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, December 24, 2013

Ciao for now, Italy!

The World University Games came to an end this past week. Unfortunately, I only got to race the sprint qualifier of the 6 race schedule as illness derailed my Games. But it was still a great cultural experience getting to spend two weeks in Italy. I am now in Sweden for a week before heading back to Canada on New Year's Eve. There is no snow where we are staying in Arvika, and we will soon be heading up to Torsby to ski in the ski tunnel for a few days. Check back soon for an update on things in Sweden.

Here are a few last pics from the World University Games:

Very trusting Italians leave bikes and bags unlocked and unattended in the streets of Ziano. 

Kajsa racing in the women's 15 km classic mass start on Friday. 

Watching two live ski races at the same time on Saturday, as I was still recovering at the hotel from illness. The World Cup in Asiago, Italy, was on at the same time as the men's 30 km classic in Val di Fiemme. 

Finally getting to experience Canazei in all its glory, further up the valley from Val di Fiemme. This is where the men's hockey final (Canada won) and closing ceremonies were held. 

Mad trading was going down at the arena. Here's Harry Seaton and I sealing the deal on hard-to-get Chinese backpacks. Nobody has any business making backpacks this nice. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Illness and skipping the 10 km skate

Sorry that it has been 3 days since my last post - I wasn't able to get on the internet at all yesterday. 

Unfortunately I had to skip the 10 km skate race on Tuesday. The few days before I had a sore throat and a bit of the sniffles. My resting heart rate was 75-85 bpm the days leading up to the race instead of my usual of around 50 bpm or just under. Usually it is not advisable to race when you are not healthy, but I have raced once before while having a weird sore throat and had a great race. This was at Canada Winter Games in 2011 in the 10 km skate. I was hoping I could repeat that performance on Tuesday despite not feeling 100% healthy. So I tried a usual warm-up. My zone 1 heart rate was really high while skiing to the race site on the Marcialonga trail. After struggling to ski at a zone 3 pace for 5 minutes in my warm-up, I knew that racing would do more damage than good. Racing while ill can jeopardize the rest of a season. So I turned around and headed home and watched the race on TV. That night the cold symptoms hit me full on and I have been pretty congested since.

I am hoping to suddenly feel better for tomorrow so that I can assess for Saturday's 30 km. At the moment I am pretty disappointed to come all the way over here to Italy to race for less than 4 minutes in a frustrating sprint preliminary round. Luckily, I was talking to a Swedish wax tech yesterday who mentioned that there is a race close to where I will be staying in Sweden during the holidays. My aim is to recover from the illness to get a good race under my belt before heading to Canmore for the NorAms in the new year. 

In the region where we are staying, a lot of food is grown closer to home, as shown in this garden plot in someone's yard. Even in the middle of downtown areas, there are garden plots squeezed into people's small yards. In general, while staying here in Italy I have been amazed at the different way of life compared to North Americans. In the area where we have been staying, people work for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the late afternoon, and that's it. Kids attend school for half days every day. It seems to be a leisure-based economy that is very family-time oriented (read my last post about Italians hitting the slopes midday, leaving towns eerily quite midday. Those who don't ski head home for an extended family lunch and rest). 

The quality of food here is also far, far better than in North Bay (probably better than the West Coast of Canada too). A lot of food is grown locally and naturally. Here is someone's backyard pen full of white front geese, ducks and chickens. 

Locally sourced energy: the primary source of heating in Val di Fiemme is from wood. Each building has a well-stocked firewood shed. 

Getting out for some fresh air with Harry Seaton, with the Tour de Ski's Alpe Cermis in the background. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Exploring the Dolomites (photo journal edition)

On our recent off-day a group of us skiers caught a gondola up to the top of a ski resort in Predazzo. We were treated to stunning views of the Dolomites. We also found where all the Italians go in the middle of the day. The other day we were shopping in a nearby town and noticed that most stores are open from 10-noon and then 4:00-6:00 pm. In between those times, towns are deserted. When we were up at the top of the mountain, we found all of the locals skiing or else sunbathing and enjoying a pizza and beer on one of many ski hut balconies. It made for interesting discussions over lunch as we compared the Italian way of life with the 9-5 North American workday. Around here, things are at a different pace. But everyone is in shape and seems to spend their afternoons out skiing. Taking an extended lunch would make especially good sense in a town like Yellowknife where you normally go to work in the dark and leave in the dark. A long lunch would make the most of the short winter daylight.

This Italian chose the even harder lunch-time option of skiing up the entire mountain. (Personally, I would love to get more into ski mountaineering)

All of the Italians may also be up here just to escape the shade of the deep valleys. Our race venue sees about 1 hour of sun per day on a 200 meter section. 

Skiing home on the Marcialonga course after ski testing this evening. Tomorrow is the 10 km individual start skate, an event that I have come to love over the last few years. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Classic Sprint

Today's post is short since there isn't a huge amount to talk about. Today I raced the 1.5 km classic sprint and wasn't very proud of my performance. I wasn't able to kick well on the climbs and lost a lot of time there. It had something to do with the skis I picked or the amount of kick that was on them. I ended up getting caught by the person who started 15 seconds behind me. I was looking forward to drafting off him into the finish, but unfortunately my skis were also slow and I didn't make up any time sitting on the Swede's draft. On a positive note, my body held up better than I thought it would after re-tweaking my back two weeks ago in training in North Bay. In the end, I was way off of qualifying in the top-30 for the heats. I don't want to read too much into this performance, but will take what I can from it and move on. I am really looking forward to the 10 km skate race on Tuesday.

The church across the street from our hotel in the quaint little town of Ziano.

Some of the men's sprint action today at Val di Fiemme.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Opening Ceremonies

 My mornings have been filled with essay writing for my last class that I am attempting to complete while on the road. As I sit in the bar of our race hotel at 11:00 am, wine-sipping Italians (at 11:00 am!!) chatter jovially as the morning sun breaks over the mountains and shines in through the windows. Things are more laidback around here. Also, I feel like such a bum for not understanding any Italian: I was hoping to at least pick up a bare minimum of basic sayings before coming over here, but was ultimately held up by school-work in the weeks leading up to my departure. Maybe after tomorrow’s final exam I will be able to immerse myself a little more?

Last night was the opening ceremonies. One of my teammates put it nicely: “This is my Olympics. I am fine settling for this.” For me, I have gradually made the step up from Games to Games, starting with 4 Arctic Winter Games in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006. Each of those Games felt like the Olympics to me, with grand opening ceremonies and various countries in attendance. After I became too old to attend AWG as an athlete, I moved on to attend two Canada Winter Games in 2007 and 2011. These Games were on a similar scale, maybe slightly bigger. This year I have made the next jump up to the World University Games, the second biggest Games in the world after the Olympics. Although my training this year has not been great and I have a few old injuries that have no end in sight, the possibility of attending an Olympics is still in the back of my mind. In light of the various Games that are out there, my opinion about high-level sport has developed over the years. From a young age, attending Arctic Winter Games at age 11, I always knew it had the ability to bring peoples and cultures together. Nelson Mandela put it nicely: “Sport has the power to change the world”. So far in Italy, this idea seems very clear to me. Last night was great, chatting and getting pictures with athletes from other countries and handing out Canadian flags to Italian kids in the grandstands. Maybe the small gift of a Canadian flag could leave a lasting impression on a youngster.
The three newly arrived Nipissing University athletes representing the small school overseas. (l to r: Jordan Cascagnette, Kajsa Heyes, me)

Some people say high level sport is a selfish endeavor for the wealthy. I would disagree. The ability for me to pursue ski racing at a high level for the last decade has been possible not because of individual wealth (in fact, I am usually extremely poor), but because of those who support me in my home community in the North. I am extremely grateful for the corporate sponsorships and sport grants that have allowed me to pursue my personal goals as well as my bigger goals of inspiring others to live a healthy, active lifestyle. Having my first taste of international competition last year at my first World Cup race gave me my first sense of the relationships built through sport. Imagine for a moment: here you have today’s athletic stars who are tomorrow’s leaders, forging international relationships across the world. At FISU, you have tomorrow’s great academics as well as future leaders forging slightly different international relationships. On top of this, you have Canadian athletes working as ambassadors to the host countries, putting their best foot forward to develop international kinship.

These are simply musings of my espresso-charged morning writing session, but worthy of thought. These musings and ideas seem at least worthy of a lifelong pursuit of sport, both to attempt to achieve my athletic potential while I am young but also to remain involved in sport with any future career I may choose.
Christian Zorzi and Giorgio Di Centa helped carry the FISU torch into the town square. Their image was projected on this cathedral wall. One of my favourite Olympic moments is still Giorgio receiving the 50 km gold medal at the 2006 Torino Games closing ceremonies, presented to him by his sister.

Today I got a chance to ski out on the Marcialonga trail that passes through the Val di Fiemme race trails. 

A stacked men's field heads out on the last lap of the 15 km skiathlon. (I skipped today's race to focus on Saturday's sprint race)

Enjoying a post-ski hot chocolate at the hotel bar.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Arrival in Italy

The Val di Fiemme race venue looks different in person than it does on Eurosport TV coverage. The hills on the sprint course are steeper and the valley the trails are in is deeper and is between larger mountains than I had envisioned after my repeated viewings of last year’s World Championships race coverage.

Today’s ski was my first ski of the year on real trails and on hills. The first real ski of the year is special for any skier, and doing it in Italy made it extra special. The Italian Dolomite backdrop, the hot sun and the occasional pastoral whiff from the surrounding fields and farmhouses was a great Euro primer for the coming week of racing. As the sun set behind the mountains, I stood at the finish line reminiscing of my buddy Lenny’s commanding silver medal performance in the 15 km classic mass start at last year’s Tour de Ski.
Near the finish line at the famous Lago di Tesero stadium. Site of 3 World Championships and numerous World Cup and Tour de Ski races.

Everything here is going great. Mainly, I am extremely stoked to get out of the 48-hour travel limbo that got me here. My flight from Toronto to Munich on Saturday night was delayed several times before finally getting cancelled on Saturday night. After a short sleep at a Toronto hotel, I was back in the Air Canada line up for several hours with 150 lbs of luggage, weaving my fatty burrito of a ski bag through baggage lines and instilling travel stench in my Team Canada gear.
Flying over the Alps.

Coach Toivo and I enjoying a delicious buttered croissant with meat and cheese at breakfast in the Munich airport.

At the first of many 4-course meals cooked for us at the hotel.

The final leg of the journey was accreditation and a bus ride. I spent the bus ride sitting next to the Chinese men’s ski team. They were nice enough and we got along great despite the very apparent language barrier. They were constantly pointing at the shorts I was wearing and laughing hysterically. I guess that is my northern blood showing through. At the end of the bus ride my ulterior goal of getting a foot in the door on a deal for a Team China faux black leather backpack was accomplished.

Last night I managed to sleep fine. No jet lag for this kid. That’s what 48 exhausting hours of travel with minimal sleep will get you: a sweet 12 hour sleep and instant adjustment to a 6 hour time difference.

Breakfast this morning was great. I was a bit discombobulated from the eventful travel, but otherwise excited to drink fine Italian coffee and eat an assortment of pastries and breakfast meats and cheeses.

Tune in again in two days time for a pre-race preview for Saturday’s classic sprint (I am not racing Thursday’s skiathlon).

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Getting the ball rolling

Yesterday I left North Bay to begin the journey to Italy for my first overseas racing experience (if you don't count Greenland) at the World University Games that start on Wednesday. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind as I finished the semester of full-time study (4 courses) at Nipissing. Writing my exams early and handing in all of my assignments was right down to the wire on Friday and the fact that I am heading to the 2013 World Championships venue to represent Canada is just starting to dawn on me after being so focused on studies for a short time. The trip overseas and the anticipation of actually getting there will be accentuated by how long it is going to take us to travel there. Coach Toivo, Kajsa and I left North Bay yesterday afternoon on a short flight to Toronto. Our flight from Toronto to Munich last night was cancelled, and so here I am in a nondescript Toronto airport hotel wiling away the hours until our rescheduled flight (I should really be writing my last essay that is due in a week's time. Hopefully blogging will get those creative juices flowing?). Our 18 hour trip is now turning into a 48 hour odyssey. I guess it will be a good opportunity to get to know my coach, Toivo, a bit better since we have both been busy this fall (he is a prof at the uni) and have only worked together about 2 times per week at team training. 

Anyways, I should keep this post short since I have set myself the goal of blogging every 2 days about my trip to Europe. I need to pace myself if that is going to happen. I will be in Italy for 2 weeks, then Sweden for 1 week and then Canmore for 12 days. I have some making up to do for a lack of blogging this fall, so here it goes...

For a short clip of training this fall, check out this video of a classic roller ski time trial that was held at a regional Ontario training camp in early November (I am at :25 and 1:32 (#301)):

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Always turn around so that you know where you've come from and know how to get home.

It has been an observation of mine that the more blogging and tweeting a skier engages in, the better their training is going, generally speaking. Even the most devout fan wouldn't follow post after post of depression. Judging from my lack of blogging throughout this summer one could conclude that my training hasn't been great, and they would be right. After a year of dealing with a pesky knee injury, I decided to take a few months of complete rest. After taking the summer off, and with no improvement in the knee, I decided to get back into some moderate training again. My physio in Vancouver (the magical Sean Campbell) was on the same page and sent me on my way, as I left the West Coast, with a long list of physio exercises in addition to a specific tape job I was to complete each day to help teach my right ankle and foot to load properly, which would in turn teach my hips to be in alignment, thus aiding my troublesome left knee. I certainly didn't think this knee injury was this complex or that it would put me this far behind in preparations for this winter.

Starting back into training in September was very slow. The knee wasn't great and I was weak. I would be exhausted after 3 x 5 minutes of zone 3, a moderate training intensity. But even though I was training, the knee wasn't getting any worse than when I wasn't training. Lately, it has even started to come around and feel better as my body gets stronger with physio and strength in the gym. The body is in better alignment when it is strong. My stand-up desk is also helping that.

A few of you will notice how I mentioned leaving the West Coast. I am actually attending school at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario. Had you told me before this summer that I would be returning to live in Ontario, I would have laughed it off. And yet, here I am in North Bay, 5 years after I thought that I had left this province for good (I was on the National Team Development Centre in Thunder Bay for one year) to move west and pursue my passion of cross country skiing in more mountainous terrain. Last year a part of me was out of balance. I was missing intellectual challenge and reading 50-100 pages/day of varied literature wasn't doing it for me. I needed to challenge my mind in a more structured way. This spring, as I was laid up with a few health issues including my ongoing knee injury, I attended Quest University in Squamish, BC. For a number of reasons, mainly financial well-being and skiing support, I moved out to North Bay to attend Nipissing University instead of Quest and to be part of a growing university ski team.

Yellowstone on the drive out to Ontario. One of the coolest places around. And yes, that is a buffalo.

Some people may be questioning why I have had 9 addresses in the last 6 years. Am I really that noncommittal and compulsive? I think it's simply that I recognize opportunities when they come along. All I know right now is that I want to get back to 100% health so that I can pursue ski racing as best I can. I also know that I enjoy studying and learning. My life is portable enough at this stage in my life that I can afford to be a wandering vagabond.

Picnic on Great Slave Lake during my visit home in August.

During my visit to Yellowknife this summer I got to go visit the barren lands with the North Slave Métis Alliance. 

The title of this post is a wise phrase I recently heard from a retired prominent political figure in the NWT. He was describing to me the basics of travelling on the land when out hunting. This would also seem to apply to wandering vagabonds. Thanks to all who are helping me on this journey. My first European racing experience is happening this December in Italy and Sweden. 

Check back soon for a blog I am working on about the satirical differences between Quest and Nipissing.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dinky-ass stars

For the first time in the history of this blog, I am calling out the part in the introduction that promises that I might talk about school at some point. Talking about some school in the past few years has been a bit of a challenge in that talking about it would require actually being in school in the first place. Aside from a couple weakly attempted free Coursera courses and the odd Athabasca U correspondence business course, the education of this particular individual has been limited to extensive non-fiction readings in the latest area of piqued interest. That is, until the past few months when I have jumped off the deep-end and started taking a few full-time courses at Quest University in Squamish while my knee injury heals.

At beautiful Quest University in Squamish.

The course that I finished in June (they do one 3.5 week course at a time) was Astrophysics, taught by a member of the 2011 Nobel Prize winning team from Berkeley that discovered that the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. The title of this post is one of the favourite terms used in our tutor's (that's what they call professors at Quest) technical jargon to help describe the vast scope of astronomical scales. The reason I am bringing up the topic of school at this point is because this particular course was such a far cry from any previous formal educational experience that I have ever had. Being one of only eight students in the only class that was being offered at Quest for the month of June was very casual yet intense as all Quest classes are. I enjoyed the course immensely. The content, delivery method, the tutor's expertise and teaching style (hilarious) paired with the beautiful living arrangements in the middle of one of North America's best single track mountain biking networks made June a very special month. Seeing as how mountain biking is the only training activity I can do with any regularity at the moment, and a minimal amount at that, the set-up for the month was ideal. I got to put my spare hours freed up by a reduced training schedule towards furthering my knowledge about dark matter and cosmological redshift.

My July classroom in North Vancouver for an Independent Study (correspondence course) at Quest. The pool also made for excellent pool running rehab for my knee.

Pizza party at my home for the month at the Heyes' residence.

After a month in the Vancouver area, I also just polished off a semi-correspondence course at Quest. Another highlight this month was participating in a Hollyburn Racing Team training camp up at the Heyes' cabin near Princeton B.C. July 5-12th. My knee was feeling okay for a few good days of training before telling me to smarten up and stick with a few open water swims in Osprey Lake.

Exploring the high country around Osprey Lake. Great training opportunities on terrain that varies from 900 - 1500 meters elevation. 

Hollyburn's 2013 Osprey Lake Camp was a rousing success with great weather and excessive aquatic revelry.

In other news, I will be heading home to Yellowknife for 3 weeks as I will be helping conduct a traditional knowledge survey with the North Slave Métis Alliance. This is a great opportunity to get more in touch with my Métis heritage and to spend some time on the land as the second part of the survey consists of a 4 day workshop up on the tundra at a future mine site.

As for training, I have been very limited with nagging knee injury. I have been taking some time off recently to hopefully get it back to 100% come fall time. The main focus for the time being is physiotherapy. I think I can be really fast if I can get totally healthy. I will be racing in Europe for the first time in my career this December at the World University Games. The intense competition expected this December at last year's World Championship's venue in Italy will keep my focus sharp in getting this knee back in order.

Capping off 10 days at Osprey Lake this July.

I just arrived home in Yellowknife. My dad just showed me his holster for his street legal pellet handgun that he is going to use to blaze away at the neighbourhood's resident grouse and ptarmigan population this year. And he also just used the phrase "Winter is coming" even though he has never heard of Game of Thrones (used in reference to the urgent matter of getting jeans repaired). 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Regaining health after a long-term funk

The form of this blog post was undecided for the longest of times. After returning west from Easterns at Nakkertok, I had a special opportunity to take part in some races at ex-US wax tech, Nat Brown's ranch, located near my girlfriend's cabin in Princeton, BC. There should have been a blog post devoted just to that weekend, but my body was in such a state of constant lethargy and sleepiness that I could hardly appreciate the spectacular venue and overall excitement surrounding the informal (yet extremely well-organized) races. I raced one day (nearly collapsed on course and then had a sudden urge to sleep upon crossing the finish line) and skipped the next.

The beginning of my staleness syndrome, but still enjoying the sunshine at Nat's ranch with the burly and highly academic Stef Sander-Green. 

Returning to Whistler, I took it very easy in training for the next two weeks leading up to Western Canadian Champs in hopes of turning things around. I did a set of short intervals the week before the races that felt pretty good, so I was off to race in Grande Prairie for the first time in my life (hard to believe, being from Yellowknife). Western Champs was a complete train wreck for me. I had a great pair of skis and felt surprisingly good in the skate sprint, but I crashed in qualifying and was unable to move through my quarter final. The next day was worse and even a little bit frightening.

Over the past 4 years I have been dealing with an unusual heart condition that comes and goes. At it's worst, during interval training my heart will start beating at up to 250 bpm, essentially just flapping and not pumping blood very effectively, and my workout would need to be adjusted. I have been able to control the racing heart rate by squatting down and taking a small break. This increased blood pressure somehow resets my heart into a normal rhythm and will remain so as long as I don't push it again that day. During these spells when my heart is acting up (usually a minimum of a week in length), I have limited the amount of intensity I do as much as possible to avoid triggering the arrhythmia. Because the tachycardia had always been triggered during the rest phase of hard intervals, I was surprised when it happened in a race for the first time at Westerns. In the 15 km classic race, I felt my heart start to flap midway through the race. I started to feel extremely terrible, my limbs and breathing started to seize up and refused to keep working. My race was done for the day. I also pulled the plug on the next day's 30 km. More on this heart condition at the end of the post...

Starting out my skate qualifier. The race was going well until I went over a section of ice on a corner and hit the deck.

15 km classic race at Western Canadian Championships

Back in Whistler, I was glad to have a month-long break before racing Nationals on my home course. This was a good time to feel things out and get the body back on track with some normal training, but to my frustration, I remained in this long-term funk. I had a couple okay races at Nationals and only one disappointing race. I failed to qualify for the sprint heats for the first time in my life, slipping and sliding all over the place as I struggled to get grip in the classic sprint qualifier. I switched my focus to a much anticipated trip to California with my girlfriend...

10 km skate at Canadian National Championships in Whistler

Believe it or not, we went to California for more ski racing. US Supertour Spring Series were taking place high up in the mountains in Truckee, California, racing high up at 2200 meters for better snow cover after the worst snow year in a century. I raced three races; a 3.3 km skate prologue, a 15 km classic mass start, and a classic sprint. The three races without a rest day in between and at that elevation made for some discomfort and tough mental battles out on course. Despite this, I skied to one of my best results of the year, a 16th place in the prologue in a tough field of Americans vying for positions on their Olympic team for next year. The next day's classic race was gruelling and I had difficulty getting purchase with the stiff skis I had selected. The final day's classic sprint was inclement weather, with rain and sleet and snow causing all sorts of ski and wax combinations to be tested on course. I opted for double poling on my race wax from Thursday's skate race since I couldn't get proper grip in warm-up and figured the course was moderately flat anyways. Aaaand for the second time in my life, I didn't qualify to race heats.

Honda Fit in its element. 2 road bikes, 3 people, racing gear and camping gear, driving from Whistler to California.

Over the course of the next two weeks, Kajsa and I visited the following places on our camping road trip vacation (there were a few days not camping too): Yosemite, Death Valley, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, Sonoma, and everywhere in between. A great way to unplug and unwind after a bit of a tumultuous season.

Dante's view with Death Valley in the background.

Lowest point in North America!

San Francisco was the highlight of the trip. Can't wait to go back!

There are still good things to take from this past season. I qualified to race my first World Cup, which was my primary goal for the season. In the summer, I achieved the best shape of my life and set records in both of the CVTC uphill roller ski time trials (shape that was gradually subdued after a knee injury in July that I am still dealing with today).

Québec City World Cup and the highlight of my ski career.

But with less than optimal health heading into this next training season, I am changing things up a bit over the coming months in hopes of being able to complete 100% top-quality training come July. I just got heart surgery for my supraventricular tachycardia. The procedure was a routine and safe procedure that has a short recovery time of one week. I walked into the hospital with a heart that flaps erratically while doing intensity, and walked out at the end of the day with a heart that is ready to pump full strokes of blood. Let me tell you, being a young person with an unfortunate heart problem that prevents me from doing what I love to its full extent, I feel pretty fortunate to live somewhere where such a high-tech procedure can be performed by a very reassuring and young, highly specialized doctor, FOR FREE, and get me back in action fully recovered in a matter of mere days. I was also relieved to hear that my condition, although frightening, was never life-threatening - only performance limiting.

Directly in the centre of the shot is one of the four holes they went in through. Size of a black fly bite.

Here are the other three, located at the top of my leg. (bruising is from local anaesthetic needles)

As for my knee, I am awaiting an MRI that will shed light on the instability issue I have had since last summer. I also have a fantastic physio that I have been working with whose aggressive techniques are proving effective in relieving the knee and quite performance enhancing.

You may be starting to think that I sound like an old car that's past it's prime and is starting to have some major breakdowns. But truth is, my fitness and experience have only been improving each year and I feel that my best days and results are yet to come. I have a long-term focus in this sport and I hope to be training and racing at a high level for many more years.

With lower training volumes planned for May and June because of my focus on my health, I will be attending a couple classes at Quest University in Squamish. I look forward to this change of pace and the unique educational experience offered at the seminar-style liberal arts and sciences school. Ecology and Astrophysics, here I come!

A Callaghan Valley photo shoot with my friend, Jen Tabbernor.

Every day is a spring day in Whistler.