Thursday, June 28, 2012

Paleo check-in, and hike update.

So I've been eating 'paleo' for about a month now. To be entirely honest, I've cheated a few times. I'm sorry, but I will always have a soft spot for donuts, as well as cheese. Overall though, I've definitely taken to thins new lifestyle. The few times I've caved to temptations and eaten dairy, I've felt sick for a few days after. And I notice just how much grains make me crash and feel sluggish. There are some things I don't agree with, as far as the definition of this lifestyle goes, so I've adapted to call myself pseudo-paleo. I do a pretty decent job of staying away from grain, corn, potatoes, soy, and dairy, but the finer points are where I vary. I allow myself to drink alcohol(even the grain based), as well as not descriminate against certain nuts or fruits. Every now and again I let myself have cheese. I'm sorry, but I love me some Gruyere. I will brave a tummy ache the next day for the occasional comfort of quality munchies There's not really a whole lot to explain. I've spent this last month figuring out what makes me feel good when I eat it.

My friend Chris put it perfectly at work today: I'm 100% Paleo, 80% of the time.

As far as hikes go, I got a little bit of a later start than I was hoping. Originally my plan for this year was to do two hikes a week or one overnight starting the first week of June. To say that I got weathered out is a cop out statement, but I'm still making it. We've had some nice clear spring days this month for sure, but we've definitely had some of the Northwest's chilly rainy trademarks. Normally, I like spring rain, but every day that it was nasty on a planned hike day, there was a bite in the air that I was not fond of.

I got my first hike of the season out of the way last week. As per my yearly tradition, I chose Pilchuck Summit to kick it off. It was a little early in the season to do this hike, but the weather was beautiful, and I was feeling confident. I won't go into too much detail this time around, partially because I didn't take a real camera with me, but also because I wasn't able to make it to the summit. I will do this again in about a month, and hopefully the summit will be passable. I put on my new Osprey Exos 58, and loaded up with about 35lbs of weight, to start training myself for late summer's overnight packs.

The first half of the hike started pretty normally: damp green forests with the sun shining through, and a well beaten trail. I love this part of the hike. Lush evergreen forests are the lovely reward of our high rainfall. At the one mile mark, you hit a little rock outcropping that gives you a gorgeous view of Rainier. This is the only place you can see that mountain until you hit the summit. About a quarter mile further up the trail is where things got interesting. I hit the snow line. The first half a mile passed a little slowly, but without much difficulty.  I would estimate that here the snow was around 5 or 6 feet deep, but it was easy to walk on top of. It was fairly firm, but the top few inches was loose and a little slushy, which enabled you to dig in where needed. After that first half mile, the 'trail'(being footsteps in the snow) hooks right and you can see the summit, as well as the north face of the mountain. I've seen it in the summer multiple times and it's quite pretty, but this was the first time I'd seen it as a snow field. I wish I would have brought my sunglasses! It was beautiful, albeit bright.

This is where it got difficult. Knowing the way and having no crampons, I avoided the straight shot of smoothed out footsteps in the snow, and rather created my own switchbacks across the path. I've never done snow hiking before, but I applied the same concepts as traversing steep hillsides during the hunting season. SIDEHILLING IS YOUR FRIEND. Made it almost to the top(over some incredibly sketchy terrain) before the snow got to a point where I felt uncomfortable continuing.

Overall, it was a good hike, and I kept my weighted pack on without break or sitting for almost 5 hours. To top it all off, in the morning, I wasn't even sore! Going to go do a hike called Lake 22 tomorrow. Lower altitude without a lot of elevation gain, so snow shouldn't be an issue. Loading the pack up, so since there's no snow, I'll be able to keep the pace a little more brisk. May post about it, but we'll see!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Women know it all too well, and men know by sitting by and watching females endlessly fret. Diet. There are many different motivations to starting a diet. People start diets to lose weight, lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, all kinds of things. In my opinion, that's why a lot of 'diets' fail. Most people look at diets as temporary, when to really affect long term change. Then there's the whole genre of 'crash' and 'fad' diets, short sprints of depriving yourself of essential nutrients and calories to expedite short term results. When many people consider diets, they don't think about lifelong change.

I'm no saint in any of this... I've adhered to the traditional american diet almost all of my life and, due to a luck of the draw genetically and a fairly active lifestyle, have managed to stay pretty small in size. Now that I'm in my twenties, the affects of what you put in your body are actually a tangible concept. It goes so much deeper than eating more vegetables, or counting calories. Everyone knows: You are what you eat. In that case, how can you know what you are if you have no idea what's in your food, where it comes from, and what it's doing to your body? Now, this isn't an entry ranting about diets or organics, and the downfalls of modern agriculture... Goodness knows there's enough of those resources out there. This is more of a declaration of starting a new facet of my own nutritional evolution.

Something that I've been hearing a lot about lately is something called Paleo. For a brief overview, check out this site: . A lot of the concepts behind it are concepts that I've come to really support, and have already integrated into my life. Tomorrow, June first, eill mark the start of an official switch over to Paleo. The hardest part for me will be cutting out grains I suppose, because it's insane how many things grains and grain derivatives are used in. Everything else should be pretty straight forward. After the first month, I may make a few changes, because I have a feeling that when July rolls around, I will be sorely missing cheese. I've been looking, and there are a lot of ways to make bread out of almond and coconut flour(two products I've never even heard of, but cannot WAIT to try!). There are so many new avenues of cooking and some fun ways of recreating dishes that I'm excited to learn.

Overall, I think I'm most excited to see how I feel after a month of this. I'm excited to make a shift that makes sense on every base level of my understanding and beliefs in nutrition. There's no doubt in my mind that this will be hard. I'm going to get frustrated, and I'm going to want to cave. Hopefully I can find some delicious new recipes to help keep me distracted. Take this as a little bit of a disclaimer... Food will be a common subject I touch on in entries over the next month, so I apologize ahead of time... Bear with me :-) I promise to only talk about food and complain about cravings at the end of posts with awesome content about hiking, skydiving, and maybe even a little rock climbing! Later gators.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


So this last weekend officially wrapped up the 2012 high school track season. Overall, when the points were tallied and the vans to State were being loaded, it wasn't a highly successful season. Five total competitors this year. Less than half of what we've taken in the last 10 years. As always though, I never really rely on scores by the end of the season. Being my third year coaching with this team, there are kids graduating and leaving high school that I have had the pleasure of watching grow and mature both as athletes and as people. In my book, that's always a success. I had no seniors at the pole vault this year, but that won't stop me from missing the other graduating kids from our team.

Saying goodbye to the Seniors is always bittersweet, but it's the circle of life as a high school track coach. Every year we introduce new freshman, and do our best to shape them over a four year period. All the ups and downs of this season are in the past now and the next step is to look to the future. Time to take a little space for myself, and reset before next season.

Skydiving is always a little slow in the Spring. My hours at work are a little cut back due to track, but mostly in the pacific northwest, it's due to the weather. Springtime is yucky and cloudy. I love the rain because it gives western Washington the lovely green landscape that I get to fly over every weekend, but I hate that it mostly comes out of clouds that sit below 3000 feet. I was able to do a skydive a little while ago called a 'tracking dive'. Normally, tracking is used to create separation between skydivers that have been flying in formations. Creating distance is very important for safety before deploying your parachute. Everyone and their brother nowadays have seen videos of wingsuiters and base jumpers, and marveled at how they soar around the sky with ease; like a bird or more commonly, 'flying squirrel'. Tracking requires the same body position, but without the suit. Forward drive is incredibly enhanced, and jumpers flock together, akin to birds. I did my first one, and it went a lot better than I had expected. It of course wasn't perfect, but I didn't screw it up... which is all one can hope for when attempting something new. I can't wait to do more! Here's two pictures from my tracking dive. No doubt, I will have a lot more to come later this summer. I'm the uppermost person in both pictures: Pink parachute container, with the grey/navy/yellow jumpsuit... and hiking boots ;-)

The end of Track couldn't have come at a better time for me. The jump season is gearing up to go into full swing, and the snow is really starting to melt off of all the higher elevation hikes I have been looking forward to all winter. I got a new overnight hiking pack, and hopefully I'll be able to spark some motivation in friends with similar interests to want to tag along into the wilderness with me. I, for one, know I need it. There has been a lot of pressure sitting on my shoulders the past few months, and this week the straw that broke the camel's back was finding out that the person I've been seeing for the past twoish months really felt no emotional connection to me. As hard as it is to hear, all I can do is look to tomorrow. Dwelling on it won't change anything, and as much as it hurts, I need to separate myself from the whole situation. You may call it running, but I call it TRACKING. Create separation to protect yourself, and deploy. Fly your canopy to the ground, and live to jump again. 

In the spirit of summer, I encourage you to do the same. Shake off not only what makes you unhappy, but people that aren't made happy by you. Create some separation, and spend some quality time with yourself. Find out the wonderful things, and feel proud that you know them. Feel sorry for people who can't see those things in you and truly appreciate them. If you aren't what makes them happy, then they really aren't worth your energy because you can't force a blind man to see. So bask in the sun, and soak up every adventure you can muster.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Heli-Jumps, Horrible Weather, and Huntington Beach

The last year or so, I feel as though I've been stuck in a time warp chamber. Things that I swear happened a week ago are already 3 weeks in the past. This happens at the end of winter, through most of Spring for me. I think it has something to do with that mad desire that all people who live in the Northwest have for the rain to stop and the sun to make it's warming appearence. I get antsy in Spring because I can see all the things I want to do as soon as conditions get warmer... hiking, skydiving, that whole general joy of being outside. Spring is currently flying by, and I felt like I wanted to talk about how a few things in my springtime have been going...

This February, my skydive license enabled me to do something super awesome: Jump out of a Hughes 500 helicopter. Something that I love about this sport is that it's always surprising me. I've barely scratched the surface of the amazing things it has to offer, but jumping out of a helicopter was an incredible sensation. Obviously, when you jump out of a plane that's traveling at a forward speed of 80 knots, there's going to be considerable wind blowing all around you, pulling you out of the plane... Helicopters are completely different. For one, the whole flight, you're sitting right in the door, feet dangling and blowing in the wind. You can hang your head out of the opening like a dog riding shotgun with the windows rolled down.

Once you get to altitude(we were only going up to 5,000 feet, because that's all you really need to feel what a helicopter offers), you're just hovering there. theres no wind, no forward movement... just hanging in the air. you have time to climb out, arrange yourself on the skids, and countdown to jump... and then the fun really begins...

Once you give the count and exit, the feeling was like nothing that I've felt jumping out of a plane. It's about as close to base jumping as you can get. There's not a lot of jumping even involved... you literally just let go. I decided to just fall backwards and let my body naturally do a backflip, but even that wasn't an ordinary backflip. Since you start completely still in the air, when you start to fall, you have no forward speed. It's something skydivers call "mushy air". Since it takes about 7 seconds for you to really pick up any speed in freefall, the first couple hundred feet are pretty darn silent. and since theres not a lot of wind for you to maneuver through, all movements happen slowly and gracefully. It feels very etherial.

After that first 5-7 seconds, it turns into just another skydive(if there even is such a thing as a 'normal skydive'), which is why you don't need to go higher than five thousand feet. There are so many awesome things about this experience, that's it's hard to put into words, especially when there are other things I wanted to talk about in this post. I ended up doing 3 total helicopter jumps this day, and I plan to do many more in the future. Next round, I'll post a more detailed entry, but I wanted to touch on it briefly here seeing as it was my first experience.

There are many things the Northwest is known for: Nirvana, Seattle, the beautiful scenery, Starbucks, but also the rain. Spring in Washington triggers a 4 month phase of dreary, rainy, windy weather that stays just cold enough to not allow you to be comfortable outside without significant layers of insulation... everyone I know has at least one good waterproof rain coat of shell jacket. It's awesome for people who partake in winter sports, because there are multiple moutain passes within 2 hours access, and rain in the lowlands often means snow up top(even if it's wet heavy 'cascade crud', fresh snow is fresh snow). Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, take your pick. I even tried my hand at snowboarding this year, and did surprisingly well! Until I flipped out making a heelside turn and hit my head on frozen hardpack, causing me to get taken to the ER and be tested and monitored for brain bleeds. Long story short, I'll live, and I'll stick with the hobbies I've got. : )

For those of us down low though, it means rain. For me in particular, Spring brings Track season, and that means hours every day standing out in the rain coaching. Ideally, the weather clears up after the first half of the season, but that's still a month and a half of being cold and wet. Last year was one of the nastiest Spring seasons I have ever seen. Wet and cold until early July. So far, this season is shaping up to be a little better. More windy than years past, but the rain seems to be holding back a little bit. Rain is especially a pain in the ass for me, seeing as I coach Pole Vault. I don't think that needs much explanation. Water+holding a firm grip on a smooth fiberglass pole=bad news.

For my own personal comfort, I hope it gets warm and dry soon. On the other hand, I think I'm blessed enough to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. So if a little heavy precipitation in the Spring means that we get a gorgeous, lush landscape in the summer that leads to pretty changing colors in the fall, I guess I'll deal.

This is the last thing I'll hit in this entry, and I'll make it quick. Huntington Beach. Not just a city in Southern California, this small beachside community hosts one of the biggest paintball events of the NPPL season, the Surf City Open. I was lucky enough to go and play last year on a team with some friends. There were ups and downs in the experience, but overall I had a great time at this event. We didn't do as well as we would have liked, but as a friend of mine recently said, "At least at HB, if you lose, you're still at the beach..." It was a super fun vacation, and a learning experience.

This year I didn't go to HB, and if I could relive my last summer, I still wouldn't have taken back the opportunity I had to get my skydiving license. The one thing that it resulted in however was a draw on my funds, and I took a break from the tournament paintball scene. I was able to watch via the NPPL webcast however, and got updates from friends at the event. Nothing makes you miss being at a tournament more than watching one of the most fun events of the season. I didn't go, so this isn't a great event review, but between my experience last year, the cool new format, and the sadness I felt at having to watch everyone I know play from afar, I know I'm not gonna miss this event for anything next year. I guess I'll have to hit the fields soon.

Anywho, that's all for now. My brain's not super focused, and I know this was all a little bit scatterbrained, but I feel better having posted it so thanks for bearing with me. I'm not gonna lie and say I have better things to do, but I'm going to try not waste anymore time on this blog today. Till next time!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I AM FINALLY ONLINE!!!! For the past year-ish, I havent really had a functioing computer. My old Dell Inspiron crapped out, and I gave up the fight. I scrimped and saved, and put my money sucking activities(skydiving and paintball) on hold. I ordered and just today recieved my brand new Dell XPS 17, and I'm super excited about it! I bounced around the idea of spending money on a Mac, but eventually came to the decision that I don't really even want a Mac. I'm a fan of windows operating systems, and am familiar with PC operating systems... And although Apple products offer some amazing features, they really are above and beyond my needs in a computer. If I was doing professional arts, like music, photography, or the like, sure, I'd want a Mac. I do plan to do some video editing, but nothing midblowing. When it really came down to it, I never really had a choice to make, as far as the Mac vs PC debate went.

ANYWAYS, I have a computer again, so I'm FINALLY going to be able to keep up with this blog and hopefully grow it into what I'd like it to be.

What's been going on? Well, a lot of dirty gritty details aside, Things have actually been decent. I've taken a break from Paintball since going to Huntington Beach 2011. I plan to get back into it hard this year, and see where that takes me. I feel like 2012 will be a really defining year for me mentally in this sport. It will define what I want and how much I want it. I'm excited to see what happens.
The 2012 High School track season is going to be starting soon, and I'm excited. It's my third year coaching for the school I attended, and I'm really loving my kids, and watching them grow as athletes and talented young adults. I'm excited to see where our team goes this year.
I'm debt free! In August of this last year, I paid off all debt and credit cards that I had against my name, and I'm truely enjoying the freedom that comes, surprisingly, from living WITHIN my means. No impending bills. Saving money. Living life. What's the use of digging out of a hole when you have a choice of whether or not to go underground in the first place?
I have a new passion on my horizons. I have no idea where I want it to go yet, but I know I want to grow in this sport. Skydiving is the only thing I've ever encountered that brings me nothing but joy, on a daily basis. The community is completely unmatched, even by the paintball community that I love so much. I started my student progression a few days after my birthday, and achieved my A license at the end of September. I'm now up to 53 jumps, and I only see that number growing at an increasing rate. Be warned, there may be more skydive entries than paintball entries on this blog as the year progresses.
I got my first bull Roosevelt elk this year. After 7 years of hunting elk, I felt extremely accomplished. This year I have lots more hunts, and an ungodly number of hikes planned. Apparently, 2012 is the year of the wilderness for me. Can't wait to share my adventures here with anyone at all who is interested.
I still work at Red Robin... *sigh* Today is, in fact, my two year anniversary of being hired. That's all I really have to say about that...

That's honestly a very shorthanded overview of how things have been changing in my life. No need to go into a substantial amount of detail, because in the months to come, I will most certainly go into more detail than any reader of this blog may ever want. The point of this entry was to get myself back into this, and share the excitement of the many things I have to come. I had some incredible shenanigans this weekend, so expect a post in the next few days describing what it feels like to jump out of a helicopter :-) Until then, blue skies!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Supergame XLI

Supergame 41 ended with a bang yesterday afternoon, with Red army taking home the victory plaques for the first time in a long time. They worked hard at it, and kept it in gear all the way through Sunday, maintaining a 200ish point lead through the entire weekend.

I personally had a lot more fun on the Red army, as far as play goes. I have a ton of friends from all walks of life, and all up and down the west coast who attend Supergames every year, so off the field it didn't matter what band of tape you had on your arm. As far as on the field however, I tend to only like to play in the DMZ, which is only one area of the entire facility. It's flatter, has plywood buildings, spools, barrels, and a few forts, which turns it into an over-sized urban type of speedball. Right up my alley. I've never been a huge fan of playing in the trees and bushes and things(although with the help and love of my friends at Full Clip paintball, I wont feel right next game playing just the DMZ in tac gear...adjustments may be made ;D).

I give massive props to Warpaint and Dan Bonebrake for running a safe, fun, fair, efficient event year after year, and making an effort to even out the playing field in the DMZ(which is the only area you can really see on the 80 acre field, and gets far and above the most traffic and action of any other section), but this year was one of the worst one sided turkey shoots I've seen yet. Yellow has always had a bit of an advantage(and this can be vouched for by anyone who's played, I think) and this year was especially bad. On Saturday I played Yellow Army, but by Sunday I couldn't take it anymore. To me, there is nothing fun about having a team pushed basically all the way back into their spawn point for 5 straight hours. So I switched. In this particular turkey-shoot, I'd rather be the turkey.

Then, my weekend got really fun! Belly-crawling through trenches, staying so small that a single barrel was my best option for cover, rushing at a castle to try and facilitate an offensive push from a cowering team, and getting lit to shit every time... It was a fight for every inch from the red side. That is the type of scenario ball that I love. The only downside was that for Red, it wasn't a fight for the flag, and points... It was a fight to just get out of the spawn point. I'm sure that feedback from myself, as well as others will help the Warpaint staff find a way to make some much needed adjustments that will level the playing field in the most popular area of this event.

Everything was wonderful, as always, and this Supergame was the biggest yet. I'm not entirely sure what the final max body count was, but I know it was well over 1000 players on Saturday. I can't wait for August to roll around. I'll be in California during that time, but I have a feeling that I'll find a way to make it to the next event. Huge shout outs to all the sponsors who contribute to this event, and put together such great prizes as well as resources for the players.

Kinda a short blog entry this time, but I'm not home yet. I'm still in Oregon, exhausted and sore, but I always find it difficult to put this event into words. SO MUCH fun, action, and so many good people over a 3-day span, that it's something you kinda just have to check out for yourself.

All information on sponsors, Warpaint Paintball, and upcoming Supergames can be found at

That's all for now amigos!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blog Slacker Double Fail

Yeah so, nothing at all came of that last post. Same as before, it's been an extremely hectic year. Mostly because I've stressed myself out about a lot of things that don't deserve my attention.

The biggest contributor to my lack of activity on here and twitter has been my laptop. I finally got myself a Passport removable hardrive, so now instead of havig a measley 250 kb of availiable hardrive space, I have a good 30 GB... which makes everything with my laptop run much smoother. It no longer takes me 30 minutes to get online!

So yeah, it's not like I have any followers who pay attention, but more posts will be coming soon. I have been up to tons of stuff, including: work, the 2011 track season, a new tattoo, paintball, my first ever national event experience, the 2010 hunting season, and some exciting opportnities in Calfornia that have me chomping at the bit to get out of here. Needless to say, I have a lot of things to catch this blog up on, as well as anyone who might stumble across it. Now, however, I've got to fund my Paintball and shameless Victoria's Secret addiction, and go to Track practice before I head to a 7 hour shift at the Dirty Bird.