Updates – New Job Announcement! It’s pretty amazing!

Hello all! I hope you have been having a wonderful Holiday Season, whatever one you celebrate!

I have not had a chance to blog in a while. I go through these phases. If you’ve been following me for a while, you already know that.

My last post was about my thousands of jobs that I have had this year. At the bottom, I alluded to a new job!

I would finally like to share with you what that is.

Drum roll please….

……

…………….

3W LogoI am now a Marketing Coordinator for 3W Races!

3W Races is a local running company in the Arvada/Westminster area. As you might know, I have been an Ambassador for them for the last year. What that meant was I volunteered a lot for them at their events and run clubs to promote for them. In exchange I got to run their races, fun freebies like 3W race shirts and above all I met numerous amazing people! I’m super thankful for the Ambassador program.

About a month ago, I received a phone call from the race directors and owners and they said they had a really cool opportunity for me. I called them back and found out that they wanted to offer me a job!

I was ecstatic! Like dancing and jumping around in my car ecstatic! A good, big girl job with a RUNNING company! An actual running company! Something that all of us bloggers talk about all the time! Amazing! It’s perfect for me!

So what will I be doing? I will mainly help with the marketing side. That’s dealing with sponsors and helping get the word out about our events. I will also be helping with the very program I was/am involved in: The Ambassador program. I’m really excited to help with that. And I also will help with some race production, volunteer coordination, registration, packet pick ups, water stations, set up, etc, etc. Basically anything they need help with, I’m there!

It pays off to be a Jack of All Trades!

Needless to say, this is an amazing opportunity for me. While it is only part-time for now (but growing fast) I’m still really excited that they thought of me for the job! I will still be personal training and coaching group fitness at the rec center and I will still be coaching high school cross-country and track and field. I may keep a few promotions jobs like the liquor promos because those are super flexible and usually at night (plus it’s good money, and I pretty much get paid to socialize – win win). But I am getting rid of all my other random jobs and no more Substitute Teaching and dealing with awful teenagers!

1932327_890590240958965_3252239395591810224_nOther Updates:

-I am going also be a 2015 3W Ambassador as well. All that means is if they don’t need me to “work” a race, I’ll just volunteer to cover my needed volunteer hours.

-Running….going better for me than it has been. I am working on re-building my base again. It’s tough work but I’m sure I’ll be back to where I was in no time. It’s just really frustrating and part of me so desperately wants to be FAST! More on “running and me” later.

-Snowboarding…the season has started! I have gotten in a handful of days already!

20141221_105108

Two of my boarding buddies!

-Relationships…meh we wont get into that! I am learning to just “go with it.” It may not work out in the end and that’s ok, but as long as the journey is fun, I know that someday I will find someone willing to stick by me.

-Hmm….what else is going on? I was driving a rental car for almost a month after being rear ended by a hit and run driver (I was not injured). But upon getting my car back, it decided that it didn’t want to start very well in the cold and the shocks and struts are gone…oh boy…and I was stuck with another rental (but this time is was a Dodge Challenger!!) Can I just own a horse and buggy, please??

-Holidays…I had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had a friend visiting from California and he joined for X-Mas dinner and we went snowboarding at Breckenridge two days in a row!

My friend from Cali on the Right

My friend from Cali on the Right

I think that’s about all the updates I can think of right now! My new job has been keeping my very busy! I’ll leave you with a view from Breckenridge!

What a sight, eh?

What a sight, eh?

Snowboarding Series Part III – Ok, I want to try it..What do I do??

Here is the third installment of my snowboarding series. Perfect timing, too, as the slopes start to close, the weather is warm and the sun is shining…which means the lift ticket prices come down….great for the newbies!

Now who’s going to go with me for my birthday!? I turn 27 today!!!

In case you missed it: PART I and PART II

boarding 11:15:13

 

So! I got you excited about boarding, eh!?

OR You’re a skier and you want to try it now?? I used to ski, I know how you feel…

OR You lived in Colorado your whole life and you’ve never skied or boarded!? (Yes, there’s a few of them) What HAVE you been doing???

1320012591523_4585340OR You already snowboard but you would just like to see what I have to say about getting started? Fair enough.

Let me first put this out there: I am not going to TEACH you how to board. A) That would be impossible over blogging. Go pay for a lesson or have one of your skilled friends show you the ropes. B) I’m not actually that good! Read Part I of the series, you’ll see my history with the sport. But frankly, I’m not a natural snowboarder. I’m still learning it and I still fall a lot. BUT I have gotten better. Exponentially. And C) This is my take at humor. I’m hoping to make this post funny. I’m going to try, at least, with some real information in between.

Alright.

Step 1: Get yourself, to, near or on a mountain. Preferable one that has snow on it. There’s a lot of snow left here in CO, but that’s not to say there isn’t great ski resorts in other parts. I’ve just never been to any of them. Montana has great riding. So does Toas, California and my recent wish list vacation spot: Utah.

jeans3Step 2: Find appropriate clothes. No, not jeans!!!! You’ll look ridiculous and  I will people will make fun of you. You’ll need a base layer (top and bottom), a mid warm layer (top), and outer layer (top and bottom). You’ll want socks, WARM socks, WOOL socks, but don’t make the mistake of going too crazy and wearing multiple layers of socks. This actually does the opposite of keeping your feet warm. They just need to be warm and water proof. I’m not a brand whore, so get whatever, cheap brands you want for all I care.

Step 3: Find some equipment. You know, an actual snowboard! If this is your first time, just rent your stuff, just in case you don’t like it. A board, boots and binding should do it. Top brands in the sport (according to a few articles I read): Never Summer, Arbor, Analog, Burton, Ride, Gnu, Dakine, DC, and a ton others…. but don’t ask me, I can’t afford any of those brands and my board is so old the brand doesn’t even exist anymore. My clothes are not even name brand either.

DSCN4165Step 4: Don’t forget the helmet. You’re new, you’re going to fall a lot. I promise you’ll want it. Or least get it to protect yourself from the skiers when they carry their skis on their shoulders and swing around as if they’re the only people on the planet. I’m pretty sure this is why helmet wearing really took off.

Step 5: Hire someone! Either pay the ski resort for lessons or tell your boyfriend, girlfriend, neighbor, friend, local bum (because they probably know how to board, but it’s so expensive to live in the ski towns that they probably used their money for a ski pass and weed instead of an apartment). Tell them you’ll buy them a drink and dinner if they show you the ropes.

Step 6: Don’t give up! It’ll be hard and frustrating at first, but keep at it and you’ll get it! When I first started, I could barely master simply going down the mountains; even trying to stand up was hard. But then it just clicked and my body got the mechanism down. It was literally like a light switch.

Step 7: Head in for lunch and grab a beer some liquid courage! It helps me master a tricky run!

Step 8: Hot Tub.

Step 9: Since you’re probably addicted now, buy a season pass.

Step 10: Don’t use your sick days until winter time, if you catch my drift! 😉

On a serious note: Avalanche Danger:

avalanche-safety_1558386cThis year especially there has been a high avalanche danger in the rocky mountains. This is because we have had a LOT of snow this season after a few seasons of not much snow fall. This increases the risk for avalanches. I would write that if you go to a well traveled ski resort you wouldn’t have to worry about it, but this isn’t always the case. A) When they first open new runs as the season goes on, those routes haven’t been travelled on and new tracks can disrupt the snow and boom… avalanche. Take this seriously. My boyfriend actually was one of the first to travel on a run this season at Breck and a small avalanche started.  Luckily there was people around and with their warning he was able to brace himself and didn’t get completely buried. There was another story on the news earlier in the year about a little boy who died in an avalanche at Vail. I don’t remember the details, but he was just outside the main borders of the ski area.

The people who have to worry bout this the MOST are back country skiers and boarders. I don’t do any of this, but if you do, there are a few things you should do:

images-21. TAKE AN AVALANCHE SAFETY CLASS!!! Seriously! If I ever do decided to go back country in the future, I’m definitely taking this. They’re offered at most resorts and through REI, I believe. Read up on avalanches and do your research on areas, maps and conditions!

2. Make sure you have the appropriate equipment (which you would learn about in your safety class). Items include, and probably not limited to: avalanche transceivers, probes, and shovels (in addition to basic camping gear, extra clothing, high-energy food, and plenty of water). Every member of the group needs to carry all three of these avalanche rescue items, and know how to use them.

3. Just BE SAFE! I trust and hope that everyone that decides to go back country takes the appropriate courses and at least knows survival methods and actions!

Above all, even if you’re not back country boarding or skiing, be mindful and safe at the resorts! As a reminder, some general rules of the runs:

slowyellow1. Always stay in control – I know you love to go fast, but make sure you can maneuver appropriately at that speed, except in slow zones – always reduce your speed there.

2. Down hill skiers/boarders have the right of way. I know it sucks when a skier is taking the WHOLE run to make turns and cutting across the entire way, but they still have the right of way.

3. Don’t stop or sit on a trail where uphill traffic can’t see you. Sounds simple, but people do it alllllll the time.

4. Whenever merging with another trail, look uphill and yield other riders and skiers.

5. Before using any lift, make sure you know how to get on, stay on and get off! It’s ok if you fall once you’ve unloaded – I do that a lot – people just laugh.

whitest-thing-imaginable-seasonal-ecard-someecards6. Be aware of your level of expertise. Don’t load a ski lift if it only takes your to terrain outside of your abilities. Also, don’t go down trails that are outside of your abilities. You’ll either get hurt or use up ski patrol resources when they could be used elsewhere.

Links:

List of all the Snowboarding brands – there’s lot!

Battle of the brands – a bracket break down of the popular snowboarding brands

10 Snowboard brands you are talking about this year

Backcountry Avalanche Safety

Ski Safety Tips from Breckenridge 

Snowboarding Series, Part II – The History of the Sport

In case you missed it: PART I

As part II of my snowboarding series, I wanted to explain how the industry started but snowboarding only came after skiing, so I guess I have to start with that! I love research projects and learning something new, so I did a short search on how both sports came to be. Please feel free to add in the comments other things you know about skiing or snowboarding history or let me know if I got something wrong…I swear I wont be offended!

Skiing got it’s starts a LOOOOOOOOOOONG time ago! Although, when it first appeared on record, it wasn’t even close to what we consider skiing to be like today. Back then, it was invented purely for means of transportation, hunting, and fighting.

A quick and simple timeline:

How_to_hang_Antique_Skis6000 – 5000 BC  – During this time, the first ski artifacts were found in Russia and Norway, invented before the wheel. The term “ski” was first used in Finland (Suksi).

4000 BC – Carvings found on rock walls in Norway that illustrated the use of skis in ancient civilizations.

Up until 450 AD: Ski artifacts were found all over Northern European and Asian countries but it wasn’t until 200 AD that the first documentation of using skis was recorded in China.

Over the next several hundreds of years, archeologists found carvings and documents all on the use of skis – mostly for actual transportation, military, and  hunting; not for recreation.

Skis weren’t developed for sport until the 1700’s in Norway. Back then, people were only mounted to the ski by the toes.

In the 1800’s the first skiing competitions were developed. The first down hill race took place in Oslo, as skiing was being developed for military, in 1860.

In the 1900’s skiing grew in popularity in European Countries.

1924 – the first winter olympics in Chamonix, France

1936 – the Chairlift was invented in the US

1960’s – the plastic boot comes around. I bet you skier’s curse that day! I do remember how uncomfortable ski boots were! Let me tell you, the boots are a HUGE benefit to switching to snowboarding!

Source: Click here to see the full graphic..it's actually super interesting!

Source: Click HERE to see the full graphic..it’s actually super interesting!

Obviously there’s a lot more in between especially with the development of all the accessories and how the ski itself, the boots and bindings evolved. My boyfriend just finished reading a really interesting book on the WWII 10th Mountain Division’s ski troops. He read me the first few chapters on the way to, ironically, go boarding. I was really intrigued. The book goes into further detail, not only about the Ski Troops but also the development of the Ski Patrol and talks about the development of America’s popular ski resorts. The people who fought on the ski troops in WWII were the ones that went on to start some of our main resorts, even here in CO. If you’re curious it’s called “Climb to Conquer” by Peter Shelton (link at the bottom).

BUT, Enough about skiing, I want to get into the start of snowboarding!

It was back in the 1910’s when snowboarding was first seen, but there was no name for it, nor was it very popular at the time. People would tie plywood or wooden planks to their feet with string to steer down hills for transportation.

Snurfer-Is-HereBut in 1965, snowboarding was invented by a guy named Sherman Poppen. Being an engineer, he made a toy for a daughters by putting two skis together and attached a string to steer downhill. This contraption was known as the Snurfer. It was so popular by his daughters and their friends that Brusnwick Corporation bought, manufactured and sold millions of snurfers.  In the early 70’s there was even Snurfing competitions in Michigan!

Another innovator of the snowboard was a kid, yes kid, named Tom Sims, a skateboarder, who was in the eighth grade when he crafted a snowboard in shop class with carpet on top and medal sheets underneath. He went on to produce commercial snowboards in the 70’s.

It sounds like great minds think alike, because also around the same time, a man name Dimitrije Milovich, a surfer, took cafeteria trays to slide down snowy hills at his college campus. He crafted a snowboard type object called the Winterstick that was inspired by a surfboard.

Then finally, in 1977, a familiar sounding name pops up: Jake Burton Carpenter, a Vermont native and avid surfer, added bindings to the Snurfer to mount his feet to the board. And ta-da! Burton Snowboards was founded!

Although snowboards themselves had a ways to go from where they started in 1965. In 1979, at the annual Snurfing competition, Mr. Burton brought a new board of his own. It wasn’t like the snurfer, and he had to plead his case to compete, but that marks the FIRST snowboard competition! Jake Burton won. Although he was the sole participant.

Source: CLICK HERE

Source: CLICK HERE

Snowboarding grew in popularity through the 70’s and 80’s as Burton and other leading founders teamed up to create boards close to what we see today. There was a lot of innovations with the bindings and how you attach yourself to the board. Now there’s even a split board that can come apart and with a quick switch of the bindings, you get skis. Crazy, huh!?

1982 was the first snowboard race and 1983 was the first half-pipe competition! Between 1985 and 1990, snowboarding became recognized as an official sport and started events all of the US!

When snowboarding first became popular, there was a feud, an animosity of sorts, between boarders and skiers. Ski resorts banned snowboarders altogether. Now, 97% of resorts allow which ever mode of snow transport your prefer. Snowboarders and skiers can share the slopes in harmony. Just kidding! There will always be competition between us (friendly, of course)! Although, there are definitely resorts that are heavily weighted with skiers. I ran into this last week as I took a trip up to Loveland.

Besides the board itself, there are many different TYPES or STYLES of snowboarding:

1. Free Riding – this is what I do. Just your everyday riding, wherever, whatever you want. Add some trees? Sure. Catch some air? Go for it. Mogul it up? Why not!?

2. Free style – Tricks and jumps. I have yet to try any of this, although this season, I have been trying to catch a little air off of bumps in the natural terrain of groomed slopes. A lot of the features include pipes, boxes, jumps, rails..basically anything.

3. Slopestyle – This is a competition in which a course is set up and you get points by doing tricks off the jumps and rails that are in place.

4. Big Air – A competition where you launch yourself off a big jump and score points by having the best trick

This is actually my picture, taken at the Dew Tour as the athletes were practicing.

This is actually my picture, taken at the Dew Tour as the athletes were practicing.

5. Half-pipe/Super-Pipe – It’s that big, semi circular thing you see dug out of your ski resort. And boy is this competition fun to watch! The boarder drops in and goes side to side (while going down hill) and does tricks as you come to the top of each side.

6. Boarder cross– Now this is a sport I have been really enjoying watching. I haven’t seen it live, like I have with the slope style and super pipe competitions, but it’s super intriguing to watch. Several athletes begin a run at the same time. Usually the course includes park features and jumps.

7. Snowboard racing – exactly as it sounds, racing down the slope as fast as you can!

And there you have your history lesson for the day!

Information:

History of Skiing

Where Did Skiing Come From?

History of Skiing – Timeline – A very interesting website that breaks down each year and the history of skiing.

climb to conquer bookClimb to Conquer Book info

History of Snowboarding – yes I still use wikipedia..don’t you??

Cool Infographic on the evolution of skis

*If you only click one link out of these, click THIS ONE!! This was my favorite article in all my research of the History of Snowboarding including very old pictures of the first Snurfer and has a pretty detailed outline of the evolution of the snowboard including how boots and bindings became what they are today.*

Just a little tidbit to leave you off with – Last weekend, I joined a friend and his daughter for the New Belgium Ski/Ride Scavenger Hunt at Loveland resort! It was a ton of fun! They had about 20 clues that included finding things and people on the mountains, solving riddles and looking up information. It was sponsored by New Belgium and The Sustainability Association. We didn’t win (we actually didn’t even hear that we were supposed to turn our stuff in by a certain time) but we had a blast and got free beer at the end! This was the last one of the season, but now that I know they exist, I plan on trying to do more next season!

One of the clues was to solve a riddle to figure out which run to take and then grab the tutu. Oh yeah - I wore that the rest of the day!

One of the clues was to solve a riddle to figure out which run to take and then grab the tutu. Oh yeah – I wore that the rest of the day!

Snowboarding Series, Part I – My Love of the Sport

SOvqf_zmWpAWSs5gcLg9Nzl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9

As I become a more tough runner and more accustomed to running in all-weather, my winters have become a battle between running and snowboarding.

IMG_20140105_152356It’s actually really hard for me to stick to a training plan when I have plenty of opportunities to go snowboarding…and at the beginning of this winter season when I had minimal work hours and thus, I hit the slopes more often than running…and we all know what happened from there…I injured my knee and had to cancel the second marathon I was training for.

But in all fairness, snowboarding is a great endurance activity!

But please don’t ever ask me to choose between snowboarding and running. I’m not sure what I would pick. I would be an emotional wreck! I’m just luckily that there is different, distinct seasons and I can enjoy them both.

Since this is one of the main things I like to do during the winter, and it is fitness related, I decided I’d like to do a Snowboarding Series (with a little bit of skiing included). I’d like to include my history with the sports, how they came to be, how to get involved in snow sports, and finally, exercises to keep the avid snowboarder or skier fit and injury free! It may be March and all the one-time-a-year, poser snowboarders may be done, there’s still plenty of the season left! In fact, we have snow at places like A-Basin all the way into July some years, where you can find girls in bikini’s hitting the slopes. (no, I have not done that….yet!)

rottenecard_57382879_xdgbskzbb6Actually, I’m heading up to Loveland Resort this weekend for the New Belgium Scavenger Hunt!

You can expect to see:

Part I – My Love of the Sport (right now!)

Part II – The History of the Sport”

Part III – “Ok, I want to try it, what do I do?!”

Part IV – Staying in Shape to Hit the Slopes

… Now, to get right to it, I’d like to tell you my history with the sport(s). Before you get too excited, no, I’m not very good at all! I just really, really, really enjoy being on the mountains and carving my way to the bottom. It’s excellent exercise and at the same time very relaxing. Not to mention, the views are always breathtaking from the summit! It’s hands down the best way to enjoy the mountains and outdoors during the winter, in my opinion at least! Although, I’ve never actually been snow shoeing or snowmobiling before…

1320012591523_4585340Back when I was a kid, I used to ski! Surprise, surprise I know! It’s pretty shocking, considering how much I love snowboarding and how much they are rivals. Yes, I was a skier as a kid. Although, we only got to go every once in a while. I remember taking skiing lessons (can you say “french fries…pizza”… skiing joke) at a resort that I can’t even remember the name of! I honestly think they changed their name as well!

But one day, and I literally remember thinking this, I just didn’t want to ski any more. I have no idea why, I just didn’t want to go skiing. And it wasn’t that I wanted to snowboard instead, I just didn’t want to participate in winter sports I guess. I’m not sure if it was due to my Mom getting a skiing injury or if just none of my friends were interested. Who knows! Kids are silly!

Then finally, when I was in high school, I decided I wanted to try a winter sport again and took a snowboarding lesson at one of the closest resorts: Eldora, just west of Boulder, CO. It was considered the “cooler” of the two sports and I took only three separate lessons throughout high school. With so much time in between visits to the slopes, I never felt confident in just renting equipment and hitting the hills, so I just took lessons each time.

I really enjoyed it, but it was hard to master and get good enough to feel comfortable. Due to the expenses, I never pursued going all that often, but it was always in the back of my mind.

One summer while I was still high school age, at an annual snowboarding sale, I bought a board for about 50 bucks but no additional equipment like boots or bindings, figuring I would have money later. That board sat in my closest for my 5 years of college until I finally decided to get back at it in 2010.

At the time, I was dating a guy that was really into snowboarding and he talked me into getting geared up and buying a season pass with the promise of being patient and teaching me.

True to his word, with a few visits up to Keystone, I could call myself a snowboarder! But it wasn’t easy! I remember having the hardest time just simply standing up on the board! I was a fairly fit person then, but it takes a whole different coordination of muscles, mostly core, to simply stand up! I constantly had to have him pry me up before I could even attempt to actually go down the mountain only to fall shortly after and repeat the whole process.

As the story goes, that relationship ended, but I still continued to board. I have bought a season pass every year since and have continued to get better and better. Every year I have awesome boarding buddies to go with.

abasin dec 27th 011

I remember the following year, I was boarding with some friends, and even though they were patient and willing to wait and teach me more, I was not dating them, so I couldn’t rely on them as heavily to literally help me up. You know how that goes! The first time back on the mountain of the 2011/2012 season, I was terrified I would embarrass myself by not even being able to stand up….but I was in even better physical shape that year and surprised myself. That was a pretty rewarding experience – just simply standing!

key and breck feb 2 12Every season, I began to improve and work on more and more difficult things with the help of my wonderful friends (and maybe some liquid courage). That 2011/2012 season I moved on to blue (intermediate) runs from the green (beginner) runs of the previous year. In the 2012/2013 season, I finally made it to a Black Diamond (the advanced level, most difficult) run for the first time! It wasn’t pretty, but I did it! I also worked on getting more fluid “s” turns (for the non-boarders, a “S” turn is just literally turns back and forth down the mountain without leveling off and coming to a stop).

Which brings us to the 2013/2014 season on the slopes! This season has been amazing! We finally got dumped on with snow in the mountains from being pretty barren the last couple years and I’m moving on to even more difficult, yet fun, terrain and runs!

With the help of an excellent teacher ( 😉 the boy..who actually used to teach snowboarding at Breckenridge!), I have improved tremendously this season! It’s been a blast!

This season is also the first time I have be able to witness and watch live snowboarding competitions as well. In the past, I’ve just watched them X-Games or Olympics on TV. This year I’ve been to the Dew Tour and the Burton US Open! It’s pretty amazing to see professional athletes right up close. While I was working during the US open, I was up taking pictures in the terrain park which was the way the athletes had to go to get to the half-pipe and the slope style course. So they would cruise through multiple times! I saw so many pro-riders! Then even after they were done with their competition, I saw many just having fun and cruising around the park features with friends. Shows a pure love of a sport!

I met Danny Davis (an olympic rider) that weekend and recently realized I had met him when I was in Breckenridge for the Dew Tour as well at an autograph signing! Both interactions were very pleasant; he’s a very nice guy, and not at all rude like a lot of celebrities get!

While working I met Danny Davis (an olympic snowboarder) and got to eat lunch in the Athletes Tent with the boy (who was working in there)!

While working I met Danny Davis (an olympic snowboarder) and got to eat lunch in the Athletes Tent with the boy (who was working in there)!

Your Turn: Who enjoys snowboarding? Who skis? Why do you enjoy it? If not, would you ever try it?

ALSO: Check out my last post for a discount for the Prairie Dog Half on April 13th in Arvada, CO!!!!