Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

May 31, 2013

May 2013 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 11:24 pm

May Highlights:

The Springs Fire hits Close to Home

The Springs Fire made for a very eventful start of the month. I remember heading out for my run the morning of the fire and thinking that the smoke from the nearby Conejo grade was simply another one of those controlled burns they sometimes do out here in the fields. That assessment would be challenged about one and a quarter miles into my run as I looked at the grade again and saw a huge plume of smoke and flames that did not look like they were under control. By the time I arrived back to the house (45 minutes later), the cloud of smoke had balloned into this.

Luckily for us, the winds blew the fire away from us. The fire did end up burning around and through some neighborhoods however, but the amazing part was how effective the fire crews were in preserving people’s homes. Two people I know had the fire burn most of the vegetation in their neighborhood, but in each case the firemen were able to keep the fire from touching their homes. When you consider how dry the conditions were and how much wind there was to fan the flames, I think we can all say we dodged a major disaster. ¬†

Lilah Receives Student of the Month Award

Although Lilah always complains about school being boring and “not fun,” her actions demonstrate that she cares more about school than she likes to admit. For example, in April, when I asked if she wanted to skip a day of school to go skiing with Luke and me, she declined because she said doing so would put her behind on her homework. That dedication paid off this month when her math teacher nominated her as student of the month for May. As part of the award, each teacher writes a letter as to why they feel the student deserves the honor. This is what her teacher wrote:

My student of the month for May is Lilah. She is the perfect student to represent the character trait of “perseverance.” Lilah is a very dedicated student and she never complains (dad interjection – except at home to her parents) or seems to get discouraged. She strives for excellence in all of her work, and I know that in math class if she doesn’t get a problem right the first time, she is persistent and doesn’t give up. It is far too easy to get frustrated in math, so it is wonderful to have Lilah as a student because she never gives up!

Dale Cargengie, a writer, once said, “most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

I am confident that Lilah will continue to excel as a student and accomplish great things because of her hard work and unwillingness to give up. Congratulations Lilah!

At the awards assembly Lilah tried to shew me away from taking pictures, but how could I resist. Here she is receiving her award from “Tommy,” the principal of the school. Tommy and I both graduated from the same high school and are part of the same graduating class. Yes, it’s a small world after all.

Luke Wraps up Track Season with PR on High Jump

Luke finished up track season in style by setting his own personal record on the high jump during the last meet of the year. He jumped 3 feet, 7 inches and was happy with the result. He also enjoyed running his first relay race, the 4 X 100. Part of the reason I believe he enjoyed it is he only had to run 100 yards instead of his usual mile, which means that instead of running 4 long laps around the track, all he had to do was run as fast as he could for 1/4 of a lap.

I think Luke will be back at track again next year because when I asked him if he was doing track again he began to give his usual non-committal “maybe” answer, but quickly caught himself and changed his answer to “probably,” which in Luke-speak means he liked track and will agree to do it again when the time comes. I don’t want to jinx it though so I won’t say too much.

In other sports news, now that Luke has the confidence of a snowboarding season behind him, he also seems agreeable to possibly learning to surf this year. In the past he has not seemed to enthusiastic about the topic, but during our most recent trip to the beach over the memorial day weekend he boogie boarded like crazy, and seemed much more receptive to the idea. In order to encourage him some more I told him that ¬†surfing would also help him with his snowboarding. We’ll see, this might be the year he learns two sports: snowboarding and surfing, giving us more father/son bonding experiences to share.

I Compete in My First Triathlon in More Than 9 Months

Even though I was really rusty, it was great to compete in my first race since my bike crash last year. I was a little nervous going into the race, especially because I knew the course included some pretty fast descents on the bike, but a combination of things helped calm my mind before the race began. Among them were: waking up to to a beautiful day, receiving a lucky race number (777), and having my number one fan at the event (my dad). All good omens.

Time-wise, I didn’t do as well as I thought I would do. I was really slow at the transitions and didn’t do a good job of putting on or taking off my cycling shoes. Early on, I was faced with one of those things you can only see as a test from the universe. As I got on my bike and began pedaling, I noticed my left foot was coming out of my shoe. The reason? I hadn’t pulled the velcro strap on my shoe tight enough in the transition area. My initial inclination was to reach down with my right hand (while riding) and try to grab the strap and pull it up. That’s when I had the thought: What the hell are you doing? You are moving fast on your bike, you’re still a little light headed from the effort on the swim, and now you are trying to make a complex move on the bike to save a few precious seconds. So I decided to pull over to the side of the road, get off my bike, fix my shoe, then resume my race. After doing that, I really felt like I had passed the test and the rest of my race would be okay. Last year, I crashed less than a quarter mile into the bike. Doing it again this year would have been a sign of not having learned anything from my past experience and what kind of example would that be for the kids ;-).

It became clear to me that this race really wasn’t going to be about getting a podium finish in my age group. Instead, the race became an opportunity to appreciate all the simple things again – a turn negotiated safely on the bike, the smiles from the volunteers, the cheers from the crowd, and hanging out with my dad. I am definitely glad to be out competing again and am really looking forward to the rest of the season!

More next month…

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