Start the day right

Its 6.14am an we are driving to the start line eating a biscuit from Tudors Biscuit World, something WV is famous for.
It’s the perfect race food… But I had forgotten how big these things are. These biscuits are as big as my hand and I have big hands.

Should put a good lining in my belly

Something different

I am currently driving to Asheville NC with one of my team mates to then pick up another and drive to WV to race E-Fix this weekend
I know its summer and I don’t race in the summer and you are right but camp is in a good place and my boss said yes and it would be good for the program staff at camp to step up

Therefore we are of to WV. Race starts 12pm Friday and goes for 50hrs yes 50, so 2 nights out and then have to drive back ugh!!!

It should be fun, and includes along with the other stuff river swimming and maybe some rafting

I am functioning on an average of 5 1/2 hrs sleep a night right now so this will be a real test

The race is called E-Fix and is put on by odyssey adventure racing if you want to follow it online or twitter

Will write more Sunday/monday

Summer Signs

For most people (in this part of thr world) its summer time and the summer signs are everywhere. Heat, humidity, afternoon storms, more opportunities to eat ice cream (much to Robin’s enjoyment), swimming , longer days etc. however for me they are all that and…wearing Chaco sandals (with cool sandal tan lines), lots of kids, 25 young adults, playing in the pool, eating s’mores, homesick kids which all means Camp

As previously noted the summer time would be a challening time for me to post. But its sunday morning and i have a few hours before the beginning of week 3.

So far we have had a great summer. its been hot of course, and humidt and all the things mentioned above. But also the following

  • Only 2 trips to the hospital
  • Lots of snakes. for some reason there are lots of snakes around this year. I did see 5 in 24hrst this past week.
  • A large increase in our summer numbers (which is good)

For me personally the time to do the favorite part of my job… having campers here. Its always a juggling act between getting things done in the office and wanting to be with kids outside. Somehow it happens.

Robin and i have to be very intentional about our time together too, and between stealing moments and then saturdays to ourselves we are good.

Next weekend i am racing. yes i know summer isnt usually a time to race, however its a going to be a good warm up for the 6 day race in Canada in late July. We are going to West Virginia next weekend to race a 50 hour race called E-Fix. We havent had a lot of luck with this race in the past. and this will be my 3rd attempt at it. So i will miss camp for a few days and be back in time for the last week before we get 4th July break of 4 1/2 days.



Long time

Yeah yeah it’s been a while but I promise to post in the am

guess where I am?

not really a topic one likes to talk about but guess where I am right now???

I’m at the hospital yes really not for Robin or someone else but me!!!

kinda embarrassing well not kinda but really embarrassing. a few days ago I got chiggers for non Americans they are like a small parasite you get under your skin and itch like crazy best thing for them is clear nail polish… really it is

so no big deal I’m outside a lot and every summer I get them at some point but this batch have “got me” in some interesting places yes you guessed it

and this time bad enough that I’m here in the ER really
what a way to post her again after a week or so absence

so here I sit with an itch that I really can’t itch in public imagine telling our summer program staff “oh i need to cut out for a few hours I have to go to the hospital as I have a chigger down there ”

anyway hopefully I won’t be here long

Summer is here

Summer is almost here. Our entire summer staff of 30 start TOMORROW. YIKES!!!

But thats ok, i look forward to this time of year, its my favorite, kids are here, youth are here, young adults are here. How better could it be.

This is a tricky time though for 2 things… me & Robin and my training. in that order too. However there is something about the busyness that does the following.

  • Makes we appreciate Robin more and more and our precious moments together.
  • And the long hours in some sick twisted way make for some good AR training.

I will will continue to post, hope you enjoy. there will be some funny stories for sure. stay tuned!!!

They laughed at my jokes

This mornings little piece of the worship at church also known at the sermon, went well. In fact it went really well.

they laughed at my jokes, got my logic and i didnt speak too long or too short. Just right. now i am done speaking for the day.

Came home we on a 2 1/2 hour road ride on bike. in 90F weather then jumped in the lake with Robin. Our Lake feels just right at the moment, right before it gets too warm and nasty. It felt good!!!!

Now to relax for the evening.

Part 3, St Augustine & Words


And you thought you were about to read the final chapter in Atomic AR fromlast weekend. I should have finished it by now…, but…, however…, the…, then…, it was…

I am stalling on something that goes contary to a lot of what i believe. This Sunday i have to speak at our of our churches (Good Shepherd to be exact) now speaking isnt really the right term. Most people would call it Preaching… I DON’T!!! plain and simple, i am not a preacher, dont want to be, not interested. So then why did i agree to this all those months ago.

oh well no good complaining now. Anyways i am speaking (or preaching if you prefer) this sunday and i have a little bit of writers block. its about 36 hours away and i am only about 1/4 of the way into it. and here i am blogging when i should be writing to prepare to speak.

Why do i have a problem with this because its words, speaking, talking verbals. i would much rather have my actions speak louder than my words, allow my deed and not my words demonstrate my point to these poor people on sunday morning.

Now if i had to facilitate a discussion, or ask lots of why questions (which BTW is the best question in the world… becuase you have never answer with a yes or no) if i could say ‘please turn to the person in the pew behind you and discuss the following, or please circle up and lets play a game or do this activity… i would be loving it. BUT I’M NOT, I CAN’T. Don’t ge tme wrong i’m all about rocking the boat and shaking the establishment, however i am representing Calvin Center on Sunday and would like to keep my job.

So i should get back to it. I guess i will have to suck it up on this one. I am way to much of an experiential guy and this is what i got dealt.

i will end with this though. When a good friend asked me about doing this way back in feb. She approached me by saying “Paul, do you preach?” my repsonse was this. “I try to take the St Augustine approach Cheryl… Preach the gospel always, use words only when necessary.”

Does that mean i and not have to write any more for my word (ophs i mean sermon) on Sunday?

Part 2

We  get on our bikes… well almost to be greeted by another flat for pete. Fix than and once again are on our way. Slightly behind Appalachain AR, we soon overtake them as they deal with a flat and re take the lead.

Bike some more covering some of the same road we ran early along earlier in the day when we were supposed to be “paddling”. Stopping and knocking on the door of a complete stranger to get water for our water bladders within our packs. “We only need to use your garden hose, no thanks we dont need you to bring us water, we dont have a lot of team, we are being chased.” Its always fun trying to explain to people what we are doing and for how long.

We wind our way to a parking lot alongside the Toccoa river collecting relatively easy checkpoints along the way. At times see Wedali and at time them seeing us. Rather amusing. At the parking lot we ditch our bikes and for the 1st time have access to food in a zip lock bag we had turned in on friday night at check in.

Here we trade bikes for running shoes again (Which we have been carrying in our packs this whole time) and begin a mini orienteering course (well, when i say mini, we start around 7.45pm and then finally get back here around 2am) this section was tough, lots of elevation gain. NO TRAILS. lots of bush whacking, difficult navigation and very different travel. We began this section with a hand lead over Wedali but soon had to worn down at they approached us on the 2nd Checkpoint (CP) in this section.

I was not in good shape of this section. THAT WEIGHT was beginning to take its toll on me. and i was sleepy. With the exception of the 100 miles ultra in march i realised this was the 1st 30 hr AR i’ve done this year. GULP!!! that’s very unlike me. But injury had kept me away from racing too. So by now i had sleepmonster real bad. And we were falling behind Wedali.

Pete & Michelle stopped and let me take a 5 minute nap to try and beat the sleepmonster. Well. IT WORKED. and i awoke after 5mins of shut eye and was ready to go. We made some ground on Wedali and were soon back and forth with them over 1st & 2nd place. Both teams finished this section back at our bikes within a few minutes of each other. A little mad that 2 points in that last section were unable to be found, and later we found out wrongly plotted and mis placed.

Arrrrggghhhh this happens way too often in AR and there is no place for it. Its very demoralizing and bad for the sport. We would you race if you plotted accurately only to find CP’s are in the worng place. By now Wedali was a little more mad than us and informed us that they were heading back to the finish line.

We were determined to win and get the max points. So we went the other direction on our bikes to find 2 more points then several others that took us past the now busy parking lot that this time we didnt need to stop at. seeing many teams that were now 7-8 hours behind us.  Amazing.

We got a couple more CP’s on our way to the upcoming nasty bike whack. Think reallt difficult bush whack and oh… add in your bike.

that is up coming soon.

Atomic AR 2011 Race Report Part 1

Early start Saturday @ 4.30am as we drove 45mins to drop our bikes in the middle of no-where (this is normal for AR) then over to the start line at a state park

At this point we were still unsure how the start was going to be. This IS unusal for AR at least the night before or right up to start time. We knew there must have something different because the straight line distance to the bikes was now 22miles… straight line!!!

Then as we were waiting for brief pre race meeting 2 school buses roll in… we were being transported somewhere to start. so we loaded on the buses for a 45 min bus ride to our bikes… Weird huh oh well. It gave us a little more sleep and a chance to catch up with our good friends from Team Wedali (Minnesota) who were also our biggest rivals in this race. But still good friends.

Race started with a big Mtn bike ride up over a mountain. Not cool having to start a race riding up hill. We quickly shot to the front to be joined by 3 other teams all within a few minutes of each other, including Wedali. Rode down the mountain on some sweet single track, to ride more dirt roads to the Toccoa River, getting one flat on the way but changing it in 2 minutes (no joke). The now paddling section. Normally in AR you bring your own boat or they supply and almost ways its in canoes. Well this year they said they were supplying them but they were canoes. So we all thought they were flatable ‘duckies’ (sturdy boats, and good for moving water)because we had to bring a pump.

We get to the river to find flat, flatable yes, duckies NO. they gave us they tiny little inflatable boats built for 2 people, max weight 300lbs. I weight 190 and peter is about 200 and michelle… we have a problem. this was the dumbest thing i have ever seen or done on AR. 3 people in a 2 person boat. On moving water with a boat that was suited for a swimming pool. Some words/phrases that come to mind here.

Dumb, stupid, dangerous, negilent, mocked, naieve…

And they were serious. Us, Wedali and one other team all arrived about the same time. Wedali got on the water and immediately flipped in the cold mountain river water. No was equipped for this. For 9 miles of paddling in these, you couldnt even paddle it was so cramped. Another team hit the first rock and the bottom got ripped of. Peter and i took one look at this and said. “NO, not doing that” so deflated our boat and paddles and PFD’s and waded across the river and decided to run the now 11miles on the trails we could find on the map. Very Silly idea to have made us paddle those boats. Those race directors (3 of them, 2 are brothers, thought it was hillarous) Wouldnt be laughing if someone got hurt.

Don’t worry the AR message boards are alive with comments now. AR is a hard sport and is about self reliance and relying on 2-3 other people called team mates. you try to lower the perceived risk by being fit & healthy to race for that length of time. You practice mountain biking, running for many hours, kayaking or canoeing, knowing how to use a compass, be able to keep moving with very sleepy or not feeling good or crappy weather. The sport is full on inherent risks as it is. Then to have this added to is isn’t funny at all.

Anyway we ran this entire section. Oh and i have the extra 10lb weight to carry to my pace is slow, but still running. We get to the end of that section where we would have got out of the boats to run some more in the real running/trekking section.

At point its mid Saturday afternoon and we are joined off and on by Wedali. For the entire race we were never more than 15-20 minutes ahead/behind each other. Always there keeping each other on our toes. But still finding time to laugh about other races we have done together. And seeing a snake, some turkey and LOTS of Poison Ivy. thankfully to this day i am not allergic to PI

Get to the of the trek to be greeted with our bikes that were transported for us.

Part 2 coming. stay tuned