Well, my friends, it’s April 14th and am I training yet? Nope! I’m still smack-dab in the middle of a phenomenon I like to call the “April Attitude”, where I’m happy with the season that has come and gone and not yet ready to contemplate starting another one! I’m starting to be active again after some much needed rest and recovery, although it’s not structured training. It’s just me doing whatever I want, whenever I want, and how little (or much) of it I want to do. Examples include me hiking around from one coffee shop to another, doing a yoga or spin class, canoeing with my family, dancing, or running in the park with friends. But this is the kind of “training” that’s very mentally refreshing for me, because I get to wake up and decide what it is that I want to do with my day.
This also happens to be great training for the summer in terms of getting to know my own body and what it needs. I’ve come to realize just how incredibly important it is to be able to read my own body and know when I need more rest, and how the training load is affecting me, so taking the springtime to learn to read what I want helps me later on.
When I got back from spring series in Vermont, I got home just in time for Easter dinner. Which was really an opportunity for my parents and I to take all the missed birthdays and holidays I haven’t been home for and roll it all into one big happy feast! Yum.
Then, after a few
restful days stressed out days spent finishing my taxes, Mom and I took off for Texas to have some beach time on South Padre Island and visit with my Nana!
My Nana has beautiful gardens and she let me and Mom help out with some fun projects! I’ve decided that someday when I have a garden of my own I really need to grow roses.
We walked the boardwalks over marsh area on South Padre and saw a lot of really cool birds as well as a mama alligator and one of her babies!
We also went on a boat to see wild Dolphins (not ones in captivity!!!) and it was so cool seeing them playing around.
South Padre is known for it’s crazy amazing sandcastles. It didn’t disappoint!
Then I flew home, spent 14 hours in Minnesota and took off again for Phoenix, Arizona to visit some my other grandparents! My Meme had come to see my races in Canmore but I hadn’t seen my Grandpa in a long time and really wanted a visit. Combined with my other grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that I saw during the tour of Canada, I am such a lucky girl getting to see so many family members! It made me so happy!
Thanks to a time zone change working in my favor, I was up at sunrise for some awesome hikes in the desert! I learned that a saguaro cactus takes 70 years to grow an arm, and they only flower for less than 24 hours. So I was super lucky to see all these:
After a visit that was all too short, I returned to Minnesota for 4 full days, which were busy but very fun for me! I was honored to present Lifetime Achievement, and Lifetime Legacy Awards to 12 people who have spent a significant portion of their life contributing to the ski community in Minnesota. It was humbling and inspiring to hear their stories and see all the hard work that people have put in for years and years so that young skiers like myself have the opportunities that we do!
One story that really stuck with me was that of Toni St. Pierre. She wanted to play sports in high school, and after running with the boys cross country team, wanted a team of her own. It makes me so mad to hear that she wasn’t allowed to start a girls team. But Toni didn’t just get frustrated – she DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Before Title Nine even came about. Here is an excerpt from the awards program about her:
“Toni loved to run and ski and she was very
good at it, but her school did not have a girls track, cross
country, or Nordic ski team and she wanted to compete.
So she sued. The American Civil Liberties Union took up
her case against the Minnesota State High School League,
filing jointly with Peg Brenden, who was a St. Cloud high
school senior who wanted to play tennis. The case went
to trial in the spring of 1972 before U.S. District Judge
Miles Lord. Lord ruled in favor of the girls. Judge Lord
considered the girls case as one of his “proudest decisions”.
The decision was one of the first in the nation to deal with
the issue of equal rights for girls in high school sports, and came a few months ahead of federal legislation, signed by President Nixon. That law, known as Title IX, prohibits sex discrimination in programs and activities at schools that receive federal funds.”
It was because she had the guts to go up against the “good ‘ol boys” that actively tried to block women in sports that I had the opportunity to race in high school and gain the experience and love of racing that led me to the World Cup scene. Every high school girl in sports owes Toni St. Pierre a huge thank-you. If you’d like to hear more of the inspirational stories, this link takes you to the awards page.
On Sunday evening, we had an end of season, welcome home party at the Stillwater High School. It was free, open to everyone and it was so fun to see about 150 people there, celebrating with me! I handed out lots of posters and got to share my stories from the past season. It was really fun to see so many young skiers all pumped up about sport.
Finally, before I left town I stopped in to work with the awesome folks at Podiumwear! I got to give feedback on all the newest suits, jackets and vests and talk over upcoming designs and ideas. I really love working with them because not only do I really like their products (I wouldn’t attach my name to any company I don’t 100% believe in and love!) but I like having the freedom to keep modifying and changing the suit fit, cut and feel as well as how it looks until I think it’s perfect. They have a lot of really talented people working there and it’s always a fun visit for me!
So, now I’m in Boston visiting my boyfriend for a few weeks! I’m so happy to be here and I plan on visiting every museum and coffee shop I can reach. I’m also very excited to be cheering him and a very good friend on in the Boston marathon! While home I stumbled across an old photo album and it seems that I’ve always been a very overexcited cheerleader. I guess personality traits set in early! While I doubt that I’ll be allowed to run alongside because of security, it will be fun to be on the other side of the race day activities and be the one cheering this time!