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30 Days of Awesome

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 15

    Lake Powell - Day 2

    Someone once told me that solitude is a precious thing. Standing on a giant rock overlooking the lake with a cup of coffee in hand while watching the sun splash its first rays down on the desert made me understand that statement. Moments like that are fleeting and so rare that you wish you could stop time and stay in that moment for a lot longer. Unfortunately that isn't a possibility so you do the next best thing... Go Scuba Diving.

    We want to send a shout out to our friends at A1 Scuba in Denver, who provided some awesome gear for us to try while diving Lake Powell. In addition they are also the sponsors of the Aquarium Shark Dive in Denver. Check out their link on our website for more info about this company. There seems to be this conflict amongst divers as to the diving quality of the lake, and although I have been there many times in the past, I have never dove the waters of Lake Powell. Now that I have, I can say that was an awesome experience.

    The visibility changes depending on your location but my first dive took place along the main channel wall where the bottom depth was registering at 380 feet. The algae growing along the wall captured sunlight and reflected it back into the lake making visibility roughly 30 to 40 feet. My first dive was with Kenneth, an experienced diver so we decided to drop down to 35 feet to check conditions and take a couple of pictures.

    The rock wall we diving along opened up in many places to reveal an entire network of caves. Not having the proper equipment, we decided to stay away, although I must say the allure of the unknown was pretty tempting. Our total bottom time for the first dive was about 25 minutes with a max depth of 45 feet. After that, visibility got pretty bad and all you could see was the abysmal drop off that ran another 340 feet to the lake bottom. Ocean diving is different in the sense that you can usually see down to the floor or at least a reef that you may be diving. Looking down into the lake, you see nothing but slow change from lighted water to the infinite black of the murky depths. It can be a little freaky sometimes, especially when you let your imagination run wild and think of all that could be lurking down there.

    Needless to say we had a great first dive and were both ready to enjoy some above lake activities. Today was wakesurfing day, something I have yet to experience on decent water. Wake surfing is an attempt to surf on a lake instead of the ocean by using the ballast system of a boat to create a large enough way to surf on.

    I think I did alright.

    The great thing about a place like lake Powell is that there is always something to do, so when wake surfing gets old, you can move right into rock climbing and cliff diving.

    Cliff Diving led into more wake boarding and the day progressed as well as any day could, with plenty of sun, fun and beer. I even got in a decent run or two on the board whihc Tami captured so well.

    Day 2 finished out a lot stronger than day 1 as it was my friends birthday. The celebration got going with a huge fire by the lake where I was able to introduce "V", the new Vitalyte mascot to the group.

    Turns out that V is quite the ladies man.

    Watch for the continuing adventures of V as he travels the world in search of fun and excitement. This guy is a prototype but we will soon have V for sale on the website for all Vitalyte fans to enjoy in their adventures. I'm guessing that we will also be offering up some great prizes in the future for the best "V" pics and stories.

    The party kept going until the wee hours of the morning, when by sheer exhaustion people slowly migrated back to whatever part of the houseboat they could call a bed for a few hours before the next day.

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 12

    Housekeeping Items - The response to the 30 Days Campaign has been overwhelming and once again we want thank you all for taking the time to read, comment and write your own blogs.

    We are still giving away Free Vitalyte to the best blog of the day so keep em coming.

    If you haven't had a chance to check out Kellie MacMullan's blog from the KWGN News Channel, I highly encourage you to do so. Lots of great of stuff in there. It's available in an RSS Feed from Vitalyte's website.

    Vitalyte is also running our "Weekend Warrior" campaign. With lifestyles being as hectic as they are, sometimes the weekends are really the only opportunity to get in some fun. We at Vitalyte would love to hear about it. Whether you are a top rated triathlete competing, an adrenalin junkie like me looking for something crazy to do, or a family spending an afternoon at the [ark, we want to hear about. The goal of Vitalyte is to inspire everyone to take advantage of all the opportunities that lie away from the T.V. Remember, great prizes in store for the best stories.

    Some days the weather just doesn't corporate, but that doesn't mean awesome has to take place outside. Of course, as I get nearer to leaving for Lake Powell for a good friends 30th b-day, I wish the weather would be a little bit more cooperative as I try to get in as many lake days as possible perfecting some of this summer's tricks. Soon it will be time to hang up the wake board and tune the snow skis. Of course that brings a whole different kind of awesome.

    Speaking of, I want to congratulate Tami for passing her open water dive test last night. Hopefully she will soon be exploring the majesty of the great blue with me soon.

    Anyway, in lieu of the ability to go to the lake and with the days training session in prep for the Muddy Buddy completed, I figured it was time to bring awesome to the kitchen.

    Growing up in the kitchen of my families Italian Restaurant, I got to watch my grandmother do things with food that I'm sure no will ever be able to do ever. The woman was a magician in the kitchen, taking the most simple of recipes and turning them into the things of legend. I learned a lot from her and although I will never be able to match her skill in the kitchen, every now and then I come up with something worth bragging about. Last night it was Pizza.

    My grandmother was famous for her pizza and would she have been with me last night, I'm sure I would have got that subtle but approving smile from the master for my work in the kitchen. Of course, had she have been there, I wouldn't have been stuck doing the dishes alone. Oh well, small price to pay. The pizza was awesome and I was able to get some shots of the weird storm system moving along the front range.

    As the night wore on the system moved through the sky turned all sorts of funky colors. It was really a cool thing to watch as I enjoyed my pizza and a glass of Shiraz.

    I don't issue challenges or advice very often but I will today. If your parents or grandparents are around, pick up the phone just to say hi. It gets easy to forget about the people in your life amidst the hustle and bustle, but simply taking the time to pick up the phone and spend a couple of minutes with someone is such a valuable gift.

    Have a great day.

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 11

    Muddy Buddy Prep - Still looking for some feedback from Vitalyte Fans out there on a prize for the winning Vitalyte Team in the upcoming Muddy Buddy.

    Sunday Funday - Back in high school I had read the Book Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. The book is a perfect one for teaching kids all about symbolism and character development, and according to one of my high school English teachers, the ridiculousness of war. I enjoyed the novel, not because of its symbolism and character development, but because it was a good story. I especially liked the character Orr who was constantly taking apart small mechanical things like carburetors from trucks and planes, and putting them back together. This character appealed to me because he had the patience to do things like that for no apparent reason. Of course, if you have read the book you know that there was reason for it later on, but that's not important.  I have never been like Orr in the book. Perhaps I suffer from Adult ADD or perhaps I lack a certain spacial awareness necessary to do things overtly mechanical. Whatever the reason, the idea of taking apart a carburetor and putting it back together is on the same level as getting a root canal without Novocaine.

    So you can imagine my excitement when it came time to put together a new gas grill on Sunday. I hate to bring up something like the unshakable power of the human spirit but I know that without that undefinable urge to trudge onward in the face of such incredible adversity, I most likely would have stopped after pulling the darn thing out of the box. Seriously, is it really necessary to break these things down into as many pieces as humanly possible to get them into a smaller box. I understand the logistics and the decreased cost of shipping something like this when the boxes are smaller but for love of all things holy, it is certainly not necessary to break a grill down to the point that I couldn't tell if I was putting together a bar-b-q or a jet engine. And don't get me started on the instructions for this thing, which were clearly written by someone whose grasp of the English language was minimal at best.

    Ok, enough complaining. Bottom line is I did it. Two hours and forty-five minutes later I screwed the last screw in and marveled at my mastery of such a complex task like putting together a grill, which in Colorado will get another two months of use before the weather turns on us.   Back to the whole human spirit thing. Hokey, yes it is but sometimes these little tasks  are exactly what I need to remind me how sometimes there is a storm before the calm, or in this case, a lot of work before a porterhouse. Besides, you never know when your plane will go down in the Atlantic, you will have to paddle to Switzerland in a life boat, and the patience derived from such a mundane task will be the difference between making it or not. (Catch 22 reference in case you're wondering)

    That wasn't the end of Sunday though. After such a daunting task like putting together a grill, I felt I needed to reqrd myself with a movie. Growing up like so many kids across the country there was only one logical choice for the afternoon entertainment. G.I. Joe.

    Evan's Movie Corner - Sometimes we go to movies because we see a story that offers insights into ourselves, movies like Schindler's List or The Notebook for those hopeless romantics out there. Sometimes we go to a movie because we need to laugh ourselves silly for 2 hours, movies like Old School or The Hangover. Sometimes, not all the times, but sometimes we go to just get lost in the scenery of a movie for two hours. If you have any other preconceived notion about G.I. Joe, I'm sorry to say you will be grossly disappointed. If however, you want to see a supermodel cast in skin tight costumes set amongst the backdrop of amazing special effects, then this movie is for you.

    This movie is never going to be an Oscar Worthy flick, but then again blockbusters seldom are. If you are looking to kill two hours of your day by seeing a beautiful cast of people beat each other up, the you are in luck.

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 10

    Muddy Buddy Training

    The Muddy Buddy is a 6-7 mile race for a team of two where each person runs 3 miles and bikes 3 miles in a leap frog fashion. One team member rids while the other runs and at each interval change there is some kind of obstacle. The end of the race requires the teams to crawl through the giant mud pit before crossing the finish line.

    With a messed up ankle I was a little concerned about my ability to handle this course but since there is a yet unnamed prize awaiting the victorious Vitalyte Team, I am 100 percent committed to winning.

    For those of you that live in the Denver area, come on out and cheer on all the Vitalyte Teams, especially mine. There is a huge party afterwards where you can meet the Vitalyte Teams and assuming the training regiment goes well this week, you can shake hands with the victorious Sarah and Evan.

    Saturday was another great day at the lake, at least for the first couple hours before the crowds arrived. My buddy's 30th b-day in lake Powell is coming up in less than 3 weeks and so each run on the lake is a chance to try a new trick or perfect an existing one before the big summer blow out in a real body of water.

    Saturday was my opportunity to put a new board in the water and try it out. the Hyperlite Imperial is a 3 stage rocker with a wider middle section is designed to give more pop of the wake and a smoother landing. Unfortunately it was difficult to really get a feel for the board in the ocean like chop of Chatfield. Basically all I succeeded in doing was getting some great wipe out shots.

    Samuel Clemens once said "always leave em laughing." In the absence of decent water on a day where far to many boats were on the lake, I find it best to just to follow Sam's words. At the least the people on the boat get a show.

    I guess its bag to Muddy Buddy Training.

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 9

    Ladies and Gentlemen. We are now midway through our second week of the 30 Days of Awesome and campaign and I wanted to thank all of you for following me on my journey this summer and I also want to thank those of you who have submitted to the Vitalyte Blog. I have had a chance to read some great stories this summer and even award a couple of Vitalyte Prizes.

    Check out the website and our Facebook page to read some of the other entries, especially Kellie MacMullan's blog. Kellie is an anchorwoman for WB News here in Denver and has a segment of her show called Extreme Kellie. This woman is awesome!

    Keep the entries coming.

    The Weekend Begins

    When I was younger and caught up in the world of corporate travel, usually spending 4 days a week on the road, I had to reserve my weekends for the all the things I couldn't do during the week, such as laundry, paying bills, watering the plants, (this one became less and less of a problem as I realized I can't keep a plant alive). As I get older and paradoxically less mature, I have found that the weekends are a great opportunity to really kick back and have some fun.

    Some times that fun begins at a local watering hole for Happy Hour, or an early flight out for a long weekend away from home. Somtimes a relaxed weekend is all you need to recharge and a quiet dinner party is the thing to start it off. That's what I was thinking when I invited a couple friends over for some drinks and dinner Friday night. Of course, in typical high school fashion, the couple swiftly multiplied and the next thing I knew there were 16 people in my loft.

    What started out as an attempt at a quiet evening quickly turned into a great party with lots of friends. Who am I kidding, I never really liked the quiet evenings anyway.

    The party was a great time and more importantly and opportunity to begin the trash talk between the three Vitalyte Teams competing in next weekends Muddy Buddy Challenge.

    The Teams are:

    Brian and Tami

    Sarah and Evan

    Brooke and Joe

    We as a group are having a hard time deciding what the victorious team should get as a prize so I would like to open this up to suggestions (keep them clean people, this is a family site). Post suggestions to the blog or our Facebook and Twitter page.

    Check back this week or updates on the brewing rivalry.

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 8

    In mid November I will be traveling to Australia to complete negotiations for the new Vitalyte Australia. From a business standpoint, this is an amazing opportunity for us to grow as a company and capture a foothold in the global marketplace. From a personal standpoint, this will give me the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream, two actually.

    The first will be to dive the Great Barrier Reef, something I have wanted to do since I put on my first BCD and fins. A series of reefs that stretch over 1600 miles, the Great Barrier Reef is a must for any diver. With the human impact becoming more apparent, I want to make sure I see it before it is to late.

    The second dream of mine is to cage dive with the great whites of Neptune Isalnd.

    Take a look at this picture below and tell me that doesn't look like the most amazing thing in the world.

    So in preparation for the dream come true trip, I decided to work the rust out of my land locked scuba gear by doing the shark dive at the Denver Aquarium.

    Couple issues if you are a diver that make this less than a perfect dive. First it's a negative bouyancy dive. You are overweighted so you sink like a stone. The second problem, which is only a problem if you feel like being an appetizer for a shark, is that you kneel in trenches along the perimeter of the aquarium. Apparently diving in the middle of the sharks swimming and eating patterns is like signing up to be someone else's lunch.

    All in all though, a truly awesome experience. The shark aquarium has a number of brown sharks, zebra sharks, some barracudas, but the most ferocious looking is the sand tiger shark. The sea turtles are also amazing. They are not in the least bit shy and on a number of occasions swam right up and nudged me.

    You'll notice that my pictures for this dive are absolutely horrible. It has been a long time since I have used a real 35mm camera with film and I forgot to wind the darn thing back up when I was finished so most of the pics are double exposed.  Seriously, what did we all do before digital?

    The lasted about 45 minutes and was an awesome experience. More importantly it made me even more excited for my trip to Australia. The chance to see a great white up close and personal is something that I have been wanting to do for as long as I can remember and now that I have the opportunity, well lets just say November wont get here soon enough.

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 7

    The challenge has been catching on and everyday more and more people are beginning their own 30 day journey, some even winning free Vitalyte. For those of you who have been following this campaign so far we at Vitalyte want to thank you and ask that you help spread the word even more. OK, enough shop talk.

    I am now one week into my own 30 Days of Awesome Challenge and it has been... well it has been awesome. The difficult part is really planning ahead and making sure that there is something fun scheduled for each and every day, or if there is something planned, trying to get the weather to cooperate. It is amazing how quickly time can pass without anyone really knowing it. Next thing you know the summer is over and you're left wondering what happened to all the plans you made but never got to. I have certainly done that on more than one occasion and this challenge has really made a big difference in my summer.

    Take the challenge - there is still plenty of summer left.

    So back to Day 7. I recently tore all the ligaments in my foot in a freak mud wrestling accident. Ok, it was really a softball game but the mud wrestling sounds so much better don't you think? Anyway, the damage is done and I have to have surgery, which I have postponed till after the summer where I'm hoping I will have enough time to recover before ski season begins. Anyway, as a result of this injury my summer sports schedule has suffered a bit. Yesterday was one of the first decent days I have had on the water since the injury and is hence my topic for the day.

    The lakes in Colorado tend to fill up quickly on the weekends and so if you desire to get anything resembling decent water, you need to be on it by 7:00am. Any time after that and you'll be skiing or boarding in what can only be described as tsunami like swells, complements of the vast number of boats they allow on the lake. (Way to many in my opinion) Luckily we were out early,  got some decent water and I had a great couple of runs, bad foot and all. The really great part of the day was watching two people who just began boarding this season really start to make some progress, and seeing a good friend hit his first 360 in the water. Congratulations Larry, Tami and Brian.

    The weather held, surprisingly enough, my friends had an awesome day and even as the day wore on and the water turned more to ocean chop than Colorado lake water, we all had some great runs. Wakeboarding is a lot of fun but part of that fun is really spending time with friends outdoors on the lake enjoying the day. And even if you have a bum foot, maybe you end with a photo worthy jump you can post on your blog the next day.

    So as I mentioned before, there is still a lot of summer left and I highly encourage you all to start your own 30 Days of Awesome, take some pictures and send them to me. I want to know how its going out there for you all.

    Have an awesome week everyone!

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 6

    "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth." - Muhammad Ali

    Those of you who have ever taken a Psychology class have undoubtedly heard of  Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of basic human needs, and for most people, even in this turbulent economy, basic physiological needs like food, clothing and shelter are things we take for granted. If you haven't heard of him, here is the quick and dirty compliments of Wikipedia.

    It is often depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels: the lowest level is associated with physiological needs, while the uppermost level is associated with self-actualization needs, particularly those related to identity and purpose. Deficiency needs must be met first. Once these are met, seeking to satisfy growth needs drives personal growth. The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are met.

    The reason I bring this guy up is because I think most people in this country often take for granted even the simplest things that some other people don't have. I know I do and every now and then I'm reminded of that. Such was the case Saturday night. I was invited to attend the Denver Kids Charity event at the Wine Loft in Denver. The purpose of this event was to simply raise money for high risk kids needing transportation to and from school.

    Of course the Denver Kids group does so much more than just provided transportation. Their mentor programs and academic counselor programs serve the needs of over 800 at risk students in the Denver Public School System.

    Their mission is to improve the lives of the kids they work with today and prepare them to be successful in the future. The Denver Kids group takes on some of the toughest challenges facing today's kids and they do it 365 days a year. For one night I got to be a part of their mission and it was an honor.

    This event was co-organized by a remarkable group of woman who took time out of their personal lives too give back to their community. Jen A., Jen M., Brooke, Sandra and Tami - You guys ROCK!

    The night was huge success.  The drinks and food provided by the Wine Loft was amazing, especially the baked brie. I got to spend some time in the company of old friends and even made some new ones.

    And as the night wore on into the wee hours of the morning and the party slowly died, hopefully we all went our separate ways knowing how lucky we all were and how much it means to acknowledge that luck by spending just a small amount of time in the service of others. Now that's AWESOME!!

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 5

    Robert Burns once wrote "The best laid plans of mice and me often go astray," as a way of talking about how discombobulated things can get in a quick hurry. We have all probably had those days where for whatever reason, one simple things starts a downward spiral and redeeming your original plan for your day is impossible.

    Day 5 was a lot like that for me and I found that my best laid plans went out the window at about 6:30 am. Not that this is a bad thing but when it comes to the task of making a full 30 consecutive days awesome, it can be a bit challenging. The weather would not cooperate for a bike ride or water skiing, (not that it has all summer here in CO) conference calls got moved around all day long messing up the schedule and trying to finalize travel plans to Dubai without an assistant is a headache at best.

    In spite of all that though, I was able to help a good friend move some furniture, spend some time with my nephew (he's not really my nephew but a good friends kid) and there is always something about seeing a two year old laugh and smile that will brighten your day, and finally it looks like the Hydropolis Hotel in Dubai might be ready  for my trip out there.This place is a 220 room submarine luxury hotel and looks amazing.

    So back to the best laid plans. Sometimes it's just impossible to get everything done in a day that you originally set out to so the trick for me yesterday was to take pleasure in the simple things, like helping a friend or making a child laugh.

    Instead of spending time outside like I wanted to on the trail or in the lake, I ended up closing out the night with a great book. For those of you out there who have read any of Clive Cussler's books you know they are a great deal of fun to read. The Dirk Pitt series is absolutely fantastic. I finished rereading Atlantis Found, the book that got me addicted to Clive Cussler so many years ago. I won't bore you all with details of the book but if you get a chance go read some of his work. The man is a master at entertaining readers from page 1 all the way through to the end.

    So there it is ladies and gentlemen, and if you are disappointed with today's level of awesome then I humbly apologize and promise that this weekend will be much more entertaining. In the meantime, get out there and enjoy yourselves and tell me about it. We still have the contest going for 25 Vitalyte Stick Packs to the best post for the day.

    For those of you who live in Colorado, or those looking for a last minute getaway, check out the link below. I will be attending the Denver Kids Charity Benefit Saturday night at the Wine Loft.

    One of the biggest problems facing DKI is the ability to simply get the kids into the classroom, so the funds raised at Wine Loft will provide the money needed for transportation (bus passes and tokens) to help middle school and high school students get to school every day. Hope to see you all there.

  • 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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