Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Patience, Opportunities & my favorite place in Europe

The Gnomes of Lillehammer 

So far this season has not been what I expected whatsoever. It's been a slow start for me and poor results, or lack of results can do weird things to the mindset of a professional ski racer.  In the past I have always started the season strong, admittedly (sometimes) too strong. While my goal has always been to race the fastest come February during the Olympics, I'd certainly like to be turning in some confidence boosting results early on.  Person after person keeps telling me to be patient, and that maybe my slow start is a good thing. An anonymous athlete told me that their motto was a crescendo..... (Italian translation is "gradually becoming louder) to start slow and then build more and more momentum as the season progresses. 

Patience was never my strong suit and as an athlete it's tough to wait after you've worked so hard. It's easy to allow doubt to creep into your mind: did I do too much this summer, have I under-rested, should I have done more intervals in October, maybe less? 

I have learned that if you don't make a conscious decision to tame your mind that it will and can get out of control.  Instead, I am doing everything in my power to keep faith, know that I have done the hard work, and wait for it to come, hence exhibit patience.  In the meantime, I'm taking charge of things I can control - my rest, my nutrition, my ski selection and what I choose to do with my time when I'm not skiing.  

Lucky for me this week we are in Davos, my favorite stop on the World Cup.  The race venue has historically treated me well. In the skate distance races I've been 13th and 20th and I've qualified in both skate and classic sprints.  The sun is out, the sky is blue, the snow is cold and the USST is at our "home away from home," the Kulm where the team has been staying for going on 20 years.  Each year when we walk in the front door we are welcomed by Heinz, the enthusiastic host who remembers each of us by name and greets us with a big hug. 

So, despite a slower than usual start I feel like I'm still in the game and something good is yet to come. Thanks to those of you who've sent notes of encouragement when things are less than perfect. You know who you are and I am really thankful to have you in my life! 

I hope that things are great with you and yours and thanks for reading. 

Here are a couple of other pictures from the last week for good measure: 

 KR 20 Klister tubes being filled by a machine at the Swix headquarters in Lillehammer. It was really fun to get a tour of the facility and cool that wax is still made IN Norway! 

 USST Swix Female athletes with Morton, one of the Swix World Cup technicians

 Norway is all about their fish. The buffet in Lillehammer was a bit out of control with almost 20 different kinds of fish and ways to eat fish at lunch & dinner. (Many at breakfast too!) 

 Sunday post-race strength sesh at Haakon's Hall in Lillehammer. 

 One of my favorite things - skyping with my boys! 

This final shot is from tonight... this is 2/3 of the weight room in Davos. If you can't tell by the picture it is TINY. It is not very fancy either.  This afternoon we had athletes from SIX different nations crammed into one tiny spot to train.  The coolest part about it was that everyone was getting it done - helping each other out, being patient and waiting their turn. No one got hit in the head or smashed with a medicine ball. It was certainly organized chaos but the camaraderie, not to mention motivation was palpable.