Utah Olympic Park

Conquering My Goals One Fear At a Time

Some one asked me the other day how I was doing on my 50 for 50 List.  Good question, I replied.  It gave me pause because I hadn't really been keeping track by the numbers.  I just know that I have been having a great time during the process.  This thought came about on a week where I have been getting the huge message that life is not about the destination but about the journey itself.  This gave me pause.  I need to look into this further. I decided to go back in time on my blog page and list the adventures I had had. They included everything from getting a tattoo to conquering my fear of heights.  That fear was basically conquered yet again with my latest first: Extreme Tubing.  What is extreme tubing you ask?  One would have to watch the video to completely understand it.  Let me let you do that first, and then I will go on to explain my experience.


Utah Olympic Park is right here in my backyard.  It is a wondrous place that played a vital role in the 2001 Winter Olympics.  It is the training arena for aerial skiers, bobsledders, ski jumpers and many a youngster who have felt the need to be adventurous.  They have alpine slides, rope courses and the latest addiction, extreme tubing.

It was threatening rain the day we decided to do this first.  Accompanied by two experienced 10 year old riders, I decided to conquer my fear.  By the time we got to the top of the ski jumps (which is what you are sliding down at 55+ mph), it started to full on rain.  Great, the course would be even slicker.  They started to rush people through the lines once the hail hit.  It felt like having to evacuate a plane on the slide onto a runway (I have never had to do this, and hope I never get the experience.).  Move, move, move is all I heard.  It was probably for the best because had I had to spend any time waiting on top of the hill, I most likely would have chickened out.

Into the tube I was thrown.  Onto the slick hill I went at top speed cackling manically the whole way.  I came in for a quick landing and realized that everything was intact.  Now I had to figure out how to get my big derriere out of the tube itself.  Once the mission was accomplished, we rushed into the restrooms to seek shelter from the now lightening.  The day was a success.  It even included my son's friend calling his dad and starting the conversation with "Guess what, we are still alive.".  Just what you want to hear as a parent.  Love it.

Now that I am a certified adrenaline junkie, I look forward to the next chance to hurtle my body through time and space at 50+ miles per hour.

Until My Next Adventure,

P.A. Walker

Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones. - Thich Nhat Hanh

P.S.  Just in case anyone else is wondering, this first put me at number 47.  I have given myself just about another month to complete!!  A lofty goal, but the experiences I have had up until this point have motivated me to keep the process moving.

My Town Through New Eyes

The other day I had the awesome opportunity to see my hometown through new eyes.  My first for this post is that I decided to become a tourist in a town I have lived in for 15 years but have started to take for granted and actually complain about (more on that later). A friend of mine came into Park City for the very first time.  She traveled to Utah from Northern California with her 6 year old son whom I have never met before.  I loved this kid from the get-go. He is an old soul in a young person.  What a beautiful outlook this kid has on life.  He does things with gusto, no complaints and definitely a lot of boy adrenaline.  After just 10 minutes with him, I said to myself, why am I not living like this?  Let's do this, let's have a fun day.

We started our day by having a late breakfast at Squatter's Brewery on the main drag in Park City.  (www.squatters.com).  Squatter's has several locations.  I have eaten here a lot but never had breakfast there.  I would say it was your normal fare.  Nothing amazing but once you added a side of bacon, the rest just seemed to not matter.

Now that we were full, I suggested to my little friend and his mom that we head up to Utah Olympic Park.  Utah Olympic Park is an amazing venue where several of the events were held during the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics.  There is a museum there that has quite a few of the items from these Olympics.  There are also plenty of fun activities in the park including zip lining, bobsled rides, and a ropes adventure course.  (http://utaholympiclegacy.org)

D. is an avid Nascar fan.  You could ask this kid about any driver and he could tell you their car number, stats, etc.  To make the outing enticing to a 6 year old, I told him that they had bobsleds at the park where the drivers did upwards of 70+ miles per hour.  My sidekick's eyes grew big when he asked if he could ride one.  Alas, the track was closed and you have to be 18 to do this.  He wasn't sidetracked because we were able to do a simulated one inside the museum.  You sit in a chairlift chair and are faced with a big screen that shows the bobsled track.  You feel like you are actually going down it because the chair bumps and fake snow rains down upon you.  What made it for me were the belly laughs coming out of him.  He just had that pure, child-like giggle that took me out of the real world for a few hours and put me into the shoes of someone experiencing Park City for the first time ever. How cool was that?


Next up on the agenda was picking my own son up early from school.  With D. in hand, I went into my kid's classroom to surprise him and tell him that we were heading up to Main Street and the home of the world's best ice cream (www.javacow.com).  We have been in here countless times, but never tire of the unique flavors.  My favorite is Cherry Springer, a delicious blend of dark chocolate chips, vanilla ice cream and pieces of cherries.  Divine!!

After walking around the touristic Main Street area, we headed to Vinto's Pizzeria for some of their amazing limeade and to share a pizza.  Vinto is our go-to pizzeria in the Main Street area. Being from New Jersey originally, I am a bit of a pizza snob.  Vinto's is not East Coast quality but it certainly keeps me happy.  (www.vinto.com)

The day went by extremely fast.  I realized at the end of the day how much fun it was to look at my town with fresh eyes.  We all enjoyed the day.  As I stated before, I am getting a bit jaded on my hometown.  It's all of a sudden become the place to move.  It went from a quiet little ski resort to a big deal.  The traffic is getting worse, the people not so nice and the house prices are booming (okay, that last one is a good thing since I own a little piece of paradise).  By spending the day as a tourist for a change, it gave me a new perspective.  I realized that folks spend thousands of dollars to come to my town for a week's ski vacation or a long weekend.  I live here.  I can cherish and enjoy it each and every day.  I am now making the vow to have a little vacation in each day.

"My goal is to build a life I don't need a vacation from." - R. Hill

Until My Next Adventure,

P.A. Walker