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Competition in family DNA Richard Peña | Sat, Mar 08 2014 12:00 PM

Last year in early summer I reported on Julie Phair, a native and long time resident in the South Bay. The subject, in the beginning was of the interesting person mode but it quickly changed to many other things because, as we found out, Ms Phair is a very talented person.

As we mentioned last year Julie is a member of that generation referred to as baby boomers. She is one of those rarities among us, a born and bred South County native who still lives in the area. She went to the local schools, starting at Rosebank Elementary, then on to the two Hilltop secondary schools and on to California Lutheran College.

Along the way she met and married Jeff, another born and bred South Bay resident and they raised a family and went into the property development business.

The family had three boys, who, like many young persons were athletically oriented. The adult Phairs learned quite early that a concentration on outdoor activities would be the answer to family cohesion. When the boys want to take up running activities as part of their high school curriculum then you put in to be a volunteer coach. And, as a result the boy’s high school activities were closely helped along because of the interest shown by the parents.

Actually it was something that fit naturally into Julie’s love of the outdoors. From the time she was a little girl she loved to run. In her years as a student at Hilltop High School in the decade of the 70s she was a CIF finalist and then continued her running activities at Cal Lutheran where she was the woman’s team Most Valuable Player.

After college Julie said that she missed all the activity of running and the events related to it. She and husband, Jeff, therefore competed in more than 100 events. These ranged from simple 5K events to marathons and triathlons. In addition to competing they planned their summer vacations as a family that included hiking, biking and cross-country activities all under the name of recreation.

As with most athletes, amateur or professional, the individual learns that the human body and its components is not going to last forever. In her later years Julie has added snow shoe workouts to her conditioning regimens. She finds that it is not only fulfilling a void that middle age brings about but it is something that is relaxing in the solitude of being away from the masses that gather at other activities.

The other day I met with Julie at the Bonita Museum and she brought me up to date on the competing that she has done since last we spoke.  For some years the Phair family has vacationed and spent some leisure time at Big Bear Mountain.  The activities that are planned by the resort consist of many competing athletic activities, a sort of an Olympic type event, of a smaller scale. We knew that she had won the ladies snow shoe race. We learned, however that she also entered and won the ladies event in kayaking. This was rather surprising since kayaking is quite far removed from running or other land involved competition.

Julie has taken up biking. She, like others who live in the South Bay, is intrigued with the many bicycle trails in the county that is offered to the many bike riders.  There is also competition in the Big Bear area and it could make another event to enter.  On top of that she has taken lessons on how to fix a flat tire.

We prefaced the story of Julie Phair because she fell in the category of interesting people.  We must keep in mind that such persons become that way because they are doing something that they love.  At the same time it is setting a model for others.

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