4 days until the start of the season. November 10th kicks it all off, starting at 9 AM on Keystone Mountain. We’re doing a photo shoot for Keystone, and as a result, we get the first gondola of the season! Also on November 10th, we have Breckenridge and Copper Mountains opening for the season, which is crazy to think about! It seems like just yesterday that I was finishing my last race of the season at Nationals…
Anyways, after the 18th, which is the kickoff for Team Summit, my weekends will be completely consumed with snowboarding, which is going to be awesome (although not for my homework :P). I thought I’d write down my goals for the season, since it’s so close to starting.
My goals for the season (competition and tricks):
Make it out of one heat at Rev Tour.
Podium at Ski Cooper BX
Top 10 at Nationals
The list is significantly shorter than last year… And that’s probably due to my focusing on boardercross more intensely this year. Also, one more thing that I’m super stoked about, I’m (unless something happens that prevents me from doing so) going to be competing in the Revolution Tour for BX! It’ll be awesome to see what the next level of competition is like, just to get a taste of it, and who knows, maybe I’ll make it out of a heat or two!
Competition-wise, my schedule is going to be all boardercross, unless I decide to do an early-season Slopestyle or Slalom. Tentatively, my schedule goes like this:
January 25th – Rev Tour BX at Ski Cooper
January 27th/28th – USASA BX Ski Cooper
February 2nd/3rd – USASA BX Ski Cooper
March 2nd/3rd/4th – USASA BX Crested Butte
(Possibly) March 9th – Rev Tour BX at Sugarloaf, ME
April 1st-5th – USASA Nationals
There are two Slopestyle competitions at Keystone and Breckenridge on February 10th and 24th that I might do, but we’ll see how focused on boardercross I am then.
Whew. That was interesting. I’m acting like I’m reacting to the entire cross country season all at once, if you couldn’t tell. Cross Country was definitely an interesting season, with its ups and downs. Unfortunately, I ended the season on a down, getting sick, running terribly, and not going to regionals (which is tomorrow, but I’ll still be there to cheer on the team!). But overall, it was a good time. I think, if I can keep up my fitness from the season, I’ll be well prepared for the snowboard and track seasons. During the season, I ran farther than I ever think I have in my life, and that took some getting used to. Prior to the season, I’d go on 20-30 minute runs, and that was the longest I ever ran. During the season, we’d go on 60 minute 7-7.5 mile runs every week, and while that seemed extremely long at first, it eventually became easier.
The last two meets didn’t go that well for me, and that was because I got sick a few days before the second-to-last meet, which also happened to be my birthday. The last race, which was last Thursday, went a bit better, but I could definitely still feel the sickness when I ran.
I finished out the season with a best time of 20:02, with my times going like this:
Last meet, I was working to break 20, and was on great pace for the first two miles, coming in at 5:59 and around 12:50 (I didn’t see the second mile marker, cause I’m pretty sure I was caught up in a pack), but fell short the third mile as my legs locked up and I started coughing a lot. I’m not even sure what happened, it just seemed like I was feeling amazing for the first two miles, then when running up a hill, started to tire extremely.
I had a few amazing and/or fun races, such as Leadville, which had a ton of steep hills, resulting in me finishing in 22:38, although 13th overall for the JV race, which was awesome. It was an extremely fun race to run, and I didn’t feel tired at all when I finished. Another fun course, as well as my favorite by far, was Fruita, where I ran 20:02. The course started on a big downhill, then went around a lake, up a hill to a huge field with some small hills in it, then back down around the lake again. I felt amazing during the whole race, and my only regret is that I didn’t push myself a bit harder during the final mile, as I wasn’t even tired when I finished. Next season, if I do Cross Country again, I’ll (hopefully) be more prepared. I know all the courses now, which will definitely help me run faster.
Snowboarding season is coming up fast, with Arapahoe Basin opening last Friday. Keystone opening day is November 10th, and we’ll be there on the first chair up the newly renovated Montezuma Lift. Less than a month left!
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:
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!).
Well… Only 275 days until the last day of school! Yay. Positivity.
Summer was amazing. With all the amazing places we visited over the last 3 months, it’s easy to lose myself reflecting on nostalgic memories, especially when comparing to… school. Today marks the first day of the second week of school for me, and I can already tell, this year is going to be much different than last year. I like half my teachers, and most of the other ones I can put up with for the rest of the year.
There are a few significant changes from last year for me. First and foremost: AP World History. Now, I’ve only had the class a few times so far, but I can already tell it is going to be more challenging than any of my previous or current classes. I know it’s going to be hard, and I’m prepared for that, so I think I’ll be fine.
Unfortunately, since I didn’t take PE last year, I’m required to take it this year. Which means PE 1, with all the freshmen. Which sucks. I can’t think of a more pointless class for those who actively participate in sports. But, I’m required to take it, so I can put up with it for one semester.
That’s it for my sophomore school year for today. So then, back to the past. From the time we got back to Breckenridge up until school started, we did a lot. We hung out with Team Summit on an amazing in-ground trampoline, I helped stop a theft at YoYoLoco before having an awesome YoYo Night yoyo playing and performing, and we hiked Mt. Elbert, the tallest 14er in Colorado for my mom’s birthday. We took a quick week-long trip down to Texas, where we stayed with our grandparents, I got my driving permit, attempted to run a 6 minute mile in 100+ degree weather (I ran 6:02) and had an amazing day with the Halls at Six Flags. I even took a trip down to Austin, where I hung out with my friends Sage and Calvin, and we went cliff jumping. Even though I broke my thumb and lost my GoPro at the same time, it was still the best day of the end of summer, what with climbing an abandoned building and jumping off cliffs in Barton Creek and bridges into Lake Austin. If you haven’t watched my video on Instagram, check it out here!
Last week, we had an extremely fun poker night with our friends the Rizzo’s, and I improved my Texas Hold ‘Em skills throughout. Before playing, we had played airsoft in our front/back/side yard until we couldn’t see anymore, which was also a blast.
I’ve also been running a ton, which is mandatory now that I’m on the cross country team 😛 I’ve had two meets plus one pre-season scrimmage, and they’ve all been for the most part pretty good. The first official meet was last week, and I thought I did pretty well. I ran a 6:45 first mile, 6:55 second mile, didn’t keep track of the third mile, and finished in 22:01. I ranked around 155th out of 319, and I was okay with that as it was my first meet.
My second meet just occurred yesterday at CMC in Leadville, and it was a significantly harder course than the first one. The course started with two laps of a big hill, then went down to a winding, hilly loop that finished at the finish. I ran an extremely slow and conservative 7:40 first mile, then ran a 6:50 second mile, and again didn’t keep track of my third mile. The race was a JV/Open race for me, as I hadn’t qualified for varsity at the previous meet, so I placed pretty well, taking 13th out of 75. I finished in a time of 22:38, which was around what I predicted I would get.
Other than that, it’s just been a stereotypical few weeks, with school, weekends, sports, and lots and lots of homework, which is probably what I should be doing now. Snowboarding season starts in around 2 months, and I can’t wait (figuratively)!
Happy 15th Birthday to my best friend, Noah Hall! Now I’m going to write as if I’m speaking directly to him for some reason. We’ve had some amazing adventures together, and I look forward to having more in the future. We’ve also built a lot of things together (some turning out good, some turning out… really weird… like that sled we made in July 😛 ), and those times are some of the best memories I have.
Thanks for always adventuring and exploring with me. There’s been so many fun times when we just did random stuff that turned out to be fun, like when we crawled underneath your house just to see what was under there, when we build a fort in the rain on your front porch, or even more recently, when we attempted to build the pinball machine!
I also think your love for adventure is awesome. It’s so cool that we both got the chance to travel the country and see things most kids don’t ever get to see. I’m grateful for your friendship, and can’t wait to see you again (COME UP TO COLORADO). Happy 15th!
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!