Monday, June 28, 2010

The Law

Of course the day you run into the cute snowboarder you met at the Olympics and haven't seen since the day you left Vancouver, it would be after a nine hour flight when your makeup has worn off and you didn't even bother to comb your hair.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I was cleaning up my inbox last week and ran across the first email I wrote to a gentleman who ended up being sort of an important character in my life later on. It's a super casual message and I had no idea at the time that he would become so signifigant to me. He sort of came out of the blue, when I was least expecting, in a way I wouldn't have imagined.

It's been over for awhile but seeing it made me feel good, like when you are so sick of people telling you that you'll meet someone when you stop looking, it's ok to get a reminder that duh, those people are kind of right.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I head to Salt Lake for my fourth Wasatch Back Relay tomorrow evening. 4 Cliffords, 2 Sanchezes, 2 Holley, one Honorary Cooper Clifford and a Way Rad Rick, my brother-in-law's boyfriend, and a friend Emily and I have been internet stalking for years and finally get to meet in the flesh will all be stuffed into 2 vans for 30 hours and 188 miles that none of us are probably entirely ready for. Four years and I'm still dizzy excited about it. It gets bigger every year which has some drawbacks but I always end up running to all kinds of random old friends, getting a great workout, running under the stars and ending up with a million inside jokes we'll talk about for years. This time around we even got rooms at The Canyons so that post-race we can stumble right into long hotel showers, big soft beds and plenty of time in the hot tub.

Top it all of with getting to meet our newest family member, Wyatt Mark, and give Morgan the tiny LeBron high tops I bought at the Nike store last week and I think I can rightly refer to this weekend as "epic".

Don't worry, with my iPhone charged up and my camera glued to my hand, you probably won't miss much ; )

Monday, June 14, 2010

Give a Little

I'm not going to get into specifics because contrary to all the teasing I get, I actually DON'T splash personal information all over the internet, but this last month, someone I love was diagnosed with a particular evil form of cancer.

It just so happens that my amazing friend Lori, who has a fancy job with the Huntsman Cancer Institute, is running the Ragnar Relay this weekend and raising money for her company. Pretty much the whole amount she raises goes directly into research right there at her very Institute so it's basically the best thing you can do with whatever good deed money is burning a hole in your pocket. Every little bit helps.

Check out her link.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rest Stop

Dear Dixie Chicks-

Thank you for being so awesome and for reminding me that timelines are all in my head.

I really love this song.

not in any hurry in COS


I finally got to realize a long held professional dream last week when we spent three days in Portland on the campus of the world's largest sporting goods brand. They'll be clothing the 2012 Olympic Team so we went to see the Spring 11 lines and meet with all the people who will be working on our product assortment. After eight years in that industry-always watching that brand and often feeling jealous of their resources and talent pool-it was certainly thrilling to see behind the curtain a little. Best of all, I think we are on track to do some really cool stuff that the athletes and staff are going to love wearing and that all of you are going to want to buy ; )

The funniest part about spending three days in Portland however, was the fact that there were more people I wanted to squeeze into the brief time I had there than I have managed to make friends with in nearly a year (what???)here in Colorado Springs. We had a design office up there when I was at RYKA so I have quite a few old coworkers and contractors there that I would love to have seen. Portland is also still a relatively affordable city so I have a number of friends who have moved there with their families. The result is that we kept pretty busy with meetings and dinners and I had to settle for about an hour with my dear Emily before she had to go to work and I missed out entirely on everyone else.

I'm not sure it's the actual definition of irony but then I come back to the Springs and go days and days where my social calendar consists of me, myself and I. I can't help wondering if I have missed the point of creating a vast network of people I love when I just move every few years and have to start all over again. Before you feel too sorry for me, I have definitely made some friends here-an odd mix of a few people I knew in previous lives who have ended up here and some new ones I like quite a bit. But sometimes I find myself thinking-do I really have to do this all over again?

Last month I had two visits from good Boston friends. I'm convinced I nearly talked them both to death because it felt so good to be around people I don't have to do the "hey, like me!" tap dance with. It might say something deeper about me that the person I've gotten closest to here in the last nine months is moving in a week.

I never imagined that at 33 it would still be so exhausting and terrifying to make new friends. An example from this very week. I've been hanging out with some girls a mutual friend introduced me to when I first got here. They are all very cool and smart and creative and interesting and I am enjoying broadening my scope beyond the usual Singles Ward crowd (the whole "getting booted from the singles congregation because you turn 31" is a subject for another post entirely. So many mixed feelings there even two years later.). But it's still a new group and although people rarely believe this about me, I'm actually pretty shy. So Friday night one of them mentioned that her friend Tom was going to be showing the USA vs. England World Cup game on his giant home theater screen and I should for sure come over. I had been to a movie night at his place once so he wasn't a complete stranger. Heather called Saturday morning to say she would be late but I should just head over to Tom's so I wouldn't miss any of the game. So even though I can give presentations to CEO's and negotiate with sports agents, I almost came up with an excuse so I wouldn't have to show up by myself. Fortunately the difference between being 16 and being 33 is that instead of indulging your fears and hiding in your room, you suck it up and you go to Tom's anyway and you have a perfectly lovely time watching the game with a bunch of not at all scary people.

It's tempting to think perhaps the solution is to live and work in Colorado Springs but visit my friends and family elsewhere as much as my bank account allows (see "pretty much all of 2010 thus far"). However, I've got myself pretty committed to the Olympics in Russi and Brazil which means, it's probably a good idea to work a little harder here. And when I am in "count my blessings" mode instead of "everything is the worst" pity party mode, the fact that any given Friday night I could transport myself to about 10 cities and have someone I adore to hang out with is a pretty fabulous gift. If Heaven really does turn out to be like my belief system says and we all get to keep being friends for the rest of forever, I'm imagining the most killer eternal block parties. And thus, I should start adding more people to the invite list I suppose.

It won't start this weekend though, I head to SLC this Thursday night for the Fourth Annual Clifford Clan Ragnar Relay fest. After years of threatening to do it, this time finally booked rooms in Park City so post-race we can take stupid long showers, sleep soundly in big beds someone else has to make, sit in the hot tub and eat ourselves silly. I'll have some bonding time with Morgan and new little Wyatt and get to spend Father's Day with my dad for the first time in I don't remember how long.

Speaking of things that are awesome, I can't stop listening to this version of "Poker Face" from Glee. These women are obscenely talented. More of this please Hollywood!

Sunday, June 06, 2010


I'm not sure what kind of steriods 2010 is on but it seems to be attempting to crush the last few years. The amount of major life events in the space of five months is making me dizzy. Just the last three weeks I had a sister wedding, new babies for my brother and several dear friends, some difficult health news in the family, said goodbye to a favorite coworker and friend, and got the sad news that one of my key volunteers passed away last weekend in a biking accident. To say it's been an emotionally charged few weeks is something of an understatement. I've been in some kind of heightened state pretty much all the time and it's ranged from being so blissfully happy to some kind of heartbroken.

My experience with death is extremely limited. My paternal grandparents both died a long time ago and although I certainly loved them, they were old and tired. I've never lost someone I knew well. Ron was a retired guy here in the Springs who really loved the Olympics and did a ton of volunteer work for us. He spent hours and hours with us in the warehouse counting apparel and getting things ready and we liked him so much, we ended up taking him with us to Vancouver. He was a rock star for the three weeks he spent with us and became a favorite among the other volunteers, the hotel staff, and even the athletes. He was 67 years old but was still running and biking nearly every day. I saw Ron in spandex probably more than I really wanted to those weeks. I had actually met with him just two days before his accident to talk about projects coming up that I wanted him to help with.

A few of us from work went to his funeral. It was at a beautiful garden that usually hosts weddings but was a pretty perfect place for a guy who spent most of his retirement outside. He had been the Dean of Students at UCCS here in town and was active with lots of volunteer groups and running/biking clubs so the place was packed.

It was a really nice service. He had lived a rich life and people all had such wonderful things to say about him. But one thing that kept hitting me was that no one talked about his career accomplishments. He certainly had them, but that wasn't what anyone focused on. People talked about his sense of adventure, his love for his family, what a good friend he was, how honest and kind and full of integrity he was. His kids talked about having had a very present and supportive father. I do know that funerals are obviously a time to say nice things about the person but it was so clear that this man had been a good good person and it wasn't hard for those who loved him to gush.

I have been thinking so much since the service about the things that have or haven't been important to me in the last few years. I have to confess that I do take a lot of pride in my career accomplishments. And sometimes I get my identity a little wrapped up in what I do for a living. When I was feeling so out of my element in Boston, it affected the way I saw myself far more than it probably should have. But now that I have that aspect back in balance, and I'm feeling happier at work than I have in years and years, I'm anxious to concentrate more on what kind of person I want to be. Which means working harder to be patient, to be generous, to forgive and forget faster, to worry less, to apologize more sincerely, to be brave, to be teachable.

My Mission President gave me all kinds of great advice that I still think about ten years later but one thing he said that I truly believe is that people end up getting the thing they really want. I'm trying to make sure that what I really, really want is just to be good. I have this feeling that if that is the guiding principle of my life, I can't go too far wrong.

I've thought about Ron on every run and bike ride I've been on since the accident-I feel some sort of responsibility to take advantage of the beautiful place he loved so much and to take care of the strong, healthy body I have. Ron delighted in teasing me about my dating life. I like to think that now he's somewhere bugging my guardian angels to find someone for me.

We'll miss you Ron Wisner.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Totally worth it.