I am on my way back to Anchorage from my first official professional ski camp in Bend Oregon. After a frustrating season, Bend was going to be where I would get my fitness and my mind pointed in the right direction training in some sunny weather. Unfortunately, we missed the window by a week. As it so happens, the day I left Anchorage until the day I come back was “the best 10 days Anchorage has ever had.” Bend was lacking for a few of those days and we skied in some pretty stormy weather. As it so happens, the next week in Bend is supposed to be perfect and Anchorage’s weather is starting to turn back to what it is known for. Just can’t get any luck.
Anyways, Bend was a great camp even with the rough weather and I am happy to finally feel like a skier again. I also got to spend a lot of time with my new coach at APU, Erik Flora, and am slowly learning his training philosophy. Even though I grew up in Anchorage and have been around APU my entire life, I have discovered I know almost nothing about how the team actually operates and how Erik coaches. Erik’s enthusiasm for sport is contagious and the more time I spend working with him, the more excited I get about skiing.
As my first blog post, I think this is my best chance to thank some really important people who have supported me. All of these people deserve a blog post of their own as gratitude, but I’ll give them just a paragraph for now and hope they forgive me.
Thank you to my family for putting up with me and all of my neediness. It’s tough to be an athlete, but it is even harder to be the family of one. I have had to lean on my family a lot over my career and I am privileged to have one that is this supportive of my goals and dreams.
I actually got a surprise visit from my dad over the week. Without me knowing, he was flying an airplane up to Alaska from California for a friend. He had to make a detour due to some bad weather as well as a gas shortage and when he saw Bend on the map, he vaguely remembered I was there training. He called me up when he landed and we went out to lunch. That had definitely never happened to me before.
Thank you to my junior club and coaches. I was nine-years-old when I started with Alaska Winter Stars coached by Jan Buron and Ben Arians. I have become incredibly close with both of them over the years, through the good and the bad, and will continue to be for the rest of my career. It was with Winter Starts and a special group of athletes that really pushed me and my love for the sport.
Thank you to my college, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Fairbanks, my adopted city, for the last four years. I have achieved some surprising results and gone on some amazing adventures because of the support of coach Scott Jerome and my Nanook teammates. It was definitely a good ride and I am very fortunate to continue skiing in Alaska to be able to visit Fairbanks as much as possible.
Thank you to the countless others who have given me so much support. All of my friends, extended family, the Anchorage community, and everyone else. It can not be done without everyone.
The last two weeks, I was able to stay with a family in Bend. Without these huge gestures from often people who I have never met, I would not be able to go to all the places I do to race and train. Thank you to Dana, Jason, Aidan, and Aamion for letting me stay with you!
I hope you enjoy my blog. It is definitely a work in progress and I will work to get rid of all the bugs. I will try to update it weekly and let you see what life is like as a professional athlete, hopefully with more pictures. There will be a lot of pretty cool adventures: glaciers, mountains, foreign places, Alaskan wilderness, etc. Thank you for visiting.