12.1.12 Relay Bronze
In our relay race, the first two legs of the relay were classic, which Holly and then Kikkan skied. The last two legs were skate, which Liz and I skied. I got to sprint down the finishing stretch neck and neck with Norway 2's anchor leg, and I just beat her out by half a second. In such a close race, every single second really does count!
Skiers from Around the World:
Our wax tech's daughter, Lina, is a cross-country skier, but her favorite thing to do is go ski-jouring with her dog. She enters competitions and practices all winter! Some of the Finnish kids we met at the school in Muonio drove three hours to watch us compete in Gallivare, and it was really fun to see them there. They were very dedicated fans!
Here are some cool things about Sweden:
In Gallivare, we were living in cabins at the top of an Alpine resort. Because we were still very far North, there wasn't much daylight, so the ski trails and stadium were lit up most of the day. The Scandinavians are very space efficient with their houses, and the shower is a corner of the bathroom - the water runs all over the floor, so you have to take a squeegee and move all the water towards the drain.
The Swedes love their dogs, and there were small hunting dogs and other small dogs all over the race course (on a leash, of course!). The Swedes also love hair salons...I think there were three salons in the small town we were in! So many of the Swedes follow skiing on TV that when the Swedish Sports channel broadcasted a clip of my summer training, about 1 million people saw it. As a result, there were many more Swedish fans cheering on the American team as well! Another different food thing going on in Sweden is the fish paste - a salty, super fishy paste that they have in little toothpaste-like tubes at breakfast. People put it on their eggs and crackers. I didn't try it though!
Some cool things about Finland:
Inside they like to either wear slippers or socks but in schools and houses they always take off their shoes and leave them at the door. Most of the houses and cabins have saunas in them, because the Finns love their sauna time! And in both Sweden and Finland, people on the streets use "spark" sleds; they look like dogsleds but without dogs, just a chair and runners that people push off and then stand on while the sled is gliding. We saw many Grandmas going to the grocery store on their spark sleds...it's the quickest way to travel on the snowy sidewalks!
Last week, I challenged you to practice balancing and gliding longer on your skis. This week's challenge is about the power of thinking you can do it. After all the girls on the relay team decided they could ski as fast as the rest of the world and believed that they were ready, they were able to have good races. So it's pretty important to believe in yourself and to tell yourself that you can reach your goals!
This week I'm going to challenge you to take five minutes to practice visualizing yourself reaching your goal; it doesn't matter if your goal is to race fast, to do well on a test, to play well in a music group recital...as long as it's something you want to do well in. Lay down on the floor or sit in a comfy chair and get relaxed, then shut your eyes and picture yourself reaching your goal. See yourself skiing up the hill fast, writing down the correct answers to your test, or playing your instrument perfectly. Practicing seeing yourself doing well will actually help when the big day arrives. So try it out!