Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Moving at Race Pace

To quote one of the coaches that I've been in contact with, she said I am "moving at race pace. And, she's not kidding.
It's been a mere week before my crazy plan was put into motion and it's picked up some momentum since then.
In just this short time, I've managed to be invited to a training camp out in Alberta, refused to go because I didn't have the funds, and then be offered the funds by an anonymous sponsor. I can hardly believe it.
Let me start at a somewhat beginning point.
This evening I sat down with a member of my local cross country ski club, a coach and a ski enthusiast. A meeting that I assumed would last about 45 minutes to an hour went over two hours. We sat and discussed my goals and what I needed to do to get there. The most obvious was getting a hold of ski equipment since I currently own none and then the chat turned to the training camp that I had so kindly been invited to and had regretfully declined. We talked about my commitment and how important I thought this training camp was.
I told them that I think the camp is important for many reasons, one of them being that it would expose my coach and/or potential guide to Para sport in an environment conducive to learning. I don't know what I'm doing quite frankly and no one here has ever trained, let alone guided, a totally blind athlete before. Of course other camp opportunities will come up, but who knows if I will be invited again and who knows when those will be. With this season being a Winter Paralympic/Olympic Games year, a lot of the development elements aren't being focused on, and rightfully so. We could take this season to "get our feet under us," so to speak, and muddle through the best we can, but going to this training camp would give us a good leg up. It would also be a good opportunity for me to see if I'm even cut out to be a Para Nordic skier.
After I rambled on about why I thought this camp would be beneficial, I was told that there was someone willing to sponsor me. Basically, the money to go to the camp was there if I wanted it.
I'm not over exaggerating when I say that I was fighting back tears.
Here I had struggled for nearly five years to get back into competitive sport and within two hours, I was on my way.
My meeting also resulted in me getting my starter equipment taken care of. So, now all I have to pay is my club fee and trail pass fee which obviously makes things so much easier for me. Not only was the financial support completely amazing, and slightly humbling, but the confidence that these three people had in me made my head spin.
We still have work to do, like the recruitment of guides for both on the snow and off, but right now I think I will just revel in the genuine awesomeness of this entire situation.
It's been a few hours and I'm still in shock and probably will be for the next few days.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I think the actual title of this blog should be "Sometimes Writes." I think most blog authors are guilty of just not writing. I've left this blog mostly abandoned for a few reasons, but the primary one is because I really didn't have anything to write about. This was supposed to be a chronicle of my training and eventual racing stories, but I wasn't training and hence not racing. So, the blog stood empty for a very long time.
But, I might be back.
I say "might" because some logistics are in progress, but for all intents and purposes this blog shouldn't stand empty any longer, or at least not suffer from the very random postings that I had tried to do before.
This is a new beginning.
How many times have I written that in the mere 75 previous posts? A lot I think.
However, this time, it really is a new beginning. Not only will I have new guides, and new coaches, but I'm in a new city and trying a new sport. Okay, the city isn't entirely new because I'm back in my hometown, but I've been away so long that it's new enough; in a familiar way.
I've totally thrown out the running idea. In fact, I've scrapped summer sport entirely. I'm making the  big move from environmentally controlled swimming to the out of doors and not in warm temperatures.
I never seem to do things half way.
Forget the bikes and the short shorts. bring in the scarves and fuzzy hats.
Okay, perhaps you don't wear fuzzy hats when training or competing, but I'm sure I'll wear a fuzzy hat at some point.
No more trying to train for three sports and failing. Instead, I am embracing winter sport and attempting to cross country ski,, at top speeds. We'll see how I do.
I skied as a kid and loved it. There's something about gliding that I love. That's why I liked swimming so much and wasn't a fan of running. I never felt any glide. With cross country skiing though, there will be plenty of that-,or so I assume.
To be honest, I really have no clue what I'm doing. I'm just getting started, but the beautiful thing is that it appears that I have the support from the ski club and its members.  I don't know a whole lot of details yet as I'm only in emailing stages, but I have a meeting with one coach next week. So, we'll see how that goes.
In the mean time, I've started my own self inflicted workouts. Nothing too major, but yesterday I used my mom's elliptical for 30 minutes. Today is a skipping and tubing day and tomorrow will be a day off; only to start back on Saturday.
It's a start and I promise that if  this doesn't work out, I'll stop trying to revive this blog and my sporting career. ;)