Simi takes us through spring training startup season.
I’m 29 years old, and I’ve been doing this for a while. Every spring it’s the same. The chaos, the exhaustion, and the undertones of stress caused by five months of travelling, training, and racing half way around the world finally ends, and you look at springtime as a life buoy that you’ll hold on to for four weeks of sleeping, sleeping in one bed for more than a few days, and eating food whose ingredients are actually in English. But every year it’s the same. Springtime flies by and before you know it it’s mid-May and you realize that you really haven’t changed your vagabond ways and you’ve been jumping on planes to get to the beach, packing and unpacking the car for quick trips to the desert, and committing to adventures with your friends in the backcountry that leave you happy but anything but rested. But I guess that’s what makes us tick, and what makes us coming back for more each year. We’ll settle down and rest when we’re old and gray, and I think we’re all fine with that. But there’s a zen to getting back into the focused training season that allows us to find our balance again. Even though May marks the time of year when we start getting training plans in our inboxes and booking tickets for summer training camps in places like Alaska and New Zealand, there’s a certain reassurance to those norms that makes you feel grounded again.
Well, we’re feeling grounded again. We’re back together as a training group in Stratton, and the training year has had an amazing start. Following the conclusion of our on-snow camp in Bend, OR, we all travelled back to the east coast (most of us taking our time with a stopover at home for a final dose of mom’s home cooked meals and taking care of all those odds and ends we left until the last minute). It’s great being back together, and to say that things are clicking for everyone, on an individual and a team level, would be an understatement. Since re-uniting back in Southern Vermont, we’ve ramped up our training and have been getting out for our normal 5-day-a-week group sessions on the roads and trails around Stratton. We’ve been really lucky so far with the weather… It’s been cool but not cold, we’ve had more sunny days than not, and the summer traffic has yet to grace it’s presence on the rolling roads around the area, giving us ample opportunity for some great long sessions that we normally can’t do when the summer crowds hit in full force. And as a cherry on top, we’ve been exploring some newly paved roads close to Stratton that only full time skiers (and maybe avid road bikers) can appreciate. It’s almost like you’re back on the 20-foot-wide, perfectly groomed trails on the Lillehammer World Cup trails when your skis glide along freshly laid pavement.
The group will be together as one (minus Jessie, who accepted an invitation to join the Norwegian girls for a training camp across the pond for the last 10 days of June) until the national team athletes leave for our Eagle Glacier camp in Alaska in early July. We’re all reveling in the fact that we’ll get a month of super quality and productive training together before we split ways for a bit again. And with a little luck, the temps will rise just a touch to make some mid-day swimming breaks at Pikes Falls an obligation. Thanks for checking in and I hope everyone is having a happy start to summer wherever they are!