Thursday, June 27, 2013

What a week.

I don’t really know where to start here. The last week has turned Canmore and many parts of southern Alberta into a wet soupy mess. Some people in town have lost almost everything; we have experienced an incredible environmental disaster. We’ve seen things that have never happened before in recorded history, and the destruction that massive amounts of water can do.

There are photos everywhere, but my friend Noel has done an incredible job capturing things over the last week, both from the air, and on foot. Check out his facebook page for some mind blowing photos:
One of Noel's impressive images of Cougar Creek
Joel and I were very fortunate to have very little damage done to our home. There was a lot of water in our crawl space, but we managed to get everything out without it getting too wet. Our furnace may or may not work again when it dries out, but that’s really no big deal!
Joel kept an eye on the water level, and put Justin's hip waders to good use too!
More than anything this past week has brought with it (other than enough water to fill the great lakes) a whole lot of perspective. So many times this week we have been able to reflect on just how lucky we are. Our house didn’t get that wet, we have amazing neighbours who all look out for one another, we have so many friends who have offered to help out, and an incredible community that has come together to help everyone affected.

I felt guilty as we left Canmore on Tuesday to head south back to Bend, Oregon for our second training camp of the year. We were fleeing town just as the recovery process was beginning.  But one thing is for sure, it won’t all be finished when we return in two weeks time. There will still be lots to do for weeks and years to come. Even the landscape in places will be different, and in a lot of cases has changed forever.

Bend however is just as we left it over a month ago at the end of our last training camp! This time we won’t be doing any skiing on snow, but mountain biking, rollerskiing, and running on the hundreds of km of trails in this area. For the next 10 days Eric and Joel get to take a break from training with me so that they can run workouts, change rollerski tips, drive large vehicles, and just generally keep things running smoothly as they do being the best coach and wax tech I could ask for. 

This camp didn't fit into the development team womens plan for this year so Zina Kocher a friend from the biathlon team decided to join me for the first part of the camp! It was a pretty last minute decision, but she was able to find some funds to make it happen, and Eric altered my plan slightly so that the first half of the camp is more skating focused and the second half after Zina leaves is more classic. (biathlon races are all skating)

Zina all smiles after coming down the legendary Bend bike trail the "Whoops"!

So far so good! I’ll be sure to take some photos in the coming weeks, and report on how this biathlon/xc training camp goes. At the very least I should come out a better shot, and Zina perhaps a better classic skier!
In the mean time lets all do our best to take care of our planet. I'm guiltier than most flying around the world ski racing, but it's a good reminder to do what you can. We've put mother nature through the ringer and need to start looking after her.
Thinking of you Canmore…