Tag Archives: #faith

Going Over The Edge For Special Olympics Iowa

Once again this year my cluster of radio stations supported Special Olympics Iowa’s Over The Edge fundraiser!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ve probably seen the post about my experience last year.  If not, you’ll find it here.  I’d suggest reading that first to an idea of what happens at the event.

Going Over The Edge For Special Olympics Iowa

Last year I went all out to document the adventure of rappelling 345 feet off the Financial Center in downtown Des Moines.

I borrowed a GoPro camera for video footage.  I took a lot of my own pictures (both before and after) and had family and friends on the ground taking pictures too.

I was happy to have the video and pictures… but this year I wanted to go low key.  I didn’t want to get caught up taking pictures or worrying if my family would get there in time.  I just wanted to soak in the experience.

And what an experience it was! The view from on top of the Financial Center is amazing.  You can see for miles and miles. It’s really cool seeing a bird’s eye view of downtown.

It was windy up there too.  One of the crew had a handheld anemometer to gauge windspeed. It showed gusts as high as 34 miles per hour.  There was one gust that came after testing that he guessed to be at least 40 mph. (I can’t even imagine what it would be like to feel hurricane winds.)

The wind made me a little nervous but the onsite supervisor assured our group that it wouldn’t be a problem.  The wind was out of the South and we were going down on the North side of the building.

He was right.  Once I was actually “over the edge” the wind wasn’t really that noticeable.  There were a few times past the halfway point that I felt some wind and it had me twisting sideways.  I followed the instructions we got at the top and righted myself.

Hearing cheers from the crowd at the bottom motivated me to keep going.  Getting a thumbs up from the check-in workers on the 13th floor was fun.  I also got a few weird looks from people who were trying to do work inside the building I was rappelling off of.

Reaching the bottom was one of my favorite parts for two reasons. It meant I successfully made it.  The other reason… being greeted by two Special Olympics Iowa athletes.  They gave me some flowers and we had our picture taken.

Tony Conrad Over The Edge For Special Olympics

Seeing their smiling faces and exchanging high 5’s is a memory I’ll never forget!

To me this experience was all about trust:

Trusting the equipment

Trusting the instruction

Trusting myself

Trusting God

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Special Olympics Iowa is a fantastic organization and this is a great event.  I highly recommend it to everyone looking for a challenge.

Start now and raise the money to do it next year.  Even if you’re a little bit nervous about heights… do it.  The crew, equipment, and training are top notch.  The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel at the bottom is unmatched.

What's the most thrilling, adrenaline inducing thing you've ever done on purpose? Click To Tweet

Here’s the video from last year.  It was pretty much the same view this year but they’ve got the old Younkers location cleaned up and the street opened.

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Dance Dad 101


Thanks for stopping by!  The positive feedback from this post lead me to start a new website, Dance Dad University.  Feel free to click on over when you get done reading this:

I’m a Dance Dad.  Have been for a couple years now.  Being a first time Dance Dad can be confusing and intimidating.  With that in mind I put together the following tips to help new Dance Dads out.

Lets get the money discussion out of the way first.  It’s best to let your wife handle all the dance finances.  Dance isn’t cheap. There’s lessons, costumes, entry fees, and travel, meal, and hotel expenses.  Trust me, you’ll enjoy it more if you don’t know the exact amount you’re spending.  I do know if my girls didn’t dance I’d drive a newer truck than the 1997 model I have now.

Get a Dream Duffel.  Think of it as a mobile closet on wheels. They are expensive but worth it and will help keep everything organized.  Everything your dancers will need can fit inside meaning you’ll only need to worry about one bag.  There’s even an insulated pouch to keep water and snacks cold. My girls have the large one and when it’s all set up it’s bigger than my closet.

Dream Duffel set up


This is our first season with a Dream Duffel and I can tell you it’s been our most stress free season.  Go with a plain black one so you won’t feel awkward pulling it around.  Your wife and daughters can “bling” out the patches.  One benefit to not going crazy on the customization is it will make it easier to sell when you no longer need it.

Print off a schedule of the dance weekend and keep it with you.  Also, be sure to enter the time your daughter dances into your smartphone… just in case you lose your hard copy.  Make sure you double and triple check everything.  One time I read the schedule wrong and was late for awards.  Big mistake.

Competitions can last all day and your eating schedule will be sporadic so make sure you get a good breakfast.  You’ll also want to have plenty of snacks packed.  Something your dancer can eat without the risk of getting their costume dirty.  We like to pack cheese and beef sticks, pretzels, dried fruit, beef jerky, yogurt tubes and squeezable applesauce pouches.

On dance day your job is to stay out of the way and do whatever is needed.  Don’t make suggestions unless asked.  Your job is to keep the stress level down.  Make sure your vehicle is gassed up and ready to go.

Never comment on a costume until you know how your dancer feels about it.  I made that mistake once.  My daughter was showing me a new costume she got that night at rehearsal.  I said it kind of looked liked a penguin.  Turns out my daughter wasn’t a big fan of the costume and my comment didn’t help.  Now, I’ve learned to say something like, “Nice. How does it fit? Do you like it?”  Based on the response I’ll then know what comments of mine would be best.

You might get a lump in your throat watching your daughter dance. Watching your daughter dance can be emotional… especially if you’re watching a lyrical routine. The right combination of costume, music, lyrics, and lack of sleep can make your eyes a little misty.

Stay for the awards even if they’re really late.  It’s part of the experience and a great bonding time for the team.

The awards will confuse you.  Once you have it figured out they’ll change it on you.  At one competition the top award might be a platinum.  Next competition it could be a diamond.  It’d be nice if they could all agree on a system.  Gold, silver, and bronze work for the Olympics and could work for dancing too.

You will be annoyed by the emcee of the awards.  They almost always think they’re super cool. What they fail to realize is that we could care less about them.  It’s the results on the paper they are holding that we want.

Get to know the other Dads.  You’ll have plenty of downtime between dances.  Chances are they are feeling the same way you are.

It’s also a good idea to invest in an extended battery for your smartphone.  That way you’ll have all the power you need to take pictures, post Facebook updates, and play Candy Crush.  The one I have makes it all day with plenty of juice left.

Give the dance instructor positive feedback on the choreography and costumes.  Ours has always had age appropriate costumes and dance moves. I’ve thanked her for that several times.  I’ve seen some dancers on other teams wearing things and dancing in a way that I wouldn’t want my daughters to dance like at their age.

Hopefully I haven’t scared you off from having your child take part in dance.  It might seem like a lot of work and stress but it really is a great activity for kids.  They learn teamwork and that hard work can pay off.  One of my daughter’s instructors has even gone over how math is used in planning choreography.  Dance will also help with their self confidence and self esteem.  It’s also a great physical activity.

If you are a new Dance Dad and have questions let me know.  If you’ve been a Dance Dad for years and have some tips of your own leave a comment.  Dance Moms you can chime in too.

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Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast is a big hit around our house.  Many times we have it for the evening meal.  Is that called brupper or brinner?  Still trying to figure that out.  Anyway…. Last night we had breakfast burritos so I thought I’d share a recipe for making and freezing them.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 pound cooked breakfast meat (sausage, ham, bacon… whatever you like)
1 – 10oz. can Rotel (tomatoes and green chilies) drained
1 cup cooked rice
2 cups shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar jack)
1 dozen eggs
1/2 cup milk
24 medium sized tortillas (I prefer whole wheat)


Crack eggs into bowl and add milk. Whisk until mixed. Add your favorite scrambled egg spices. (I prefer a little Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and a couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce) Cook the egg mixture in a pan until completely scrambled.  Add scrambled eggs, rice , Rotel and breakfast meat in a large bowl and mix.


Warm the tortillas slightly (a couple seconds in the microwave helps make them more pliable).

Place 1 tortilla on a piece of aluminum foil (approximately 12″x12″ )

Next add a scoop of the completed filling to the tortilla and sprinkle with cheese.


Fold into a burrito and roll in the foil. You can see the whole process and how to roll the burritos in this YouTube video I made:

Depending on the size of the tortilla and how full you fill them you should get 20-24 burritos.


Place all the burritos in freezer safe bags and put in the freezer.
When you want a burrito take it from your freezer, remove the aluminum foil, and microwave. In our microwave 2 minutes at 50% power is perfect. Then re-wrap it in the foil and you’re ready to take and eat it wherever you want. A cup of coffee, one of these and a piece of fruit will keep you full until lunchtime!


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