Blog Archives July, 2009

30 Days of Awesome – Day 4

A few housekeeping items first. Starting today we will be awarding 25 assorted Vitalyte Stick Packs a day to the best 30 Days of Awesome blog as determined by the Vitalyte executive staff. Send them in!.

Google Talk

I am certainly one of those guys who doesn’t stay up on the latest technology. I have a Blackberry which is awesome for e-mail and making phone calls and that’s about all I need my phone for. Basically I am bit of a techno simpleton so when Vitalyte’s VP of Ops recommended I use Google Talk to facilitate a call to Northern Africa with one of my clients I was a little reluctant. I tried it and WOW, that was awesome. Over an hour on the phone to someone in Africa with crystal clear reception and it didn’t cast a dime. That’s cool.  Maybe I should read a Wired magazine once in a while.

Chatfield Recovery Expedition

Anyone who has spent a great deal of time in the foothills of Colorado knows that it is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Denver sits in a valley just east of the Rocky Mountains and for those who enjoy an active lifestyle, there is always something to do. Whether you like camping, hiking, biking, fishing or any of the multitude of activities, Denver is really an outdoor paradise, unless of course you are an avid wakeboarder or waterskiier. Nevertheless we who enjoy those kind of water sports venture out to the so called lakes surrounding Denver to try and get in our choppy runs when we can, usually on nights and weekends. Having been doing this for a number of years, I have noticed that every person I have been on the boat with has lost at least one pair of nice sunglasses, if not more. Being an avid scuba diver, it also difficult to do any real diving in CO so I figured why not kill two birds with one stone and try diving to recover lost sunglasses.

The adventure was a complete failure. My good friend Brian and I spent over two hours submerged in the murky waters of Chatfield Resevoir, and even with dive lights couldn’t see more than 3 to 4 inches. The muck bottom of the reservoir made it impossible to see, so looking for anything was the equivalent of a blind man looking for a needle in a stack of needles.  Recently I watched a TV program about man eating catfish in the depths of murky lakes around the world and fumbling blindly through the water produced visions of a 400 pound catfish waiting patiently to enjoy me as dinner and Brian as dessert.

Luckily we both survived and with nothing to show for our time in the water, we sat on the platform of the boat with a cold beer and laughed at ourselves. I have always argued that life is the sum of our experiences, good or bad, and even when things don’t go according to plan, the ability to sit around after a failed attempt at something with a cold beer and a great friend and know that you’ll have a story to tell for years to come is one of the greatest things.Plus I got to see Brain trying to feed a goose a cheeto out of his mouth, that alone was worth the trip.

In the end we put away the dive gear, pulled out the wakeboard gear and Brian landed his first 180 of the season. Awesome Day!

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30 Days of Awesome – Day 3

First things First…

When I first heard about the idea of “30 Days of Awesome” from Lesley Betts up in Breckenridge I thought it would be easy. Basically just write down what I did every day. The problem with my thinking is that it takes real effort to complete a challenge like this, especially in the way that Lesley did. I have included a link to her original “30 Days” blog as a way to pay homage to our ambassador of awesome. Take a look and see what kind of dedication it takes to make the most of every day.

Of course there are always things that get in the way of having fun, we all have responsibilities, kids, carpools, mortgage payments, all the things that we can use on a daily basis as an excuse to keep us from not having an awesome time. The trick, in my opinion, is to find the things that you want to do and make it a point every day to take some time for yourself and do them. I know that sounds like a quote strait from a self help book but it’s not. It’s a call to action. Go have some fun, find something you are passionate about and do it.

Now onto today’s blog:

Sometimes Awesome doesn’t hurt.

Since I started my quest for 30 Days of Awesome I have tried to cram as much physical exertion as I could into the last couple of days. My body needed a break so it was off to the movies instead of mountain biking or wakeboarding, which will most likely follow in the next couple of days.

I’m not a movie critic but I am a huge fan of the cinema. In the waning years of my grandfathers life, when he was renderd mostly immobile by Parkinson’s disease, he passed the time watching movies with his grandson. I know my love of the cinema grew out of our time together and even though he has been gone for almost fifteen years, I always wonder what his view of some of the movies I see today would be.

Last night I saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince with Tami and I have to say it was Awesome. Being an avid reader it took me a long time to jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon but once I did I understood the magic of J.K. Rowling’s work. She has a gift and regardless of what you think of the books, one can’t deny that she is one of the best authors to come onto the scene in a very long while.

It’s a rare occasion when Hollywood is able to present to the public a movie that is even comparable to the written work, and in the case of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I would say they fell way short again. That’s not to say that Hollywood didn’t put together a great movie, it’s just to say that there is no way to adapt a book like hers and keep a fan of that book happy with a finished onscreen product.

The movie was still a great experience and after a hard couple days, it was a much needed break. I highly encourage you avid readers to check it out and let me know what your thoughts. Also, remember to read Lesley’s blog for if I can’t inspire you to start your own 30 Day quest, I know she can.

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30 Days of Awesome – Day 2

Sometimes awesome hurts!!

I have always done my very best to stay in shape. I don’t necessarily follow a strict work out routine but lean more towards the Matthew McConaughey philosophy of simply finding a way to work up a sweat every day. Part of the fun of living an active life is finding new ways to do that, so when I was offered a free class at LA Boxing’s new club in Denver I jumped at the chance, and wow am I paying for it today.

La Boxing boasts that each class can burn up to 1000 calories through a combination of bag work, punching, kicking, heavy ab work and stretching. I can’t comment on the number of calories I burned but I would have to say that I lost at least 6 pounds of water weight, two of which came from me crying like a baby after the class (just kidding).

We all have fitness goals, or we all should anyway. LA Boxing is a great class for people looking to take those goals to the next level. The high intensity class is fun, challenging and most importantly not boring. Check them out online to sign up for their free class and let me know what you think.

By the way, this is not some shameless plug for another company. Part of my 30 Days is to hopefully inspire as many people as I can to get outside, or in a gym and enjoy the rest of summer by being active and having fun.

For those of you not wanting to post on a blog please feel free to catch me on Facebook.

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30 days of Awesome – Day 1

Two mystery clues, six challenges, 30 miles and in the end, a big party with lots and lots of beer. This is New Belgium’s Urban Assault, the biggest bike scavenger hunt series in the world, and I was there competing. Tami Monaghan, a seasoned biker, graciously agreed to compete with me in the co-ed division of the 2009 Urban Assault as part of Team Vitalyte, which despite my lack of preparation, did very well. A week prior to the race, a quiz was sent out to all Team’s and the scoring of that quiz determined starting order. I didn’t take the quiz so we started at the end. Of course, prior to starting the race there are things one should do, something I quickly realized upon getting to the pre-race event in the morning and seeing all of the competitors with their trail maps outlining their prospective routes throughout the city to optimize efficiency.

A crossword puzzle on the website held the key to the location of the first mystery clue. The night before the race I did the crossword and discovered the location which I quickly plugged into the computer along with all the other stops and hit “optimize”. The computer spat out a highlighted route which upon examination, looked perfect. I e-mailed the route to my Blackberry and with a smile, congratulated myself on a truly efficient and perhaps, new and improved, way of optimizing bicycle routes for just such an event.

Two things were ultimately wrong with this simple efficiency pick up. Those of you who are bikers already know one of my mistakes which I will get to in a second, the other issues is one I will have to take up with my IT department. Supposedly, my network e-mail server decided to sync with my Blackberry to conserve space and took all the e-mails on the blackberry and archived them to my desktop Outlook. So I show up to the race ready to amaze the masses with my new idea and no e-mail, which of course means no route, which means I don’t know where the heck I’m suppose to go. This brings me back to the other issue which almost makes the 1st one mute. Traditional software packages that create routes for driving don’t use approved “bike trails” and roads to create those routes, so all my work the night before probably would have been useless anyway.

Vitalyte Tip: In a bike race where you have to create your own route, buy a bike trail map.

Luckily we paired up with a team that was gracious enough to let us tag along. The race began at 9:00 am. We decided to make our first stop the mystery clue where we had to decipher a puzzle coded in numbers which would tell us the location of the second mystery stop. After decoding the clue which told us to go to a swimming pool, we took off for the farthest location on our map. Here Tami and I had to compete in a three legged race to get our bead (a clearance piece for each stop) before heading off to the pool. Once there, we had to strip down to whatever we could and still be family friendly, swim the length of the pool and collect another bead from a woman whose sole job this race was to sit in a tube and hand out beads. (Not a bad way to spend a Sunday)

From there it was a bike trip back to the other side of Denver. This obstacle required me to where a basket with a hole cut out on my head so Tami could throw wet sponges at me which I had to catch in the basket. Looking back I would have to say that she seemed to enjoy this one a little more than she should.

Three obstacles down, three to go. Luckily the final three were all in close proximity to each other and the finish line. So after riding a log ride at Six Flags, sitting on a skateboard and using a plunger to propel ourselves around a course collecting beer cans,  a ring toss at the Rio, and a grand prix race course on a little kids tricycle, we crossed the finish line a little more than three hours later.

The finish area was a giant party, with beer, games, and the general fun that comes when a large group of people get together for such an event. I met up with some friends, old and new, traded war stories from the road and had a great afternoon knowing that I had completed my first bike race, already looking forward to the next one.

30 Days of Awesome might mean something different for each person. For me it is about the daily commitment to have fun, meet new people and experience things that I haven’t before. I didn’t place first or win any medals but I had a blast at this event and that, after all,  is what 30 Days of Awesome is all about.

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30 Days of Awesome

There is this long standing tradition across the country to make an extensive list of resolutions towards the end of the year, implement those resolutions in the New Year, and completely give up or forget about them by February or March. I have often wondered why New Years resolutions fail for most people. Is it because we attempt to make changes in our lives that are to difficult, to far reaching? I would argue that is not the case. Heck, history is full of stories of the unyielding power of the human spirit so why is a simple resolution to loose 15 pounds or stop drinking such a difficult thing for most? My guess is simply that most resolutions are not fun. I believe that human beings intuitively seek out fun in their lives and the idea of a resolution, which for the most part usually involves giving up something, is counter intuitive. Of course this has just been my observation with no supporting data to back it up except my own experience, which is why I gave up on New Year’s resolutions years ago.
On a recent vacation in Breckenridge, CO I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who changed my idea about the nature of such resolutions. Lesley Betts and her boyfriend Sean, at least to the best of my knowledge, are credited with creating the “30 days of Awesome.” Their rules are simple. Embark on a consecutive 30 day quest for awesomeness and write about, photograph it, let the world know. And so their idea and their rules paved the way for the Vitalyte 30 Days of Awesome Campaign. Before I get to the idea and rules behind that campaign I want to thank Lesley and Sean for creating such a fantastic idea, for letting me borrow that idea, and for, in their own way, inspiring me to embark on my own journey. It is my hope that my journey will inspire others and that the karmic payback for Lesley and Sean will be a whole lifetime of awesome.

On to the rules of the Vitalyte 30 Days of Awesome. I have agreed to be the guinea pig for this little adventure of ours and so I encourage you, avid reader, to check back daily for my latest post about my quest for 30 Days of Awesome. Feel free to post your comments (be nice), ask questions and for those who are daring enough, begin your own 30 day journey. Who knows, there might be a Vitalyte contest in the works with cool prizes.
So go out and do something awesome everyday and write about, take pictures (preferably with your Vitalyte Water Bottle, there was my shameless Vitalyte pitch in case you didn’t catch it), tell your friends. The goal for me as an executive of this company is not to jam some ridiculous sales strategy down your throat but to inspire you all to begin your own journey and hope that you take Vitalyte along for the ride. Go out and do something you have always wanted to do, try new things and most of all have some fun. And if by chance you see some tall dark and handsome guy in a Vitalyte shirt (hey my grandmother always called me that so I can say it), try to keep up cause tag, you’re it!

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