Monthly Archives: July 2013

Summertime Ramblings

It has been a very busy last couple of weeks. Since my last post, the team and I have worked our way into summer training. Most of our training is in and around Anchorage, whether it is hiking in the mountains above town, roller skiing on the streets of Anchorage, or doing strength in the APU weight room.

Mountain running race up Bird Ridge

Mountain running race up Bird Ridge

David Norris on our distance hike in the mountains.

David Norris on our distance hike in the mountains.

The team on a training run outside Anchorage.

The team on a training run outside Anchorage.

Throughout the year, the APU Ski Team participates in various fundraisers to help them cover many of the fees associated with the team. One of these events was the APU gala put on by the university, where the ski team was asked to volunteer and where we put up items for auction.

This year, both the men and women teams will be hosting a catered dinner for the bidders. We will also have an Iron Chef competition in September where the men and women teams will be pitted against each other with the help of local celebrity chefs. I’m pretty interested to see how that turns out, especially since I’ve seen some of my teammates cook… (wink) but I am sure it will be a good time.

The APU gala. High class affaire.

The APU gala. High class affair.

This past week, the team had their first “glacier camp”.

Panoramic view of the camp with Girdwood below.

Panoramic view of the camp with Girdwood below.

The most unique feature about APU is that it has its own glacier facility. A few times every year, the team flies up to Eagle Glacier which is located above Girdwood, a ski town an hour drive south of Anchorage.

Taking the helicopter onto the glacier.

Taking the helicopter onto the glacier.

Our fresh water pond with the glacier in the background.

Our fresh water pond with the glacier in the background.

We stay up on the glacier for a week. We ski twice a day, usually skate skiing in the morning when the snow is harder and classic in the afternoon as well as two strength sessions. When we are not skiing we are busy cooking, eating, sleeping, stretching, or watching technique video from the day. The camp revolves completely around skiing so that when we get back down, we are ready for a week of recovery with less emphasis on training.

Erik in our "strength room". "Train hard and stay safe."

Erik in our “strength room”. “Train hard and stay safe.”

The ski trails.

The ski trails.

For the next week I am going up to the village of Kiana for a family reunion of sorts. Ideally it will be a good little adventure and a week of relaxing, but realistically it will be taking care of the various cabins my grandmother has accumulated over the years. Anytime you go up past the Arctic Circle is an adventure and I am excited to go back after a four year hiatus.

The village of Kiana.

The village of Kiana.

Last week, I had a few really good questions sent to me from my website. One of them was: “How do I stay motivated?”

The APU Elite mens team for this season. I am pretty excited to train with these guys.

The APU Elite mens team for this season. I am pretty excited to train with these guys.

This is a complicated question. I think in general, everyone loses motivation throughout the year. Skiing has its ups and downs in everything from performance to motivation. Sometimes you can feel like you can take on the best in the world whereas other times, you feel like you can barely get out of bed.

I gain motivation through a lot of different means. This year, the biggest motivation is being able to train with a new team and coach. I also decide on major goals for the next season and tack them on the wall (usually with a picture and a corny saying).

In the end, the easiest thing that gets my motivation back on track is taking a step back and reassessing why I ski. Mostly what it comes down to is that I can’t imagine enjoying anything else as much as I do skiing. Even with its ups and downs, all I have to do is flip through my pictures to remember that this is a once in a lifetime adventure and I don’t plan on letting it end anytime soon.