Archive for July, 2013

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Moose!

In the spirit of becoming a real “Utahn”, I have been itching to see a moose in the wild.  After several challenging workouts (more on that later), I treated myself to a non-athletic adventure…Mission: Moose!

After browsing some instagram photos, I came across this little gem and with guidance for my mission:

To Big Cottonwood Canyon I go!

To Big Cottonwood Canyon I go!

On Thursday it had cooled off a little and had been raining on and off throughout the day… in my opinion, perfect weather for these elusive creatures to come out of hiding. Around 5PM, I took off from my home armed with my camera, hiking gear, and high hopes.  I made the 45-60min journey down Wasatch Blvd. and up the windy Big Cottonwood Canyon.  A dual purpose of this trip was to recon this route for a future cycling adventure.  After observing the bike and car traffic, bike lanes, and courtesy of cars going up the canyon, I have deemed it worthy ;)  You’ll be reading about this future adventure soon enough!

14 miles up the canyon, I found myself at the Silver Lake Recreation Center.  I gathered my gear and headed toward the trail.  No sooner than 30 seconds after exiting the car, I came upon this!

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Incredible! He was just hanging out, doing his thing- grazing and drinking out of the puddle.  He didn’t seem to mind the small group of people watching him- we gave him his space, so no big deal apparently! I was so excited, I FaceTime’d Dan from my phone so he could see this guy himself!  Funny how I can get AT&T reception up in a remote canyon, but not in my own house (grrr… another story)

20-30 minutes later, I figured I had seen enough, and started to walk to my car.  However, a woman gestured excitedly to me to come over by her- occupants of a nearby residence were graciously allowing people into their yard to observe two additional moose!

Look at those antlers!

Look at those antlers!

Visitors on the driveway...

Visitors on the driveway…

These two were much bigger, and more intimidating, but they were relatively calm as well.  They made some loud cow-sounds, presumably to find the little guy who had wandered off.  I tracked their journey to the open field where their little friend was, just amazed at how nonchalant they seemed to be about their audience.

moose walking

moose on boardwalk

moose in trees

“What are you looking at?”

Finally the crew was reunited, and I stayed for a while longer to observe them.  It was so cool to watch them interact!  My favorite picture is of them “kissing”

Moose Kiss xoxo

Moose Kiss xoxo

and one more photo of the little guy:

smaller moose

Before I left, I captured a few videos of them, and combined them for you to watch here:

Enjoy!

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Hi Everyone! 2013 has been very busy with lots of changes in the Wheatley household(s)- I feel that it is appropriate to start this new chapter of our life with a new blog!

Be Epic

As you can see, I will be posting my blog updates here on epicendurance.co, my new coaching website. I have combined my experiences and passions for exercise physiology, triathlon, and teaching into a coaching business, and I’m lucky enough to be guiding some hard-working and dedicated athletes this year who are looking to conquer some EPIC challenges! I have had some help along the way- Steven Barcus has done an incredible job guiding me with a business/marketing plan and a website- his services have been invaluable. Sean Thornton is the creative mastermind behind the Epic Endurance Logo- I couldn’t have asked for a better logo to represent my company! Please take a look around the website- it is still a “work in progress”, but I would love feedback and suggestions. I still have availability to take on a few more athletes, so if you have questions or would like to discuss this opportunity, let me know :)

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Another big change is that I am now living in in Salt Lake City, Utah! I was accepted into the Ph.D. program in Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah, which will I start in late August. I will be studying under Dr. Jim Martin, a renowned engineer, biomechanist, and cycling guru. It is a 4-year program, so I will be living in these beautiful mountains for awhile! I also just found out yesterday that I was officially offered a graduate assistantship in the PEAK Health and Fitness Clinic. PEAK offers many fitness, nutrition, and performance services to the U of U community, including assessments, training, classes, and events. I am THRILLED to continue working in an applied learning environment similar to the ISU Exercise Physiology Lab that I hold dear to my heart :) I think this will be a great fit!

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This is definitely a (calculated) leap of faith- I wrapped up 11 years at Illinois State University (4 years of undergrad, 2 years of grad school, and 5 years as an instructor/lab coordinator) and had to say goodbye to my coworkers who served as my professors, mentors, and friends. It will be an endeavor going back to school after being on the “other side of the desk” so to speak, but I cannot wait to uncover a whole new world of knowledge, experiences, and research. It is my professional dream to make a difference and impact in the athletic community- nothing worth doing is ever easy, and I am up for the challenge!

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I also had to say goodbye to family and cherished friends. My family has been so supportive of my dreams and goals, no matter how lofty or “inconvenient” they may be at times; there is no way I could be at the start line of this incredible journey without their unconditional love and encouragement. I will sorely miss my friends in Bloomington-Normal, particularly those who introduced and help me grow in the sport of triathlon, which has become my life-long passion!

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The most challenging good-bye was to my wonderful husband Dan. This was an unexpected twist in our plan. Dan is pursuing a promising career in Orthotics and Prosthetics, and has just finished up his Orthotics program at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. With some major changes going on in U.S. Healthcare (and it’s implications for small healthcare companies, like O&P clinics) and education in O&P, it has become VERY difficult to obtain a residency in a clinic, which is essential for becoming a certified Practitioner. Fortunately, Dan was offered a residency! Unfortunately, it is in Elmira, New York…1800 miles away from me in SLC. Right now in our lives, it is very important for us to pursue the best paths for our respective careers (that we are very passionate about), and we know that it will all work out in the (hopefully near) future. The residency is one year long, but depending on what he needs to do for the next step of his schooling for prosthetics, we may be apart longer. This was NOT an easy decision, but we both want the best for each other, our careers, and our long-term life together! We survived the deployment, this should be a cakewalk ;)

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In the week and half that I have been here, I have realized that albeit being a little lonely (for now), Utah isn’t a bad place to be ;)

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I’m looking forward to sharing all of my epic adventures along the way! Until next time!

Laura