Tag Archives | malibu

A Week on the Amazon River

This past week, Lisa and I travel to the Brazilian Amazon for a fascinating week on the Amazon River as Lisa participated in medical work in rural areas.

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Our local church, Malibu Presbyterian, takes an annual trip to the Amazon River.  They load up on a large boat and head out to rural villages where medical care is thin or non-existent.  Since Lisa (a nurse) first heard about it, she’s been wanting to go.  The experience was more than we expected.

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To Know a Place: 7 Years of Climbing Point Dume

When I would casually tell  new climbers (unfamiliar with Malibu) that we would soon be climbing “Point Dume,” their eyes would widen with mild terror.  I forget that this spot, pronounced “DOOM” might have another, more menacing meaning to it.

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In my mind, it has a meaning all its own.  Point Dume is a special place to me.  Of all the places throughout the world that I’ve climbed, it’s my very favorite route.  Why?  For starters, it’s incredibly beautiful.   The arete, a relatively easy route, hangs over the ocean.  Above you, seagulls and hawks swoop.  Below you, the waves break on the rocks and, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot dolphins, seals, or even whales.  Yet, above it’s beauty, I know the place intimately well.  I’ve taught hundreds of new climbers here and I suspect the number of times I’ve climbed it may be edging close to triple digits.

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Windsurfing in the California Waves

If you haven’t tried Stand Up Paddling (SUP), you should.  One of the best things about is that there’s always something to do no matter the conditions.  If there are waves, you can surf (watch my GoPro footage).  If it’s flat, you can cruise up the coast.  If there’s wind, go windsurfing.  Today was no exception.  When we left for church this A.M., it was glassy calm.  By 2 p.m., the wind was blowing full-on.  Here are a few photos playing in the (small) waves at Zuma Beach in Malibu.

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Catching little 2-3 foot waves.

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Cruising on the standup paddle board–no footstraps.

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To see a few more photos from today’s session, click a photo below and scroll through:

 

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Podium Finish at Nautica Malibu Triathlon!

The Nautica Malibu Triathlon is our most important race of the year and by far the largest races.  3,200 people come out to race the classic distance, including pros.  We trained hard and focused on tapering and nutrition this week.

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I had one primary goal: Take 10 minutes off last year’s time.  This was within reach based on results throughout the season so far, but no easy task.  I also had two dream goals: Get to podium and finish in the top 100 overall.  Clinching a top three podium finish was a season goal for any race this year.  And it had so far eluded me–I finished 4th place in nearly every race.  To get to the podium and into the top 100, I’d need to take off at least 12 minutes and have a perfect race. Continue Reading →

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Ventura Triathlon Today: One Spot Shy of the Podium

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This morning was an early morning for the Breadth of Life Triathlon in Ventura.  For me, it was a major success–maybe even turning point–in part of my abilities.

Since I've been traveling so much, I was underprepared this triathlon.  No matter, I wanted to run it as a training event–my fitness is not peaking, nor did I taper for it.  My swim was exellent (we'll get to that momentarily), my bike improved, and my run lacked significantly.  The run came as no surprse as that's the event I lose most quickly if I'm not running enough.  My cardio strength wasn't up there.  Yet, I was surprised when I saw the results.  In my age (25-29)–a very competitive age group–I came in 4th!  Unfortunately, this meant I was just shy of the podium.  However, getting to the podium was never my goal for this race and, as to those goals, it was a success.

The turning point today was the swim.  I may have told you that I'm not a swimmer, so it's the part that makes me most concerned.  My goal is to simply do a confident swim.  In my first tri, I hit the water and my body went into shock.  I hyperventilated and swam almost the entire race as a breast stroke with my head above water.  It felt something like what I imagine drowning would be like.  Those kind of memories are hard to dismiss.  It still haunts me that paralysis could strike again.

But today, I hit the water–a longer race of 750 meters–with not even a glimmer of inconfidence.  My swim was strong from the beginning, through the rush at the start, and all the way to the finish.  I was actually catching people.  And I didn't have to stop my freestyle stroke at all.  It felt good.  My time also showed it–I kept a pace of 1:40 per 100 meters, which is considerably faster than I do in the pool.  This was my breakthrough.  I think I can still gain a lot of easy time through increased confidence, and when I finally give in and buy a real triathlon wetsuit (still using my surfing wetsuit!).

Overally, my highest recommendations for the Breadth of Life Triathlon in Ventura.  The ocean swim is in a protected harbor and the bike ride winds through Oxnard's picturesque fields.  I'm looking forward to the event next year–and maybe another chance at that podium.

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Bursts of Creativity: Video of Standup Paddle Surfing from my GoPro HD

On rare occasions, I find an item that causes me to explode with creative ideas.  Last night, that happened.  I purchased the GoPro HD video camera.  You’ve probably seen their incessant online advertisements.  I did, and I couldn’t take it seriously.  Cheap?  Probably.  Cheesy?  Most likely.

Then, a few weeks ago, I walked by a Pepperdine undergraduate student who was looking at some of his surfing footage… and it looked amazing.  Intrigued, I thought about it awhile.  Then, finally bought one.

I look forward to telling you more about later, but there are mounts for everything and slow motion capabilities.  Suddenly, I was brimming with ideas about what I could shoot.  I woke up early this morning to head to beach to try some initial creative ideas with my standup paddleboard.  There is MUCH more to come!

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