Local Lowdown: Flip Your Disk at Cachuma Lake

Cachuma Lake disk golf is fun for all ages. Photo courtesy County of Santa Barbara.

Cachuma Lake disk golf is fun for all ages. Photo courtesy County of Santa Barbara.

Add flipping frisbees to the long list of fun recreational activities of­fered at Cachuma Lake, which now has an 18-hole championship level disc golf course! The 2.25-mile course is designed to challenge both newbies and experts, with multiple basket positions available to make the course different each time you play.

This rapidly growing sport—disc golf is the 4th fastest-growing sport in United States, behind MMA, Roller Derby and Parkour, according to parkeddiscgolf.org—has rules that are similar to golf, with a set course and baskets set up as targets. Players seek to complete the course—which begins and ends in front of Cachuma Store—in the lowest number of total throws.

Play is free with a $10 parking fee. Cachuma Lake is located off scenic Hwy. 154 in Santa Barbara County.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit countyofsb.org/parks/cachuma.sbc.

Leslie Dinaberg

This story was originally published in the spring 2018 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

It’s Football Season at the Garden

Courtesy The Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Courtesy The Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Sunday Funday is now happening every week at The Garden inside the Santa Barbara Public Market. With NFL Sunday Ticket and wide coverage of NCAA Football, you’ll never miss a game. Plus, the Garden is now serving up breakfast on weekends starting at 9 a.m. in this fun, family-friendly new venue.

Plant yourself in The Garden and enjoy Fried Chicken & Waffles, Chilaquiles, Monster Breakfast Burritos and lighter fare including egg white omelettes and housemade granola served with yogurt and locally grown fruit. Breakfast drink specials also include fresh mimosas and micheladas.

Courtesy the Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Courtesy the Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Located inside the Santa Barbara Public Market, The Garden offers guests the ability to view all the games while enjoying food and 41 craft beers and eight wines on the always rotating on-tap menu.

The Garden is located at 38 W. Victoria St. (at Chapala) with free underground parking. For more information, visit sbpublicmarket.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Fried Chicken and Waffles from the Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Fried Chicken and Waffles from the Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Mary’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich topped with jalapeno slaw & house pickles on a sesame bun from the Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Mary’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich topped with jalapeno slaw & house pickles on a sesame bun from the Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Courtesy the Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Courtesy the Garden at Santa Barbara Public Market.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 6, 2016.

iSurf 3rd Annual Block Party

Early bird tickets are available now and include food from Full of Life Flatbread, ice cream from McConnell’s, music from Green Flag Summer, a silent auction, live auction, wine, beer and lots of good times!

Alelia Parenteau, director of the program, explains, “The Watergirl Program launched two years ago with the intention of introducing the wonders of surfing to girls who would not normally have access to the sport. We continue to work closely with Girls Inc Santa Barbara and inspire girls to try something new and exciting. The program continues to FAR exceeded our expectations two years in and so many girls are getting to experience the stoke of surfing. Last year we raised almost $20,000, which allowed us to close to 500 total lessons, completely free of charge. The girls who participated would not have been able to attend without the valuable support of the community and the confidence, camaraderie and community they gained from the experience is unparalleled. Additionally, the Surf Like a Girl Foundation is a 1% For the Planet Non-Profit Member—committed to doing good for the planet as well as young surfers.”

The event takes place from 5-9 p.m. on Sept. 3 at Casa De La Guerra – 15 E. De La Guerra St.  Check out the the Foundation’s website to learn more about the program: www.SurfLikeaGirl.org

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on August 26, 2016.

SBIFF CLOSES WITH THE US PREMIERE OF NIKI CARO’S “MCFARLAND, USA”

McFARLAND USA stars Carlos Pratts (left) and Kevin Costner, courtesy SBIFF

McFARLAND USA stars Carlos Pratts (left) and Kevin Costner, courtesy SBIFF

On Closing Night, Saturday February 7 at the Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) presents Disney’s McFarland, USA, directed by Niki Caro and starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello.

Based on the 1987 true story, McFarland, USA follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.

For more information, please visit www.sbiff.org.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 1, 2015.

iSurf Block Party Launches Watergirl Initiative

Courtesy iSurf

Courtesy iSurf

Santa Barbara’s women’s surf program, iSurf School, has launched a new Watergirl Fund to help introduce girls to the joys of surfing. The fund is a scholarship program that will provide needs-based scholarships for surf instruction and will introduce the wonders of surfing to girls, ages 5-15, who would don’t have access to the sport.  The fund will also provide 100% scholarship and sponsorship funded surf programing to Girls, Inc. throughout the year, according to a statement from Alelia Parenteau, the owner of iSurf School.

The Fund will officially launch on Aug. 17 at the  iSurf Block Party, produced by WA Event Management & Consulting and hosted by The Valley Project (AVA Santa Barbara) and Pali Wine Co. The festivities include a silent auction, raffle, music, pig roast, ice cream stand and beer and wine.

Parenteau says “The goal is to raise $15,000 to provide needs-based scholarships up to 30 girls to attend a quarter of after school program. The girls selected would not have been able to attend without the invaluable support of the community.”

“Everyone has their own unique way of surfing,” says Gabi Turnbull, age 9 and an alum of the iSurf After School Program, “some surf schools teach the “one” way to surf but at iSurf you’re encouraged to develop your own style and explore your interests. Plus, I feel like a part of something bigger – a connection with the environment and the global surf community. My life IS surfing now, that’s how much I love it.”

iSurf has already partnered with prominent businesses in the Santa Barbara community to make this event a success.  Donors include Lole Atelier, SeaVees, Horny Toad, The Valley Project, Pali Wine Co, the Canary Hotel, and many more (for a complete list please see the Watergirl Fund webpage).

“We are completely humbled by the support of the community to make this event a major success,” says Parenteau, “it’s amazing to see how many people think this cause is important and see the value of this program and of surfing in general to the young girls in our community.”

The event will be held on Sunday, August 17 from 5–9 p.m. at the Valley Project and Pali Wine Co, 116 E. Yanonali St. in the Funk Zone. For more information click here.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on August 10, 2014.

Todd Rogers + Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore = An Exclusive Extraordinary Experience

Olympic Gold Medalist Todd Rogers, courtesy Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Olympic Gold Medalist Todd Rogers, courtesy Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Olympic Gold Medalist Todd Rogers, courtesy Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Olympic Gold Medalist Todd Rogers, courtesy Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Looking for the summer adventure of a lifetime (or the perfect gift for the man or woman who has everything)?  Four Seasons has a new collection of exclusive Extraordinary Experiences, one of which takes place right here in our own backyard.

Looking to improve your sky ball and finally master that serve? How about a beach volleyball workshop with USA Olympic gold medalist Todd Rogers as your personal coach? Spend a day on the sand sharpening your beach volleyball skills with the two time Olympian, gold medalist and Santa Barbara native as your personal coach. You’ll meet at East Beach, where Rogers will share the tips he’s picked up in 19 years as a professional player. If you ask nicely, he may even let you touch his gold medals!

Then, when you’re ready to show off your new skills, join Rogers for a friendly match. When the sand settles, sit back and enjoy a delicious beach picnic catered by Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara, while you recap the morning’s highlights and hear about Roger’s journey to becoming one of the most decorated male American players.

This experience can be tailored to any age, skill level, and interest to include lesson, match play, or advanced training for already skilled players. In addition, to enhance the experience for single players and families, Rogers can also arrange for additional players to participate, whether training partners or his own family (all volleyball players in their own rights).

For reservations call 805/565-8291. The experience may be booked through the resort concierge.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on July 21, 2014.

Amgen Tour of California Blazes Through Santa Barbara

Jersey Winners, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Jersey Winners.

The excitement buzzed down Cabrillo Boulevard this week when BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney (Boulder, CO) whizzed to a solo victory 12 seconds ahead of the peloton to capture his first Amgen Tour of California stage win in a 107.4-mile ride from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara.

Phinney is one of the biggest cyclists in this year’s Amgen Tour, at 6′ 5″ and 185 pounds. He says he used his weight on the descent off San Marcos Pass, about 15 miles from the finish. “If you’re heavy and have speed, you can go faster than everybody else,” says Phinney.  “I was able to tuck and pull away and accelerate up to speed and then tuck and keep pulling away.”

This was Phinney’s seventh career stage win, though only the second in a road race. Phinney’s impressive victory also earned him the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey.

“Sometimes you just have a voice inside you that says go. It just got more and more painful as I went on but I knew that if I made it, it would be worth it, and it definitely, definitely was. It’s the best way to win, to win like that,” says Phinney.

Mike Moxness spoke about his battle to fight cancer, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Mike Moxness spoke about his battle to fight cancer, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

As part of Amgen’s effort to honor and celebrate cancer survivors and to raise awareness about its Breakaway from Cancer initiative, the Santa Barbara finish featured a Breakaway Mile, a special walk along the race course that crosses the race finish line to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide. Santa Barbara cancer survivor Jack Bianchi was recognized as the local Breakaway from Cancer Champion. He has been in remission 22 years and, in that time, has helped raise more than $1.5 million for cancer programs in the Santa Barbara area. Bianchi dedicates his time to organizing events to raise money for the Santa Barbara Cancer Center and other cancer organizations.

He was joined by approximately 150 community members impacted by cancer and cancer survivor Mike Moxness, scientific director at Amgen, who plays a crucial role in developing innovative medicines to treat cancer and other serious illnesses.

Here’s a summary of the Stage 5 Jersey Winners

Amgen Leader Jersey – Bradley Wiggins (GBR), Team Sky (GBR); Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Will Routley (CAN); Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)

Taylor Phinney takes in his victory, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Taylor Phinney takes in his victory, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

Visit California Sprint Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK),Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA

Crunchies Best Young Rider Jersey – Lawson Craddock (USA), Team Giant-Shimano (NED)

Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Taylor Phinney (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA)

Stage 5 Men – Top 3

·         FIRST— Taylor Phinney (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA)

·         SECOND – Peter Sagan (SVK),Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA)

·         THIRD – Matthew Goss (AUS), ORICA-GreenEDGE (AUS)

—Leslie Dinaberg
Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on May 18, 2014.

Amgen Tour of California—Editor’s Pick for Spring

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images, courtesy Visit Santa Barbara

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images, courtesy Visit Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara once again hosts the Stage 5 finish of the Amgen Tour of California, a challenging route that the world’s top cyclists travel for more than 700 miles during America’s premier professional cycling race. Riders start the day in Pismo Beach before ending in Santa Barbara, which hosts the race for the second consecutive year and the 5th time in the race’s nine years. “This annual event showcases amazing athleticism and philanthropic generosity,” says Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider. “I’m so pleased that the City of Santa Barbara is able to host such a worthwhile and fun event and look forward to seeing the finish firsthand.” May 15. AmgenTourofCalifornia.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in the Spring 2014 issue of Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine.

Generation BMX

Young racers test their mettle with their pedals

Faster, higher and often younger than you might imagine, BMX racers are tearing up the dirt at Elings Park every Friday night.

Elings Park BMX (courtesy photo)

Elings Park BMX (courtesy photo)

The sport, which first became popular in the 1970s, is one of the fastest-growing competitions in the country, partially due to the popularity of the X Games and BMX-inspired DVDs, video and computer games. BMX (bicycle motocross) is scheduled to become an Olympic sport in 2008 and, according to Dale Bowers, track director of Santa Barbara BMX, there are three or four local bikers who “could be peaking” at that time.

Several local BMX racers will be competing in the National Bicycle League NBL Grands in Louisville, Ky., this weekend, including Logan Beebe, Chris Burke, Austin Davis, Michael Davis, Austin Hamilton, Jarrett Kolich Kolich, Amber Melgoza, Brianna Wiley and Jason Wiley.

While the level of expertise in Santa Barbara is high, Bowers emphasized that there’s a BMX skill level race for everyone, including beginners — and grownups. If you can ride a bike, you can BMX, which means there are some pretty impressive 5- and 6-year-olds out there.

Racers work their way up, depending on their age and how good they are, said Scott Berry, a 13-year-old La Colina Junior High student.

“I saw commercials on TV and really wanted to try it … we came up on a Friday night and just watched,” he said. “I just liked what I saw and wanted to try it.”

Bowers recommended that interested families follow Scott’s lead: just come to the track and check it out. “It doesn’t cost anything to come in and watch. Not much you can do for free on a Friday night, and its exciting entertainment.”

For participants, too, BMX is very affordable, said Scott’s mother, Debbie Carder.

It costs $45 per year to join the NBL, with a 30-day trial membership available for $30 (which is credited toward the full membership). Races, which take place most Fridays beginning at 6 p.m., are $8, and practices, at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, are $5.

“They’re so helpful, too,” emphasized Carder. “Even the older kids … they take the time to help the little ones. They go out of their way. They’re not snotty. They just take them under their wing … without being asked. It’s kind of like a family in a way.”

Originally published in South Coast Beacon

Olympic Gold Medalist Todd Rogers: Hometown Hero Hopes To Bring Home Another Gold From London

By Leslie Dinaberg

Leslie Dinaberg: The 2012 Summer Olympics in London will be your second Olympics. How is it different preparing this time around?

Olympian Todd Rogers, photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Todd Rogers: I wouldn’t say it feels different.  … As far my training and that kind of thing go, its business as usual. There’s no real reason for us to change anything dramatically. The only thing that I try and always keep in mind is that I’m getting older, so just being intelligent about stretching and icing and just taking care of my body because I’m not as durable as I was four years ago.

LD: What percentage of your training is running and lifting versus actually playing volleyball?

TR: The majority these days is probably more running and lifting. I start lifting in November and from mid-October I’ll be doing some kind of running or some kind of exercise that has a cardio component. We (Rogers and partner Phil Dalhausser) really don’t start hitting the ball around until late January early February, there’s just not much reason to do so at a really early stage. The season gets started in April but for us the Olympics are not until August.

 

I hear of people hitting the ball around in November and I go, “Are you crazy?” But to each his or her own, I guess. I’m kind of a burnout athlete, I’ve discovered that about myself. I just can’t do that much, otherwise I will be sick of the sport.

LD: But you still travel and compete in other places before you go to London.

(Editor’s note: since this interview in April, Rogers/Dalhausser won their third straight gold at the 2012 Brasilia Open and retained their Shanghai Grand Slam title. They are currently competing in Beijing. For a complete tournament schedule click here.)

When you are doing all of that traveling, how much of those places are you getting to see? Are you getting to play tourist at all?

Olympian Todd Rogers, photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

TR: At some of them we have. A lot of them are re-stops, so for example I’ve been to  Klagenfurt, Austria, which is probably the best tournament in the world, probably ten times. I’ve done well most of the time but not all the time, and when I haven’t done well I’ve gone out and checked out the city. It’s on a lake so I’ve gone on boats and whatnot… When we were in Berlin I made it a point to just kind of check out the surrounding area. There have been a few stops where I stay a couple of days extra just because it’s a really cool place. Like in Prague, there are some just really neat areas in Prague that are really old and I make a point of making sure that I get to those and check them out and try to find something new in those areas.

LD: I know you grew up in Santa Barbara and went to San Marcos High School and UCSB. Growing up near the beach is so unique. When you are playing volleyball internationally is it different playing on an actual beach versus some place where they bring sand in?

TR: I would say yes, absolutely. On an actual beach, if you know the beach, you have a consistent wind. The sand tends, not always, but tends to be deeper. When they bring in the man made court they are looking at trying to save money and it costs money to bring sand so they are going to put really the minimal amount of sand they can put in to save costs … it’s much more of a jumper’s sand.

There’s definitely a difference and especially if you’re in a city between buildings. The winds are really weird. It could be going one way and then ten minutes later it could be going the other way because just the way it goes through the buildings can change dramatically really quickly. Whereas on the beach, if you’re at East Beach, most of the time the wind in the afternoon blows out of the northwest. I know that.

LD: When did you start playing beach volleyball?

TR: When I was at San Marcos High School. John Lee was the coach there for the volleyball team; he’s also an English teacher.  He encouraged all of us freshman boys, actually pretty much all of his volleyball protégées to just go down to East Beach and play. He said, “You’ll become a much better indoor player if you go and play on the beach.”

It’s a lot of fun. We were all 14-year-old boys. You’ve got lots of girls in bikinis down there, you’ve got your shirt off, you’re running around in your shorts—it was a pretty easy sell for us! 

So a bunch of us just started going down there after my freshman year and I was 14-years-old and I fell in love with it right away. And I haven’t stopped playing. I didn’t stop playing when I was in college and just kept going with it.

LD: I know you have a son and a daughter (Nate, age 11 and Hannah, age 13). Are they volleyball players?

TR: My daughter loves it; she actually particularly loves beach volleyball. My son enjoys playing beach volleyball but he’s not super into it. We have a court in our backyard (Rogers and his wife Melissa live in Solvang) so we actually play a fair amount of family volleyball. It used to be kind of even, but my daughter at 13 has gotten a lot better in the last year. My son at almost 11 has not. So it’s kind of getting to an unfair level, but he’ll still play. It’s a fun family activity.

LD: You must have other people come and use your court.

TR:We always have people over and I usually have one or two foreign teams that are friends of ours that

Olympian Todd Rogers, photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

play on the international tour and they come to California to train and we’ll come up here. We’ll have a little barbecue after and just kind of hang out, have a few beers, that kind of thing.

We have some friends in town that kind of hang out, their kids come over and play with our kids there or we’ll set up a few trainings with some of the kids and there’s a couple of adults that like to come over and hack it, have a good time. Usually it involves a couple of beers, though. (Laughs)

LD: I know you and Phil have already qualified for the Olympics, but assuming other Americans qualify, then you also could conceivably be competing against those people. What’s that like?

TR: It is a little different because it’s really funky the way they do it. There’s a four year window, say after the Olympics, you have your following next two years when you’re just playing on the international tour and that’s how you qualify and everyone is kind of cheering for each other. I’m always cheering for other Americans of course, unless I’m playing.

Then all of a sudden January 1, 2011 comes along and now, as happens every four years, all of a sudden you are competing against those people just to make the Olympics. So you still want them to win because they are your friends, but at the same time you want to make sure that you are doing a lot better.

Phil and have been very fortunate in that we have done well right away where we have kind of separated ourselves from our competitors …They are fighting it out amongst each other and we just are watching it. We’re pretty much already in. … now the other two teams that are fighting for the spot they’re super close and they can’t catch us so it’s like we can just sit back and just enjoy it. I’ll cheer for them, unless we’re playing against each other.

In the Olympics it’s the same kind of thing. It’s like I want to see them do well, so I’m cheering for them, but at the same time I want to ultimately win the gold medal over them if that’s what it comes down to.

LD: At this point in your career, what percentage of your skill is physical versus mental?

TR: At this point it’s almost all just a mental game for me. Keeping my body healthy, no doubt, that’s the number one thing on the physical side of things and then the rest of it is just I know what I’ve got to do, I know what I need to accomplish and most of that’s just mental. In fact Coach Lee always used to tell me and other players that the game of volleyball is 90% mental and 10% physical. That might be an extreme but it’s pretty darn close. It’s definitely more of a mental game than a physical game.

As I’ve aged and as I’ve seen my kids play and I’ve coached at UCSB and whatnot and I’ve come to realize that he’s absolutely correct. There are kids that are just jumping out of the gym and are amazing athletes and yet they’re just not very good because in the mental part they just break down they make a lot of foolish errors that are really mental errors and not physical errors. They are jumping eight inches higher than the other kids but the other kids are consistent, play smart, using their eyes and their brain and thinking okay I need to do this rather than this, whereas a lot of those exceptional athletes will just use their athleticism and at some point in their careers they are going to meet someone who’s relatively close or maybe even better than them that can’t get past that because they haven’t really developed their mental game.

So I’m fortunate in that I was able to develop that mental game and have decent physical skills, not as great as a lot of other people’s but definitely the mental side of things is so important. I am fortunate that I have that.

LD: Has volleyball always been your favorite sport?

TR: No, not really. It was actually soccer. I played soccer since I was four or five years old. I always thought that was my sport and I loved it. Even into high school when I started playing volleyball and beach volleyball, soccer was always my sport, my first love.

Coach Lee was always like, “man you’ve got to play club volleyball.” And I was always like, “No man, soccer is my sport, I’m not going to stop playing soccer.”

Then my senior year I was trying to get scholarships to play soccer and it wasn’t really happening, I could have walked on a couple of places. But some volleyball teams were recruiting me and so I ended up playing at UCSB on the volleyball team. I still went out for the soccer team and made the soccer team my freshman year but after that season I had to recognize that I’m better at volleyball than I am at soccer. And at a collegiate level, soccer is just, these guys are so fast and so quick it’s like they could run forever. I’m reasonably fast and reasonably quick but they just seem like a different type of athlete than me. In high school and below and in volleyball I was right there, one of the better players pretty much all of the time. I just realized that my upside in volleyball was much greater than it was in soccer.

LD: That’s really interesting. To me volleyball and soccer seem like such different sports.

TR: They are, but there is actually a fair amount of crossover. Like for me, trying to stay with a smaller quicker, faster guy, I had to use perfect footwork and everything had to be on balance and all that kind of stuff. I found that actually correlated really well over to particularly playing defense on the beach. Having good balance, recognizing what’s going on, what’s going to happen and being able to anticipate, which was what I had to do in soccer just to essentially stay alive. It became a trick for me on the beach court.

LD: I’ve heard the announcers call you “the professor” before, and I’m getting a little of that from our conversation. What’s that about?

TR: A lot of people said I kind of have a mental black book on everyone, as far what their tendencies are, so one of the announcers, Chris “Geeter” McGee, about ten years ago, he started calling me the professor. I like it. It actually kind of suits. I always looked at the way I play as more of a cerebral game and whenever I’m out there I want to make it into more of a cat and mouse kind of game, because that’s where my strengths lie. I’m not the biggest jumper; I’m not the biggest guy; I’m not the quickest guy. I’m reasonable on all of those areas but I knew that I would be stronger on the cerebral side of things, so it kind of fits me as a person aside from just a nickname.

LD: If you weren’t a professional athlete, what would you be doing?

TR: There’s a good shot that I would be coaching. I really enjoy coaching. I started coaching basically right out of high school, coaching junior high teams, club teams, even some high school ball. I’ve actually continued to kind of coach through my children a little bit on the volleyball but a lot on the AYSO soccer stuff and I’ve enjoyed it.

I do think that kids and people in general have changed a lot and I’ve noticed that as I’ve coached more and more it’s changed in a way that’s a lot harder to coach now. So I’m not as gung ho on it, but I could have seen myself 20 years ago being pretty focused on coaching. Other than that it’s hard to say.

… I’ve gotten into some business stuff and have kind of started to enjoy that as well, and that’s something that I’m going to be seriously looking at and trying to get my hand into some different cookie jars, if you will, so that when I retire, which is right around the corner in the next couple of years or so, I’ve got some active things going that will provide me with income and hopefully that I will enjoy.

LD: So you’re thinking about retirement a little bit?

TR: Yeah, I’m 38 and I turn 39 on September 30, so it’s just the reality of the situation. I’ve really never wanted to play much into my 40s. All of these guys … that have played into their 40s, it seems like their bodies kind of started to break down. They were all still having a lot of fun with it, which obviously in my opinion would be the number one thing, but again, I don’t want to have my body be completely breaking down. It’s hard enough to do a workout and being sore.

Essentially from January to June I feel like I’m sore all of the time because I’m working out hard and I’m playing in tournaments and my body just hurts and I’ve got to get deep tissue and ice and all that stuff. It didn’t seem like it used to be that way.

LD: Do you worry more about injuries more than you used to?

TR: Honestly, I’ve never worried about injuries per se, it’s more taking care of the little things like stretching, icing, getting those deep tissue massages, even soaking in the cold ocean after a long workout, getting up to my weight and soaking my legs. Those kinds of things I’m more cognizant of now, and I do a lot more of. … People will say, “How can you go snowboarding? that could ruin your career.”  But you know what, you could step off a sidewalk and get something wrong and your leg locks out and you blow your ACL. I’ve seen it happen before. I just think I’m going to live my life not worried about those kinds of things. I’m not going to do anything extraordinarily stupid, but I’m still going to surf, I’m still going to do the things I enjoy and if I get hurt doing those things then I’m just not going to concern myself with it.

LD: Will your family go with you to London?

TR: That’s the plan … I did not take the kids to Beijing because it was just not very conducive for children. … My wife did come over for the last week so she was there when we won the gold medal and that was very cool. But I figure In London they speak English, there’s a ton of things that are really relevant to our history as Americans having basically a lot of people that started our country coming from Great Britain and London in particular. And there are just so many cool sights to see there.

LD: We’ll all be rooting for you from Santa Barbara. Good luck.

TR: Thanks.

Both men’s and women’s Olympic Beach Volleyball competition starts play in London on July 28. Click here for the complete schedule and more information as items as added.  

Look for Leslie Dinaberg’s interview with another Santa Barbara Olympian, water polo player Kami Craig, in the summer issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, out June 1.

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on May 18, 2012.