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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

Little Fish, Big Pond

A little fish in a big pond—that is what it felt like when I jumped into Period 1 of the World Cup, which arguably are some of the most competitive World Cups all year. They don’t call us youngsters the “little gupps” for nothing! I took the big leap to the next level and right off the bat, I was blown away by how fast the skiers on the World Cup are. I immediately had expectations and set result goals even though I was told these races were for gaining experience and learning. It wasn’t until someone reminded me that my teammates who have been crushing it this season, were in the same place as I am now a few years ago. Normally, people don’t jump in and start winning right away, it takes racing and experience over time to gradually work your way to the top.

So what was it like in the big pond? Here are some of my favorite experiences, takeaways, and lessons learned.

  • Teamwork makes the dream work.
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Team cheer (PC: Reese Brown).
  • There is no 99%. Every tenth of a second counts.
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    Pain face = game face (PC: Reese Brown).

     

  • Learn as much as you can from your teammates, coaches, and from personal experiences. Mistakes are the best way to learn.
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    I sent it 100% on the downhill in training before the race and fell. Luckily I got my crash out of the way during training (PC: Reese Brown)!
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    Veteran Kikkan giving us her advice…and she ended up 3rd the next day! (PC: Reese Brown)

     

  • My teammates are quite speedy!
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Sadie and Jessie charging to 3rd and 6th in Lillehammer! 
  • Afternoon and evening walks/jogs are one of my favorite things to do on the road. You get to see the surrounding area, shake out the legs, and get some fresh air.
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Strolling down the main street in Lillehammer.
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I got caught in the middle of a Christmas Tree lighting parade!
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On a walk with Jessie on a beautiful sunny day in Davos!
  • Having a lot of snow in Europe is very nice (and also rare now a days). I got to go on some incredible long skis through a winter wonderland ❤
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Skiing with Ida on freshly groomed double track in Davos.
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Rock solid tracks in Austria with lots of sunshine and beautiful mountains.
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Following Sophie on our ski back from the venue that lead us right to our hotel door! 
  • Sunshine is limited in the winter, especially in Scandinavia…so you have to cherish every moment in the sun.
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Stopping to enjoy the sunrise/sunset in Lillehammer.
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Bluebird day in Davos ❤
  • It is not always serious on the road…it is mostly just fun and games really!
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Practicing our dance. Keep your eye out for the U.S. Ski Team video coming out soon! (PC: Reese Brown).
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Secret Santa poems and artwork brought on many smiles and laughs.
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Jam sessions are also frequent, especially with Walcrik/our wax techs on the road!
  • This is probably the nicest ice bath I will ever see!
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Can you even tell I am freezing?

I wrapped up the first period of racing with races in Austria at a Europa Cup. I finally felt like myself again and I was very happy with my races. It was nice to take a step down from the big pond and race in a scene that was a bit more comfortable in, especially with my family there to cheer me on! Now it is time for some rest and recovery, family time, and holiday celebrations in Germany!

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Climbing the last hill in the 5km classic race, featuring my family cheering on the side.
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Skiing the first tracks with my parents in Austria!

Happy Holidays!

-JKern

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