Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Return of "The World Wide Weapon!"

It's embarrassing to admit that I hardly skied or snowboarded the last couple of seasons. However, what is even more embarrassing is how poor my snow sport skills have become. In the past, I have snow boarded, downhill skied, telemark skied, cross country skied and skated (special cross country skis). I have invested a lot of money in the equipment to do all of this and because I tried to do all of it I never became really good at any particular snow sport. Because of wrestling, I have only skied a handful of times in the last decade, and only telemark skied once or twice in the last decade.

This past fall I went to the local ski swap and bought myself some new telemark skis for the upcoming season. Yesterday I skipped work and went to White Pass with my son-in-law Nick Jordan (who is an amazing snow boarder) and my nephew Peter Hibbard (who is a very good snow boarder). I arrived at our local resort, White Pass, fully expecting to be absolutely amazing on my new telemark skis. I felt so old and stiff that I literally needed help from Nick initially strapping on my new skis. Yeah, it was pretty embarrassing. Wow! Having not skied on telemark skis for a number of year now, I was shocked at how my thighs burned after only 2 runs. Needless to say, despite having some really nice telemark equipment, I mostly just paralleled skied. The lunges required for a telemark turn just wasn't going to happen.

For the last several runs, I decided to snow board instead of ski. Several years ago, I bought a world class snow board so remarkable that it came with a name--"The World Wide Weapon." I progressed so rapidly on this board that I demanded that my children refer to me as the "The World Wide Weapon." Now I am not going to comment on my actual boarding skills after such a long lay off, but if you happen to be skiing at White Pass this season and see some geriatric doing X Game like moves, please kindly address ME as "The World Wide Weapon." The bruises on my body prove that I've earned it!

Above is a picture of the triumphant return of the WWW on the WWW!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fortified with Insanity!

I have not been sick for almost a year now. My improved good health has nothing to do with flu shots, or radical changes in my workout routines. It is based upon nutrition and various supplements. During the Thanksgiving break several of my naysaying children happened to witness my morning routine of vitamin imbibition and used terms such as "extreme," "wasteful" and even "dangerous" to describe it. I call it "fortification." Now most of the loyal readers of Darrell's Yakimania know that one of my most famous mottos is "Anything worth doing, is worth Overdoing!"

I was talking with my oldest daughter Darcee recently and was she was complaining that everyone in her house was sick, except Keith fortunately. I think she marveled when I explained that because I am fortified I never get sick anymore. Her reply, "Dad, the only thing you're fortified with is insanity!" Of course, I took her remark as a rave accolade--I'm pretty sure that's how she meant it. Regardless, while the rest of my friends and family members are struggling with colds and flu symptoms this winter, I am going to continue to work out without hinder or interference from nasty little bugs. My secret fortification? Insanity!

Because many of my loyal readers are likely interested in what my morning fortification routine looks like, I have posted a picture of the supplements I am currently taking.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Little Confession

This past summer, before Nick went back to school, he had to borrow my truck for some reason. Allegedly, when he started up my rig a Justin Beiber song was blaring on my radio. Apparently, the last person who had driven my truck was blasting some serious Beiber Fever on my I-Pod, which was playing through my radio. At least, that's the allegation of one of my former, favorite sons-in-law. At first, I tried vehemently to deny that I had driven my truck last, but Nick wouldn't let it go. He meticulously established that I had, in fact, driven the truck last, AND that it was, in fact, I who had been listening to the Beibster at about 180 decibels, which is the sound level emitted by a military jet on take-off.

In the end, I had to finally admit that it was me that had last driven the truck AND that, indeed, it was me that had been rocking out to a Justin Beiber tune. This was extremely difficult given my tough guy image. I pretty much only listen to classic rock, jazz and Irish folk tunes. Well at least that's what I want people to believe. Now that my cover is blown, I'm just going to admit it on the vasty deep that is the world wide web, I have occasionally rocked out with the Beibster.

I don't know if it's the Beibster's Canadian roots, or the fact that he writes his own music, or the simple fact that he is an amazing musical talent. Whatever the reason, its true that I like a couple of his songs . It is untrue that I have a special Justin Beiber playlist on my I-Pod, entitled Beiber Fever (someone would have to get their hands on my I-Pod to prove this fact). Also, the reports circulating that I have some JB lyrics memorized is also grossly exaggerated. (Well, at least Nick will never be able to prove this little fact.) At any rate, suffice it to say, that I have listened to him occasionally.

When Lil' D left for school, she took with her the lifesize effigy of the Beibster that is shown in the picture above. Our family enjoyed having Justin hang out with us in the kitchen every day. Typically, the first face to greet me every morning for breakfast was Justin's. His face was also the first to greet me when I came through the door after a long day of work. Because of this, it was tough to see him leave for BYU. However, before anyone creeps out too much, please know that I also am really missing Lil' D.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Drive it like you Stole It, Baby!

I must apologize to my faithful worldwide readership about my 6 month hiatus from the blogosphere. However, in my defense, I have just completed an insanely busy summer. So, now that I am in Europe relaxing with Sheila, I have found some leisure time to get reacquainted with my laptop.

Now most of you know that my wife frequently refers to me as "Handsome Rob." "Handsome Rob" was the character played by Jason Statham in the movie The Italian Job. I believe this moniker applies to me on multiple levels. First, is my most excellent hair-cut, which is as tight, if not tighter than Esq. Statham's. Second, is my physique...Okay, so that's a slight exaggeration. Next, are my peerless driving skills. Some of you might remember Sr. Statham's role in theTransporter movies. Now everything about me that causes my wife to think "Handsome Rob" was brought to light this past week when we decided to rent a car and drive north to Scotland, Stratford on Avon, Warwick Castle, etc. The first turn out of the rental car agency was straight into oncoming traffic with me driving in the wrong lane. Things got a little crazy for few seconds because I struggled to find Reverse in my stylish Peugot 207. I finally got us turned around and things mostly went well, except for that time I went the wrong direction on a round-about. Oops! To say that this experience caused a wee bit of anxiety would be a gross understatement. Regardless of my lack of adequate driving skills, my total absence of Hollywood good looks, and my "Big Ab" that has replaced my erstwhile six pack, my wife seemed mildly impressed with my abilities to transport us safely the length and breadth of the UK. Well, at least she was appreciative that we were able to get from Point A to Point B and sundry other destinations. This week's UK Tour has included the following highlights:

1. Getting Chelsea set up in her London flat;
2. Touring The University of London;
3. Visiting the birthplace and home of Sheila's Grandpa Hague in Workington;
4. Attending Sacrament meeting in Glasgow;
5. Finding the grave of my great-great-great-great-great grandparents: Williams and Sarah Smart near Leicester;
6. Hanging out in Edinburgh (maybe the coolest city I've ever been to);
7. Re-enacting the Kate and William wedding at the Westminster Abbey;
8. Eating spicy Indian food;
9. Rocking out to Scottish Rock;
10. Visiting the Warwick Castle.

Tomorrow after we do the London Tower, we leave for Switzerland to hang out with Rocky and Sarah Smart. By the way, if the Swiss are crazy enough to rent me a car, I hope they don't realize that my motto while driving in Europe is "Drive it like you Stole it, Baby!"

"Handsome Rob" at the wheel probably driving down the wrong side of the road. Apparently, my jaunty English driving cap did not actually help me drive any better.

The Warwick Castle.
Windsor Castle.

Grave of William and Sarah Smart, my great-great-great-great grandparents.

Edinburgh Castle.

My introduction to the Queen Mum.

Sheila and Chelsea at the home where her Grandpa Hague was born in Workington.

Me challenging William Wallace.

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Cheese Steak Wit Wiz"

I gained 6 pounds last week at the NCAA wrestling tournament thanks to a daily diet of "Philly Cheese Steaks Wit Wiz." Most of the vast worldwide readership that is Darrell's Yakimania has seen the Seinfeld episode--The Soup Nazi. The Yakimania entourage at the NCAA wrestling tournament in Philly encountered one better--The Cheese Steak Fascist. Besides wrestling, our main goal was to find the city's most amazing Cheese Steaks. Mission accomplished! Several of the places we went to had long lines snaking around the block. If you weren't ready with your order and able to use the precise Philly jargon to place your order, you were sent to the back of the line. I was twice assigned to "Cheese Steak Purgatory" (ie, being ordered to the back of the line) for an inability to order succinctly with the right phraseology. I practiced and practiced, but when I was stared down by the Cheese Steak Fascist, I choked.

Regardless, it was a fabulous week of wresting and fun with some awesome friends. The top five events of this week were as follows:

1. Anthony Robles winning the National Title at 125lbs.;

2. Iowa being dethroned as Nationals Champions by Penn State;

3. Utah Valley's Ben Kjar making the semi-finals and becoming UVU first All-American;

4. Touring the Constitution House and the sites of downtown Philly;

5. Talking wrestling ad naseum with some amazing "has-been wrestlers" and friends!

By the way, for those who say Robles has an advantage because he is missing a leg and can put more weight into his upper body, my response is simple: "Are you on crack?!" If it were such an advantage to wrestle on one leg, wrestlers would be sawing off one of their legs to be more competitive. Robles has an advantage only because he made it an advantage. He is a remarkable athlete who developed technique unique to his abilities and learned to dominate. He was dominate at his weight class because he was the best athlete. I love this sport like I love life. The fact that it gives an opportunity to someone like Robles to showcase what an amazing athlete he is, makes me love it all the more.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Keith Darrell Burnett

As the vast worldwide readership that is Darrell's Yakimania, already knows, I am quite fond of my name--Darrell Keith Smart. One of the happiest days of my life occurred about 3 years ago when Darcee called to tell me that she was going to name one of her twins after me--Keith Darrell Burnett. To say I was thrilled is an understatement of epic proportions. In contrast, one of the worst days of my life was last Tuesday, the day Darcee called to tell me Keith had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Wednesday and Thursday were progressively worse, with seemingly more bleak news from each specialist with whom Darcee and Brent consulted. Thursday night, however, was a very special night, with a turn for the better. We rallied as a family (The Burnetts and the Smarts), had a special prayer and gave Priesthood blessings to Keith, Brent and Darcee. Collectively, we felt at peace. Whatever the outcome we felt that things were in God's Hands; we however, would continue to be hopeful and prayerful.

As a family, we were overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude over the outpouring and expressions of concern and love from family members, friends, and in some cases almost total strangers. Our Stake President, President Grow, called me earlier today (before the good news from the neurosurgeon) and asked, "How are you doing?" My response? "We feel blessed President. We have felt the love of so many that we are truly overwhelmed." During this period of time, each of us commented that we felt the unmistakable love of our Savior. Regardless of the outcome, we felt that He cared about us and heard our prayers.

As many of you know, our family has endured a number of tragic and premature deaths. We have desperately hoped for a miracle in this instance, and to be spared yet another tragedy. We know that not every prayer is answered how we might choose. Darcee was promised in her Patriarchal blessing that she would be blessed to raise very "choice spirits." Keith certainly qualifies as "choice" beyond measure and has fulfilled that prophecy. We still do not know all that we will have to endure in regards to Keith's cancer, but we feel as though our immediate prayers have been answered. After reviewing the post-surgical MRI, the neurosurgeons reported a much more optimistic assessment of Keith's surgery. For more details please see Darcee's post on the

We truly appreciated the fasting and prayers offered on behalf of Keith and our family. The words "Thank You" seem entirely inadequate to describe our profound gratitude for your thoughts, prayers and words of concern and encouragement. Regardless, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We have truly been blessed just to be surrounded by amazing people who have shared our burden and helped lift our load. So again, Thank You!

We know that Keith has a long way to go. He is far from "out of the woods." We, however, are encouraged and hopeful. We feel at peace with whatever happens. As long as there is hope, we will continue to exercise every particle of faith that we can muster and leave the rest in God's Hands.

Friday, January 28, 2011

50th Birthday Wrestling Video

Several years ago on my 50th birthday Shea and I wrestled and both took second place in the Prosser Freestyle tournament. I can't find the finals video, which is too bad because I got choked out twice and lost. The last time I woke up and thought I was in the hospital. I couldn't figure out where I was until someone told me it was my birthday. My response? "Well if it's my birthday, I'm supposed to be where am I?" Some young kid: "Dude, it's your birthday! You're on wrestling mat!" Me: "Really? I thought I was in a hospital."

The sad thing is that I had beat that wrestler the last 4 times I had wrestled him. Oh well. It was a pretty cool 50th birthday party regardless. I was planning on wrestling until my 55th birthday, but after seeing me on video and how ponderous I have become, I'm tempted to quit--Today!