2.10.13 I Knew You Were Trouble
Star Tribune article about Jessie from 2/8/13 http://www.startribune.com/sports/190315491.html
Hey MYSL Kids! Last time I wrote to you, I was in Russia, checking out the Olympic venue for next year’s Winter Games.
It was very exciting and different to be in a country with some customs that are similar, and some totally different than ours. I raced twice last weekend; the skate sprint, and the 15km skiathalon.
In the skate sprint I was feeling ready to go fast, and I was very hopeful that I would make it through the quarterfinals to the next round. But after a slow start off the line, I wasn’t able to get around the other skiers in my heat, and only the top two from each heat move on. I still had a good result at the end of the day but initially I was disappointed that I hadn’t performed to my full potential. And with advice from my parents, I realized that it’s actually ok to finish a race and not be satisfied, as long as you plan to fix whatever went wrong so that in the future it can be better! That’s why I do a 3-point checklist at the end of each race, which I’ll tell you all about in the “training tip” section.
The Skiathalon was a 15km race, where we started all together in a mass start and raced the first half of the race on our classic equipment, then finished the race on our skate gear! Here’s how it works: in the stadium, there is a long row of boxes, or “pits”, with a number on each one that corresponds to each racer’s bib number. Before the race, each skier loads their skate skis and poles into their pit. Then the race begins, and after 7.5km of classic racing the skiers come into the stadium, and ski into their box, where they quickly take off their classic poles and skis and put on their skate ones. Then they ski out of their box and finish the next 7.5km of the race. It sounds like fun, right? It definitely is a blast, and you have to practice switching your skis and poles beforehand if you don’t want to lose too much time in the pits!
After finishing the race weekend in Russia, our team traveled to Davos, Switzerland, where we’ve been training and living at higher altitude. This weekend some of us decided to jump into a race – the Swiss National Championships! The girls took 4 out of the top 5 spots, and the boys took 3 out of the top 6. It was a fun day, for sure!
But even more fun than racing in Switzerland was making this music video! We got the entire team to pitch in and sing, dance, and just do funny things to Taylor Swift’s song “I Knew You Were Trouble”. If you want a good laugh, you should check out the best skiers in the US falling into snow-banks and trying to lip-synch! Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0zD8dAguIk&feature=youtu.be
Skiers from Around The World: One of the very best male skiers in the world, Dario Cologna, is from Switzerland. So when we went to the Swiss Nationals, his own personal fan club was there! I’m sure you’ve heard that cowbells are great noisemakers when cheering for ski events, but can you imagine cowbells as big as you? That’s what Dario’s fan club had on – they had to wear the bells like backpacks and every step they took the bells would make a big clunking noise. So they marched together along the side of the course, and they were great cheering for everyone, but they were especially noisy when Dario came by. The fan club members travel to a lot of Dario’s races so anytime the World Cup comes near Switzerland, you can be sure you’ll hear the gigantic cowbells, too!
Cool things about Davos, Switzerland: Switzerland is famous for extremely good chocolate, and cheese! However, at the restaurant/hotel we are living at, the food has been amazing yet they have not served us ANY cheese fondue or chocolate! How is that possible? I think they are saving it for the last night.
Switzerland is also famous for being efficient and timely (they make watches here, for goodness sake!) and so whenever I want to go into town I know that the trains and buses will be exactly on time – they always are! The town here is fairly long (not as long as Sochi is, though) and there are a number of coffee shops and bakery-tea-rooms that are always jam packed every afternoon with hungry skiers. Because there are amazing cross-country trails and tons of chairlifts for the alpine skiers, you see a lot of people in their training clothes carrying skis along the streets.
Training Tip: Every single time you put on your skis and go race, train, or cruise through the woods, you have a great opportunity to get better! Which is why after every race, and some practice sessions, I do my 3-point checklist. I think of three things that went well; maybe I timed my warm-up perfectly, maybe I had really good technique on the hills, maybe I got into a really nice tuck on the downhills and didn’t fall. Then, I think of three things to work on for next time so that I can learn and get better. Maybe I want to warm up more before a race, maybe I want to be thinking more about my V1 technique during the race, maybe I want to try and start the race faster than I’m used to next time. This way, every race experience, no matter how the results come in, I am recognizing that I worked hard and did things well, and I have ways to get better!
So next time you go to practice, or do a race, afterwards take a moment and run through your own 3-point checklist. Even better – write it down! That way, you know a lot of things you did well and you have a few things to remember for next time so you will be even better.
That’s all for now!