Sorry this post is a bit belated but life happens and gets crazy sometimes!
The past few weeks of racing at at NCAA races and US Nationals has been a blur of excitement and exhaustion. Like many of my teammates something comes alive in my soul during ski season that lies somewhat dormant for the rest of the year. I have been embracing that awakening and trying to find balance in the rush of race season.
I need to brag about my team for minute. Not only are they super fast, good looking, brilliantly smart and have great character but they are also incredibly brave. Meghan fighting her way through larger than life races at senior nationals, Leann finishing her first NCAA race ever not letting the fast Europeans scare her away, Bridget coming back and raging after a long hiatus from racing, Will and Sam inspiring us all when they represent the team strongly in every brutal 30k they finish, Taylor refusing to give up his great race even when the pack is no where in sight and the look of pure joy on Sierras face in a sprint.
But despite these victories I think the bravery shows when the hardest choices have to be made. Sierra had to sit and watch from the sidelines the first few races as her knee recovered from an injury. Knowing Sierra, it caused her nearly as much pain not to race as it would have if she had raced. Ben listened to what his body was saying in the middle of two races and decided to drop out and rest for the next week. Taylor before the Bozeman 5k, and I at the nationals sprint, each decided not to start a race when and off day just didn’t feel quite right and the love of skiing just wasn’t in my tired body. Knowing when to sit out of a race and lay aside your pride and knowing your body well over the years is a honed skill that is perhaps more useful than the ability to finish every single race no matter what it costs you.
Taylor and I cooled down in Bozeman after the 5k that hadn’t gone as smoothly as hoped for anyone on the team, we looked up at the Bridger Bowl mountain covered in snow and watched the flakes swirl in our beautiful snow globe. We discussed how ski racing is mental, physical and spiritual, just like a good relationship. It takes everything you have every day you choose to do it whether it’s a good day or a bad day.