My blog is back with a big update to kick off the 2015/16 season! Well technically it never went anywhere, I just took a break from updating it to focus on another project. That project of course was the charity I co-founded. Have you heard of it? Well if not, it’s truly pushing a new frontier in the childhood cancer community. We are one of the first and only organizations that will provide long-term support to childhood cancer survivors. The name of our organization is ccThrive. Its name extrapolated, stands for Thriving after childhood cancer, or at the very least that is what we are hoping to get kids to do. Our first step in this process will be raising awareness that kids can thrive post treatment. To do this we have established a group of ccThriver’s. This group is compiled of childhood cancer survivors, including myself, who have accomplished things that at one point in their life would have been considered extremely unlikely. These powerful stories are perfect examples of thriving. Getting these stories into the hospitals and the childhood cancer community of patients, families, and providers can change the outlook of so many individuals. Each story is positive, optimistic and most importantly realistic. But we want to do more then just get the stories out there; we want to get the actual group of ccThriver’s out there. In doing so we will be raising awareness by providing that tangible link between the childhood cancer patient of yesterday and thriving survivor today. That tangible link is so important, it gives the kids and their families an opportunity to ask questions or interact with our ambassadors. This process will help individuals define their own optimistic but realistic goals for their life post cancer.
Our programs don’t stop with the ccThriver program however; Phase 2 and 3 will be a mentor program and a grant program. The mentor program will be aimed at guiding the individuals we meet. We hope to help them transition back into life post cancer. We can advise them on the endeavors they decide to take on, help them through challenges they may face, motivate them by sharing details and challenges from the mentor’s life. All the guidance in the world may not be enough for some though. Cancer can be so financially debilitating that many kids may not have the financial means to pursue their passions. Our grant program will be established to address those needs and help remove the financial limitations some may face giving them an equal opportunity.
Want to help? First go onto our website, http://www.ccthrive.org, enter your name and email to receive our monthly newsletter. This will update you in detail on our progress. Eventually we will have volunteer opportunities, but at the moment the biggest way you can help is by making a donation. We need funds to role out our programs. Everything else is ready to go, our expert advisors are so excited for ccThrive to start redefining what it means to survive childhood cancer. To learn more please check out the website! You will find everything you need to know about the organization; additionally you can make your secure tax-deductible donation through our website.
Now that I have explained why I took a break from my blog it’s time to move forward. This season will be a building year for me. Jumping is the priority. I have to put myself in contention on the jump hill to have a chance at the podium. So that is the focus and I don’t expect results overnight. I think there will be successes and failures but that is the point. In order to make a change for the better sometimes you have to break the old comfort zone. That is exactly what I plan to do this season. Of course I hope the cross-country performance remains or even improves from the strong levels I have seen the last two years. After all the competitions are won on the racecourse so that is still a priority. However even if you are the fastest skier on the circuit, you don’t have chance without a strong jumping performance.
Equipment wise I am really excited to be jumping on Sport 2000 skis this season. This was one of my moves to get out of my comfort zone. New feelings mean changes have to be made to adjust to them and these skis have been very fun to get used to and figure out how to make them fly the farthest.
Additionally you will see all of the US Ski Team member’s sporting L.L. Bean and Craft uniforms this season. This new partnership is very cool and it’s very exciting to see the motivation these two companies have in making sure our teams are dressed in the best. Perhaps the coolest thing is that everything we are wearing will be items that you can purchase to show your support. As always with these companies the quality is outstanding and everything is built with functionality in mind!
On the Cross Country side, I will be continuing to ski on Madshus. Madshus in my opinion makes the best cross-country skis, boots and poles out there. The whole line of products is engineered to work together making skiing stable, comfortable, and of course fast! If you haven’t tried their products out, please do so!
For Nutrition I am lucky and proud to be a USANA athlete. USANA provides everything I need to make sure there are no gaps in my nutrition. I use their “My Health Pak” on a daily basis and it’s a great vitamin pack, I also use their “Nutrimeal” for a variety of uses. Some of those uses include, pre race meal, post race recovery drink, meal replacement when you can’t find anything decent while travelling, I even put it in my oatmeal for added flavor etc. I even use some of their beauty products! Ok, let’s be real, I use their soaps and face washes but they are awesome so if I needed beauty products I am sure I would use those too.
Honey Stinger has been one of my longest running sponsors. I eat their “10 Gram Protein Bar” after almost every weight session. They are perfect for the long summer bike rides, or winter XC skis. I love the “Organic Energy Chews” I use the caffeinated ones as pre race fuel. I also use the bars as pre race, post race, snacks, dessert you name it. Their honey makes a great addition to any breakfast cereal in the am too.
The season ends on February 28th this year, which is unusually early due to some schedule changes. Don’t worry however the season still includes the same number of world cups as previous seasons. Because of the early ending, I am looking forward to skiing at Steamboat Resort in the spring. I hope to be able to spend a little more time on the mountain I grew up learning to ski on. They have been big supporters of both Taylor and I over the years and we are grateful to have them.
One of the products I am very excited to be testing this season is WEND. WEND wax works makes surf, ski, and even bike waxes and products. They specialize in making safe environmentally friendly race waxes. To do this they use meadow foam. It’s the next big thing in waxing and I cannot wait to give it a shot and put it to the test in both cross-country and ski jumping. WEND also has a full line of traditional waxes as well as high fluoro race waxes. I am excited to be a member on their team and help them push a new frontier in waxing.
The last shout out goes to YOKO. Our team switched to using their gloves last season. One thing most people probably don’t know about me is I have horrible circulation in my hands. Some would call it a disorder because it’s so terrible. Well YOKO gloves are the first gloves in my 10 + career on the national team that have actually keep my hands warm and comfortable. I had gotten so used to having cold hands that when I finally realized how cozy my hands were last season, I bragged about it to everyone.
So now that you know some of products I will be sporting this year, get out there try them with me and let’s enjoy this winter!
I look forward to potentially seeing everyone out on the trails or at the jumps this winter. Good Luck in your racing season. If you need some coaching advise I would be happy to help! Just hit me up through the contact form. If not I hope to race against you at some point. Next update will most likely be after the first comps in Ruka! Stay tuned.