Monday, January 20, 2014

Finding Perfection in Park City...

Okay, so maybe nothings entirely perfect but for the past week, Park City and Utah have been just about as perfect as it gets. Tomorrow I fly to Denver for the night (bonus of visiting my Cousin Eric!) before b-lining it back to Europe on Tuesday. I'm really excited to get back to the team and racing and I think that's indicative that this break has been "just what the Dr. ordered."  I'm excited to have some training, freedom & recovery under my belt headed into Sochi and hopefully my body agrees.  After all, we are living at the top of the mountain for 2.5 weeks .... time will how that goes?

As I write this there are 16 days until the Opening Ceremonies in Russia.  The anticipation, hype and excitement is building as athletes prepare for the crux of their athletic careers and the rest of the world waits to tune and see what happens. There will undoubtedly be surprises, heart-breaks and everything in between. That can be certain.

As far as the US Nordic squad is concerned I'm positive amazing things are right around the corner - we just have to wait and see what unfolds.... what I do know is that I'm extremely proud to be a part of this team going to Sochi. I'm proud to represent The US Nordic Community, the US Ski Team, APU Nordic Ski Center, The US (!) Washington state & of course, Alaska.

Coming into the Olympic season I had some very ambitious quantitative goals to be x place in this race, earn a spot on the medal-hopeful relay team, obtain specific rankings, etc, etc.  Today, 16 days shy of the Opening Ceremonies I've made a distinct, cognitive, conscious decision to forget about all of these goals. Yep, you heard me right, forget. Throw aside, bury.

But, that doesn't mean that I'm giving up. Far from it actually.  Instead, I've decided to concentrate my effort and energy on the process rather than the outcome. What does this mean you might ask? Rather than obsess about numbers, placing and what other people are doing I'm simply going to focus on what got me to the Olympics in the first place. It was my passion for skiing and sport; my drive to improve myself, and my love of competition. I've been close to this realization for a while now but after reading this article sent to me by a friend (you know who you are!) it made more sense and I am able to put emotions into words.  The article is titled, "Results Matter but to get them, ignore them."  There is a certain amount of brilliance in the words and advice - advice I plan to take:

Then, if you need further anecdotal evidence of this fact, here is a great piece that the New York Times put together about the 18 year old Slalom phenom, Mikaela Shiffrin:

One thing that helps me focus on the "process" is getting back to the roots of the sport and sharing my love of it with others. This morning, enroute to the airport (!) I was able to host a last-minute, informal Fast & Female power hour. Basically, I invited any and all of the female Nordic skiers in Park City to join me for my last USA distance session enroute to Sochi. Today being the MLK holiday there was no school and bunch of girls from Park City Nordic joined me for a couple of "hot laps!"  Yes, we wore glitter and I think it's safe to say that everyone had a good time - especially me!  Here we are:

Thanks so much to Kerry Morgan for putting this video together!

Here are a bunch of other pictures from my training camp: 

Up early watching my teammates absolutely KILLING IT in Poland! 

Liz out-lunged Poland's National Hero, Justyna Kowalczyk in a SPRINT lunge! Go Liz!  

This past year I spent a bunch of time in Park City training but I've never been there in the winter before. It was really fun to ski the trails I've run so much on and to experience other winter sport events!    Ski half pipe was really fun to watch in person! 

I got to see Kashi's "Kikkan versus Kikkan" commercial on TV rather than computer. I'm Kikkan in 2010, the Blue suit. We filmed this at Hatcher's Pass this past October. 
New Training partners - thanks for the ski Emma! 

Never a bad day preparing for Sochi when you get to ski on the "Olympic 5k" 
Soldier Hollow is amazing. Literally every morning I was there the tracks looked like this and they had 8-10 snow guns blowing snow at any given time! WOW. 

I'm not a huge fan but the Biebs joined me for a ski or two in PC. 

Thanks so much to Morgan, Chris and Sam for letting me stay with them this past week! Hopefully I didn't leave too many dirty dishes around... 

And, thanks to Dave Knoop (NNF Master Mind) who lent me his car for the week!!!  Quality training wouldn't have been possible without it! #gonnf

Last but not least, I got to cook while on break which is recovery in and of itself. I found this recipe on FB a while back and changed it a bit towards my personal preferences. It has no butter, no flour and no sugar!

Here's my last batch with chopped dates, coconut & pumpkin seeds. It's SUPER easy - give it a try! 

My next post will be from Europe! Til then, thanks for following - have a great day, 
Holly :)