Sunday, May 29, 2011


Hard to believe that just over four years ago Marti invited me to have lunch on campus with some prospective students who were checking out the Honors College. At that lunch i had the privilege to meet the "Martinez Sisters," two incredible young women, who incidentally, despite having the same last name, are not sisters or even related at all, but who are the best of friends. Over the past four years i have watched these amazing women and many of their peers grow, learn, become great community activists and scholars, and now graduate. Well, Ms. Lilly, or more accurately Hermana Martinez is now serving a mission for the LDS church, but Ms. Yamila just recently graduated and is now moving on to start graduate school in the fall. I am so proud and honored to have been a part of Yami's education, as well as the educational journeys of Heidi, Lalo, Xris, and the many others who set fantastic examples of the value and benefits of higher education.

Last night we also got to celebrate the graduation of some of the high school youth who are part of the Mestizo Arts & Activism Collective. I'm excited to see them move on to college now, and especially excited for those who are coming to the University of Utah where hopefully they will get involved with the Honors College or LEAP and i can continue to work with them. I am so impressed by the mentoring and support that the the MAA university students provide for the high school students to help them with admissions and scholarship applications, getting signed up for orientation and other opportunities, and overall navigating and accessing higher ed. I love spring for a variety of reasons, one of them certainly being the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments and success of graduating students.

Mentoring at it's best!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How to beat cancer and use your ankle for a knee all at once!

Just came across this story on KSL about some incredible young people beating cancer and the cool rotationplasty surgery my oncologist Doc Jones has been performing. I had the opportunity to meet Echo (the amazing little girl featured in this story) a few weeks back and have all the respect in the world for her and for Doc Jones.

Video Courtesy of

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

not the slowest

One of us in the picture above was the slowest at the Antelope Island Road Race last weekend, but i'll just leave it at that, and you can figure out who it was. I'll give you a hint, however, it wasn't the guy who only has one leg.

Saturday morning we woke up to 6" of new snow. After calling to confirm the race was still on, and then clearing the snow off his car and bikerack, the artist came and picked me up to head out for the race.

For the Cat 3 division, the Antelope Island RR consists of a start on the island from which we ride out the causeway to the mainland then back, then 8 laps on the island, after which we turn off to the Garff Ranch Road, ride out to the ranch, then back to a hilltop finish, about 64 miles total. Key here is being able to count your laps. It seems like every year there is a fiasco of some sort or another because riders can't count. This year was no different, but in this instance, it seems it was the moto official who couldn't count.

The weather turned out to be quite nice, besides the wind, but it's always windy out there. Despite the overnight storm, the sun came out and the temperature was great for bike racing. The race played out like this: out the causeway and back was fine because it's flat, but i was a bit worried about the punchy little climbs on the laps. I still don't have a whole of lot of "kick" so sudden accelerations and climbing as a whole are tough for me. First lap i made it over the climbs fine in good position in the group.

Second lap i made it over the climbs fine in good position in the group, but it hurt, and i knew i couldn't hold that effort for six more laps. Third lap, i was starting to feel my energy sapping out of me, so i started to eat, but i choose just the wrong moment to eat, right before one of the short climbs, because i ended up at the tail end of the group, and then just couldn't hold the gaps over the climb and got dropped. Alex K. also got dropped on the next climb, so i caught him and the two of us rode the next five laps together just trying to limit the damage since there was not way we were going to catch back on to the peloton. On about lap six the lead group of the Cat 1s caught and passed us. We were counting our laps, but we also knew that since we had been passed by them, when we saw them turn off onto the Garff Ranch road, we still had one lap to go.

We watched them turn, did our last lap, and about the same time caught the artist, who had been poppped on lap 5 or so. As the three of us were heading out towards the Garff Ranch, we saw the rest of the Cat 3 field riding back towards the finish, before we had seen the Cat 1s. This didn't make any sense because the Cat 1s had lapped us and should have been ahead of the Cat 3s. Then it all clicked, they had only done 7 laps.

By the time we made it out to the turnaround and back the finish line was cleared. Literally they were loading the last of the few things into the trailer when we crossed the line (though there wasn't really a line because they had pulled that up as well). We told them we were pretty sure we had done 8 laps and the rest of the field only did 7, they said that made sense because they couldn't figure out how the 3s had finished before the 1s, and told us to go back to the parking lot to talk to the officials. We made our way back to the parking lot to find that they had already awarded the Cat 3 winners, and then got lots of mixed up and contradictory stories about why the rest of the field rode 7 laps rather than 8, but from what i can boil down, the moto official did a bad lap count and went and told the field to turn, even though they all knew they still had a lap to go, but they decided not to complain, made the turn and did 7 laps (though there are some inconsistencies with this story as well). I just wish the dang official had come and told us he had shortened the race to 7 laps, i sure would have appreciated doing one lap less.

So i introduce the unofficial podium of the 8-lap Cat 3 Antelope Island Road Race:

Matt B.
Alex K.
the artist

The artist made a podium out of pillows and had his own little podium ceremony at his house. I just came home and took a nap because i was tired. So although the artist got beat by his one-legged brother, at least he can count. And he was only really last amongst the finishers because quite a few guys DNFed, so he's really not the very last, just the last of the guys who finished, but as my Dad always taught us, "Bradleys never quit!!"

On another note, it was great to see Steve Kelly at the race (thanks to Steve for the great race photos). I recently met Steve through my oncologist Dr. Jones because Steve also had a bone sarcoma in his hip, which Dr. Jones removed using an experimental surgery that basically saved his leg (you can see Doc Jones and Steve in this video for the Huntsman 140). It's been great over the last few months to get to know Steve and others in the cancer survivor community, and see the passion and dedication they have to fighting cancer and supporting others who face it. I also got to meet Jeff Warren who has been riding his bike from Wendover, NV to the Huntsman Cancer Center for the past ten years to celebrate his life and victory over cancer. His ride is the inspiration for the upcoming Huntsman 140. I've been concocting some ideas to raise money for Huntsman in tandem with the Huntsman 140, so stay tuned.