Sunday, January 8, 2012

Three weeks in a whirlwind of Alex

As I rolled - ok, slid sideways across greasy slush - into the driveway in Vermont, the tiredness was starting to pulse through me, like waves, and each time the wave hit with more force. Inside, I peeled damp socks from feet that had been standing for most of the day, and the five days before that, and sat down heavily, each limb feeling like it was being pushed to the floor. My eyes felt gritty, used up, and occasional muscle spasms wracked my legs. Turns out, coaching can be hard work, but it only gets really hard when you're also trying to keep up with your supposed real life job at the same time. Skiing twelve hours in a week, or seventeen hours in a week up at the training camp, isn't hard when you're also sleeping enough. Alas, coffee really isn't a good replacement for sleep.
Is this dog not the cutest thing you've ever seen? She's the main reason I ever go home.

I started this trip filled with excitement and anticipation. I love going places! After a quick few days in Rochester, trying to catch up with social obligations and simultaneously finish some school obligations, I was feeling a bit run down, a bit short on the shuteye, but I figured I'd catch up while in Mont Sainte Anne, at CSU's annual training camp. Another nine hours in the car, this time listening to a spy thriller on CD, and I was in a winter wonderland, some place with hills, and snow, and all my happy little skiers ready to thrash me kilometer after kilometer. Part of the training plan is the mandatory nap after lunch - after having skipped said nap for a week, now I understand why it is mandatory. But when the skiing is so good, I just can't stop!

Speedy li'l buggers.

From Canada, I headed south, through some pretty crappy weather (unfortunately, not snow), and ended up in Vermont, in time for the New Year's party, with Ed. Happy 2012! A few short hours later I was on the road again, to the same spy thriller, now heading to Rumford, to coach at US nationals for cross country skiing. We had seven athletes staying in a house, and three others day tripping just to get some race experience, with four coaches and a shifting mix of parents, although Peter really did the heavy duty organization and cooking. You'd think that after a week of Peter's amazing breakfasts we'd all be ten pounds heavier, but it turns out that if you stand outside all day and test skis all day and and run around excitedly cheering all day and substitute caffeine for sleep, you actually lose weight. I think this is a Bad Thing.
Crammed into a condo in Rumford, ME.

The week went awesomely - the CSU juniors all skied well above their seeds, and above their expectations, and we qualified one for the Junior Worlds trip and two for the J1 Scandinavian Cup trip. I am very proud, and certainly take some of the credit. After Friday's race, the three making trips stayed for the banquet, and I was back in my car, heading to Vermont again, hoping for some r&r.

By Sunday, we're back in Boston, catching up on life, and the whirlwind is over... for now!

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