Welcome to my blog! This is a site where you can keep up to date on my life as a full-time athlete in the sport of cross country skiing. You can expect regular updates throughout the year as I report on training, racing, life in general and maybe even some school. Sponsors, family, friends and fans: Enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kakabeka and The Breaking of the Fellowship

Whirlwind of events here in Tbay. Today was an interesting day. Bright and early in the morning we found out that the Supertour races in Minnesota were cancelled due to "extreme cold weather". This opened a can of worms, mainly for Pate Neumann. He had a very difficult decision to make last week: whether he would go through a lot of stressful travel and poor Worlds preparation to go out to Canmore as one of the Cdn alternatives to start the sprint races, or whether he would stay at home in Thunder Bay and get in some very focused preparation at nearby races and training out of his main base. He chose the latter, as his main focus of the year is to be competitive at U23's.

With the cancellation of his prep races at Mt. Itasca, he had to reevaluate his past decision. After talking it over with Eric he decided to make the trip out to Canmore to possibly get in on some World Cup action. Thus completing The Breaking of the Fellowship.

I believe that necessitates an explanation: Last week I was shocked to learn that Mr. Neumann had never seen the Lord of the Rings series (hasn't seen Star Wars either!). Without further ado, we set out on a journey of enlightenment to complete the entire series that was locked deep within the dark recesses of my WD 160GB external harddrive. With certain bedtime restrictions, this limited us to a measly hour or so of viewing time per night. At such a rate it would take over a week to complete the entire series, so in the end we only managed to watch the first two.

With this revisitation of Tolkien lore, i couldn't help but draw some parallels between the quest to destroy the ring, and the year for us on the Tbay NTDC.

"The Fellowship of the Ring" summarizes my entire year on the NTDC up to January. Once the "fellowship" was named in the spring, we all set out on a journey together to accomplish our goals in skiing. We have had many battles up until this point and some of us have suffered hardships on our quest for glory; not attaining certain goals or enduring personal losses. With the departure of Jesse, Pate and coach Eric from Thunder Bay, the "fellowship" is now broken.

Over the next 1-2 months many of us on the NTDC will be doing our own things. Lenny is currently in Europe competing on a "B-tour" with the CNEPH; Butler, Pate, Jesse and Kate will all be racing World Cups next week, and then all 5 of the athletes mentioned will head over to Poland to compete at Worlds (Jr and U23). In the meantime, Myself, Phil, Sara and Somppi will race domestically and will shift our main focus to the National Champs in Callaghan Valley. To me this seems a lot like "The Two Towers", eh?

Finally, likely sometime in March, we will congregate for our last stand at Nationals. Old friends will be reunited and demons will be fought. Past alliances will be formed (me and Argue in the team sprint) and the final battle will be fought on the sacred stomping grounds for the 21st Olympic Winter Games.

There you go. Many similarities I see.

Now for the Kakabeka part of the title: today, me, Somppi, Sara and Timo had a sweet ski out at Kakabeka. It was my first time skiing there, and it surely will not be my last. I had a blast! The trails are very flat and sometimes pleasingly rolling - great for z1 classic ski (skate too probably). I think that's an important element for a distance workout, that the trails are mainly flat in order to maintain the proper training stimulus as opposed to skiing on very hilly terrain where the body is constantly in flux with the constant switch between tough climbing and resting on downhills.

Time to end this epic entry!

Later alligator.

1 comment:

Pate Neumann said...

Wow, Kate, Pate Jesse and Eric are very impressed! You will have to bring the final Lord of the Rings out to Nationals so we can truly bring the epic journey to a close. Smigal will be very pleased to have his precious back. I am looking forward to our reunition... (that goes beside explosivity in the dictionary...) Keep it real TD.
The Neumanator!