I have returned from a great little trip to Salt Lake City. I really had no idea what to expect there. It has been 15 years since I was in that area and all I remember was walking by the Mormon Temple … and that was about it. This time I was traveling with my 9 year old daughter, so I wasn’t sure what on earth we would do to keep ourselves entertained when she wasn’t doing gymnastics.
Well, as it turns out, Salt Lake City is a beautiful city! I would guess a lot of that has to do with development done for the 2002 Winter Olympics (the city was under a lot of construction last time I was there). Our hotel was across the street from the convention center and next door to the City Creek Center mall which was gorgeous! It was a new mall with great shopping (Nordstroms attached to our hotel) and had lots of neat features (rock waterfalls, fountains, etc.) that really made it unique. There were lots of chain restaurants around, but good ones. Temple Square was right behind this mall and it was also just beautiful. Everything was so neat and clean and, best of all, the people were SO friendly. As soon as we got settled in, I knew we would have plenty to go explore!
The reason for our trip was so that Erin could participate in the 4th Annual Kalon Ludvigson Invitational – this was a very large meet with athletes from all over the country as well as some international competitors at the elite levels. Her team had been planning on attending this meet for a while but it took on a new meaning when Kalon Ludvigson himself, one of the best tumbling gymnasts of all time and holder of many world records and medals, fell during training last summer and suffered a traumatic neck injury. Kalon is currently in a wheelchair and undergoing extensive therapy. He has regained some mobility in his arms but has a long way to go.
Here is a short video clip that shows Kalon’s amazing talent and fundraising efforts to help with his rehab. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QbkbTs5oNk
So, this meet was about much more than gymnastics – it was about coming together as a gymnastics community to support Kalon. Many former Olympic gymnasts flew into Salt Lake City as a show of
support and to sign autographs, etc. for the attendees of the meet. It was really neat. Kalon even joined in on the autograph sessions and graciously signed hundred and hundreds of shirts, medals, autograph books, etc. for the kids. They were so excited to get to meet him – or see him again. Just last July, right before the accident, some of her teammates had pictures with Kalon in Kansas City when we were there for Nationals.
The day before we left town, I had an appointment with Dr. Ziltzer. Unfortunately, I weighed in at my all-time high “post goal” at 174.5 lbs. About .5-1 lb. of that I can contribute to my monthly cycle (I really need to stagger my monthly appointments a bit now to get off going for a weigh-in at this particular time of the month!) But, nevertheless, I am up a bit higher than I would like to be since my goal
is 170lbs. Normally my clothes get a bit snug at this point but they are actually fitting pretty well so I do think that my strength training is redistributing my weight a bit. As usual, Dr. Z didn’t even mention my weight but when he asked what he could help me with I told him that I was concerned about being up over goal – in the “yellow zone” as he called it. We did talk about going back to an Optifast “partial” plan where I have 4 Optifast products a day and then one “lean and green” meal per day until I get back down to goal. I do intend to do this now that I’m back home. It was tough to do on vacation – especially after I realized how much yummy food was to be found in Salt Lake City! I’m so bloated and yucky right now from my cycle but I’ll get back on the scale in a couple of days and see where I am. Damage control begins NOW though since I’m back home!
I did manage to maintain my mile “streak” while in Salt Lake City but it did require me to take a trip down to the hotel gym to run on the treadmill on Friday night. I had my daughter deadbolt herself in the hotel room while I went to go run. She was fine and had a phone to call me if she got scared – I was just a few floors right below her. My treadmill run was actually really nice. I intended just to do one mile to get it over with but I got into a TV show that I was watching on the little personal TV on my treadmill and I ended up running a sub 11:00/mi for 2 miles. I liked that treadmill – it was really smooth and had a wide belt – I should have copied down the manufacturer and model number. Saturday was competition day, however, and we were on the run from 7AM until our flight left at 8PM. I had logged close to 14,000 steps when we got home to Phoenix and I know that we had gone on quite a few long walks, but I was pretty sure none of them had been quite one mile – more like 3/4 mile or so. Furthermore, our dash from the Olympian autograph signing, across the street to the hotel, down to the parking garage, race to the airport rental car, airline ticket counter, security, to the gate was really rushed and I’m sure I had my heart rate going equal to that of running. To add to the chaos, right as we left the meet, we found out that Erin had won a giant art supply raffle basket that we had to carry with us and hilariously attempt to cram into our suitcase. But, I didn’t think I could “count” all that as the mile streak since all that walking wasn’t necessarily continuous. So, at 10PM I got on our treadmill at home and walked yet another mile. I was SO worn out.
I was really proud of Erin at the meet. She didn’t have a great outcome last week so I wasn’t sure how this was going to go – and I wasn’t all that happy to get on a plane and fly to another state if she wasn’t quite ready for this level of competition. Maybe one of these days I will realize that this tends to bring out the best in her. The lower level athletes did not get any training time so the only time she had to feel out the equipment was on the 2 or so warm-up passes they give them before they are judged. When it comes to different trampolines, this sure is not much since they all have a slightly different bounce to them! Fortunately, Erin rarely seems to get nervous about any of this so she just went along with the program. The meet was run a bit differently than our local competitions, they were divided up into groups of 10-12 kids at a time, called “flights” and each “flight” competes during a 30 minute time slot. They are awarded rankings for their flight (1-10 or 1-12) but the overall rankings are calculated by computer and posted on a wall outside the competition. So, she did very well within her flights – taking 1st place twice and had one 2nd place. Overall she was 6th out of 20, 6th out of 50, and 1st out of 10 for her 3 events. So, not too bad. The first place overall was really good because I later found out that she didn’t warm up AT ALL for that event! She has a skill at the very beginning that she struggles with and she just could not get past it in warm-ups. But, whatever her assistant coach told her worked because she ended up nailing it when it was for real! There are only 10 kids competing in that event because it is a fairly high level for her age group – the 9-10 year old Level 7’s.
So, I’m just finishing up this blog post and I realized that I still had not done today’s mile. AND, I just realized my husband already went to bed … and our treadmill is in our master bedroom. So I put on my Garmin, put the leash on my dog, and headed out to walk the mile in our neighborhood at 10:15 PM alone. UGH. Well, I got it done. Turns out, 2 complete loops from our front door down and around the sidewalk of our block is exactly 2 miles….I hope I don’t need that information again on another late night!