Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · The family that works out...
. . . .

The family that works out together...

Anne Stanton - January 11th, 2010
The Family that Works Out Together...
How maniac athletes cope with parenthood
By Anne Stanton
Sure, it sounds good to pound out the miles on your bike or skis, but does
all that time short-change your kids? And does it unfairly impose on the
parent who doesn’t compulsively exercise, but is always left watching the
kids, buying the groceries, and cleaning the house?
Johanna and Ty Schmidt worried about that and designed a lifestyle to
accommodate their dual roles as parents and athletes. They are arguably
the most talented cycling couple in Traverse City; they both raced for the
Hagerty cycling team, and this year they took top awards in the Iceman
mountain bike race, one of the most prestigious in the Midwest.
They also have, arguably, the most original of lifestyles. Their theme is
“simplicity.” They spend very little money on the basics, and joke that
“frugal is the new black.”
Frugal, as in keeping the house temperature down to 58 degrees, and almost
never eating out. They share a single full-time physical therapist job at
Munson Medical Center, which allows them to each work part-time while
still qualifying for full-time health benefits.
“I work 25 hours, from 1 to 6 p.m., and Johanna works 15, from 8 until
noon,” said Ty. “She trains in the morning before she goes to work, and we
take turns training at night after I get home from work.”
When one returns from work, the other heads out the door, Johanna said.
“Last summer, when Jameson heard the door open, he would say, ‘Bye mom!’
He’d automatically know the next person is leaving to go do something.”

The family manages to eat three meals a day together, the kids don’t go to
daycare, and Johanna and Ty spend Tuesday nights together riding their
bikes along with weekends (kids stay with Grandma). The couple often
figures out a way to get a workout in while their kids are having fun.
This year, for example, Johanna skate-skis the oval track at Hickory Hills
while pulling Jameson on a sled, while Carter, 5, skis on his own (he was
actually going up the tow rope himself and skiing at the age of 3, with
Johanna frequently checking on him).
“We try to make our training invisible to the kids so they don’t miss
us—I’ll go for a run while they’re still sleeping, or try to incorporate
them into it. In the summer, Ty bikes up M-22 to Suttons Bay and hauls
them in a trailer. So if anyone sees them there, please be careful.”
In the winter, Ty runs for exercise, but still rides a bike everywhere,
although not to Suttons Bay. They live with one car, saving on car
payments, gas, and repairs.
Oh, they also turned almost their entire yard into an organic garden and
plan to raise chickens for eggs at their downtown Traverse City home. And
they’re also vegetarians. And they go to Arizona every winter for five
weeks in order to get a jumpstart on race training.
That will have to change, though, when Carter starts first grade next year.

Johanna and Ty emphasize that they figured out their lifestyle over time,
and were extremely lucky. Most people don’t have the opportunities,
education or energy they have. On the other hand, they’re a living example
that you don’t have to buy into the standard approach of two full-time
jobs, daycare, two cars, and cable bills. There are ways of thinking
outside of the suburban box.
“We live simply so we can do the things we like to do,” Johanna said. “We
live simply so we can travel for five weeks to Arizona, so both of us can
work part-time, which makes work much more enjoyable, and so we can spend
more time with the kids. And because we spend so much time with the kids,
we can ride our bikes more, and we don’t feel guilty going out for a
three-hour ride at night. And we commute to work on our bikes for the
environment and because it’s cheap.
“We have one car that’s 10 years old, paid for nine years ago, and it’s
fun to commute to work. It’s fun in the winter because it’s a challenge.
It’s fun in the summer because it’s a quiet way to get to work. And then
we have a garden because it’s nice to teach the kids where food comes
from, and how it’s produced and how much work it takes to keep a garden
going. And it saves on grocery bills and it’s quiet time. It’s peaceful,
realizing it’s out there.”

Few people are dying to exercise at 5 in the morning or skate-ski at night
with a lamp on their head, or work until 8 p.m. weeding a garden. And who
keeps their heat down to 58 degrees, shuns cell phones, bikes in the
winter, and doesn’t resort to TV as an impromptu babysitter?
But if it sounds like sacrifice, it doesn’t feel like it, they said.
Take their cold house: “Right now, I have on long underwear, pants on top
of that, a t-shirt, plus a hoody, a scarf around my neck, and my slippers
with two pairs of socks. I’m not cold. And then we go out and play in the
snow. When we come in, we’re actually warm.”
Cell phones? “I can’t imagine ever wanting one. I don’t like answering the
phone I have with the sales calls. Why would I want to be contacted 24/7?”
And the weekend races turn into family vacations. “We take the kids
camping or to a motel with a pool.”

Johanna and Ty first met in January of 2002 at a Tucson hospital, where
Johanna was working her final six-week clinical internship. “She was
stunning. I couldn’t wait for her to finish her internship so I could ask
her out,” Ty said.
At the time, Ty was biking 17 miles to work one-way, taking advantage of
the city’s policy of providing bike lanes for all the roads. Johanna
wasn’t a biker at the time.
“I think the first ride, he took me up Mount Lemmon, and that was 26 miles
up with a 6 percent grade. So he said, ‘We’ll go half of it.’ We’ll drive
to the halfway mark and go to the top and eat at Pie in the Sky
restaurant, where they serve this fantastic pie. So I have this old
50-pound mountain bike, that’s the only bike I have. Something I had in
college, rode to classes with, and he had this fancy road bike. We’re
trying to get up this hill, and I am just dying. He starts joking that I
need a bonk strap. He’s lucky I didn’t break up with him.”
Johanna soon was training as hard as Ty, and turned out to be a
preternaturally strong cyclist—something neither she nor Ty would have
guessed. Now when they bike Mount Lemmon, they easily ride from bottom to
top, no bonk strap necessary, she said.
The couple spent a lot of time in Ty’s native Canada and married in 2003.
Exactly nine months after their honeymoon, Carter was born and neither Ty
nor Johanna have worked full-time since. They lived in Arizona; Ty worked
part-time and Johanna stayed at home for a year and a half.
Their second son, Jameson, was born on New Year’s Eve in 2006 when they
moved to Traverse City. They were able to formalize an agreement with
Munson to allow them to job share.
“That was the year we moved to Michigan. So I didn’t train that whole
summer, and I gained 50 pounds and had Jameson on New Year’s Eve (at
home),” she said.
She was asked to join the Hagerty team, and the first ride was in May.
“Our first group ride was up Hoxsie (a hilly road), and we were going as
hard as we could. I was dead last. Absolutely the last person up. I wrote
it on my calendar, “DFL,” dead f#!% last up Hoxsie!”
By the end of the summer though, Johanna was a top team member. This year,
she was the lead attacker on the hills, her specialty, allowing the
Hagerty team to dominate in the state.
All in a simple day’s work.

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