It was a crisp, beautiful morning in Rochester, New York. My cousins and I were wide eyed and bushy tailed. Before making the two hour trek to the Adirondacks, we went riding at a local bike park. We unloaded our bikes, and I headed for the trails. I was in my zone. I felt unstoppable…for about 15 minutes. I always start out too hard, but soon I found my groove. It was one of those normal rides where nothing really happens. All I remember was washing out on a slick corner and being ticked off the rest of the ride because I didn’t have my GoPro on.

As I came out of the woods an hour later, I saw my little cousins shredding the slalom run. I decided to hit it myself. The slalom was sandy, and I almost slid out on all of the berms. Going towards the bottom and seeing the jump in sight, I thought to myself, “Let’s air it out big time.”

Well I did. But it got a little sketchy. My right foot unclipped in mid-air, and somehow, I clipped back in before I landed. My little cousin Elias said, “You meant to do that, right? Because it looked pretty awesome.” I laughed to myself and said,”Yeah, I sure did. On the ride home, we were all stoked and ready to go to the Adirondacks.

We got to my grandmas house, and I was told that I couldn’t take my bike. I wasn’t happy but thought it might be nice to take a break from bikes and do some other stuff like hiking and kayaking. I immediately regretted my decision when we got to the campsite and I saw a sign that said Chair Lift.

Once we got settled, we went for a short hike. We encountered some great vistas and walked through what could have passed for an enchanted forest. But after one of the steepest climbs, it became less enchanting when, despite the bug spray we’d all slathered on, each of us were eaten alive. I started thinking to myself, “I need a bike so I can get out of this place faster.” An hour later, I came across a sign that told us the exit was 3 miles away.

“So much for a few miles,” my mom said.

My cousin, Brooks, and I went ahead and after about 40 minutes we came across a road that took us back to our cabin. My Aunt Jan made a hot dog dinner. I’m not a fan of hot dogs, but that night I had four and immediately passed out.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.21.44 PMThe next day, we  set out on an awesome kayaking adventure. Being on the water that early in the morning was incredibly peaceful, and swimming in the lake afterwards wasn’t bad either. After doing too many front flips off the diving board, my cousins and I went up to the game room to play ping-pong, which quickly turned into ping-pong dodge ball. Let’s just say we had red marks all over our bodies after that. Once we got back to our cabin, we were toast. So I took one of my signature 2 hour naps.

When I woke up, my grandma and I decided to embark on a canoe ride. Her plan was to put me up front while she steered from the back. Halfway through, I thought to myself, “I‘m so out of shape. I don’t remember canoeing being this hard.” Then I looked back to see my grandma laying back and relaxing.

I thought she was sleeping, so I yelled, “Grandma, It’s a lot easier when you contribute!” She told me to keep on rowing, and she would help when she felt up to it. When we got back to the dock I was spent. My grandma said, “Great job Eli. You take after your parents.” Both my parents were rowers at Purdue University. We went back to our cabin, ate a great dinner with some new friends, and drifted off to sleep.