10 Miles

Today I assisted in taking our boy scout troop on a 10 mile bike ride. It doesn’t sound like much, but the preparation for this trip was astronomical. 

When I went to see the Tridge in Midland back in the spring, I had hung out with the scout leaders after the Eagle ceremony and discussed the possibility of helping my brothers and other scouts in the troop earn their cycling badges because there weren’t any adult volunteers able to do so. They needed to complete 100 miles of biking over six trips; two 10 mile rides, two 15 mile rides, and then two 25 mile rides. Being on the hunt for new ways of completing my Golden Year Project, I was game. Just need a bike and make time to meet up with some scouts. Right?

Wrong. To help out required that I first officially join the troop as an adult leader. I submitted my troop application to the council and purchased my bicycle gear in April. When the application was approved in May, I was sent a link to complete the online BSA Youth Protection Training, then had to wait to attend the Protecting God’s Children training session in June which is a requirement of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Once completed I figured that the scouts and I would be working toward the 100 mile goal right away… Came to find out that scouts were out for the summer, and meetings wouldn’t start again until the last week of September. Yeah…

Keeping positive, my brothers and I went on some bike rides to get in shape for all the miles we were going to be putting in. Unfortunately, not long after this, I fell off my bike while jumping a curb at the end of June resulting in a slow healing wrist injury. 😦

When my brothers and I went to do a test run at the Metropark in July, the bike rack I had borrowed failed on the express way and we nearly lost our bikes! The metal base had bent and it was dangling the bicycles mere millimeters above the asphalt when I pulled off the road. Thankfully my mom was home and was able to transport them back home for us. A new bike rack was quickly procured to prevent a repeat occurance.

In mid-September my mom, brothers, and I had our official 6 mile test run which went pretty well. The most difficult part was loading and unloading the bikes on the new rack. We took extra precautions to make sure they were well secured.

Today we had seven scouts meet up for our event. Leadership had everyone carpool and the bikes were spread across several vehicles. Loading, unloading, checking their bicycles and coordinating all the scouts was quite a chore. Thankfully I didn’t have to do it alone!

 

It was sunny, however once we reached the park it was super cold and quite windy. I don’t know what I would’ve done without the gloves my mom gave me! The ride proved to be the longest ten miles ever, but at the end we were all smiling. 🙂

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We came, we did, and we conquered!

In conclusion, things don’t always happen when or how we expect it to, and encountering numerous obstacles doesn’t necessarily means its time for you to give up. It may be an opportunity to overcome, and achieve more than you set out for. I know I have. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Adult leader requirements

  • Application with references
  • Get added to the troop roster
  • Child protection online class
  • Protecting God’s Children Class (requirement of the diocese)
  • BSA shirt

Cycling Gear Needed

  • Bicycle with gears
  • Water bottle holder
  • Helmet
  • Odometer
  • Bike rack
  • Bike lock

Scout Requirements

  • Location
  • Date and time
  • Permission Slips
  • Debriefing
  • Safety checks on scout bicycles
  • Helmets
  • Carpooling/Bicycle transport
  • First aid kit
  • Water bottles

Golden Year Project: Complete!
Check out some of the nifty things I did down below!

 

Paddleboats Ahoy!

While my family was vacationing at the grandparent’s cottage up north this weekend, we had the opportunity to go paddleboating – which I have never done before this trip. 

DSC_0195 Although one can technically use a paddleboat by oneself, its so much more fun to have a crew. 🙂 DSC_0249
(See? Siblings can be super useful. 🙂 I’m the one taking the pictures.)
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The Titawbawasee is a sizable river. See that speck in the middle of the pic? That’s what we looked like in comparison to our surroundings.

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My crewmates. 🙂DSC_0297

Quite a workout…DSC_0323

Sean did a great job with the steeringDSC_0377

Beholding the beauty of the river.DSC_0443

The views were breathtaking and I couldn’t stop hitting the shutter.DSC_0314

I can’t even say how many pictures I took… 😉DSC_0328

The neighbor’s paddleboat. They let us borrow it later. 🙂DSC_0353

We encountered many many lily pads.

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Epic.

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Water lily…DSC_0792

A mossy old stump that has become an island. DSC_0829

Victory!

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I would like to give a shout-out to all my paddle buddies this weekend – couldn’t have had this cool golden year experience without you!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project: Complete!
Check out some of the nifty things I did down below!

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song
  8. 5/2/2015: Make a Run for It!
  9. 5/31/2015: Handy Dandy Eye Candy
  10. 7/2/2015: Tri-Harder
  11. 8/14/2015: Paddleboats Ahoy!

Handy Dandy Eye Candy

Happy Sunday everyone and welcome to my new followers! Today I tackled another task for my golden year project – basic auto maintenance!

About a week ago the check engine light came on in my Focus and has been bugging the bejeebers out of me. Whenever I thought about it a million questions would swirl around in my head. “Whats wrong?” “Is it an idiot light?” “Is it serious?” “Am I going to break down on my commute?” “Am I ruining my car by driving it with this unknown problem being unresolved?”  “Should I go to the auto shop?” Do I have the means to pay someone to fix this?” and the kicker “Will I need a new car???”

Outside of the engine intermittently skipping, I didn’t notice much of a difference in the handling but I wasn’t going to take a chance that a bigger problem be created by ignoring it. So I borrowed a code reader. IMG_20150527_203056

P0193 Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit High Input is the code that I pulled. I discussed it with my brother and my dad and was relieved that all it meant is that the sensor needed to be replaced. The only damage I was causing by not addressing it immediately was reduced fuel economy. Phew! After we watched a very informative video showing how to replace it, my dad helped me locate the correct part and I picked it up from the local auto parts store. Since I was beat from my super long work week, I sat on the part for a day and then… the rain rolled in.

It’s been a day and a half of torrential rain but my sensor needed to be replaced before the work week begins so.. yeah.

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I gathered the necessary supplies – the fuel sensor, a 7mm socket wrench, and the code reader – and went out into the rain.

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Good times….

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Mission accomplished! The sensor has been replaced without much ado, and the code has been erased! (Chicks can do (super) basic auto maintenance too!)

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song
  8. 5/2/2015: Make a Run for It!
  9. 5/31/2015: Handy Dandy Eye Candy

Make a Run for It!

“Jogging? Me? You must be joking!” That was my response before I lost weight. Back then I could jog a few house lengths at best and my chest and calves would hurt so bad I thought they they were going to explode. With such terrible reactions, I believed that I could never be a jogger. 

Fast forward to 50 pounds lighter and the momentum of over 100 hours of swimming, and trying new activities i.e. yoga, skiing, rock climbing, when I read an article that recommended jogging to increase stamina. Determined to swim farther and for longer in preparation for my life guard certification, I incorporated jogging into my exercise regimen on March 17, 2015. I thought “If I can ski, I can jog.” and went for it. Finishing that first lap around the block was exhausting but so exciting!

To begin with I jogged everyday going around the block in the morning before work during the week and before church on Sunday,  but on Saturday I would jog at the track at the Athletic Center before swimming. I had to stop every lap for a breather and to hydrate, but I was not deterred. Slowly I was able to go longer without a break. After several weeks I looked at how many laps around the track equaled a mile, and was surprised. 10 laps was a mile and I was doing four. Just knowing how close I was to a half mile, I started pushing for another lap. That was when I decided to make jogging into a goal for my Golden Year Project. 🙂

So this morning I went to the Athletic Center with a specific goal in mind: Jog a mile without stopping. I put my stuff away, clipped on my tunes, stretched, hydrated and took off at a slow steady pace focusing only on my breathing. I successfully completed 11 laps in less than 20 minutes! 😀 😀 😀

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Not bad for a not-jogger!

(8 down, 20 more to go!)

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project status: 8/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song
  8. 5/2/2015: Make a Run for It!

Play Me a Song

The only instrument that I ever learned to play with some proficiency is the guitar. (I ♥ guitar!) When I was a teen I really really wanted to be in a band and I was – technically. When I was 18 I was a part of the vocals for a new band called Lethal 7. We only had one practice and parted ways due to the driving distance between band members… lol! I wasn’t too heartbroken since I was starting college and didn’t have the time. But way before the short lived band, back when I first started my private guitar lessons with Dave at Marshall Music, my goal was to learn how to play Follow Me by John Denver for my parents anniversary. Due to the difficulty of the chords, they had to be simplified for me and every week I practiced different parts of the song with Dave.

When my parent’s anniversary came around, I’m not sure what exactly happened, but I didn’t perform it.  :(( Once private lessons ended I moved into group guitar lessons which I stupidly blew off due to my social life. Not long after that I got involved in music ministry at youth group where I would assist in leading worship songs. After graduation I laid down my pick and really haven’t touched guitar since.

Until now that is! Introducing my new electric guitar Sakura! (I just call it Blossom. ;))

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Despite playing for over a year, I never owned my own guitar so this is my first one! 😀 😀 😀 I’ve always wanted an electric guitar (’cause they’re cool!) – specifically the Warlock Black Agathis with Silver Bevels and the Widow Head-stock. I drooled over that pretty piece in the Guitar Center catalog for ages and had that description memorized! Lol! In college I had tried one out (without silver bevels) and was turned off by how heavy it was! D:< That desire was no longer existent when I purchased Blossom. 🙂

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So as a part of my Golden Year Project I decided that I wanted to finally play Follow Me for my parents anniversary. 🙂

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And with decisions come sacrifices…

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My long nails had to go. 😥 (I know how to grow them out if I really want them back)

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I was really stoked when I found someone on YouTube who simplified the chords for the song into D, G, C, A which I was able to start recalling pretty quickly. So after two weeks of practice…

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I did it! 😀 So many things could’ve went better with my first performance in 10 years, but I had a very forgiving audience.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project status: 7/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song

The Tridge

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Earlier this week I encountered this picture of “The Tridge” a three way foot bridge in Midland Michigan and it intrigued me. I had never seen or heard of it before and really wanted to experience it in person. the_tridge

Once I had a rough idea of where it was located, plans were made to see it Saturday, 4/11. Cool. When Friday rolled around, an ice cold splash of reality washed over me. I was spent. After stepping back and assessing where I was at, I had to come to accept that I was neither physically or financially able to take on such a frivolous trip at this time. 😦 So I let it go.

This morning I did my usual routine of jogging and swimming at the RAC and was planning a chill day of chores and R&R when the darndest thing happened. I asked my older brother why my younger brother had to be dropped off so early from spending the night. He advised that he and my younger brothers had an Eagle Scout ceremony to attend in Bay City and had to get ready. My head snapped up. Bay City is next to Midland. The wheels started turning and opportunity knocked. I was quick to answer. I made a quick call to my parents and worked out a few details. I would tag along as a passenger to Bay City and borrow a vehicle to scoot over to Midland.

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I don’t know why this worked out, but I am so glad it did!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San♥

Golden Year Project Status: 6/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/21/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… Or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge

On Target… Or Not.

Evening Y’all!

Today I went to the Introduction to Firearms class through Schoolcraft College’s Continuing Education program in Livonia. I have never touched a gun before and thought it sounded like an interesting new experience. 

After some difficulty in locating the facility I finally arrived! (Thank goodness for GPS – I don’t know what I’d do without it! lol)image

Had to sign off on several waivers to participate in the class.imageMe intently watching the instructors…

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My station. I decided to try the 9mm pistol.

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50 bullets! 6 fit in the magazine at a time.

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My first loaded magazineimage

First round shooters up.

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The aftermath… My aim was less than amazing. Maybe another time…?image

Overall it was a cool experience and didn’t break the bank. However it would have gone a lot better if I had been caught up on sleep from my Chicago trip and had eaten dinner. Oh well, live and learn. ^_^;

Fifth one down! Twenty-three to go. 😉

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project status: 5/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.