Of course, it's impossible to be living on a cloud for an entire race season. After finding my groove in West Yellowstone and really making it count in Bozeman, I came crashing down. I returned to Park City to find not a drop of snow on the ground and to come down with a cold. Well, at least if I can't train due to illness, I'm not missing out on any good skiing. But still, that double whammy is a hard one to contend with. While there are bits of skiing up high, training on snow machine roads above 8,000 ft with traces of a cold is truly not an ideal way to prepare for U.S. Nationals. I came to a point where I had to decide to suck up my pride, to choose what made the most sense from a training perspective, and to strap on those dreaded rollerskis that I left here after October camp thinking that if I left them, then there would have to be ample snow to train on. As I smacked my poles into the hard, cold, and wet pavement, I wasn't terribly excited or particularly motivated. It took me awhile to find my groove and I began to think, every World Cup I have done, I have noted that my double pole is particularly weak compared to the rest of the field. This is a hard one to keep in my head because when I race domestically, I don't notice this and I often see double pole as one of my strengths (see last post). But, with period 2 World Cup start rights in my hand, I was able to remember many times when I was just dusted on a flat or a finish and alas, I found my silver lining. I may have to put in some hours on rollerskis, but I have also received the opportunity to continue to build my strength in double pole.
It seems ski racing, and really life, requires finding and capitalizing on the silver lining (thanks First Aid Kit and David). It's not an easy thing to get your mind to do and something I am always working on, but a skill that I think will help me not only become a better ski racer, but a better person.
I don't have any pictures because it was truly too sad to take a picture of rollerskiing in December and I forgot my phone on the days when I have found little slices of heavenly winter in the mountains.
Here's to wishing for snow for everyone and to finding that silver lining for every misfortune.