Monday, August 26, 2013

Race to the Top of VT and Maisie in Maine

My new sister Maisie greeting me from the doorway when I got home last week!

It's been another good week.  I traveled from Utah to Vermont on Friday, after a solid week of training in Utah.  I did some great sessions with the APU team who was training there as well and it was nice to have a few housemates as well!  Though it has been tough to say goodbye to the Moore family, at least it is just a few hour plane ride away to Cleveland, so I will be heading there for a visit soon I am sure.  I arrived home to Vermont to my parent's new puppy, Maisie, and have had a blast getting to know her.  Yesterday, Ida and I met to do the Race to the top of Vermont, a run up Vermont's tallest peak, Mt. Mansfield.  It was a really tough run, 4.3 miles on an average of 11% grade dirt road, but it was a great test of fitness and I was feeling good, especially with all of this extra air!  It was a really fun day, and we were able to raise some money for our Vermont Olympic Hopefuls Fund which was really cool.

My family and I are now taking a little vacation together on the coast of Maine where my Uncle has a house.  I haven't been here in 10 or more years, so it is really fun to be back where so many childhood memories were formed.  So excited to swim in the ocean and hear the waves crashing on the beach below tonight as I sleep!

My Mom and I at the top of Mt. Mansfield yesterday

My really good friends and avid supporters of Cross Country Skiing, Andrea Ambros and her son Marshall.  Marshall went to school with me at Burke, as did his sister Alex.  It's so fun to see good friends, and the Ambros Family is a special treat.

Vermont media was there, with NBC, Channel 5, and FOX to do a story on the event!

Pat O'Brian (a skier for the Craftsbury Green Team and a graduate of Dartmouth) and I ran the whole race together, side by side, both at our limit the whole way up.  But somehow Pat managed to eek out a few cheers for me in the final stretches where I was struggling.  To me, that shows the type of people I have met in Nordic Skiing.  Teammates, no matter what team you are on.  People who are always willing to help each other out, share ideas that might benefit another, and otherwise encourage each other to be the best athletes we can all be.  Pat, I definitely owe you lunch in Placid, as well as one more huge THANKS here on my super popular blog site;)  You rock.

Maisie just being real cute.

Sleeping puppy on our long drive to Maine.

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Happy Place

For the last 5 years, I have had been coached by Alex Moore.  He came to the Ski Team from an Australian Rules Football Club and quickly took over the role of Head Strength Coach at USSA.  He learned the sport of Cross Country Skiing, which was a very different sport than any he had ever worked with before, so it took some time to come up with the type of plan that would benefit our sport best.  It has been a really fun learning process for both of us, as Alex is not shy about trying new things, nor is he or I scared of failing with something if we think it is worth trying.  

I am young, but in my life there have been times that have made a real impact on who I am, and people who have shaped the person I would someday like to become.  The last 5 years have been one of these times in my life, where many memories have been formed and my life has been enriched by the love of Alex and his family.  In the 5 years I have known Alex, he has become a father of 3 girls, one of which is my Goddaughter, and his wife, Carly is one of the most loving people I have ever met.  They have welcomed me into their family as if I was one of their own, given me hugs when I needed them, food and company any night of the week (which was more than a few!), and let me be a big part of their kids growing up.

Two weeks ago, Alex took a job with the NBA Basketball Team the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Today was his last day of work at USSA and tomorrow he flies to a new life in Cleveland with Carly and the kids following suite a couple weeks later.  This job is a huge step not only professionally for Alex, but also personally for his family.  As many of us know, the money in Pro Sports in America is absurd and with a family to support, financial stress is now out of the picture, which makes me smile.  

Alex put his heart and soul into his job at USSA.  It is not every day that a coach will come in on his weekends to do a workout with you, just to make sure it goes the best it can possibly go.  He makes my job fun, more fun than the gym ever is on my own, not to mention taking the time to explain why I am doing an exercise, how to do a lift with better form, or how to change my technique to jump further.  He holds me accountable, knows when to push me and when I need to back off, the latter of which especially can sometimes be difficult for me to admit.  There is something about having someone you trust with your life, who believes in you so much that some days it is more than you believe in yourself, by your side each day pushing you to be better than you ever thought you could be.  That is what makes a good coach.  The knowledge is important, and Alex has so much of that and constantly is searching for more, but the real job of a coach, the most important thing, is to inspire your athletes to want to be the best they can be.  It is this quality that will be missed the most in the gym, and it is the personal connection I have with his family that will make Park City feel lonely at times.  

This post is for you, Alex.  This is dedicated to all of the times you pumped the Venga Boys in the gym, making me do an extra set when I thought I was totally spent, teaching me how you get 10% stronger when you chew gum while you lift and the scientific studies that prove you can do more pullups when Avril Lavigne is pumping.  It is for every meal you, well, let's be honest, Carly cooked me, each kid you, well let's be honest, Carly, popped out and let me into their lives, each Sunday you met me in the gym and 1000 more moments that made me feel loved and believed in.  You are one in a million, Alex, and you better believe that the gym will be rocking out to Jock Jams every time I am in there lifting.  The Cavs have no idea how lucky they are, or possibly how very short and Australian you are either!  Best of Luck Al.  We will miss you a metric sh*tton.

Carly, me, Heather McPhie (US Moguls Skier), and Alex

Alex and Carly's daughter and my Goddaughter, Charlie

She tried on a few hats:)

Just the right size I'd say!

I had a picnic dinner with my good friends Tyler and Sarah last week in Salt Lake.  I have not seen them at all this summer, so this was a great evening together.

Earlier this summer a bunch of us decided to make 2 competing triathlon teams and see which team would win.  Alex tends to stack his own team as he hates to lose:) but no one really knew which team was going to win.  The night before the race I decided I would do the bike leg instead of the run, as I had been having some foot pain and wanted to be careful, so Chad, pictured above, was drafted for the run.  Big change the night before, but Chad shined in his new role and our team took the victory.  Carly swam, I biked and Chad ran.  We are already planning our next competition!

Chad coming into the finish..

..with a perfect cartwheel!

The winning Triathlon Team, CanHeAceDis?  Yes he can, Chad, yes he can, and DID!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zoo and NNF

This week I have to say that I did a very poor job of taking pictures.  Here are a few.  Also, NNF is trying to get more "Likes" on their facebook page.  It would be great if you have a FB account to check out their page and click the "like" button if you like it.  We are shooting for 3000 Likes by Friday.  Help us get there! 

Tour of Utah Pro Race came through town yesterday and I watched a few seconds of it as they whooshed by!

I went to the Zoo yesterday with my strength coach, Alex and his girls.  Hannah, Charlie and Gemma enjoying the fan that was blowing cool mist.  It felt really good on a hot day in Salt Lake.

The Zoo has some cool animals to see, one of which is a female Polar Bear.  Zoo's have good parts about them and bad parts, but focusing on the good, it was certainly cool to see such incredible creatures so close.  The girls really love seeing the animals, for sure.  The tigers, elephants, giraffes, polar bear, and snakes were the big hits.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Race To The Top Of Vermont!!

I am coming home to do the Race to the Top of Vermont on August 25th! Please help us raise money for Vermont Olympic Winter Hopefuls! Also, this will be a great event with both a mountain bike and a run competition as well as a non competitive hike and fun run for kids! Come celebrate the outdoors, health, Vermont and good food with us on August 25th!

To donate to our team, click on the link below!!

Thanks and Happy Summer!

Monday, August 5, 2013

AK to PC

I love this picture of Sadie.  It shows exactly who she is.  Makes me happy just to look at this photo when I can't have the real version around.

Monday has come again and I find myself wanting to go to bed, but sitting down at my computer to type out the week’s adventures.  This week took me from Eagle Glacier, to Hope, Alaska, and now back to my home in Utah.  I think it is best told in pictures, as there were so many great ones taken on the glacier that I want to share some of the best ones with you all.  I feel a long post coming up, but not tonight, not this Monday, but this one will be very visual!  Be well, train hard, live fully and enjoy the shots.  Photo credits go out to everyone who was at the camp, 22 people all combined their photos and it has made for quite a collection!

Chelsea Holmes, Jessie, Holly and Kate Fitz enjoying the sunny glacier skiing!

Our volunteer PT, Zuzana, working in the sun!

Matt and Cork.... 

Mikey Matteson, one of the guys who works full time up at the glacier, keeping it safe, making sure our facility is in tip top shape and grooming the trails twice a day every day.  Thanks Mikey!!

Kate Fitz, Holly, Kik, Astrid Jacobsen

Our view is not half bad

This is the type of weather we enjoyed all week.  We were super lucky this year!

Baking some treats!

Matt and Cork....I guess this picture really says it all.

Awesome headbands courtesy of SKIDA this year to sport during the camp!

Panoramic view


Sadie socking in the rays of Vitamin D

Our home for the week!

Our view for the week

Being strong and healthy is something that we all try never to take for granted.

If you look closely you can swipe a credit card between my skis and the snow!

Chelsea Holmes with the spread eagle!

Heather almost landing on Astrid. Heather was getting some serious ups today!

Practicing our ups!

Just doing a bit of skiing in our new training gear.

Our crew

Vermont crew: Matt, Ida, me and Heather Mooney

Hope Crew at Holly's cabin: Ida, me, Astrid, Sadie, Kik, Jessie and Holly.

Astrid, Holly, Jessie, Me, Kik and our awesome river guide, Corey who donated his afternoon to us and helping us catch some salmon.  So fun.  Thanks Corey!!

Fresh caught salmon over a fire after a day on the river? BEST. THING. EVER.

Hope crew on a run.  Holly has such an awesome getaway in this quaint town.

Me and my Goddaughter, Charlie.  She gave me a ride in her neighbors sweet electric car!
Just practicing for when she gets her license in 13 years.

Ellery Leeds, Anya Bean Caldwell, me, Mae Foster and Maddie Talkington all got together for some breakfast this morning.  Super fun to have all of these girls in town for the day!  All retired nordis and still loving the benefits of living an active lifestyle.  Once a nordi, always a nordi.
Thanks to NNF for the constant, consistent, incredible support.