Over the weekend I traveled to Orem, UT with my daughter, Erin, for the Kalon Ludvigson Invitational (Trampoline & Tumbling gymnastics meet). Last year the meet was held in
downtown Salt Lake City and we had a really good time. This year, due to some scheduling conflicts, they had to move the meet location about 45 minutes south of downtown to Orem, which was a bummer. The town was OK, but lacked pretty much all of the charm of downtown Salt Lake. The meet was held on the campus of Utah Valley University and the arena and competition facilities were very nice. One thing I will say about Utah, the people there will make you feel better about humanity – I don’t think we ran across one single person that wasn’t helpful and nice.
Erin did not compete until Friday afternoon but had a short 45 minute warm-up before the first session around noon. So that pretty much ruined any plans I had to go sight-seeing. When she finished with her first event, I talked her into going on a quick trip for dinner in Park City. I had not been there in over 17 years and I really wanted to just take her to see the little main street area since we were so
close. The drive was about one hour each way. I found the brewery that we had gone too after a rehearsal dinner when we were there for my friend’s wedding many years ago. The food was still really good and Erin liked it too. We walked up and down the street and did some shopping – the main strip is such a cute little collection of shops and restaurants … an idyllic ski town. On the way back to Orem, we drove through an area called Deer Creek. There were signs warning of wildlife crossing the highway so I was on alert. Sure enough, about halfway back down to our hotel, 3 deer ran in front of us. Actually one ran in front of the car ahead of me and the other two ran between our two cars. Fortunately we all stopped in time and the cars behind me were alert enough to see us stopped too. I was scared about being rear ended more than anything – we were going at least 65mph. We were on a highway with oncoming traffic too so that was unnerving…the animals and other drivers are unpredictable. We have deer in northern Arizona so this isn’t such a foreign concept to me…but we certainly do not have them running around in Phoenix!
Saturday morning Erin was the first one from our gym to compete at a very early 8:30am. We had to leave for the arena at 7:30am. This was also Erin’s 11th birthday! Fortunately she woke up with a bounce in her step and was ready to go do her thing! She had an awesome first event of the day – placing 2nd out of 14 girls – in what used to be her worst and most hated event (tumbling) but is starting to become something she likes! After she was done, we went back over to the hotel which shared a parking lot with IHOP and she had a huge breakfast … and so did I (sigh). We went back for her final event. I was most uptight about this event because she has yet to complete both of her routines all the way through this season. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know this stupid stuff stresses me out a bit … mainly because there are certain qualifying scores she needs to hit to compete at Nationals every summer. Aaaaand, I have this thing about trying to plan our summer vacation and, until this big trip is figured out, I cannot finalize any plans, flights, itineraries, etc. This year I’m planning our trip to the east coast assuming she qualifies and, if she does not, then we will just have a few extra days in the area to go see other stuff. I’m really happy about this plan. But, after a year of training and hard work, it would be nice to see her qualify. Anyway, she had a pretty rough warm-up and actually she never even got to warm-up her second routine because she was having trouble with the final skill on the first routine. The second routine proved to be the issue at the last meet because she forgot a skill in the middle – so having her run through that at least once would have helped me relax a bit. Anyway, I should know by now that when she has really bad warm-ups, she tends to have amazing competition routines….and this was no different. She looked great. She ended up in first place out of her group of 10 and in 4 out of 16 overall (because her degree of difficulty is pretty low as compared to some of the others). So, that was a great way to cap off the competition on her birthday! While she was waiting on the competition floor for the scores to compile, I sent a text to her coach to see if she could get Erin over to the judges
stand to get a birthday photo with Kalon Ludvigson, who had been watching the competition. Kalon is probably the most decorated T&T gymnast in the US, he holds many world and US titles. His tumbling passes were jaw-dropping. In August 2013, he suffered a traumatic neck injury during training and is now in a wheelchair. The kids all keep up with his recovery and progress. Our coach knows him personally and she was able to take her up there for a picture. She was sooooo happy!
We had a couple of hours before our flight home so we watched some of the other teammates compete then headed to downtown Salt Lake for a few minutes of shopping before we had to go to the airport. Erin picked out a couple of tops for her birthday. I felt badly that she didn’t really have much of a “celebration”, but she seemed pretty happy with her day.
Anyway, the not so good report is that I didn’t exercise much (other than a ton of walking) while we were there. I took my running clothes but there was just not a lot of opportunity to run, even on the treadmill, with her competition schedule and the fact that I had her with me the whole time. The area we were in was literally on the side of two freeway overpasses and a Walmart parking lot. Yuck. I didn’t see a single sidewalk – or much greenery at all where we were (other than on campus…and even that was sparse). I had some wiggle-room in my half marathon training schedule anyway and my legs were really sore since I had done a lot in the front part of the week. I was worn out. Taking a few days off was probably the best move. But, aside from not running, my eating was really bad. I’m not sure what got into me but the carb-loving “vacation mode” mentality got in my head. It started by eating a few small snacks and, by the last day, I had a soft pretzel, pizza, a Krispy Kreme donut, blah blah blah. Stuff that I would normally not choose to eat unless I had at least gone on a long run or planned for them. It’s almost as if I thought the calories didn’t count since I was on vacation. I could have done a much better job of getting some healthier food but, in our immediate vicinity, choices were slim…and the unhealthy junk food choices were plentiful. Fortunately, the scale didn’t move too much while I was gone but I sure am glad it was less than a 3 day trip! I’ve gotta get better about not going crazy when I get out of my normal routine….