The RMISA races in Soldier Hollow, Utah this weekend provided some great reminiscing about skiing for The Buffaloes. The weather was great and the racing was fun, it was a good weekend.
Fortunately, my skis for the 20km classic mass start on Saturday were a double whammy: very slick when I tried to kick and very slow when I tried to glide. The operative word in those sentences is TRIED. Although this was very demoralizing during the race, as I watched my competitors easily kick and glide their way around the Olympic caliber course, I learned (or relearned rather) a valuable lesson: Hang in there!
While I was forced to double pole up four out of the six major climbs and was repeatedly dropped on descents, I just hung in there and put myself in the “survival mode” mindset. By skiing smart in tactical spots on the course, taking advantage of drafting, and a little down-home determination, I was able to hang on to the leading group and still have a decent result.
In a mass start, “hanging on” to the group, regardless of the situation, is a valuable ability. Keeping that mindset on a tough day will serve you very well.