I used to love Lance Armstrong and I still do

Lance Armstrong changed my life. His book, It’s Not About The Bike, combined with my wife’s encouragement inspired me to begin taking my health serious in 2002. It launched me into an obsession with bikes that has kept me on a path to staying health ever since.

The news about Lance admitting he cheated didn’t impact me like it did everyone else. When you have a hero fall, I don’t think they fall as far in the minds of those that once really felt inspired by them. I can’t change the impact he had on me. I don’t want to.

Last week I discovered a new big screen movie coming out on his story called, The Program. It releases September 2015.

Regardless of what you think of Lance, I think the movie is going to be interesting…

Camping, climbing, Surfing

Denali: A Film about a Man and his dog

This short film has been making the rounds on social media this week. It’s a beautiful story about real-life. A life lived outdoors, surrounding yourself with the things you love. It’s only 7 minutes. I think you’ll enjoy it. I really did.

There’s no easy way to say goodbye to a friend, especially when they’ve supported you through your darkest times.

Denali from FELT SOUL MEDIA on Vimeo.

Camping, Checklists, Downloads, Kids

The Ultimate Car Camping Checklist

Everything about camping is awesome…unless you forget something in the garage. Then it can be miserable. The car camping check list below is a great starting point for kick butt adventures outdoors, with or without kids. I know the list can feel overwhelming, but don’t worry, you can acquire your gear over time.  Our family has 2 large grey tubs that we store all of our camping items in. This makes prepping for weekend camping trips easy, with all items in a central location. I would not recommend storing your gear in different locations as items will get misplaced and you will end up forgetting something.

Download the Ultimate Car Camping Checklist: Microsoft Word Version | PDF Version

For Function:

Pocket knife
Fire wood
Newspaper or other fire starter
Tent tarp
First Aid Kit
Camp chairs
Table cloth for the camp table
Sleeping bags rated to the weather conditions
Flash lights
Plastic bags for trash
Ziplock bags for extra storage
Paper towels
Oversize water storage (fresh water may not be available)
Cooking stove
Extra stove propane
Pot and Pan
Reusable plastic utensils
Metal spatula
Bowl for everyone
Plate for everyone
Lip balm with SPF
Permit (if needed)
Your campsite receipt/registration
Extra cash for the camp store and extra firewood
Toliet paper
Bear canister (optional)
Metal cooking skewers
 Cooler with ice


For the Kids:

 Water bottles (1 for everyone)
Flip flops or Crocs (something to walk in the water)
Extra shoes
Their own head lamps
Books for reading (you may get rain and be stuck in your tent)
Board games or cards
Cough medicine or general medications for the just in case moments
Chocolate Bars


For Comfort:

Tent door mat
Sleeping pads
Beach towels
Extra socks
Swim trunks
Puffy jacket
Rain jacket
Hand sanitizer
Bug spray or bug wipes
Long underwear (it can get cold at night)
More beer
A great attitude
Sleep clothes



Plan a hike or excursion
Stand up paddle board
Camp on a lake or river
Scavenger hunt (See suggestions via link)


Download the Ultimate Car Camping Checklist: Microsoft Word Version | PDF Version

Hey friends! If you enjoyed this post and the free Car Camping Checklist download, please add a comment below or share on Facebook and Twitter!

We’ll see you out there – Andy



Kids, Parenting

Tips to get your kids drinking water

Photo: Morning coffee in the backyard.

A few years back I was addicted to soda. When I was stressed at work the diet Pepsi would flow freely. The soda was also keeping me from losing weight. My wife was constantly on me to quit my soda habit. I knew I had a problem but didn’t know the solution.  It wasn’t until I found the We Drink Water website that something changed. The site is run by 2 professional snowboarders (Austin & Bryan) that passed up six figured energy drink contracts as an opportunity to tell kids how nasty soda is and to place a special emphasis on drinking water.

Within our family we’ve officially established the habit of drinking water. My kids know the difference between good and bad decisions in this context.

Tips for Adults:

  • It will be challenging but cut the soda.
  • Leave a water bottle you enjoy drinking from at your office. Last weekend I picked up a basic but fun to drink from bottle from Topo Designs.
  • Set a daily water goal, my daily goal is around 80oz. I bring water to all of my meetings. I’m constantly peeing, but I’m constantly drinking water.
  • Last year I purchased everyone on my team a stainless steal cup. It worked, people used them, brought them to meetings and started drinking more water.
  • Start your morning, before your coffee by shotgunning a tall glass of water. It will kickstart your body.
  • Drink more coffee. This is a fake tip but one that I live by.

Tips for kids to drink water:

  • Talk about how bad soda and sugar is for their bodies. They don’t know, educate them.
  • Set an example. Be intentional and drink water around your kids.
  • Reward them for making a good choice when they choose water.
  • Introduce them to a fun water alternative like LaCroix.
  • Let them pick out a water bottle or something fun to drink from. They will lose it, who cares, buy another one. There is a bigger picture in mind.
  • Surprise them with a hydration backpack made for them, then go use it on a hike!

It’s a long process but developing this habit at a young age can be a lifesaver.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 9.08.13 PM
Bikes, Fort Collins, Kids

New Belgium Kids Bike Races

If your kids love bikes like my kids do, get them out to the short track kids races at New Belgium. The races take place on Tuesday evenings, kids race for free and start at 4:30pm sharp. You must pre-register your kids, no onsite registration is accepted. The poster below says the last event was on June 2 but due to weather in Fort Collins the series has been extended 2 weeks to include June 9 and June 16.

The Ciclismo Youth Foundation puts the series on and it’s always a blast. It’s free and fun and challenges your kids to stretch out of their comfort zones. Picture lots of dads who race bikes hanging with their kids, pushing them to race bikes, except it’s absolutely not competitive, just fun.

The Brazelton boys will be out there on Tuesday night shredding the brown pow!


Fort Collins, Kids, Parenting

Summer Awesome in Fort Collins at City Park Pool

Looking for some beat the heat summer fun in Fort Collins? Our family absolutely loves the City Park Pool.

City Park Pool 2015 Hours

Adult Fitness Swim 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Open Swim 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Sheldon Lake Boats 3:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday:
Open Swim 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sheldon Lake Boats 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Kids need to be 48 inches to ride the water slides.

They offer a full snack bar which according to my wife is “excellent”, you can bring in your own food as well.

If you sign up for Fit Families on the Move (which comes to $5 person) you receive $1 entry per person on Monday and Wednesday nights from 5-8pm all summer long. Screamin deal!

Kids, Mountain Biking

Get outside…take your kids to a movie

Living in Fort Collins is great, we get to play in the sun and snow year round. Another advantage of living in an outdoor centric community is that major ski, snowboard and mountain bike films come to our town or neighboring communities. For the last 3 years I’ve been taking my oldest, Carter (8 years old), to the newest ski film releases in Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins. Its my way of showing him the community that surrounds the sports we love and to get some quality one on one time with him. They will get to meet the films pros, get signed posters, stickers and win free throw out product, it’s a blast! Generally there are a ton of kids in attendance with parents just like us.


This preview is for a new mountain bike film called unReal from a company called Teton Gravity Research. It releases this month (June 2015) around the country. If you’re looking for a way to spend some quality time with you kids while exposing them to the bigger picture of the outdoor community, consider attending a movie this summer or fall. Know in advance their may be some cussing and alcohol consumption. If you play it right, it’s another opportunity to have a significant conversation with you child that helps to explain your families point of view on those subjects.

Kids, Parenting, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Saturday, May 23

Woke up early and got out the door for the Fort Collins Children’s Triathlon. The event was a huge success, boys had a blast and we celebrated with donuts after.

Saturday, May 24

Out the door by 3am and made the drive to Laramie to race in the Rocky Mountain 50k. Race start is at 9,000 ft. Finished in 5 hours and 38 minutes and felt strong. The majority of the race takes place on the dirt roads in Vedauwoo, a beautiful camping and climbing spot in Wyoming.  Had to deal with stomach issues throughout the day and will need to get that dialed in before the next race. Temperature was 30 degrees at the start and 32 degrees at the finish. The last 30 minutes was a crazy snow storm. All in all, a perfect day.

This was a build race for the Never Summer 100k on July 25.

Monday, May 24

Monday consisted of multiple cups of coffee, a few beers (most likely 90 Schilling), a long recovery bike ride with the boys to the BMX track and a BBQ with our neighbors. No complaints. 

Hiking, Kids

Make hiking fun for kids

A couple weekends ago we went for a little family hike up to Horsetooth Falls. It was our 3rd hike of the season and the kids were still undecided if they really like hiking or not. On our first hike they were excited to “go hiking” but 10 minutes on the trail and they were over it. On the second hike, let’s just say there were plenty of bribes (and maybe a couple threats) to get them to finish our 1.5 mile easy hike. I knew we needed a plan if we were going to be a hiking family. The solution: make it fun–for kids.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but I realized kids enjoy hiking for different reasons adults do. Adults want to unplug, be out in nature, get some exercise, and be challenged. Kids don’t care about any of this stuff. Kids want to explore, throw rocks, collect sticks, find bugs, and most importantly, have fun with mom and dad. Since most of a kid’s week is sitting behind a desk, following rules, and “being good”, they crave the opportunity to let loose. And what better environment to do this than out in nature.

If having fun while hiking was the goal, we were failing. I knew our approach needed to change. So I jumped online and started searching for ideas on “how to make hiking fun for kids”. I found a couple articles on keeping it easy and positive reinforcement but it was an idea about making a game of hiking that stood out to me. After a quick search on Pinterest and 5 minutes in Photoshop, I created the phone-friendly Nature Scavenger Hunt below (just save the image on your phone to use on your next hike).

Our hike to Horsetooth Falls was our best yet. The kids loved the scavenger hunt! We brought them each a brown paper bag to collect their scavenger hunt items and let them loose on the trail. Starting our hike off with a fun game helped them engage with nature right away. I’ll warn you, you’ll only go 100 yards in the first 15 minutes of your hike/scavenger hunt. This drove me crazy until I reminded myself that how far we hiked wasn’t the goal.

Our scavenger hunt lasted about 25 minutes and after that the kids where happy, engaged and enjoying the hike. We hiked for over 2 hours and the boys crushed it. They were pointing out colorful flowers, birds, and shiny rocks along the trail. We laughed, joked around, and had a great time as a family. It was a huge success.

When we got back to the car my 6 yr old said “Dad, we should try to hike a little farther each time so that we can hike really far by the end of the summer”. #win

So, what are ways you’ve made hiking fun for kids? Share your ideas in the comments below.


hiking scavenger hunt for kids

Save this Nature Scavenger Hunt image on your phone to use on your next hike.


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