Friday, May 2, 2014

A New Year

May 1st is generally considered the “New Year” in the ski training world. We have all had April to run wild, and come May we start to refocus and buckle down a little more. Since I’m no Hoff when it comes to blogging I thought I should at least start the year off right. This means I have to rewind all the way back to the Olympics- here goes…

The Olympics were obviously an unreal experience with Russia putting on the show of the century. That side of things was far better than I had imagined. When we were in Sochi the year before for our test event I was fairly certain at that time that nothing would be finished. But it was, and so the show went on. For me, although the races didn’t go as well as I’d been imagining for the last year, in the grand scheme of things it was ok given the year I was having. Sometimes you just have to step back and put things in perspective. In November it was looking like I might not even make it around the sprint course once, so to qualify, and ski a heat with three ladies who I was sure were going to be on the podium that day was a small success, and for Dasha and I to be so close to the final in the teamsprint was hard to swallow given what we had done the year before and what our goals were.
Five ladies on a beauty training day in Sochi! -photo thanks to Chandra:)

Following Sochi I flew straight to Finland to continue on with the rest of the world cup. Lahti weekend was agonizingly close for me, I was just outside the top 30, which is always frustrating, but I channeled my frustrations into the next sprint in Drammen, Norway. This is one race I’ve never done well in, in the past I haven’t even been close to making it into the heats. My usual routine is to ski the qualifier, then go to the bakery and warm up and dry out while my teammates get ready to ski the rounds. This year though, I was determined not to let that happen, and I didn’t.  Although the end result wasn’t amazing, to finish in the 20’s in Drammen was a great way to end my world cup season. The following day I travelled home to Canmore a place I hadn’t been in over three months.

Although I love being on the road, it’s always really nice to come home, use my kitchen, do my own laundry, drive myself to go skiing, and visit with friends. The last stop of the year was Cornerbrook, Newfoundland for Nationals! The Blow Me Down Club hosted an awesome event, and it was great to see a different part of the country, my first trip to Newfoundland was incredible. I hope I make it back there again sometime soon.

Post Nationals I was in Canmore for one more week before heading to Nicaragua with a group of friends and SchoolBOX to work on a school not too far from Granada. This was a project we had in the works for the better part of a year, so to actually get down there and get into it was awesome. It was a total shift from ski-life, and just what I needed. The community we were in was a truly incredible one. It seemed like everyone was lending a hand to make this project happen. Either cooking meals for the construction crew, and us, or coming out to help on the building site everyone was excited and doing what they could to make a school in their community a reality. It really is impossible to put into words the effect that SchoolBOX is having over in Nicaragua, but one thing I can say is it doesn’t take much. Simple things like notebooks and pencils make a huge difference in the lives of these kids, and open up opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be there by giving them the gift of education. For five dollars you can give a child education for a year. And from our experience they are thrilled to have an opportunity to learn.
Want to help?
Notebooks! -SchoolBOX photo
What now? I’m back in Canmore and not done yet! I’m eager and motivated to get back into training, but just want to make sure I’m 100% healthy and recovered first. That’s the last three months in a nutshell!
I’m heading home to Almonte at the end of May, and can’t wait to share my Sochi experiences with everyone, and say thank you to my incredible community for all of the amazing support.
See you soon!