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!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A year in review (with a lot of point form)

This update should have been up about two months ago, so I have combined an update to bring you up to speed along with a brief recap of last year.

2011-2012 in a few words:

The year that I...

- got an iPhone (and consequently had my life changed)
- had laser eye surgery
- read a record of approximately 30 books (due to improved vision from eye surgery you ask? Perhaps)
- caught mononucleosis
- moved where I was living 4 times
- fended for myself for training and racing plans to a large extent after being cut from my previous ski team despite having a really good season in 2010-2011.

As you may guess from the points mentioned above, there were a few frustrating aspects to this past season.
NorAm action in Canmore, AB, sprint qualifying with the sun rising.

That being said, there were also a few very encouraging aspects to the year. Namely, being 4th Canadian in a NorAm classic sprint qualifier and a 14th place Canadian in a 15 km skate at Nationals. As the season progressed, the toll exacted from the mono made itself evident. I lacked the solid base of summer training that carries athletes through the winter months of racing. I was, however, proud with the consistency I was able to achieve by taking a week-to-week approach to training throughout the winter as energy levels fluctuated dramatically like the tides in the Bay of Fundy. Although I did not race as well as I would have liked to at as many races as I would have liked to race well at, it was another year to chalk up to experience.
Enjoying a weekend of sun in the Indian Arm (not the Bay of Fundy) near Vancouver in August, 2011. (This was shortly after my mono diagnosis. Thanks to Logan who paddled me around for 40 km)

While afflicted with mono in the fall, I took a trip home to Yellowknife. No better time to visit parents than when you are lamed up in bed! My visit coincided with the Yellowknife Ski Club dedicating a trail section to my dear friend John who passed away in 2010 in a tragic helicopter accident. 

A time trial in early winter 2011 in Whistler. A testing grounds for my return to racing. 

Much time was spent throughout the year at the Heyes' cabin near Princeton. This past winter I had the pleasure of meeting Nat Brown, who has been involved with the ski program in the States for many years and who resides part-time in an ancient shack near Princeton and maintains 7.5 km of meandering ski trails on his acreage. 

So what have I been up to so far this year?

- Good April of training in Whistler with lots of ski touring and even a few 3 hr mountain bike rides
- Visited Yellowknife in May to go spring hunting for geese and to seek out sponsors for the year, plus spring skiing on Great Slave Lake
- First ski race of the year (or is it last ski race of the year?) at Mt. Baker Ski to Sea.
- Week of groomed skiing at Whistler Olympic Park into the first week of June
- Landed a fantastic job supervising the Canadian Sports Centre Pacific gym here in Whistler (right next door to where I live)
- Moved into a new town home directly beside where I was previously living.

Another year, another summer of adventure and heavy training hours. There is a lot to look forward to this year, as I am yet again associated with my old team of the CVTC, although am not technically an official member. Thanks to my sponsors for their continued support!

Getting high. An excellent day of touring with Stef and Colin up above Whistler Olympic Park. 

The last race of the year? Or the first? Mt. Baker Ski to Sea race (I am in blue). 

On the hunt. The weathered veteran hunters who have been coming to this same place for over 20 years kept on about how weird this spring's migration was. The migration of goose species was reversed. The late, tougher to shoot birds (high flying snow geese) were first, and the early, easier to shoot birds had yet to come. We even shot a super-rare Eurasian wigeon/mallard hybrid to make it even weirder (at the time my dad thought we had discovered a new species, a duck-chimera of sorts belched forth from a tailings pond in Ft. McMurray to wreak havoc on classification and on ornithologists the world over). We even got thunder stormed on during this 2nd week of May...perhaps a 100 year event that is normally reserved for summer days in July and August. Changing times we live in...