I wanted to post a separate post telling you a little about my parents. You all know about Troy and how supportive he is of my crazy lifestyle. I just must tell you a little more about my mom and dad. I grew up active. I always say that my dad has had a midlife crisis about 10 times already. He is always reinventing himself. When I was little he was a hunter, and a unioned pipe fitter. He wore cowboy boots, and drove a Ford truck with a gun rack. We had dogs and we were always off on some crazy fishing adventure that involved cousins, boats tipping, fish frys and camping. He once shot the top off a huge tree because my mom said she wanted it for our Christmas tree.

My dad didn't really want kids and my parents were content with dogs when I "came along". My dad missed me being born because I was late and he had paid for a nonrefundable hunting trip before my mom got pregnant. He was in Montana. I met him when I was 5 days old and everyone says he was instantly in love. My parents just decided a kid wasn't going to slow them down and they took me everywhere. My dad was skiing with me in a backpack before I was 1 (back when they let you do that sort of stupid behavior).

My dad went back to school when I was 8 or so to become an engineer. He never lost his adventurous spirit. He laid down his guns for awhile and picked up a camera. He was a student, often found in shorts, sweatshirts, and Teva sandals, studying at all hours of the day and night in his office (above the Welding shop at Cal Poly, or in the basement with a big Marlin in his office). We always skiied and backpacked, and did a lot of deep sea fishing while he was in school.

After dad graduated with a masters in Metallurgical Engineering he got a fancy job as an Engineer. He picked up mountaineering somewhere in there and headed off for multiple trips to the Andes, and Nepal. After I graduated college he invited me along. We did lots of mountaineering together, it was our thing as father/daughter for awhile. He always had a camera with him and he took up cinematography. He even went to film school while working as a consultant on the side. Every summer he grows a garden, and his tomatoes are to die for. He's like a total tomato green thumb.

Nowadays I think dad is in the midst of the next crisis. He's still trying to figure out what exciting thing is next. He's become a snow cat skiing junkie, and he is back to shooting guns and goes on all these "squirrel hunting" trips. Don't ask...I don't quite get that one...but they don't eat the squirrels is all I know.

Through all of my dads mid life crisis, my mom is Ms.GoWithTheFlow. She is the Yin to his Yang. No matter what adventure my dad was thinking up, my mom was like "Sure". She's the van packer, the hotel reservation maker, the flight booker, the sandwich maker, the problem solver. My mom never makes life harder than it needs to be and she is the ultimate sidekick to my dad. She's not afraid of elbow grease and she sleeps like 4 hours a night. She reads 1-2 books a week and can knit a mean scarf.

Mom went back to school when I was little and she cranked out her degree in 2.5 years, while working at the same time. She's the opposite of my dad who would be a lifetime student if money grew on trees. My mom is consistent and happy. Her mood is always even and she's a bit sarcastic...something I did not inherit. She's the queen of telling me "If it's so hard, then just quit".

She is the ultimate mom. I am an only child and I like to say "I was spoiled with love". We've been through our hard times as a family, but we have worked through them together, never loosing sight of the fact that we always had to find a way to make amends. The hard times have made us stronger.

As I have become an adult and started my own family, it's been such a seamless transition. When I started doing the triathlons, my parents just hopped on board. They have been to all 4 Ironmans I have done, and they are raring to go for the 2 I am doing this year. When I need a little support, whether it's physical, emotional, or sometimes $$, they never hesitate, the answer is always "How can we help?"

This adventure that I am on right now is really just an extention of the life I have been taught to live by my parents. It's not much of a shocker that Troy is as supportive as he is. I've always been this way. I had just returned from Peru and climbing Mt.Rainier when I met Troy, he knew I was all sorts of crazy back then. He liked the crazy and he liked to get dragged along.

I want to thank my parents for what they have given me. They always taught me to get a degree so that I could marry whatever man I wanted and not be dependent on him for money (great advise for a daughter I think). They always taught me to do something you don't like as long as it takes you to find something new. They taught me that you only go around once on this earth and you better make the best of it. Don't buy things, buy experiences. Laugh loudly and often. They taught me to chase my happiness, and it's the greatest gift they ever could have given me.

Thanks mom and dad, love you guys!