I don’t really care which one, either Summer or Winter will suffice. This being my first Winter X, I am emphatuated, but Summer has my heart because the weather is more my speed and I love me some Pacific Ocean time. I could give up the LA portion of it for Aspen anytime because I feel LA tries too hard for the most part. I know that offends the LA crowd, but I cannot help but feel the city is just trying to be NYC with a palm tree/gangsta twist.
Dont get me wrong, I always have a blast, but its only because the X Games is there. Oh and my friends Sean and Red Brother. Those guys make it a good time no matter what city we are in. LA though is lost on me. Back to X Games. If I could live there, I may eventually have to have heart valves replaced from the adrenaline that courses through my vascular. Since living at the X Games is impossible, I just need to run the adrenaline circuit and follow around Red Bulls X Fighters, the ASP tour, and Rally America. Maybe that is the way to go.
These types of opportunities are too far a part and I need to get more of my adrenaline fill more often. Hopefully this can happen as I continue on the path to working with Adaptive Action Sports. They have provided so many opportunities to action junkies that are permanently disabled and to me. I cant wait to see where all this goes. AAS is going to be a game changer for our injured/wounded veterans and I am ecstatic that I get to be included in the building of it.
Ill miss you X Games. See you in late July, early August. Soon after landing in LAX, I will be on my way to one of my favorite places in the entire world. A place at the end of LAX’s main flight path where I can watch the planes come. A place that rhymes with Sin N Doubt. Check out my other love affair here, Ode to In-N-Out.
After what turned out to be an EPIC night, the last day of X was going to top it. We (AAS) had our two events that day, Adaptive Snowcross (snowmobile) and Adaptive Snowboarder X (down the same course as the pros), and were full of energy going in.
It almost seems a blur now, trying to recall the days events because they came so quickly and it was jammed into such a small window of time. Snowcross was the first event and Daniel Gale announced the action as it went off. This was the third year for this event in X Games so many of the racers had been there before. What’s even better is that there was a purse this time for the athletes, just one more incentive to go out there and kick butt. I wish I could have watched but I was needed up at the starting gate for Snowboarder X. Up the mountain, snowboard down, film some of the athletes, then pack up the camera, snowboard down, fight with security because they didnt let me through, act LIKE A BOSS and make it into the finish line anyway, film the race, mess up the finish of the race by whiting it out in the sun, film some more, and done.
The day was so fast paced. Like I said a blur. Seemed like it went by too fast. I loved to see the smiles on Amy and Daniel’s faces as we all came together for a hug and our signature double handed high ten, “Live! Beyond! Limits!” is the motto and part of our handshake. Loved every second of this. Read more…
If you don’t run in the action sports crowd, you may think that these types of parties are for amateurs, but you would be seriously mistaken. Between Monster Energy and RedBull, you just don’t get in to these parties. There is no amount of schmooze that you can accomplish at the door to just waltz in. I know, because we have whiffed on plenty of opportunities to get into these venues, but were lucky enough to get the invite here in Aspen.
“Top of the World” party was aptly named because it was a 20 minute gondola ride to the top of Aspen where the party was being held in the main lodge. The gondola ride in itself was fun because we were all amped at the night ahead of us, but also because the stars were out shining bright over the whole city. 20 minutes seems like forever when there are 6 “kids” packed into a sardine can waiting for their surprise. As we reached the top, we shared a collective deep breath and prepped ourselves for a night under the green lights.We were a little early but wanted to establish ourselves. VIP bracelets and all access granted. We talked to some top athletes like Nate Holland and others while bumping to good beats and just marveling at the week were having. It was all smiles from the gondola on and only got better when the act 51Fifty came on. (I linked to their FB page because their site takes a while to load. If you wanna sample their stuff, check it out here.) 51Fifty (police code for a lunatic) is comprised of a DJ and Drummer combo like I have never seen live before. Their drummer was absolutely lights out amazing. I have never seen Travis Barker in person, but I know his skills and this guy was approaching rock star status with his beats. He absolutely shred apart those drums. The DJ was just as good, scratching and mixing rhymes that would have made my friend WalkStar proud. It was only topped off by the tatted go-go girl dancing her face off. I don’t know how she did it when I could barely breathe after dancing around for five minutes. She crushed it for two 45 minute sets without breaking a sweat. I just could not adjust to the soupy, altitudey air like she did. Maybe I needed to wear a Monster swimsuit and tiny booty skirt to breath easier. Next time. Read more…
After a long day on Buttermilk, we cruised back home where everyone crashed. 530 came too soon and I almost didn’t get motivated enough to get up for a free concert with Big Boi from Outkast (I really must be getting old)! Somehow I mustered up the strength to have a good time and the apartment lit up with what was about to happen. The weather wasnt too bad outside and as we left our doors, we could already hear the booming B-A-S-S bass! I immediately felt rejuvenated and was so glad to have gotten up off the couch.
The venue was packed from all sides and clear up onto the hill of Aspen. A small stage with plenty of vantage points to see the concert. Big Boi was just how I remembered him from 11 years ago. Makes me sound really old, but that concert will live on in my memory for all time. Kevin and I took my little brother to his first concert at 16 where Outkast, Ludacris (his first tour), and Goodie Mob (before Cee-Lo created Gnarls Barkley) played. I will forever remember three things from the concert:
1) Kevin turning to spit, but planting one in a girl’s hair, then her BF trying to start poop.
2) Outkast playing for nearly 4 hours, amazing.
3) 16-year-old Brandon with three or four girls on his shoulders flashing Outkast. His little eyes lit up like Christmas and I knew I was the best brother ever. You’re welcome lil broham. Read more…
The second day in Aspen was just as beautiful as the first. Bright sunny skies and just cold enough to keep the snow rideable without icing. We finally got to hit a couple runs and I was lucky enough to slide down half the mountain on my ass. Ok not really half the mountain, but enough of it that my ego was bruised several times yesterday and my shoulder is sore today from picking myself up. I just can’t judge this heelside carve as well as my toeside, guess that’s what I’m working on again today.
Oh and apparently I ride like a surfer down the hill, so says three ladies that crush me on snowboards. I can’t even claim surfer style since I am not really a surfer either, but these fine ladies told me that is how I roll. I’m not against ladies giving me advice, especially since they charge harder than I do right now…oh and then have prosthetics legs on. Yeah, they are that sick and I need all the help I can get.
I only got two runs in yesterday so that equals three times on the mountain this year, it can only go up from here. Hopefully I can get 3-4 in today if our timing permits. I really need to get more comfortable on the board before Sunday when all our events go off. Cant be falling all over the place if snow bunnies and pro athletes are around. I’m a grown ass man, I need to snowboard like one! Read more…
About four hours of driving from Crested Butte to Aspen because the pass isnt maintained during the winter, but the travel was simply amazing. Through the little town of Gunnison where Daniel and Amy lived at one time, into the Black Canyon pass on a sketchy road, to a town straight out of the midwest called Crawford, on towards Paonia, through Redstone where the mountains are red, and into Aspen where the snow is falling.
The scenery is like nothing I have ever seen before. I have flown over the Hindu Kush mountains, a 500-mile mountain range stretching between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan which climb to 25,289 ft, but this was different. The Hindu Kush was incredible to see from the air, but driving these four hours through the heart of the Rocky Mountains was so much more intimate and exciting. We spotted two bald eagles and several deer along the way, which is something that you can’t really find in Manhattan. I took so many pictures but I know that these pics wont do the mountains true justice.A quick pit stop in a tiny town that I can’t even remember the name to grab some gas, some snacks, and a potty break. The thing I love most about road tripping is the fun things you get to do together. One of the things I love the most is eating out of the back of a vehicle. I know that seems random, but I don’t know how many times I have done this and all of them standout to me. Sandwiches leaning on the trunk of my Civic with my old man on our way from MD to AZ. Drinks and snacks in the bed of Cody’s truck from AZ to MD on I-10. Sandwiches with IAVA in a gas station parking lot before getting into the ESPN campus for a taping of SportsNation. And once again today, turkey sandies out the back of the Traverse. No cheese because we forgot it so cream cheese had to do, some stolen condiments from Western Colorado University and some salt and vinegar chips. Sweet deal.
On the road again, the snow started to lay just outside of Redstone, but not too bad. It was nice to have a clear drive without weather today or four hours could easily have been doubled. We passed the Winter X Games half-pipe at Buttermilk, just a couple of miles before Aspen and then rolled into Aspen proper where the snow was coating the streets. Upon crossing the city line there is a banner welcoming everyone filtering into the city for the X Games, but to our surprise as we blasted Big Boi, that mofo is playing here at a free concert on Saturday night. Ironic and awesome. I took my brother to see Outkast for his 16th birthday with Kevin and they were out of this world. Outkast played for more than three hours that day with Ludacris and Goodie Mob. Out of sight! Cant wait to see him on Saturday night, if our schedule permits. Read more…