Lindsay learns lifeboarding lessons, including safety is not second.
Lindsay learns lifeboarding lessons, including safety is not second.

Zen and the art of longboarding

Always listen to your mother.

And to your husband. And friends. And especially to your "gut." Really, just listen to anyone who knows you well enough to know better - more on this in a bit.

After I learned to surf in Maui two years ago, I’ve been obsessed with the feeling I caught riding those waves. The athleticism. The freedom. The relaxation I felt combined with an endorphin releasing excitement that I have since to match. I have craved a piece of that lifestyle that merges sport with ocean.

But, I don’t live near any body of water that has waves worthy of more than a leisurely canoe outing. I do have Apple TV though. And while streaming ABC News I overheard the term "landsurfing." That was all it took.

I was instantly glued to a piece on KOTA Longboards, a Colorado-based company owned by a former US Navy Pilot that manufactures longboards right here in the USA.

KOTA stands for Knights of the Air, paying homage to military aviators and honoring the veteran hiring practices that are part of the company.

What exactly is a longboard? Well, it sure looks like a skateboard. But, it’s longer and wider with larger wheels. The sport originated in Hawaii and was called "sidewalk surfing," by the surfers who created it as a way for them to cross train in the off- season and on crappy wave days.

If a connection between Wisconsin and longboarding seems impossible, think again. Every KOTA longboard is born from Wisconsin wood. According to their website, "Only the best Hard Rock Maple becomes a KOTA longboard. We specify American Hard Rock Maple from Wisconsin for its strength, durability and beauty. Each veneer is individually inspected. If it makes the grade it becomes a KOTA deck."

As innovators of the longboard, KOTA’s boards have a distinct, hand-painted, vintage look. A very unique yet, functional aesthetic feature of KOTA longboards is the glossy finish on each deck. That’s their signature KOTAgrip – which they developed to provide grip to rubber-soled sh…

Read more...
So good ... and so bad.
So good ... and so bad.

"The Soberhead Challenge"

For the eighth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Locavore, the newest restaurant at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2014."

"You can’t just go back to doing what you used to after you finish The Soberhead Challenge," my know-it-all husband barked at me with a proverbial finger-wagging that made me feel about three years old.

"Excuse me?" I said with more attitude than a drag queen who just had her favorite wig snatched away – forever.

"You just can’t use it the same way, the same amount," he clarified.

My eyes narrowed with a glance that communicated the way my stomach had just dropped with this newfound insight, while my lips curled into a slightly satisfied smile.

"Say that again," I prodded.

My husband stopped any further words from flowing. I saw the gears in his mind click into place. Consciousness of the gravity of his words weighed on his expression.

"Oh my God. It sounds like you are an addict," he uttered, color dropping from his cheeks as he continued to realize the enormity of his statement.

"I told you," I shared with true pride, not in any way with narcissism, smugness or arrogance. "This challenge was the perfect parallel to understanding what drug and alcohol addiction are like for those affected with it."

The conversation above actually took place as I fantasized about this very moment. This very moment I am having as I sit at my computer and relay this story to you, the moment of having my first cup of coffee since Sept. 3, 2014.

That dialog was spurred as we drove by my favorite coffee shop (that serves java with atomic levels of caffeine) and I declared that I was going to put them out of business with my "off the wagon" consumption. Scary thought, especially considering the parallels to addiction and recovery I had been experiencin…

Read more...