Lately

The blogging hiatus is over and the new ski season is about to begin! May 1st is generally agreed to be the start of the New Year for skiers, although this year I’ve been a bit less deliberate with that start date. Through April I slipped into a novel state of unfocussed-ness, which in some ways was refreshing and in others slightly distressing. Overall I think it was a healthy break for me.

I recently found out that I passed all my winter semester courses, which is a great success and takes me one step closer to my Engineering Technician’s diploma! I only have 8 more courses (I believe) to complete before I finish the diploma program. I’m planning to take 2 courses per semester for the next two years, which will earn me my diploma by spring on 2017! It was very exciting and motivating to realize this because it means I will have a form of accredited post-secondary education before the next Olympics that I could start a “career job” with post ski-career! It will definitely be a nice assurance for future-Jenn to have.

Anyway, a bit more of a photo-update here with some lost photos from Nationals, the April-off, and such.

First of all, a couple group photos with Team Hardwood club mates and NDC teammates. I really enjoy both of these pictures.

hardwood

Team Hardwood #3 club aggregate, straight muggin’

team

adorable NDC team/family photo

Post-Nationals we had an end-of-season dinner at team Board member Deb’s house with all the athletes, staff, board members, and IST – so the entire extended team. At the dinner I was presented with a cake, as part of the tradition that if you win a National title you get your face (photo of your face) put on a cake. Ben also got a cake, as an edible goodbye, as Benny has decided to call a wrap on his competitive ski career.

bye benny

Me and Ben with our coaches and cakes

I’m sad that Ben isn’t going to be on the team or in Thunder Bay next year, as he is moving back home to Ottawa to continue his studies at Carleton University. Ben and I joined the NDC as rookies in 2013 and have been the best pals and had great times with the team and at school since then. Ben wrote an excellent send-off post on his own blog, if you’re interested in reading it. While it’s always sad to see people leave from the racing scene, it also makes for interesting reflection and conversation, and I am excited to see where people, like Benny, will go in their next adventures.

After my exams, our team had a couple “learning sessions” with our strength and conditioning coach, Paul, at his gym, Thrive, to go over our general base strength program for the spring. Although none of us had been formally re-named to the team, Timo still wanted everyone to be prepared for the start of next year, anticipating us returning.

writing on the wall at Thrive

The NDC team for 2015-16 has been decided and announced as of this past week (privately to our team, then again at the Cross Country Ontario AGM), but I’m not sure if it’s been officially released to the public so I don’t want to make a social-media whoops and share the team now and accidentally get in trouble… So I’ll hold off sharing that for now; let the anticipation mount a bit more… I guess I can spare one spoiler – I’m going back to Thunder Bay next year (cue gasps).

Anyway, shortly after exams wrapped up (mid April) I came home to spend a few weeks with my family. During my time home, I’ve been doing some trail running and mountain biking with my parents and trying to keep things low-key. At my mom’s recommendation, I did a 12.5k trail-race at Horseshoe Valley, which was really hard and I suffered a lot in the last 3k. It was a fun event though, with 12.5, 25, and 50k races and a great race-kit!

moments before my fiery death

moments before my fiery death

The same weekend, I played support crew for my Dad who did the 70k Paris to Ancaster bike race. Between the 70 and 40k events there were over 2000 people who participated and it looked like a lot of fun! It’s a combination of road, rail trail, and some trail-trails, so a cross-bike was the competitive way to go. My dad finished within the top 150, which isn’t too shabby for his first try! This is definitely the sort of event I would want to try if I did more cycling.

P2A

The start of Paris to Ancaster

Otherwise it’s been pretty much just finding things to stay busy day-to-day; going out to Hardwood for a couple strength workouts and whatnot. The Hardwood crew is kicking off their training soon so I’ll try to hop in on some of their sessions while I’m still here.

still some snow lingering around at Hardwood in late April

One of my stay-occupied activities included attending the Cross Country Ontario Annual General Meeting in Sudbury. The weekend consisted of revising our Strategic Plan (which is quite dated), and AGM stuff. To be honest, it wasn’t super exciting, but I could tell it was a productive weekend. It was my first AGM, so it was good to see how these kinds of meetings run, to have a bit of athlete-input, and get a more clear picture of how CCO works and put faces to names and email addresses.

Yes, so that’s about it. I’m planning on heading out to Canmore next week for an early training camp and on snow time. There are still a few details I need to iron out, but I’m looking forward to a slightly different start the season. More updates to come as the season starts to roll along!

Jenn

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