|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.