I’m going to skip the formalities of asking who knows the name of this thundering band from the 80s that sang the song the blog is named for. Assuming you don’t know, we are no longer friends, which is an assumption I prefer not to make.
Reno has the first real snow dusting of the year; let the snow bunnies and ski bums come forth! It’s winter time folks; bring the plants inside because it is going to be a cold one! On three separate occasions this week, I had discussions about how boring people are the only ones who could possibly be bored in Reno (or any other outdoor-centric town with a killer university), and that the onus is really on them for being lame, uninteresting folks who need to reevaluate their life.
Perhaps one of my favorite things about Reno is the amazing river path, which is miles of paved trail that traverses the Truckee River offering some of the greatest glimpses of downtown city life, nature, and some dang-fine people watching. I live about 16 feet away from this glorious path, which grants me easy and frequent access to escape the realities of my life. Naturally, I see many interesting sights during my running adventures east and west, but this week provided a few hilarious ones I couldn’t help but share…
It’s cold, which is fine when you’re running in the appropriate layer of clothing and moving quickly. You rapidly turn into a furnace belching steamy breath in the frigid air instead of remaining a blue ice cube, the greatest part of which is when you finish your run and take off your hat and sleeves and the steam is just poring off of your body into the chilly morning air. Awesome!
People walk or run their dogs quite religiously along this path, as to be expected, and my dog Lucy is quite the fan as well, but this week I stumbled across an interesting sight. This particular owner was out running not one, but two dogs, and the dogs (poor little creatures) happened to be Corgis.
Now Corgis need no introduction, and if you need more information you can simply ask the Queen of England how she feels about their rather stubby legs. Granted, the little balls of fur need exercise too, I get it, BUT the real kicker was that the owner wasn’t out running the dogs. The dogs, much to my disbelief, were out running their owner! Hilarious! At 6 in the morning on a frosty day, two of the smallest and fluffiest dogs I’ve seen in a while were out pulling along a tiny Asian woman who couldn’t have weighed more than 100 pounds. I expect something of the sort from a St. Bernard, Mastiff, or heck, even a wolf, but seriously? The experience made my day and onwards I went.
Reno is filled with quaint coffee shops, great art galleries, and a myriad of downtown and (Midtown) restaurants and bars to appeal to people of all types. It has frosty covered hills in either direction, about 12, 492 ski resorts within an hour’s drive, and quality companies making a large impact on the world (EMPLOYERS!). There’s a phenomenal educational opportunity at the University of Nevada, and most people argue that the quality of life is top notch. Granted, some of the people may drink a tad too much, but just avoid the bar scene if you aren’t into that and you’ll be fine…
Opportunities are what you make of them, the fleeting ones and the ones that persist over years, and I feel like I’ve made the most of my opportunities in Reno. I’ve fostered the addiction known as triathlon so much so that it’s become engrained in nearly every decision I make on a daily basis, I’ve got a group of loyal, supportive friends who I would jump in front of a car for, and my job enables me to explore and enjoy the beautiful West Coast at my bidding (if only I would take vacation), and I am perfectly capable of stepping outside my condo to inhale the icy, fresh air as season change sweeps in over the Sierra’s. Life is good. Life is great. Life is Reno.
There is nothing to be found in northern Nevada BUT a good time, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either A) so obsessed with Las Vegas that they’ve been blinded or B) they don’t really appreciate the value of a medium sized town with world class outdoor activities. Home means Nevada, and my home is in here. Let the good times roll!
It’s a whole different world out there.
I just got back from spending a week in Vegas for business. Yes, I know, how productive can someone actually be in Vegas? Surprisingly, I was there for a week-long conference and it was quite productive. As someone who grew up in Vegas (I would not stoop to calling it my hometown), the city has never appealed to me in the sense that it appeals to a vast majority of the world. All the glitz, glamor, and glowing neon failed to leave an impression on me after living there for seven years, and I thought I had experienced it all. Well, I was slightly off in that regard…
I admit, I have never been a tourist in Las Vegas and wasn’t really looking forward to staying down on the strip. That, and the people connections I hold very dear aren’t really the same “down south” anymore, meaning I couldn’t even get a home cooked meal. My opinion of the entire journey changed when I first walked into my hotel room. It was rather embarrassing that I had a massive suite all to myself, with a bathtub large enough to sleep in, 2 TVs, and a view that just couldn’t be beat. This was the way to do Vegas!!
My opinion of Sin City changed very rapidly over the coming days. Eating at ridiculous restaurants, going to see Santana (freaking awesome by the way), and living the life of a tourist (sleeping in past 6, going to the gym whenever it was convenient, and people watching), all provided an experience that was almost vacation-like. Almost.
I do confess that after about, oh, 3.2 days, I was over the entire thing. Eating out, which I think is one of the world’s most disgusting activities, was really getting old, and I was sick of not being in Reno, at my house, with my dog, doing my regularly scheduled activities. The sheen had worn off once again. Granted, it wasn’t a wasted experience as I gained a lot of insights from the conference and made a few valuable connections that may come in handy later down the road. I’d experienced a side of Vegas I only heard tourists talk about, and while I did appreciate it, I don’t need to experience it again any time before 2037. I did feel like I discovered what the appeal can be to someone who A) isn’t from the west coast B) has never seen a building taller than three stories or C) had an ungodly amount of expendable, personal income.
In stark contrast, the world of swimming is also a completely different world from what many people experience day to day. It’s you and your thoughts (which I’ve mentioned frequently), powering through the water with nothing but a grueling workout on the board, your weightless existence, a stylish-but-all-too-small swimsuit, and the calm quiet of the water mixed with your muscles surging and creating a wake behind your whirring legs. Swimming provides me my daily break from reality; Vegas, well Vegas IS its own reality.
My reality has reshaped, morphed, and been in flux for many years (read: constantly) and I look back on 2013 and can’t believe it’s been almost five months since IRONMAN. What?! The experience of the year that redefined me so much is already half a year away, and I can barely remember all of the things that have happened in between now and then. Oh, reality, you have cruel and interesting ways of affecting us.
I will say that it was great getting back to my “normal” reality this week. My familiar desk, my favorite pillow, my cooking style, and my car: it all provides a sense of normality in the face of being not normal for over a week. Just so we’re all clear, I’d like to point out that Thanksgiving is in eight days! Eight! So much for normal…
And a glorious Hump Day to you all. I can’t speak for everyone, BUT WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON WITH THIS WEEK!?!!
I think the near-holiday chaos combined with crazy project deadlines has driven everyone nuts. I know for me, I am knees deep in a project that I knew very little about beginning of September and now I’m required to be an expert in the area. Frightening stuff.
I acknowledge the holidays for what they are: airport frenzy with a dash of family time combined with doing 422,290 activities too many all while trying to avoid destroying your year’s hard work on a gallon of ice cream dumped on top of pumpkin pie. And that’s just the day before Thanksgiving…
It’s never restful, although it is rarely burdensome. There’s just something about the holidays that feels special. Perhaps it’s digging through ancient photos of you before you weren’t fat, or maybe it’s just enjoying the annual traditions that so often accompany many families. Nevertheless, it’s a perfect time to reflect and enjoy time with the people you love.
2013 has been an interesting year for the Aaron’s, and I won’t address the other members experiences, but mine have been ridiculous. However, in all aspects, my huge takeaway from the year is this: always rise to the occasion. Always.
I surround myself with a wide variety of people, many of whom I share many common interests, and others who we simply share a love for tasty food. Regardless of one’s background, I’ve seen a pattern throughout the year of people being presented with two options. Rise to the occasion or don’t. For me, it seems to be a clear choice, but it usually isn’t so. I find that more and more people tend to just hang out, letting the world pass them by instead of seizing opportunities, no matter how frightening or scary, and running with it. I get it, some opportunities are less than thrilling, and others cause people to be like WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?! I will point out, however, that the opportunities that typically land on your doorstep usually yield great results at some point in your life. They may just not be revealed per your timeline.
The patterns in my life that have shown themselves since I began my MBA in 2011 also revolve around similar themes:
- Change can suck, but only temporarily.
- Keep on trucking no matter what life tosses at you.
- Don’t underestimate yourself or your abilities.
- You are the only one with the power to follow the paths in your life.
- You can’t sit around waiting for someone else to fix something in your life that you aren’t happy with. Just do it!
- The “goods” aren’t as great nor as the “bads” as terrible as you may think.
- You almost always have no idea what is actually best for you, despite your beliefs to the contrary.
- Don’t make excuses; make things happen
As 2014 creeps up on us ever so stealthily, I find myself preparing for next year, despite the fact that I will leave with 90% of my expectations severely off base. I like to act like my plans will work themselves out. Who doesn’t like to pretend they’re in control? But let’s be real, it just doesn’t happen that way. Granted, I got my MBA and smashed my first Ironman, but other than that, the year was full of things I didn’t expect or anticipate. And off we go with another set of 52 weeks waiting to be filled!
My encouragement is that everyone should rise to the occasions presented before them. The small hills and the massive mountains each need to be tackled in their own rite, and each experience contributes more than one typically attributes to them. I have found that experience isn’t something you gather or harvest, but is rather the nature and behavior that you exemplify when confronted with challenges you would deem impossible. How you react to daunting situations develops your character, which coincidentally, sticks with you forever. Happy challenge hunting!
I am actually a huge fan of this cold weather. It makes you feel alive sprinting through track workouts at the crack of dawn as your gym bag gathers frost and the icy air penetrates your lungs like nails. The true feeling of being alive :-)
Today isn’t really about anything in particular, other than I have completed registration for ALL of my major Ironman races in 2014. Nothing quite like dropping $1400 in one fell swoop. Whoo! I always forget how exciting it is watching the clock as the seconds tick by so that you can be one of the first to register right when the second hand hits the appropriate time. You race against the clock for registration just like you race the clock when it’s the big day…
For me, race registration is better than Christmas. Truly. It’s the catalyst that jump starts a flurry of activity, ridiculous training time, nose to the grindstone, inspirational ass-kicking that takes 3, 6, or 12 months in preparation. It’s SUPER EXCITING! I’m so pumped right now, it’s kind of silly. Anything that makes you feel excited and like a small child must surely be a good thing. Frankly, just the adrenaline rush from blitzing through registration is enough to fix even the worst of days.
Here’s my “A” race schedule. If you’re in the area, you should definitely show up! I will also have a few sundry sprint and Olympic distance races as well.
• Ironman 70.3 St. George – May 3, 2014
• Ironman 70.3 Vineman – July 13, 2014
• Ironman Lake Tahoe - September 21, 2014
Yup, that’s 281.2 miles of pure badassery taunting me and calling my name. Challenge accepted!
Have a great weekend!
In a recent show of patriotism and testosterone-fueled fantasticness, I’ve become obsessed (once more) with the classic, roaring hit Top Gun. Seriously people, have you watched the dog fights in that thing?! They’re just as good 20 years later, and oh my gosh, HAVE YOU HEARD THE SOUNDTRACK!? I can’t stop listening to it (except for that annoying song by Berlin).
What makes Top Gun effing amazing? I’m so glad you asked…
1. F-14 Tomcats – I dare one of you to tell me that the planes in Top Gun aren’t totally badass. Split tailed, razor-edged metal beasts of glorified firepower blistering through the sky in pursuit of the always appreciated Soviets. Ah, I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning.
2. Aviators – Oh yes, that just happened. I love my Raybans like the next guy (or gal) but we all know that they got their sacred start on the heads of aviators, and Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer put the awesome in cool with their pairs. Who wouldn’t want to don a pair of the most BA sunglasses ever?
3. The girl – Alright, I’m not a huge fan of Charlie, but for the sake of the movie, she works. The only thing missing from an adrenaline-fueled dog fight would be an attractive leading lady, and while she’s no Jennifer Aniston, she does the trick with her big hair.
4. It’s not a chick flick – I don’t mind chick flicks; they have their place (preferably on the bottom shelf) BUT Top Gun has too many explosions, senseless Cold War drama, and the camaraderie that only a non-chick flick can bring to light.
5. Best one liners -
a. Negative, Ghost Rider…
b. Talk to me, Goose
c. Great, he’s probably saying “holy shit, it’s Maverick and Goose”
d. I’m not gonna sit here and blow sunshine up your ass, Lieutenant
e. Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash
f. This is what I call a target-rich environment
g. I’m going to need a beer to put these flames out
h. Communicating. Keeping up foreign relations. You know, giving him the bird!
i. That was some of the best flying I’ve seen to date – right up to the part where you got killed…
j. She’s lost that loving feeling… No, she hasn’t. Yes, she has.
6. It’s just freaking awesome – There is something for everyone in this movie. If you don’t like it then either A) you aren’t American B) you have no soul or C) see A and B. The first time I saw this movie, under the guise of a babysitter without parental approval (what a sneak I was), I was hooked. I have always had the utmost respect for the Navy, my grandfather served, and not only do they have freaking sweet boats, but they’ve got planes too. Win win!
7. It’s inspirational – It’s hard to come away from this flick without feeling inspired to do great things. I want to contribute, climb ladders, do my job with honor and integrity, and be loyal to the end to my friends and family. Of course this movie isn’t all peaches and cream, but I call it like I see it. Five out of five!
As an aside, I just received an email this morning that Lambeau Field (Packers) did a special presentation for those who served in the military back in 2011. See the pictures below. How come this stuff doesn’t make the freaking news more often?!
Anyways, back to the topic at hand. Top Gun is a movie about the best of the best, and don’t we all want to be the best at something? I’ve written many, many times about being more than exceptional, about blowing the status quo out of the water and being phenomenal. I’m not saying we should all be fighter pilots, although isn’t that every young boys dream? We should, however, hone our skill set continually, strive to be the cream of the crop, and press always onward and upward. Friday is nearly upon us!
Well, since this year’s World Series is officially going to suck, I will instead devout 100% of my attention to the rivalry football game between Nevada and UNLV. Our state is known for many things, Vegas with its international fame, and Tahoe with its world draw, but one of the least known gold stars for our state is that we have the heaviest and most expensive college football trophy in the country. That’s right, we have a freaking cannon, and it’s kickass! Tremble in fear you doubters of the Fremont Cannon! It’s clobbering time…
This is my first Nevada vs. UNLV football game where I am not working at the University of Nevada. At the university, you know everyone is cheering for Nevada wholeheartedly because you have alumni and employees alike who bleed blue. Enter my new job, and there are a few brave (and I must admit, silly) souls who religiously pull for UNLV. Props to them for standing by their team and I must say, the colleague who wore their UNLV shirt to work certainly gets kudos for standing up in the face of the coming Nevada onslaught from the many alum who work at my company. Ah, the joys of conflict.
Football aside, it is great rivalries like this that brings people together. It gives them something to hold on to, something to cheer for, and something to be proud of. It is even refreshing that we can be civilized, to a certain extent, unlike those Raiders fans. Even in triathlon, I enjoy seeing my rivals at races as we push, sweat, and grind our way in pursuit of each other.
I don’t really remember when I got this excited about football but it must have been towards the end of my college career. The first Nevada vs. UNLV game after graduation, I somehow convinced a few of my (totally) sane friends that we all needed to paint ourselves to show our school spirit. A tradition was born, which nicely accompanies the duel for the Fremont Cannon, and has continued ever since. This will be the 3rd time I have coated my epidermis with silver and blue, and it certainly won’t be the last. My friends from UNLV have my pity because their school doesn’t even know that there is a football game half of the time… not that they’re really missing anything, because Nevada is blowing UNLV out with 23 wins to UNLV’s 15. Too bad you aren’t from a real college town :-)
Onwards and upwards to great rivalries, a safe weekend, and a great football game. Go Pack!
Happy 250th blog!!
I just returned from what is quite easily the greatest hiking adventure I have ever been on. If there is a paradise on Earth, it is surely exemplified in the grandeur of mountains rising through the skies, crystal blue lakes, algae covered rocks, and fiery colored tress dancing in the wind. Throw in a fuzzy companion, an unlimited supply of fig bars, and you’ve got yourself a good old time.
It’s so refreshing to escape from reality, the buzz of the city and the whir of the people, that it becomes very difficult to head back home to the real world. Nature is so much quieter than the noise and hubbub that we are used to, and provides the perfect environment for reflection, planning, and anticipation. I honestly believe that people miss out on a huge part of living by not escaping off into the wilderness to witness the beauty that is all around them. That, and there’s nothing like feeling small and insignificant in the shadow of a great mountain range or watching a hawk plunge into a free-fall in pursuit of dinner.
My regrets from this trip are that it took me far too long to actually pull the trigger and get out of town, and that I don’t make time for these kinds of journeys nearly often enough. Granted, I have my triathlon adventures, and they take me to new and wonderful places too, but those aren’t exactly “relaxing.” Even when I finally made it home tired and exhausted, I had renewed energy, lungs full of fresh air, and a kindled desire to see even more of the natural wonderment found in the west. There’s a lot of stuff to see people!
Some don’t enjoy going on solo adventures. I can’t really understand not wanting to do that, because I enjoy tapping my introverted powers, but everyone should find a way to get out of their daily routine and escape into a tree line lightly dusted with snow. There is only one thing greater than an epic adventure into the wild with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich… having two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Yum B-)
Here are a few pictures from the journey to 20 Lakes Basin. It was the perfect day for a hike, and there was hardly a soul in sight. My kind of day and no one to interrupt my thoughts!
What paths have you laid before you this year that have you led to great adventures? What do you have planned for the coming year? More importantly, what are you going to do about not having any adventures planned?