I may have posted the last update a week too early. Finland heard my cry for cold winter conditions and obliged my wishes. The conditions here in Ruka, Finland are cold with a side of humidity. The snow is slow and creaky and the fingers don't last long no matter what gloves you have on. I enjoy it even with my poor circulation and my fingers going painfully numb every five minutes.
Today we had a classic case of a reindeer on the landing hill. I got a few pictures that I will be sure to post to prove it. Only in Finland would you see that sight. I am pretty convinced it was a good omen though as the conditions have been nothing short of perfect on the jump hill. Looking forward to the weekend I can only hope that they last like this and the comps will go off without a hitch. This is usually not the case here as most of the time it's extremely windy here.
We will see what happens as the days tick by. Tomorrow is a day off for the USA team and I plan to take full advantage of it! Who knows maybe I will get out of bed and come down to the lobby to post another update and those pictures with it!
As you can see from the picture, life on the road is not all that spectacular sometimes. Here we are in Lillehammer, Norway for the opening world cups and despite early season cold temps here the snow is now almost gone on the jumps. After a week of rain it's amazing the hills are in as good of conditions as they are. It's so warm out that I have the window open in my hotel room to get some fresh air while lounging in a T-shirt. What ever happened to the good old days of winter, when it was so cold out you had to sleep in your down jacket? Just two years ago in this very spot I was fighting a losing battle with frostbite every time I went outside. That was also the last time I saw two grown men crying in a wax cabin due to the unbearable pain associated with the frost bite.
Despite the warm temperatures I feel lucky to say that we will still have a World Cup opener at this point. There is plenty of snow at the cross country stadium, and the hills seem to be holding strong for the first Official Training tomorrow. The buzz around the town is filled with anticipation for the first events. The athletes are all feeling the unmistakable confident/nervous/giddy/excited feeling that comes with the season. It's a rare mixture of emotion where just a pinch more of this or that can tailor the feeling to any aspect of life, yet it still remains unique in it's own right.
As we get excited, you should be too! Many of you will spend the next 5 months staying up to all hours of the night just to catch a highlight reel of our comps online. Just for doing so I must say thank you for you loyal dedication as a fan and friend of Nordic Combined and of the US Team. For those of you who are lucky enough to see it live, remember the celebration goes all day so pace yourself! If you find yourself lacking information please go to www.fisnordiccombined.com to find just about everything you will need to keep yourself informed. As good as the website looks, sometimes it does have some glitches, spend sometime navigating it and click links, buttons etc. in time you will have it dialed.
So tomorrow we kick it off! Get excited and celebrate a bit tonight. Here is to what will hopefully be a great season!
In the quiet moments while flying home from the Annual USSA Ski Ball, I couldn’t help but reflect on the evening’s events. Throughout the evening I met a number of great people who showed their character in a number of ways throughout the evening. Despite having a rough last two weeks, supporters of the USSA came out in high spirits they made the evening a special one. Many of the guests were still without power at their homes and told first hand accounts of weathering the storm for better or worse. It has been said time and time again but the people of NY are tough, they are already on their way to rebounding even stronger.
Hurricane aside a big thank you must go out to everyone at the event. They are without a doubt skiers and snowboarders at heart. Now if we could only get some of that snow that NYC is getting out in west, we could start this season off right. Only 9 days away from the start of the 2013 season and that excited anxious feeling is getting stronger everyday.
Another exciting note to add, is that we have receive a match for funds raised by the NNF. If our team can raise $15,000 dollars it will be matched. The pressure is on to hit that mark and we are almost there! Currently we are just over half way. We have 1 week left to raise the funds, so if you haven’t donated please donate! On November 15th we will also be having our annual “Drive for 25.” Just as it is titled we will be pushing to raise $25,000 dollars in 24 hours. Our hope is that friends of friends of friends all make small donations, every dollar counts. A donation from 10 people for 25 dollars would mean the world to everyone involved. SO please, tell your friends and family! Donations can be made at www.grouprev.com/bfletch . Most importantly just help spread the word about our great community and support we have in this sport!
Until the next post I will be doing the snow dance in my front lawn!
So today marks 18 days until the first WC of the season in Lillehammer, Norway. Our crew will depart for these competitions on the 17th of November in hopes to get a couple days on snow before the big opening day. I can honestly say I am excited and anxious to get underway. The summers hard work has been laid and all that's left to do is have fun and execute in competition.
I am currently sitting on a plane bound for NY hoping for cold temperatures and snow in Park City, UT. Hopefully then we would get the opportunity to train on snow a few days before our departure. So why am I on a plane to NY if I am hoping to train in Park City? There is a simple answer, I am heading to the city for the annual US Ski Team Ball which I am very excited to be apart of this year. In addition to the ball I have packed my suitcase full of a few extra coats to donate and happy to be helping volunteer with the relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. I will be in NYC until Thursday enjoying the ball and volunteering. More on this later...
I return to PC on Thursday evening, from there life gets simple. I will be enjoying the last few days with the girl friend, and resting up to start off the season. The name of the game will be recovery until we depart on the 17th. Recovery weeks are awesome, I have said it before, and I will say it again. There is nothing more enjoyable then low volumes of training, couch time, and lazy mornings with coffee. That being said with a week to go to the comps, maintaining good nutrition is extremely important. I find the easiest way to maintain is with a routine. I wake up and record my weight, take my USANA vitamins with a lot of water, and eat a healthy breakfast. Which for me happens to be my favorite meal of the day, I am not sure if it's because I think it's the most important or if it's because thats when I am at my hungriest every day. Either way those three steps help me ensure that I have the best chance possible to land on the top 3 steps when competition time comes around!