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.