Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fast and Female at Super Tour Finals

After a long travel day from Oslo, Norway Brian and I arrived in Boise, Idaho with all of our belongings! We traveled the next day up to Sun Valley and settled in for the final 10 days of our season. The weather has been warm during the day and cold during the night which leaves the courses very icy when we get up to ski! I am not a fan of ice but this week I am even less of a fan! Unfortunately I suffered a concussion during my last race on the World Cup! It was the prestigious Holmenkollen 30K and I was skiing in 8th place when I got hit in the head by a feed bottle while I was traveling very fast! The blow was hard but I couldn't believe how bad it really was. A week later and I am still feeling the concussion symptoms and not quite like myself. I have skipped two of the races here but I have made a point to be involved with the Ski Community as much as possible. This included an awesome Fast and Female event on Thursday.

The Fast and Female was held up a Galena Lodge where the sun was shining and the sun was plentiful! A large number of athletes who are here for Super Tour finals were on hand to volunteer which was great! About 40 girls came out for a day of inspiration and activities.

Big Thanks to Galena Lodge.
Sharing our hometown's and our power animals!
The Orange "Caitlin" Group Leaders

Fun in the sun!
Learning downhill technique from Becca!
You need to ski up if you want to ski down!

Agility course Hoola hoops!
Even lower hurdles to get under.
Dance Station
The girls had a blast and I was able to share my Bronze Medal Story with them which means so much to me! I am so excited to get home and head into the Boys and Girls Club. I have already started my planning and organizing for run club and I have my eye on an early season running race this year!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thank You and the Importance of Believing in Yourself no matter what!

Two weeks later I am still revisiting one of the most amazing days of my ski racing career! I am so happy to be a part of US Nordic Skiing history and I am forever grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from hundreds (maybe thousands) of people and companies over the entirety of my ski career! Brian has been the biggest supporter of my skiing and life and he believed in me even when I wasn't skiing very fast, when I wasn't named to the Olympic Team last year, when I had Shingles this fall and when I had second thoughts about missing the American Birkebeiner because I was told I might not even get to start the 10K at the World Championships! (thanks to the coaches who helped make the start happen!). He always supports me when I have a last minute change in travel and training plans and when I sometimes forget to post my photos to Team Gregg instead of my own Facebook account. (You should go and "like" Team Gregg on Facebook so you can follow everything we do!). Thanks Brian and I look forward to helping you reach your goals in the years to come!!! Team Gregg has found incredible success in it's two year existence on Facebook but the rest of "Team Gregg" has been there all along! Thanks to the Gregg Family for letting me join the "Team" and for all you do to help us! By far the Team Gregg back home does the majority of the less glamorous contributions. From designing our logos, to sewing our patches, to taking our photos and posting them for the World to enjoy, to making us dinner and helping us remembering out race suits, to giving us splits and of course sharing the journey! Just because your last name might not be Gregg doesn't mean you aren't a part of the "Team." Of course, Thanks to my own family, although monetary support was always a challenge and we had many miles between us...You never told me to quit and never shot down my dreams!

Team Gregg - The Biggest Small Team to ever Win a Medal at The World Championships!

I have been thinking a lot about the significance of the Bronze Medal to myself and Team Gregg over the past two weeks. I am very excited about sharing this success with so many who have contributed, encouraged, supported, BELIEVED! We love all the communities we have been welcomed in along the way and cannot thank the families who have brought us in as their own (sometimes for almost a month - That's YOU Richmond's!!!) enough.

The City of Lakes Loppet Foundation has been the most amazing local club and support network since I first came to the Twin Cities 11 years ago and the continued success of it's numerous programs makes me so proud to call it my (and Brian's) TEAM! Go LNR!!!

Obviously the Bronze Medal was the result of even more behind the scenes components and I am so proud of the Teams and Programs that contributed to my development and the incredible coaches who lead them while I was a part of them (Harwood Union High School, Northern Michigan University, The Subaru Factory Team, Go! Training and The US Biathlon Team to name a few). The program that produced the most career changing years for me was the CXC Team! CXC believed in me and gave me the tools necessary to not only achieve strong results but also learn how to continue developing them as well as our Team Gregg brand and most importantly our names as fixtures in the Nordic Skiing Community as athletes who "give-back!" The Loppet Foundation provided me an incredible connection to the people in my Minneapolis community who cared about more than just racing, they cared about skiing as a lifestyle and I love every part of it! Thanks to all the people who were a part of these programs and those who helped (even without me being a part of their programs!) throughout my career. There are truly too many people to name and I am afraid of leaving anyone out! You know who you are and I have had the opportunity to thank many of you in the past couple of weeks but will be spending the rest of my life connecting and praising your kindness and support of my dreams.

Another person who has helped me develop in an area just as important as my fitness and results (perhaps even more important) is Amory Rowe from In-the-Arena! I joined the roster of In-the-Arena in 2008 and now 7 years later with an Olympic Team, 5 National Titles, 4 World Championship Teams and a World Championship Bronze Medal, the biggest accomplishment of my career is the not from the course or ski trails, it's from the "Work" Brian and I have done in our own North Minneapolis Neighborhood. The children we have spent countless hours with have become my passion and fed my soul to do my best. This Bronze Medal is ALL ABOUT THEM!!! Day in and Day out Brian and I strive to motivate and encourage them to look beyond their surroundings and DREAM BIG! BELIEVING in themselves and their future is the most important message we can send. It's more than just results or accolades, it's the idea that you can do anything, even when the odds are stacked against you, and prove that BELIEVING IN YOURSELF is the most important part. Not how much money you have, the car your drive, the neighborhood you live in, the places you travel, etc... It's about the day in and day out accomplishment of continuing to BELIEVE especially when others do not and never setting a limit to what is possible.

Thank You to the kids from North Minneapolis and the Jerry Gamble Boys and Girls Club for helping ME BELIEVE in myself. The hours and moments we have shared and the hurdles I have watched you leap over and the walls you continuously crash down have inspired me to continue chasing my own dreams with the same reckless abandonment. To all the kids we visit, teach, coach and encourage YOU are a HUGE part of this and you have all the tools you will ever need to SUCCEED. They are in your head and they are in your heart. Believe in yourself and anything is possible.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes about Believing in Yourself and a few pictures from our journey!

1. Stay true to who you are.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde

2. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve waited, there’s always time to make a change and strive for more.

is never too late to be what you might have been.  ― George Eliot

3. Don’t get stuck worrying about what you’ve missed out on, instead, open up your eyes for the new opportunities right in front of you.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. ― Helen Keller

4. Don’t get overwhelmed by your goal if it seems to big. Focus on that one small step you can take first.

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. ― Confucius

5. You can’t chose what life throws at you, but you can chose how you respond.

I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. ― Maya Angelou

6. You talents and abilities will improve over time, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. ― Martin Luther King Jr.

7. It’s okay to be afraid of failing, you just can’t let it stop you from trying.

 In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.- Bill Cosby 

8. Be motivated by your desire to prove the naysayers and cynics wrong.

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. - David Brinkley

9. Success isn’t about not failing, it’s about bouncing back after you fail.

I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom. - George S. Patton

10. You have to understand that you can’t have success without first experiencing failure.

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. - Michael Jordan

11. It doesn’t really matter what other people think you should be doing with your life. All that matters is that YOU know what you’re doing with your life.

I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want. - Muhammad Ali

12. Success doesn’t just fall in your lap. You have to get up, do the work, and go find it.

Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door. - Kyle Chandler

13. Sometimes you have to do something you hate, in order to achieve something you love.You’re not going to enjoy every minute of the journey, but the success you’ll find at the end will make it all worth it.

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ - Muhammad Ali

14. What good is being a success at something you don’t care about?

It’s better to be happy doing something you love, even if you don’t find success right away.
I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate. - George Burns

15. You can recover from a failure, but it’s hard to forgive yourself for never trying in the first place.

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. - George Edward Woodberry

16. Everyone starts out as an amateur, but it’s only those who keep trying that become true successes.

Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting. - Christopher Morley

17. Sometime you have to take a leap of faith to find success.

You can’t expect to hit the jackpot if you don’t put a few nickels in the machine. - Flip Wilson

18. You’re more than capable of finding success, but it will only happen after you put in the work.

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. - Vince Lombardi

19. Don’t give up, because you’re probably much closer to success than you realize.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. - Thomas A. Edison

20. Your potential and ability to succeed is not confined by your current situation. You’re more than your current circumstances.

The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself. - Mark Caine

Thanks to everyone for following and I hope you continue to Believe in what is possible and what is to come!