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, 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).