webmaster mike's blog

more KPBSD bloggery


I’ve been working here two months already. Hm.

Time is fun when you’re having flies.

Anyway, I’ve been back in Alaska for slightly longer than this, and have taken every opportunity to enjoy the variety of recreational activities the State has to offer.

I’m not alone in this endeavor. The students here at KPBSD schools are busy with all manner of sporting events. The football season is coming to an exciting close, with previously unassailable SoHi defeated by rival Kenai, volleyball is getting very interesting, with a strong showing by smaller schools such as Skyview, and all around the District, kids are out enjoying the healthy benefits of exercise.

For me, exercise and traditional sports are a bit of a new thing, for when I was in school, I was a trainwreck of an athlete. Seriously, I was awful, at every organized sport I happened to be forced into (Thanks, Mom and Dad).

  • Cross Country Running – I was spectacularly bad at running. I actually managed to place DEAD LAST in one event. Demoralized, I went home, where my very supportive Mother said, “Well, you didn’t get first, but you probably didn’t finish last.” Ouch, Mom, ouch.
  • Swimming – Instead of “Swims like a fish,” I was “Swims like a fish sandwich.” How I managed not to drown is thanks only to a keen interest in survival and the Shallow End.
  • Wrestling – Went to one tournament and broke my ankle warming up. That was the end of that.
  • Track and Field – The only season I tried out (wanted to be a pole vaulter), Mount Redoubt erupted, covering the Peninsula in ash and ending the season for everyone. This was probably just the planet’s way of saying I was far too uncoordinated to be running with a spear in my hands in the first place.

Add into the mix that I invariably crash when I am on a bicycle, I would be a Trifecta of Catastrophic Failure if I ever did something silly and insane like try to do a triathlon.

Needless to say, I am very impressed with student athletes, as their abilities to put in the time and effort of intense physical training in addition to school work is astounding.

So, while back in Alaska, I have used my few short months to get in shape and do exercise. Along with hiking, I have taken to the odd mountain biking trek. Yes, I still fall. A lot. But the overwhelming influence of gravity does not deter me. One brilliant and beautiful place to ride is Soldotna’s Tsalteshi Trails.

Tsalteshi Trails are a well-maintained system of trails used predominantly for cross-country skiing in winter, and for hiking and mountain biking in the summer. With some 15 km of trails, there are steep hills, quick turns, and beautiful city views.

The trails themselves are named after wildlife indigenous to the area, and all all trails have their Native Alaska name on the trail marker signs. For instance, “Bear” is also known as “GGAGGA,” which is precisely the sound I make when encountering one in the wild.

With snowfall approaching, I plan to extend my questionable athleticism to cross country skiing, which should be delightful to anyone who likes to watch me fall down. So, I’ll try learning with the hopefully patient people at Tsalteshi by attaching slippery boards to my feet. I imagine this will be rather like riding two eels. Adding to my considerable ineptness at all things ski, it appears that I’ll be armed with sharp sticks in my hands, so if I could have a medical team specializing in puncture wounds nearby, that would be great. If I somehow manage not to greviously injure my person, I imagine I’ll be learning exactly why Skyview High School is so named, as a view of the sky is precisely what I’ll see whilst flat on my back.

So, big ups to the students capable of non-traumatic athletic endeavors, and here’s to what will surely be an exciting and humbling winter.

If you need me, I’ll be practicing my swim training. I’ll be the one in the Shallow End.


8 Responses to “Sportacular.”

  1.   Casey Says:

    Glad to hear about the trails, which trail is your favorite and why?

  2.   Webmaster Mike Says:

    I enjoy the challenge of Ring-Tailed Lemur, but prefer the distance of Star-Nosed Mole. My favorite, of course, is Wombat.

    (Bear (GGAGGA) has a great downhill section, and Wolverine (*forgot name) has a killer jump (yes, I fell. Hard.).)

  3.   Angie Says:

    As an RN with trauma experience who has also been an unfortunate witness to your dancing skills, I wholly endorse the idea that you should have a medical team nearby any time you attempt to engage in athletic aspirations of any sort.

  4.   Kara Says:

    From my experience, athletic endeavors that involve sharp sticks usually end with people being attacked by unicorns. Be careful on the Wombat, Lemur, and Mole trails, I hear that’s where the unicorns like to hang out.

  5.   Pegge Says:

    Will you wear a helmet? What color?
    Would you like me to send you a copy of the KPBSD concussion policy? and possible outcomes for bad bumps on the head?

  6.   Webmaster Mike Says:

    I have a helmet. It has flames on it. It’s indicative of how fast I move upon reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere when I ski.

  7.   Jessica Says:

    You told me your helmet had Dora the Explorer on it.

  8.   Webmaster Mike Says:

    Dora the Explorer IN FLAMES. Wait, what?

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