Friday, October 11, 2013

#19 Make a Video That Gets 1,000 Views

It's no secret about me, I enjoy making videos. I'm definitely in no way professional at doing so but it is definitely a hobby that I have fun with. It's fun to get an idea and then make that idea into something that can uplift the lives of others and make them want to be better because of something that you created. Over the years I have cruised the net and have seen how people have touched the lives of others through the medium of video. It's definitely not something easy to do. It's difficult to put together something that your own family would enjoy let along strangers that aren't involved in the pretext that goes behind making a video. I have aspired to create, in one faction or another, videos that help others see the world through my eyes. I figure that in order for a video to be considered "good" it has to be something that someone would want to share with someone else. Something that comes up at the dinner table or when you're out with friends. I have seen so many videos go "viral" on the internet. Some of these videos "go viral" because they are of a rare occurrence that someone was lucky enough to capture in the moment others because someone created a video to touch someone else on some kind of emotional level. Videos usually make headlines when they have crossed a certain threshold of "views" in a certain amount of time. This popularity based on influx of views suggests that the more views you have, the more people you are reaching with your message. It also implies that the more views you have the more people are enjoying the content of what you have created. Last year I set a goal. I wanted to reach 1,000 views. Normally most of the videos I create will peak at about 90-100 views because that is how many kind family members I have who watch my stuff. So, I thought to myself that 1000 would be 10 times bigger than anything I have ever achieved before. This was a mountain of a goal. That being said, this last month I surprisingly reached that goal. A video that I made of Laila's birth took to the web 9 months ago and since then has reach 1,033 views in over 36 different countries. I know that's not a very rapid time for a video to reach that amount of views but I hope that the message the video brings helps the lives of those who watch it. Danielle and I went through so many trials to bring Laila into this world. She is our little miracle and has helped us come closer to our Heavenly Father in many ways. Thank you to all who watched this video and helped me reach this milestone in my video career. It is my hope that the time you spent watching it improved your life in some way shape or form. I will continue to try and capture life according to me and I am indeed grateful to be able to check this off my list. It is great to think that I have achieved something that I previously thought was impossible.

Monday, January 14, 2013

#1 Become a Dad

It makes me proud and a bit emotional to be able to write about this today. There are some moments that we mark as turning points in our lives; getting married, going on a mission, graduating from school, etc. All of which are amazing and change the trajectory of how we all live. There is an experience though that trumps most of all other moments and that's becoming a dad. Danielle and I have had quite the journey into this moment coming to pass in our lives. She obviously tells our story a lot better than I do but I don't think I tell the husband side of the story very often.

To tell this story right I have to introduce you to the amazing woman that I am married to. Danielle and I met in high school and after many attempts I finally caught her eye and we started to date. I loved every minute we were together in high school. I took her to every school dance of mine except one and we spent every moment we could together. She knew how to make me smile and laugh like no one I had ever met before. She was strong and confident and knew how to make every day seem better when she was around. She was the happy in my ness as it were.We spent every minute we could together, even when there were bumps in the road. One of those bumps was a medical issue that came up during Danielle's senior year of high school. It was a scary time for her and for many reasons an even scarier time for me. What is 16 year old boyfriend supposed to say when her doctor tells her that due to her own body she may never be able to have children down the road? I worked hard to comfort her and we got through that time together. Danielle continued to be the light of my life and is the reason I was able to filter through high school and serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Cambodia. I was nervous leaving such an amazing catch behind for two whole years while I got to go to a far off place I had never heard of to teach people about Jesus Christ. We knew though that if we stuck together and did what Heavenly Father asked of us we would be blessed and our relationship would only grow through the experience. For two years she wrote me every week, always telling me how much she loved me and how proud of me she was. She was my light in dark times and my hope when sometimes there seemed like there wasn't any. Eventually I returned home from Cambodia and we were reunited after being apart for what seemed like forever. Days after getting home I quickly had to get my act together as she was very excited about the thought of getting married. Throwing worries of money and giving time to our families to prepare for a wedding to the wind I proposed a few weeks later and we were married 6 weeks after that.That marked one of the happiest days of my life. I remember that repeatedly throughout that day we turned to each other in amazement that it finally happened.

Danielle and I went on for many more months living the quintessential newly wed life. We traveled, we partied, we burned many homemade meals in our small little apartment, and had lots of opportunities for other extracurricular activities together as well. Said activities eventually led to us having a very serious conversation one day. We had been talking for many weeks about when to start having a family. Many prayers led us to the conclusion that because of Danielle's medical history we should start as soon as possible. It was while we were in the temple that we sat together and talked about how hard it was going to be. Together though we decided that we shouldn't put anything off because who knows how long it would take for us to finally have success. After that night we were officially trying, which is always an awkward conversation to have with others. Are you trying? .....someone would ask.....what exactly are you asking here? Are my wife and I enjoying each others company more frequent than before? You betcha! lol Anyway, a few short weeks later we got the surprise of a life time. I was just waking up on a Saturday and Danielle came running into our bedroom pregnancy test in hand. It was positive and we jumped up and down together so excited. We sat and talked about what this would mean for our lives and holy crap how would we ever afford it? We went over names and for the next week kept it a secret from everyone. Long story very short there, it just wasn't our time to have a baby then. We lost our lil miracle and it made a few days feel like a few months. I remember during the miscarriage watching Danielle stay so strong in such a hard time. For me, it was very scary time that helped me gain a strong testimony of the priesthood. When we got home from the hospital Danielle had to pass what would have been our lil guy. she did so and it was a very intense process. I had never seen her in so much pain and I had no idea what to do. I frantically called my mom and she advised me to give her a blessing. I called my brother in law, Regan, and he came right over and we gave her a priesthood blessing. It was unreal how quickly the pain subsided and she was able to fall asleep. Heavenly Father was watching out for us that day and helped us get through that very dark day.

We spent the next weeks going to the temple and trying hard to find the lesson in the trial that we had experienced. How could this lil miracle not happen? Weren't we doing the right thing? This is where things got to be really difficult as a husband. Over the next few months Danielle became very persistent in trying to get pregnant again. She knew within her that there was a little spirit waiting in Heaven to come into our home. Months passed and we became very accustomed to the monthly negative sign on the pregnancy test. Things were just not happening the way we wanted them to. As a husband, being on the other side of the door and listening to your wife pray to ask why she was being punished was a very humbling experience. I was feeling the hurt but not so much for myself, rather more for her. It must have been so hard for her to know that the answer to her prayers was no, for now. I spent many nights wondering how could I be there for her and help her see Heavenly Father's bigger picture? There were many weeks of praying and fasting to follow which lead me to find the answer. I came up with a system to help her cope with the many trials around her. She is in sales professionally and reaching incentive goals is something that motivates her more than anything else. So, together we came up with a list. One of the hardest things for her was seeing everyone around her get pregnant without any difficulty. We came up with a  list of people getting pregnant and I told her that if the list got up to 20 people we could go on a cruise. We got pretty close to the 20 but fell short. This helped her immensely get to the next step. The next step, we decided, after the many months of trying on our own was that we were going to employ the help of professional fertility doctors to get things going.

We researched many doctors in town and whittled down the selection to two doctors. We went with one and had a pretty terrible experience there. Upon meeting the doctor he misdiagnosed Danielle without any kind of testing and told us that we had what was called "unexplained infertility"....whatever that means. Though we felt bothered by this doctor, his payment arrangements made it cheaper to go through with a procedure called 'IUI'. During this process they take the guy's stuff and put it in the location most likely to create a successful environment for conceiving. It's much cheaper than other procedures but is only 30% likely to yield a successful pregnancy. Going through this process we had high hopes and unfortunately they were unsuccessful. This was very hard on Danielle. After watching her spend the next few weeks so sad I decided I had had enough of this baby thing for a while. Being so sad all of the time was not what life was about. We talked about our current situation and after going to the temple we decided that it just wasn't time yet to have a baby. We decided that we were going to take a year off. We were going to work to save money for the next procedure which is called 'IVF'. This procedure carries a very burdensome price tag but is 85% successful. During the next year we had so much fun being together. It was so comforting to know that every month did not bring another negative pregnancy test. Eventually though, time came for us to get back to business.

We eventually made our way to a new fertility doctor, Dr. Bruce Shapiro of the Fertility Center of Las Vegas. From the minute we walked into this place we knew we had found our miracle maker. During the consultation he put to rest all the myths we had hear previously. He explained that there actually is no such thing as 'unexplained infertility' and was very thorough about explaining the entire 'IVF' process. During this procedure they actually harvest eggs from Danielle and take the eggs and sperm and create a living embryo in a petri dish. They then insert this embryo into Danielle and hope that it attaches to her uterus. Sounds pretty simple right? More or less it kind of was. Throughout the next few months Dr. Shapiro worked his magic and eventually we finally got to the implanting stage (for more detailed information about this please visit Danielle's blog @ We decided that there are few moments that people get to treasure in life and announcing you are pregnant as a surprise is one of them. Because of this we chose to keep the implanting process a secret between just us. In the back of my mind this was so that if it didn't work  Danielle wouldn't have to relive that moment while explaining what happened to various people. It was kinda fun having our little secret. The day of the implantation we went into the office and Danielle was very nervous. She tends to find reasons to be nervous even if there is no reason to be nervous just so she can be nervous, so this was not out of the ordinary. They set everything up and had me put on a hair net and booties and allowed me to come back for the procedure. We had chosen to implant two embryos and as they brought the embryos in everything came very surreal. Dr. Shapiro looked Danielle and I straight in the eye very seriously and told us that if we went through with this we were pretty much guaranteed to have twins. We confirmed with him that was what we wanted to do and he went through with it. It took about 30 seconds and then the wait time began. We had to wait for 2 weeks, as any pregnant couple does, to find out if the embryos had indeed attached. It was a long couple of weeks but we finally got the call and it was positive results! Danielle was so excited. She made me a dinner with a baby back ribs, drinks in baby bottles...the works to tell me we had positive results. We were so excited by the news! Finally, after 3 years the stinkin test finally said positive :) We said to ourselves, what do we do? Do we tell people? Do we keep this a secret till the baby is born? Do we shout it from the rooftops? Eventually we decided the best thing to do was to tell our parents at 8 weeks after we heard the heart beat and then tell the world (i.e. facebook) at 12 weeks. It felt like an eternity but 8 weeks finally came. We made a video and gathered all of our families together via skype and in person and showed it to them. We received an overwhelming feeling of love and support for our families. It was definitely humbling to see how excited everyone was for us. We had asked so many prayers from everyone and they finally were answered. We are definitely very lucky to have them as such a get support system. 4 short weeks later we sent that movie out into cyberspace on Facebook and even more kind and loving words were sent our way. The video itself sky rocketed and eventually received over 700 views. That may not seem like a lot to youtube professionals but I don't think I even know 700 people so it was a lot for us. We spent many nights talking about how loved we felt and how grateful we were for Heavenly Father for giving us not only this little miracle but also so many wonderful loved ones who have hoped and prayed with us.

 Now that we knew we were having a baby the big question became, is it a boy or a girl? Many theories were presented and Danielle and I both had our suspicions. I really wanted to have a boy cuz what guy doesn't but I knew it was going to be a girl. In Danielle's family there are 6 nieces and 1 nephew....I knew this trend would most likely continue with us. Danielle had strong feelings that it was going to be a boy and because there were so many opinions about it we decided that we were going to throw a party so everyone could find out what it was going to be all at once. On the internet it's called a "gender reveal party" and it was a lot of fun. When Danielle and I went to the doctors office to find out the gender we told the doctor to not tell us the gender if they could see it, but rather write the gender down and seal it in an envelope. He did so and we gave the envelope to my mom. Her charge was to fill a box of balloons with the color of the gender, blue for boy or pink for girl. We invited friends and family to come and watch us open the box to find out what color the balloons would be. We had everyone come dressed in the color they thought the baby was going to be...I wore pink and Danielle wore blue. We were so nervous to open the box and find out. We did and PINK balloons came flying out of the box! It was so crazy, we were going to have a little girl. Secretly, though Danielle were blue, I know this was a dream come true for her. A little girl to dress up and put big bows in her hair. We embraced as we found out the news and it was hard not to just be overcome with just how surreal this all was....this actually was going to happen...we were going to be parents.
The excitement continued for weeks until we hit a bit of a speed bump. Turns out, our baby wanted to join the world a little bit too soon. Danielle was at work one day and she had felt an immense amount of pressure....whatever that means. She listened to her body and went in to the doctor's office to see what was going on. At this point we were 24 weeks along....the baby was about 1 pound and not ready to be born yet. Without getting too TMI, the doctor told her that had she not come into be checked that day she would have had the baby that night. They scheduled an emergency surgery that night to sew the baby up inside of her (referred to as a cerclage) so she wouldn't come out prematurely. As you can imagine, this was a bit of a curve ball. Luckily our doctor is a stud and was able to perform the procedure with ease. However, this procedure required Danielle to go on full bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy. Now for all of you established type folks with your fancy degrees and big old houses, you may not understand at this point why I became very nervous as a husband. We were basically saying goodbye to 50% of our income just like that. How was I going to pay for this? How in the world would we survive this financially? It was a very worrisome night for me. Danielle and I prayed many nights to know that having her stay home was the right thing to do. We felt that the Lord would provide a way as He always had done. So, Danielle went on official sick leave and was home in bed on official doctor ordered bed rest for the next 2 months. For the next few weeks Danielle was only allowed to go up and down the stairs to take a shower once a day and was allowed to come to the doctors office for her appointments but nothing else. Needless to say we became very acquainted with various TV shows and pintrest projects. It was definitely fun for me to be going to work full time, school, getting groceries, cleaning the whole house, doing laundry, and getting anything Danielle needed all by myself for a while. I came to have a great appreciation for what moms do every day of their lives. Luckily, Danielle's mom also came to stay with us during this time which was an immense help and was especially fun during the heated election season as she is an avid Obama supporter....(jk Julie, just wanted to see if you were reading this please don't hate me).
Miraculously we got through the next few months. We became accustomed to Danielle being on bed rest and we had many instances in which we snuck out of the house because we just couldn't handle being in "the cage" any more. With each passing week we counted our blessings that we had gotten this far as the big day got closer and closer. Eventually though, the big day finally came. Through many different crazy situations we ended up delivering Laila Marlie Davis on January 6th 2013. She came to us via emergency C Section by our amazing doctor, Dr. Bohman. The whole process seemed much like a whirlwind. One minute were in an operating room and the next we had our first child. I was lost in the shuffle of everything and to read more in depth about it you can visit Danielle's blog ( There was one moment though at the end of the day that I will never forget.
Visiting hours were over, and everyone had gone home. The nurse had finally left Danielle and I to be alone with our little miracle. I held her in my arms and rocked her in the rocking chair. She stared up at me with her big blue eyes and smiled. It was at that moment that I just became so overwhelmed with gratitude. I was so grateful that Heavenly Father had given me the last few years to fully appreciate what a miracle Laila truly is. Through the many days, months and years I sat and wondered why me? Now, as I held her I understood that through our trials I was being molded by the master to be the kind of Father that Laila not only needs but deserves in this life. I sat as this feeling poured over me and I couldn't help but be a blubbering baby as I held my cuter than life daughter.

Through crossing this off my bucket list I fulfill a life long desire to be a dad. Going forward I look forward to all of the fun memories and hard lessons that will be gained through the crazy journey of parenting. If any of you out there are on the bubble of whether or not you should take the plunge and be a parent I highly recommend it. To me, the process was worth every penny, prayer and tear. I sure do love our little Laila and I look forward to many more learning experiences to come. The below video highlights everything happened during Laila's journey to Earth. I have been told it's quite the tear jerker.


Monday, December 31, 2012

#28 Complete a Full Marathon

    Sometimes I see things on this list and I think to myself, dude...are you nuts? Why in the world would someone subject themselves to such torturous things? Well this most recent check off was no exception to said questions. At the end of 2011 I looked around and noticed how unhealthy I was. I had gained 35 pounds since I got married just three years earlier, I hardly ever exercised and when I did I always quit due to a cold or some other pansy excuse. I decided that this was no way to spend the rest of my life.One thing that Dave Ramsey (a popular financial author) always says is "the good news is, if you're the problem, you're also the solution." When I read that quote I decided that he was right. I didn't need to settle to live in a manner in which I was a victim of my daily habits, I could rise above it and accomplish something extraordinary. It's kind of a lengthy story but it changed my life.......

     I started by sitting down and thinking about things that I could work for and one that kept coming to mind was doing a marathon. If there is anything that I hate doing more in this world, it's running. It is so boring and so isolating and is just not something I was ever good at. I decided that this would be something extremely difficult to accomplish but something definitely worth doing, and so I set up my plan. There was no way in heck that I was going to be able to run 26.2 miles with all my excess fat. I needed to set up a work out plan that would optimize my goals and help me to reach this mountainous goal. (side note) One of my favorite shows on TV is extreme make over, weight loss edition. This program is a documentary of a trainer, Chris Powell, helping transform individuals suffering from being over weight to much healthier lives. What I love about it the most is that it's not just about getting skinny and then rebounding. It's about helping that person understand the benefits from being healthy. Chris actually moves in with these clients on the show and helps them transform their lives over the period of one year. One episode I watched had Chris talking to a client who had a goal to lose 250 pounds in one year. Chris said to the client, "losing 250 pounds in one year is impossible, or is it?" That got me thinking, and came to the conclusion that it's not impossible to lose weight and I was going to follow Chris's format and do it.
       On the show Chris breaks the year up into sections and gives the specific client a goal to hit at the end of every section. In my case, I broke the year up into 4 parts or quarters. Each quarter would be 3 months and at the end of every quarter there would be a weight loss goal as well as a personal fitness accomplishment. It looked a lil somethin like this......

Beginning Weight = 195
Beginning Waist = 36"

Beginning Bench Press = 110 lbs
Goal to reach overall= 160 (loss of 35 pounds)
1 quarter = lose 15 pounds (180) and finish P90X
2nd quarter = lose 12 pounds (167) and start doing crossfit
3rd quarter = lose 5 pounds (162) and complete a 50 mile bike race
4th quarter = lose 2 pounds (160) and complete marathon

     When I first sat down and surveyed the landscape of what a huge thing I was taking on I got pretty overwhelmed. I mean, on purpose I had never lost more than 5 pounds before in my life let alone ran farther than 3 miles. Throughout the year I came to know myself a lot more than I had ever known before. I came to  struggle with mental discouragement. I hit so many plateaus and came to question my whole goal and came pretty close to giving up. However, I was determined to never give up. I took a Nutrition class at UNLV and came to understand my enemy, food. I quickly came to understand why I had ballooned up to the point I had gotten to. An individual cannot live on a 4,000 cal a day diet with little exercise without expecting to gain weight. All of the extra large combos, biggie sizes and calorie heavy midnight snacks added up over time and totally destroyed my body. No more of this was allowed. I tamed the beast and figured out exactly how much to eat and what to eat every day to make the pounds start coming off and they did. I started keeping track of everything I ate on my 'Loseit' app on my iphone. This ultimately helped me figure things out. There is a reason every weight loss website tells you to write a food journal and keep track of everything you eat, it just works. After about a month of working with this, things finally started to click and the pounds started to come off. The scale started to be my friend and I began to conquer my bad habits every day. As each quarter came and went I hit my goals and I can't even begin to express how awesome it was to finally have some success.

    About half way through the year I began to train to do a marathon. I called my brother up who had done cross country in high school and asked him for tips. He set me up with a running schedule that helped a ton. I ran 3 times a week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, for 12 weeks. Tuesday and Thursday were considered my short runs and every Saturday I did a long run. With every progressing week and month each run got longer and longer until eventually I felt confident that I could tackle the 26.2 miles of a marathon with little to no problem. This whole process was tough. It's never easy to give up so much of one's time to dedicate it to something like this, especially on the long runs. Every Saturday I was gone for 2-3 hours just out running. The great thing after a while though was that it got easier. My lung capacity grew and I began to enjoy running. Sure there were a few set backs like a stress fracture in my foot and shin splints like you wouldn't even believe, but overall it was great to again see that I could tackle this goal no matter what.

    After many months, I had hit all of my weight loss goals and the day of my big race finally came. Months previously I had signed up for THE BIG FREE MARATHON in Las Vegas. It's kind of a cool concept that I should give a plug to while I'm writing about it. Normally marathons have a huge (well huge to me) entry fee like $100 per runner or something like that. With this new concept of race, you pay a $50 entry fee and then as soon as you cross the finish line they refund your credit card and ultimately makes your participation in the race free. Free is always good. Anyway, back to where I was....the day of the big race. To say I was nervous was a huge understatement. I had never participated in something to this scale before. I got to the race at 4:45 in the morning and there were thousands of people there. My dad came out to the finish line and hooked me up with a hydration belt to wear throughout the race #lifesaver.

    When time came to start the race they asked everyone who was planning to run a 5-6 min mile to start first. I figured no way would I be able to do that but hey why not start first? I hopped up to the front of the line and the race began. Immediately afterward people were passing me like crazy but I had read somewhere to just run your own race and tune out the racers around you. As each mile passed I tried to stay as hydrated as I could. I kept about a 8 min mile pace and high fived my dad at the first few pit stops that he drove to to take video for me. When I got to the 9 mile mark things got tough. The hills got higher and higher and I had thought I had trained enough for them, not true. I eventually got to the hardest part of the race, 22 miles. It's hard to explain what happened at this point. Never in my life have I experienced so much pain.

    I got to 22 miles and my legs stiffened up and began to cramp so much so that I had to sit down, then walk 10 feet, then sit down again. Many times I thought to know, you could turn around right now and no one would know. Crazy how temptation hits you like that.I didn't succumb though, I conquered the pain. I finally got to the last three miles and it was weird, my legs were totally fine out of no where. I then figured, sweet....3 miles ain't nothin now. Little did I know that my chest and lungs thought otherwise. It became extremely hard to breathe all of a sudden. What the heck, my entire freaking body was shutting down. I became pretty emotional at this point....I know right, what a girl. Seriously though, it was just so ridiculous but I was going to FINISH come death or whatever was around the corner. Luckily the only thing around the corner was the finish line. There was about 100 yards of open land at the end of the race for the finish. I was all alone giving everything I had left to cross that line.

    They announced my name as I crossed the line and oh man what a moment that was. I had done it. I had actually done it. Danielle, Laila (in Danielle's belly) and my Mom were there to support at the line. It was so surreal to finally have finished what I set out to do a year ago. Amazing. I spent the rest of the day with family and recovering.


     There are few things on this list that will be as hard as this one was to cross off. But ya know what, after this year, anything is possible. I can truly accomplish anything and am so grateful for the people who help me to do so. I encourage anyone who is currently in a similar spot that I was in a year ago to choose to better your life. You can do it. It sucks, it truly does...but you will never regret it. Trust me, you a year from now will have wished that you had started today. I am grateful for a loving family, an iphone that helped me every step of the way and for Chris Powell for giving me the motivation to start this whole crazy thing.

So at the end of all things here are some fun stats from this year....
Ending Weight = 160
Waist = 32"
Bench Press = 210 lbs

Experience this whole story with me in the video below......


Monday, September 10, 2012

#50 Ride in a 50 mile Bike Race

One of the greatest things about having this bucket list idea is that I get to go out and experience new things that I have never tried before. I get to push myself to new limits as I try to reach goals that I set for myself and then tell you all about it. This past week I marked off another thing on my list as I competed in the annual bike race called "Pedal to the Medal." It is a race to benefit the athletes in the local special olympics. My dad is recently very big into bike racing. He and his road bike have reached goals and destinations that I only dare travel by car. A few weeks ago he asked me if I wanted to participate in the Pedal to the Medal race. Though I only have a mountain bike and don't have any prior racing experience on wheels I told him I'd join him. He gave me fair warning that this race was shorter than the usual races he participates in but to make up for the shorter distance there was going to be a massive hill climb. I figured no sweat, I can do anything. I learned that it would be a bit harder than I previously imagined.
 My dad picked me up early in the morning on the Saturday of the race. We got to the starting line just in time and started at the front of the pack. As the race started off I did okay and only got passed by a few people. Eventually though I found myself alone and pushin to get to the hill climb. I would say I was crusin at about 10 mph and feeling great. However, as soon as I hit the hill climb I came to find out what endurance really means. The climb didn't start off too bad and was pretty gradual but as soon as I got out of the valley and into the mountainside it became utterly ridiculous. I honestly have never pushed myself to that kind of physical exhaustion before. It was a good thing that I kept myself hydrated and downin 100 calorie packs because there seriously was no end to that stinkin climb. It was a beast. Eventually I found my way to the half way mark of the race. My dad got into the pit stop just a few seconds behind me. While we rehydrated and got ready for our descent I was talking with an older woman racing. She told me that last year she felt so stupid because she had done this race on a mountain bike. She went on and on about how dumb she was for doing that. I quickly chimed in that I indeed had done the race on a mountain bike. I felt sheepish as she told me I must be dumb too. I had a good laugh about it as I passed her later though.

Coming down the hill was pretty intense. I was not able to pedal as I ran out of gears but it felt so good to be going down and not up. I think at this point was the hardest part of the race. After I soured down the pass I got back to the 12 mile stretch before the hill. Previously, this was a piece of cake but boy did that change. I had the hardest time getting back to the finish line. I passed numerous people reliving what they had for breakfast and I felt their pain big time. As I got to the end I thought of the many metaphors I would use this race for in future sacrament talks and soap box speeches for my kids. It was definitely rewarding to get to the finish line and seeing Danielle and Mallory there with my dad giving me the thumbs up as I finished. They were so nice to come and support and wait for the probable 4 hours it took me to get my butt up the hill and back. We enjoyed cheeseburgers together after the race and my dad even won the most spirited uniform award. He was pretty stoked about it as his jersey he was sporting made the Steeler Nation proud.

I was so happy to get this checked off my list. I think in the future I am going to train a bit more before I take on such a daunting task and probably will be taking on the 100 mile mark soon enough. Thanks to everyone who made this possible and for everyone in my life that keeps me pushing up the tough hills of life.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

#152 Learn How to Boogie Board

You ever have a guilty pleasure? Mine is boogie boarding. From the first time my parents took me to the beach and I got thrashed around in the waves until now I have always spent hours and hours in the water having so much fun at the beach. I think out of all places in the world, the ones I love the most are the beach. It's on my bucket list actually to retire to a beach some day so that I can be a bum and just chill allllll day. On a recent beach trip I took with Danielle's family....and by recent I mean a year or so ago I went boogie boarding with some of the family. It was a blast. I had learned to boogie board previously but it was the first time I actually got it on video so I thought it was worthy to throw up on the blog. Boogie boarding is definitely not as exhilarating as surfing but hey for guys like me who have a deep water complex along with being completely afraid of sharks, it hits the spot. I have been to many beaches and seen some guys do some crazy stuff on a boogie board. Normally the guys who cut into the swells with fins on are the dudes that make news for catching 10-20 foot waves. For right now, I think I'll enjoy bein' an amateur wive diver. If anyone is looking for a fun activity to learn, I definitely recommend boogie boarding. There's something about being out in the surf and getting caught up in a swell that pulls you to the top of the wave and then riding that sucker all the way back to the sand on the beach. I think that when I'm 99 years old I will be that crusty old grandpa man who loves to be out in the surf. Glad I had an opportunity to learn something new and to cross it off my list.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

#112 Learn How to Snowboard

There are few action sports that I don't obsess over and dream that one day I could do what I see people in the X games do. Snowboarding is one sport that I have always wanted to try. Ever since Shawn White made his way on to the scene and made snowboarding the cool thing to do I have always wanted to try it. Every year for our guys weekend we head up to Utah to ski and that's a blast. Definitely makes me wish I lived somewhere near snow. Alas, being in Las Vegas we don't see a lot of the white stuff. Danielle and I decided last year that we were going to be brave and both try to learn how to snowboard in Brianhead. We have very generous in-law friends who own a condo there and they very very nice to offer us a bottom low rate to stay the weekend. We had a blast. Snowboarding it definitely not for the faint of heart or soft of bottom though. Upon arriving we assessed that before we got overwhelmed with going off of jumps or doing double blacks that we would first take on the daunting task of simply getting on the ski lift.

With skis that is a 0% big deal because you hop on and you go, skis attached and everything. Snowboarding, not so much. We learned that one foot stays in the binding of the board and the other hangs free (causing much tribulation in tripping repeatedly). Eventually we tackled that monster and made our way to the tip top of the bunny hill. We were among the elite and experienced 5-10 year olds learning for the first time themselves. Our first run down we learned that this was going to be ridiculously hard and that we needed to learn how to laugh at ourselves in order to get through the day. Our 2nd and 3rd run got smoother and smoother as we went. All day we got farther every time we tried. At the end of the long mess with our wrists practically broken and our tail bones bruised beyond belief we mustered up enough strength to take on a green run for our last run of the day. For those who are not familiar with the skiing vernacular, a black is the most difficult color of a run and represents "advanced" skiing. The color blue is for those who are more "intermediate" and the color green represents "beginner" or "for pansies" as I like to call it. It was sad that a green was what I was going to finish the day on but to be honest I don't think I would have been able to handle much more than the bunny hill anyway. We slowly progressed down the mountain managing only to get in a few tiffs with each other and eventually we made it out alive. At the end of the run/day we were both exhausted but were so happy that we had conquered a new thing that we had never learned before. I look forward to being able to go back someday and learn how to get better at snowboarding. By checking this item off my bucket list I learned that I can accomplish anything I put my mind and bruised up body too. Glad I got to do this with my best bud.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

#108 Be a DJ for an Evening

Okay, I admit, this is a pretty silly thing to put on a bucket list. After all, how many people want to play music and have people dance to it. That's right, at least one...this guy. Recently, my sister-in-law, lexie got married to her missionary who she waited for. They asked me to DJ their wedding. Originally, I thought this would be a total disaster and wouldn't be very easy. Everyone has been to a wedding when the music just didn't motivate you to show off your inner Kevin Bacon or John Travolta and the guy behind the mic seems to think he is the funniest person alive. I have been to many and I did not want that to end up being me. In preparation to be the anti-"that guy" I did a ton of research on music to get down to and ways to get people involved. I remember when Danielle and I got married we loved our DJ's and their biggest thing they did for the wedding was to keep people involved, that when things died down they had a "group participation" dance. I threw some stuff together and all in all I think it turned out really well. After the wedding was over I had several people come up and ask for me to come to their upcoming events and I thanked them for their compliments but reluctantly informed them this was a one time thing. It was a ton of fun to get a party jumping and I couldn't have had a great time without my worker bee Danielle. She worked the crowd as I played the music and if there was any success at all, it is all due to her. It was a great night and I had a lot of fun crossing this one off the list.