Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Reflection on Gifts

2010 A Reflection On Gifts
“For unto us a Child is born, a son is given.”

Finding the “perfect” gift seems to be the theme of many during the holiday hustle and bustle. For those of us who are Christians, the gift of the birth is eternal salvation. The year’s end is always a great time to reflect on the year gone by. This year, with the recent passing of a dear friend’s mother unexpectedly, a student’s mom whose other child was left paralyzed, Matt and I would like to reflect on the gifts of 2010. Really, as the adage goes, “today is a gift; it is called the present”.

In random order here we go:
• Living in Evergreen: no more 4:00 A.M. runs on the treadmill with a 40+ minute commute. Civilization!
• Renters in our Bailey house until the market turns.
• Coaching, curriculum development and prize money = down payment for Evergreen house.
• 60’s carpet, blue tubs, peach toilets and all of the other house project that allow Matt to further develop his handyman skills! He may have found a new side job when all is said and done!
• Lutheran Church of the Cross our new church with contemporary music and only 3 blocks from our home!
• A new Dodge Ram 1500 for Matt.
• A self-less dedicated coach who has helped Brandy get to a level in running she had only dreamed about!
• U.S.A. Mountain Running: NACAC, World Long-Distance Challenge (Pike’s) and World’s in Slovenia
• Expensive airfare to Canmore, Canada which inspired Matt, Brandy and dogs to road trip through Glacier National Park up to Canmore (88 winter Olympic venue) and then into Banff National Park
• Mount Washington Road Race and Acadia National Park
• Race Directors who give comp entries, travel assistance and homestays to elite athletes and spouses!
• Frequent flyer miles allowing Matt to travel to World’s in Slovenia! (Team 4th, Brandy 15th—2nd U.S.)
• A 16 hour layover in Paris that ended up with Brandy breaking both of her arms!
• “In sickness and in health” brought on new meaning for a husband. (Shaving, washing hair, etc.)
• Health Insurance to cover a $45,000 surgery and prize money from Pike’s to cover the deductible.
• 120 Eager Cross Country Kids for Brandy to coach along with a great coaching staff
• Baseball in Evergreen allowing Matt to share his “love of the game”!
• Matt’s DECA kids who made it to state allowing us to stay at the 5 star Broad Moor Hotel
• Bookclub which has become a wine, food, and socialize club! What book were we supposed to read?
• New Balance who allows me to be an ambassador for the shoe I have worn since I was 12 and who has graciously supplied me with shoes and gear.
• Power Bar who provides Brandy and Matt bars & gels to keep us fueled on the trail and throughout the day.
• Atlas who has kept Brandy on their snowshoeing team despite being lost in 3 out of the 6 races!
• Humane Society’s who have “no-kill” policies who kept K2 for almost 11 months before he found his forever home with us! (It must have been meant to be as he is named after a mountain!)
• Pet hair on our clothes, in our food, scratches on the furniture &floors, poop in the yard and dirty litter boxes as it means we have healthy pets: Emma, Gizmo, Ches-E, Fischer, Chopper and K2!
• An amazing veterinarian and her husband who have become two of our dearest friends and one of Matt’s best fly-fishing and cribbage buddies.
• A food dehydrater which has allowed Matt to become an Elk Jerkey master.
• Jeffco’s 21st Century Virtual Academy which allows Brandy to Work from home!
• Evergreen High School where Matt continues to teach and run the school store.
• Brandy’s mom who comes to visit while Matt travels to Phoenix for baseball spring training.
• Sara and Correy’s visit and good friends to share Thanksgiving with.
• A zillion other people, places and things I am forgetting!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy healthy New Year! Hoping you will find, use and share your gifts with those around you. In the end, it is not the small things, or the big things, it is the day to day “in-between” things—a warm cup of coffee shared with a friend, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, a mountain sunrise/sunset. Dogs wagging their tails with unconditional love when you return from getting the mail, a warm kitty curled up purring on your lap, a good book, a movie that makes you laugh until you cry and the friends, family and co-workers who we share this daily journey with.

Note: Almost a year has gone by without any activity on this blog! The end of the year is a great time to reflect on the year gone by and set goals/resolutions for the next. My goal for 2011 is to become a "regular" blogger!  I am already pondering topics for my next post--perhaps a reflection of my running successes/failures of 2010.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Unofficial results

Brandy sent this out via email a short while ago:


Here is a quick update--we have to get to lunch and awards. Our women's team was 3rd place--BRONZE medals!!!! A junior girl was 2nd! Men not sure on the final results yet. Juniors may have placed, but men did not.  I was either 9th or 10th--I think I got edged out right at the line. All 4 of us were top 20! I was actually in 2nd place at the top of the first climb--pretty cool experience. It is beautiful--I may miss my plane on purpose! :-)
Thanks for all of your support!!

love, Brandy :-)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Update from Italy

After spending an extra day in Charlotte (weather grounded her plane), Brandy was rerouted to JFK instead of Atlanta and finally made it to Milan. From there she met up with Nancy Hobbs and caught a ride to the race area which is northeast of Lake Como. It sounds like a beautiful area and most of the athletes who previewed the course have approved of it. There is an opening ceremony tomorrow (Saturday) and the race is on Sunday.
For more information check out this blog:
You can also follow along on Twitter:

I'll try to post pics as I get them. Italy is 8 hours ahead of MST and I hope to have race results early Sunday morning.

Here's a couple courtesy of Nancy Hobbs:

- Matt

Sunday, August 30, 2009

10k Trail Championships - North Carolina

As a tune up for the World Championships Brandy headed out to North Carolina for the 10k Trail Championships. Official results have not been posted yet but should be on this website: Via phone conversation Brandy took 2nd behind a woman who is new to trail running but has good times in road racing. Gina Lucrezi finished 3rd. I forgot ask about the men's results. Brandy thought the course was similar to the Teva Games 10k without the elevation and having more rocks to negotiate.

Next up, World Championships in Italy. Brandy flies out today to get there early to acclimate to the time change. Here is the website for the race:

- Matt

Sierre - Zinal

The race lived up to all the hype, it very well could be the best mountain race in the world. The competition was strong as Brandy ran to a respectable fifth place. After rain most of the day Saturday, Sunday turned out really nice with lots of sun. Rickey Gates and Pablo Vigil have written nice recaps of the race which can be read here:

- Matt

Saturday, August 8, 2009

European Vacation

Brandy was invited to run a couple races in Switzerland. Her first race was Thyon-Dixence, which despite poor weather went well. Brandy took third finishing barely missing 2nd place. Angela Mudge (Great Britain, former world champ) took the win looking very solid. Brandy ran (I hiked) the course a couple days prior after we finally received our luggage (only 2 days late). It is a beatiful course with some good climbing and staggered downs finishing on the middle of the Dixence Dam.

Currently, we are staying in Zinal waiting for the start of the famous Sierre-Zinal race. We are told this is the most prestigious mountain race in the world. We have been treated very well so far. This will be very competitive in both the men's and women's fields. Anna Pichrtova is back to defend her title and many other big names as well. We have been staying with Rickey Gates all week and it has been great hearing his stories from his Grand Prix races. Otherwise, it is raining today and hopefully clearing tomorrow (race day). I'm glad I hiked up to a hut yesterday and took some amazing video of the surrounding peaks and glaciers. We fly out early Monday morning back to reality.

- Matt