Masters of the Stapleton Easter Egg Scramble: An Inside Look

The annual Stapleton Easter Egg scramble is chaos and Darwinism in practice. The organizers’ efforts to try and limit kids to 10 eggs each are noble, but pointless. Every Stapleton parent knows that their child’s ability to get as many eggs as possible, and, most importantly, as many golden eggs as possible, directly correlates to their child’s ability to succeed in school, on the athletic field, and in future popularity contests. For the past five years, two kids have come to dominate the scramble: Skylar Saar and Tim Cox. Though Skylar and Tim were born only a few days and blocks apart, they come from different worlds: Skylar is from Eastbridge and Tim is from Westerly Creek. Each year, Skylar and Tim seem to trade off getting the most golden eggs. Last year, Tim collected 12 as he stiff-armed, tripped, and slide-tackled his fellow scramblers. In 2011, Skylar collected 22 – still a Stapleton record – and left Tim with a bloody nose. I spent two months with both families to try and find out what makes their sons so magnificent at egg collection. Skylar’s family lives near the F-15 pool. It’s a nice home, with a decent lot, but few upgrades. “After we moved in, all we heard about was how Eastbridge was the worst part of Stapleton,” said Skylar’s dad, Robert, in a thick Eastern European accent. “Apparently, it’s where people who didn’t know about Stapleton early on moved and tried to blend in. We will not be intimidated! Our family comes from hardship, we were forged by hardship, and we will die proudly of hardship!” Robert shouted as I was baptized in his spittle. Skylar, seated in the corner unblinking nodded silently. Tim’s family lives near the Aviator pool, in a coveted Parkwood model home. “The Cox family history is filled with success stories. We don’t back down from a challenge and we know how to win,” Mike, Tim’s father commented when asked what his name was. “Tim is the best Easter egg scrambler the world has ever seen,” offered his mother Beth. What makes Skylar and Tim great? Skylar wakes up every morning at 5:00 a.m. and does two P90X videos before running the long way to the bus stop. His progress is monitored closely by a modified X-Box Kinect. Robert is a software engineer and has written software for the Kinect so that it tracks Skylar’s heart rate, it provides continuous biomechanical feedback so Skylar can adjust his form, and runs a propriety algorithm to enable Skylar’s training to peak at the right moment. Each day after school, Skylar spends an hour studying his training results and then he runs sprints on a Z7000 treadmill. While it is an impressive set up, it is nothing compared to the fear, pride, and stress Robert can induce in his son in one explosion of emotion. Tim’s father is not intimidating in his Brooks Brothers Oxford pinpoint and Armani A/X slacks, but he has his own way to motivate. “You can keep training like that, if you want to lose again,” he whispers under his breath as Tim struggles with his 50th push up. Mike has hired a team of personal trainers to help Tim train around the clock. His brain waves are monitored while he sleeps to help influence his dreams and train his brain to stay in the “zone.” Tim’s abilities seem to improve every day. Instead of P90X videos and a modified X-Box, though, Tim’s progress is tracked by Ph.D’s and M.D.’s. “Failure is not an option and success only comes by pouring every resource into achieving success. My father’s boss taught me that,” says Mike. It’s a classic East versus West rivalry. When I ask the dads what they think of their son’s opponent, their responses are telling. “Skylar is good. But you can tell who the real winners in life are going to be,” says Mike. “Tim doesn’t quit, it’s true, but there is no word for quit in the Cox home,” says Robert. When asked what they think about all of this, Skylar and Tim say the same thing, “I like chocolate. A lot. And my dad scares me.” Whether its Daniel vs. Johnny, Rocky vs. Drago, or Kathy Lee vs. Kelly, everyone has an arch enemy. Stapleton is lucky to have Tim v. Skylar to show us what it means to dedicate yourself, and to show us that we are not nearly the worst parents around. This Easter, enjoy watching two greats push each other, but keep your distance because they will break your kids’ arm if she gets a golden egg. ]]>

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