Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

February 28, 2015

February 2015 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 6:50 pm

February Highlights:

Mammoth and June Lake

Leading up to our latest trip to Mammoth, Luke had one goal in mind — get to the top of the mountain and snowboard down the Cornice. We had prepared for this by doing a few runs down a black diamond run in Big Bear called Exhibition  a week or two before the trip so by the time we arrived in Mammoth we were feeling confident that we could do it.

As luck would have it, we arrived in Mammoth with pretty ideal conditions — plenty of snow, blue skies, and very little wind. We did a couple of warm up runs down Stump Alley and then Luke said he was ready to go to the top. What a lot of people typically do when they go down a big run is brake right right at the precipice and gather their bearings for a moment before heading down. Some people, including myself, even sit at the edge for a minute or two taking in the view (or building up their courage) before they finally stand up and go. Luke did none of these things. Essentially he slowly boarded along the edge, turned into the run and was gone before I had a chance to get up and catch him. He did a lot of braking, as did I, but he managed to do a few nice turns and when I finally caught up to him he was pumped and indicated he wanted to go right back up. Very cool, I thought to myself, we were going to have a wonderful day.

Once at the bottom, we got back on the lift, but this time, instead of taking the Gondola, we decided to use Chair 23, a chair we had never been on before. What we didn’t know about this chair is that the exit is enclosed, making it feel like you’re going into a cave when you get close to exiting. To make matters worse, you need to quickly get off the lift and make a fast 90 degree turn (otherwise you hit the wall which is only about 5 yards in front of you). The quick exit took us both off guard but I quickly got off and made a left. However, when I looked to my right, there was Luke on the ground holding his wrist. Apparently, the lift took him too much by surprise and the chair hit him in the back and he fell over, landing hard on his wrist. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, a skier crashed into him when he also fell off the lift (luckily, that didn’t appear to do any additional damage). The Mammoth staff looked Luke over and told him that nothing appeared to be broken. They offered to take us back down on a snowmobile but Luke refused. He said that he would go back down once he felt up to it. So I sat with him  for 20-25 minutes at the top of the mountain waiting for him to make the move. Because he refused to talk, it seemed like we waited forever, but eventually he got up, I helped him strap his bindings, and he went back down the Cornice, holding his wrist the entire way.

Once we reached the bottom of the mountain Luke said he was done for the day because of the pain in his wrist. Needless to say, our window of luck closed pretty early that day.

After having some lunch we headed over to June Lake where we were staying for the first time. Even though Luke wasn’t in the best mood for the remainder of the trip, I am glad we went to June Lake. This little town is just so different from Mammoth. First of all, it’s probably only like one tenth the size of Mammoth (if that), the people there are friendly and helpful, everything is cheaper, and the slopes are so uncrowded that you are able to really practice your technique as much as you want without having to worry about running into anybody or slowing anyone down behind you. And for such a small town, it has two really great attractions: a brewery (June Lake Brewing) and a Hawaiian food cart (Ohana395) that serve up excellent liquid refreshments and probably the best pork and chicken tacos I’ve ever had from a food cart. The two tacos I ordered (which were huge) came out to about $8 and what was even nicer was that you can sit in the brewery while you wait and the proprietors of the food cart will walk over and deliver your food. Kids are also allowed in the brewery so you can eat with your family and enjoy an inexpensive night out. One last great feature of the ski resort is that kids 12 and under get free lift tickets, which can save you big time if you are planning a multi-day stay. Needless to say, we will definitely be going back to June Lake soon and will probably stay in the same June Lake Villager cabins which featured a full kitchen, a separate bedroom, and a complimentary $5 coupon for the brewery.

Kids Really Working Hard at School

Lilah remains a solid A student, which is not a surprise to us given the fact she’s always been this way. What is surprising is that Luke is now developing into a straight A student himself. When I made a deal with him earlier in the year that he could have his own iPhone if he maintained a straight A average, I really did not think that would be enough motivation for him to do it. In fact, when I told him about the deal he basically acted like there was no way he was going to be able to do that. Lilah initially complained about the deal because she said that would mean her brother would receive a phone one year earlier than she did. However, I told her that getting straight As for Luke was going to be hard. I even asked her if she thought her brother could do it and without even thinking about it she said no way. That set her at ease as she believed it would be impossible for Luke to achieve this goal. Of course now that Luke appears to be on track toward achieving his 4.0, Lilah has begun complaining about Luke getting his iPhone one year earlier than her. I told her that we made the deal and Luke is succeeding so we have to honor it. She then told me that she does not get anything for her straight As so then we had to go back and forth as to all the gifts she has received in the past, which didn’t totally satisfy her but did at last make her drop the subject.

In addition to her solid performance at school, Lilah is also on the JV swim team and is thankfully enjoying herself. Her first swim meet will be in March and I’m sure she will do well in it even if I do show up and bring her the “bad luck” she says I give her whenever I’m there.

This month we finally met the principal for the new high school Lilah will be attending next year. We met the principal during our first official welcome aboard orientation where we finalized the classes Lilah would be taking and heard about the construction progress for the new facility. Lilah was happy to hear that the new school will have both heating and air conditioning. I’m excited about the new school for her. She will have a different high school experience than most kids as the school will only have freshman and sophmores to begin with — this means that Lilah’s class will be the first graduating class. I’m sure there will be challenges, but the positives are very encouraging: the kids will get a chance to pick their school colors, mascot, and song; they’ll also have the opportunity to do internships which will be integrated with their coursework; they’ll have modern facilities with smart boards, professional studios and labs, and what is being touted as the most state of the art performing arts center in the county. I also believe the students here will receive more individualized attention because the school will be significantly smaller (400 students initially, building up to 800 in two years) than the local school they attend now which has more than 2400 students.

Run Local 10K and Meet up with Old Triathlon Club Friends

I joined my friends Larry and Craig for the Seaside 10k. I wasn’t really ready to run a 10K from a training perspective, but ready or not I ran a solid race coming in first in my age group and third male overall for the entire race. The field wasn’t huge, but I was happy with the early season results. By the end of the season, I believe I could probably get down to the 42 minute range for sure. Larry and Craig also did well in their divisions, coming in 2nd and 1st respectively.

After that, we met up with some friends from our old CVTri club to catch up and also see the remarkable progress our club mate Greg has made after a horrible cycling accident he had last year. In that accident, he blacked out and hit his head on the pavement so hard that he damaged his brain. This meant he had to learn to do even the simplest things (like walking) all over again. His wife Kathleen said that a big part of why Greg has been able to recover so quickly was because of his remarkable physical condition. She added that if you’re going to conquer an injury, illness or disease, it definitely pays to be an athlete. I also told Greg that he couldn’t have picked a better life partner as Kathleen also happens to be a neurotrama ICU nurse, something that came in handy when the doctor tried to tell her that Greg had merely suffered a concussion. Because of her medical background, she knew the diagnosis was not correct and after two or three times of trying to get through to him he finally accepted her professional opinion. If she hadn’t been there to fight for her husband, Greg would have just received the concussion treatment protocol, which would have put his health and recovery in serious jeopardy. A scary thought, but at the same time the positive here is that Greg did have Kathleen there for him. The result: he looks good, walks perfectly fine, is back at work full time, and is getting better each day. If he keeps this up, there may come a day soon when we can all go out riding together once again.

I can go on and on about how nice it was to see everybody again, but I believe my buddy Larry did a great job capturing it in a Facebook post where he wrote:

Today was a great reminder that Triathlon is not just about the sport(s). It’s at least as much about the relationships we forge along the way. I appreciated the fellowship of Greg Parks, Kathleen Pullen-Norris, Stephan F. Corti,Susan Bergamo Corti, Kim Cockbill, David Guerra at our post-race brunch today. What a peer group!

Couldn’t have said it better myself Larry. Cherish your family and friends because life really is short.

That’s all for now…More next month!

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