VT and Reality Blog Verdict

by Jennie

Time sure does fly. Summer is kicking up its heels as it runs the other way. I was lucky to be able to go home to visit family and friends for two weeks in between training camps. Although the concept of home stirs up anticipation for relaxation possibilities,  I  had a schedule the whole time I was there so that no precious time was wasted, especially since I was working around a big training week. My big goal was to hike as much as I could, since that is one of my usual East coast activities that has been lacking these days.

Climbing mountains are a great way to get in a fun over distance workout. Especially with some crazy hiking buddies. If you have never been to the Adirondacks in upstate NY, you must go.  You might come out covered in dirt, but with a clear head.

Pushups at the top of Mt Marcy? Why not! Might as well make it a full body workout.  It wasn’t even my idea…. And  yes the guy in the back is wearing a sport kilt. I never knew there was such a thing.

It was good to be back with my club coach Fred Griffin and his up and coming crew of highschool athletes. We had a classic and a skate day, each two hours filled with technique. I feel that I have spent so much time trying to figure out how to change my own form, that I get really excited passing on my “light bulb” to others. It’s not “do as I say not as I do”, anymore. I finally can ski the fundamentals that have been explained to me many times in many different ways. There is never a time you don’t think about technique when you practice, and if you do it enough, someone someday will describe it to you in a way that makes sense. I have realized that the biggest factor is learning what muscles to use, teaching them to activate, and pushing through until that motion is natural.

The Mt Mansfield Nordic Ski Club has a training group at the Jericho firing range, with a star group of coaches, and pile of kids eager train. I came as a guest coach and took the girls out for some downhill practice  and no-pole intensity work. Sometimes it takes a person who isn’t normally around to push you out of your comfort zone, and we made good progress on the hills!

I love the big smile! No pole work teaches you to actually use your legs instead of passively falling from side to side. (Something that I am still working on!)

Reality Blog Verdict

I feel that I need a conclusion for my attempt to explore the everyday life of a professional skier when they are not at training camp. A while back, I wrote a blog describing my non-training life first year with CXC, and the responses were hot and cold. I had a few great replies, both of personal stories that wished to be kept secret, and those of encouragement towards writing more on the topic. However, I heard from some that it sounded whiny, and as though I didn’t appreciate my blessed life of an athlete. This was not at all written with that tone in mind, although I realized that when writing about living standards in your twenties, it’s hard for the description to not sound lacking or haphazard, even if you are having the time of your life. Some individuals fluctuate more towards one end or the other of the Richtor Scale, but I suppose it’s the whole adventure of being young.

When I was in school looking at post college ski teams, I tried to figure out how exactly these skiers made it work! Were they working? Were they sponsored by businesses or donors? Do their parents help them financially or did they take out loans? Are they extremely thrifty?  Is the team funding quite a bit or do they cover most expenses? The answer is an individual convoluted concoction of yes. I have observed that there is only so much ski support to go around in the US, and athletes might feel that divulging secrets may affect their personal connections. Most of all, you can’t follow someone else’s path, but can only find your own, because we all have different “ingredients” to work with for our life “soup.”  That is my wisdom dispensed for the day.

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