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!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Super Post

Buddy 'ol pal Inukshuk whom I erected a few years back is still hanging tight up high in the Rocky Mountains. He gets decimated by wind storms from time to time, but always seems to get back up. Thanks Haig skiers.

Chapter 1: I became a traveler.

Recently I have spent many solid days driving in the Fit. People wince and grimace when I speak of the distances I have travelled. Truth is, the ’09 Fit is a very comfortable vehicle that’s fun to drive and is very fuel efficient (I’ve been averaging like 5.3L/100km lately). So anyhoo, I’ve driven some long distances in the Fit. Driving “days on end” distances. And I’ve discovered the most ingenious way to both pass the time and to enrich the mind (two things that don’t often go together). Podcasts. podcasts specifically. “Stuff you missed in History Class” and “Stuff You Should Know”. And in one of these episodes of, “Stuff You Should Know,” I listened as staff writer Josh M. Clark and editor Chris Paulette entertained and pondered the question of, “Where is the best part on your body to get shot?” They talked of such gruesome phenomena as cavitation (where tissues expand like 100 times the size of the bullet around the site of the wound upon getting shot) and also of bullets ricocheting off bone. A soldier in the War on Terror (I believe) who was shot in the upper chest had the bullet bounce off bone in such a way that it travelled the length of his arm through flesh all the way to his finger where it exploded the periphery like a roasting cheese smoky splitting open in a deathly spray of seething-hot dairy. Another deadly phenomenon - that immediately eliminated the torso from being the best place to get shot - is when the bullet ricochets around the contours of the rib cage wreaking havoc on internal organs in its desperate attempt to escape its fleshy prison.

To close off this metaphor, this berserker bullet bouncing about madly and randomly inside this body cavity represents all of this high energy and exciting material bouncing around in my mind trying to emerge somewhat organized in a controlled chaos of an update. So much AWESOME lately has left me attempting to pin the blog post tail on a non-existent donkey. The whirlwind has subsided and it appears that I am in the calm epicenter that is the eye of the tornado (another great podcast of “Stuff You Should Know”). So its time to write an update before I am swept off once again, haha. [/segway]

Camille is on the top of the World. Literally and mentally.

Don't leave that shirt off for too long!! SPF 4 held off the sunburn for this kid (barely!), but most of the BC athletes had some pretty hilarious burn lines during the camp.

So let’s start by talking a little bit about One Fit Man (who was me…ahem…who hopefully still is me). He went up to the glacier for a week with a young group of BC athletes at the start of July. It was his first time as senior athlete of the camp. Coincidentally, his first ever glacier camp, as a first year Juvie (some 7 years ago), was with the BC team as well. Back in the day when Jesse Heckrodt was constantly cleaning up at Nationals.

The epic-per-usual camp had me slamming 4-hours-ish daily. Skiing on the lunar landscape of the Haig Glacier under harsh solar radiation every morning and walking the earth as a zombie every afternoon, stumbling about drunkenly in a hypoglycemic stupor, scowling scorningly as the bubbly BC kids gushed in merriment over their card games and Cosmo magazines.

Technically sound skiing with no glaring issues. Heart rate VERY low skiing through a possible combination of suppression and a new fitness profile that meant something different being the cut-off for faster skiing AND surviving the week. Breathing would be pinned with my HR reaching 140, so with that in mind HR monitoring was virtually thrown out the window and breath counting was a new method for ensuring optimally short anabolic switch over time post-training day to day (aka: not over-doing it). Lactate spot-checks were in store as well, as is common with “high-end” endurance athletics these days despite ambiguity as a pace-setting monitor and at the very least its ambiguity in how different coaches interpret different readings. 1.8 mmol/L: GO FASTER!!! Haha. Maybe I should “slow down” when lazing around after eating my lunch when my La is 3.8mmol/L…hmmmm… Paralysis through analysis. But at the same time it’s cool to have a window into metabolism albeit only one single very small portal window covered with a mung-clogged bug screen. Don’t get me wrong though, it IS useful, haha. Moving on….

After 3 very successful weeks of training, nailing every session and hermit-ting in my down-time to ensure proper recovery, it was time for a break from the straight-and-narrow. And thus the Fit and I embarked on our journey to the Great White North.

Haha. Amy McDonald from Hay River, my favourite flag girl, posted near Kakisa. Saw her both on the way up and way down. Used to be a competitive biathlete in Canada. Note how bad the bugs are!

Chapter 2: Yellowknife Mosquito Infestation.

Getting back to Yellowknife is always a great feeling. Apples and oranges with Whistler. Not nearly as many fun things to do in terms of training venues or randomly intriguing activities in town, but the comfort of living at home in a town where I know a large portion of the population and am familiar with the ins and outs of the city makes for a feeling similar to putting on your most comfortable jeans after wearing lesser jeans for, well, a very long time? You know?

Training up to this point had been quite heavy. Yellowknife was intended as a rest from the keen focus I had down south (and the beat-down). I trained decently big days when I could, but for the most part took some time off doing things like working Mountain Bike Madness and getting other Yellowknife business out of my system. I let training come back to me naturally, not trying to force it after a hard block. Train big and hard when it comes easy, if not, be patient; set-backs are short-lived. I was tired a lot. Operating my mountain bike camp and dealing with miscellaneous errands during my last foreseeable stay in Yellowknife had me running around constantly.

In the end, I had my dose of YK and was itching to get back to Weaseltown.

Highlights of Yellowknife in Summer 2009:
- seeing everyone at Folk On The Rocks (and getting slaughtered in the Sam Roberts mosh)
- hanging at Mo-dawg’s house boat
- 24 km run to Berry Hill with Corey (YK’s highest point, at maybe 250 metres)
- chilling at the beach with Mountain Bike Madness
- East Arm camping (greatest place in the world)
- Getting an N-Dub license plate on the Fit
- NOT the heinously bad mosquitoes Yellowknife has this year

Ella Mawdsley and I during the pedal, paddle, pound race. I won the bike (then waited for Ella) and the run. Despite overheating really bad running and nearly dying in the cloud of blackflies.

Fishing out by Pauline Bay.

Near Burnt Island on Great Slave.

Corey and I atop Berry Hill. Man broke dog on this day. Misty was crippled all week.

Chapter 3: Back To Weaseltown Again

- Depart YK: 2:00 pm Thursday, August 6th
- Arrive Peace River: midnight
- sleep in the Fit for 5 hours in Wal-Mart parking lot
- 30 minute run along the river, looked over by 12-foot Davis
- Depart Peace River: 6:30 am Friday
- 45-minute nap on the side of the road at 8:30 am
- Arrive Canmore: 3:00 pm
- 1 hour rollerski with P-Wood and Fraser
- Hang at the Ice Cream Bus with Pate and get free b-day ice cream
- Sleep on Jess’s couch (way comfier than the piano-laden Fit – it actually had a piano in it. Along with 2 bikes, 2 ginormous duffels, a longboard, rollerskis + poles and about 5 other smaller bags and about 10 sets of footwear)
- 1 hour rollerski and watched AWCA uphill skate TT
- waited 20 minutes in line for some dimwit and the Starbucks baristas trying to get a coffee order right
- hit the road for Van at 9:30 am Saturday
- After driving through the smoky bbq that was BC, arrive to my Auntie Lori’s cooking at 6:00 pm
- Drop off piano at Grandma’s
- drive up to Whistler the next morning for 9:00 am 3hr15min run up Singing Pass and down on Whistler Gondola with Lee and Camille (awesome).

2700km. Filling the Fit 4 times on the road.

Back to Weaseltown. And up Singing Pass. Turned out to be an awesome workout despite not really knowing the route we were taking.


(This news is pretty old actually; I’m just a pro at crastinating…)

After an impromptu application at the start of June to be part of a once in a lifetime opportunity to trek the Akshayuk Pass on Baffin Island with an entourage of world-renowned adventurers and ultra-endurance athletes, I was selected as one of twelve finalists in North America to get a phone call interview. After talking to B. Cox on the phone I was selected as one of five youth to take part in this unique opportunity with the non-profit organization, impossible2Possible.

You can read the press release here (and I suggest you do):

So after a hard block of training here in Whistler and then in Canmore for a week, I jet off to Ottawa for a few days prep before chilling in Pang (Pangnirtung (haha, pain in your tongue)) learning to set up tents. From there, 14 of us set off on the adventure of a life-time, getting chased by polar bears and fording glacial rivers for about 10 days. Should be a complete and utter riot! Oh yeah, PS. I’m the only dude Youth Ambassador. Sweet. The girls sound pretty giggly though based on our conference calls, haha…


Just to make this post even more BA…

This is the totally ballin’ music line-up I’m listening to these days…

Destination Unknown – Alex Gaudino (great music video too, haha)
She Wolf – Shakira
Hotel Room Service – Pitbull
Whatever – Brother Ali (the bass will LITERALLY blow your mind)
This is For You – Bliss n Eso
Stomp (Ratatat Remix) – Young Buck, T.I. & Ludacris
When Love Takes Over – David Guetta ft. Kelly Rowla
Cool – Lupe Fiasco
Run This Town – Jay-Z ft. Kanye & Rihanna
Notorious Thugs – Notorious B.I.G. ft. Bone Thugs N’Harmony
Someday We’ll Know – New Radicals
Shoot Me Down – Lil Wayne
Fight This – DL Incognito ft. Dallas Green (AMAZING)
Sunshine – Lupe Fiasco
Missing You – Notorious B.I.G.
Sideways – Dierks Bentley
Work It Out – Jurassic 5 & Dave Matthews Band

Things are going awesome here in Whistler as they usually are. The Academy has been here for the past week so its been great to hook up with them from time to time for some training. Had a great skate sprint simulation with them in which I had some very good signs. Will post more on that hopefully within the next 2 months. Haha.

Sublime sunset to wrap up an amazing evening out on the water at Moses' house boat in Yellowknife Bay. (having a house boat has now made it onto the list of "Living The Yellowknife Dream". Along with owning a float plane.)

Catch ya later,



Steffan Lloyd said...

Solid post! Didn't make it up to the haig this year, i'm jealous, sounds like you guys had good weather. Have fun on the expedition - Ray Zahab is another chelsea-ite like andrew and I - and he's ridiculously fit, should be fun

MG said...

that post was so super i think it was using EPO it just kept going and going and going. Still sweet though, see you tomorrow

Evelyn said...

Evelyn, the Aunt who has never read your blog (photo caption), has just finished reading your last 2-3 months of blogs. Love it.

AndrewMatthews said...

you should have called this post "a short novel by Thomsen D'Hont". I like it though, have a great time on your adventure expedition.

Denise said...


Thanks, I'm actually starting to get better at posting on my blog regularly. It was a bit of a struggle at first.
Looks like you've had some pretty cool adventure yourself.

Most of the people I "remember" from Yellowknife are mostly from adults reminding me I knew people, so I kind of remember.

I think at some point I was told you were living/training in Whistler? I'm going to school in Van and got up to XC a few times there and it was so nice!