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!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Organic Food Sponsor!

I am pleased to announce that inspirEarth Organics from Pemberton, BC is now sponsoring me by supplying me with fresh/seasonal/local/organic produce on a weekly basis.

Initially, on a whim, I signed up with inspirEarth for their weekly food subscription ($20/week intro food box) at their booth at the Whistler farmer's market, and enjoyed a few awesome months of figuring out how to cook and prepare veggies and fruit I had never seen before (lemon cucumber, anyone?). Shortly after signing up for the weekly food box, I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Gorski, the young guy behind InspirEarth who runs the farm and distribution operations. Soon after that, I even got to go down to Pemby for a tour of the farm, led by Peter's assistant, Sharon, and had a great time seeing the beautiful riverside property and it's agricultural bounty, and the methods by which the property is cultivated.

Having recently developed a passion for the sustainable, local, organic food movement, and after a few conversations with Peter, I felt that my values were closely aligned with those of inspirEarth, thus sparking the idea that a partnership between us could be a great win-win.

I am ecstatic to spread the good word of inspirEarth among my friends in Whistler, and I am even more stoked to be eating an almost entirely organic diet for the first time in my life (organic veggies and wild meat from my dad up North? Decent.).

The benefits of local organic farming are extensive. A few off the top of my head:

- the food is grown near where I live, cutting down on fuel consumption for transport (ain't no blueberry from Chile)
- fertilizer for inspirEarth is manure from the horses at the farm next door.
- no pesticides/herbicides, meaning no harmful residues contaminate the harvest
- gut flora health benefits from organic soil residues on produce
- polyculture growing methods (more than one species on a plot) means increased yields and a hardier crop that is resistant to pests and diseases
- other intangible benefits, like sense of community (at farmer's markets, shoppers have 10 times more conversations than at supermarkets)

I am still learning a lot about agricultural practices (especially since I come from a place where there is virtually no agriculture within about 1000 km), and am looking forward to spending some time volunteering at the farm come spring time and the end of my ski season.

The contents of a weekly winter (read: not much fruit...cause it's seasonal) package: bunch of apples, cabbage, red onions, beets, carrots, acorn squash, kale, garlic, big dirt-covered potatoes, etc.

 For sponsor recognition, my girlfriend, Kajsa (she is sponsored too - we share the food pkg), and I tweet or Facebook photos of things we make with inspirEarth goodies. Here we have beet/chocolate muffins (more like cupcakes if you ask me - so sweet) that Kajsa baked. 

 At the farm.

 Purple kale bunch. Having never eaten kale before, I am now a fiend for it. Chopped finely for a salad or sautéed, it's become a star in my books. Kale is so robust that it continues to grow in the winter under the snow.

 Nothing to see here, just a giant zucchini. 

 For winter growing, inspirEarth put up a great big greenhouse this summer. 

Thanks inspirEarth! I am looking forward to a great partnership this season.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Can I survive a distance race?

The answer is yes. 

Yesterday I put my post-mono fitness to the test in a 10 km time trial with the CVTC and BC ski teams. The purpose of the test was to determine whether I could endure the rigours of prolonged high output and to make a call as to how many distance races I want to start in December (I can still pull off decent sprints despite poor fitness). Saturday's mashed potatoes 5 km course was the epitome of "rigour," and is a condition that I, as a power skier, struggle in. Nonetheless, despite course conditions and still being on the recovery from mono, I finished 6 seconds from the top, a performance benchmark similar to how I was racing last year. 

This is an extremely encouraging and relieving result. It means I can virtually vault headlong into the race season this December. 

With a solid dump of snow last week, the roller skis were put away (mid-snow storm, in fact, as I was caught 3 km away from home with 3 cm of snow on the road!) and it is now full-on winter mode. 

Skiing at the Whistler Olympic Park has been great this week. Thanks to the CVTC and BC Ski Team for inviting me to participate! 

At 9 km, about to put 9 seconds on my 30-second start quarry.

Stay tuned for my first race that is taking place December 3rd! It is an Alberta Cup skate sprint tune-up race in Canmore, AB, where I will rejoin the NWT Ski Team and my Yellowknife Ski Club crew. I am improving by the week, so it should be an exciting season opener!