Thursday, May 31, 2012


We found out over the weekend that my dad's brother, his only brother, has an aggressive brain cancer and doesn't have much time left. 

I haven't seen my Uncle Kyle in years. He and my dad had a falling out once upon a time and although they patched things up, we were all adults by then and had drifted away. But when I was little, his kids were the cousins we spent lots of time with and I still remember his wife letting us watch The Dark Crystal at a sleepover. 

Much like when my Aunt passed away last year, I'm sad for their family for sure, but I'm worried for my dad who is about to be the last surviving member of his immediate family and pretty much his extended family as well. My father, who spent the better part of two years on dialysis and is walking around with a stranger's kidney, outliving everyone else.  The universe is funny. He's not a particularly demonstrative fella but years ago he told me in a letter that "just because emotions are not easily expressed does not mean they don't run deep." I know my dad is sad. And we are sad for him. 

Oddly, my little brother Logan has been working on a project at his office to help out a coworkers kid who also has a scary cancer. The little guy has a very weak immune system so he can't really have visitors. That would be hard on a grownup who understood what was going on-it's heartbreaking for a six year old who is just lonely and afraid. So the people at the agency made these cute t-shirts people can buy and then take a photo of themselves and post it on Facebook for Nico to see. 

So maybe it's because I feel very helpless in the situation with my Uncle, I really want to help this Project Nico spread. Kyle is too young to die too-his first grandbaby is only ten months old and he and Julie were just about to enjoy his retirement. But Nico is way, way too young to die. And to be alone and scared. So check out this video and if you can, if you have $15 to spare and you like doing things that are good, buy a t-shirt and take a photo for Nico. 

I plan to take mine to London and send Nico some photos from the Olympics. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Yesterday I spent the day playing in the sun with my insanely handsome friend Adam.

Tonight I'm going to see Toad the Wet Sprocket at a small outdoor venue in the middle of nowhere Colorado with two good girlfriends.

I'd say that the 2011 "do epic shit" decree is still going strong.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Oh hey did you know that I work for the Olympic Team? I know I so rarely talk about it so it's kind of a mystery.

It you don't care for the Olympics and all the patriotism! rah rah! gold medal! go team! that come with it, this is going to be an annoying blog for the next four months.

But if you like it, we're going to have some fun. I had such amazing experiences in Salt Lake and Vancouver and unfortunately, I don't have much of a record of those Games. I wrote a wrap up of Vancouver that hits quite a few highlights but I wish I had been better about writing as I went. So I'm committing to it publicly-I would love to share some of the behind the scenes excitement as we gear up for what is likely to be an epic Summer Games. For my dedicated little band of readers but also so I never forget what a spectacular experience this is right now. I'm going to have to be grateful for eternity I think.

To kick it off-this video came out today and features one of the hopefuls for the men's gymnastics team. The training footage was all shot right here in Colorado Springs where more than a few future Olympians are likely getting some well earned sleep right now. This is the kind of song that will make my cry at this time of year anyway but when you put it in the context of a kid out chasing his dream to get to London? Yeah, I'm cooked.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Insane in the membrane

In December I set a somewhat lofty goal that I wanted to be in the best shape of my life for the Olympics this summer. Keeping in mind that my job involves being around 525 of the fittest people in the world in various stages of undress for two months, my reasons actually weren't just aesthetic.

I have yet to give up the dream that this body of mine will someday grow a baby and would rather lower the risks my over thirty-fiveness is already bringing to the table. With the exception of a few days in Portland and a few days in Paris (Paris! It's really happening! My sister and her husb and Dr. Lance!) I have to be running operations centers from June 21-Sept 1 and I'd rather not collapse in the middle of the summer because I've been existing on Chik-Fil-A in the lead up.  And you add to that being just a wee bit vain and knowing this summer is chock full of flirtatious situations and I definitely had a sincere desire to make this resolution stick.


I left for Austria five days into 2012. Fifty-eight teenagers, inconvenient meal locations and an insane schedule meant that more days than not I was running on chocolate cookies and Red Bull. I walked to the IOC office approximately 790, 098, 876 per day so I got some exercise, but I watched my best laid plans to wake up early and run along the river die a quick death on pretty much day one.

Lance and I walked and walked and WALKED our way through Germany but we also maybe ate pretty much whatever we wanted. And getting out of a cozy bed on a freezing Berlin morning to do anything but eat the pastries Lance always managed to track down before lazy over here even woke up never seemed terribly appealing.

So there was that. There was also the fact that I am both lazy and unmotivated when it comes to serious exercise programs and I have zero will power when it comes to giving up treats. I have trained for two marathons, run countless other races, biked up all kinds of ridiculously hilly places, hiked The Incline more times than I can count but I have never been good at doing the kind of day in day out committed exercise regimen it takes to truly change your body. I did Tai-Bo for a week. I quit Jillian's six week six-pack in about six days. I really like being active, but I really hate commitment of virtually any kind. (Says the single girl living in an apartment who has only bought her first couch three years ago. This is not news.)

Then Logan's Ironman weekend happened and something apparently snapped. My sister-in-law is busy getting her pre-Luke body back and she pretty much forced me to do these RIDICULOUS workout videos with her. She has always been an athlete so when I protested that I was nursing an SI joint injury she pretty much looked at me like I was a naughty child and told me to suck it up.

We did the workout. And then we ran up a hill. And then we did the workout again. And then we ran up a hill. And then we did the workout again. This joint that had been KILLING ME for a month felt better. The one I had been babying and using as a reason I didn't have to do my runs. Pushed through the pain and came out feeling better. Cliche alert?? But it's true, I wanted to sit on the couch and eat hot tamales but Tasha wasn't hearing no and somehow those workouts lit some little fire I was hoping I had in me but wasn't totally sure.

I copied the videos and brought them home. I'm on Day 17 and I feel kind of like a rock star. I'm getting stronger, sleeping better, making better food choices so I can get through the workouts and not throw up (that maybe happened once) and you guys, my butt looks totally awesome. I am seeing muscles that I never before seen on my own body.

It's a complete bananas time at work right now and I've had some personal rough spots the last few weeks but I get so excited to come home and sweat it all out. I feel so, so, so good. Good physically but also good mentally and emotionally for sticking to this and for doing something that is really hard for me. I don't ever want to get to the point in my life where I just coast. I always want to be walking right up the edge of what feels comfortable. I get to spend this summer with people who have spent their lives shattering what seems possible and I want to get a taste of that myself before I go.

If you are interested in the workout I'm doing, check out Insanity. They are so hard the people in the video can't even last the whole time without breaks but they are working some miracles here at my house.

Friday, May 18, 2012


I just put together a file of athlete artwork and sizing for a women's soccer team camp. Why? Because tomorrow I am heading to New Jersey to do a fitting with twenty-seven hopefuls for the Olympic team. The team can't make it to our Processing site in London so I'm going early to get sizes so we can pre-pack their clothing. I'm kind of beside myself excited about it. First team to see all the gear, first chance to see how things really fit, finally DOING not just PLANNING. I can't wait. I'm sure I'll have a super cheesy post for you about how amazing this whole thing is on Monday night when I get home.

In the meantime, Norah Jones must have written this song just for me. Goodness I love her.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Tonight I did the Incline the fastest I ever have thanks to my insanely fit friend Jess.  Then I  came home and successfully changed a back bike tire thanks to some stellar over the phone assistance from my brother Logan. 

Finally, I sat in the hot tub and listened to this song like a hundred times. I would sell little pieces of my soul to the Devil for this voice. 

Lay down, lay down, lay it all down
Let your white birds smile up
At the ones who stand and frown

Oh my goodness I sure love spring. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

One thing I have not done enough this year is go to rock shows. I lost some momentum being in Europe for so much of the beginning of the year and my schedule hasn't allowed for as much slipping up to Denver as it did last year.

But Friday I happened to run into a coworker I've always thought was cool but didn't really know and she mentioned she wanted to see Deer Tick and I mentioned I wanted to see Deer Tick and the next thing I knew, we were buying tickets to Deer Tick.

I had heard their shows were good but after losing an expensive earring in a Beastie Boys "Fight Your Right" cover induced mosh pit, well, I decided I was truly in love. I got a fair amount of beer spilled on me and flirted with the cute Denver guys that are 1/3 of the thrill of going up there for shows and had just the night I needed.

This is one of my favorite Deer Tick tunes. Still sad I missed seeing the Black Keys last month but this was the kind of good old fashioned LOUD MUSIC I was craving.

Monday, May 14, 2012

This I know

Last night someone I care very deeply about managed to hurt me fairly deeply and I think pretty permanently. I don't really want to go into details about it but the gist is, I spent a long time giving someone the benefit of the doubt and it turns out that Oprah quote is really true, "when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

So this isn't going to be a post about getting my heart broken. This is a post about how grateful I am that my friend Jimmy talked to me until I could fall asleep last night, and that my friend Kristin listened to a very long and sad post mortem without once telling me "I told you so" and that my mom and my sister and my sister-in-law all bit their tongues as well. That I had a whole bunch of  friends that made me laugh today and reminded me of all the ways I am loved.

My dear friend Damian asked me if I was listening to sad girl music today and when I said that I was, he reminded me that it's much better to listen to things that will make you smile. He reminded me of this one that felt oh so applicable to my 2012.

I'm going to make it through this year if it kills me.

And be grateful for all the good people that will help me do it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Ironed Out

Over the past few years my siblings and I have trained for and finished a few marathons, a bike race from Logan to Jackson Hole, going on six years worth of Wasatch Back races, 24 hour mountain bike races and countless half marathons, triathlons, and 5 and 10ks. We know how to set a lofty goal, work for it, and do it.

But still. When Logan announced awhile back that he was going to do the St. George Ironman, I think of all of may have first thought "wait really?" An Ironman. That is a very serious thing. The people I knew who were Ironman finishers were also people who had done things like won Paralympic Gold Medals.

My brother is a determined dude though and with the support of his lovely wife, he trained his guts out and invited us all to St. George to watch him cross the finish line. It's a wacko time at work and I wasn't sure if taking a few days off was a good idea but when I talked to my Ironman friend Susan I realized it wasn't even a question. You go. So Thursday night I flew to Las Vegas and got picked up by a van full of sleeping nephews, one of whom was THIS guy who we had tried to shake loose back in December.

Luke Clifford-no one knows where those blue eyes came from
We got back to St. George pretty late but not so late that we didn't have time to go out on the course and spray paint Logan's name on the asphalt near the top of a few brutal climbs.
The next day was a blur of crazy workouts, Cafe Rio, more family arriving, making signs and tees for the nephs, staying up too late and strategizing over how to see Logan as many times as we could. 

Racing with Morgan

Aunt Katie brought markers. Oops. 

Watching finisher video

Oh Cafe Rio. We must. 

Brother, nephew, happy girl

After years of seeing these at other races I had to make them for the boys

Family joke

Surprise Callie visit-no one can keep a straight face
And then it was race day. Christopher and Tasha live on the bike course so we got to hang out at the house and see him multiple times.
I can't event..
Street Party






Emily and Tasha and I snuck downtown to see if we could catch him at the transition from bike to run. And we could!

Getting sunscreened up

His St. Christopher medallion
Hey cool guy 
Off he goes

We went out on to the marathon course where the runners had to do three loops past the same place. So we cheered for Logan but we also did the Thriller dance for a lot of hot and tired triathletes and tried to get a smile out of as many as we could. 

Cutest grandparents
Seriously, my heart 
Party time
Emily and Kristen showing some love
I missed taking any photo at the finish but right before 10:00 Logan became an Ironman.  And about five minutes after he finished he was all smiles telling us about the race. My mom managed to capture some of his chattiness describing how hard the course was

It was such an amazing day and so fun to be there with so many of my all time favorite people. I really, really needed the break from all things Olympic and it was nice to go on walks and drink Diet Cokes with coconut puree and hold babies and talk and talk and talk. 

I'm so proud of Logan. And thrilled with all these cute in-laws I have who love and support my siblings. 

I got back last night and work was breakneck speed at usual today. It didn't stop and I have to catch up but this was the right thing to do. I am proud of a lot of things these days but I'm mostly glad that I still have my priorities straight. With these people is the best place I could ever be.