It’s almost been one full month since I arrived in Stratton and so far I’m loving it! I’ve settled into a new home, a new team, and a new schedule. There has been a lot of change for me but it excites me to be doing something so different. One of the biggest hurdles for me as I take on the world of professional skiing is funding. I am working hard on finding sponsors and support from the Minnesota and Vermont community, but in the meantime I’ve been continuing my juggling act by getting not one, but two jobs in the Stratton area.
On Mondays I get to work in a ski shop located in the Stratton Village, close enough that I could walk or bike to. As there isn’t much downhill skiing going on at the Mountain these days, things have been pretty quiet. So I get to spend most of my day sitting and reading my book, while occasionally selling a water bottle or two. Then I get to focus completely on my own skiing the following three days of the week until Friday rolls around and I head to the J.J. Hapgood General Store three nights in a row. Although, not your most typical general store, they also have a full restaurant where I work as a server… among other things.
Working two jobs on top of training full-time is not the most ideal situation when it comes to scheduling workouts and recovery. Fortunately, the team has been very supportive of my decision and they even come to visit me while I’m at work!
Running around the store can be a little tiring from time to time, but the fast-pace business keeps me on my toes, entertained, and time flies by! I just need to be sure I head straight to bed after work and keep off my feet whenever I’m not training or working. So far it’s all going well and I’m happy to be getting more acquainted with the Stratton community!
I grew up in the Midwest with mosquitoes, deer flies, and the most dreaded: humidity! I thought I did a good job surviving it, knew how much my body could handle, and stayed as hydrated as I could. I went to college in another notoriously humid area, but I only spent September through April training, when things had already started to cool off. My coach at UVM recommended I spend a summer training in Bend, Oregon, an idea I jumped on right away. It only took a couple weeks to absolutely fall in love with the Western summer. The dry heat, mountains of opportunities, and lack of bugs, had me crawling back to Bend three summers in a row.
Alas, it was time for me to grow up. I didn’t pick a ski team according to its local weather patterns. So I had to say goodbye to the endless sun and welcome back the spontaneous thunderstorms with open arms. During my first month of training with the SMS T2 team in Southern Vermont, I received a good slap in the face. I traded in the sun screen for bug repellent, the sun glasses for a rain jacket, and pretty much anything I could find for MORE WATER! Last week we had a pretty intense week of training with lots of intervals and volume. One of our workouts included 4x11 minutes of skate roller skiing intervals up and down a gradual pass working on skiing well at high speed. The goal was to build neuromuscular adaptations while not being too aerobically taxing. The humidity killed me! After each training session it wasn’t only about replenishing the thirst from what our body just endured, but preparing it for the next time we had to go run for 2 hours in 90 degrees and 88% humidity.
Thankfully, this team is not new to breathing in a sauna. In order to get through the challenging weather we held each other accountable to take plenty of water breaks, restore electrolytes, and eat many snacks along the way. Luckily, Coach Pat came prepared with PLENTY of extra water to keep our core body temperature down.
Finally, we made it through the end of the training block and got to take some time off for more R&R. I've spent the last few days trying to find any body of water I can to jump in and have taken on average 3 cold showers each day. Thankfully, the weather is starting too cool off again before we jump back into the next big block of training!
Hours after graduating from the University of Vermont I flew out to Bend, OR to meet my new teammates. I spent three of my college summers training in Bend and after learning I had the opportunity to join the US Ski Team for a camp there, I got really excited to get out west as soon as possible. So I left Vermont at 6:00 am the day after graduation. I’m not saying it was easy… I finished my last round of college finals, sold all of my furniture, completely moved out of my Burlington apartment, welcomed my parents and grandparents to town, sat through hours of commencement speeches in Vermont rain, and said goodbye to some of my closest friends, coaches, and professors, all in a matter of a few days. In the moment, I didn’t have much time to think about how big of a change this was. Now that I have plenty of time to recover after camp in my hometown of Plymouth, MN this transition is really starting to sink in for me.
I’ve never really been one to “sit still”. Throughout high school and college I juggled a heavy academic schedule, a job, volunteering, and participating in or leading multiple clubs. I always did my best to recover between workouts and get plenty of sleep before races, but the juggling required extreme time-management and productivity. All of that being said, my lifestyle is about to flip upside down. I’ve never been able to give 100% of my attention to just one thing before, and the Bend camp gave me a little taste of what’s to come. I’m not sure how things will go but I am excited to enter the unknown and ready to tackle new obstacles.
In the meantime, it has been so nice to spend a little extra time at home visiting with friends and family. My younger brother, Anders, just graduated from high school so a lot of relatives that I haven’t seen in years were in town to celebrate. Anders has competed in the MN State Track Meet the past four years and I had yet to see him race so I was really happy to finally be there for him. He absolutely crushed it getting a Personal Best time and placing 5th overall in the 800m!!
Having had little time to spend at home the past four years I’ve decided to stick around for a while longer to catch up with some much needed sibling time. I can’t wait to get back East soon though to join the rest of the crew. I am sure I can learn a lot from them about adjusting to this new life.