2015 is here!!! I partied so hard last night it was insane…. Ok so maybe that is an exaggeration. Right now I am in Shonach, Germany and since we have comps this weekend I rang in the New Year by going to bed at 930. (Jetlagged) I did however wake up to the fireworks that started around 1150 pm and lasted until around 1 am Non-stop. It was no Steamboat spectacular, but it was constant and most definitely loud! Our hotel is in Triberg; a small town nestled into a tiny valley so the fireworks really resonated! I was happy they woke me up; it gave me a moment to reflect on the year past, as well as gave me some positive motivation moving into the New Year.
I guess because this blog falls on New Years day I have to give a few highlights of last year as well as what I am looking forward to in the New Year. So in 2014 there were two major highlights in my mind. One is obvious; it has gone down as the best night of my life thus far! Marrying Nikki, in my mind, is the greatest accomplishment of my life… I can’t imagine my life without her and I am really looking forward growing and sharing our lives together. The second highlight of 2014 was making the Olympic team. To be able to check that off my list and call myself an Olympian is an amazing feeling. I am very happy I was able to reach that goal.
Despite having a pretty good 2014, I am very excited for 2015 to be here. I am happy to move forward with all the new and exciting adventures in play. In skiing I hope to make some progress on the jump hill and move back up to the level I am capable of. With good performances I hope to complete this winter season with some strong results. Falun is definitely a big goal for me. To walk away with some Hardware from there would be a dream come true. I without a doubt have some work to do, but I really do feel I am figuring things out and will be a contender when the time comes.
The grand scale of the year aside I am excited to start this weekend in Shonach with probably the best snow conditions I have ever seen here. A great way to start off the New Year compared to the usual strip of snow in a green field. The weekend’s events consist of a 4-man team event on Saturday followed by an individual event on Sunday. Our team this weekend consists of rookie Ben Berend, who is pumped to be up on world cup for the first time since making the national team! Adam Loomis who has already shown some great promise so far this season, Taylor Fletcher, and myself. So there you have it! GO USA
Alright, Alright, Alright! It’s Thursday morning here in Ramsau, Austria. I am gearing up for another weekend of competitions despite a severe lack of snow all over Europe at the moment. Ramsau is doing an amazing job of preparing for the weekends comps with the difficult snow situation. Right now it’s looking like we will be racing on a 1.25 km course of “trucked in” snow. The jumping hill is in good shape and I was lucky to have a very nice session on the hill yesterday. As usual today is a recovery day allowing me to write this post!
Last update was prior to Lillehammer, Norway’s competitions. We had a week break since then in which I travelled back to the USA to train and watch the Continental Cup competitions. Getting to that in a minute, first I want to do a quick recap of Lillehammer. Both days jumping was a bit tough for me however, skiing is good and I was just a few seconds back from the strong group the first day, those seconds meant that they would make a charge to the front, while I would be chasing them without much progress. I finished in the low 30’s that day after starting 45th. However the second day I had a little better jump (38th) and was where I needed to be for the race. I took advantage of it by catching the lead group and even contesting for the podium! I was a little too patient in my move and unfortunately that prevented me from maneuvering around to be in the final sprint. I finished a respectable 8th. This is my first top 10 of the season. Feels good to be in the hunt, but my motivation is higher, I set my goals to finish on the podium a few times this season and that means I have work to do! So here in Ramsau the first step is to put down a little better jumping performance. I feel good about my training so far and believe I have made some improvements since the last comps so hopefully they will show this weekend.
The Continental Cups were also done on a short course with the troublesome snow situation in Park City at the moment. The short course was actually the Gorgoza tubing park, the course climbed one tubing lane and descend another one repeating the climb and decent multiple times. The course was 1.7 km and the competitors raced 6 laps around it in pure agony. This was the first race I have ever watched where there wasn’t a part of me that wanted to partake. I was perfectly content cheering on the boys. The USA boys put in some great efforts and it was fun to watch them dig deep. Another highlight from the COC comps was announcing the jumping competitions. I butchered so many names and sentences you might think I was doing it intentionally and I am also sure it closely resembles my poor grammar in writing ha-ha… No but seriously it was a blast sitting in the both next to my former teammate Brett Camerota. Together we reminisced on old times on the circuit…”GT’s”
Since my announcement that I would be doing some coaching on the side of my athletic career, I have had a lot of questions and inquiries, so I am going to explain the role further here! First is in regards to the demographic, and my answer is I am coaching anyone from young to old or juniors to masters! I coach all ability levels at any age. Additionally I coach at different levels of commitment as well. Peaks coaching group outlines the coaching levels on their website. Take a look at www.peakscoachinggroup.com and if you have any specific questions there, please contact peaks or me directly, and we will take care of your needs!
Next a lot of people asked me how many clients I would be taking on, and right now the answer is about 4-6 clients. The focus will definitely be on quality instead of quantity always. Especially this first year, I want to make sure I am keeping the quality in both coaching and in my World Cup career. My coaching is not only be about building you a training plan, but also about building a partnership, where I can learn you as an athlete and together we can strive to improve. It will not be a cookie cutter plan; it will be personal to you and your needs!
Lastly is in regards to my travel and coaching. I will have access to your training plans via www.trainingpeaks.com both at home and on the road. I will be able to update your plan while I am in Europe competing or training. Technical analysis will be done via video, pictures, Skype etc. I will make myself available via phone, Skype, Facetime etc. to chat whenever and answer questions, go over your race or training session, or go over your future sessions. There is no doubt that the coaching will be thorough with constant contact even when I am on the road!
Ok to wrap it up here, first Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year! It’s that season again where I have to limit my cookie intake to only 25 a day…(yeah it’s bad) but so worth it when you get to spend time with loved ones. I am excited I have lucked out again and I get to be home for Christmas this year. So I wish you and yours a happy holiday!
Be sure to watch this weekends events too! Go team USA and our Swiss partner Tim Hug!
Hi hi, from Norge, Lillehammer, Norway to be exact. It's Thursday, which means it’s a rest day for team USA and I finally have a free minute to update my blog. Let's be honest, I have had plenty of time to do it however with all the hype surrounding the opening comps of the season, its fun just to live in the moment and take a second to appreciate starting another season on World Cup. Last week we were in Ruka, Finland of the openers as usual. This season we had beautiful conditions there with good snow, fair temperatures, and only mild winds. The lack of sunshine was plentiful but there is something about it that makes one feel like winter has truly started. Results wise, last week was a decent start to the season. Mediocre jumping combined with strong cross-country skiing landed me a 17th place in the individual event. In the grand scheme of things that is a good start if I can continue to steadily improve from there. Fast-forward to today and we are one day out from qualifying here in Lillehammer. Yesterday we had the opportunity to check out the course and I am happy to report it's in good condition, which will make for some great racing. Last year we skied in an all out blizzard here for one of the events this year it’s looking like it will be hard and fast snow for the races. Only time will tell... The events this weekend are two individuals on the large hill, with strong jumping it will be a good chance for me to land two good results before we head into a week off of competition. The week off is actually the week of Continental Cups in Park City, UT if you’re around I strongly encourage you to go and check them out! I will be there cheering on our team before heading back to world cup the Monday after the events. Our guys and the foreign competitors will greatly appreciate your cheers and support as they put themselves in the pain cave on the racecourse.
Outside of skiing I have been finishing up my school class of the fall semester, as well as working on some other small projects. Pretty soon I am very excited to start a new endeavor in addition to my competitive skiing. This fall I took and passed my Level 100 cross country coaches certification, as well as attended a number of other coaching and training webinar's from some big names in the cycling world. I have learned a ton and ultimately I think it will help my skiing and allow me to better understand my training, but what I am most excited about is helping others. I plan on coaching through www.peakscoachinggroup.com, which is a big name in web based coaching. They specialize in cycling, running and triathlon coaching, specifically using a highly qualified personal coach who will establish a training plan based on number of factors most importantly power(watts) and heart rate, to help you achieve your goal for the big event. Peaks Coaching Group is one of the best out there for this type of coaching. I am very lucky and feel honored they have allowed me to come on board and coach cross-country skiing with them. This will eventually be a new branch of their web based coaching. I personally have spent the better half of the fall/summer learning the ropes. I am new at this but I feel like I have already made huge progress in my abilities to write and coach a training plan, and I am looking forward to coaching someone to their goal! I encourage you to check out their website and take a look at their story and what they do! Even if you are not interested in cross-country coaching they have a ton of great information on their site, which we can all learn from! If you are interested in coaching there are two ways in which you can get started, first you can reach out to me via the contact me button my webpage, through Facebook, email etc. Or simply go to www.peakscoachinggroup.com and sign up there, I am not the only cross country coach there so you will have your choice of coaches and help finding the perfect match for you! Feel free to reach out with any questions too.
So that’s about all from me today, throughout the season I will do my best to keep updating my blog once weekly especially during competition weeks so keep coming back! Now kick back and raise a glass, the weekends races are coming in hot and I hope your ready to watch…
I have been back in the USA for about 48 hours now, my camp in Europe was very productive. I feel like I made a lot of gains on the jump hill as well as had an opportunity for solid comparison of my self vs. some of the European stars. Jumping is definitely on the right track and competitive, however there is still more work to be done, I am not one to rest on my laurels and so there will always be more work to be done. I am predicting the next 4 weeks of preparation will be key to putting the capstone on my performance for the season. Luckily our swiss counterpart Tim Hug will be joining us in the USA if the weather cooperates to prepare for the season alongside our team. This will help to keep everyone's level a little higher.
First camp abroad of the summer is now half way complete. The camp started with a few quick days in Lake Placid, NY where every eligible competitor in U.S. Nationals gathered for the annual competition. The weekend turned out awesome, great competitions and times ensued. Personally it was just the perfect amount of time at the Olympic Training Center. It showed for me as well, Sunday I was able to capture my first National Championship Victory. This is something I have been chasing for a long time. I have always been a competitor in the competition placing 3rd a number of times. However this year was finally the year I captured the victory! The podium was rounded out by Taylor Fletcher in second, obviously I was very happy that we could go 1,2, 3rd place went Adam Loomis, the podium I believe was his first Nationals podium which is always awesome to see. The competition was tough this year and I am really excited to see the level of the team at such a high level all across the board.
After the comps the junior team, the national team including myself all packed our bags for a departure to Europe the following day. We arrived in Einseideln, Switzerland. We will spend the rest of the week here training; mainly focusing on jumping however Saturday we will have the honor of competing in Swiss Nationals against their best. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to ski with other athletes; it will be a nice chance to compare our teams level to theirs. On Monday our team will pack up once more and head to Obertsdorf, Germany to finish the summer jumping season on the ice tracks. We will be there only a few days however it will be a really beneficial few days of jumping with even more countries present, and the ice to top it all off. I am really looking forward to our time there.
I will finish off this update with just a few photos from the trip so far, check back for more to come near the end of the camp!
GOTCHA! I am announcing my retirement from the dating game, not skiing silly. This past weekend was the most amazing weekend of my life. I finally got to say the words “I DO” to the love of my life in the pouring rain on top of a mountain. The event marks the end of a busy year of planning and preparation for the wedding, but in the end it was more than worth it, the wedding will easily will go down as the best night of my life! Nikki and I have decided to put off the honeymoon until after the season. As the season rapidly approaches I first have National Championships to focus on. It certainly would be career highlights to finally add that title to my results sheet, but it won’t come easy. After championships I will head to Europe with the team and partake in our final camp before the season starts. Of course after the Europe camp we will head to Ruka, Finland to kick off the season in the usual cold dark fashion.
With the exception of this past weekend my training has been relentless. I am pushing hard putting in the work excited for the season to start here soon. The leaves are in full swing and there is some big temperature drops on the horizon. Of course I am a dreamer, but I am dreaming of being on snow soon, can’t wait!
If your around Park City, UT this week and interested in checking out the new line of products from Madshus, join me at White Pine Touring, they will have the new models on display. The event will showcase the new technology in the ski, come see why these new innovations are so cool! A little hint… Be Empowered! Noah Hoffman will be there signing autographs and talking about the skis, poles, boots, etc. The Madshus Empowered Tour starts at 630 pm and lasts until 9 pm. Enter the raffle to win a pair of the new skis or a pair of UHM poles! I am looking forward to seeing you there!
Well that’s about all for now. Thanks for checking in, see you on snow soon!
Check out my latest post about two cool events I attended last Thursday and Friday. The post can be found under Volunteer Projects, just click the latest projects button! Thanks and chat soon!
Very happy to take the Nordic Combined Springer Tournee Title for the second year in a row. I had a strong competition jump followed by a really hard race. Thankfully I had enough of a lead that I could hold off Taylor and Brett Denney. The event is always a highlight of the summer with hundreds of kids in town jumping and learning. We as older athletes even get a chance to coach them for a day. This is a great way for us to get to know the youth coming up through our pipeline as well as give them a few pointers to help them on their journey. As always this years event was full of action and even some surprise results on for some of the guys on the large hill.
I have to give a huge thanks to all my sponsors who have been steadfast in their support of me and really give me the equipment necessary to stand on top of the podium. So BIG Thanks to: Rudy Project, Madshus, Elan, USANA Nutritionals, Honey Stinger, Colesport, Fast Big Dog Racing and Space Station Gas! Here's to standing on the podium come Winter!
Check out the latest "Tuesday Talk" where I give some updates on everything going on in USA Nordic Combined...
I cannot believe how fast the last couple months have gone, however I think it’s fair to say there has been a lot on my plate since my last update. I had been waiting to update for a while because I wanted to have a detailed report on the decision from USSA to cut the Nordic Combined Program. Now that some time has passed I can tell you what’s happening in the issue.
There was no time wasted in making sure we were going to move forward as a sport, most notably as I am sure you have heard, Nordic Combined partnered with USA Ski Jumping, this is huge for us because it gives us an entity to work within, we hope to help bring new and exciting things to the table and continue the progress that USA Ski Jumping has accomplished over the last few years on a business forefront. This also allows us to sign new sponsors/partnerships that we were not able to do before, simply because they may have interfered with the USSA partners, additionally it allows us to pursue entities that are more in our target market or demographic giving both organizations the most bang for their buck! I personally see a ton of potential in this and really do hope that in just a few short years we will be better funded then we have been in the last decade!
Additionally this finally gave us the opportunity to start rebuilding from the ground up. In the past we always were given a budget and had to see how far down the cookies would crumble, in our new sustainable model we will have a budget for development and out reach projects and eventually a really strong pipeline in the USA. Obviously this will take time and the funds to get there but the foundation is in place and everyone is motivated to make it happen, which in turn motivates myself and the other athletes to go out there and get it done on the athletic front.
To simply put it times are tough in the NC world but there is more potential and energy in the whole community then ever before, and that is exciting!
This summer I was elected onto the Board of Representatives for USSA as an athlete rep. It’s a new and exciting chance for me to learn and challenge myself outside of the athletic world. A lot of learning took place this spring at the annual conference but I am motivated to play an active role in the organization as best as I can. I jumped in headfirst this spring and will continue to do so throughout my term.
On the training side of things, training is going well, Jumping is making progress and I am fit on the XC side. Taylor and I have been training together a lot this summer and were really pushing each other to levels we haven’t seen before. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do and it’s early in the summer but I am motivated to have a better season that the previous, also I am excited to train more in the USA this summer then the past 4 years. More time at home means more consistency that I think will help a lot as we phase through the summer.
Recently I was able to take part in a bike trip through Colorado. The trip was a fundraiser for our team, similar to the one we have done in the past in France only this year it started in Vail and worked it’s way west through Steamboat and then into Park City. I can honestly say this was my first time biking in the Vail area and it was awesome! The first day we rode the Copper Triangle and the second day we rode Independence Pass from Aspen to Leadville and both days were spectacular. In Steamboat we put on a little jumping show and then finished it all off with some sweet rides in Park City. Looking forward I will be getting ready for US Large Hill Nationals and Springer Tournee in Park City on August 1-3rd. So more time will be spent on the jump hill in preparation for that!
Off the hill I have been also challenging myself academically by taking almost twice the amount of classes then I have in the past 4 years. I have been taking a chemistry class as well as a Survey of Art: Music class this summer term, during May I took a business class and this fall I will be taking math and history. So That has kept me busy each and every day! I have to admit it feels good to be so busy with school! Westminster’s classes are enjoyable and the ones I am taking now are online which allows me to continue training as much as possible!
The last big event of the summer for Nikki and I is our wedding, obviously the excitement is building and the day is getting closer! All the hard work is pretty much done, now we are playing the waiting game before we can start the little projects going into it!
So that’s just a little update as to what has happened in my life over the past couple months up until now. As the summer goes on I should have more free time to keep updating regularly The road to Falun continues!