Wednesday, July 30, 2014


The start of this trip is all about reconnecting with people who have been a part of our life since we were born, since we were children.  People who haven't spent enough time with for a long time.  It's been wonderful to have this time and privilege to be with our families, to share important moments with them and be engaged in what my nieces and my nephew are doing.

It's been great to be able to share our life with them as well, and connecting with Emily and Andiee through a part of my life that defines me.  CrossFit.  With its incredible growth over the recent years, many see it as a fad or another workout on the fitness scene, but it has much deeper meaning to me.  It has offered me a passion and a focus, a life direction, a way for me to express my desire to help people and change their lives, their perceptions about themselves, and to change the world in a small way.  I think the people who own the CrossFit boxes I have visited on this trip thusfar would understand.

Awesome workout with our good friend, Jesse Ward and his family, at CrossFit Lynwood.

Learning to climb the rope in flip flops! STRONG GIRL!

2014 CrossFit Games!!!

Alaska Airlines flightmap, SEA to LAX and back.
Flight from Seattle to LA and a GREAT week where Lisa helped head up the judging for the Teams competition and Mike directed the Medical team once again!  Exciting finishes, reunions with great friends we haven't seen for a year, working with my L1 Staff family, seeing our wonderful trainers and athletes from CrossFit Flagstaff be there as spectators and volunteers, crazy workouts with lots of moving parts all made for fun, long days out at the Home Depot Center.
We really did get this room number.  Awesome!  3-2-1 GO!

Congratulations to Rich Froning, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, and Team Invictus for their first place finishes, and huge kudos to ALL the competitors!  Wow.  There was some serious struggle, heat exhaustion, and incredible feats of mental endurance and physical strength to be witnessed and inspired by this past week. 
Love the community we have in CrossFit.  The spectators ARE CrossFit and understand what they are watching, making them more a part of that experience than many sports.  Great article: 

For the Love of CrossFit: Everyone's All in It Together at the Games

Great friends in CrossFit NorCal, East Valley, Atlanta, Invictus, and many others out on the playing field.  Incredible to see you all out there, fighting so hard!
These 2 kiddos will definitely follow in their daddy's footsteps.  Like one of our friends, Ricardo Rivas from Mexico said, "In Mexico we say: To be something, first you need to look like that thing.... Super athletes: Check!"

At the end of it all we had a wonderful day of relaxation at Laguna Beach with Tara and Kevin, experiencing the amazing Pageant of the Masters (highly recommend it if you're ever in that area!), exposing Tara to oysters on the half shell, and finally finally getting our feet into the sand and water!  Thank you for that perfect and beautiful ending, Tara and Kevin!  It was SO nice to hang out with our friends in such a setting!

Great return to our own little athletes-in-training!  Andiee is fired up to go to the Games next year and be like Annie Thorsdottir!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Next Whistle Stop: Lake Stevens/Northern Washington

 A quick trip to Lake Stevens to visit Emily, Kyle, Andiee, and Hudson before we head to the Games!  We'll be back here after!

We have reached what is likely to be our most Northerly point on our trip - Bellingham, WA, just South of the Canadian border.  Great drive and hike along the infamous and gorgeous Chuckanut Drive/Hwy 11 with peeks at the Puget Sound.  Got to explore a new trail in Larabee State Park that we highly recommend - Rock Trail - where impressive amounts of hours and work were put in by volunteers to create this beautiful interaction with the rock, ferns, and rainforest of the NW.

200 steps!

Perfect caves for little Andiee people!


Lemon and Sour Cherry fresh bread from BreadFarm and fresh meats and cheeses from Slough Food in Edison made for a delicious little picnic on the Puget Sound!

Northwest grandeur

Northwest artifacts
NEXT STOP - THE 2014 CROSSFIT GAMES where we get to see Tara and Lindsay and lots of other great friends!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Friends and Family Tour - next stop: Olympia and then back to Ephrata

Signs of a successful camping trip....

And then, my sister texted this, overhearing my nieces:
"Conversations from the back seat....
Hannah: Only really strong people have tattoos. That's why Auntie Lisa has tattoos.
Halle: I know, she poked me really soft one time and it hurted."  Ha!

From a wonderful family gathering to seeing one of my dearest friends and her family!  Molly, Heidi, and Tristan Merritt-Petersen!  Love these people and have the incredible privilege of having a friend in Molly who has been in my heart and life since we were in 7th grade!  Only missing Andrea Neal on this one!

We had great times hiking the "treacherous" Deer Trail down to the water, seeing beautiful Mt. Rainier at sunset, great stair sprints and a playground workout that left a hamstring mark for days....  Good times with good people.

Back over the mountains to Ephrata for a great week at home.  Beautiful early morning bike rides with Dad to an incredible oasis in this desert, down at Rocky Ford Creek, seeing pelicans and mink.  Got in a wonderful road bike ride on the peaceful back farm roads in Sheep Canyon, riding through old memories (fields behind Molly's house, remembering snowmobile excursions, racing our parents' vehicles to "skip the dips" in the roads over the canals, showing Mike my high school, babysitting on back country dirt roads, the old drama stage where Andrea and I were Kili and Fili "at your service" in The Hobbit, and on and on...).  Another great mountain bike ride on Beezley with Andrew.  It was so cool to share those rides with Dad and Andrew and to see them sharing that together, to see our Dad getting into something we all love, and being able to do that with him.  It was great being back in the saddle again.

Yummy Mexican food, great paleo cooking by Mom, front yard kiddie pool water fights with Taya and Aura... all good times that one would expect at HOME!
And then to be able to do CrossFit with Leah, Karyn (Hooyer) Becker and Mike at CrossFit Sagebrush?  Wow!  A CrossFit gym in Ephrata.  Doing CrossFit alongside my sister-in-law and a former classmate!  Who would have thought???

VERY cool experiences in a small home town!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Moving on to HOME - next stop: Ephrata to Riffe Lake

The road lengthens behind us.... We made the drive from Bozeman to my parents' house where I grew up, with a special stop along the way!  We got to have dinner with Lauren Ruck in Coeur d'Alene, and catch up with her!  So great to see her thriving and doing well in a new nursing job.  Especially proud of her for getting stronger as an athlete and taking on triathlons as her sport, competing in races!  She has also really grown as a trainer, teaching for Lotus CrossFit!
Fires changed Oak Creek for us in Arizona and are doing the same for the Eastern side of the Cascades.  Smokey skies could be seen from miles away as we drove into Moses Lake and Ephrata.  Thinking of all those we know who live in that beautiful country up in Chelan, Entiat, Winthrop, and Brewster.
From Ephrata, we met up with Mom and Dad and Aura and headed over to the West side, with a fun drive through the canyons over Hwy. 821, stopping at roadside fruit stands for fresh cherries and blueberry flavored popcorn. (yes, I ate one kernal upon Taya's request of "you can't knock it until you try it!" blech!)


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Friends and Family Tour - next stop: Bozeman, MT

After hours spent in the mechanics' shop, discovery of an incredible burger joint in Salt Lake (how could it not be with signs like these?), and a 2011 Games ammo cans workout, we gave Sarah and Roark early morning goodbyes and hit the road for Montana to visit Chris Robinson, Jodi, Catherine, and Caroline and see ground breaking happening at their new property!

Chris is felling his own trees, hand-milling them into logs he will use to build his own shops and home.  Self-sufficient!

Camping at Wall Creek/Ennis, MT area.  Our first moment to really feel like we are settling into the fun parts of our journey.  A time to get our systems set up in the van, and discover our camp stove doesn't work!  Another kink to work out once we get back to town...

A stuffed badger in the alley....only in Montana!