Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lots of Training, Lots of Skiing, and Lots of Happy Kids!

Before I left for West Yellowstone and the start of my ski season I had one more stop to make. I went to the Anwatin Middle School (just a few blocks from my house) and helped out with the City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation's After school Ski Program. We had a great time using the running shoes, Ski Boots, and skis provided by many generous companies and individuals to help get these kids excited about Cross Country Skiing.
Anwatin Middle School Kids Rollerskiing!

The Second group out and done just before dark!
Now I am in West Yellowstone, MT preparing for the first races of the season. The snow is plentiful and the crowds are growing. I am loving the atmosphere!!! While I am spending many hours training, waxing, and preparing my other equipment for the long winter I also find that I have plenty of spare time. I had an idea about how to use this time to give back to the Community of West Yellowstone, where I have spent so much time for so many years. Brian Gregg and I have been visiting the kids at the West Yellowstone Elementary, Middle, and High School. The kids have been excited to have us and their enthusiasm make Brian and I happy about what we do. 
The after school program after our ski presentation and slide show.

Showing the kids what our skis feel like and how they work.
The West Yellowstone Girl Scout and Brownie Troop.

West Yellowstone After school Girls and our new PINK phones (we drew them!)

As the races start this week we are facing a serious blast of cold air. Stay tuned for some frigid ski stories and hopefully a race that goes off!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Years and still Running Strong!!!

Today is my 30th Birthday and I have to say that I don't feel any older. Maybe wiser, but not slower! I am happy to report that on the training and racing front I am still running healthy and strong. Thirty is a big milestone in cross country skiing here in the US. Not many skiers continue to ski at an Elite level into their thirties and especially not women. So I am looking forward to this year where I will be representing a new age class as a Master Skier and continuing to improve!!!

Today for my 30th Birthday I joined my favorite group of Master Skiers, the Vakava Racing Team. The team is comprised of some of the toughest and fastest Master Skiers in the Twin Cities. They train hard and race fast all while holding down full-time jobs and raising families!!! They are all incredible and have great stories to share about their own ski racing careers. I look up to them and they have been awesome training partners since I moved to the Twin Cities.

Last year when I was trying to raise money for traveling to the Olympic Qualifying races, the Vakava stepped up and opened their homes and threw an amazing Birthday Party Fundraiser for me. Over 100 people came and we were able to raise enough money so I could get out west to the first series of races.

Today I got to spend another Birthday with the Vakava Team and other friends. We went for a 4 hour rollerski in Afton, MN.