Plowing Tracks

On the last full day up at the Snow Farm of this year’s camp, a blizzard rolled through. The morning’s session was a battle; against the wind and driving snow. The gusts of wind nearly pushed me to a standstill at times. After a wet and cold morning, I conceded to an afternoon training indoors which has never been my favourite. As it would have it, the blizzard passed by in the early afternoon, leaving clearing skies and only a breeze. More importantly, it left a fresh blanket of powdery bliss. I took the risk and decided to, quite literally, adventure out for a ski. I’m sure glad I did. It was the most fun I’ve had on snow for some time. I was the first skier out and breaking tracks through the snow. But I was having a blast plowing through the snow. The snow was so deep; I could not see my skis buried beneath the snow, deep enough to bury my boots as well. It wasn’t fast, but I still laughed my face off. Giddy, with an ear-to-ear grin in astonished disbelieve of the conditions. It was a most memorable way to end the camp — one of the coolest skis I’ve had in my 12 years at the Snow Farm. The following morning conditions were a bit soft with all the new snow but still wondrous — one incredible final ski before returning home after another successful camp.

There are sometimes that you have to step back from training, though not always by choice. Making such a call feels heartbreaking at the time, especially when everything is going so well. I want to be out there training, enjoying my time outdoors. Partway through the second half of this year’s New Zealand camp, one such instance happened. I’m cruising through the day to day training in the middle of one of my best blocks of training ever. Suddenly, I wake up in the middle of the night, sick; without warning. For the better part of the next day, I had trouble getting out of bed. I had no other choice but to stay put, rest and wait until this bug had passed. In the afternoon of the second day, I could feel that some of my energy was returning. Or I was so bored that I went out for a very easy ski. It was great to be outside in the fresh air and moving around again. Waking up on the third day, I had most of my energy back. I was eager to start the day and train. All good signs that I was getting healthy once again. At times I still felt a little off throughout the following days, but I could put in the hours once again. Staying healthy is one of the more challenging parts of being an athlete. Switching between Summer and Winter comes with its own risks to health without the increased stress we put on our immune system as we train as much as we do. All that can be done is to try and limit the risks as best as possible.

Now, for the long journey back home. Each training camp is another piece in the puzzle. I can say that New Zealand was another successful camp. The overall goals of this camp were well exceeded. I made huge gains with my technique. I pushed my limits each day of training. Summed up it was a fantastic training block! Here’s hoping to catch the last breaths of Summer before Fall’s chill come.