A Rough Couple of Weeks

*heads up- long post ahead.  I just needed to type out everything I'm feeling, so no hard feelings if you don't want to stick around for this beast.*

I promised I would be back here to catch up on life when things settled down a bit.  Well, surprise surprise, life doesn't really ever settle down, but I've found myself in a small break and I figured I'd better get over here to type it all out.

I've got so much to talk about, but today I want to focus on just one thing:

I quit my job last week.

(I need that dramatic "dun, dun, DUUUUUNNNNN" music in the background.)

For those of you who've been reading here since the beginning, you know that I've got my job at Garco two weeks after I started this blog.  So this feels like the end of an era, and one that has been difficult for me to embrace.  I handed my two weeks notice in last Monday, and I've cried at every person who has asked me about it since.

Let me explain to you guys why I've decided it was time to call it quits; you all are lucky because you don't have to deal with my tears as I give you the details.

So, I decided to go back to college last January to get my Bachelor's in Professional Sales and I've been going to school and working full-time ever since. I even did both Summer semesters in order to get done as soon as possible.  Well, at the end of last semester I was looking at my CatTracks plan and it said that I still had 50+ credits to take before I could graduate.  I decided to go visit my advisor to see how to plan my classes in advance so I could get everything done in the most efficient way possible.  This is where things took a turn.  He opened my profile and then pulled up my credits I took at Utah Valley University and proceeded to count out enough credits to cover anything in my degree that wasn't part of the Professional Sales requirements which ended up being roughly 35 credits.  So in a matter of 30 seconds, I went from having a year's worth of school left to 17 credits.  I'm sure you an imagine my excitement when I realized how much sooner I'd be graduating and how much money I'd be saving from tuition.  He helped me plan out the rest of my time at WSU and I left his office with a skip in my step.

Fast forward about a month and a half, I realized that the last couple classes I had to do to do graduate might require more than all of my previous classes had.  They're my Senior Projects, and I hadn't really talked to my advisor about them when I had been in his office.  I called my dad to see what he knew about the curriculum and he referred me to the professor who actually taught the class to get the deets.  This wasn't the easiest process since I'm an online student and I couldn't just go find him on campus to talk.  I emailed with him back and forth, but his responses were usually short and a little delayed.  No tea, no shade or anything, but it wasn't until the end of February that I actually got  all of the information I needed on what the classes were like.  Plain and simple they were projects that showcased everything I had learned in the Professional Sales and applied to my current position as a salesperson.

I'm not a salesperson, currently.  I'm a quality control technician for a construction company in a mine.

Immediately following this little nugget of information, I met with my manager to talk about my options with the company.  I told him that I needed a job in sales to be able to complete these projects that ultimately decide if I can graduate or not.  I conveyed that they were basically an internship, without being called an "internship" because most of the students in the program already had jobs in the sales field that they could do their projects on.  I, on the other hand, am one of the black sheep.

My manager was incredible and told me he would approach his boss and the plants manager to see if they could find me any place in the sales department that I could step into.  He talked with them and relayed everything I had told him in effort to keep me with the company.  Meanwhile, I was being realistic and looking at my options outside of the company in case they couldn't place me.  I was extremely picky with the prospects available; I didn't want to take any old sales job.  If I had to leave my job, I wanted to go somewhere that would be closer to my house, that wasn't a call center, that had a good company culture and incentives, and obviously that paid well.  AKA I was looking for a unicorn in the job market.  I did find a couple that seemed to fit the criteria, but were looking for a bit more experience than I actually have, but I figured I'd send a resume just for the heck of it.  I wasn't actively looking for a job, but these companies worked with WSU's Professional Sales program and I figured it couldn't hurt to have back up in case Plan A didn't pan out.

About a week after I sent in my resume, I got an email from one of the jobs asking to schedule and interview with me.  Again, I really didn't have high hopes because I didn't have the experience they were looking for, but it was still an incredible opportunity on the off-chance they did want to hire me and I figured at least I could get some practice on what interviews are like these days since I haven't been job hunting in nearly six years.  That Friday morning, I went in and met with two different ladies and had an amazing interview with both of them.  The job as they described it sounded like a blast, the location is in the heart of Park City at the base of my favorite ski resort, and the money was far more than I could have hoped for.  They invited me to come back that afternoon to have another interview with their hiring manager because she would be the one who ultimately decided who got the job.  I agreed and the second I walked out of their lobby, I called Landon to try to talk about how conflicted and suddenly terrified I was feeling.

I sent in a resume with zero expectations, I met with them for an interview with zero expectations, but that interview went so well and they wanted me to come in for another and suddenly possibilities were becoming real to me.  I started to cry because it was an amazing opportunity, but at the same time the thought alone of leaving Garco shattered my heart.  I knew my bosses were trying to find something for me, but the entire time we had been brainstorming about the whole situation I knew in the back of my mind that chances were slim that they'd have a place for me.  I've been here for six years, I know both of their salesmen, I know that there's only the two positions, and I knew that the only way I'd be able to move to sales in the company was if they made up a spot for me.  I think up until that moment after the interview though, I had been in denial a little bit.  I didn't have any other options at the time, so I was holding onto my small chance with both hands.  But after that interview, suddenly I had another choice and the reality of the whole situation started to set it, and it made me cry.

I went home to do some homework, eat lunch and try to compose myself before I went back for my second interview with the hiring manager.  She was just as kind and ambitious as the two I had met with before and we ended up having an incredible interview as well.  It was about half as short as the first one and she really got down to the nitty gritty in a short amount of time.  She brought up my experience as a salesperson and I was very straightforward with her.  I said, "I have a lot of experience in customer service, but I have next to nothing when it comes to actual sales in the field.  But, I'm just about to graduate with a Bachelor's in Professional Sales, so I have to tools and knowledge to apply to this job, I'm also a quick learner and since I haven't had a sales job before I'm a blank slate for you to train; I won't have any bad habits to break or notions that don't jive with your company and will be able to learn how to be the perfect employee for the job."  This answer brought a huge smile to her face and she told me that was exactly what she was looking for.

She shook my hand and thanked me for coming back twice in one day to meet with her and to expect to hear from her soon.  And just like before, I burst into tears the second Landon picked up the phone. It was the strangest feeling to be equally as excited about an opportunity as I was heartbroken at the mere thought of leaving my current job.  It was a conflict I'd never experienced before.  I decided to try to put it out of my mind and continue to work on my presentations that were due in the coming week, especially because I hadn't actually been offered the job and there wasn't anything I could do at the moment.

The moment wasn't too far behind, though, Saturday afternoon I received a phone call from the hiring manager offering me the job that I was so sure I wouldn't get when I submitted my resume.  I thanked her profusely and said I couldn't accept the job at that moment because I needed to talk to my boss about his plans, but that I would call her on Monday with my answer.  She was so kind and understanding and told me she looked forward to hearing from me.  I hung up the phone and was immediately a ball of anxiety.  The rest of the weekend it was all I could think about, and every time it popped into my head, tears were quick to follow.

Monday morning came and I texted my boss asking if I could meet with him that day.  We had planned on getting together early in the week to talk about what my options were, but after the offer I had gotten I had to talk to him immediately.  He took me to lunch at a small, authentic Mexican restaurant where our waiter didn't speak any English.  I ordered three tacos despite an overwhelming feeling of nausea and after I ordered (by pointing to the menu because I don't speak Spanish) I blurted out, "I got a job offer and I don't know what to do!"

We spent the next hour talking about my options with my current job and the options with the potential job.  He told me that me moving to sales in our company wasn't ruled out, but it would be a slow process finding a spot for me and seeing if I was a good fit for the position.  This wasn't really new information to me; it was what I was expecting to hear all along.  I then told him all about this new job and with every word that came out of my mouth we both knew the direction we were heading.  He told me he didn't want to tell me to take the new job because he would hate to lose me, but he also couldn't ask me to stay if he knew I wouldn't be happy and always wonder what could have happened.  I had done so well maintaining composure, but I felt the tears stinging in my eyes when he said that if I hated the new job that I could come back; he said that he would always have a place for me.

I still can't seem find the words to express what an incredible job this has been for me.  I've learned so much here and I've developed such amazing relationships with my co-workers that they're more family to me than colleagues.  My manager and supervisor have taken such great care of me for the past six years, really investing the time to train me and help me grow in my position.  They've worked with me when I decided to go back to school and been so supportive the entire time.  My co-workers and the foremen and salesmen are my best friends and the thought of not seeing them and talking to them everyday is one that brings the flood of tears to my eyes and makes it hard to breathe.

I've never had to leave a job like this, or people like this.  I've never dreaded a goodbye so much.

When I called to accept the job offer, I told her I needed two weeks before I could start, but even if I started the second I hung up with her, two weeks is not nearly enough time to tell the people here how much they've done for me and how much I love them.

I have high hopes for this new job, but I can't silence the fear that I'm walking away from the best people I will ever know.

I know I have to do this.  I have to do this for school and for myself to see if this is really what I want to do with my life.

So yeah, there it is. Here's to the future, I guess.

Checking in

When I go so long in-between posts it's usually because I either don't have anything to talk about, or I'm overwhelmed with other tasks.  I would say it's definitely because of the latter this time around.  I'm usually so organized with schoolwork and normal work, but lately I can't seem to get into a routine; which is great because this has been one of the hardest semesters thus far.

Anyway, here's to hoping I actually get my crap together and get my midterms taken care of and then I'll be back for a real post where I can tell you all about the shenanigans Landon and I have been up to including, but not limited to: a last minute trip to Milford, UT that ended up being a fail in the most obvious way, but a win if you take a look at it from the right perspective.

Anyway you look at it though, it's painfully clear that I have the most patient husband who will drop his Saturday plans to drive with me and the dogs 3 1/2 hours to literally the middle of nowhere on the off chance we run into a person from the internet.

Slow clap for husband of the year.  To repay him, I'm taking him dirt biking in St. George next week.

Tomatoes in the Poo

This post is going to seem so out of context, but it's a story about something so stupid that happened last fall and I think about it every day at lunch.  Between that and the title I've got your attention, don't I?

Well, before I begin that story, let's rewind roughly three years ago to the end of March in 2015.

We'd been living in our house for almost a year and that Spring I was set on planting flowers, herbs, and vegetables in some pots on my patio.  I had done a small amount of research about when to plant certain crops, and the internet told me that the end of March and beginning of April was the perfect time.  I spent over $100 on pots, soil, and plants and got to work.  I had told my mom how excited I was that I was going to have my own cherry tomato plant just outside.  I hadn't even gotten done with telling her everything when she cut me off and told me it was far too early to plant anything.  But I was 24 years old and I had looked it up on the internet, so of course she was wrong and I went through with my plans of potting, planting, and meticulously tending to my garden.

The plants were dead two weeks later after a typical April snow storm.

I haven't planted anything since.

Not to my knowledge anyway.

Fast forward to last summer.  I had been eating a diet of grilled chicken and vegetables every day for months.  I also washed my tupperware out every day after lunch.  Since we are in a mobile trailer, our sinks drain out into the rocks outside.  The water wells up during the summer into a small pond that we lovingly refer to as "poo mud."  Well, one day my boss brought it to everyone's attention that the craziest thing had happened and a TOMATO PLANT had grown in the poo mud.  After much discussion and trying to figure out how in the hell a large and healthy cherry tomato plant had managed to sprout and thrive in the swamp just outside our door, it dawned on me- I had been eating cherry tomatoes nearly every day for the past two months, and when I rinsed my dish out the seeds were going down the drain and out into the pond. I had planted the tomatoes on accident!  I was capable of growing a plant, even if it wasn't on purpose! I was so pleased with myself.  Unfortunately, even if they are the best tomatoes in town, nobody wants to eat anything that grew from the poo mud, so we let the plant live out a happy life until winter came.

There is probably some profound message in here about finding beauty, accomplishing things you never thought you could, or listening to your mom instead of the internet...

But every day when I eat my cherry tomatoes and wash my dish out in the sink, all I think about that tomato plant and just how dumb life can be;

so hilariously, frustratingly, serendipitously dumb.


He's 30 in Shark Years

Guess who turned 30 years old yesterday!  Mister Land J. Shark.  I'll be honest, it's a little mind boggling since we started dating when he was 23; I still feel like he is 23 and I'm still just a dumb little 19 year old.

Probably because we are both still going to college.

But the last 6 1/2 years with this guy has been absolutely golden, so it's no wonder why the time has flown by.

In celebration for his birthday, I made him his favorite cheesecake bars (which as basically a cheesecake while a giant cookie baked on top), filled a bucket of his favorite treats, gave him a LeSean McCoy (I always feel like I'm in middle school, capitalizing every other letter when I type his name) jersey, and some incredible Buffalo Bills high tops that Kelsey found.  It was the best, she sent me the link the week before Christmas and I ordered them immediately.  I thought they would get here in time for Christmas, but they came on the slow boat from China (literally) and got here a week before his birthday.  And when I opened the package, I was overcome with the strongest smell of rubber, like the kind that bouncy balls are made of, and about choked. We had to let them air out a bit. haha But he loved them, and wore all of it to dinner.

I thought we had plans to go with his family to the Midway Ice Castles and then dinner at his mom's, but apparently that's tonight.  You can imagine my dismay when I finally got that memo after I had taken all of my running gear to work so I could run on my lunch break and then asked my boss if I could leave early so I could make it in time.  And on top of all of that, I hadn't planned anything for his birthday!!

So we got dressed, went down to the valley and got some sushi for dinner and then shopped for a little while.  We were both pretty tired though, so we didn't stay out too long; I was passed out on the couch by 9 o'clock.  Poor guy, his 30th birthday which is supposed to be a big deal was about as low key as they come.  But if you know Landon at all, you would know that's exactly what he would want.  And also, tonight we get to go to the ice castles and have dinner at his mom's. So that's good.  What wasn't good was my realization that I was going to have to wake up at 4 AM to get my workout in.  So I am beyond tired right now.  I have mad respect for people who get their exercise in before they go to work.  BUT, it's out of the way and I've got the night free for some sweet family time.

I'm also pretty pumped about the Ice Castles.

But most of all, I'm pumped that I'm married to the coolest, smartest, funniest, sexiest 30 year old I know.  Landon is the greatest person for me to have by my side through it all.  One day we'll do the kid thing, but for the past few years, he's all I've needed.  I'm so grateful that he picked me to be his lifelong adventure buddy.  He is my best friend and the love of my life.

Happy birthday Landshark.  Thanks for giving me the world.

That John Denver is Full of Sh*t

this idiot just got on a plane this morning with nothing but her laptop, camera, a backpack full of fruit snacks and moved to Spain.


It's fine. It's totally fine. I'm fine. Really, I'm fine.

I stayed at my mom's last night to keep her company while she organized her carry-on (that literally consisted of snacks and tampons) and sang her John Denver's, I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane thirty times in a row.  (I probably would have sang her something else if I knew more than three cords and one strum pattern on the guitar.)

After sending her off to Tonga, Argentina, Paraguay, and even Ohio, you would think it would get easier to watch her get on a plane, but it doesn't.  It's never easy to say goodbye to your best friend.

At least this time it's only until June.

But as I sit here in at my computer and watch the blizzard that is raging outside my window-

Mariah June has never felt so far away.


I'm not fine.

Applegeddon II

Can I just- can I whine for a minute?  I live a good life; I have fun.  But there have been just a few things that have been incredibly inconvenient this last week and I just need to vent.

First, I had a horrible, horrible accident last Wednesday night.  I fell asleep on the couch (typical) and woke up around 1 AM.  Now we got new couches a few weeks ago and I fell asleep on the recliner section.  When I woke up and was going to get up to go to bed, my phone slipped down in the crack of the couch and fell to the floor.  I was incoherent and I got down on the floor and lifted the recliner up to retrieve my phone.  Well, the phone landed in the perfect spot that when I did so, the reclining mechanism opened and the metal bar went straight into the screen of my phone; crunched it up like little piece of popcorn.  And, it pinned my phone in there, so not matter how I pulled, twisted or turn the phone, I couldn't get it out.  I could just hear cracking and crunching and Siri repeating over and over, "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear what you said."  Which is good, because it was probably profanity.

The thumb print reader was unharmed, but when I unlocked it, the three punctures in the screen were making all of my apps freak out.  In my daze, I immediately hard reset the phone without thinking it through.  I thought it would make the apps settle down.  What I didn't realize until it was too late was that I wouldn't be able to use my thumb print to unlock it after it reset.  It turned back on and wanted me to put in the passcode, but the mutilated screen had the same effect on the key pad making it impossible for me to input my code.  I was locked out completely.

I knew we had full coverage insurance on our phones, but that wasn't what I was worried about.  I was worried about if my phone had backed everything up on the cloud.  I don't know if you guys remember my last fiasco that I deemed APPLEGEODDON, where I accidentally restored my 2013 iPod touch to my iPhone when I was trying to back it up on my computer.  If you don't remember, I deleted everything and didn't have iCloud storage.  I also had a pretty entertaining conversation with customer support.  LUCKILY, I still had my old phone that I had upgraded from a couple months prior that I was able to restore a backup to and save the majority of my information with the exception of about a month and a half of photos.  So when things went bad, they weren't the worst.  After that, I started to back up my phone to my computer regularly incase I had another accident.  But, I recently tried backing up my new iPhone 7 and wouldn't you guess it, my freaking computer was out of space.  That was the straw that had to break the camel's back for me to finally purchase iCloud storage.

It was only about a month ago when I bit the bullet, but after I paid for it I never really followed up to make sure it was working.  So, when I pulverized my phone and then locked myself out, there was no way for me to check to see if all of my information had been backed up.

I'm sure you can imagine the horror/anger/depression cocktail I was mixing up as I sat there on my stairs yelling at my phone.  I'm positive my neighbors think I'm insane now.

I went to sleep and tried to forget about the phone because I was going to go snowboarding the next day and I didn't want to ruin that for myself.  Only to be woken up at 5:30 AM by my boss calling me.  My phone was downstairs but my Apple Watch was still ringing.  I was so confused, and obviously not able to answer the phone, when all of the sudden Landon's phone started to ring.  He woke up, looked at his phone and said, "Why are you calling me?"  I sat up and could hear Landon's voicemail recording on speaker coming from my phone in the dining room.  All the pieces of the puzzle started coming together; my phone was back from the dead and ghost calling people.  Which is why my boss had tried calling me back.  When I came in on Monday, he said he got five phone calls from me and a FaceTime.  He thought I was dying.  My theory is that my alarm went off on my phone, then that woke the screen up and the smashed part kept hitting all the buttons and locking me out again.  But when it kept happening, I think it self-swiped over to the emergency call list and started calling my emergency contacts I have saved in my phone.  Those people being my boss and Landon. So that was a fun thing to deal with at 5 in the morning when my phone wouldn't cooperate.  I couldn't even power it down because you have to do that slide thing to confirm you're actually powering it off.
THEN dealing with the insurance company was equally a nightmare.  I wanted them to just fix the screen instead of getting me a new phone because I was worried about my iCloud backup.  They said they wouldn't do that because my billing address isn't in Salt Lake and they only do screen repairs in Salt Lake.  The fact that I WORK in Salt Lake every day didn't make a difference.  So, then trying to get a new phone they told me they would only send me a black phone and that rose gold wasn't an option.  And maybe it sounds petty, but I didn't want a black one; I wanted my pink phone.  I mean, I paid like, $900 for that thing and I wasn't going to settle for a black one.  Come on.  After many transfers and talking to different agents, a lady finally told Landon that it wouldn't be a problem at all to send me a rose gold phone.  At that point, we were about slamming our faces on the wall for all the run around, but we accepted it and placed the order.

My new phone came yesterday while I was at work.  Landon was home and I told him to start her up and let me know the damage.  After an hour of updating, the verdict was in: my phone had done the backup and nothing was lost! After nearly a week of worrying, I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.

So like the last Applegeddon, when things decided to go bad, they went well.

Maybe that was a lot of complaining for me getting a brand new phone and not losing any pictures or information.  But I still had to pay a $200 deductible and I have to wait 4 days before a new screen protector shows up.  So I'll be babying my new phone until then.

I don't know- it was such a freak accident.  I probably couldn't get my phone to fall in that exact spot again if I tried.  And if I had just gone behind the couch and not opened the recliner at all, this never would have happened.  It was all just a stupid accident and a huge headache to get it all sorted out.  I'm just glad to have my phone back.

There were other things I was going to whine about, but I think I'll leave it at this.  I just needed to get it out of my system.  And if you drop your phone down the crack of your couch, DON'T OPEN THE RECLINER.

Track Hoe Boarding with DevinSupertramp!!

I realize that 2017 started 9 days ago, but I held off until yesterday to start my New Years.  I had 2 1/2 weeks off work and I hardly cooked the entire time, I didn't have homework, and I barely exercised at all.  I blame that last one on the flu that took me down.  My entire body ached, I couldn't take three steps without getting winded, and when I would get winded my body would heave with a coughing fit.  So, no gym for me the last couple weeks of 2016.  It was nice though, to be able to take a break.  Sometimes I get so crazy obsessed with working out, I think it was important for me to realize that I could take a break without gaining 20 lbs.

Anyway.  I put off my "get back on track" plans until yesterday.  Mostly because classes at Weber and the 12 week exercise program I'm doing didn't start until yesterday, so I figured I'd mess around at the gym, not take my meal planning seriously and play Super Mario 64 until now.  It was incredible.  BUT, we are back at it and 2017 is looking good.

So yes, school is in session as of yesterday. I've already mapped out all of my assignments and exams and I can't tell you how easy, breezy, Covergirl it is compared to last year.  I have like, maybe three assignments per week?  And they're all spaced out evenly instead of being due on the same night.  I don't know what I'm going to do with all my free time.

Just kidding.  Of course I do. I'm going to go snowboarding.  Another thing that started yesterday is that my work has just switched to working four 10-hour shifts and having Fridays off.  So I get a 3-day weekend every weekend and I am THRILLED.  I actually only worked two days last week because I took that "sick day" on Thursday to go boarding.  And oh, was it worth it.  We got over 33" in three days and I just couldn't sit idly by and watch the best snow in 10 years fly by my window.  Landon didn't have any appointments that day either, so he came with me.  We hiked all over the mountain in pursuit of the untouched powder.  We were absolutely drained by the end of the day, but it was the best snow I've boarded in since Vail.
 I had plans to do the same thing on Friday morning since I didn't have to go to work, but around 7 o'clock Thursday night, my sister-in-law tagged me in a post by DevinSupertramp on youtube that was calling for girls who knew how to snowboard to be in his next video being shot in Midway on Friday morning.  I don't know if you guys have ever seen any of his videos, but every time I watch them I'm always wondering how the heck I get involved because they are so cool!  I sent him a message saying that I knew how to snowboard and I even lived in Midway, so I would totally be down.  He sent me all of the information about what we were doing and where to meet and told me it was going to be sweet.

The activity on the books was Track Hoe Boarding, in that they brought in a track hoe, tied a wakeboard rope to the bucket and whipped us around in circles for five hours.  Something I had never done and according to Devin, neither had anyone else.  So I woke up to a sunny morning, excited to try something new and walked outside with my gear to a frosty -11 degrees.  It was the coldest day of the season by far, so I wore two pairs of ski underwear, my warmest woolen socks, and a big scarf I had gotten for Christmas.  It was to no avail; by the time I left I was sure my feet had frostbite and I hadn't been able to feel my hands for hours.  Oh, and my face got a wicked sunburn; I always forget that you can still get burned, even in negative temperatures.

Despite the cold and the sunburns, we had a BLAST.  I volunteered to go first since I was all geared up, and as I picked up the rope, the track hoe operator said, "Alright, since no one has done this before we might have to do some trial and error with speed." I laughed and gave him a thumbs up, but I was silently berating myself for not wearing my helmet.  Like I said, we got a good amount of snow last week, but since the temperatures dropped so drastically, there was a good 2 1/2 inch crust of ICE on top; I knew that it was not going to be a soft landing when I inevitably crashed and burned.  I didn't realize that was going to happen right off the get go.  The operator mentioned he was going to experiment with speed, I thought that meant he would start slow and progressively get faster; this was not the case.  Right off the get go, I was whipping around that track hoe holding on for dear life.  The centrifugal force was pulling so hard against my body I thought I was going to fly off the earth.  It didn't help that I could feel my fingers and I was wearing big, bulky mittens, so holding on for dear life was even more difficult.  I nearly made it around the track hoe one time before my fingers slipped and I was sling-shotted across the field.  I almost rode it out, but after about 25 feet, I lost my balance and ate face in the icy snow.  I did a quick body check to make sure I hadn't broken anything; I was good.  I popped back up and the track hoe operator yelled, "We should probably go slower, huh?"  I nodded my head as I pulled myself out of the crater my body had created and unclipped my board so I could walk back to the rope for round two.  Before I knew it, we were going again, this time he did start slower and I was able to tell him to go faster and faster until we found the right speed.  Just because we found a good speed, however, didn't mean round two didn't end in me buffing it again.  I had lost count of the times I had been swung around the track hoe and I was utterly exhausted.  Holding onto that rope, absorbing each variation in the snow, and fighting physics was draining.  I lasted much longer compared to my first try, but ultimately it ended with me not being able to hold on any more and I went rolling through the snow for the second time.  I had one more run in me that went pretty similarly to my second try, before I had completely lost all my strength (and was in a fair amount of pain) and called out, "Okay- someone else can go now." as I crawled away.

(not me, obviously, but this is what we were doing.) 
And I didn't even do the crazy stuff.  Once people were getting the hang of it, the operator lifted the bucket in the air as he whipped guys around and they would come off the ground and swing around like a ride at a county fair.  I screamed and clapped when they would get flying, and even thought about giving it a try myself, but as I weighed the risks I ultimately decided that I would rather not break any limbs that day. I still have a season of snowboarding ahead of me and I just didn't feel like cutting that short.
There was really only one bad accident, a dude on skis was being flown around when he (like the rest of us at some point) just couldn't hold on any longer.  He was high enough in the air that his skis were about eye level and when his grip failed he was flung directly into the crowd. He took out a dude in a dirt bike helmet (luckily) and after the initial moment of shock we all ran to see if they were okay.  By some miracle they were, albeit a little shook up.  We all took about 10 big steps backwards after that just incase it happened again.  Thankfully, it didn't and no real injuries came out of the day.

(This guy was in a neck brace the day before, so we were all real nervous every time we went airborne.)
After a couple hours of boarding around the track hoe, we started tying up tubes to the bucket.  The term "tubes" varied from a tube you'd pull behind a boat, an air mattress, and those black inner tubes that are pretty versatile.  We made a bet on how long the air mattress would last; I said two circles before it would pop and it made it a solid 2 and a quarter before it was completely flat and the girls riding on it were basically being drug on a piece of plastic.  The boating tube lasted longer, but it didn't have much air in it to begin with since we didn't have anything to blow it up with.  The black inner tubes were the real MVPs.  We got four in a train and everyone got a chance to ride them; each one ending with the same outcome.  During my turn, I lost a glove and ended up bleeding.  I decided that I preferred the boarding to the tubing considering I had more control and I didn't have three bodies in front of me that could potentially take me out.

The best part by far was when I got to ride in the bucket.  After a couple hours on the tubes, we brought the boards and skis back out and the guys were flying again. With the bucket lifted so high in the air, the operator let us get in the bucket and ride in it while he whipped the flyers around below us.  I scream laughed the entire time because he would get going so fast.  I seriously could have ridden in that thing all day.  The other hilarious thing to me was the thought of the Safety people at my work would react to this.  I'd probably be fired before I could even climb into a bucket, let alone ride in it as it spun around.
The video is going to be up next week sometime, and I'll post a link to it here to you can go watch the crazy shenanigans.  It was definitely an awesome experience, but you should see the bruises I woke up with.  

It didn't help that Saturday I went up to Ogden and went indoor surfing for 7 hours with my family. And I devoted the entire 7 hours to learning how to ollie the board which resulted in many, many face plants and neck-snappers.  
When I woke up on Sunday, I couldn't move.  I literally laid in bed until 1 o'clock.  My 26 year old body had been through the ringer after three days of snowboarding, track hoe boarding, and flow boarding and I was feeling more like an 83 year old.

It was totally worth it, though. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go look at how much walkers are on Amazon.
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