!Hola! I just got back from an amazing trip to Costa Rica! I’m slightly sunburned with arms that feel like they’re going to fall off from paddling on a surfboard for hours. Most importantly, I’m totally happy and mentally refreshed. And I’m going to do a big post on it with stories and tons of drool-worthy photos of big sand beaches, fresh pineapples and sunsets! But before I do, I’d like to fill you in on some cool events I got to participate in before I left the country.
The weekend of the 18th I went up to Green Bay for the first time with Jenny Beckman, who works in Marketing with Salomon Nordic. Salomon was putting on a big kids clinic and donating skis for auction at the Bay Nordic fundraiser that night, and I came out to help where I could. The community rallied to raise money to light the trails so that skiers could be out in the snow even when the sun isn’t out anymore, which sounds pretty awesome.
When we arrived the first thing I was stuck by was how fast the club had grown – from 1 skier about 10 years ago to over 145 at the clinic! The other great thing about the area was how friendly everyone was and how excited they were to hear about skiing even in April. I was impressed by the questions the junior skiers were asking about race day preparation, race strategy analysis and how to take that next step up after making Junior Nationals.
The first thing we did with the older skiers was go out on a run through the trail system. We found a hill to do some ski walking drills and then bounding, and after working on our technique we ran and ski walked back to the lodge. There we met up with the younger skiers and we all did some mobility and balance practice together.
To be honest, balance work has been really important for me over the past season. Yes, I still fall down in training and sometimes in races because I take risks. But as my balance and spatial awareness improved, I was able to take riskier and better lines on the downhills and get away with it more and more, which I think was a huge contributor to my silver medal at World Championships. So although practicing standing on one leg probably sounds pretty lame, it was one of the more important points I wanted to share at the clinic!
Don’t worry, we got down to the action soon enough, and the kids went through a pretty intense obstacle course of agility drills!
There were hurdles to jump over, speed ladders to race through, zig-zag cones to weave around, a rope to jump forward and backwards over (sometimes on one leg!) and stretchy bands to walk with.
And afterward there were posters and stickers, curtesy of Salomon and Podiumwear, two of my sponsors!
The fundraiser that night was also fantastic, and afterwards Bay Nordic director Noel Versch’s family hosted us at their lovely home so we could drive back the next morning. I had a fun stay and got to meet so many awesome skiers, and I hope the trail-lighting system works out great!
On April 20th, I went back to Stillwater High School for the first time in years for a welcome-home, end-of-season party. This was really, really special to me because I got to see so many friends and people from the area who have been supporting me from day one. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am now, and probably wouldn’t be skiing full time at all, without the love and support from this community. It means so much to me to hear that hundreds of skiers and fans of the ski team from the Midwest are checking in on us and watching us race the World Cups, and that my teammates and I have an impact on the younger skiers. If I can inspire even one junior athlete to pursue their goals to the fullest, then I will have done my job and I’ll be one happy little lady when I retire from racing.
I also got to meet some new skiers, some of which drove hours to get there!
Thanks to everyone who came for making it a very special evening!
All in all, April has been a very restful, recovery-oriented month. I didn’t post about it earlier, probably because I was afraid of how it would go down, but I got some work done on my foot when I got home. I had two deep-rooted warts (ew! Gross!) in the bottom of my right foot, right under the ball of the foot which receives the most pressure. They hadn’t bothered me for years but this winter they started to get painful. So I got them removed, and I hadn’t realized at the time that they were deep enough that they needed to get cut out. This hurt afterwards (this is an understatement, obviously) and I was on crutches for a week. Having no prior experience, I wasn’t sure how long it would take for the deep holes in the bottom of my foot to fill in. But now, a month later, they are almost back to normal!
Don’t worry, you can continue to scroll down the page…I decided NOT to include photos of this particular event.
After a week of staying at home and playing with my dogs all day, and somehow sleeping about 11 hours every night (I guess the season took a while to recover from!) I finally broke out of my hermit shell and got social again.
I went to my first Twins baseball game, with a few Salomon friends; Jenny and Tad. While at the game my good friend from back in High School, Chelsea, was there working for the twins. She runs operations in the stadium, which I think is SUCH a cool job! I was thrilled to see her for the first time in a long time.
I went out to dinner and swing dance night with a lot of my friends from high school, who are all graduated from college and getting “real lives” going! I was totally soaking up their college stories and living vicariously through them as they told me about their jobs, homes and what they’re up to now.
Then it was time to pack up my things and head to Costa Rica with Danielle! We met in first grade and have been friends ever since, and we decided to take a week to go learn to surf, soak up some serious sun rays, and enjoy the waves in Tamarindo. A big post with all the details of the trip is coming your way soon!