November 26, 2013

Beitostolen, Norway

After a full day of traveling, I was greeted in Norway by some pesky little virus, which is to say, every Nordic skier's worst nightmare. So, I was put into isolation with little internet. As a result, I got bored very quickly. I would read until I could feel my eyes shutting, trying my best to adapt to the time change, I wasn't allowing myself to nap. Fortunately, I was still able to get out and ski a little bit. Unfortunately, I had to make the tough decision to sit out the races over the weekend. The good news is that those races weren't World Cups, but some tune up races to prepare for the World Cup. The bad news is that now my first race of the season will be a World Cup sprint, which is not a place to get your feet under you, it is a place to ski perfectly and really quickly. While this was really less than ideal, I learned a good lesson about traveling. You can't expect good things to happen when you are stressed to the max, not sleeping much and then travel for 24hrs and try to adapt to a 10 hour time change. Something had to give. I know now, I cannot handle this and will have to rethink my plans the next time I am trying to fly to Europe.

Out for a morning jog in the crisp, clear air. 

Enjoying a late sunrise. 

The town of Beitostolen is a small resort like town with lots of Nordic trails and a small alpine hill. It is filled with sports shops, hotel and lots of these little cabins. They all have sod roofs and are very cute! There is a big lake nearby so I imagine it is a popular place in the summer as well.  
Lighted ski trails everywhere!

Looking at the mountains off yonder

It was Sadie's 24th birthday and we got her 24 presents that she received throughout the day.

XC skiing is a BIG deal in Norway, the stars of the national team are National  Heros and are found in pictures everywhere. Promoting cereal, sports juice, gloves, you name it. At the check-out in the grocery store, next to the candy lies ski wax and supplies. Most people in the U.S. couldn't even tell you what Swix is, let alone what extra blue hard wax is. 

I did manage to get out and ski. Here Sadie and I pause on the big uphill with the lake in the background. 
Now, we are off to Ruka, Finland, another resort village very close to the Arctic circle. The sun rose about 10AM today and is setting as I write, 2PM. I don't know how the elves in the North Pole can work when its so dark all the time!

November 15, 2013

Meet Teddy

This is Teddy:

Teddy was given to me by a dear family friend, Kathy Sturgis, when I was born. Teddy must have exuded the passionate and loving characteristics of Kathy because I chose him out of all the stuffed animals and other baby gifts I (WE, I also had to fight over a few with Charlie) received to be my right hand man. Teddy traveled everywhere with me for the first half of my life and loosing Teddy at any given moment was beyond a crisis. As you can tell, he has seen better days and Mom spent a fair bit of time trying to patch him up from time to time. Teddy survived, barely, that traumatic childhood and was sent to the retirement shelf in my bedroom when I finally decided I was too old for a stuffed animal. 

Fast forward to 2013, I find myself reconnecting with Teddy. Last year, I was introduced to all the other girls' stuffed animals when I raced the period 4 World Cups in the spring. At first, I laughed, really a stuffed animal...and then I too got homesick and longed for a comfort reminding me of home, suddenly, I understood. So when I returned to Utah in October, I decided I would grab a stuffed friend to join me. However, all my stuffed animals were a little big and not that cuddly, and then I walked past that special shelf were Teddy has sat for years and knew, I must take Teddy. 

So, tomorrow, Teddy and I embark on a big adventure, flying from Anchorage all the way to Oslo where I will meet the rest of the U.S. Ski Team and we will start the season of racing! I will be traveling to Norway (2x), Finland, Switzerland, and lastly Italy before heading back to Utah for Christmas. I am very thankful for this perfect opportunity to advance myself and attempt to accomplish some big goals. This last week, I have become increasingly overwhelmed with the support I have received from family, friends, classmates, professors, teammates, coaches, and PTs. I am heading out with more people behind me than I ever realized and I can't thank people enough. So, here's to an amazing 2013/14 ski season! 

November 11, 2013


I have just 4 short days left in the U.S.! I won't be returning to AK until the end of March for our last races of the year, fortunately I will be going to Utah for Christmas. However, since returning from Utah I have been training hard, studying a lot, teaching a lot, and trying to tie up loose ends in AK while preparing to hit the road. All those little (big) things like calling your credit card company, finding car storage, cleaning out your car, and figuring out phone service seem to just sneak up on me day after day causing a full string of panic attacks, one right after the next. Here is the last few weeks in pictures to let you know what I have been up to:

We did an Anchorage Fast and Female. Here I am teaching a cutie how to double pole on the ski erg.
We had some UAA athletes come and they were great additions. The gymnast were busting out flips and the basketball players were pretty good and making baskets. Here they are doing the Macarena 
We had a fabulous team lunch at Sarah Cresap's house. She has an amazing garden so we ate lots of fresh veggies. 

It was Halloween! and we hosted a Halloween 5k fundraiser for the National Nordic Foundation.

Sadie is the frog and her boyfriend Jo is a Russian Priest and yes, he ran an entire 5k in that fur coat...

Lex ran the whole 5k with this chicken and yes it is alive!
If you are still interested in donating to the National Nordic Foundation, here is the link:
The fundraiser ends the same day I leave, Friday!
Sadie and I, frog and pig. I was actually a pig once before and I am sad to say I don't have the costume making skills my mother does, but fortunately every piece of our uniform is pink this year so that was not a problem. 

The days have been real short up here and a little on the grey side with no snow in town so I have been doing my studying in front of Sunny, our happy light. 

This is high noon! I have been teaching the 2nd grade about soils so I went on a soil sample collecting mission. It was a beautiful day, but the ground was a little frozen making it a little interesting getting some of the samples. But I am excited to say my lesson went so well!

Collecting my clay sample

There is snow at Hatcher's Pass and the local ski club has been grooming it to perfection everyday! I am very thankful for that!
It's about a 1.5 hr drive to get there so it takes up a good chunk of the day, but skiing is so fun!
Being a weirdo, loving the snow
Yesterday when we returned from skiing at Hatcher's, it was 27 degrees and raining, which I didn't even think was possible. It was dismal and the roads were horrific. It continued to rain all night and then magically, it turned to snow while I was sitting at the table doing my homework in front of Sunny. We now have close to a foot in our yard and I will get to ski in town today! Yippppppeeeee Winter is here and I'm on my way to go racing!

November 1, 2013

National Nordic Foundation

I leave for Europe in just a short two weeks! Paying for the World Cup is no easy task and the National Nordic Foundation helps support Juniors, U23s, and other athletes not supported by the U.S. Ski Team. Their annual fundraiser, Drive for 25, has just two weeks left. They are asking all cross country supporters to give a $25.00 donation because every little bit helps us out! Please consider a donation. Here is the link to my personal Fundraising Page:

Thanks for all your Support!

P.S. I went skiing today and it was great! More on that later...