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Archive for the ‘Fitness Life’ Category

The word pelada means “naked” in Portuguese, but in Brazil, it also refers to a pickup soccer game. In Trinidad, such games are known as “taking a sweat.” No matter what they’re called, they’re played all over the world—down alleyways, on rooftops, in backyards and prison yards and anywhere else that can serve as a field. For every impromptu match documentary filmmakers Luke Boughen and Gwendolyn Oxenham joined on their journey around the world, they remind us, millions more more were taking place.

Both passionate college soccer stars, Boughen and Oxenham (who also played professionally in Brazil in 2005) set off to discover the meaning the game has for its enthusiasts around the globe. Whether in an open field, in the street or on the beach, from South America to Africa to the Middle and Far East, they found men, women and children alike living, breathing and playing soccer. The game proved a universal language through which the filmmakers (aided by their behind-the-scenes colleagues, Rebekah Fergusson and Ryan White) were able to communicate with their subjects even when no words were exchanged. While they played, they learned about their teammates’ lives and the importance of soccer to the structure of their communities.

Ultimately, Pelada reminds us that play, for adults as well as kids, is the common denominator of cultures that differ in every other respect. Just as they can set up a field and kick the soccer ball, so citizens of the world can learn to respect and understand the game and one another.

—Gigi Haycock

Boise State University, through the help of the Volunteer Service Board (VSB), Student Union Building (SUB) and Boise State Rec Center not only showed us the divine sport of soccer through the inspirational Pelada documentary, but also allowed soccer enthusiasts to come together and play in an indoor tournament to show what “Pelada” meant to them.

Luke Boughen, world traveler, futsal fanatic, and Notre Dame superstar, through the help of Joshua Haines and the VSB, brought the charity indoor soccer tournament to our beloved city of Boise. Not only was Luke able to tell us about the endless experience, knowledge and insight he’d gained from traveling around the world, but it also gave us the opportunity to share with him a little history in regards to the local Boise culture and community. Boise natives and students educated Luke about the Basque community, growing Bosnian and Serbian communities and refugees to name a few that have made Boise, Idaho the wonderful place it is today, even more so as it relates to soccer.

A unique touch to the charity soccer tournament was the entry fee to play. Each team of four either had to pay $10 or (preferably) bring a new soccer ball. The soccer balls were given to local Boise refugee families. The tournament brought 16 teams, 64 players, donating several hundred dollars to charity as well as over 20 soccer balls which were distributed accordingly.

The beautiful thing about the game of soccer is its international flare, respect and appeal. While sports like basketball and baseball at universities bring a majority of local players, or at least individuals born and raised in the United States, soccer brings people from around the world. The tournament represented players from Africa, Bosnia, Serbia, Spain, England, Saudi Arabia, Peru and Mexico, all playing for the love of the game and bringing their own special touch and finesse from where they grew up.

Luke and his wonderful documentary make each and every one of us feel that slight tingle in our feet, passion in our hearts and true love for the game! It has been an honor and privilege to have such an influential individual come to Boise State University and give us a new perspective through the game of soccer.

For the complete photo album click the link Pelada Indoor Tournament Photos

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KetchumSun Valley, a concentrated city full of health enthusiasts and fitness gurus looking for their next hill to climb, mountain to ski or terrain to ride. If I’m speaking to you, listen up! Look no further than the Sawtooth Mountain country for your next adventure to fill your outdoor recreation appetite.
Assuming you’re already fit from the fall season – trail running, road biking and mountain bike riding, it’s time to get your winter fix! Winter in Stanley and the surrounding areas can offer you exactly what you’re looking for and more. Take your skis, snowshoes, and packs for a weekend of exercise and activities that will leave you wanting to soak in the hot springs with a cold one. With hundreds of miles of trails from Smiley Creek to Lowman you will be amazed by the endless opportunities to venture off into the white powder paradise. From perfectly groomed trails for classic cross country, skate and downhill skiing to snowshoeing into untouched backcountry, the Sawtooth Mountain country has it all. Or, if you have an engine revving, adventuresome need for speed then try out the endless first class snowmobiling trails to get the heart rate flowing.
For those who just want a weekend away in the beautiful world of winter, getting your exercise couldn’t be more picturesque. It may be taking a leisurely ski trip into the wilderness of Alturas Lake, walking amongst the Sawtooth Mountains, having a picnic along Little Red Fish Lake, taking pictures of the White Cloud Mountains or sitting in the Stanley hot springs – you’ll find it all within the Sawtooth Mountain country.
What about summer, you ask? Summer in the Sawtooth Mountains means unlimited health wellness and fitness, both for the mind and body. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, trail running, climbing, rafting, walking through history, camping, listening to live music or birdwatching – you’ve come to the right place. Summer in the Sawtooth Mountains epitomizes what it means to have endless recreational opportunity beginning when the sun rises until the sun sets, and even then the night is young for those creative individuals that strap on the headlamp and head into the wilderness.
Want to learn more about how the Sawtooth Mountains can help you to stay healthy and fit?  Visit www.stanleycc.org and visitidaho.org for all of the details.

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Do you have dreams, goals and ambitions for your 80th birthday? Possibly being around to see your grand-children grow, playing golf five days a week or maybe it’s as simple as being in good health. At 22 years of age I was able to experience a priceless opportunity with my grandpa, 80 years young, that will forever reside in my memory!Grandpa Joel as the grand-kids like to call him has been a stellar athlete and fitness fanatic for his entire life. A nationally ranked track athlete until the age of 35, YMCA lifetime member and avid cyclist, he has made staying fit a way of life. Do you have an 80 year old grandpa that you brag to your friends about? I do, heck, I brag about him so often the Lake Oswego public relations firms should be paying me for boasting his excellence.

Thursday afternoon approached abruptly as I packed up my car for the 8 hour road trip back to Lake Oswego, Oregon. After a couple of naps, pit stops and leisurely driving I arrived at my grandparents house. Awaiting my arrival was a large bowl pasta topped with my grandmas famous spaghetti sauce and the hospitality that only grandparents could provide. Setting my clothes and gear out I went to bed both anxious and excited for the early morning.

Promptly at 08:00 (as my grandpa would say it) we had our road bikes assembled, equipped and ready to go as we would trek to Salishan, just north of Lincoln City on the Oregon coast. Naturally, as any 80 year old would wish, it was my grandpa Joel’s goal to ride 80 miles on his 80th birthday!

My cousin Alex, 21 years old, also accompanied us on the trip to the coast to complete the grandfather and grandson “trifecta”! For the first 20 miles, where the roads were unfamiliar to my cousin and I, the 80 year old phenom led the way averaging 16-17 mph with ease. From then on, our massive three person peloton switched off lead riders to keep a solid pace – not too slow, not too fast, but to have nice conversation and bonding along the way.

Our first real break was in Grande Ronde after nearly 40 miles of consistent riding. The small town that could nearly be referred to as a ghost town (as are many small towns while heading toward the coast) consisted of a hip and happening convenience store. After doing a small dose of people watching and grabbing a quick carbo-loaded snack from grandmas portable cooler of brilliance we were back on the road.

The beautiful Oregon weather, scenery and ride were enhanced 10 fold once we reached the Van Duzer corridor. Hundred year old Douglas-fir trees shaded the road as we rode with a cool, brisk breeze along the smooth road. All that separated us from sweet downhill riding into Lincoln City were three uphill climbs. While Alex and I thought it would be nice to slightly relax and talk during the ascent, without fail grandpa was cruising in what looked like his big chain ring, stud status! After being partially left in the dust and completing the final hill, we had a mere 15 miles left to Lincoln City.

Flying down hills and passing cars backed up for miles as we entered Lincoln City was priceless, grinning with smiles that couldn’t be slapped off by an angry ex! Cutting through to the back roads right along the coast, the weather turned from sun to the typical Oregon coast cloud cover like night and day. That said, we couldn’t have asked for better riding weather. It was 65 degrees and throughout the entire ride we were blessed with a kind tail wind.

After 6:30 hours, (5:30 hours of riding time) averaging 15.6mph we had arrived in the lush community of Salishan. With a pristine view overlooking miles of Oregon coast it was nothing short of spectacular. The feeling, emotion and tranquility that comes from riding 88 miles, with family, unto a beautiful spectacle was beyond what I’d ever imagined. In regards to this trip, I can only dream that this can continue. There, I said it grandpa, next year 81 miles for your 81st birthday!

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No freaking way, is he really doing that…in public?

A sublime, transcendent and pleasing feeling consumes me – I feel as if thousands of eyes are touching me from head to toe as I attempt to walk seamlessly. What are they thinking? I silently ask myself. Why would he be doing that…here…in front of everyone? With a confident mindset I continue, trying to recall if I’ve EVER seen anyone else do this. I feel new, unique and slightly scandalous about my behavior but now that I’ve began I simply cannot stop.

I’ve just returned from a 25 mile bike ride, Cartwright Loop as we like to call it, consumed fiercely by a handful of muscle aching climbs and exhilarating descents. I’m thirsty and dehydrated, in desperate need of what one may call the ideal “beverage,” after being torched by the 95 degree Boise rays for nearly two hours. After separating from my coworker and riding partner, I made my way to the college student’s saving grace in Winco.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do it, without locking it up? Well, on this day, I unclipped my pedals, jumped off my bike and attempted just that in front of hundreds of people! As I entered Winco my emotions were racing, everything from apprehensive to energized. There I was, going against what I previously believed, feeling slightly strange and on the verge of totally badass.

What was I attempting? Well, if you pictured me walking through Winco with my road bike because I didn’t have a bike lock, you’re absolutely right! Fully equipped in my bike gear, yes, delicious bike shorts and everything, I made my way past the impulse purchases, produce department and candy section relentlessly calling my name. Then I arrived, still utterly parched from the ride to the gorgeous, mouth-watering and delightful area that I like to call the “fridge of beer.”

Why would I do this, or better yet even care to write about such a subject you ask? Curiosity of course! I was wondering how a typical person in Boise would react to me walking my bike around the store decked out in cycling gear. Utterly shocked and pleased I came to realize three reactions and comments as I roamed the aisles. First, I had a couple guys and gals, probably mid 30’s ask “how was the ride?” with legitimate interest and curiosity. Second, 98% of people I walked by had absolutely no reaction at all – it was as if I was walking around with a shopping cart in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops on a warm summer evening. Third, I did get a couple laughs, but I attribute that to carrying a 22oz bottle of new Pyramid, Fall Red Ale through the store.

Not only were people completely content with what I was doing, they admired it. Boise, you’re awesome, the bike community here blows me away a little more everyday and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it!

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U.S Mountain Biking Championships

By the grace of all that is right in the world, I was honored with the opportunity to travel with a group of Taiwanese journalists to one of my dream events and bucket list items: the U.S. Mountain Bike National Championships.

The atmosphere was nearly out of a story book, my story book so to speak. The racers, sponsors, and crowd electrified the town as Sun Valley would make world class history by hosting this event. Multinational companies including Specialized, Shimano, Subaru Racing, and Scott just to name a few sampled, tested, and showed off their products and expertise.

Specializing in Cross Country and Super D (Downhill) racing, these mountain bike racers were the best in the nation in their age specific categories. Ranging in age from 10-70, and single-speed to multiple speeds, the plethora of racers was remarkable. The events took place on the front River run side of Bald Mountain. Cross Country racers started at the base by River Run Lodge and Super D racers rode up the gondola and fearlessly flew down at excessive speeds, sliding through switch-backs that overlooked 100ft cliffs. Races were extremely fast and efficient with one minute intervals between each heat, allowing for no breaks or flaws from the nation’s top class riders. I was honored with access around the course as a photographer, allowing for great photos and “in your face” riding from these steam engine like racers.

For the next couple days the group of Taiwanese journalists and I epitomized what it meant to spend a summer weekend in Ketchum-Sun Valley. Outside of the unique, high-end mountain bike racing we enjoyed classic dining at the Pioneer Saloon, Kneadery and Sawtooth Club, played on a first class putting course at the Sun Valley Golf Club modeled after the Himalayas at St. Andrews in Scotland, and always finished our evenings off with some epic foothills mountain biking of our own.

Also, in the heat of the biking weekend I had the opportunity to compete in the Fat Tire Criterium, a 30-minute sprint mountain bike race in downtown Ketchum. The exhilaration of racing against experienced riders, zooming around every corner, surrounded by hundreds of screaming spectators made for an outstanding race atmosphere. The Fat Tire Criterium, similar to the Twilight Criterium that was held in Boise a couple days later, brought top tier riders from around the country to compete.

When our trip allowed for some down time you could find me riding the popular mountain biking trails that Ketchum-Sun Valley has to offer in the summer months. One of the Taiwanese journalists and I, who writes for Bicycling Lohas in Taiwan, had the opportunity to ride the pristine trails. Ranging from a relatively easy course in Corral Creek, to an 8-mile descent down Cold Springs from the peak of Bald Mountain was an outstanding experience. With over 450 miles of mountain biking trails, and new trails consistently created, you’d spend your entire life trying to duplicate a trail in Sun Valley.

Since Sun Valley plans on hosting this exquisite event next July as well, be sure to plan ahead for an experience of a lifetime with the U.S. Mountain Biking National Championships in the first class town of Ketchum-Sun Valley.

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Gratification is defined as the pleasurable emotional reaction of happiness in response to a fulfillment of a desire or goal.

On July 16th at around 5:30pm I departed from my Boise home to my triathlon destination in Bend, Oregon. At just over 300 miles, and nearly 6 hours of driving, parts of the drive are truly exquisite. Boise to Ontario and leading into Vale, Oregon is nothing to call home about besides the 75 mph highway (something an Oregonian can appreciate). Then, out of the woodwork, the start of Central Oregon bliss shined its light. From Vale to Burns I was surrounded by gorgeous mountain terrain on the Central Oregon Hwy – Hwy 20, with continuous streams of water for nearly 100 miles by my side and a new, smooth, recently paved highway. Once I reached Burns, the sun was going down and the red glow beamed off the clouds making for a calming and scenic drive as I cruised into Bend during the night. I arrived in Bend around 10:30pm after the hour time change where I would stay with Denise Green and her brother, a good friend and fellow triathlete.

With the race starting at 8:00am the following morning, my eyes were forced open before the sun had awoken. To keep a light load prior to the race, I had two bananas and a Clif gel pack with caffeine two hours before the race and another Clif gel pack about 30 minutes before the race.

Naturally, we were running late and with very little direction and insight in regards to the race process it doesn’t help that this is my FIRST triathlon. After making two jogging trips back to the car, trekking over to the registration table to pick up my number and timing chip, setting out my gear in the transition area, putting on my wetsuit, and walking over to the swimming start area I arrive with about 5 minutes before my wave takes off. The water is a scorching 60 degrees and I’m immediately grateful to have a wetsuit for this portion of the race. Equipped with a full body wetsuit, orange swim cap and clear goggles, the swim-race-starter-guy counts down “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO!” and were off! Given that I’m very new to swimming I pace myself relatively slowly to ensure that I can swim the entire distance and be somewhat fresh as the bike portion approaches.

After 1300yds of swimming through ice water and patches of seaweed, I jump out of the water in just over 16 minutes – 3rd in my age class at 48th overall. Jogging to the transition stage I try my best to calm my breathing, strip off the wetsuit and efficiently put on my socks, cycling shoes, jersey, sun-glasses, helmet, and race belt. With adrenaline pumping and fit legs I storm out of the transition area like a bat out of hell. I know this will be a key stage in making up time as it is my best event. Flying by riders up and down the hill, 6 miles up and 6 miles down, I complete the biking portion in 34:58 – 1st in my age class and 12th overall. Changing to a smaller gear allows me to spin my legs quicker making for an easier transition into running (from what I’ve read and heard). As I enter the transition area I sit down and realize my hands are shaking too much to even tie my shoes. Thankfully, they already had a knot in them, so I pulled the laces tight, tucked them in the side and I was off. Prior to running the triathlon I had done a “mock” triathlon in Boise to test out how it would feel, and I’m glad I did. During both my mock and actual triathlon I immediately had a side ache starting the running portion, but from my mock triathlon I learned that I could overcome it after about 5 minutes of running. Therefore, after my side ache had passed, I felt very confident as I finished the rest of the running portion with 7 minute miles and the total 5K in 21:54 – 2nd in my age class and 14th overall.

My goal for the race was to finish in 1:30 and my actual time easily trumped it with 1:15:49. Throughout the race I felt pretty strong, there was never a time where I said I couldn’t go any longer – I had trained hard, pushed myself and it definitely paid off. My family was also in town, they made the trip from Keizer, OR bright and early which gave me extra motivation as I was competing. As far as finishing is concerned, I placed 2nd in my age class, 17th overall and 14th in my gender. My goals for my next triathlon will be to shave a minute or two off my swim time, ideally a minute off my run time and 30 seconds to a minute off of my bike time. Simply by dropping a minute in my swim would have put me in 1st place in my age class and right around the top 10 overall.

After the triathlon, and being nearly dry for two months, it was relieving that they were serving delicious Deschutes Brewery beer for the racers. Nearing lunch time we headed over the Greg’s Grill for food and to watch the women’s world cup final against Japan. After another drink and repetitively yelling at the TV screen, unfortunately the women’s team lost but not without a great run to get as far as they did. Next stop was 30 miles away to Prineville, a small quaint town northeast of Bend. By combining relaxation, food and great weather the evening was exactly what we all needed after the big race.

The following morning I jumped out of bed at 9:00am, consumed a large, filling breakfast and I was on the road again back to Boise. After taking Hwy 20 into Bend I was delighted that Hwy 26 from Prineville was a faster route home, allowing for new beautiful scenery along the way. Included on this trip were towns on the brink of being Ghost Towns, an Oregon Scenic Byway, wildlife, canyons, and forests as far as the eye could see. With it being Monday, early in the afternoon, with work off, I took pictures and stop frequently as I drove unrushed back to Boise.

An overall great experience in my first triathlon and it definitely excites and motivates me to compete again in the near future. I would recommend a triathlon to anyone, training for it will put you in outstanding shape and the sense of accomplishment and gratification can only be expressed through its completion.

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The curiosity not only stems from wanting to play but also wondering who is available to play. The brilliance of Chris Hawkins spawned a new group on Facebook called “Soccer in Btown”. From the moment I was added to this page I knew it had the potential to take off. As friends added other friends, within the first week creation the page had already grown to over 100 people in the Boise area alone. And it couldn’t have been at a better time! Summer, beautifully sunny days and spare time for those Boise State students who aren’t in school, just need a break from their hectic summer classes or just have a sincere love for the game.

It was Thursday afternoon when Carlee, a Seattle University soccer player and Boise native, posted that she had a time spot allocated at the Boise State women’s field for 6:30 the following evening. Personally, being a huge fan of the women’s program, and one of thousands who have merely dreamt of playing on the lush greens that field possesses I couldn’t wait for the opportunity. I was immediately on my phone, calling, texting, etc., to my Boise State Men’s Club teammates and others in the Boise area who would be interested in this priceless opportunity. Promptly at 6:30 Friday evening, we had a 6v6 game going with local Boise talent and a couple stud players from the women’s team. After playing three games, first team to four goals for about an hour, everyone was very enthusiastic and anxious to set up the next kick around opportunity.

With the growth and passion for Futbol in the United States it truly excites me when a group of complete strangers comes together for a common enjoyment. You’d truly be surprised at how many passionate futbolers are around and have spare time in the area! Thanks again for everyone who came out Friday and for those who are making soccer in Boise and other locations a part of their lives. Please, join the “Soccer in Btown” Facebook page, tell your friends and keep everyone’s loves for the game growing! http://www.facebook.com/groups/204545369592446?ap=1

Cheers!

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