And so it begins

The first race of the season, this is the best and worst race of the year, every year. I am always really excited for the first races of the season, because racing is fun and it’s been 6 months since the last race. The first races of the season also terrify me. Are all of the hours I put in over the summer going to pay off? What if I forget something? Will I be better this year than I was last year? When you’re out on the race course, you can no longer hide behind the hours in your training log or your heart rate at intensity sessions.

Today my first race of the season was the 10k skate at the Yellowstone Ski Festival. I finished 34th and was only 10 seconds off of my time from last year, so if anything at least I’m consistent. The snow was fairly icy and dirty, but that’s nothing that our wax techs couldn’t handle. My skis were definitely faster than I was today.

Typical race day breakfast: Fruit Smoothie. It’s fitting that the only available container with a lid was for cheese.

It’s hard to not be a little disappointed when I look at the result and see that I was 12 spots back from where I was last year, but I’m not disappointed to be only being 10 seconds off of where I was last year. That’s good consistency.

A lot of the girls out there today have devoted their lives to skiing full time. On the flip side, because I’m still a student, I’ve had multiple nights this fall where I’ve been up past midnight trying to finish homework assignments and still manage to make it to practice in the morning. The stress levels in these to lifestyles are drastically different, and I am pleased to still be competitive within the women’s field. The competition is getting faster, so I guess that means I have to too!

It was a good first race, and I look forward to improving upon these results as the season progresses. Next up, we’re racing at home!

(Special thanks to the little girl and her father who had a spontaneous dance party with me last night in the supermarket parking lot. Such a great way to de-stress before the race!)

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Thanksgiving

This is the 7th Thanksgiving I haven’t been with my family, and it still feels like yesterday that I was crawling around on the floor with my cousins playing “farm animal” while the adults exchanged Christmas lists. Now I spend my Thanksgivings preparing for ski races and cleaning a week’s worth of bacon grease off the kitchen counters.

I have so many things to be thankful for.

This past semester has been one of my hardest semesters had since coming to college. On more than one occasion I have felt like I am drowning in work. I have let responsibilities slip and let people down that I care about. To any college student out there considering taking three labs in one semester, I highly suggest thinking twice before registering for all of them. I also went through an emotional roller-coaster this fall where it seemed like I couldn’t do anything right.

Although this fall was trying, it made me realize how many amazing people are in my life. My coaches were understanding and let me take time away from practice, my friends dropped everything to make me smile, even my professors took me into their offices and asked what they could do to help. The world is filled with happy people, people who care about you and that happiness is infectious.

I am thankful to have the opportunity to spend this week with my ski team and to race at the West Yellowstone Ski Festival.

I am thankful for the snow.

I am thankful for my professors who have been super understanding about me turning in assignments to them while we’re on the road.

I am thankful for all of my non-ski-team friends for letting me escape from my athletic responsibilities, if even momentarily.

I am thankful for my parents and the rest of my family, who have supported everything I do.

I am thankful that this year we will have 3 pumpkin pies!

I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. Now that I’ve had the time to lay in bed, watch too much T.V.  and catch up on the pile of tasks I’ve been drowning under, I am not longer a stress case. It’s time to have fun, enjoy what has been given to me and of course share that with everyone around me.

Happy Thanksgiving

 

I should have started this a long time ago…

 

After years of people asking, your requests have been answered.

I don’t want this to be a typical blog about a collegiate athlete trying to make ends meet and talking about training and racing. Yes, skiing will be one of the main focuses; because Nordic skiing is a huge part of my life. However, there is so much more to my life than just athletics. I am a successful engineering student, I rarely say no to an adventure, and a really love having dance parties in my kitchen.

Having different interests and lifestyles are what keep me motivated to succeed in each individually. When things are going rough in one, its the mix of positive experiences that are able to mask the negative ones. I have a lot of support from my friends and family, and they have never stopped encouraging me to follow my dreams. To be happy.

That is why I’m starting this, to share stories about how easy and how difficult it is to follow your passion. I anticipate writing about being an NCAA athlete, ski racing, what it’s like to be a female engineering student, the places I get to go exploring, the cool things I make (or eat), and the little things that make me smile throughout the day.

I am excited to finally have the time to do this right. The racing season is just around the corner, and school is…. well… I hope to never stop learning. It should be a great year of stories and sharing. I hope you enjoy them.