Monday, November 04, 2013

Our Town

So let me back track a few years, 2 to be exact. Now I wasn't big on the high school band, band kids were geeks. I was sports, the band was lucky enough to play during one half at a home game when I was growing up.
Now I married into a "Marching Band" family. My wife wasn't in marching band but her siblings were. She has always like marching band though. And not only were they in marching band but they were in the American Fork Marching Band. Apparently unknown to me, AF is nationally famous, really good and all that jazz. AF band is the "be all to end all" as far as Marching Bands go?
In 2011 my oldest son joined marching band for Westlake High School out of Saratoga Springs Utah. Brand new school, only open for a couple years before he started. My wife helped out with everything as a "band mom". So naturally I was initiated as a "band dad". So I decided to help. I got put on "pit". It's all the percussion instruments that have to be pushed onto the field along with props and what not. All the heavy lifting kind of stuff, load and unload trailers that kind of thing.
It was cool, did a few performance run through's, then the "Weber Review". Not really a competition, just a show to see what we have and get critiqued on what needs to be fixed for competition. Didn't see many bands perform since I was busy with all the heavy lifting junk. The big band (5A) played last. I saw AF perform and was like, "This is it?" They weren't that great. Saw Davis high school after that and was blown away! Davis has a long standing awarding winning tradition also I come to find out. And rightfully so, they were amazing. From that performance I could see why people get into this stuff.
That season we had a great entertaining show (tribal thing), we didn't win alot of performances because of Timpview (get to that later). Can't remember what place we took that year in state but didn't make it to BOA finals.
Bring on 2012, now I didn't help with that season because I was still nursing a bad foot. But the show was great (colorful art theme), kids had matured, directors made changes to the show. Although first year was entertaining it was lacking certain criteria that won awards. So we started winning some captions, can't remember if we came in first place, I know we came in 2nd alot because of Timpview. Timpview has a long standing tradition of winning. They play it safe and hit all the points needed for awards, not entertaining but good and what is being looked at by judges. That year Timp went to another competition instead of the Red Rocks state finals, so without them there we won State in 4A division. We also made it into the BOA finals for the 1st time, place 10th out of 10 but it was still something with all the great shows that year. I think AF won the whole thing, Davis in 2nd. Davis got alot of 2nd place too. AF's show was better that year, Davis' was still cooler personally.
This year 2013 show titled "Our Town" (western theme) was the talk of the town after Weber review. AF had an amazing show that I actually liked and thought they deserved all the acclamation they received. Davis fell flat. Not sure what they were thinking this year? It did get better as shows went on but just not entertaining as the first 2 years seeing them.
1st competition rolls around "Mount Nebo". We killed it, won all 4 captions ( music, visual, color guard and percussion). Turns out Timpview has not been beat in 4A competition in 20 years! Not only did we win, we took all awards. It was amazing, everyone was busting, on cloud nine all that good stuff. An amazing feat.
Next week's competition Timpview came back with a vengence, they didn't like it one bit. They won the next one, but we still took some captions. Well after that they didn't beat us again the rest of the year! They took some captions so we didn't sweep, but still we won.
Another thing that burned a hole in there side was the fact that whenever we were announced they said, "4A state champs". Even though they won all the competitions last last year, we won the state finals they decided not to show up for.
Let me tell you about Timpview, they have always cut the band back to exact numbers not to exceed into the 5A category so they wouldn't have to compete against AF or Davis. At the last competition before state we won it all and swept everything again in 4A. Not only that but in total overall points we came in 2nd behind AF, beating out Davis and the other 5A bands. Skyview had an awesome show this year too, next to ours it was my favorite.
I learned that during a couple competitions we had scored one point higher than AF in a couple categories. Now that is crazy!!! We went to Idaho for a competition and swept all awards, we had put up 5A band scores a couple times.
The kids practiced so much this year, worked so hard and it paid off, big time!
State championships roll around and we are favored. Timpview changes their schedule to come to it and try to steal our accolades away. They fell 50 points short! They did steal percussion which sucked cuz my boy is on the drumline. But we got all other captions and 1st place.
BOA (Bands of America) is a national competition, our region was next day. We performed along with 26 other bands from all over Utah, California, New Mexico, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado. Only 10 were invited to participate in finals. We made it! We beat out several 5A bands to make it. From Utah there were AF, Davis, Skyview and us (Westlake).
Before the show at the trailers getting ready, kids were all crying. Because we made it, because some were seniors and it was the last show ever for them, last show of the year. Band director (who student taught under AF's director, thats why we are good) gave them a little speech to "stop crying, don't let it our here, let it all our on the field. Cherish that you have one more performance together and give everything you can to those seniors and to eachother. You deserve to be here." He also made a little comment about Timpview, can't remember the exact words but it was something to the effect of, "glad they came, so we could leave no doubt as to who was the champ this year".
We had one slip from what I saw, other than that the performance was spot on! Of course AF and Skyview were too. The huge bands from Cali and Nevada did great too. At awards they started naming 10th place, 9th, 8th... We all just screamed and cheered, not because of the bands that placed, but because our name wasn't called. They named off Davis, they named off that giant band from Nevada, some from Cali, not us yet. We were all thinking, "no way we made it to the top 5". They name off 6th place, not us! We were almost horse by that time, some band moms started the tears already. They named Skyview 5th place. Which was crazy because their show was so amazing. Then we were all hoping "top 3?". Well at 4th they called Westlake. Then yada yada, 1st place American fork. AF also swept all but one caption.
But 4th place among all that talent and huge bands was crazy. And at only the schools 5th year in existence. At the end when it was over the band moms rushed the field. The drum line moms had become real good friends over the years, its cool to see.
Because of our success we were invited to submit an application and video to the Rose parade committee. AF and Davis have played in the rose parade, Macy's thanksgiving parade, played for presidential inaugurations, ect... So this was a big deal. We didn't get accepted just yet, but were offered the opportunity to play in Hawaii at the Pearl Harbor parade and represent the USS Utah battleship/carrier in December 2014. The PR and fundraising tour has already begun.
My boy was on TV locally for a brief second as they talked about this seasons accolades and future opportunities.
Their school has been on the local stations several times actually, the band a quite a few times.
I'm looking forward to seeing what they have in store for next year's show. We will most likely become a 5A band by just a few kids. So we will have to compete against AF,Davis, Skyview and a couple other big good 5A bands. But they are not looking at it like, "oh great we have to compete against AF and Davis." They are looking at it like, "We ARE going to compete against AF and Davis!"
I will probably have another child in band too. Thats gonna be crazy expensive, they better do some fund raising! But what a great opportunity for them both. I feel blessed as a parent for these kids and the good programs they have a chance to partake in.
In school I was never part of anything great or special, so it does a heart good to know that my kids will be!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Struggles become your identity....One year later!

One year ago today I ran a 5k in the morning, afternoon family get together, that evening playing an intense game of 21 with 2 brothers after going up for a shot I drifted/fade away and landed where drive cement and grass met. Grass was slightly lower and with foot positioning and inertia my ankle rolled, snapping a tendon and the lower fibula.
Had a nice 4 hour hospital visit, think they kept me there doing nothing so they could charge me by the hour.
My brothers were there and we had a good time at my expense though. Her is them taking a picture so they could compare it to the "pain face chart."

I don't recommend breaking a weight barring joint.Took a hook/plate and 5 screws to put back together. Will stay there forever possibly. The road to recovery stinks and is taking longer than I expected.
I thought I would be back to normal and close to 100% by 6 months. At one year I'm maybe still only 70-80%. I still get sore almost everyday, couple hours after running my foot pretty much locks up. It still swells, still don't have full strength for sprints and push offs.
The black beauty!

Getting the cast off after 8 weeks was nice, being able to wash my foot was nice, but then the fun began. The boot just got hot, my skin shed like 20 times and it was heavy and bulky. I was only supposed to take it off for showers. But after a couple nights of torture I took slept without it. Sure I could've damaged it in my sleep but I took my chances. I did OK on the crutches, took some spills and had some set backs because of it.

Bring on PT!!!

At first my OS said not to do physical therapy, he believed they tried to get the foot to move too soon. So I delayed about a week or two of trying to bear weight on my own, then went to therapy.
They were great, never forced me into anything or to do anything I wasn't ready. The first couple weeks were rough, after that I was wanting more, made them give me more, do more. Unfortunately my insurance money ran out before I graduated form PT, then the cold weather, icy surfaces set in. I didn't get the therapy I needed, but I also didn't do as much as I should have on my own. I let just normal work load be my therapy, wasn't enough.
After enough swelling went down I could fit into different shoes. First came crocs, then wide open tennis shoes, then normal shoes. Still needed support though. It wasn't until around 9 months that I could walk bare foot around the house, and still with a limp. Came home, took off work shoes and put on tennis shoes. If I had to go downstairs or outside or even stand in the kitchen I had to put on tennis shoes. It was suffocating!

Then the big family reunion hiking in southern Utah loomed in the future. I had to step it up, work out my foot and get used to walking long distances. It was tough, and honestly I didn't think I'd make it. But I had too. First day was fine. 2nd day hiking up and down the switch backs in sno,ice and mud was very tough. Very sore after that. 3rd day was hard too, alot of pivoting and push offs. I cheated and wore my brace that day, but glad I was able to do everything. Sure I wasn't as crazy as the year before, I was very "dialed back" but still has a blast doing what I love. I've been dubbed "Rock formation Fan Boy". I'll take it.

In the last couple years I've grown very fond of hiking. Especially in Utah. I absolutely love the Moab area. I love rock formations and geology. I love climbing on them and exploring. Angels Landing in Zion was amazing. Very sweet semi technical climb. Very conscious about where I was stepping.
Here is my triumphant foot at the top.

Just starting to run in these last couple weeks its been slow and frustrating. But I am going to get there. I can make it the 3 miles needed for a 5k race, just slow and I hurt for a couple days afterwards. Maybe soon I'll try running in the morning and see how I do the rest of the day at work. Finding time at night to run it tough, but maybe now that school is over for the kids it will be easier?

I got discouraged alot this last year, but I also learned some lessons too. I need my life more than my life needs me. Motivation is a daily thing. I always need something to look forward too, something to inspire me and keep me going. Just the need to be normal isn't enough. The need to explore, the need to run.
I have to remind myself "everyone is different, everyone heals and can do things at a different pace. Look at Derek Jeter, similar injury and around the same time frame, best doctors and facilities money can buy and hasn't played hardly at all and won't either this year. So ha ha!
It's crazy how something so small becomes such a big part of you. I think because its taken so long to get to this point thats all people know. Everytime I see someone they ask, "hows the ankle". It's become who I am I guess. Thats ok its not their fault. Wonder how long that will be me, how long it will take until people I haven't seen in awhile start asking, "hiked anything cool lately".
Here is to this next year full of more healing and getting back to 100% (if there ever will be such a thing).
To hiking and seeing cool places. I have to take the kids back to Goblin Valley this year, that place is awesome!
To more slot canyons and arches needing to be found. But in the fall, this heat isn't for me!

Arch inside Spooky Slot Canyon outside Escalante, UT. One of the coolest hikes ever!

"Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, an hour, a day, a week or even a year. But eventually it will subside, and something else will take its place. If I quit however, it will last forever."

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Better Sore than Sorry

3 weeks before the 'Big Hiking Trip' and am I ready? Nope :( Do I have my gear? Yep :) I got a new hat, new shoes, new hydro pack, new gloves and was able to save enough in order to pay for it. so thats a pretty big accomplishment, I'm proud of that.
Physically, I have "reasons" not sure if I have an "excuse" why I'm not ready. Sure my foot is still hindrance, but could I have worked harder on it? Yes I could have. I haven't been able to do "impact training" which is running and jumping. And I'm not a very aerobic guy so running is all I've pretty much done. Before Last years hike I lost maybe 5 pounds trying to get in shape, but my legs got strong enough so I wasn't worried about that.
This year I've kinda let myself go. Yeah I got chunky, I have no endurance, my legs are not strong enough. I use my foot as an excuse, but really its just a reason. But I could get down on myself and wallow like I have, blamming my foot for everything, "oh it hurts, I'm tired, I'm sore". Ppppfffftttt, its the onion rings and donuts that slow you down pansy.
But in all seriousness, I made an "itinerary" of things I wanted to do on this trip. And its pretty ambitious. Sometimes when working and I've had to be on a ladder or walk alot of stairs I've been pretty sore that night and the next day. So these hikes are alot like that. Like climbing stairs and ladders, then going back down kinda thing. So thats got me a little worried. What if I'm sidelined after the first hike/day?
Its not like I haven't done anything, I have once in awhile worked out on the elliptical machine and have done my band/resistance stretches, so I won't be a total waste .
I was talking with someone the other day about it, and how I've been the one saying, "lets do this, go here, do that" and am wondering if I've stuck my foot in my mouth? Am I going to be the one holding people back? In talking about it and how excited I am to do this and see all these things I've never seen before; I cam to the conclusion that I will make. I may be sore, I may be hurting and tired, but I'd rather be Sore than Sorry! I'm not going to go all this way, purchase this stuff, miss time with family and dismiss the sacrifice others have made in order to do this trip and especially for me to do this trip.
I am going to take advantage of this opportunity as much as I can. If I have to take my boot that I haven't had to wear in months, if it helps then I'm going to look pathetic, but at least I'll be able to make it. If I have to sit a hike out because "I'm sore, I'm too tired, it hurts" then I'm gonna be sorry. I may miss something great, or miss experiencing something unique. I'll be sorry if I have to hear, "Ah you should have been there."
Who knows, maybe thats what my foot needs? Go until you can't go anymore, then go just a little bit further.
I've been listening to alot of motivation speeches and stuff. Instead of using the time to listen I could have been doing. So that part kinda sucks ;)
I'd rather be sore than sorry!
Lately I always hear that doubt in my head, "What if I can't do it, what if I can't make it, how is that going to look?" But then again, thats just the foot talking. My eyes see the mountain and my spirit says, "But what if you can, what if you do, how is that going to look?"
I guess thats the struggle? Maybe there is a conflict because if I do or I don't, will that determine my overall outcome? If I make it and this trip is awesome and my foot does great will it keep doing great, will I be able to start running, get in shape and be back to normal?
If I fail, if I push and push but risk permanently injuring myself or have a big set back, then what will that do? Will I be discouraged and keep going at my mediocre pace of recovery?
Que Eric Thomas - "I dare you to fail, I dare you. Don’t cry to give up, cry to keep going. Your already in pain, your already hurt, get a reward from it. It may last for a minute, an hour, a day or even a year. Eventually it will subside. And something else will take its place."
I'd rather be Sore than Sorry!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cure for Pain

...Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, an hour, a day or even a year. But eventually it will subside. And something else will take its place. If you quit however, it will last forever. At the end of pain is success. Your not gonna die cuz you feel a little pain...
- Eric Thomas

Every time I use my foot more than normal I end up hurting or immobile for the next day or two. Its frustrating, discouraging, and doesn't make any sense.
It's been close to 8 months now since messing up my ankle. I was told that it might not be a year until I feel normal or able to do everything I did before. I also heard everyone is different, some people were running again at 6 months.
I've tried running a couple times, I thought it was going to get better, it seemed to set me back afterwards. Maybe I'm not pushing hard enough? I let pain hold me back, maybe if I pushed through it I would get stronger faster?
I know with the weather its hard to get outside, but I've missed some Saturday opportunities though. It's go time, its been go time for awhile.
With our highway 12 trip coming up in 2 months I'm a little worried. 1st we've been planning this for awhile now, and some things are looking to unravel. Some siblings might not be able to get the time off, some are battling physical set backs too.
Last year I was the guy who was kinda leading the way, lets climb this, lets go here, go there. This year I'm scared. I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up. I'm afraid that after the first day I'll be hurting and immobile. I have never been to Zion's or Bryce and want to desperately explore it, and do it well.
I'm afraid those siblings won't be able to make it either, or have a hard time keeping up too. I'm sure they are like me and don't want to hold anyone back. I know I would feel bad if people did hold back and not explore what they want to hang out with me. I would also feel bad that I couldn't keep up, that I couldn't explore what everyone else could.
Along with my ankle I've also gained 20lbs. Since I haven't been active I have no strength or endurance either. I'll get winded easily, I'll sweat like a pig.
I just need this to get easier fast. I need to get fit, to get strong, and I need to do this quickly.
I know I'm the only one to blame for this predicament I'm in. I could've eaten better, I could've taken better advantage of my time to work out my foot.
I'm going to now!
I've been pumped for this trip ever since the end of last year's trip. In the last few weeks I got a new hat to keep the sun off my head (watch its gonna rain). I got a new hydration/back pack. In the next few weeks I'm going to get new shoes.
Hopefully I don't have to get new/bigger shorts and pants.

I put together a little slide show of things we may see on our trip to get me motivated.