Monday, May 30, 2011

National Call Day 2011

Alright, so Ness is not being prompt in updating the blog, and I am too anxious about this post, so I decided to do it myself. I apologize in advance because there are going to be a lot of pictures.

So about a month ago my good buddy Stephen Welling called me up and said that Ryan Beck had hook ups with the Mitt Romney Campaign and that he could get us to be volunteers for his National Call Day down in Vegas. Mitt was going to be putting his volunteers up in the Venetian for the weekend before. The call day was on a Monday so I initially told him that we couldn't, because we both have to work. I came home and told Ness about it and she was like "Are you kidding me?? I can totally miss work!" So we pondered about it for all but 20 minutes, called up Stephen and told him that we are in. This was the week before we would be leaving. It was very spontaneous of us and we were both very scared. Who knew it would turn out to be one of the most memorable trips we have had thus far.

(Mac Wood just came up to me and was like "what are you doing?" "Just updating our blog." "What? you blog? I didn't know guys blogged, I thought it was a girl thing." real funny Mac, real funny)

Anyways, going down to Vegas thus far was Ness and I, Ben Barrus, Chase Call, and Stephen Welling. Ness did not want to be the only girl out of our group so she invited her cousin Taylor Hunt. A money group in my opinion.

We headed down to St. George friday night, slept at our condo, (went trail running the next day, as noted below) , Stephen and them came over and we all went swimming, quick bite of Rio and we were Vegas-bound!

This is when Stephen informed us of a new idea that Ness and I will continue to use on our vacations. The Adventure Card. Every person has one (1) Adventure Card the whole trip. You may use your AC when you really want to do something. When you use it, everyone has to do the activity that you want to do. For example, Say I wanted to go on the NYNY Roller Coaster. I could use my AC and everyone would have to do it, no questions asked. Pretty Solid Right?

When we got to the Venetian, there was a mix up about rooms, so we all ended up in the same room. Two queens, four boys, two girls, one room. So naturally we put the mattresses on the floor so we could all fit.

Those are Stephens fingers. He did that so Taylor would tag him in the picture.
And again
We spent a couple nights on the strip which are always monumental. We walked the entire strip, just to go play the $3 black jack at the Hooters Hotel. Mind you that we passed like 40 $3 blackjacks on the way. We all played about 40, and all lost it. Hooters was not good to us.

Driving down the strip

The group.

The next day walking to the spaceship mall.
Laying out at the pool. They were pretty uptight with the rules. We had a Utah football that we had with us everywhere we went. We brought it with us into the pool and they got pretty upset. Clearly we did not know that the pool was just meant for picking up chicks.

The next day was National Call Day! We had to get up around 5:10 to get over to the convention center in time. We got our sweet shirts and hats that we had to wear. There was probably 100 college students from various places that came to volunteer for this. We got assigned to be the Tech Support for the callers. What was going to be happening was all of these big wigs that like Mitt will come and call all their big wig friends to donate money. Our jobs were to help them with the donation process. They would log on to a website of sorts and enter the amounts. Lots of them were new to the system so we had to help them. Lets be honest though, that last like 30 minutes, the rest of the time we were just walking around looking busy. But there were some sweet people there, like the owner of the Jets, some serious Olympians, and some serious CEO's from back east.
Us at the early morning training. Ness had gotten into the liquor cabinet already.
Stephen was nominated as President, and I was his secretary. We are hard workers.
Ness and Tay are the lookers of the bunch

Thanks to Mitt's great volunteers like us, he was able to raise $10.25 million dollars that day.

In traditional Mitt fashion, we had to pay for our own food. And by "We" I mean Mitt. He gave all his volunteers $15 to get some food that was brought in. All the other callers and big wigs had to pay for theirs.
Once Mitt made his final speech, he came down and started signing things. So naturally I ran up there to get him to sign my hat. Mission successful.
We all got pictures with Mitt, but their camera crew has yet to load them up to the website, so once those are up, they will be posted.
For some reason we all just clicked this trip. It was like we were all family, and every moment of it was a blast. We talk about this trip daily. Best spontaneous decision we have made.

On the drive home, we passed Chase, Ben and Stephen in the car, only to see this:
The cherry on the top.

Viva Las Mitt

-The Gap

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trail Running

I have found my new hobby when I cannot play lacrosse.

That is Trail Running.

It all started back in New York when I got some New Balance Minimus shoes. These shoes are made to give you the least amount of support possible. So it's basically running barefoot, but the bottom of your feet are protected. Two reasons I was sold on the whole "Barefoot running" 1) If you buy shoes that have a lot of support and comfort, in a sense you are making your feet and your legs do less, thus wearing away the muscles. For example, if your arm is in a sling, the muscles get weak and useless. But once you take it out, you can use them to their full potential. Same goes for your feet. There has been rumors that once you start barefoot running, your feet shrink a size or so because you are using muscles that you have never used before.


2) The sales lady (who is a hard core runner) said "God did not create us with shoes, He created us with feet" but also "When we were created there wasn't asphalt and concrete to run on." so there is definitely a limit where you need some protection when running on roads and such. But you think about it, why are the people who live in Africa natural runners who are so much faster than most others outside of Africa? They don't have really comfortable shoes, they have their feet.

So I decided that these were going to be my new running shoes. They came with a warning on them.

Pretty Intense

I started doing some more research on the matter and found a bundle of studies showing that running barefoot causes less strain on your feet and legs than running with traditional running shoes does. Obviously this is after you slowly build up to running barefoot. I found this cycle in one study. Pretend the ---- lines are arrows :)

Wicked Cycle of Shoes: We buy shoes with cushioning and support --- Muscle atrophy (The wearing away of muscles from lack of exercise)----Loss of Nerve Senseitiviy----Increased likelihood of injury----We buy shoes with cushioning and support----Muscle atrophy-----Loss of Nerve Senseitiviy----Increased likelihood of injury----and back to the beginning. Makes sense right? It's like a vicious cycle downward that cripples ourselves.

Anyways, that was longer than I was planning. I have found some wicked sweet trails to run on thus far. Unfortunately I did not bring my camera on them, but I will in the future. I have been up behind Red Butte Garden.

I ran along here, but unfortunately these people were not there.

Also when we were staying the night in St. George, I went and ran on Owen's Loop. It is on a very large plateau on the edge of the city. The trail runs along the edge of the plateau which was so sweet.

It is up along the top of this plateau.
(Apparently this was a really large picture)

Ness will explain why we were in St. George for the night in the next post ;)

-The Gap