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Whitney, 2008
Townsville, Australia. Bouldering on granite boulders with the JCU climbing club.

Whitney, 2016
Whitney sets out for another sunset run. Sao Sebastiao Wildlife Sanctuary, Mozambique.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Nik, Jochem and Roland suited up and ready to dive off Koh Tao, Thailand.

Whitney, 2011
Night critter, just cheelin'. Ecuadoran Amazonia.
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The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 crossed the continent, from Oregon to South Carolina, and gave millions of people the chance to witness one of the most awe-inspiring events in the natural world.

Nik's photo of the August 21 eclipse, photographed from Glendo, Wyoming. The star, Regulus, is barely visible to the lower left of the solar corona.
But you had to be within the "path of totality", a narrow band across the earth's surface several thousand miles long but only about 70 miles wide. Outside that band you would only see a partial eclipse, not a total eclipse.

And there is no such thing as a "partial total eclipse", despite the impression blogs and the news media might give. I honestly think that's why so many people misunderstand the utter beauty of the spectacle; they may have seen a partial eclipse in the past that was total somewhere else, and even though they weren't in the path the news kept gushing about it being a total eclipse, so they assume they must have seen a total eclipse and just didn't find it all that impressive.

Posted by Dan 08/29/2017, revised 09/06/2017
(Our kids have grown and are no longer posting blog stories here. Below are some highlights from past posts.)
When Life Gives You Lemons... IM 70.3 Santa Cruz and IM 70.3 Boulder (sort of)

My DNF at Boulder Peak was followed by... Another DNF at IRONMAN Boulder 70.3 a month later. This time it was premeditated, a hard decision to come to terms with, but ultimately my choice came down to either Did Not Finish or Did Not Start. By the end of July it was clear that I was battling a hamstring issue, among other things. I had my first rendezvous with Dry Needling treatment, which feels like a pokey spike climbing into the achiest part of your muscle and burrowing around like a gopher making a little nest deep inside your leg. It's delightful.

I asked myself the obvious question: Was my last minute decision to add an extra twenty one miles to my Ironman "training day" the reason for this late season injury? If so, I accept responsibility for the choice that did exactly what I feared it might (by denying me my next two races).

However, there is also the possibility that the Ironman was not the determining factor in whether I stumbled upon injury this year, and when I look at it that way, I am infinitely more grateful that I seized the opportunity when I did. It is still a shining, thrilling milestone in my race career, and one that even with the benefit of hindsight, I would again sacrifice the rest of the season for.

But it's hard to pinpoint the cause of vague overuse irritations. I felt fine (relatively speaking) during and after the Ironman. I recovered in the following weeks as well as one could hope. But three weeks later I apparently pushed myself over the edge running a 5k. Was it really just the 5k? I ran a 5k two weeks before the Ironman with no ill after-effects. (To be fair, I did run the second one faster, with every intention of running absolutely as hard as I could.) But my personal experiments as well as observations of other people's ill-advised endurance over-reaches have given me familiarity with the pattern of delayed onset consequences. So the 5k could have just topped off the trouble that was already brewing.

Overuse injury comes from a perfect storm of conditions -- physical structure, technique, level of repetition, degree of intensity, as well as external stress and/or benefits. It's impossible to isolate just one of these. It's the combination of those elements (and more) that determine why some people can run back-to-back marathons with no fallout, while others struggle to complete just ten miles without breaking themselves. Overuse injury does frequently pop up out "out of nowhere," but in reality it is the million tiny repetitions of a slightly inefficient movement that lead up to the final seemingly insignificant event that gets blamed for the problem.

I had a rough few weeks accepting the setback. This exposes the obvious vulnerability in the life of the full-time athlete, or really anyone who places a high priority on their athletic pursuits -- an injury, however slight or temporary, threatens your very sense of identity and purpose. The pain of compromised physical capability is felt most acutely by those who put a disproportionate amount of value in the ability to complete the day's workouts successfully, and to achieve competitive goals exactly according to plan.

I was trying to keep things in perspective.

Posted by Kimberly 09/23/2017
It Begins

Bangkok is one of those cities that makes an impression the second you get there. However after you get over the smell and the traffic there actually is some wonderful wonders to be found. We were fortunate enough to be staying with a couchsurfer and he acted as our tour guide while we were in the city. Our first day we made our way by train, boat and taxi to Canchanaburi where there is a train bridge.

Jen got over the wonderful wonders quick.

Posted by nik 09/14/2008, revised 09/21/2008
Daily mission on the islands: Enjoy life!

A day in the life on Koh Phangan

Instead of writing an account of everything I do every day on the island, I figure it's more appropriate to walk you through the details of one day on Koh Phangan. The typical day deserves a bit of detail to be fully appreciated.

In the morning, I wake up at who-knows-what-time. I don't pay attention to clocks here. I rise when I feel it is time to rise. I open my eyes, stretch, roll over a couple times before finally deciding to get up, and I make my way out of the mosquito-netted bed. I walk over the spaced wood planks to the bathroom, where toilet paper goes in a bin instead of the toilet, and a "flush" really is just a manual flushing of the bowl with a bucket of water. I walk out to the porch and plop into the hammock, taking in the surroundings of palm tree-covered hills, the sea breeze, and the sun just barely starting to break through the thin cloud cover. Nik is making instant coffee with the homemade campstove he engineered with 2 empty beer cans, some denatured alcohol, and an empty oatmeal can as a pot. I sip my coffee and let the day start at a nice, easy, slow pace. There is no rush to a day in which the only objective is to enjoy life to the fullest.

After our cups of coffee, we venture 20 meters away to pick a coconut off the ground, shaking it to make sure there's a decent amount of milk in it. We crack it open and pour the milk into the oatmeal-can-pot to be heated for our oatmeal breakfast. We cook the oatmeal in the fresh coconut milk, and slice in a few small, sweet, fresh bananas. I sit back on our simple bungalow porch and enjoy my breakfast of champions while rocking back and forth in the hammock. It's going to be another great day.

The makings of our beautiful breakfast

Posted by Whitney 09/14/2008
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