Monday, December 29, 2014

The Art of Pushing Your Limits...

Everyone knows that being an Elite Athlete, or trying to be one of the best in the World at anything, takes a lot of effort and sacrifice. Brian and I have been training and competing to try and reach the highest level for many years and this is certainly nothing new to us. Each year we try to figure out how we can get a little stronger, a little fitter and ultimately even faster! This year was no exception for myself, with World Cup start rights as my first races I was psyched to give it my all this spring, summer and fall to try and make a statement about being selected for the World Championship Team in February.

Racing the World Cup 10km Classic in Davos, Switzerland

Team Gregg was a smashing success last season with our final tally of results placing us second behind APU on the overall Super Tour list for teams! We were successful on the course and off the course by having our most productive year with the Jerry Gamble Boys and Girls Club, participating in local practices with the youth and adult members of the community's we visited and thanks to our sponsors and supporters have managed to stay afloat financially so we could do it all again this year.

Both Brian and I love to be involved with our sport in as much as possible. We feel so grateful that we are able to continue racing in this sport we love, the sport that kept us focused in high school, allowed us to put ourselves through college and has since taken us around the World and allowed us to meet incredible people and make some of the best friends possible.

Team Gregg functions with a delicate balancing act of putting our energy into our training, our advocacy and fulfilling our obligations to our amazing sponsors (who are truly the best!) I thought I was doing a great job of training harder than ever, doing more for my sponsors and giving back to the community more frequently. See this entry.

Turns out there is a limit to what the human body (or at least this human body) can handle. I could tell I was flirting with the edge. I told Brian that I was close to falling off but I stayed positive and pressed on. I knew I would be in Canmore for almost a month and I could take some time to try and rebound by not having as much going on and truly focusing on just training and recovery. I took it easy for a few days prior to my big travel to Europe, but still felt a bit run down.  Unfortunately things got worse and when a painful rash broke out on my neck I went to the doctor in Finland and was diagnosed with SHINGLES! Shingles is an extremely painful and debilitating rash that left me miserable and exhausted.  A round of antibiotics got rid of the rash and I tried to stay positive, and put my all in to every race.  I had great training and wax support from Brian Fish and learned so much by being surrounded by some of the best athletes in the World. I learned a ton, never complained and sucked up my pride by entering events I knew were going to be a bit "rough" on the results list.

Brian and I are now in Hayward, WI preparing for US Nationals in Houghton. Although I didn't race well in Europe there is still a chance that I can qualify for World Championships with some good results next week. I know my training was good this fall and I am sure that the fitness is there. I am feeling much better with each passing day and I am hoping the fatigue from the Shingles virus is behind me now!

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