Monday, September 20, 2010

Sixteen thousand, one hundred and eighty four miles.

This post isn't about ski racing per say, and it isn't about me. It's about my sister, Robin, who just completed an epic journey, all 16,184 miles of it.  

Last week she completed her "year of biking."  She started at our family home in Seattle, biked down the west coast, (took a break to fly back for the Olympics!) then across the US/Mexican border during the winter months, zig-zagged across the East Coast, and returned West through Canada.  She had no plans, no steady biking companions, and spent most of her nights "stealth camping."  Yep - she's a 25 year old female that did it all by herself!  And if you're wondering, stealth camping means sleeping in places that you don't pay for ie, the side of the road behind the camouflage of bushes or one of her last nights, a baseball dugout. During her travels she kept an awesome blog. You can read Robin's final post about her adventure and the other 56 posts if you are so inclined.

Robin had (and still has!) a wicked tan line from her bike shorts.... she's currently growing the helmet hair out and yes, she rocked the APU training shirt all over the country!

In the meantime, here are some of Robin's stats, taken directly from her blog:

The Final Tally for 365 days on the road:

Miles: 16,184 (26, 045 km)
Flats: 41 (none since way back in Vermont!)
Tubes: 15
Tires: 7
Jars of Nut Butter: 38
Nights under a roof: 128
States: 30
Provinces: 4
National Parks, etc: 38
Bike-free days: 58
100+ mile days: 21
Rain: 87
Riding in Rain: 48
Riding with companions: 29
Books: 24
Spontaneous hosts: 6
Ferries: 8
Farms: 2
Rear Wheels: 3
Warmshowers/Couchsurfing hosts: 17
Bike shorts: 3
Tubes Chamois B'tter: 3
Sicknesses: 3
Sunglasses: 3
Nights paid for: 13

Call her crazy, call her brave, call her adventuresome.  As her older sister, I am incredibly proud of her independence, her ambition, and her sense of adventure. She had an amazing year, met absolutely fantastic, genuine people, and had an experience that many of us will never dream of.  Let her be an inspiration. I know that I will - and do!  Congratulations Robs.... so glad you're back safe!

You may ask, "Now what?"  Well, I'm happy to say that there's going to be another Brooks in West Yellowstone this year!  Yep, my sister took a job as the head coach of Glacier Nordic based out of Whitefish, Montana.   

Sweet pic of our family in 1993. Robin's in the front, left and I'm in the middle of my parents wearing one of those sweet fleece barrets that were so cool! 

In other news, fall is definitely here in Anchorage, smell of rotten leaves and all. More on that and the upcoming ski racing season to come - stay tuned! 

Holly :) 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finally a full-time skier and part-time coach!

It's been a long time in the making but a couple of weeks ago I officially became a full-time skier and a part time coach. That's right, I reversed my roles. I used to be a full time coach and part time athlete.  Now, it's the opposite.  I have to say, life is still as busy as ever but it's good. I'm not complaining!

Fall colors are already out in Anchorage.  This picture is from Glen Alps 

I have many people to thank for helping make this change possible.  First and foremost, my husband Rob has been awesome. As an ex-ski racer himself, he knows "the good, the bad, and the ugly" of ski racing. My employers, Alaska Pacific University and my boss/coach, Erik Flora have been encouraging and flexible.  My co-workers, Eric Strabel and Dylan Watts have taken on larger responsibilities at work. While I used to be a head coach of two programs I am now an assistant coach.  I still get to interact with other athletes on a daily basis (which I love to do) but have handed the decision making and planning off to these two guys.

And now the shameless plug to my sponsors..... why? Because they make being a ski racer possible physically, financially, emotionally, and logistically.  Financing your own athletic career and paying for everything from race entries to roller ski wheels and over-sized baggage fees is expensive and I'm happy to say that because of my generous sponsors I'm not accruing credit card debt in the process.  I know that not every ski racer has the support that I have and I am very lucky to be so fortunate.  I think the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child" relates to skiing 100%.  It certainly takes a community to raise an athlete.  Anchorage is a wonderful, vibrant place to be a ski racer and I hope that I can give as much back to the community as I receive.  But back to my sponsors - they are listed in the column to the right.  Some have supported me with cash donations, and others with in-kind support.  They have all been wonderful to work with and I appreciate their support immensely!!!!!  Please check out my sponsor's links by clicking on the company logo and (when applicable) help me by utilizing their services!!!

What else?

Its been a busy month .... honestly characterized by some less than desirable weather.  Here in Alaska we actually broke the record for consecutive rainy days, something like 34 (?) days straight of rain!?  Working outside is a blessing when it's sunny out but for the straight month plus of rain lets just say it was character building! :)

Here are a couple of pictures from recent days....

A bunch of us went to the state fair for "Olympian Day" the friday before Labor Day.  The day was spent signing autographs, taking pictures, and answering questions/telling stories about the games.  Pictured are Callan (snow boarding) me, Kerry (hockey) and my APU teammates, James and Kikkan. 

Kikkan and I wandered around the fair after our event and found time for another workout with these cabbage weights!  I also saw the record breaking pumpkin weighing in at 1101 pounds! 

This picture basically sums up a lot of our weather... 

And when its less than desirable its even nicer to have teammates to train with.  Here is an "after shot" of me, Katie, and Kikkan after a great (and dry!) three hour skate ski last weekend.  Training with others is the best.  Never underestimate the power of having a team!

That's it for now - more to come so stay tuned! 
Holly :)