Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Proud Wife!!!

So much about being an athlete seems to revolve around a selfish need to constantly be focusing on yourself! You have to train well, sleep well, eat well, etc...and your biggest advocate is YOU!!! The Olympic Games are the pinnacle event for all athletes in their lifetime! The experience is nothing less than magical and the memories are worth every bit of effort and sacrifice along the way!

How could something in an athlete's career ever top their trip to the Olympic Games? In 2010 when I was named to the Olympic Team I wasn't sure there was anything greater I could achieve athletically! I soon realized I was completely wrong! Qualifying for the Olympics was a huge goal of mine and a huge accomplishment after many years of dedicated hard work, but when I reached Vancouver and began the process of getting "outfitted" for the Games I realized there was so much more than just being an Olympian. At opening presentation we, the athletes, were asked what we wanted our "Olympic Legacy" to be. We kept these words to ourselves but mine still sits on the card by my beside. I suppose many could use performance or process goals, pleasing coaches or loved ones or even the ability to meet as many new people as possible in the two weeks of the Games. I thought long and hard about why I had spent so many years chasing my goals and committing myself to such a lofty dream.

I soon realized it really wasn't about me. Sure I had spent a good portion of my life focusing on me and how my training, racing and recovery was going, but at the end of the day I realized that Olympics or not it was more about the achievement of everyone in my life up until that point! I realized it was just the beginning of the opportunity to motivate and inspire others!

In 2010 my husband Brian was beyond excited for me to compete in the Games. He called and checked in everyday, he followed the live feeds and sent motivating messages and photos to my email. He was an incredible support network for me and he made my whole experience absolutely awesome! Fast forward four years and there have been numerous school visits, clinics, lessons and mentoring moments. I loved being a part of all of them! I absolutely LOVE sharing my passion and drive with all those I meet! I Love the concept of challenging yourself and aiming high with your expectations, of putting yourself on the line when there is a similar chance you could loose as there is you could win!

Brian exemplified all that I could ever hope for! He saw my success and realized if I could do it he could too! After working with so many youths, as a part of In-the-Arena, and hoping that you are successful at planting a seed of inspiration for them to chase their own dreams, I am so proud that perhaps the most inspired person was the one I shared almost everyday with for the past 4 years!!!

Brian qualified and was officially named to the 2014 US Olympic Team last Wednesday! I am beyond proud and I am more excited for him than I ever was for myself! He has been so dedicated and thorough with his training, so dialed and precise with his equipment and most of all so humble and gracious of his achievements and success! Watching his progress over the past 4 years has been an honor to be a part of!

I wish I could be there with him when he enters the greatest sporting arena of all time, but he knows I will be there in spirit and love!

Best of Luck to Brian and all the In-the-Arena athletes who will be competing in Sochi! I am so honored to be a part of such a wonderful group of athletes and people!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I can't believe this is happening!!!

Wow! What an exciting couple of weeks for Brian and me. Sometimes when making decisions it is easy to look at the most fun and entertaining option and hope that the rest of your plans fall into place. With this being an Olympic Year, Brian and I have often had to look the other direction when opportunities arise to visit friends, family or spending long hours in large groups. For me the idea of forgoing social situations is easy since I like my quiet time, but for Brian, a very family oriented and social butterfly, this decision has a major impact!

The goal of the weeks over the Christmas and New Year's Holiday is to recover, train and prepare for our most important races, US Nationals. With low snow, travel and the potential for a lot of distractions I suggested to Brian that perhaps we should head straight to Utah to start getting used to the National's courses and altitude. Brian was very torn and ultimately spent his first Christmas EVER away from his family. I know this was a major impact for him and I was beyond thrilled when the new opportunity arose for his parents and sister to join US in Utah the week of Nationals!!!

Brian's family has been a huge part of his love for skiing. I can still remember heading out for an easy family ski and 3 hours later finishing with the whole group! They have been such a major support group for us that when we formed "Team Gregg" we knew it meant way more than just Brian and I.

Team Gregg consists of so many people at this point, that it is hard to really say who we know that isn't somehow a part of the success of our Team! I have to express how incredibly grateful I am to be a part of the amazing Gregg family! Between West Yellowstone, Silver Star, Bozeman (driving to the plane and dispatch), Rossland and US Nationals Team Gregg has been behind us all the way! Our Logo was designed by Brian's Sister Tara. our patches were arranged and sewn on by Alieta (our sister in-law) and Brian's mom, our Technical Support and Media operations have been lead by Chad, Brian's brother and our splits have been handled by Jim, Brian's Dad! The entire family provides help with ski testing, transportation, race logistics, feeds, equipment transfers, bib pickup, clothing gathering, food preparation, point calculating and of course crazy loud CHEERING and HUGS while we are racing and when we finish! Those who aren't at the race provide incredible support and encouragement from where ever they are! and we feel the positive vibes :)

Brian and I had an amazing US Nationals and we know it was due to all of "Team Gregg" and our supporters! We are know living a dream by traveling the World on the World Cup with the US Ski Team for the next two weekends before the 2014 Olympic Team is named! We cannot express how thankful we are for this opportunity and how fortunate we feel to be on this journey TOGETHER!!!

We are currently in the Czech Republic after racing a sprint race on Saturday that was a bit of an eye opener for us! We are getting used to the time change and change of pace here in Europe now and we are very excited for our next races in Poland!

Our dream since we got married was to make the Olympic Team together! At this point we have done a darn good job putting ourselves in the right place at the right time. Now we must wait, train well and race well before we find out! It is nice to have each other during this "waiting" period and these are the days that we will remember and cherish for the rest of our lives! This year will certainly become a favorite Christmas time topic for many years to come :)

I know I have said it before but THANK YOU to everyone who has helped make this DREAM SEASON possible for the both of us!

Family Dinner in Midway from the Crockpot!
Waxing in the Bathroom!

Ski Testing with Tara
Team Gregg Banner from Tara and Simon!

Patches being sewn on by Jan
Jim making sure the food is tasty enough!
The Team Gregg Chataeux in Midway!

A National Title
Awesome Entertainment

Ski Marking :)

Shuttle to the Airport!

Cheering on Kikkan, Andy, Sophie and Simi in the heats at the World Cup! Kikkan Won!!!

Morning Jogs along the course!

My awesome Wax Tech Patrick! He volunteers his time!

Cheering for Team USA!

Kikkan's award ceremony!

Distance run through the woods and fields of the Czech Republic!

Monkeying around!

Awesome photo!