Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

March 31, 2015

March 2015 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 6:53 pm

March Highlights:

We Celebrate My Nephew’s 18th by Introducing Him to Snowboarding

So how do you make a new sport you already love better? Simple: introduce someone new to the sport. That was the idea behind our birthday gift to my nephew Sebastian. Because he had skateboarded a lot in his pre and early teens, I figured he would have a much easier time learning to snowboard than I did. My hunch turned out to be pretty accurate.

We started Sebastian off with a two-hour group lesson and when we reconnected with him, he already had the helmet-less swagger of a pro. I asked him why he wasn’t wearing his helmet and he said he didn’t need it. I told him it was still a good idea to wear one but in the end I was not going to argue with an 18-year old (after all, that makes him an adult now, right?). So I let him do this thing and after a few runs on some mellower slopes, he decided to come to the top of the mountain with us. He definitely did not have the comfort level Luke and I do from three seasons of boarding, but he wasn’t scared to try out new things. One of the things I witnessed him do was head into a big jump at full speed and crash pretty spectacularly on the landing. But he wasn’t phased at all. He got right back up and continued doing more runs with us (although he was smart enough not to try the big jumps again). The main thing he has to learn before he can advance is how to stop properly. That way, he’ll be able to slow down or stop without doing what he does now — throw himself on the snow. The next day, Sebastian confirmed that he was pretty sore from the experience, but that he also had a lot of fun. Good, I hope that gets him interested in joining us on other trips in the future.

Lilah Enjoying Her Swim Team Experience

It’s nice to see Lilah back in the water and enjoying the experience. I feel like she has a lot of natural talent in this sport, but when she was younger she burned out and left swimming for a few years. Now that she’s back, it’s good to see her going to practice and sharing the experience with me (when she’s in the mood). Her two events are the 200 yard team relay and the 50 yard breastroke where she is undefeated after four meets. She started with a 39-second breastroke and has brought that time down to a low 38 seconds — her coaches want her to bring her time down to 36 seconds, which I think she will do by the end of the season since she is already knocking on the door of 37. She definitely swims this stroke way faster than I ever could.

Currently, Lilah is swimming on the JV team as a freshman, but the coach has invited her and a few other of the JV members to practice with varsity team. The varsity practice has helped her conditioning as she’s told me that several swimmers who used to keep up with her before can no longer do so. As a proud dad, my natural inclination is to want to ask her everything about what she does in swimming, but I know my daughter. I know that it is best to let her share her stories when she feels like telling them. Only then can I ask her questions and really get into swimming with her. The trick is not to ask too many questions so that you don’t come off as an interrogator or a nuisance. When we have these free flowing exchanges about swimming (or any subject really), I am happy.

It’s also cool to see Lilah doing something she would never consider doing before — waking up at 5:00 AM two times a week to attend varsity practice. What’s nice is that she doesn’t really complain too much about it. She just does it and on the nights before these practices she makes sure that she gets to bed early — all on her own. And that’s really all I need to see to know that she still likes what she is doing.

Luke and I Take One Last Trip to Mammoth

Our latest trip two Mammoth was special for two reasons: one, we got a chance to stay slopeside at the Mammoth Mountain Inn; two, I reunited with Jill, an old friend from high school I used to train with and whom my dad taught to drive.

Our slopeside experience was wonderful — no getting up super early in the morning to secure a good parking spot, no driving to the slopes, and no hassles to get to the lift (just walk out your door and the gondola is right there — about 25 yards away — waiting to take you up the mountain). This small luxury was due to a great deal I received off lodging for renewing my Mammoth season pass. I’m not sure we’ll be staying there again because the regular price is pretty steep. But you never know, because, as it turned out, the guy behind the desk of the inn was Argentinean so I started talking to him in Spanish and in the course of that conversation he gave me his e-mail address and told me to give him a heads up whenever I thought about coming back again because he could get me a more economical price for our room. “See that” I said to Luke afterwards. “That’s an example of what can happen when you just talk to people.” Since Luke is on the quiet, introverted side (a bit like me really),  I always try to show him that it can pay off to engage other people in conversation and make connections because those connections can lead you to special deals, experiences, and, if you’re lucky, a new friendship.

I’m not always sure Luke listens to me, but later on, when we met Jill and her family, he proved that he had indeed internalized some of my banter as he was cordial, answered questions, and added to the conversation by volunteering his own stories. Obviously, it helped that Jill is an outgoing and friendly person herself who was quick to engage Luke in conversation. In addition, Jill and her husband Rich have both been involved in gaming when it comes to their careers. Since gaming is one of Luke’s favorite topics, Luke and Rich hit it off almost immediately when we all met up for dinner. During our meal, the two of them were able to converse freely in a gaming language that I barely understood. But what I did understand were the smiles on everyone’s faces and the fact that we are all having a nice time celebrating Jill’s birthday. Thank you Jill and Rich for a great night out!

One other thing we did on this trip was remember to track our miles per hour down the slopes. Last year, Luke and I both peaked at about the 26 mph mark. Well, fast forward one season later and we have both improved dramatically. I hit a top speed of 32.5 mph which I was very happy with, but Luke blew that away with a top speed of nearly 40 mph. No wonder I can’t keep up with him anymore. If I’m going to have any chance of staying with Luke on the slopes next year, I better pick up my game exponentially. Otherwise, I envision a long future of Luke standing at the bottom of the runs, arms folded, waiting for me to catch up and then nonchalantly asking me, “What took you so long?” But hey, as long as we’re still having fun together, I’ll take it ;-).

That’s all for now…More next month!

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress