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Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

This morning the family and I ventured south to Seward Park for the kids’ third Seafair Kids Triathlon.

It was a memorable morning, but not necessarily for the best reasons.

Things got off on the wrong foot.  No sooner had we parked at Seward Park than I realized I had forgotten the kids’ bike helmets.  I raced back to Laurelhurst, found the helmets and raced back.  I got there just in the knick of time and I didn’t have the presence of mind to inspect the kids’ transition areas.

Big problem.

The kids left the water just fine.  Finn was in roughly 7th place and Reese was a few spots behind him.  But things went downhill from there — for Reese.  While Finn had a fairly slow transition, he recovered to finish 10th overall out of 99 and no. 1 among eight- and under competitors.

For Reese it was quite another story.  First she couldn’t get her shoes on properly — my mistake for not opening them wide enough to slip in.  Worse, though, was her bike.  It turns out when they laid it down they twisted the front wheel, and no one — including me — noticed.  That caused the brakes to lock, which made the bike barely rideable.   So unrideable was it that Reese went from middle of the pack after the transition (slow because of the shoes) to dead last in the entire field — by about fifteen minutes.  I was very proud of her for doing the 1/2 run in tears — quite a showing of resolve.

Lesson learned: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.  I should have packed the kids’ gear yesterday.  Had I have done so, I would likely not have forgotten the helmets, and had I not forgotten the helmets, I would have had time to properly set up their transition areas.  Instead I played golf.

Reese’s resulting disaster is on my hands.  I put golf over the kids’ preparation.

It will not happen again.

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Last night was one of those nights that was just — well, cool.

On Monday morning I received an email about some sort of open Husky softball practice around of this weekend’s NCAA regionals.  It included a t-shirt giveaway.  Sounded pretty cool, Reese can always use a free t-shirt, so I sent out an email to the Models parents and by yesterday afternoon I had five players and my assistant coach, HT, committed to join us.

A signature pyramid attempt before practice began. (Clockwise from the top: Maddie, Emerson, Gracie, Emily, Sammie and Reese.)

We headed to the softball stadium in the early evening.   I was expecting to see fans by the hundreds.  To my surprise and dismay, there weren’t any more than a dozen more.  (I’ll leave my rant about the short shrift women’s sports get for another post.)  Because of this, our access was front row — literally.  When the Huskies concluded their stretching routine inside Dempsey Indoor — a routine we copied (I’m still sore) — they invited the girls over for some high fives and gave them a cheer.

In the middle of those Huskies are our Models, including Reese.

It got better from there.

The Huskies then moved over to the softball stadium.  We joined — and literally sat in the front row.  Like fifteen feet from the players, if the crow flew through the net.  And as we were pretty much the only ones in the building, we weren’t unnoticed.  Perhaps most noticed was Finn’s Panther teammate Isaac Couch.  At one point he was dancing in the outfield bleachers, and shaking her groove thing with him from a distance was none other than Husky 3B Taylor Van Zee.

World class athletes, all.

It gets even better.

After a few hours of watching practice, we decided to call it a night.  It turned out that in the course of their evening shenanigans, all the girls got balls.

All but one.

Emily.

We started to walk home on that back east road, near the lake.  Everyone was happy as clams but there was a tinge of melancholy because one of our Models hadn’t collected a ball.

The Models with their souvenirs.

For some reason Reese looked back south.  Just then — and I am not making this up — someone at Husky batting practice laced one clear out of the stadium.  “Look!” she yelled.  The ball was headed for its permanent resting place in Lake Washington, took a huge hop — and hit the guard rail between the road and the lake.  It bounced back in and stopped in the road. Reese chased it down and VOILE! — Emily had her ball.
We continued our walk back, with me and HT commenting on what had just happened.  “Dude, that was WEIRD!” was the general gist of it.
Reese opined “that was karma.”
She was right.
Either Emily had something good coming to her from the universe, or the Huskies have something good coming to them (NCAA championship?) or a little of both.  But it was a pretty darn cool moment and one I won’t soon forget.

Post-practice we did dinner at Din Tai Fung — and got out of there for $90.

The girls were so wound up from their experience that they refused to go home.  We ended up eating dinner at Din Tai Fung, where we escaped for $90, and then grabbed a quick dessert at Menchies.
Home by 10:30, on a school night.
Pretty sure a few of the Models were tired at school today.
I’m certain of this because from all the texts I received from parents, their Models couldn’t stop talking about what a great night they had.
They weren’t the only ones.

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Whistler 2017

Last year, my buddy Simon bought a quarter share condo at the Evolution building in Creekside, Whistler.

This past weekend, Reese and I joined him and his daughter, Paige, there.

Two days of epic skiing.  We didn’t exactly nail it in the photo department, but we did manage a few:

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Today the kids and I headed north to Jackson Park Golf Course for the eighth annual Jackson Juniors tournament.  With us was the Gouk family and my buddy Joel Aro, who caddied for Finn while I looped for Reese.

It went quite well.

Reese’s score of 49 on the nine-hole executive course was good enough to win the girls 9-and-under division.  Emerson Gouk’s 51 was good for second place.

Seven-year old Finn also had a 49 in the boys 9-and-under division.  Two kids beat him, however, with 47’s.  Still, third place in his first-ever tournament — not bad.

Suffice it to say, we all eagerly look forward to our next time out.

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Today the family ventured to south Lake Washington for the kids’ second running of the Seafair Kids Triathlon.   The race was supposed to be a 100-yard swim, 3-mile bike and 500-yard run, but the “swim” was more a run through water and the bike was closer to one mile than three.

All in all, the kids did much better than in 2015.  Reese finished in a time of  10:34 — good for 84th place in a field of 113.  A very slow transition because of some shoe malfunctions ended her chances.  Finn finished in 8:43 — 25th overall and the fastest 7-under in the field.  (Ten other athletes were in that category: he was the fastest by 46 seconds.)   There wasn’t a lot of room for error in this race: the winner, an eleven-year old boy, finished with a time of 7:19.

A little short, even for a kids’ tri-, if you ask me.

Afterwards we took a quick trip to Seattle Center.  Regrettably we missed the Bite of Seattle — it was last weekend — but we still had a fun time frollicking in the fountain.

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Softball 2016

Another softball season is in the books.  Reese’s 89er SMG Models team got off to a rough start but we haven’t lost in well over a month.  Bummer that the season ends, but end it does.

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Next season: the draft.

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Last night Reese and I joined our father/daughter friends Rob/Sammy W. and Matt/Lola P. up at Snoqualmie Central.  The reason: Pink Pandas night skiing.

To my delight, it went quite well.

Night Skiing

Reese is not the skiier that fellow Pandas Sammy or Lola are, but she improved dramatically and, with her friends cheering her on, kept up reasonably well.  Perhaps most importantly she (and everyone else) had a great time.  No sooner had we decided to head home than we were negotiating on our next night skiing outing.

No Picaboo Street, but she enjoyed herself immensely, and that’s what’s most important.

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