a copyrighted song, which I plan to change in the future.
Well, there goes my competition season. It seems like it went so fast! I just finished my race day last week, and honestly, things went better than I expected. My expectations going into the competition were to make it out of my first heat, and then probably lose. But, I did a bit better than that.
After taking 24th in time trials, I got placed in a heat with my friend and only other Team Summit member competing with me, Matthew. The first heat went well – I played it pretty conservative, staying on first place’s tail but not attempting to pass. I took an easy second place and qualified for the next round, which was 1/8th finals. In the video below, I’m in gate 3.
Qualified for the next round, I knew I had a chance at taking top 2, but it would be difficult. I almost fell right out of the start, but that proved to eventually help me, as all three other riders fell on the second turn, allowing me to pass and take the lead. Unfortunately, I ended up getting passed by one person at the finish line, as I kind of let up at the finish line and didn’t land the final jump very well. But, it didn’t really matter to me as I was qualified for the next round anyways.
I knew I was pretty much screwed in the third round. I was racing some of the top seeded riders, and they were all extremely good. Out of the start, I fell behind, but still was relatively close to everyone else. The guy in front of me took a fall, and as I tried to pass him, he jumped up in front of me and I got knocked back. I knew then that my nationals was over, but I still finished the race, throwing a grab over the final jump.
As a whole, Nationals was a great experience and I had a great time. I finished 15th overall, and I’m really happy about that. At the start of the season, one of my goals was top 20, and I accomplished that, so I’m happy. I’m in an interesting position for next year, as I have many options. I could stay in my age class, and move up to the Junior (16/17) age group, I could enter Open class, or I could even go compete in the Rev Tour with competitions around the country. We’ll have to see…
I’ll be publishing a blog post about my snowboarding season as a whole soon, as well as putting together a season edit comprised of all my best clips of the season.