Long overdue, a rambling recap

First on the December agenda were the Supertour races in Rossland B.C.   The races were good experience for me, particularly the sprint seeing as I absolutely dread sprinting.  Mostly I think it is because I am generally a terrible sprinter, which translates into me never training for, or entering in them…a downward spiral.  Earlier this year I (more Jeff) convinced myself that it is something I desperately need to get better at-so I’ve resigned myself to entering them at every opportunity.  This however does not mean I am at all comfortable with them, I made the sprint heats in the last spot (only after juniors were taken out) and was ridiculously nervous.  I do not think I have been that nervous since I was caught skipping 9th grade Honors English three days in a row.   The other races weren’t bad but also weren’t incredible, after coming off having the flu I felt slow and tired even before the races. No matter how confident I feel in my capabilities, I am somehow always put on edge by a result that I am not thrilled with, even if I know I wasn’t feeling great.  There is nothing like my seeing my name where I don’t want it to be, to make me question myself.

The trip was very educational for me in the discipline of (keyword) harmless, but thoroughly entertaining, pranks.  I have to say some of the SV boys were just thrilled to teach me, through example.  I hope to do my part and pass on this educational material to the SBA and Far West kids through, of course, example.

After an amazing time at home in Alaska (though utterly frigid), I made my way to Maine.  After a couple of late nights we arrived to find ourselves skiing around a smallish mud pie.  Despite initial impressions the Chisholm Ski Club volunteers proceeded to do an incredible job.  I wasn’t convinced that there would be distance races, but we were all pleasantly surprised with great 2.7 km loop of hard coarse snow.  After a less then stellar classic sprint the week much improved, a solid classic race and a strong skate, it was nice to see a result that reflected how I felt.  And the skate sprint, well it’s coming along.

Though I am nearly 24 I often feel like a teenager, learning so much about the sport and myself every time I race.   I’ve always hated dealing with equipment (too tedious for me, and there’s no immediate gratification), but I’m realizing how important it really is (duh I know).  I’ve said it before but I think it must have something to do with being on my own-the only person held accountable is me.  I’ve realized that if I am going to do this-make skiing a priority and actually have hopes regarding the sport- I want to do it right.  I don’t want to be a pretty good skier; I want to be a great skier.  It won’t happen overnight but I do know that I can’t do it on a pair of classic skis that I can feel drag beneath me.  I may be grasping this concept a little (quite?) late, but… there’s no time like the present.  Here’s to taking charge and growing up, bit by bit.

Skiing as a teamsport

During the last weeks, I had the opportunity to ski with various different people. Over Christmas, I skied a lot with my older sister and I could observe the training of a real pro preparing for the upcoming World Championships in Oslo. It’s motivating to train with top-athletes as you certainly push more than you usually would and you can always learn something.  I mainly take three points out of those workouts:

1. Having clear goals before every single practice

2. Focus during the workout and push yourself. It might hurt in practice, but it will hurt less in the next race when you try to hang on to that skier in front of you

3. Be smart about your workouts. Go hard when your body can. Cut the practice short if you start feeling sick or uncomfortable, so you can push again the next day.

I could also ski with former Nevada Wolf Pack Skier Lutz Preussler on his home race course, with tons of snow and old stories to tell. It was great to see someone from a former team and it brought back old memories. I heard myself saying “this looks like Montana a year ago, remember?”, or “this might be a hard uphill, but it’s nothing compared that last one in Soldier Hollow…” Skiing definitely bring people together.

It’s easier to ski in the pack. Someone will push you on a day when you can’t do it yourself.

SoHo

As my winter break from school dwindles, I’ve found myself trying to make the most of what little break remain. I’ve been skiing at Soldier Hollow a lot recently; it has been superb. Yesterday, I hopped in with some juniors from the Salt Lake, Park City, and Soldier Hollow teams for a 10k classic time-trial. I hadn’t planned on racing until I spotted people congregating in the stadium and decided to check it out. They handed me a bib and it was on!

I’ll be heading back to Reno at the end of this week, and I can’t help but be a little excited to return to Tahoe skiing!

here are a few pictures from SoHo (as we affectionately call it), and a music recommendation:

Mumford and Sons