12.28.15 Happy Holidays
Happy Holidays MYSL skiers!
I hope you all had a great Holiday break with your family and friends! I spent my Christmas in Davos, Switzerland, with my teammates. While I would very much like to go home and be with my family in Minnesota, it doesn’t work out with the Tour de Ski races starting on January 1st. There isn’t enough time for me to fly across the ocean, be home for a week and fly back in time to get ready to race these big World Cups that I want to do well in. So, I spent the holidays with my teammates, and talked a lot with my family on Skype! This is the fourth year I’ve done this, so I’m starting to get the hang of it. I’ll tell you a little bit about what I did this year on Christmas!
Life sized gingerbread house!
I woke up after sleeping in late and went for a super fun 3 hour ski. A few of the valleys have a thin covering of crusty snow, and my teammates Sophie, Simi and I had a blast skiing up and down the valley. The light was a little flat so we'd be cruising down valley and accidentally launch ourselves off of little hills! There were also lots of piles of cow poop in the field because in Switzerland, there’s a lot of dairy farms, so we had to jump over the piles. It was pretty funny.
There isn’t very much snow here in Europe, and every World Cup race I’ve race in so far has been on man made snow. It’s crazy what global climate change is doing to our sport, and it makes me worry about what skiing will be like 100 years from now! You can see in this photo how the people in Davos made a great ski trail through town…and how there’s green grass on either side of it!
That afternoon we ate lunch in the sun on the deck of the rental apartment we're living in. I'm living with four teammates and we totally lucked out with a big apartment and a great kitchen. Specifically the kitchen part. I've been having a blast baking Christmas cookies and we've been creating all sorts of delicious foods for dinner that we miss from back home. We've had hamburgers, Pad Thai, Sushi/Bento bowls, mushroom risotto, curry, and a Mexican fiesta. Most of the time we don’t get to cook for ourselves, and we have to eat whatever food the hotel prepares for us. So I miss getting to decide for myself what to have for dinner!
Once it got dark out, we joined our Canadian friends who are also living in town over the Holiday break, and we drove up the Flüela pass to the very top, in between two mountains. There we found an open skating rink on a pretty large pond, and because it was a full moon there were no lights, it was just skating in the dark! The moon hadn't quite broken over the mountain yet so it was fairly dark which made it pretty exciting and the pickup game of pond hockey we had with the Canadians was a hoot. I'm really very terrible at skating and hockey, despite being half-Canadian. And despite being terrible, I had so much fun!
When we got home we enjoyed a non-traditional but extremely tasty Christmas dinner of fajitas! Then we opened the stocking gifts we had gotten each other. They were small, super thoughtful and fun gifts and it was really cozy sitting around the living room drinking tea, eating christmas cookies and enjoying each other's company.
People from Around the World:
In Davos, I saw at least 30 kids your age out on the ski trails, having fun together on the snow! They were part of a ski club, just like MYSL, and they were playing tag on their skis, playing “ski soccer” and racing each other across the stadium. It was so cool to see that all around the World, there are clubs for skiers just like you!
In Italy, there were also a lot of skiers taking ski lessons, but not just kids…these were skiers of all ages! They were coming to Italy for vacation, and taking ski lessons for the first time in the World Cup stadium. They would go skiing in the morning, and at night enjoy a traditional Italian meal. In Italy, the food comes in 5 courses: salad, appetizer, pasta, meat and then dessert. Dinner can take as long as 2 hours! It’s a long time to be sitting at the table, but it’s also a nice time to visit with your family and just relax.
One way I improve my speed, coordination and power is by doing what we call “speeds”. Here’s how it works: after skiing around a little bit so you’re warm, you ski as fast as you can for 10 seconds. Only 10 seconds, that’s it! Then you rest and do it again. I like to do about 10 speeds during a workout, and I space them out so I have at least a few minutes rest in between them. I also pick a section of the trail that I think will be challenging - maybe a corner to work on my balance, maybe an uphill to work on my quick skiing, or maybe a flat section that I can pretend is the final 100 meters of a race.
I think they’re really fun, so for the next two weeks your training challenge is to try doing speeds at least once! Pick different parts of the trail to do them on, and see how fast you can ski!