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!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Canmore: I never take any pictures cause I know I'll just be right back.

Funny how that works. Canmore, AB, despite being one of the most beautiful towns in Canada, surrounded by majestic Rocky Mountain peaks, is one of the few places that I have visited that I rarely feel compelled to snap any photos.

Truth is, Canmore is a 3rd home for me (behind Yellowknife and Whistler) and is a place that I return to so often (about 3 times per year) and spend so much time in (1-2 months per year), that pictures are hardly necessary to remind me of the natural beauty of the mountain town.

My arrival in Canmore this time around was to a season I did not expect. Sure, I expected to be skiing on snow on the fabled Frozen Thunder, but little did I know that the entire town would be under it's own kind of "Frozen Thunder" spell. My suitcase's wardrobe consisted of 80% summer clothing, reflecting partly my trip down south to the "warm" USA, and partly my expectation of some afternoons in Canmore spent mountain biking or roller skiing beneath an autumn sun after a morning ritual of slipping and sliding around a hamster death wheel of dirty slush. Rolling into town, the blizzard and biting windchill that greeted me had me mentally tallying the number of wind briefs that I had stashed away in the Fit. I felt a sinking feeling as the number "2" came to mind.

Any stinging of frost nipped appendages over the course of the week was soon assuaged by how mind-bogglingly good the skiing was. I put down a solid 18-hour training week and skied over 300 km over the course of my 10 days in Canmore. Hard wax and solid tracks were the order of the day, every day.

While one of my focuses of the camp, the Frozen Thunder Classic sprint race, didn't go as well as I had hoped due to some borrowed race skis that I could not kick, the quality of other sessions and the jump start on winter in October was very productive and just downright fun.

A huge thank you to former Yellowknifers, Linda and Blair Dunbar, who hosted me while in Canmore.

I am now 4 weeks out of the ever important season opening races (again, in Canmore) and am back in Whistler to make final preparations. It is warm and wet and will likely be at least another week of dryland training (as much as you can call Whistler "dry" at this time of year) before any signs of skiing higher up in the Callaghan Valley.

This is seriously the only picture I took while in Canmore. Graham Nishikawa skiing on Frozen Thunder.