Category Archives: sports

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a straight up-homage to the day. Not the turkey and football filled day, not the sweet potatoes and pilgrim hat day.  For those of us who don’t practice thankfulness as often as we should (including me), today is a day to help us do just that – practice thankfulness.

You’ve heard it before – what are you grateful for?

 

Gold, Silver, Bronze

I didn’t grow up watching sports. We didn’t follow any teams and even though my parents were avid tennis players, we never watched tennis either. None of my sisters nor I did any sports except what little we were required to do in phy ed.

So it was a surprise to me when I first watched some Olympic coverage in college that I enjoyed it. Not enough to follow sports throughout the years, but more than enough to spend the two weeks of the Olympics in front of the television.  Sports that I would NEVER watch any other time seem interesting during the Olympics (think bob sled, pole vaulting, skiing, swimming).

As a young married in Milwaukee, in a teeny apartment, wasband and I were excited to watch the 1980 Winter Olympics but we had a teen little black & white television. To celebrate the Olympics we splurged with a Rent-a-Center color console for two weeks.  It took up most of the living room, but we really enjoyed it and watched the Olympic coverage constantly.  After the Olympics, back the tv went.

These days I actually watch a couple of channels at a time. Men’s team ice skating on one channel and downhill skiing and luge on another; I switch back and forth at the commercials or whenever the commentators get verbose. I don’t really have a big preference for either summer or winter Olympics.  I have favorite sports in each, but nothing that tips the balance for me one way or the other.

What gets a gold medal in your world this week?

Trail of Ice

I’ve written here before about my fond memory of ice skating on the Iowa River north of town, early in the winter before it became completely snow-covered. My dad would tell of following “their” creek for miles as a kid. Once you’ve skated a distance like that, a rink no longer seems very romantic.

Enter Minnesota’s first Ice Skating Trail, in the Northwest Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove. From the December 2017 AAA Living magazine: “Lampposts offer a warm glow, and the surrounding trees’ white twinkle-lights brighten both trail and mood.” I imagine skating there at dusk, as the sun goes down.

One of only a few in North America (see also Chicago and Toronto), it’s an 810-foot loop that feels “more like a stroll in the park” than the laps you skate at a traditional ice rink, according to Minneapolis Northwest, a regional newsletter(For reference, a regular hockey rink has a 570’ lap.)

You can skate earlier in the season (and later) than most outdoor rinks, as the trail is refrigerated and maintained by a Zamboni. There is skate rental (and concessions like hot chocolate and popcorn) during Central Park’s warming pavilion open hours, but park benches are available anytime for putting on your own skates.

I would have loved to have this nearby when I was still skating.

What will get you out of doors this winter? 

Would you like to try driving a Zamboni, or some other heavy machinery?

 

 

Ostrich or Monkey?

today’s post comes to us from tim.

you know i am finally there.

i don’t want to listen to the news anymore…

houston had a flood. did you hear?

donald trump had a thought… did you hear?

not only did I hear it i can’t shut it off.

my tv station in the morning plays the same story every 15 minutes from 4 am until 7 when they hand it off to the new york team who tells the national story of the day 2 or 3 times before i can get away and listen to it on the radio.

then I see all the pop ups from internet news, yahoo, google, whoever I have on my email news blasts

from huffington post or email blasts from my senators or local political folks, or people I like to hear from.

i have begun to do podcasts and downloaded music to stay away from the antimotivational news

but the twins are doing good, the lynx are wonderful again cmon lindsey whalen… and the vikings don’t suck yet. the timberwolves should be really wonderful this year. the soccer stadium is going to be fun and

the joy through sports seems shallow but it is kind of like taking pride in the guthrie theater and the minnesota orchestra or the st paul chamber orchestra the voyageurs national park, minnehaha falls or the fact that we have winter.

lots to pay attention to out there in the world. the news knows what people say they want to know about but i wonder if there would be a place for the good news station on the dial. i know i’d tune in.

what do you love most about the trail?

 

1-2-3 Strikes You’re out

There was:

  • a human bowling game – someone in a huge plastic bubble running toward 6-foot high nerf “pins”
  • an obstacle course for two teams each with a stretcher and a patient. I’m glad both the patients were mannequins
  • a back to front race in which two strangers were tied side-by-side, but one facing forward and one facing backward. The winning team went pretty fast considering
  • a tire race. Let’s face it, the gentlemen took this one by a landslide
  • an eye ball race – two kids, each wearing a huge eyeball costume. The brown eye won.
  • t-shirt launching into the crown
  • tiny tykes racing teeny motorcars – this makes it clear why five-year olds don’t have licenses
  • a drone contest that made it abundant clear that flying these things isn’t as easy as it looks
  • an adorable big wearing a large pin bow

Oh – and then there was a baseball game. Great seats, perfect weather, no one truly obnoxious sitting anywhere near us, a pedi-cab ride all the way back to where the car was parked.  We lost but it was still a wonderful evening!

Do you root for a home team?

 

Football Camp

I took the photo for this post from my office window earlier this week.  Our building looks out on the college football practice field where a high school football camp was in session.  It is always rather entertaining to see them run around, skip, hop, and tackle while the instructors scoot around on golf carts.  I can hear the grunts and sounds of  tackle impacts all the way up to my fourth floor window. There must have been a hundred players.  Their buses fill the college parking lot.  Many come from little towns from Montana or the eastern part of North Dakota, and get to stay in the college dorms for the duration of the camp. We can hear them clatter past our building in their cleats on their way to the practice field.

You can always tell who the local campers are, since they drive their own vehicles, park along the drive up to my building, and then strip down to their skivvies while they change into their football uniforms.  We drive past them on our way to our parking lot. Some have the decency to go behind the large spruce trees that line the drive, but most just stand there in their shorts while they change.

I never went to a sports camp in high school, but trips for speech and music were both fun and stressful at the same time.  I hope the boys at the camp had the same sort of experiences.  I have worked at my agency for 18 years, and I have seen the local campers  in their underwear every year. They sort of signify the arrival of summer, just like the return of the swallows to Capistrano.  I think, though, that I would find the birds more interesting.

What are some of your high school camp and activity memories?