This past week was one of the best training camp weeks I have ever had. The CXC Elite Team spent a week in Marquette, Michigan a place where I spent 5 years of my life and missed. Marquette is where I went to college at Northern Michigan University and graduated over 7 years ago!!! I cannot believe it has been so long. Looking back on those years and visiting the places I went to class and the trails I trained on, I realized how lucky I was to be a part of the Northern Michigan family.
On this trip I was able to meet up with my College Coach Sten Fjeldheim. He has changed a lot, as have I, but we still had a blast sharing stories and lessons learned during our time together as NCAA Coach and Student-Athlete.
A lot of people ask about what it was like to be an athlete of Sten's at NMU. There are stories of grueling intervals and the notorious weather scenarios we would do them in. There were big consequences for forgetting something at practice, being late to a meeting and of course not keeping your grades up. Sten was a tough coach but also knew we were at NMU for and education and he made sure that was always first. Despite all the rumors of how tough it was to be an skier at NMU the truth is we, as athletes, made it as tough as we wanted it! And we all knew that the tougher it was the better we would become.
Since Sten has been coaching at NMU there have been countless All-Americans, National Champions and 5 NCAA Champions in Cross Country Skiing. The atmosphere in the ski room is one of pride in all the hard work we, as members of the team, have contributed to the success of the program.
All of the positive energy, and fantastic weather, made every training session in Marquette incredible and I felt awesome! Sten even came to a couple of workouts and was pleased with how my technique has progressed even since this last winter! I am feeling like my old self again and look to make even bigger gains in the next couple of months before the season kicks off! Just like at NMU I am putting in a lot of effort now and look forward to the outcome later this winter!
Although I did not reach my fullest potential as an athlete while I was at NMU, I did earn a degree. Even more importantly I have learned to balance multiple demands and remain well rounded. I wouldn't trade anything in the world for the experiences and lessons I learned while at NMU. I know I would not have the depth of knowledge and success I have had as an athlete or person if I had not gone to NMU. Looking back on the thousands of hours I spent studying and training in the UP I can hardly think think of anything as awesome as the back drop of Lake Superior.