Last night brought the 5th annual fall send-off dinner hosted by the Chilkoot Cafe in Stillwater. It was so wonderful to see so many fans of cross country skiing and incredible supporters in the community! The staff at Chilkoot has been so generous in creating delicious dinners for fans of skiing and this year they outdid themselves again.
Thanks to my generous sponsors that make it possible for me to race for the USA, we decided to move away from the traditional fundraiser we have done in the past. But I can never get enough hugs and energy from the ski community in my hometown, and I wanted a chance to see so many good friends before I head to Europe! So we decided to keep the fall dinner with a theme of raising energy and excitement for the upcoming season. I’ll be taking all those good vibes on the road with me to get me through the times of homesickness. Thank you so much to everyone who came and shared their love of skiing with me!
If you missed the dinner, but are looking for ways to contribute to my skiing and the development of US skiing, don’t worry! I have your answer in a easy online (and tax-deductible!) format. Both my club team, SMST2 and the National Nordic Foundation have fundraisers going on right now, with incredible matching grants. Please check them out! The only way we will become competitive as a nation is to give our junior athletes and National Training Group athletes a chance to compete at the highest level possible. While these don’t raise money for me directly, it is crucial to my skiing. Nobody gets better by themselves, and making sure the future US team is getting the best chances to race internationally is a big deal to me! Link to my club’s fundraising page: https://smst2.wordpress.com/donate/ And a link to my NNF fundraising page: https://support.nationalnordicfoundation.org/fundraise?fcid=529290
I’m sure you’re wondering how the mini-tour races in Park City went down. Were they hard? Did we train in the afternoons even though we were racing? Did I dance for a cool down after the race? Did anyone fall or break a pole? Yes, yes, of course, and unfortunately…yes (but everyone is ok). On Sunday we raced a full skate sprint, and ran in the afternoon. Monday brought a mass start 13km classic (it was 13km just because of how the laps on Soldier Hollow’s roller ski path played out) and and a spin bike in the afternoon, and Tuesday was a big day with a 9km pursuit start skate with a full lifting session in the gym that afternoon.
Needless to say, I was pretty wiped out at the end of a long camp. It was time to get to that sea-level air! But not before one last awesome jumping session on the huge trampolines at the Center of Excellence, and a photo shoot for Salomon Nordic with Engine Room Media.
I don’t get to spend too much time with my family, and really, not very much time in one place at all. My record for sleeping the same room for the past 2 years has been a whopping 5 weeks in a row. My family and I are really close, so it’s pretty special when I do get to spend time with them at home in Minnesota and it makes me super happy! Also, I’m totally going to brag for a second: both my parents still go roller skiing together. I love that. Cross Country Skiing has always been a family affair in our household, and I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by a pretty deep love of the sport and being outdoors.
While I’ve been home it’s been a good mix of family time, training and getting involved with the community while I’m in Minnesota. I got to ski with Kris Hansen, my high school coach back at Stillwater and her daughter Siri. I also had the pleasure of the 3G Nordic training group joining me for intervals on the morning of Halloween! It happened to be cold and raining and we were doing a long hard session, but I was so impressed with their toughness and their sunny attitudes!
That afternoon I went to Red Wing, Minnesota where Slumberland Furniture (my wonderful headgear sponsor!) was handing out candy on main street to trick-or-treaters. Every year local businesses park their cars on main and hand out treats from their trunks. And this year we were the highlight with the huge mattress delivery truck! I have the coolest sponsors, you guys. It seemed fitting to dress as a snow queen, so I went as Elsa (from Frozen…but if you have any children under the age of 10 in your life you already knew that) and my Mom was Olaf.
The best part of all of this were the 3-5 year olds that really thought I was REAL. In their little eyes, I was actually Elsa, and most of them went totally speechless and just plucked at my glittery dress. But a few of them let out a squeal of total glee and threw up their hands in a gesture of victory. “I knew it! She’s real!” I now fully understand the appeal of being a Disney Princess on a daily basis. So much glitter. So many happy little kids following you around. If I don’t work for a little while as a dance teacher upon skiing retirement, you can find me in Walt Disney World.
Today I spent the day with Podiumwear, another one of my awesome sponsors, taking photos for the new line of Jessie Diggins Podiumwear suits. For the past few years I’ve been working with them to test and design their women’s race line. I even got to work with Podiumwear in designing my own line of racing and training suits! They’ll be up for sale soon and I’ll be sure to post a link so you can check them out. I love the Podiumwear suits for a couple reasons: first, they are literally made to fit my body exactly and to be my dream suit. So they have everything I like in a suit – they fit great and don’t slide down, and they don’t rub the wrong way either. The material is light, stretchy and most importantly, breathable. They’re FAST. The fabric is aerodynamic and I’ve never seen it in another suit. And they’re made in Minnesota start to finish – from the design to the last stitches!