Sunday, February 2, 2014

Here we go!


This will be my last blog until after the games!  Our team has decided together that it is best to stay away from all social media, and blogging for the duration of the Olympics. There are many rules around what you can and can’t say, and can and can’t take photos of during the games. It just isn’t worth getting thrown out of the Olympics for a small slip up in a facebook or twitter post. That being said I have been appreciating all of the support that’s been coming my way, and will be sure to fill you in after the games are over!
We depart for Sochi on tomorrow, and will shut all social media off from the time we get on that plane until the closing ceremonies are over. I will most certainly be checking my email, but won’t promise any timely responses.
Thank you to everyone for the incredible support.
Specifically Crawford & Company Canada Inc, all of the amazing people in Mississippi Mills, the Nakkertok Ski Club, Cross Country Canada, and of course my family.
I can’t wait to get to Sochi!!
Sorry for the lack of photos, my internet connection at the moment really won't allow that.

Here we go!


This will be my last blog until after the games!  Our team has decided together that it is best to stay away from all social media, and blogging for the duration of the Olympics. There are many rules around what you can and can’t say, and can and can’t take photos of during the games. It just isn’t worth getting thrown out of the Olympics for a small slip up in a facebook or twitter post. That being said I have been appreciating all of the support that’s been coming my way, and will be sure to fill you in after the games are over!
We depart for Sochi on tomorrow, and will shut all social media off from the time we get on that plane until the closing ceremonies are over. I will most certainly be checking my email, but won’t promise any timely responses.
Thank you to everyone for the incredible support.
Specifically Crawford & Company Canada Inc, all of the amazing people in Mississippi Mills, the Nakkertok Ski Club, Cross Country Canada, and of course my family.
I can’t wait to get to Sochi!!
Sorry for the lack of photos, my internet connection at the moment really won't allow that.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

15 Days!


It’s been an exciting week. Our Olympic Team was officially named, I had a good race in Poland on the weekend, we travelled to SeiserAlm for our pre-Olympic camp, I traded maple syrup to get my laundry done, and the amount of support brewing in my hometown has filled me up with energy!
Following Kikkanimal in our quarterfinal heat in Poland. Photo thanks to Nordic Focus.


Now almost the entire Olympic Team is here high in the Italian Dolomites putting the final touches on our shape before we head to Sochi. It is certainly one of my favourite places in the world to ski. I find myself losing my balance a lot more frequently than usual because I have a hard time staying focused on the ski trail. My eyes are constantly wandering, taking in the views of the impressive walls and spires that surround us.
Best skate ski yet this year, following Em Nish up the hill.
  I’m really excited to be a part of this team heading into Sochi, I can’t wait to share this experience with my teammates, and all of our dedicated staff who have worked their tails off for us in the last four years.
I also am now sporting the Mississippi Mills logo on my racing suit, and training jackets. I think I was supposed to wait for the fundraising campaign in Almonte to be over, but I couldn’t. I come from the best community I could ever ask for. It seems like every day I wake up to an encouraging note from someone at home. If I could give the whole town a hug I would, but for now I’m thousands of kilometres away, but feeling the love as if I were walking right down main street to Baker Bob’s.  Every time I put on a piece of training gear I am reminded of how incredibly lucky I am to come from such a great community. So thank you kindly to everyone, especially Jane Torrance, I can’t wait to come home in the Spring and share my Sochi experience with you all!
Joel and I and a very blue sky! Notice the Mississippi Mills logo keeping my right bicep warm!
As I continue to train up here in paradise for another week, I'm getting ready to tune into the action down in Val di Fiemme at the World Jr and U23 Championships. We've got a solid crew of Nakkertok athletes over here racing in the coming weeks. I'm so proud of our club we have come a long way in the last ten years, although we will be racing in the Canada colours, we started out in green and yellow! The coach there these days must be doing something right ;)
I'm wishing everyone at Easterns coming up good luck, I'm sure it will be a fun filled weekend. Be sure to stop by the SchoolBOX coffee stand and buy a few cups of coffee because first of all its awesome coffee from Equator in Almonte, and second of all it supports our Skiers4SchoolBOX initiative!
Thanks for stopping by,
Peri

Monday, January 13, 2014

Trying to be Patient

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Racing in Lenzerheide, during the Tour de Ski. Photo credit: Nordic Focus

This season has been a lesson in patience thus far. I’m not going to lie at times it’s been extremely trying, but I’ve been able to have a slightly new perspective on things, and develop an appreciation for the smaller steps and signs that things are coming along.

It started in November when the coaches and I decided to delay my departure to Europe. Initially I was planning on coming over at the beginning of December, having a week of solid training and adjusting before racing in Davos. That got canned, and instead I spent a few more weeks in Canmore, and at Mount Engadine Lodge (which really saved me-see faster skier article here) before hopping on a plane a few days before the World Cup in Asiago, Italy. Initially the thought of delaying my start to the season was like driving a dagger into my stomach. As a ski racer, really the only thing I want to do come winter is be on that start line with the rest of my competitors. I went over things in my head probably much more than was necessary, and eventually came to an agreement with myself that this plan would be better. After all, my goals for the year aren’t focused on the December World Cups, or even the January ones, they are the Olympics in February. So, I settled in and got to spend a few more weeks at home. Once I got over the fact that I was at home and my teammates were racing I settled into the Canmore life, focused on executing everything at the highest quality, and checking my phone at ungodly hours to see how my teammates were faring. It’s rare that I’m in Canmore for more than a few weeks at a time, so I really was able to enjoy my home, knowing that this was what was going to make me strongest in February.

The next test came when I arrived in Asiago for the classic sprint weekend. Back in the summer this weekend had been highlighted on my calendar. It was pretty much a dream come true- classic sprint and classic team sprint? Yes please! I knew coming fresh off the plane was a risk, but it was worth a shot. I skied terribly Saturday, and only slightly better on Sunday. It was probably partly the nerves of having a less than ideal fall training period, coupled with travelling a few days before. A good first step, but not quite what I was hoping for.

Luckily I had an awesome support team come over for Asiago, and over Christmas, so there was no time to let the hamster in my head run a marathon on his wheel. My family came over and we spent Chrismas in Davos, skiing, and playing catan, and just generally enjoying each others company. This happens far less often than I would like, as we live on opposite ends of the country, I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas gift than having them join me.
Kieran got put to work for the weekend in Asiago too- and he thought he was taking a vacation from coaching!...

Family Ski in Davos!
After a quick Christmas, we boarded the CCC Tour Bus made possible by so many people in Canada, and headed to Oberhof for the beginning of the Tour de Ski, which was rapidly changing format as the weather was not cooperating. I was only planning on doing the first 3 stages of the tour, so I did the prologue, and what turned out to be two skate sprints. Each race I came away with some positive steps. Though small I was able to gain confidence knowing that things are coming along.
Last week was spent in Seefeld, Austria. The first few days were with my parents, and then with Eric preparing for the next races. Though it’s been challenging at times it’s been incredibly inspiring to watch my teammates in the last few weeks. No one had a good start to the season, and now things are turning around. Things can change fast in this business, and from the start we have all been doing everything we can to make sure we are ready to go in February.
Stay Tuned!
Peri

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November News

It's November! Everyone keeps reminding me there are less than 100 days until the games. It feels kind of like Christmas when you are a kid, you wait for so long it seems it will never happen and then all of a sudden it's here!
Speaking of Christmas, it does feel a little festive already in Canmore, because we got a huge dump of snow, this isn't like the usual pre-season dusting that melts after a few days. It's full on Winter here. Not only is Frozen Thunder in tip-top shape, but it's getting longer each day, and for the more adventurous folk the banff trail is rolled and in great shape! I was down there the other day and didn't hit a single rock. Not too shabby for the first week of November.
I wasn't the only one who was pumped about the snow!

Last week Jesse Cockney I had the amazing opportunity to join Beckie Scott, and Andrew Urton with Ski Fit North for a visit to the Morley Community School  just down the trans-canada highway from Canmore on the Morley Reserve. It was an inspiring afternoon to have a chance to chat with the grade sixes who will take part in the Ski Fit North program and get a chance to ski after christmas. To say they were psyched about this opportunity would be an understatement. We also were able to pass on a few messages to the whole highschool about goal setting and supporting one another. The idea is to continue this dialogue and relationship we have built with the school as we head into the games. I'm not naive in thinking we changed the life of every single student, but if we have made an impact on a handful I believe we have been successful. It was a real pleasure, the school was so gracious, thanking us with poetry readings, gifts, and songs.
A big thank you to the Morley Community School for welcoming us and cheering us on this Winter!
Jess, Beckie and I in Morley. The girls in particular were very happy Jess came to visit!
For the next little while I will be enjoying life at the Nordic Centre. I've had some awesome skis around the outer trails. There's nothing better at this time of year than an endless supply of snowy ski trails!
Until next time,
Peri

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A note on rest... and a few other things.

It is somehow October all of a sudden. The trees are yellow, and the air is chilly in the morning, reminding me just how close the winter is. When I left off last time I think I was just getting back from New Zealand, which as I mentioned was an incredible camp, but left me a little emptier in the tank than I had anticipated. I took it easy for a bit when I got back from New Zealand, briefly took up a new sport that involved a bow and arrow, and then decided to high tail it back to the most restful place on the planet for me- Almonte, Ontario.

For me this small, but increasingly trendy town where I grew up is the best place to recharge. I took four days essentially off, which may sound a little excessive, but was just what I needed. Sometimes you just need to take things down a notch. This year especially I don't want to overdo things, and I know in the middle of the winter I won't be saying "gees I really wish I'd just kept training when I was so tired back in September..."

Anyway, back to my mini holiday at home. Despite the fact that I wasn't training I still managed to fit in a few fun things like not one but TWO Nakkertok practices! I got out with these speedy ladies for a sprint session...
An extra big thanks to Fresh Air for lending me rollerskis and poles! Emilie, Katherine, Holly, Alex and I had a really productive day, I hope they were half as pumped as I was at the end of the workout, cause it was pretty great. -also great is the photo bomb happening here.

One of the handy things about my brother being the head coach of the club I'm from means I get to spend some quality time with the Nakkercrew when I travel East, and one of the cool things about only getting to do this once a year is that I really can see an improvement in the athletes each time I visit. I don't think Nakkertok is ready to give up its National Championship Club title any time soon!

While in Almonte I fit in daily visits to Equator Coffee.  It's a spot that should be everyone's first stop as they roll into "the friendly town". Not only do they serve great coffee, but they are incredible generous people. On Saturday while I was there Equator was hosting a block party and all of the proceeds were going to Schoolbox, which is an organization started by some fellow Almontonians that makes education possible for kids in Nicaragua. This spring a few of us in the ski community are making the trip to Nicaragua with Schoolbox to help build a school! We could still use some more manpower, so if you are interested in joining us drop me a line, we'd love to have you!
We are having a fundraiser in Canmore at the end of October which will have lots of killer prizes, so come on out if you are in town!


Now that I'm recharged from resting, and what was basically a big hug full of hometown support from my visit to Almonte I'm back at it full steam ahead!
The team is down in Lake Tahoe, California for our last dryland camp of the year. The last time I was here was 2006, so it's been a while, but it's still an awesome spot, and the Cedar House Hotel in Truckee is just as warm and friendly as ever. Plus they have a cuddly border collie, which adds an extra few stars in my books!
I found a photo of Dasha and I from 2006!

Seven years later not a whole lot has changed- we still do weird poses when we have our photo taken, and she's still a head taller than me.
It's only day two of our camp, so there will be more to come,
Thanks for stopping by,
Peri



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sweet As!

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It’s been go go go since my last update which was when we went up to Castle Mtn Hut.  Since then I’ve developed a very close relationship with our new treadmill, been up to Whitehorse to celebrate the wedding of some good friends, had a visit from my parents and some great friends from Almonte, and been once again back at the SnowFarm in New Zealand where I put in some seriously awesome days of skiing in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Fred, Cendrine, me and AnneMarie out for an awesome ski!
  The most recent part first- the New Zealand part! Dasha and I were joined by three members of the CHEPH training center- Cendrine, Frederique, and Anne-Marie. It was so exciting to have these girls to ski with. Before this camp, I knew of all of them, but had never really spent any time getting to know them. The New Zealand Camp changed that, we spent a good three hours or so a day getting to know each other and the trails at the SnowFarm as we skied loop after loop after loop...

A photo of the five of us ladies courtesy of Fred.
In short they are an impressive group of focused young skiers.  They ski technically incredibly soundly, when I think about my knock kneed 17 year old self bobbing around on the ski trails compared to these ladies, it’s slightly embarrassing to picture how different we would look if I were to pull up an old video. It was fun to share skis and ideas with one another, and have some female company! I learned a few things, and I hope so did they. A few things are for sure they will be forces on the ski trails, and I’m getting old!

Chasing Anne-Marie around at the Snow Farm- all day every day.  It's hard keeping up to the young bucks!
 Our trip to Whitehorse was amazing for a number of reasons, obviously the Nish wedding was the reason for our trip up there and was the main attraction, but we also had a number of Northern experiences that won’t be soon forgotten. Alain Masson the king of kick, and all around amazing wax man and leader of the most impressive JR program in the country lives in Whitehorse and invited us to stay with them while we were in town. Alain, his wife Lucy, and their two kids Sascha and Felix were the best hosts ever. Sascha and Felix kept Joel entertained, while Lucy made sure we were taken care of on every other front imaginable, and Alain guided a group of us on a bike/run excursion to a lake where we caught a bunch of arctic char which we shared with the other out of town guests at a BBQ later in the day! Of course the well documented JP Classic ski race was another Yukon experience that I'm so grateful we were able to attend.
A big thank you and congratulations goes out to our friends Graham and Madeleine for getting Married, and introducing Joel to the Yukon. I have now taken a back seat to his new love named Whitehorse.

Just some of the crew enjoying our first ever July ski race!
 Sascha was pretty impressive on his Unicycle- Joel needed a few more days in Whitehorse to get up to speed, but not to worry we will be back!

Sascha- this photo says it all, unicyclist, ski fan, rad dude.
Joel was lucky Brian was there to help!
 On the training front I’ve been putting in lots of hard work on our new rollerski treadmill, which normally wouldn’t be that fun and I would rather do just about anything else- but when it’s raining out, and I’m on my own anyway the treadmill is actually ok. I’ve been developing a new appreciation for it. I get lots of feedback, and support because the coaches can easily take in my entire workout by sitting beside the mill as I work my tail off until I literally can’t go another step!

Now that I’m back in Canmore, and I’ve got jet lag somewhat under control I took some must needed rest time and am ready to get back at it! Rest days always open up some time for fun stuff, these past few presented me with a new opportunity, and a new hobby!

Even I was surprised at how much fun shooting arrows at a target can be!
Until next time, may the odds be ever in your favour!
Perianne