Oooooooooh boy here we go! I’m in Ruka, Finland, which is also called Kuusamo. Yesterday felt like the first day of school to me…seeing friends I haven’t seen in 6 months, asking how everyone’s summer has been, feeling so excited to get hugs and stories and smiles from people I’ve missed for a while! Today it really felt like the usual World Cup circus again. When I think about it, the World Cup tour really is a kind of a circus. The tents, the trucks, the lights, the announcing, the coaches and trainers, and us athletes the performers to entertain the crowd! I just love it. It’s like being part of the best kind of reality TV show, the kind that ridiculously dedicated people get up at 4am to watch!
I tend to get pretty excited about the little things. One of those is the training bibs…if you finish the last season ranked in the top 30 overall in the world, your training bib for the next year has your name on it. It was one of my goals last year to get myself a “fancy bib”! I hope I don’t spill drink mix on it right away…
Skiing on the course today was totally hectic, and exciting. I felt my heartbeat picking up a little faster when the announcer started going, when the sponsor banners went up alongside the course, when fans showed up to watch training and cameras and lights were flashing everywhere. The parking lot turned into organized chaos overnight with huge wax trucks everywhere, techs carrying skis and test fleets back and forth, and athletes weaving through spectators on their way to training and race prep.
Wait, back up a second! The end of our training week in Muonio, Finland went really well. I spent a bit of time every day testing out new Salomon skis with Cork, and it was great to be able to test in a low pressure, low stress situation. I forgot my headlamp (I know! Shame on me!) but the trails were always lit so it didn’t matter anyways. Our second to last day, I went on a really fun ski with Cork, where we went off the beaten path (quite literally) and took the mountain loop. It wasn’t groomed but skied in, and it was great to see some new terrain and just laugh a little on the twisty downhills, trying to catch air on the rollers. I think it’s really important to just remember to have fun once in a while, without thinking too hard about technique or ski testing or wax testing or anything at all – just skiing purely because it’s really, really fun and it’s a beautiful sport on inspiring trails outside.
So yesterday Kikkan and I went off the racecourse onto the flatter tourist trails here in Ruka, and found the sunshine! I hadn’t actually looked into the sun in a week and a half, and it was starting to get to me. So standing in the rays was pretty special, and something I guess I shouldn’t take for granted! Kikkan also made a fun, fast little video from the footage she took behind me on the fastest downhill on the racecourse! Here is the link:
I am so excited to race tomorrow, and nervous too. But that’s part of it…if I am nervous, that means I care, so it’s good for me to have butterflies! I usually work into the season so I’m not expecting to cause a scene this weekend, but I do have a lot of classic technique goals that I have been working very hard towards all spring, summer and fall so I am excited to see how the hard work pays off!
Thanksgiving was an interesting experience…our big meal consisted of rice and meats covered in a sauce, but we all went to dinner together and said what we were thankful for! For me the best part was getting to Skype my family. I haven’t been home for a Thanksgiving meal in years so not being in Minnesota didn’t seem like a weird exception, but holidays away from home are always a little bit harder than any other day.
Now, it wasn’t anything close to a turkey dinner, but I did get a chance to do a little cooking in our mini kitchen! I’m rooming in a little cabin with Sadie, and this is one of the few places all winter where we have our own kitchens and can cook food for ourselves. So I made a huge batch of banana bread! It smelled like home and it was fun to share.
And last but certainly not least, I am excited and proud to announce that this year’s new “Jessie Diggins Women’s Line” from Podiumwear suits are out! There is a sale going on right now for black friday…check them out at the link below! I’ve added a couple photos of my favorite suits, and I love the way all they fit and look. I was able to help design the cut and look, and work with Podiumwear’s awesome team to come up with this year’s new funky, fun and fast designs! I especially like the flannel and jeans look, because: AMERICA. Enough said.
I’m putting the link on my athlete Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/jessiedigginsski), and I’d love to hear which suits you like best! Please let me know!