Thursday, January 30, 2014

On the Road

Coach T and I are off bright and early this morning. We're driving probably near to 10 hours or so to get to Ottawa for the Para Nordic Nationals. Admittedly, I wasn't excited about this whole adventure at first, but now I'm looking forward to it. Actually, at the beginning of the month I was excited about the prospect of going to the Para Nordic Nationals, but I had determined early on that it was just not in our budget. So, I prepared myself for not going. Then, a very generous soul came along and donated the needed funds to go. The rest of the cost was picked up by the club. After those thoughtful gestures, how could I not go?
This is the second time in my life that I've attempted to be, or at least I was before, an elite athlete and I am always so (pleasantly) surprised and touched by the generosity of my little city. People who aren't from here often ask me why I'm so loyal to the city or why I moved back and really, how could I not be? The people of this city have shown me nothing but support and have stepped in when I've needed them.
The first time around as a swimmer, people fund raised for various reasons, one of them being to get my dad to Sydney Australia so he could watch me race. In the two short months that I've been trying to cross country ski, I've had two big trips that I really needed to go to in order to be considered for the Ontario Development team and both times complete strangers have stepped in and made it happen. I can't say enough about Coach T's dedication and assistance. He's also made this whole thing possible and without him I wouldn't be skiing at all.
So, even though I initially wasn't excited to go to Ottawa, my tune has completely changed. I'm ready to attack those races and hope for the best. That is, after we drive, what for some people would be, across an entire country.
O, Canada. Whoever wrote the national anthem should have written, "our home and gigantic land," because there aren't many other places in the world where you can drive 12 hours and still be in the same province; and that's not even from one end to another!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Off Again

As I said on my other blog, my writing has been lacking. However, it hasn't been for a lack of things to write about. For some reason, the writing urge just hasn't hit me very often; except for today apparently. This is my second blog post in about an hour. So what prompted this one?
Well, I'm off to Nationals.
Who would have thought just two months ago that I'd be preparing for Nationals? The competition is being held in Ottawa and starts on Friday. That means Coach T, Nala and I will set off on Thursday on the long drive.
There are three races we'll be entering: the 1.25 skate ski event on Friday, the 10 K classic ski which I think is on Saturday, and the 5 K skate ski that should be Sunday.
I thought the 10 K classic event was a bit of a stretch as we're still working on my fitness base, but to be skate skiing in a race already? I've only been out on skate skis four time now which means, unless we get some skate skiing in between now and Thursday, my race Friday will be my fifth time. I don't expect fireworks or blazing times. My goal is just to finish and to do the best I can. I actually enjoy skate skiing, but my technique certainly is not pretty. You should see me flailing up the hills. Regardless of what it looks like, I will cross that finish line all three days and really that is all I can ask of myself at this stage; especially since many of the coaches and athletes we met out in Alberta told me that I wouldn't be skate skiing until next year.
Wish me luck: I think I may need it. :)