A good start to the ski season

Hello hello! I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving week has been wonderful. I for one had a great time getting out on the snow and enjoying my first few skis with some awesome athletes!

Over the last three days I led the local Far West Thanksgiving training camp here at home, and it was really great. I hope the athletes had as much fun as I did. For me, it was my first four “real” skis, so it felt awesome to get out there and get things going.

We started off with a double on-snow day on Friday. We took advantage of the new snow and cold temperatures for a nice long classic ski in the morning. We did lots of drills and went back to the basics, focusing on getting our fundamentals right to carry over through the year. We worked on balance, body position, maximizing glide and efficiency and more. I have to say I was super impressed with how well everyone was classic skiing. They looked like they had been skiing for months already! It was great to see. For me, classic skiing felt surprisingly natural and good. Unlike past seasons, I really felt in my element right away, and it made me super stoked for some classic racing. After lunch complete with plenty of hot chocolate and whipped cream and a little bit of rest, we hit the trails again for a skate ski — my first of the season, but the third or fourth to most everyone else. Again, the focus was on technique, and again I was impressed with everyone’s progress so early in the season. We ended the day with some short relays and a game of ski tag, and I have to say I was not prepared to have to go so fast in order to keep up! I was worked!

Saturday brought a bunch of new snow (as if we needed anymore…?!), and we set out for a classic ski in the powder. It was somewhat of an adventure, but everyone made the best of it, getting in some distance and still putting in some quality technique work, despite blowing snow and chilly wind gusts. We were all relieved to get inside and get some hot pizza, and consume hot chocolate in even more mass quantities than the day before. We were all set to go ice skating at Northstar in the afternoon, only to find that when we got there, there was too much snow on the rink to skate! Bummer! But again, we made the best of the situation, and the athletes got involved in some serious snowplay/ intense snow ball fighting/ fort building out on what is normally the ice rink, but in this case looked more like a mecca of snowplay.

This morning, for our final workout, we did another nice long skate ski, complete with some fun relays. After the mess of snow yesterday, it was great to come out to freshly groomed tracks and blue skies, though the morning was pretty brisk. After some more drills and everyone’s favorite, no-pole skiing, we headed off to get some distance in before meeting back up for some extreme speed relay action. The ladies, myself included, took on the boys in some head-to-head speed action. We couldn’t quite pull off the upset, so we decided to change it up. The boys, always up for a challenge, took us on again in a relay in which they doubled poled and we skated, and we managed to take them down. In the finale, we did a combi relay that consisted of backwards skiing, double poling on our knees (Savannah’s creative suggestion), and frog hops. This time, we REALLY took the boys down, thanks to Savannah’s surprising expertise at the double-pole-from-the-knees technique. It was a fun end to a great weekend.

Thanks to all the athletes for working hard, smiling, and just doing an awesome job. Based on these three days, I think it’s more than safe to say that you guys are going to have an awesome ski season ahead. I can’t wait to watch!

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