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Bye Vermont, see you next spring

By September 3, 2013 No Comments

Can we discuss this whole “#RoadtoSochi” business really quick? What if the road is really more of a running trail? What if part of it’s actually #aquajoggingtoSochi or #yogatoSochi or #dirttrailtoSochi? I get a kick out of the term “road to Sochi” because it implies that it’s a fairly straightforward and surefire way to get there. Besides, you actually can’t get to the Olympic village by road, anyways…you need a gondola and then a snowmachine and then you walk. But that’s beside the point. My point is, there are sometimes a lot of roadblocks and switchbacks and probably a few cul-de-sacs thrown in on every athlete’s quest to make the Olympic team. The road goes up over huge hills and straight through a gym and parts of it are probably on the AT trail. Although this year hashtags and getting thrown down on twitter right and left and everyone’s suddenly super uber interested in what it takes to get to the Olympics, it’s more than just a one-year process. I’d guess that most of the Olympic team will be made up of people who have put at least 5 years of their life into this, and have been put down thousands of hours of training. So next time you see a reference to this mythical road to Sochi, know that there’s a whole lot more going on behind the scenes, and that it’s never a solitary road, but filled with pit stops manned by coaches, trainers, family and teammates all working to get us there!

On that note, my personal “road to Sochi” made a lot of stops in Vermont this summer. I got such great support from Stratton and the SMST2 team, and although I’ll still get to train with my teammates this fall, I won’t be returning to Vermont after Lake Placid camp ends, flying to Park City instead to start up an altitude block. I’m super grateful to the school and team for such fantastic training and living environments!

While I was all too aware that my time living in Stratton was slowly running out, the past week was pretty awesome. We had a couple good interval sets and strength workouts, but mostly the team took advantage of the recovery week to rest up so we can head into the annual Lake Placid camp ready to hit some key workouts hard. Which meant that in our time off, we had some fun times hanging out playing guitar, grilling pizza, swimming in the snowmaking pond, and meeting new people at the SMS summer training group BBQ party.

Swimming and pizza party time

Swimming and pizza party time

Andy and Erika (Andy just got back from NZ and had quite the facial hair situation!)

Andy and Erika (Andy just got back from NZ and had quite the facial hair situation!)

We got new SMST2 team shirts from our team’s title sponsor, the T2 Foundation. The design was drawn (by Nathan Moreau) on a thank-you card from the CSU team, and we liked it so much it made the shirt!

Cool, right?

Cool, right?

Ben and I have been really into the guitar lately and my favorite is when we get Erika and Erik to sing. Erika has the voice of an angel! Although the boys do a great job by themselves too, when one sings way too low and one sings way too high. I’ll let you figure out who did what.

Erik and Ben debating over who sings low and who takes the high part

Erik and Ben debating over who sings low and who takes the high part

It may seem silly to include a picture of a covered bridge…but until I actually came out east I had never seen or heard of one! Now I’m going to miss them this winter. Along with Stratton Mountain…too many good and painful times doing intervals up that thing to NOT miss it. My last day in Stratton I hiked partway up the mountain and scrambled up into one of the chairlifts. It was one of the best almost-naps I’ve ever had with the wind rocking the chair and the sun coming down through the clouds. It may have been the only time I’ve ever stopped partway up and looked around!

One of the many covered bridges out east

One of the many covered bridges out east

 

The view from Stratton Mountain

The view from Stratton Mountain

 

SMS alumni, Olympians Bob Grey and Bill Koch, and the SMST2 team!

SMS alumni, Olympians Bob Grey, Bill Koch, and the SMST2 team!