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!