A Conversation with ... Congressman Tom Petri Bull Riding COWBOY UP DEATH RACE Try it if you dare www.ptcchallenge.com
WEBB SIMPSON A Faithful Course
COVER PHOTO: USGA Photo: USGA
cover & features
contents june 2013 • volume 9 issue 6
A Conversation with Tom Petri
As chairman of the U.S. House subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Tom Petri is responsible for many of the regulations currently impacting the transportation industry. We sit down with the Wisconsin congressman to discuss energy, the Highway Trust Fund, NAFTA and more.
A Faithful Course
For professional golfer Webb Simpson, life is a combination of hard work and resolute faith. It’s these principles that have guided him to the top of the golfing world and allowed him to retain a refreshingly humble outlook on his career.
Yes, it’s a real thing and it’s growing in popularity by offering the ultimate challenge for the body and the mind.
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North of the sub-Arctic tree line is a fishing mecca that once experienced is never forgotten. Canada fly-in fishing offers the best characteristics that angling has to offer.
Why would a man climb onto a 2,000-pound bucking bull? Crazy comes to mind, but no, says Shane Proctor, it’s all about having fun.
Joe DeSena and Andy Weinberg’s plan for meeting new friends: Invite people to Vermont, torture them for days straight with physical and mental challenges and whoever is left standing may just be someone they’d like to get to know.
Mac and the Big Cheese are up to something fishy – thank goodness it’s pesto shrimp salad – and Chad shows us that there’s a silver lining in every cloud. sponsored by:
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contents in every issue
june 2013 • volume 9 issue 6
around the track
driving thrU d.c.
CHEW ON THIS
Linda addresses the diabetes epidemic affecting more than 25 million people in the United States.
Brenda shares a story of one American outdoorsman who doesn’t take his convictions lightly.
A boy’s first hero and a girl’s first love, fathers hold a special place in our hearts. Claire shares stories from her NASCAR Father’s Day shows.
Mike laments some budgetary blues.
Guest columnist Rick Stearns asks drivers to clean up their image.
from the editor Pushing limits.
letters to the editor
Readers share their thoughts and opinions on industry issues and stories from Challenge Magazine.
Broadening the mind with the interesting and inane.
Truck Driver Challenge
Bob Decker, winner of the 2008 Truck Driver Challenge, says the prize money just made him hungrier to win again.
The Unique U.S.
Miniature golf, mini-golf, putt-putt, whatever you call it, we call it fun. Introduced in Pinehurst, N.C., nearly 100 years ago, miniature golf is now about more than getting past that old windmill. sponsored by:
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The creative side of truck drivers.
Sudoku, word search and crossword puzzles. Some clues for the crossword puzzle come from this issue of Challenge Magazine.
Pictures from the road. Send in your photos and see them published in Challenge Magazine and you may be a winner.
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pilot flying j stars
Drivers recognize these STAR employees who make Pilot Flying J a place you can rely on.
what’s happening Coffee deals.
pilot flying j directory
The comprehensive Pilot Flying J directory lists everything from location addresses to services available.
Quench your thirst and a driver profile. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
june 2013 volume 9 issue 6
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pushing limits by greg girard oe Decker was in his mid-20s when he had one of those major turning points in life. He was the definition of down and out, bumming around New Orleans, “with a pretty extreme drug and alcohol habit,” contemplating suicide and tempting fate by playing Russian roulette. He knew he would die if he didn’t change. Now in his early 40s and named by Guinness World Records as the World’s Fittest Man, Joe can look back and see how far he’s come. But he didn’t start off running 100-mile races or doing 1,000 push-ups. “I remember my first day back out there when I was about 26 and I tried to run a mile,” he said. “It took me about half an hour and part of it was crawling and wheezing and groaning.” But every day after, Joe kept pushing his limits and “that’s how I got into the Guinness Book of World Records, just by doing a little bit more every day.” Joe’s already proved plenty to himself and others, so I asked him why he continues to push himself so hard, entering several ultra-endurance races, like the Death Race (Page 42), each year. His response: “I live by this saying: The tougher I have it, I find the better I am as a man and a person.” Success is often achieved by pushing limits, but it doesn’t come easy. It takes work. Yes, we’ve probably all pushed limits at some point. You’d be hard-pressed to find a driver on the road who hasn’t gone above the speed limit. There are laws that limit our actions, but some still break those laws. But there are also the limits we place on ourselves, the “I can’t do this” limits. It’s those more internal, self-critical limits that keep many of us from attaining our goals. It’s the people out there who push through and say “I don’t know if I can do this until I try” that can be inspiring. And as Joe’s story shows, it starts by doing a little bit more every day. Bull riders fall under the category of people who push limits (Page 38). You’re not going to find too many people who will climb on the back of a grumpy 2,000-pound bull with horns that could skewer them like a shish kebab. After reading their story, you may still wonder why they do it, but you can’t help but be impressed. For others it could be limiting their diet in order to live a healthier life and avoid the early onset of diabetes (Page 51). Or maybe, like professional golfer Webb Simpson, you’re trying to push to the very upper limits of your profession (Page 24). Pushing limits is healthy, especially when the focus is improving life. Whatever you believe your limits are, maybe it’s time to give them a little nudge. You never know where it might lead. Safe driving.
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operators have better training, we know the value of a gallon of diesel and our equipment is better maintained than a fleet truck. We run e-logs, we love it and can’t wait for all trucks to have e-logs, and then we will see the herd get smaller. Most company drivers have less than a year’s experience on the road. David Loftis Omaha, Neb.
First of all, I am a full-time firefighter who drives a tractor-trailer on my days off from the firehouse. I have been driving for about eight or nine years, and have been a firefighter for almost 19 years. I have always looked forward to the new edition of Challenge Magazine. It is a great read when stuck on a dock waiting to get unloaded. I was working a long day, and was passing through a small town around dusk. I saw the truck by the old barn, and thought it would make a great picture. I initially passed it, but thought about the hassle of turning a semi around in a small town and where to park. It was such a stunning setup though, I had to turn around and make it work. I had never submitted anything like that before, and on a whim one day I did. After a bit of time had passed, I began to wonder if y’all had even received my submission. Once again stuck on a dock being unloaded, I thought I would look up the online version of the magazine to kill time. Much to my surprise, my photo was on the Garmin Gallery. I cannot even explain how exciting it was to see that. I then hit the first Pilot I could to see if I had made the print version also. Kind of silly, I guess, but I got a really good feeling from that. The excitement of the whole thing, and actually winning, has been a really great and meaningful experience for me. I just thought it would be nice for you to know all of that, and in my humble opinion, it is a great marketing tool and feature of your magazine. Scott McCaughna Indianapolis
RE: Owner-operators vs. company drivers
In response to Michael Rose’s letter in the May issue, I am an owner-operator. Owner-
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I was stunned to read Michael Rose’s letter putting down owner-operators. I am and have been one for 30-some years and I resent being called an outlaw. I drive my “home away from home” with a great deal of care and do it very safely. I do not cheat on my e-logs and I get the job done. The government already regulates too much and should maybe start doing the same for cars. They are the main culprit anyway. Apparently you are not very independent, like I am, and don’t mind working for someone else and not yourself. I take pride in my “ride” and really enjoy being my own boss. I do believe your attitude shows that you make a good “herd animal” where one just goes with the flow. I have seen how some company drivers care for the equipment that they drive and have heard them say, “Why worry? It’s a company truck.” I don’t do that because my truck is mine. Ellen Oliver Omaha, Neb.
Correction In last month’s “Darius Rucker” story, we misspelled the first name of the attorney. His name is Sheldon, not Shelton.
SUBMIT A LETTER: Question, comment or criticism? Drop us a note or email us with your opinion. We want to hear from you. Note: Letters may be edited for clarity or space. Although we try to respond to all communications, emails get first priority. Written letters take more time to process and edit.
MAIL COMMENTS TO Challenge Magazine P.O. Box 2300 Southern Pines, NC 28388 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
RUNS GET HEALTHY
A Closer Look: The U.S. Open Golf enthusiasts will descend on Ardmore, Pa., the second week in June to cheer, albeit silently, for their favorite golfers at the 113th U.S. Open. This year, 9,860 golfers entered for a chance to tee off at the Merion Golf Club, but only 156 players will hit the greens. Let’s take a closer look at the tournament that pits the best of the best against the most technically difficult courses in the United States. Truth in the title: The Open really is open to any golfer who is a professional or has a handicap index of 1.4 or better. The Newport Country Club in Rhode Island hosted the first U.S. Open on Oct. 4, 1895. First prize for Horace Rawlins, winner of the first Open, in 1895, was $150. Webb Simpson won $1.4 million last year. The oldest winner was Hale Irwin, who was 45 when he won in 1990. The youngest was John McDermott, who took the championship at age 19 in 1911. Merion Golf Club has hosted more USGA championships, 18 in all, than any other course in the country. This will be the fifth time the course hosts the U.S. Open.
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Hungry or Thirsty? It’s easy to get the two mixed up, especially since the receptor in your brain sends the same signals for both responses. So how do you figure out which one is calling for attention? Before you reach for a snack, drink a glass of water. Wait 15 minutes (that’s how long it takes your body to figure it out) and if you still feel hungry, go ahead and eat.
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By the Numbers: National Doughnut Day Started as a fundraiser by Chicago’s Salvation Army in 1938 to help those hardest hit by the Depression, National Doughnut Day pays tribute to the Salvation Army women, or “lassies,” of World War I who served homemade food, including doughnuts, to troops on the front lines. Because of limited resources and the ability to cook about seven sweets at a time, the doughnuts were sometimes fried in metal helmets, possibly leading to the “Doughboy” nickname of WWI infantrymen. Now celebrated the first Friday in June, National Doughnut Day allows us all to honor these amazing women for their bravery and culinary generosity. Some pastry shops offer free doughnuts in exchange for a donation to the Salvation Army. We couldn’t think of anything sweeter.
First doughnut machine in the U.S. invented by Adolph Levitt
Number of doughnuts every American eats annually
Average number of calories in a doughnut, mostly from sugar and fat
Number in billions of doughnuts made and consumed in the U.S. every year
Number of glazed doughnuts eaten in eight minutes by Eric Booker to clinch the International Federation of Eating record
Runners in 2013’s Krispy Kreme Challenge, a Raleigh, N.C., race in which participants run five miles, stopping to eat one dozen glazed doughnuts at the halfway mark, in under an hour Sources: Smithsonian.com, ifoce.com, krispykremechallenge.com
You Answered! Q What is your biggest on-the-road pet peeve? Part 2
The idiots who fly around you to pass only to get in front of you and hit the brakes before hitting the exit ramp. And the other ones who think bad weather means drive faster and hazardously! – Wendy Oliver
The totally selfish way four-wheelers drive and the lawyers that tell them if you get hit from behind it’s the fault of the guy that hit you. They leave out the part where getting hit by a big truck can kill you. Idiots. – Greg Dyer Pets on the dashboard and on the driver’s lap. I’ve seen this in both trucks and RVs. Have some common sense, people. Do you realize how dangerous that is? – Shawn Garner It drives me nuts when trucks aren’t allowed in the left lane and all the slow drivers are just tooling along in the middle lanes. It forces one to try and pass on the right, where people are coming off the ramps or slowly climbing a hill, which is then unsafe. – Turner Brodziak
What do you like most about driving a truck?
Post your answers on our Facebook page or send them to email@example.com by June 30, 2013. All answers are subject to edits. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
June Tour Dates Date City, State 6-Jun Kenly, NC PM Richmond, VA 7-Jun Carmel Church, VA PM North East, MD 8-Jun Elkton, MD PM Frystown, PA 9-Jun Duncannon, PA PM Carlisle, PA 10-Jun Hagerstown, MD PM Hagerstown, MD 11-Jun Winchester, VA PM Harrisonburg, VA 12-Jun Greenville, VA PM Fort Chiswell, VA 14-Jun White Pine, TN PM Crossville, TN 15-Jun Knoxville, TN PM Knoxville, TN 16-Jun Knoxville, TN PM Waynesville, NC 17-Jun Charlotte, NC PM Kannapolis, NC 18-Jun Graham, NC PM Mebane, NC
Store # 683 384 749 784 875 518 517 708 179 150 752 491 396 750 412 114 722 270 219 393 275 56 682 57
Dates subject to change.
Check www.facebook.com/DriverAppreciationTour for changes and updates.
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long-term framework to make their plans. Much construction is done by companies that buy and lease a lot, and all of this involves an awful lot of money. If they know what the funding is going to be, they can plan more efficiently. MAP-21 is a short-term continuation with some improvements in trying to consolidate programs and to speed up projects to get us to the end of this Congress. It was not able to address a number of the basic issues, though, and therefore come up with a five- or six-year bill, which has traditionally been the case.
Photos: Courtesy of the Office of Tom Petri
CM: Are you pleased with the MAP-21? Are any reforms needed with it?
conversation with Tom Petri by: michael howe
ongressman Tom Petri, a Republican from Wisconsin, is perhaps one of the most influential members of Congress as it relates to transportation policy. As chairman of the Highways and Transit subcommittee, he is an integral player in the development of highway funding, the lifeline of the trucking industry. His subcommittee is responsible for the development of national surface transportation policy, construction and improvement of highway and transit facilities, implementation of safety and research programs, and regulation of commercial motor vehicle operations. The foremost legislative product of the subcommittee is the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs. Petri is serving his 18th term representing the 6th Congressional District of Wisconsin. He was kind enough to sit down with me for Challenge Magazine recently to address a number of transportation-related questions.
CM: How do you see the trucking industry, and in particular the individual driver, fitting into the new global/e-commerce economy? Is this an economy that will benefit professional truck drivers? w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
TP: I think it will benefit drivers. Technology is moving forward for all of us at a rapid rate. I represent an area with a company developing driverless cars. We won’t have driverless trucks, but trucks will benefit from the technology. CM: Many drivers are owner-operators. Other carriers are larger fleets. All are faced with increased government regulation. What is the role of government in the industry, especially with regard to regulations and taxation? TP: I think the role of government is to try to provide a fair framework that allows all the legitimate operators to prosper and to ensure that it’s safe for everyone to drive on the highways. CM: The last Congress did not pass a longterm highway bill, but did pass a shorter version – MAP 21. What is your view on the need for a long-term highway funding bill (e.g., highway infrastructure)? Are long-term funding bills a thing of the past? TP: Long-term funding bills are not a thing of the past. The country has to have a long-term funding bill. It’s important for companies in the transportation sector to be able to have the stability provided by a
TP: We had a hearing (in February) with the heads of the different transportation agencies. We are monitoring closely their progress in trying to deal with some of the consolidation issues of trying to speed up project approvals. There are always a variety of different issues in any transportation bill, so we will be addressing a wide range of issues when we do our six-year bill. But we are monitoring the changes and hopefully will have a lot of benefit of the efforts made in the current bill. CM: The future of the Highway Trust Fund is somewhat in question. What do Congress and the administration need to do to make certain there is funding for infrastructure in the future? TP: We have to figure out how to pay for the transportation needs of the country. We’ve done that historically through a trust fund, principally through diesel and gasoline taxes. They are kind of a proxy for road use. The revenue stream really has not been keeping up with needs. The level of user fee has not been changed since 1992 and has not been indexed for inflation. The costs have certainly changed over the last 20 years, though. The trucking and automobile companies have become more fuel-efficient too, but that means less revenue for the trust fund. There are also a variety of different fuel options out there that might not have existed before, and there will likely be more. Those are all challenges and the result of all this is that currently the transportation trust fund is only able to provide about 60 percent of the funding needed to maintain just the current program, let alone add to it and address decaying infrastructure across the country. CM: The trucking industry recently went through, and is still going through, a challenge J u n e 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 17
Photos: Courtesy of the Office of Tom Petri
Tom Petri has represented Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1979. or $1.89 EACH
with regard to fuel prices. Is there anything that could be done to help cushion the impact of escalating fuel-price increases? How do you feel about a temporary repeal of the federal fuel tax in these situations?
TP: Anything is possible, but the fact is that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, representing business generally, and the American Trucking Association have both stepped forward and indicated that we need to fund our transportation needs. They support not a moratorium but a raising of the diesel-fuel taxes to reflect changes in costs and needs over the last 20 years. CM: Transportation industries rely on energy industries. Is increased domestic oil and gas production important to the future of American business? TP: It is absolutely vital to
do all we can to provide adequate and sustainable domestic energy supply, and North American-based energy supply. That also frees us from being blackmailed by others. The interesting thing is that because of innovation in the private sector, some of which has been discouraged by government policy, we have seen a huge spike up in energy pro-
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duction in the United States. We are now starting to become a major energy exporter instead of importer. The prospects are that the U.S. will be a leading energy producer in the world for the foreseeable future. This is wild change from what the doom-andgloomers were saying a few years ago. The development of huge natural gas supplies in the U.S. on private lands has meant that there are a lot of opportunities for truckers because the pipeline industry has not been able to keep up.
CM: Hurricane Sandy, not unlike other natural disasters, resulted in a temporary waiver of several trucking industry regulations. This was done in the name of efficiency. Does this suggest that there may be overregulation on business by government? TP: What’s happening, and unfortunately the trucking industry has taken the brunt of this, is that modern technology means that we’re able to precisely keep track of the operation of a truck. If rules are too inflexible you can end up with a lot of frustration. Allowing people to use their best judgment and operate in a reasonable way is something that should be taken into account. We’ve experienced issues like w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
reviewed this and the Mexican government has been arguing that the U.S. has not been abiding by the agreement. The World Trade Organization agrees with the Mexican government, so we are talking about starting it soon. Right now there is a pilot program and there will be a full review of the pilot in about a year.
CM: What about the NAFTA-specific Mexican Trucking Cross Border Program? Is it necessary and valuable?
Photos: Courtesy of the Office of Tom Petri
As chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Petri is responsible for regulation issues and transit programs. this with hours of service, where truckers can get hours out of sync just by waiting for loads or unloading. It’s possible as we work this thing through that people could take advantage of flexibility, but I think, with the good-faith efforts of the industry and regulators, flexibility can work.
CM: Has NAFTA benefited the American trucking industry, in your view? What can be
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done to further ensure NAFTA works like it was intended?
TP: There have been delays in implementing some of the provisions of NAFTA. Under the original agreement, U.S. trucks were to have access to Mexico, and Mexican trucks to the U.S. This has been delayed for many years. One of the concerns is safety-related. Past hearings have
TP: I voted for the overall NAFTA and it has been a great benefit to the agricultural sector of Wisconsin. But safety is always a priority, so we have to be certain we don’t compromise as far as safety is concerned. We can’t use it as an excuse if that’s not the real concern, though. We do need to make certain all truckers, Mexican or American, abide by American laws when in the U.S. CM: What are the major transportation-related issues we should watch for with this Congress? TP: The biggest issue will be efforts in both the House and Senate to put in place a solid long-term transportation-funding bill so that everyone in the industry knows where they stand and can make their plans accordingly.
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by: chad day
warm afternoon sun was beginning to set on a Friday in early March 2010. As a sophomore collegiate golfer, this could mean only one thing. I found myself enjoying the closing holes of a golf course transitioning from dormant, brown Bermuda grass to its summer hue of vibrant green. I was in Raleigh, N.C., a mere 60 miles north of the mecca of golf in the United States, Pinehurst, N.C. The Raleigh area and the three universities (North Carolina State, University of North Carolina and Duke) making up “Tobacco Road” have produced golfers the likes of Tim Clark, Carl Pettersson, Davis Love III, Mark Wilson, Raymond Floyd and Kevin Streelman, to name just a few. Wake Forest University, just a few miles west of Tobacco Road, had a golfer by the name of Arnold Palmer on campus. And while many of the previous were raised elsewhere, the area has produced Scott Hoch, the great amateur Paul Simson, and most recently Webb Simpson.
My desire to add to this local history was behind the countless range hours and rounds of golf, including the one on that Friday afternoon. Thankfully, this particular round was leisurely, because I distinctly remember being mortified as my phone, not on the silent setting, received a text in the middle of an upperclassman’s backswing. The heckling began immediately: “Tell your girlfriends they can wait” and “Is that your mom saying it’s time to come inside for dinner?” This text was neither, and instead read, “Hey bud, is there any chance you can pick my wife and I up at the airport at 7?” The sender was Webb Simpson, in his second year on the PGA Tour. I remember pulling into the pickup area at the airport and seeing Webb’s wife, of just a few months at that time, Dowd, standing along the curb with a couple of suitcases and a set of golf clubs. Webb was still in the airport and after the standard “How are you?” Dowd responded in a tired tone while shaking her head, “It was a rough week.”
Webb had missed the cut by a goodsized margin and despite being off to a good start on the season, any stretch of missed cuts is not a good thing. A moment later, Webb was walking toward the car and if I hadn’t seen any scores from the week or known that a Friday flight home meant a missed cut, I would have thought he had played great. No matter the situation, Webb is positive, gregarious and will greet you with a smile.
A golfing prodigy
James Frederick Webb Simpson was born to Sam and Debbie Simpson in Raleigh, N.C. He is the fifth of six children in the family. Growing up, Webb was an active child playing more than just golf. “I enjoyed playing basketball with my friends whenever we could,” he says. From the moment he picked up a club, though, it was clear golf would be his primary sport. The connection to golf came from the many days and late afternoons spent on the range with his dad, an avid golfer himself. At the same time
Webb was tagging along with Sam to the range, Carolina Country Club in Raleigh hired a head golf professional named Ted Kiegiel, who noticed Webb’s talent immediately. “Webb was a kid who seemed to grasp everything I taught quickly and understood what we were trying to do,” says Kiegiel. A lasting bond was formed. Webb and Kiegiel were and continue to be a perfect match for each other. Not only does Kiegiel have the expertise on the technicalities of the golf swing, but also the often overlooked but just as important mental coaching. As a sixth degree black belt and author of the book “Balanced Golf,” Kiegiel is able to coach Webb on both the physical and mental parts of the game. “He is more than a coach to me, he’s a great friend,” says Webb. Despite the obvious talent Kiegiel brought to the table, he will be the first to tell you it was Webb’s love for the game that has him where he is today. As my teacher through high school, Kiegiel told me numerous times, “Webb quite simply outworked everybody else and loves the game.” “I think I realized from an early age that you are only going to succeed to the extent of the effort you put into it,” says Webb. “My dad helped instill hard work from the very beginning, but I think a lot came from want-
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ing to achieve my goal and I realized what it was going to take to get there.” Carolina Country Club was Webb’s second home. During the summer, he was at the course at 7 a.m. before his father went to work and he was picked up at sunset. Webb remembers one family holiday when the temperature was hovering around the freezing mark. As usual, he had his parents take him to the course prior to the extended family arriving. It began to snow outside and Webb still had not come home. Sure enough, when they went to find him he had been hitting balls. “I knew I wanted to be a collegiate golfer and someday a professional,” Webb remembers. “It became a dream of mine at an early age.” The hard work at the course and with Kiegiel continued, and Webb’s skills continued to improve and the number of tournament wins increased. The successes began at local junior tournaments like the Jack Ratz Memorial and as Webb began high school he was becoming a mainstay on the American Junior Golf Association tour. “His summer days were filled with tournaments,” recalls Kiegiel. “When not at tournaments, he practiced and threw in a few days at the beach.” Webb began winning larger national junior events and competing in multiple U.S.
Junior Amateur championships. He attended Broughton High School and the seasons there were no different. He racked up three conference Player of the Year awards and helped lead Broughton to three state titles in his four years on the team. Meanwhile, he became ranked the top high school senior in the country. These successes garnered him national attention that eventually led to his accepting the Arnold Palmer golf scholarship at Wake Forest University. “Receiving the scholarship from Wake was my greatest accomplishment at the time,” says Webb, “and allowed me to join a great program covered in the great names that came before me.” While in college, Webb continued on the amateur circuit during the summer, playing at events like the Azalea and the Dogwood, and winning two Southern Amateurs. The two Southern Amateur wins awarded him exemptions twice into Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational on the PGA Tour, giving Webb his first taste of professional golf and the realization of how much more it was going to take to reach his goal. The successes from the summers rolled into each college season even though he didn’t win a college tournament individually until his junior year. He was still named Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the
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Photo: Courtesy of the Simpson family
Simpson, here at age 11 with his grandfather, went on to play for Wake Forest University before turning pro. Year and to an All-American team in his sophomore season. And he capped off his amateur career by being named to the United States Walker Cup team, helping lead the U.S. to a victory over Europe, and being ranked the No. 1 amateur golfer in the world.
Welcome to the pros
Having just about all the success a young golfer can have at the amateur level, there was only one step for Webb to take after graduating – earning a professional PGA Tour card. “It was a lot of emotions: relief, pride, sense of achievement, and realization that the process and hard work had come to fruition,” says Webb about earning a coveted Tour card. “I wouldn’t say my first tournament as a professional was very different. There was a sense of belonging, but I had been fortunate enough to play a few professional tournaments by way of amateur victories before.” Another goal achieved, but not without struggles. His first few seasons were decent, but he came close twice to losing his card. “Reaching the PGA Tour was achieving my dream,” Webb says. “I never became content with that accomplishment, but realized how difficult it is to remain there. There are so many good players trying to do the same thing I am.” Webb didn’t waver and maintained the strong work ethic he’s shown from the start. Then in 2011, he began to see the fruits of w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
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his labor, posting numerous top-25 finishes to begin the season, while putting himself in contention in back-toback tournaments only to fall just shy of winning. He says it was tough coming close twice and not breaking through, but took to heart the words of his college coach, Jerry Haas, who told him the most important thing as a professional was to make sure he continued to improve all the time and that should be his barometer of success in the early years. He then competed in his first two major championships, the U.S. and British opens, where he posted two solid finishes. Still no victory, but he wouldn’t have to wait much longer. In late August 2011, Webb broke through on his home turf, winning the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina. He would go on to win again a few weeks later at the Deutsch Bank Championship. The 2011 season was a success in the eyes of many who follow golf. But with that drive still in him, Webb had higher goals and knew he could be better. He proved this in 2012 with his most impressive victory to date, the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. When asked if he was shocked, he modestly replies, “I always thought I had the ability to win a major, but I never dreamed it would happen this early in my career.” Photo: USCG
Simpson celebrated his U.S. Open win with a stop “at Wendy’s for some burgers” with his wife and baby.
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A faithful course
It was during college that Webb met his wife, Dowd Keith. Through Dowd and Webb’s close group of friends at Wake, his faith in Christianity grew stronger
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and became a larger presence in his life. He would tell you it was what allowed him to get through some of the struggles, because not everything was always easy. “No matter how much I love the game of golf, my love for Jesus Christ is always greater,” he says. Webb attributes the growth in his faith to his continued success on the course. He proved this after the U.S. Open win. There were no lateshow tours or morning-show appearances. There was only a simple flight home to Charlotte with his wife and child for laundry and repacking for the next tournament, in New Jersey. How did he celebrate? “We stopped at Wendy’s for some burgers and whispered so not to wake the baby,” he says. The British Open was the next major and most likely Webb was destined to play well there. Instead, knowing that Dowd was due with their child in the general time frame, he opted to not make the trip. “It was an easy decision,” he says. Each season there is a certain Bible verse stitched into the back of his golf hat and he says he carries a certain verse in his yardage book each week that is applicable to his life at that time. I asked him how he balances his success, his faith and his role as husband and father these days. “It’s priorities,” he answered. “My family and faith will always come before golf. My wife and I keep it in check all the time.” And keeping these priorities straight is what has allowed him to continue to love the game where others may treat it solely as their job. The Webb Simpson Challenge has become his way of instilling these priorities and faith in the next generation of golfers. The event is an all-expenses-paid weekend away to Pinehurst for high school golfers. It includes a 36-hole tournament. But more importantly, it’s time spent with Webb and peers learning important values in life. The Challenge is not just to give back, it’s something he enjoys. “I’m able to be a kid again!” he laughs, adding his intent is to spread the word of his faith. “There are so many things that high schoolers can get caught up in, especially in sports,” Webb says. “The focus of success and pushing so hard for accolades and college scholarships can create a lot of pressure and they are all really important things. I just want to help provide an example of how to keep worldly things in balance with faith and show that without God the other stuff means nothing.” At the event, Webb shares his experiences and beliefs while offering up a few pointers through group fellowship and friendly competition. He leads Bible studies that incorporate both his thoughts and those gained through the fellowship groups out on the PGA Tour. It’s a challenge to the young men to grow in their faith and keep the long-term goal in mind. As I watched Webb play in his second Masters this April, I still saw the same guy. His hair is a little shorter, he’s carrying a more mature look, but he has the same gleam in his eye. He’s still the guy who liked to race golf carts downhill and would lightheartedly bet on anything for a milkshake or burger. He’s the same guy who shot 59 and 61 in the same day and never acted differently. The same guy who is never above playing golf with anyone. I wonder with Webb what the future holds. There is a goal to reach and he will do whatever to reach it without sacrificing his beliefs and roots. “The main goal is to keep my faith, family and profession balanced, and if I work at that each day I can reach all of my goals,” he says. I’d say he’s doing a pretty good job.
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PHOTO: Wolfgang Kumm/EPA/Newscom
did, I just gave away my queen immediately,” remembered Rubingh. “I said, ‘This is not going to work out, people can’t do chessboxing.’ But then the second test that we did, it was already a little bit better.” Boxing and chess both have their roots in antiquity. Boxing dates back nearly 6,000 years to North Africa. It was popular with the Greeks and the Romans, where competitors often fought to the death. In 1886, the modern era of boxing was introduced, establishing rules like the use of gloves and timed rounds. The origin of chess is unclear, with evidence of the game found in many ancient cultures from China to Persia to India. Chess is believed to have been introduced to Western Europe around 1000 A.D. By 1500 A.D., the rules were tweaked, creating the modern game of chess played today. The most notable change was allowing the queen to move in any direction on the board. In ancient chess, the queen was the weakest piece. Aside from chess and boxing both involving strategy, that’s where the similarities end, until you combine them into the modern-day hybrid sport of chessboxing. The sport is as it sounds. A chessboxing match consists of 11 alternating rounds: six
chessboxing by: robert nason
hen Iepe “The Joker” Rubingh defeated “Luis The Lawyer” in 2003 for the Middleweight World Championship, the sporting world didn’t take much notice. But if they had, they would have seen something never achieved before. Rubingh won in the 11th round not by a KO, or even a TKO, but because The Lawyer exceeded his time limit in chess. “I had a pretty terrible position on the board so in the last round I tried to knock him out,” Rubingh recalled in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian. “He only just managed to stay on his feet. The bell went and he put his hands up in the air but he couldn’t find his corner. He was really dizzy but we still had to play the final round of chess. There was a clear win for him, but he just couldn’t figure out the right moves.”
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Therein lies the challenge of chessboxing. Billed as the “ultimate challenge for both the body and the mind,” chessboxing melds the physical demands of a boxing match with the intellectual demands of a chess match. The World Chess Boxing Organisation describes it as fighting in the ring and waging war on the board. The challenge is “getting in condition,” says Tim Woolgar, the British heavyweight chessboxing champion. “Playing chess is enjoyable but practicing demands painstaking effort. Then it’s all about conquering your fear, channeling your emotions and staying focused.” It’s another level of self-control that athletes must endure, their hearts pounding in their chests from a round of boxing while they try to study a chessboard in a limited amount of time. “The first chessboxing test that we ever
PHOTO: BERTHOLD STADLER/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
Chessboxing is for all ages, but for a championship fight, you must be younger than 35, have fought in more than 20 boxing matches and have a chess ELO rating higher than 1800. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
PHOTO: Wolfgang Kumm/EPA/Newscom
Germany’s Andreas Stoldt, RIGHT, and David “Double D” Depto of THE USA partake in a bout of chessboxing during the world championships.
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four-minute rounds of chess and five three-minute rounds of boxing. Between each round there’s a oneminute break to change gear. Competitors can win by checkmate, an opponent retiring, an opponent exceeding the time limit in chess, a knockout in boxing or a referee’s decision in boxing. If the chess game ends in a stalemate, the competitor with the higher score in boxing wins. If there’s an equal score in the boxing match too, the competitor with the black pieces wins (black pieces in chess always defer to white pieces to start a chess match, giving white an advantage in strategy). The idea for the sport originated from two sources. “I first heard about chessboxing in the, 70s, first through watching the (kung fu) movie ‘The Mystery of Chessboxing’ and then from a news story about a chessboxing club that started in London,” says Woolgar. Around the same time, an artist named Enki Bilal developed a comic called “Le Froid Equateur” about a futuristic world where people compete in extreme sports like chessboxing and knife hockey. Rubingh, a fan of Bilal’s work, decided it was a good idea to turn fiction into reality and the official sport of chessboxing was born. Good thing he didn’t opt for knife hockey. The sport is spreading throughout the world. Organizations and clubs are in Germany, Siberia, China and Iran, among other countries. A recent event in India attracted 180 contestants of all ages. In Las Vegas, the sport was modified into poker boxing. “The future of chessboxing is bright with an ever increasing number of people coming to events and spreading the word about the sport,” says Woolgar.
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and fishing gear, and blaze your own trail. You might be the only anglers on the lake for the duration of your stay. Many of us, however, fall more into the “soft” adventure category, preferring to brave our wild setting all day and then tuck safely into a warm bed after dinner is served. American Plan lodges typically include a cabin within a 16- to 24-guest-capacity resort, furnished meals, a hot shower and an experienced guide to put you on the bite, prepare a daily shore lunch of freshly caught fish and get you safely back to the resort each night – all without having to forage for sustenance or put your survival skills to the test. Whether flying in with friends, family members or business acquaintances, make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect. I once got off the plane at a remote “resort” along the Manitoba-Northwest Territories border with a couple of guys toting golf clubs. Trouble was, there were no golf courses, roads or other services for hundreds of miles in any direction.
The Experience Begins
Fly-In Fishing the Far North
by: dave csanda
o, what’s your favorite fishing trip? I’ve been asked this question many times over the years. And having fished all across the U.S. and Canada, plus a variety of places overseas, picking one location over another is not easy. Each destination, and every species you fish for, features its own challenges and charms. Yet for me, one type of fishing trip ranks above all others: Canadian fly-ins. Whether they lie just across America’s northern border, or entail far-off adventures north of the sub-Arctic treeline, fly-in fishing trips offer all the best characteristics that angling has to offer. First, there’s the sheer remoteness, far from the pressures of the everyday world. Fly-in fishing camps are outposts of civilization surrounded by vast expanses of virgin wilderness. Catching plenty of fish is usually no problem. The blend of fish species
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depends on where you go, with many lodges offering superb angling for at least three or four of the following lineup: walleye, northern pike, lake trout, Arctic grayling, brook trout and Arctic char.
Lodges and Outfitters
In most cases, you can select a preferred degree of comfort and services for your trip, depending on how much you’re willing to spend versus roughing it on your own. Most fly-ins fall into two categories: self-guided outpost trips where you provide your own food and do your own cooking, and “American Plan” packages where meals, services and guides are provided. If budget is a primary factor and you enjoy the challenge of do-it-yourself vacations, go the outpost route. You’ll have access to a remote cabin, boat and cooking utensils, but not much else. Pack your sleeping bag, food
Preparing and packing can be an eye-opener. Many fly-in operators allow no more than 40 or 50 pounds of tackle and gear per person, so you have to keep things tight and right. More is less. Pack enough seasonal clothing, foul-weather gear and toiletries to get you through a typical four- or eight-day trip, plus adequate fishing tackle and just enough rods to make you dangerous to fish without overloading the plane. A good outfitter will recommend what to bring and what to leave home. After all, when lodges have to fly in every crumb of food and gallon of gas, space and weight are at a premium. I recall one trip where the crew unloaded food from the plane so we didn’t exceed the weight restrictions. Upon our arrival at the lodge, anglers were asked to bring in a few extra fish each day so the lodge staff would have something to eat. But I digress …. Anticipation becomes reality when, passport in hand, you’re airborne. Flying in to your destination, you’ll skim the treetops above a vast network of lakes, rivers and trees extending in all directions. It’s fun to imagine what fish lurk below waterfalls, in narrows, at river mouths and within bays – and how large or abundant the fish might be. It fuels the anticipation for what lies ahead once you touch down at your remote airstrip or, in the case of float planes, descend to kiss the surface of the lake just offshore from your lodge. Nothing beats a DeHavilland Beaver or Otter propeller plane on floats getting you safely where you need to go, and delivering you to the dock in memorable fashion. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
Often the fish you catch in the morning will be cooked for you in the afternoon during a traditional Canadian shorelunch. Depending on the individual operation, guides may be members of a local Cree, Ojibwa or Inuit community, with a lifetime of experience on local waters; veteran guides from regional Canadian towns and cities who work at North Country lakes each summer; or a bit of both. In all cases, youâ€™ll have plenty of face-to-face time in the boat to get to know your guide during your stay. (Hint: If you treat guides like your long-lost buddies, and help clean up after shore lunch, theyâ€™ll generally do their very best to make sure you outfish the other guests. Tip them generously at the end of your trip, along with the lodge staff that help make your gateway to the wilderness your home away from home.)
A Day in the Boat
On large lakes of the central prairies, a typical day often begins with trolling for lake trout in the morning and switching to casting for pike or walleye in late morning or early afternoon. Lakers often remain quite deep throughout summer, while other species are typically much shallower. If available, you might park the boat on shore and walk upstream along a pristine, fast-flowing river to cast below rapids and waterfalls for grayling, nicknamed the sailfish of the north due to their stunning dorsal fins resembling those of angelfish. Grayling seldom grow much larger than a pound or two, but their exotic nature and wild settings more than make up for their smaller proportions. At brook trout and Arctic char fisheries, you may spend part of your day fishing from a boat, and the rest casting from shore, depending on local circumstances. Let your guide make the call. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
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At some point around midday, however, it’s time to pull up on shore for a traditional Canadian shorelunch of freshly caught fish, typically composed of the catch of the day (walleyes, pike, lake trout or other species), pork and beans, fruit cocktail for dessert, and a cup of fresh coffee or a can of pop to wash it down. What might at first appear to be squandered fishing time quickly becomes a treasured ritual, allowing you to relax and swap stories with other anglers from your group or lodge, if any are fishing the same area of the lake. But most important, it’s a chance to quietly sit on a rock or log and take in the solitude of your wild surroundings – the kind of thing you’d never take time to do back home.
Sometimes there’s more to fishing than catching fish.
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After dinner back at the lodge, you’ll have plenty of evening time to get to know your hosts and other resort guests. Fly-in anglers come from a wide range of origins and life experiences, with a growing number of international visitors. It’s a great chance to meet new friends and share stories. You may come from radically different backgrounds, but you share a common thread. Everyone’s there to catch fish, and that’s a great conversation starter wherever you travel. Back at the cabin, you’ll likely retie a few knots, sharpen a few hooks, and get set for another day of fishing while reliving stories of days gone past. On one such trip with my dad and brothers, we dropped our rods and photographed a moose swimming between our two boats. Or the black bear that wandered down to clean up our shorelunch site right after we got back into the boats. Or how I had worn my grandfather’s hand-me-down boots that day, imprinting his footprints in the tundra many years after he’d departed our fishing family.
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Rich Csanda lands a large fly rod pike at Wollaston Lake Lodge, Saskatchewan. In the end, a fly-in fishing trip is more than fishing. It’s about traditions and fishing amid the unspoiled splendor of nature while sharing the experience with family and friends. It’s about basking in the immense silence of the surrounding wilderness, broken only by the sounds of wind, waves and impatient seagulls seeking to share in your catch. And it’s about staring in wonder at the majesty of the Northern Lights, nature’s original and oldest light show. No matter how many times I’ve gone on fly-ins, I’ve still experienced something new on every trip, and learned some new dimension to catching fish, and perhaps about myself as well. I always come home tired but renewed, and eager to return. For those reasons and more, it’s far and away my favorite way to go. As for my single most vivid memory, given the many large fish I’ve caught in exotic locales; the caribou, wolves, grizzlies, black bears, moose and muskox I’ve seen on the tundra; and even the time we witnessed narwhals surfacing off Canada’s arctic coastline? It’s the day my dad and I spent on the Kazan River in the Northwest Territories, dry fly fishing for grayling fully twice the size I’d ever caught before or even imagined anywhere else. Anchored below an expansive, roaring rapids all afternoon, we repeatedly watched these majestic fish slowly rising from deep, clear eddies, taking a full 10 or 15 seconds or more to reach the surface, their huge dorsal fins undulating with every flex and pulse of their bodies, before plucking our flies off the surface. It’s the memory of how these powerful fish surged and fought in the strong current on lightweight fly gear. How we struggled to hold them to take pictures as their solid, muscular bodies developed over a lifetime in swift water kept thwarting our grips. The fly-fishing catch-and-release world records we both set that day. The way we watched them swim slowly off when released. And the priceless looks on each other’s faces, along with the silent recognition that we’d shared something immensely unique and special, there at the top of the world. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
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Michael Gaffney rides Little Yellow Jacket in a record 96.5-point ride in 2004. Only two other riders have earned that score in the history of the PBR. PHOTO: Andy Watson/PBR
by: amanda jakl
ell a cowboy he can’t do something and he’ll find a way to make it happen. Tell 20 cowboys they can’t and get a force to be reckoned with. That’s how co-founder Michael Gaffney explains the success of Professional Bull Riders, Inc. “The rodeo people said that we’d never stick together, talked about ‘way too many egos,’ and we said, ‘We’re going to prove you wrong,’” he explains. And prove them wrong they did. Now celebrating its 20th year in competition, the PBR is the premier bull riding organization in the world, with more than 1,200 members representing the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Australia. The world of bull riding has evolved over the past two decades, but it was the perfect storm of circumstances, according to Gaffney, that was the impetus for the founding of the PBR. Twenty years ago, entry fees for bull riding events were outrageous, sponsorships could be shady, and cowboys couldn’t make a living with the meager winnings. So in 1992, a group of 20 cowboys sat in a room and decided to change all that. Each rider invested $1,000 – whether he could afford it or not – in the name of
the sport they lived and breathed. “[We wanted] a say in how we rode, how many [bulls] we got on,” Gaffney recalls. “It was a union of [cowboys who were] sick and tired of the [B.S.]. We knew we had a great product and we knew we had to stick together.” With that belief system, the PBR was born. But it wasn’t an instant success. Co-founder Cody Lambert remembers the struggle. “When we started the PBR, we had to rodeo on the side to supplement our incomes,” says co-founder Cody Lambert, “because the PBR wasn’t big enough for riders to just earn a living riding strictly at the bull riding events.” That soon changed and what was once a sport that was enjoyed only in person and on a local level went mainstream in 1994 with the first televised PBR event. “We’ve exposed it to so many more fans that never even went
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to rodeos before and now watch the PBR on TV every week,” Lambert says. Attendance for live events is near 2 million, while viewership is more than 100 million. That exposure has been a boon to riders and sponsors alike.
Rider vs. bull
It takes a distinct kind of man to be a bull rider. Most bull riders fit a specific physical mold. The average bull rider is 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds. “Lean, smaller guys that have more like a gymnast-type body is required,” explains Lambert. “Heavier is better [only] if you’re trying to hold something down. But you can’t hold an 1,800-pound bull down very well, whether it’s with a 140-pound guy or a 200-pound guy.” It’s not just athleticism that makes this sport so challenging; it’s quashing a basic survival instinct. “You have to be able to control your fear,” Lambert says. “Because riding bulls is a really scary thing and [riders] put out maximum athletic effort doing something that dangerous.” For the “most dangerous eight seconds in sports,” injury is almost certain. Sprains, tears, fractures, dislocations and concussions are the norm – which shouldn’t come as a surprise when only a helmet (mandatory since 2012), protective vest, gloves and mouth guard are used as safety equipment. Since falling off the bull is the only way to dismount, riders face the chance of goring or trampling with every ride. According to a University of Calgary study, the fatality rate of the rodeo is five times that of football and a bull rider is 10 times more likely to incur a catastrophic injury – an injury that results in permanent disabilities – than a football player. Those are sobering statistics for the average person, but for cowboys, it’s just part of the job. When asked how many bones he’s broken, eight-year professional rider Shane Proctor says he doesn’t keep track. “I’ve broken a lot,” he says. “I’ve been lucky. Most of them haven’t kept me out of riding for very long. I shattered my arm last year, in December, and I ended up getting two plates and 16 screws put in my arm and I was
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PHOTO: Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media
The Bulls Hit the Big Apple - The 20th anniversary year kicked off the 2013 season with an event at Madison Square Garden.
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getting on bulls eight weeks later.” Risking their lives with every ride, it’s also not surprising that cowboys respect the bulls. “If you’re not afraid of them a little bit, then you’ve got something wrong with you,” Proctor admits. “You respect the animal for what they’re capable of but you have to take the fear and put it aside. That’s the thing about bull riders, they’ve learned to accept the fear.” It’s riding a razor’s edge, says Proctor. “You gotta be aggressive, but you gotta be calm about it. You gotta go ride that fine line.” As a 150-pound man getting on the back of a 2,000-pound bucking bull, balancing on that edge is key to maintaining his position as one of the top bull riders in the world. For such a physically demanding sport, Proctor believes it’s about 90 percent mental. To condition the 10 percent that’s physical, he maintains his physique with hot yoga, physical massage and regular visits to a chiropractor. “[I view bull riders] as professional athletes and we need to do what it takes to be prepared.” The PBR is known for the best bulls in the sport, thanks in part to Lambert, who works as the livestock director and decides which bulls get to go to which events. Lambert evaluates “the quality of the bulls and brings the best opponents for the best bull riders in the world.” He says when choosing bulls for competition, it’s as simple as which ones buck the hardest. “If a rider is able to make a qualifying ride on them, I want the bulls they’ll score the highest on,” he explains. “And that means they have the highest degree of difficulty so they buck harder than any other bulls.” Good thing that cowboys don’t want easy when it comes to the bulls they ride. Scores are based on the difficulty level of the bull and how the rider rides him. The more difficult the bull, the higher the potential score, which means a higher standing in the ranks and a larger paycheck. “We’re trying to challenge ourselves all the time,” Proctor explains. “[The PBR] gives us the opportunity to go up against the rankest [bulls] week in and week out.” Often the bulls become just as famous as the riders. Averaging 1,500 pounds, each has its own webpage with detailed stats of scores and buck-off percentages, as well as video ride highlights. With names like Bushwacker, Asteroid, Smackdown and Buckey, the bulls are even followed on Facebook and Twitter. More than their social standing, though, the PBR takes the health of the bulls seriously. A bull is limited to one buck per day and no more than two bucks per multi-day event. As for how they make the bulls buck, contrary to popular belief, a bull’s genitals are not compressed by the rope tied around their flanks. That flank rope “encourages the bull to kick their hind legs out” rather than rear up, which “helps create a more uniform, less erratic
PHOTO: Matt Breneman/Bull Stock Media
Proctor encourages people to attend a PBR event. “It’s a whole other world, with a rock concert-like atmosphere with the pyrotechnics, lasers and music.” 40 C H A L L E N G E j u n e 2 0 1 3
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performance” and allows a bull rider to prove his control and rhythm.
The business of bull riding
PHOTO: Sylvain Poche/Bull Stock Media
The PBR Legends Reunion, held every October during the World Finals, offers fans a chance to meet PBR champions and founders.
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The PBR has made bull riding a profession, rather than a sideline pursuit. Cowboys now benefit from endorsement deals that weren’t available before the sport was televised. More importantly, the PBR created a generation of bull riders that could make a living doing what they love the most. Before the PBR, a rider often had to pay an entry fee, around $400, to compete, only to have the winning pot be about the same amount – hardly a situation to support a family. “Our first goal as a board and organization was just have everybody show up and not pay entry fees,” Gaffney explains. With no entry fees to worry about, cowboys were able to focus on their performance and the league grew from there. “It’s grown to a level that [riders can] spend their entire professional careers in the PBR,” explains Lambert. The best bull riders now can earn six figures a year and usually end up making several million over their entire careers. What started from a meager $20,000 investment has turned into a multimillion-dollar company. Despite the prosperity, the PBR holds onto its humble beginnings. Its success is due to the love of the sport and staying true to the cowboy way of life. The new generation of bull riders may be injecting new blood into this age-old sport, but the PBR will keep the heart of what its founders created 20 years ago. “We promised the best bulls we could possibly get, we promised the best guys and that we’d deliver the best product we could,” Gaffney says. “It just exploded because of all the special ingredients that we had and still have. It’s been a great ride, I’m telling you. It’s one of those great American success stories.”
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Johnny Waite, Death Race participant and ultra-endurance athlete Photo: James Robert
by: greg girard
f the race’s name doesn’t give you an indication, the website address can’t make it any clearer – www.youmaydie. com. “Built to break the weak of body and mind,” the Death Race is held annually in the picturesque Green Mountains of Vermont as a challenge to the toughest, and often screwiest, ultra-athletes in the world. This is not a race for the weekend warrior. “That darn thing,” Joe Decker says with a laugh. “You don’t know what the heck you’re going to be doing. You could be running 100 miles, lifting 1,000 pounds. They never tell you, so that’s kind of the beauty of it. You never know what’s coming at you.” Decker isn’t your average fitness athlete. In fact, Guinness World Records certified him as the world’s fittest man in 2001 after he successfully completed the 24-hour Physical Fitness Challenge (see sidebar for requirements). Decker has competed in most of the world’s toughest endurance challenges, from the 520-mile race over the Himalayas to running across the Sahara Desert. He’s the only one to have won the Death Race twice. But while most ultra-endurance races focus on participants’ physical prowess, the Death Race adds a decidedly sadistic, and psychological, twist.
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“What I really like about it is they do a great job of really mixing it up,” says Decker. “[It] not only combines the endurance and the strength. There are so many other fac-
... We’ve gotten
really good at getting under people’s skin. We like to study them and figure out what is going to break them.
– Joe DeSena
tors. You’ve got to be pretty intelligent and you’ve got to be able to keep your wits about you for hours at a time. It really throws all kinds of curve balls at you.” Those curve balls are the product of Joe DeSena and Andy Weinberg, who co-found-
ed the race in 2005. “Imagine if you got to play God for a day and you wanted to [mess] with people,” says DeSena. “If you were like, you know what, let’s give them a rain storm and all of a sudden everyone showed up with umbrellas. And then you were like, let’s add some serious wind, so it blows everyone’s umbrellas away. We get to do that.” The race objective is simple enough: survive everything DeSena and Weinberg throw at you. From physical activities, like hiking for miles in the Green Mountains or chopping wood for six straight hours; to mental challenges, like memorizing a Bible verse and then reciting it hours later after a 30-mile hike; to the sadistic, like eating 10 pounds of onions or filling wheel barrels with cow and sheep manure 15 times and emptying each load miles away. Throw in unpredictable weather, a lack of food and sleep deprivation, and then you get the idea. As for when it’s over, it’s anyone’s guess. Last year, it took the winner 67 hours. It’s not surprising 90 percent of entrants don’t finish. Endurance is certainly needed during the race, but the challenges begin well before the start. “Last year, about a week w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
before [the race], we get an email titled ‘Email #5’ and it referred back to the important stuff in emails one, two, three and four, but it doesn’t say what it was,” says Johnny Waite, an ultra-endurance athlete and multi-year veteran of the Death Race. “It just said ‘Remember how important that is.’ And immediately you saw these emails going back saying, ‘I didn’t get the first four. This is ridiculous.’” And Waite admits, even after participating in several races and being fully aware of the games DeSena and Weinberg play, “there’s still something in the back of your head that says ‘Maybe I did miss it,’ and you still go back to your spam folder.” The mind games continue when they send out a gear list weeks ahead, only to change it the day before the race. Along with an ax or maul to chop wood, they’ll ask entrants to bring dress shoes or a needle and thread. One year they required everyone to bring a live fish. “So people are researching what fish are going to survive the best in the race,” says Waite. But later, they took the fish off the gear list and made the entrants try to catch fish with their bare hands during the race. “We like to say [the race] is 80 percent mental and the other 20 percent is mental,” says DeSena. “The reason we have
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Photo: Courtesy of death race
Ninety percent of entrants never finish a Death Race. Last year’s winner finished in 67 hours.
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Photo: Joe Decker
How did Joe Decker become the Worldâ€™s Fittest Man? In a 24-hour period, he: Biked 100 miles Ran 10 miles Hiked 10 miles Power walked 5 miles Kayaked 6 miles Skied (on a NordicTrack) 10 miles Rowed 10 miles Swam 2 miles Did 3,000 abdominal crunches Did 1,100 jumping jacks Did 1,000 leg lifts Did 1,100 push-ups Lifted, cumulatively, 278,540 Pounds 44 C H A L L E N G E j u n e 2 0 1 3
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applied a more psychological analysis to it and gotten more mental on it is we’ve gotten really good at getting under people’s skin. We like to study them and figure out what is going to break them.” And the mad scientists percolating within DeSena and Weinberg are not short of ideas. “We have thousands of challenges,” says DeSena. Like the time, in the dead of night, they decided to make participants swim 50 yards across a pond of 45-degree water, climb the bank on the opposite side, race through a dark forest strewn with ankle-high barbed wire and emerge from the forest only to be handed a candle that had to be keep lit (if the candle went out, they had to return to where they got the candle and get it relit) as they raced back a quarter-mile to where they started. Oh, and then after finishing, they were told they need to do it seven more times. “And the other thing is, on your way back down to that pond, there’s a huge fire and people are stopping to warm up, and Joe is there saying, ‘If you stop at this fire you’re out. Keep going. This is for volunteers only,’” remembers Waite. “But there’s also a volunteer there saying, ‘We’ve got soup; if you want it, just drop out of the
race, have some soup.’ And every time you went past the fire, there were more and more people standing there with bowls of soup because after the fifth time through, when you’re thinking ‘I cannot survive another time through,’ you might stop.” The race doesn’t have a set start time. Entrants are told to show up on a certain day, but when that day arrives, the race could start at 8 a.m. or midnight. DeSena and Weinberg will announce fake start times, tell entrants to rush to a meeting point, then change it at the last minute. “So even though the race hasn’t started until 6 p.m., you’re mentally taxed all day long,” says Waite. “It’s just so you can’t relax.” Evil, sadistic, merciless – all those descriptives work pretty well. But it’s not without purpose. “[The race] came about simply for us to find amazing people,” says DeSena. “We wanted to find the kind of person you’d want to do business with, go in a foxhole with, watch a movie about. Could we create an event that had a way of sifting through humans and showing us the great ones? And the positive correlation has been dead on.” DeSena and Weinberg set out to create a race where you couldn’t plan for anything. Both veterans of endurance races, they
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Photo: Courtesy of SPARTAN race
Inspired by the success of the Death Race, co-founders Joe DeSena and Andy Weinberg developed the Spartan Race Series, an obstacle race for a broader range of athletes. Spartan Races can be found around the world. Visit www.spartanrace.com for details.
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Photo: Courtesy of death race
The Death Race website says, “Please only consider this adventure-style race if you have lived a full life to date.” were finding that even though a 100-mile run is challenging, you can plan for it and once in the race you know exactly how far you need to go. There are no surprises. So they began talking about a challenge that in many ways mimics life: You never know what to expect. “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel,” DeSena has said in explaining the race. “We’re basically holding your hand to help you quit. The same way life does, right?” For the first race, eight people showed up. But word spread quickly and last year more than 300 competitors arrived to see if the Death Race would break them. It’s not a race for everyone. In fact, most who sign up never even make the trip to Vermont. “The rescission rate is astonishing,” says Waite. “My first year, there were 255 people that signed up, but only 155 showed up.” His theory: As the race moves closer on the calendar, it just intimidates. “Please, dear God, let a grandmother die so I can tell
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them I’m not coming,” Waite says, laughing. But that does bring up the question of why. Why volunteer, in fact, why pay to be physically punished, psychologically abused and emotionally destroyed? Why give omniscient power to two guys who admittedly are looking to break you? “Everyone has a different ‘why’ but at the end of the day it’s all because we want to see how we do under adversity,” says Waite. “For tens of thousands of years we did amazing things. We climbed mountains, forded streams, we caught our food, and we don’t do any of it anymore. So there’s still a primal thing to say, wouldn’t it be great to actually put yourself in the path of some physical difficulty, and I think that the people who do and are successful at it come out much better prepared for the rest of their life.” So maybe you’re up for the challenge. You may die, but we all die eventually, right? w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
Pesto Shimp Salad Serves four to six
Pesto Shrimp Salad Mike “Big CheesE” faverman: Hey,
Pat, summer is here. What would be a great recipe for the people in the summer months, with all the hot beautiful days?
Pat MaC: I was thinking something light and delicious. Mike: Unlike yourself. pat: Shut up, Mike. What do you think about a pesto shrimp salad?
Mike: Yeah, I think you should try eating
that more often so you don’t look like a lawn ornament anymore.
pat: Very funny. Maybe you should eat
healthier too. I saw you using mashed potatoes as a dipping sauce for your French fries the other day. Then you chased it with a side of hash browns.
Mike: I was celebrating the fact that you’re
1/3 cup unsalted butter 2 tablespoons chopped garlic Salt and black pepper 1 pound (26 to 30 count) medium shrimp 3/4 cup prepared pesto 1 (12-ounce) bag spring salad mix 1 (12-ounce) bag romaine hearts 3 ounces feta cheese crumbles (add more if you like) 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 6 white button mushrooms, sliced 8 whole cherry tomatoes 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced (optional) 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing
BY: Mac and the Big cheese
from Idaho and you look like Mr. Potato Head.
pat: All I’m saying is it’s summer time and
we should eat healthy. Get that stomach looking like a six-pack.
Mike: Unlike the keg bodies we currently
pat: Mine’s more like a beer ball. Mike: Hey, you look fine, keep up the good work. Now can you please pass the mashed potatoes? I have some fries I need to finish off. pat: You’re a pig. Mike: Yum! Bacon! Great idea. pat: You’re hopeless. For those of you look-
ing for healthier options than Mike, try this summer pesto shrimp salad. It’s an amazing dish before a meal or even as a meal.
DIRECTIONS: Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic and salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for about 7 minutes. Make sure the shrimp are not completely cooked through. Add the pesto and let the shrimp finish cooking in the pesto sauce, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool before you add it to your salad, or the lettuce and vegetables could wilt from the heat. In a large serving bowl, toss your spring salad mix and romaine hearts. Add the cheeses, then sprinkle in the mushrooms, tomatoes, avocados, peppers and the hard-boiled egg slices (if using). Add your pesto shrimp and mix well. Let sit for 30 minutes in a cooler or fridge. As you are serving this salad, add the balsamic dressing and mix well again so all the flavors come together.
yw here PM
J u n.
The Good,The Bad and The Beautiful BY: CHAD BLAKE
Vers know every time they leave their driveway, an adventure lies ahead. Only time will tell if it’s one that will provide lasting memories or leave them simply wondering, “Why did we go there?” Either way, an adventure it is, whether good, bad, ugly or beautiful. I’m not attempting to create a parody of Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti Westerns. Plenty of film critics have done that over the years. I think any RV trip can have any one or all of those elements. In fact, it’s bound to happen eventually. For us, it was on a weekend trip to West Virginia.
It was summer, and what had started out as a relatively cool morning was quickly warming up. Oh, and did I mention that this is the old Chevy van that had no air conditioning? And the four kids, I mentioned them, right? Needless to say, the van was working hard to deal with its job of moving all of our stuff through the mountains. The engine temperature had been borderline for a while and I was keeping a close eye on the gauges when suddenly the van seemed to start straining even harder. I knew I had to find a safe place to pull over and see if I could spot the trouble.
Many of my family’s fondest traveling memories have occurred in “Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.” On this trip, we decided to plan a weekend journey to Blackwater Falls State Park. We had heard stories of how beautiful it was and we were all excited to see it. In those days, we were still traveling in a trailer/van combo. Four kids, all their stuff and enough food and water for a football team were packed into the two vehicles. This wasn’t a long trip for us, but Highway 50 out of Winchester, Va., into West Virginia has enough switchbacks to make the trip one of endurance, a little fear and some carsickness for added measure.
Yep, there was trouble all right. The left wheel of the trailer was smoking and red hot. One of those wheel bearings that I was supposed to have repacked, but of course didn’t, had failed. We packed enough food to last a month but not the wheel bearings resting on my workbench in the garage. A quick scan of the map showed we were not far from Romney, W.Va., which turned out to be a picturesque village noted for its famous school for the deaf and blind, and so we limped into town hoping for some help. As we had lunch and pondered our options, I was beginning to feel desperation creeping in. The list of options was short since it
was a Saturday, we were in a strange town, cell phones didn’t exist yet and I figured there was a very remote chance of finding a bearing, let alone the right bearing, and the grease to go with it. But nothing comes from pessimism except failure, so I removed the worn-out bearing and set out to find a parts store that was open, nearby, and had the parts we needed.
Then things turned beautiful. The first parts store I found was open and within walking distance. And after a desperate search deep into the dark corners of the shop, there lay the bearing we needed. After the shop owner heard of our distress, he asked if I had the necessary tools, grease and paper towels to fix the trailer and he put together a care package to help me through the repair. I paid this helpful stranger and walked back to my broken trailer with a sack full of bearings and the items to fix it. Shortly after, we were bound once again for the Blackwater Falls. In your RV journeys, there will be times when things seem bad and ugly, but then you find a good Samaritan and things suddenly look beautiful again. The memories of that trip have lasted for us all.
diabetes and you by: linda mcgirr Linda McGirr is a Registered Dietitian and certified Dietitian-Nutritionist
f you have diabetes or think you may be at risk, you’re not alone. Diabetes is at record levels worldwide. Here are some statistics.
I • • • • •
In 2012, approximately 371 million people had diabetes globally; 187 million have diabetes but remain undiagnosed. In the U.S., in 2011, 8.3 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 79, a total of 25.8 million Americans, had diabetes. A study at the University of Utah concluded that for truckers, the prevalence of diabetes is greater than for the average American, at 11.5 percent. For people over 65, the percentage jumps to 26.9 percent. Pre-diabetes affects an additional 79 million Americans, or approximately 25 percent of the U.S. population.
Though these statistics may seem daunting, there are steps that you can take for diabetes prevention and ways to manage your diabetes to decrease the risks to your health.
What is diabetes?
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), “Diabetes mellitus, or simply, diabetes, is a group of diseases characterized by high blood-glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin.” Diabetes affects the way the body uses sugar, starch and other foods. There are several types of diabetes, including Type 1, Type 2 and pre-diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In Type 1
diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Only 5 percent of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented with lifestyle changes, but can be managed to allow for a long, healthy life. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In Type 2 diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not use insulin properly. This type of diabetes typically appears during adulthood. Before people develop Type 2 diabetes, they almost always have pre-diabetes, also called impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose. In pre-diabetes, blood-glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of diabetes may seem harmless, which explains why so many cases go undiagnosed. Knowing the symptoms can help with early detection, which can reduce the risk of complications in the future. The ADA suggests seeing your doctor right away if you have one or more of these symptoms. Type 1 Diabetes • Frequent urination • Unusual thirst • Extreme hunger • Unusual weight loss • Extreme fatigue and irritability Type 2 Diabetes • Any of the Type 1 symptoms • Frequent infections • Blurred vision • Slow healing of cuts or bruises
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JU n e 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 51
• Tingling or numbness in hands or feet • Recurring skin, gum or bladder infections
What is your risk?
With prevention and early detection being important goals, knowing your risk is key. Pre-diabetes often presents no symptoms at all. Being aware of the risk factors and monitoring your health can be your best plan of attack. The following guidelines are offered by the ADA. • If you are overweight and age 45 or older, ask to be checked for pre-diabetes during your next routine doctor visit. • If you are normal weight and over age 45, ask your doctor, during your next visit, if testing is appropriate. • If you are younger than 45 and overweight, your doctor may recommend testing if you have any other risk factors, including: > High blood pressure > Low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides > Family history of diabetes > History of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds > Belonging to an ethnic or minority group at high risk for diabetes (e.g., non Hispanic blacks, Hispanic/Latino Ameri cans, Asian Americans and Pacific Island ers and American Indians and Alaska Na tives)
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Why should you care?
Letting diabetes go undiagnosed or untreated can lead to a number of serious complications that should not be taken lightly. These include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease and amputation.
What does diet have to do with it?
From a registered dietitian’s perspective, diet intervention is a cornerstone in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. The good news is that it is possible to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes through a healthy lifestyle. One study shows that losing only 7 percent of your body weight can delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes by 11 years. Eating healthfully, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight are positive steps that you can take. The diet interventions recommended for people with or at risk for diabetes are similar to diet recommendations for the general population. Here are some guidelines to promote heart health, optimal weight and disease prevention. • Calories – Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, decrease intake by 500-1,000 calories per day with the goal of losing 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight.
• Carbohydrates – Specific intake is individu alized, but increasing complex carbohy drates (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products) and decreasing simple carbo hydrates (sugar, candy, soda, sweets) is recommended. • Fiber – Half of grains should be whole grains. • Protein – Poultry, fish, beans, nuts, lean meats and low-fat dairy products are good sources. • Fat and cholesterol – Choose low-fat dairy products and meats. Two servings or more of fish per week is recommended. Limit animal fats. Choose more plant oils. • Sodium – Reduce salt and sodium intake. • Alcohol – Limit to no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two per day for men.
Where can you go for help?
There is help out there, so don’t ignore symptoms and be sure to know your risk. The American Diabetes Association is an excellent source of information. Go to their website, www.diabetes.org, to take the Diabetes Risk Test and to learn more. As always, talk to your doctor about all your health concerns. And don’t forget, a registered dietitian can help you to develop a healthy eating plan that is right for you.
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by: brenda potts
his isn’t a story about knives. This is a story about conviction. A few months ago Reed Exhibitions took a stand that did not go over well with American outdoorsmen. Reed announced they would “limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles” at the Eastern Sports Show scheduled to take place last February in Harrisburg, Pa. That message
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created a firestorm on social media over one of the biggest and longest running sporting events in our country. Not long after that decision was made public, vendors began to call on Reed to change their decision. When it was evident Reed would not change, several vendors began to withdraw from the show in protest. Ultimately the event was canceled as
momentum built throughout the outdoor community to boycott the show. Chet Burchett, Reed Exhibitions president for the Americas, had this to say: “Our original decision not to include certain products in the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year was made in order to preserve the event’s historical focus on the hunting and fishing traditions enjoyed by American families.” Reed’s corporate headquarters is based in England and it would seem they miscalculated the American family’s focus on the hunting tradition. Most folks saw the decision to ban display of a legal gun as an affront to the Second Amendment and boycotted the show, ultimately leading to its cancellation. Which side you agree with is another matter. This is about conviction – the quality of showing that you believe strongly in what you are saying or doing. One of the early ones to make the decision to withdraw was Duke Dudley, a former Marine and the owner of Virginia Blade. When Dudley decided to pull Virginia Blade from the show, it was a decision that hit him hard in this economic climate. The Eastern Sport Show had always been a primary source of income for the small company. Deciding to pull out of the show sounds very patriotic. I wonder how many of us could truly say we would be willing to make the same decision if it meant the stability of our company and our family’s income would be severely impacted. With that thought in mind, the next time you are browsing online, take a moment to check out vablade.com. Your support of this small company will show your support of his decision, and reinforce a conviction we can all be proud of.
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Listen to Claire B. Lang’s radio show on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90.
NASCAR father’s day
PHOTO: Sean Gardner/NASCAR GETTY IMAGES
by: claire b. lang
received a touching note from a Texas race fan named Greg about going to his first NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway in April. “My most wonderful daughter, 22 years of age, bought me an early Father’s Day present of tickets to the Texas NRA 500,” Greg wrote. “Both she and my son have always wondered why I love NASCAR so much. Now they know! When we got to our seats and I saw how close we were to the track, my eyes welled up with tears that my daughter had done this for me and for us. I grabbed her and gave her the biggest hug and just held her close and muttered a very choked-up ‘thank you.’” Greg wrote that his “insides did somersaults” observing the race in person and that he “laughed uncontrollably” with joy while attending the race with his daughter. Every Father’s Day I host a SiriusXM broadcast with the fathers of the NASCAR drivers. I am moved by the role they played in the success of their famous sons. Reigning Sprint Cup Series champ Brad Keselowski says his father, Bob, “Was more than just my dad; he was a mentor and a boss.” Keselowski says his father makes up the very base of who he is today. “From the code that he taught me early on in life … his work ethic is amazing. To the approach of where you don’t expect anyone to do anything for you, on the racetrack or off. You know, your success is in your own hands, and if you’re not successful, you don’t point fingers, you point it at yourself and say I needed to work harder and I need to work smarter … I learned a lot of that approach of the sport from him. It’s a [fundamental part] of my success, so I owe a lot of that to my dad.” Roush Fenway driver Carl Edwards told me his father, Carl Edwards Sr., is the smartest racer he knows. “He’s still someone I can get a really honest answer
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from,” Edwards said. “He’s a thinker and if I ever have something that’s going on I can call him and he gives me the ‘Here’s how I think you could have done this or that better.’ He’s a person in my life that is not blinded by all this fame. He’s a huge help to me.” Five-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson told me, “My parents showered myself and my two younger brothers with love and support. It had to be tough for my dad to watch me pursue racing with the risks that are associated and the fact that there aren’t any guarantees that it’s going to work out and you can make a living at it. “My parents created a great environment for me to explore what I wanted to within racing and sacrificed everything to give me a chance to do it, along with my two younger brothers.” The note from Greg in Texas made me think about my father, who died at a young 29 years, when I was 3. I thought of the father who adopted us, and my grandfather, who was a mechanic in the city garage of Kenosha, Wis., and who passed when I was 13. Oh, how I wish I could take my grandfather to a race now and show him the inside of the garage and introduce him to the mechanics that I know. After the Texas Motor Speedway win by the No. 18 team, Kyle Busch’s crew chief, Dave Rogers, took his and an extra winner’s cowboy hat home to his two boys. He got home just before dawn and sprinkled the dresser with confetti he had gathered in his pocket from Victory Lane. Then, he put the cowboy hats there for his boys to find when they woke up. That, he said, is what he races for. On Father’s Day, every father is famous. To a father, each and every child is a champion and every single moment with your dad or child is a gift to be treasured.
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budgetary blues by: mike howe Follow Mike on Twitter: @TruckingDC • Like Mike on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TruckingPoliticsMore
n early April, the president released his 2014 budget proposal and obviously one of the areas of prime interest to the trucking industry is the transportation budget. All totaled, the president’s budget includes a $127 billion request for transportation-related projects. While this budget will never come to fruition because the House of Representatives and Senate will make significant changes to it, it still provides insight into the priorities of not only the president but the leadership in Congress. Before taking a look at the reactions of the House and Senate leadership, let’s examine what is in the president’s proposal. The budget includes $77 billion for the Department of Transportation and an additional $55 billion for “immediate investments to support critical infrastructure projects.” According to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood’s Fastlane Blog, this includes $40 billion in “fix it first” investments for current assets. Infrastructure is a priority, but there are other priorities as well. An upgrade of the nation’s rail system results in a $6.4 billion proposal; $1 billion is proposed for NextGen, the national airspace system that migrates navigation from groundbased to satellite systems; and the proposal also supports MAP-21, the short-term highway-funding bill passed in 2012, with $53 billion toward highway, transit and highway-safety programs. LaHood is pleased with the proposed budget, saying, “This country needs – and its people deserve – a modern transportation network that helps create jobs, encourages business to expand, and helps us compete in a global economy. That’s exactly the transportation system that the president’s 2014 budget for DOT seeks to build.” Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, is equally enthusiastic about the transportation budget proposal, but in his reaction he decided to focus more on an infrastructure-funding bill he introduced. “It’s no secret that our country has fallen far behind in meeting its infrastruc-
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ture investment needs. The president has proposed a number of bold steps in his budget to find unique ways to meet these national needs. My infrastructure fund is one option that would leverage private investment to maximize the return on federal taxpayer dollars and put Americans back to work,” Rockefeller said. Rockefeller’s focus is on the vast amount of funding required for infrastructure. As he noted, the American Society of Civil Engineers “estimates a need of $3.6 trillion by 2020 into our nation’s rails, roads, bridges, ports, transit systems and other infrastructure in order to meet the needs of our country.” Certainly this is an issue that needs to be addressed – the question is how to best accomplish this monumental task. Republican Congressman Bill Shuster, chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, had a slightly different take on the president’s budget proposal. Shuster thanked the president for recognizing the country’s infrastructure needs, but said his concern is how the country would fund the spending. “The president’s budget repeats his call to increase spending without identifying a viable means to pay for it,” Shuster said. “We can’t just keep adding to our tab and expect future generations to foot the bill. We have the responsibility to address America’s infrastructure needs with an equally responsible solution that doesn’t burden our children with more debt.” With the president releasing his proposed budget in April, the discussions will become a little more serious. Committees in the House and Senate will begin to hold more hearings to talk about 2014 funding. With the sheer size of the nation’s debt it’s unlikely new taxes and fees will be off the table, though the Republican leadership will do all they can to avoid such tactics. Will the nation be able to meet the infrastructure funding needs of today and the near future? If history is any indication, the answer is no. We will once again be saddled with a short-term funding bill that minimally addresses the true needs of the nation. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
Making a Difference
’ve been driving for close to 20 years and I have seen so much on the road that makes me both proud and ashamed. One of the main issues of shame is littering and the infamous pee bottles, or “trucker bombs,” drivers leave along the road, at truck stops, just about everywhere. I admit, I use bottles at times, but I always empty them in the toilet or RV dump and then throw the bottles away. I was at a truck stop in New Mexico recently and, sure enough, there were two full bottles on the ground. Why can’t drivers and passengers throw them away instead of just leaving them on the ground for others to pick up? These full bottles you see on the ground or in the trash are considered hazardous and nobody thinks of the people that empty the trash bins at the truck stops. Take responsibility for yourself and do the right thing. Empty them out and throw the empty container away. It’s just that simple. I stopped recently at a mall where I just
wanted to do some shopping. I parked in the back and out of the way, and spent about two hours in the store. When I returned to my truck, I was greeted by the security guard and asked why I was there. I said that I was there to shop. He said that I couldn’t park there. I explained that I was not staying overnight, but he said that truckers used to be allowed to park behind the mall but because of all the trash that was left by the drivers it cost the mall money to clean up. So they decided that truck drivers were not allowed to park anywhere on the mall’s property. I was asked to leave and never bring my truck back on the property unless I was there to make a delivery. I wanted to defend my fellow drivers but unfortunately couldn’t. What he said was absolutely true. Do you know how embarrassing that was? It just shows that the image we carry not only affects other drivers and companies, but the general public as well. The general public already has their own opinion about us
by: rick stearns
and with situations like this, it makes us look a whole lot worse. Our image is everything and the reputation of the trucking industry is at stake every day. Just recently, as I was waiting to make a delivery, I had noticed the sleeper door on a tractor open up and the driver tossed his urine out the side. It was right in front of the main office of the company. I was in shock. How can someone be that bold? This driver just put the reputation of his company at risk. As I sat there, the driver made it to his seat and noticed that I was looking at him and shaking my head. He just threw up his hands like “whatever.” Wow, was all that was going through my head. Be proud of yourself. Be proud of the company you represent. Be proud of this industry. Be proud of the customers you haul for. Remember that we drivers are always being watched even though we may not see it. Make a difference.
coolest minature golf courses
by: amanda jakl
iniature golf, mini-golf, midget golf, goofy golf, crazy golf, adventure golf – whatever you call it, we call it awesome. Created 500 years after its full-size cousin, miniature golf has been offering us hours of fun and frustration since the first commercially produced course handed out putters in 1916 in Pinehurst, N.C. Sept. 21 is Miniature Golf Day, so we’ve compiled some notable courses across the country. Grab a neon-colored golf ball and hit the mini greens.
ing the winter months. Don’t forget to hit the ATM since Par-King is a cash-only business. The lowest possible score is 17, but with the lowest verified score being 33, there’s plenty of room for a new champion. www.par-king.com
Mayday Golf North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
If you like a little back story to your minigolf game, try the Mayday Mountain
course or the Rescue Falls course. Mayday Mountain sets up your 18-hole experience as a plane crash on a deserted island (a la an episode of “Lost”). While you await rescue, you explore the island using your putters. The course winds around the mountain, under the wings of the big yellow airplane and over waterfalls for a lush, misty experience. If you prefer to be stranded a while longer, there’s also the Rescue Falls 18-hole course next door. www.maydaygolf.com
Par-King Skill Golf Lincolnshire, Ill.
What started as George’s Gorgeous Golfing Gardens in the 1950s evolved into Par-King by the ’60s and has been thrilling minigolf enthusiasts ever since. Located just 30 minutes north of Chicago, Par-King miniature golf course boasts 36 custom-designed holes, which include a golf ball roller coaster, a hand-carved carousel and even a roulette wheel that will determine your score (or even a free game – chances are 1 in 32) for that hole. Fall hours are weekends only, 10:30 a.m. to dusk, weather permitting. The course closes in October for revamping and repainting of the wooden figures, and dur-
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Par-King Skill Golf has been called “the most original course in America” by the Travel Channel. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
Around the World in 18 Holes Lake George, N.Y.
Visit the Taj Mahal, the Arc de Triomphe and London Bridge without getting on an airplane when you visit Around the World in 18 Holes miniature golf course. Updated every year with new designs, the course was featured on the Travel Channel’s Top 10 Miniature Golf Courses in the World. If you’re not feeling worldly, try your hand at the Around the USA in 18 Holes course next door that features the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. Either course will test your putting skills with challenging holes at every turn. www.aroundtheworldgolf.com
Glowing Greens Portland, Ore. An ancient temple is just one of the challenging holes at the Perils of the Lost Jungle course in Virginia.
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Located in downtown Portland, under the Hilton Executive Tower, Glowing Greens is an indoor black-light, pi-
rate-themed miniature golf course. Shipwreck scenes, lush waterfall landscapes and skeletons greet you around every corner. Don’t forget to wear something bright, all the better to glow under the black lights. And if you’re extra adventurous, try the experience in 3-D; glasses are just $1.50 more. www.glowinggreens.com
Perils of the Lost Jungle Miniature Golf - Herndon, Va.
Fans of Indiana Jones will love this course. You will trek through the Lost Jungle and hope to make it out with your life as you face obstacle after obstacle. Indy won’t be able to help you through the challenging course, but the “world-famous hazard explorer” Sir Nigel Bogey will help you dodge an animatronic Tarzan, rum-drinking monkeys and water-spitting alligators. www.woodysgolf.com
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One Old Soldier Remembers By David Bayreuther
The sun warms my soul on this most perfect day, As I watch moms and dads and kids at play. Balls being thrown in the air, Little boys chasing little girls With locks of golden hair. The sweet smell of barbecue from a nearby fire, No more wants or needs could my heart desire. My mind drifts back to where my career began, Where death and destruction lay at every turn. But this was my job, not my concern. And I remember two frightened and shaken children In this foreign land, in a burned-out building. Holding a strangerâ€™s hand. Their faces black from the smoke of a bomb, Both without dad and without mom. I gave but a casual glance as I hurried past Little could I have known How long this memory could last. Have an inspiring story from the road? Maybe a poem or song? We want to share your creativity with our readers. Write down your thoughts and send it to us by mail or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Submissions must be original, unpublished and created by the sender or the sender must have permission to submit. All submissions become the property of Challenge Magazine and will not be returned. Submissions may be edited and may be published or otherwise reused in any medium.
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And I sometimes wonder, If they could be in a park somewhere With friends and food and laughter to share. The sun warms my soul on the most perfect day As I sit here and silently pray, Have I let God down?
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8 3 4 5 6 1 7 (c) Puzzles 5 8 2 by Pappocom 5 Solution, tips and computer program at www.sudoku.com. 5 8 7 HOW TO PLAY: The Japanese puzzle “Sudoku” tests reason2 solve the puzzle, fill in the grid above so every ing and logic. To 4 every column and every 1 93-block by 3-block box contains row, the digits 1 through 9. That 8 means that no number is repeated in any row, column or box. No math is needed. The grid has 2 6 8 4 3 7 numbers, but nothing has to equal anything else. Answers are 7published 9 5in the next issue of 2Challenge Magazine.
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MAY CROSSWORD SOLUTION
in this issue of Challenge Magazine. 54 Finishes 22 North American ACROSS 56 *PGA nation 1 Hormone of the 9 Plague 57 Complacent 24 Evening pancreas Elude 59 Cover 10 26 Atomic mass unit 51 *DUDLEY To keep glucose in check 11 Neuter singular pronoun 61 Nonsense 27 Jewish scholar 105 Owner U.S.ofinventor Virginia Blade 13 Seize U.S. inventor 17 Satisfactory 62 Jaguarundi 29 To exist 1210Make larger 12 Make larger 19 High-pitched 63 Toward 20 the top 32 Elevated land 1414Bristle Bristle Jeopardy Tavern 65 Prefix meaning Swipple 1515Tavern 22 North American 34 nation 16 Otherwise without 24 Evening 35 Female fowl 1617Otherwise Bovine beast 66 Shelter 26 Atomic mass unit37 17th letter of the 1718Bovine beast Nevertheless 27 Jewish scholar Viper 68 Therefore 1819Nevertheless Greek alphabet 29 To exist Diving bird 70 Hobby 1921 Viper 32 Elevated land 38 Former gold coin 23 Malt beverage 34 Swipple 74 Clog 2125Diving bird of France British nobleman 35 Female fowl Recedes 2328Malt beverage 76 Bird homes 40 Near to 37 17th letter of the Greek alphabet Wine 2530 British nobleman 78 Variety of Ruler in an 38 coffee Former gold coin42 of France 31 Ripe 2833Recedes 79 Stable attendant oligarchy 40 Near to Powdery residue 42 Ruler in an oligarchy Before 3036Wine 80 Drunkard 44 Exploit 44 Exploit 38 Gist 3139Ripe 46 Without hope 46 Without hope The ratio between circumference and diameter 3341Powdery residue 47 Lawsuits DOWN Plural of I 47 Lawsuits Wood sorrel 48 Accustom 3642Before 48 Accustom 2 Unclothed 43 Animal of the PBR 50 Black bird 3845Gist 50 Black bird 3 Retract Lean 51 Unintelligent 3947The 51 Unintelligent 4 Set on fire Loop ratio between 55 Damn 49circumference Monetary unit of Indiaand 55meDamn 5 Valleys 58 Possessive form of 52 Not off 60 Delude diameter 58 Possessive form 6 Former coin of 53 37th president of the U.S Move past 4154Plural of me Spain 64 Finishes of I 67 Formerly Simpson sorrel is a member of the ___7tour 4256Wood Female sheep 69 Tibetan gazelle 60 Delude Complacent 71 Pigpen 4357 64 Move past 8 Lair 59Male Cover of a bovine I Formerly 9 Plague 72 Objective case of67 61mammal Nonsense 73 Negative vote 62 Jaguarundi 45 Lean 69 Tibetan gazelle 10 Elude 75 Depart Toward the top 4763 71 Pigpen 11 Neuter singular 77 In the direction of 65Loop Prefix meaning without 4966Monetary unit of 72 Objective case of pronoun Shelter W O E F Y N 68India Therefore I G I B B S O DI AF 13 Seize U N C O E M O V I E 70 Hobby 5274Not off 73 Negative 17 Satisfactory H E L I U M E D I T Ovote R A L Clog A O N E75 R A E A T L 537637th president of Depart 19 High-pitched Bird homes N S K I N G A D W I D E 78the Variety of coffee U.S 77 In theDdirection of 20 Jeopardy H I R I G E L A C E E E N T R A P
O C A O N T R E A N I M A T U L L S A T D E V O I U E S O A R S M
O R A T E A S A D P I D O I N G O P E A A W E A L E B R C A E A L K A N B U
O R B N D S T P O Y O R T O A R A F T E E O E S A R O S I M P O
A G N O D E S T A R B E A E R D D
Answers will appear in next monthâ€™s issue and on www.ptcchallenge.com w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
j u n e 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 63
garmingallery Beauty Left Behind Jessa Potter
Highway to Heaven
Three Little Pigs Russ Burrell
Sunset In New Mexico
honorable mention Jack Rivera A Lilâ€™ Bit Of Snow â€“ Kristine Molmen
Tools of the Trade Larry Romero
Full Moon Rising Over the Badlands
Dean and Danita Rummel
These are the faces of Pilot Flying J who have excelled in customer service PTC 344
Yvonne Champion and Dorothy Brooks Smyrna, GA
A customer wrote in, “Two ladies, Yvonne and Dorothy, went above and beyond. I was lost. Yvonne got a map out and Dorothy helped me get my tractor unhooked. They were very professional. I really appreciate their help.” PTC 014
Joe Mayerhofer, Sara Miller, Kit Reitter Sunbury, OH
(left to right):
On March 18, a customer stopped at the Sunbury, Ohio, store. He said his car broke down, and asked if anyone at the store would be willing to take him to his 12-month cancer check-up. He wrote, “It was very important that I get there. It was very nice of them to take me.”
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James Buxton drive tri-axle locally for Clise Coal Company out of Lonaconing, Md. I often drive to Gaithersburg and Hagerstown in Maryland. I frequent Pilot and Flying J daily. I just recently learned of the Pilot MyRewards card but love it. I use mine to earn free coffee since my company pays for my fuel. Thanks for the opportunity.
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Published on Jun 1, 2013
Challenge Magazine is a monthly lifestyle publication for the open road traveler. Each month, the magazine offers diverse editorial content...