Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm in Love!

I'm in love with Duluth, MN.

This past week I had the opportunity to join Brian Gregg in Hayward and work with his ITA project at the LCO Boys and Girls Club. I had a wonderful time learning about how his community service project was organized and what his days looked like with the kids. We started the day off with a visit to Mrs. Johnson's 5th Grade Class. I shared my Olympic journey and experiences with the kids and Brian led a great discussion about goal setting.

After the classroom we went next door to the Boys and Girls Club. The kids LOVE Brian. It was awesome to see them light up as he entered the room! I met the kids and played some games before we headed outside for some lava tag and fort building. The weather was perfect and I was exhausted by the end of the day but had a lot of new friends who I look forward to hanging out with in the future.

Brian and I spent a few days in Hayward before we had to head to Duluth, MN for a three day clinic for the CXC team. We had a wonderful time exploring the great terrain Duluth has to offer. Both Brian and I have lived in the mountains before so living in the flatter Midwest always leaves us longing for more climbs.

Duluth did not disappoint! We were able to climb for almost half and hour on rollerskis and run uphill for almost 45 minutes! The biggest hill I can find in the Cities takes about 4 minutes! The scenery is gorgeous and being back on the shore of Lake Superior felt wonderful. We are excited to visit Duluth again soon and considering it as a possible place to live in the future.

On another note, training has been going really well lately. I have been quite busy this year with a lot of different things but it seems as though my body hasn't forgotten how to race. With less then a month before the season starts I am looking forward to getting back on snow and seeing everyone again!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Read for the Record

Yeserday I had the honor of being one of 5 women chosen to read to over 300 children at the World Cultures Magnet School and American Indian Magnet School in St. Paul, for the annual Read for the Record Event. The book was “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats, and since the theme was winter 5 women athletes were chosen to read and share their favorite winter experiences. Joining me were Olympic Silver Medalist and Captain of the Women’s Hockey Team Natalie Darwitz and Whitney Pratt, Carly Facchini, and Erin Layden of the Augsburg Women’s Hockey Team.

 During the four years since it began in 2006, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record has continued to break the world record for the most children reading the same book on the same day with an adult in their life. The program is designed to draw attention to the reading crisis by pointing out nearly half of the children in low-income neighborhoods lag years behind their peers when they start first grade.

The Readers:

Nearly 3 million children have been involved in the reading day efforts so far, and an estimated 2.5 million were expected to join in Thursday. Jumpstart has raised $6.2 million for books and supplies and sponsored nearly 800,000 books for low-income children.
Breaking up into classes we had question and answer time:

The Book Read Across the Nation:

Thanks to Morgan Bray for contacting me and letting me be a part of such a great cause. Thanks to all the kids who listened to the story and shared their favorite moments from the winter. It won’t be too long until we can enjoy a snowy day ourselves!