November 17th, 2013
In a place with a far from curated nordic course where you’re alpine skiing before nordic skiing, I was pretty psyched to at least try my luck at Trail Creek earlier today. It’s been snowing on-and-off here in Jackson for pretty much the last month and a half, but the last couple of days are finally really it, I hope. The fall in Jackson, however quick, was a good one with plenty of rollerskiing and, most recently with the in-between weather, a lot of snowy runs. I hit my lifetime PR a few weeks ago for pushups, so I’m pretty much guaranteed a good season I think. In all seriousness though, I have been feeling pretty strong and it seems like the training from last year is finally starting to kick in. I’ve been pretty upset when I go on facebook and see al the posts of east coasters skiing when we all know that the West is Best, but it wouldn’t really matter anyways because I’ve been wasting all my time doing school work. The college process was/has been easily one of the most stressful times of my life, but I’m starting to move past it and get some more time for life’s luxuries, like blogposts of Fasterskier. I’ve definitely been missing the east lately and the simpler life up at Burke. I’m pretty fortunate though to have jumped around between Burke and Jackson, they’re both pretty awesome choices. One of my favorite parts of school back home, however, is our dress up days. People get creative and go all out and I always feel like I am pretty bad at Halloween, but it’s tough to live up to costumes as awesome as this one:
Ok maybe that didn’t work out so well. I swear I tried everything I could to rotate them so that you can actually see them, but it was to no avail. Trust me though, if you are going to turn your computer sideways for any of these photos, that is the one to do it for. The costume if you couldn’t figure it out on your own, or just didn’t think it was funny, was Kip from Napoleon Dynamite. A great scene from the movie, reenacted here, was when Kip was waiting at the bus stop for his internet girlfriend, ”La Fawnduh”. Regardless, there were lots of other great costumes as well. I’ll get back to somewhat more relevant things now. The weather has been an awkward transition from fall to winter. There is always snow on the ground and the temperatures to match it, but not enough to really do anything with. One of my favorite tests of the “true” temperature has been driving around this 1970 Toyata Land Cruiser that’s at our house for a while.
Another test of your devotion to my photos, I know. Driving that thing around is by far the most fun I have ever had in car and also the coldest I have ever been in a car. One morning it looked nice and sunny so I hopped in to go to school and quickly realized that it was actually 12˚ out. Not the best idea, but I learned to wear a one piece snow suit from then on out. Based on my testing during my drives to and form school, it’s damn cold. My conclusion to this blog posts, if there really is one, is that winter is coming/kind of already here. We head up to West Yellowstone this friday which is the most fun week of all the time. West Yellowstone is easily the most hopping ski social scene with Craftsbury falling just behind in 2nd. There’s no better place to get free stuff from people you’ve never heard of and play xbox for 24 hrs straight, only stopping for a quick workout here and there. Until we get up to West though, I’ll just be back here in Jackson skiing on a course even shorter than that of Craftsbury’s. This brings us back to what I originally started the post on, I tried to ski today. I got up to the cabin, and even though the snow was halfway up my shins and the ski bums were out in full force alpine skiing, I spent probably an hour on a (maybe) 30ft section of snow classic skiing. I felt pretty dumb, but I really couldn’t have cared less because that one hour of terrible skiing just got my psyched up again for the rest of the year.
That wraps up my random thoughts for the day, but, as always, there are plenty more to come. To all those without snow, I sympathize with you. To all those with snow, I’m sorry because we’ll just be back here alpine skiing.
Peter NealNo comments
September 2nd, 2013
Woah, its been a while since I’ve posted. I don’t have much of an excuse other than being as busy as everyone else this summer. I’ll try and do a quick summary of my summer and whats going on now.
My summer was pretty hectic and it went a little bit too fast, but it was fun nonetheless. Most of my time was spent in Jackson training and working some here and there. Having Pete Phillips as the coach has been awesome and I’m looking forward to this upcoming season with him. It was strange to not go to Norway this year as I’ve gone the last couple of summers, but it was nice to be in Jackson since I spent the year at Burke. Instead, I took a few trips outside of Jackson to Long Island in June, and then to Sun Valley and California in July/August. Training-wise I’ve been training more than I ever have before in the summer and I’m optimistic about this upcoming season. I’m hoping for some good stuff considering I’ve got to get into college this year, but time will tell how it goes. Overall though I’m really happy with how my summer went. There’s obviously so much more to put in about, but if I start trying to recap it all this will turn into an all too extensive post.
Now that school has started this are getting a bit more serious. I’m entering Senior year and am already tired of Shakespeare’s Plays and College Applications. Luckily, we start off each year at the Community School with a camping trip which made it a bit easier, but school is school. School at Burke started yesterday and it’s a bit sad to see that those days in East Burke are truly over, but I’m sure I’ll be back there soon enough. That’s all I’ll post for now, but look for more posts in the near future. (I actually mean it this time). Check out the photos below for a timeline as bare and un-insightful as this post.
May 22nd, 2013
It’s a bittersweet feeling to start saying goodbye to spring and hello to summer, and the start of training. I’ve spent these past few weeks relaxing and enjoying the things around me. Burke had a “May Camp” for the alpiners, but since it was off-season for the Nordics we were left to our own means. As it worked out, my parents would be in Europe during (almost) the same time doing a book tour for my Mom’s book “To Heaven and Back” and they decided they could let me hop along for a week. I spent 5 days at Middlebury visiting my siblings before flying out, which took up most of may break, and then I was in Europe for 8 days traveling around Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.
One of the coolest things I’ve done was the Vogalanga in Venice. It’s an annual 30k human-powered only boating event. With over 7000 people in boats ranging from gondolas to kayaks to row boats, to boats I’ve never seen before, it was an unreal experience. We were right in the heat of it, getting screamed at in Italian and run over by the row boats. The thousands of tourists and locals were lining the canals when you came through giving you much needed inspiration. Although it wasn’t a race, it was a brutal effort to put in at the end of a vacation. Hopefully it can get me off the hook for some of those awful Monday track intervals at Burke. Traveling there and back, regardless of some terrible delays on the way home, actually felt pretty good. It was one of those rare times as a skier that you get to fly without having to drag 5 heavy bags with you.
Now that I’m back at Burke and enjoying the Northeast Kingdom spring, however, it’s back to training. Before my break we were doing almost all of our workouts with the alpiners. It’s always fun to train with some new people when you’re a team of 3. I’m looking forward to what the future spring and summer holds as well. We’ll probably pick up with the alpiners again to finish out the year while also trying to teach our newly switched Nordic Timmy some basics! It’s incredible to think that there are only a couple more weeks here. I could have sworn just a few weeks ago we were doing gymnastics and getting pummeled by Climb the Castle. So many experiences to look back on and laugh at or build on.
This year had taught me a lot and given me so much. I’m looking forward to this summer in Jackson to focus my training and maybe make some money working for the local Mayor. As many may have heard, Pete Phillips, my former English teacher and coach from just a few months ago, will be the new head coach of the Jackson Hole Ski Club Nordic Program and in addition to him heading back west, I’ll be joining him. After a decade of my family working with Pete in one way or another, it has really come full circle. From Willie’s first trip with him to Sweden to my past year at Burke we’ve constantly been connected in some way. Although Ali leaving is a big change for the club, and change is never easy, I couldn’t think of a better person to fill the role. I can’t wait to get home and start training with Pete and my old team. The new season has begun and I’m more motivated than ever to see what I can do. After getting in a good rest I’m confident I can get a solid base this summer and kick it back up next year.
March 21st, 2013
Ever since my season was cut short things have been going well. I’ve gotten a chance to take a break for a while and just enjoy the Northeast Kingdom in all of it’s glory. With so much free-time I’ve had to revert to doing all of my homework and reading “books”. The lack of new Netflix movies and shows recently has been a bit of a damper as well. The Kingdom is somehow suddenly getting snow. After it snowed a few inches all the alpiners were a little too excited for a “powder day”. In retrospect I guess it was probably the most snow they’ve seen in a while. Spring Break is coming up the first 2 weeks of April so I’m hoping Jackson will still have more snow than here and I can get in some good skiing while all my friends back home are in school the second week. Another highlight of my premature spring was the Stowe Derby. You know, I was under the impression it was mostly just an epic downhill with a small runout so I thought it was a good idea to wear my jeans and norwegian sweater, but I was so unbelievably wrong on that one. The downhill was the most insignificant piece of that race. When I noticed people with triacs and new hole skis I started to understand what it actually was. That was easily one of the most painful races of all time. I was quite relieved to finish that, just barely beating Kate after she and I started in the same wave. Coming down the downhill I did run into a little bit of adversity though. I was coming around the major corner that everyone watches on and there was some “slow traffic” taking the inside line I needed to get in on so I attempted to go out into the loose snow to pass. As you’ll see below that didn’t work out fantastic.
That one took a minute to recover from. Kate was pretty surprised when I skied up behind her after having gotten a pretty good lead up until this spill. Another pretty big part of my break was NCAAs at Middlebury. That was so so much fun. Not only were the races awesome to watch, but I got to spend some time with my big Bro and Sis and go to some classes with them. The Saturday of the mass start could not have been a more perfect day. Bluebird skies, warm temp., and MILES HAVLICK bringing home the W!! That day truly could not have been better.
Other than homework, the Stowe Derby, and NCAAs there hasn’t been too much going on. I’m psyched to get home for a little bit of Spring Break and then finish up school. Future posts will likely be along the same lines as this one, recapping missed flights, spring skiing, and school adventures. Big shout out to everyone that raced at JNs especially Tara Humphries from right here at BMA! She didn’t have her best races because of a little sickness, but as most of us know, JNs is much more than racing. I have to go work on my bicep curls and sit-ups in preparation for Spring Break, but more is to come soon!
February 21st, 2013
So this is going to be a pretty condensed blog post considering the amount of time it is covering, but I’ll do my best to cover it all. It’s been probably a couple of months since my last post, if you’re wondering a few posts got deleted in a Fasterskier crash, but not much was missed. I haven’t really been wanting to post because I didn’t have anything good to say. In short, I’ve had a real bad season this year. I’m pretty bummed considering I had some high hopes for this season, but there is always next year, and then the year after, and they year after, etc. If you read my posts from the first couple of Eastern Cups you know that I wasn’t super psyched with my first races, but I still had hope. Unfortunately, it only got worse form there. My goals went from a podium or win at JNs, to then just qualifying for JNs, to now a podium at the Stowe Derby. So I guess you could say they may have actually increased since the Stowe Derby is pretty prestigious. I think that the biggest factor in my lackluster season is my massive increase in hours. To be honest, last year I was pretty inconsistent with training and didn’t quite have the motivation I should have, but then this year I took an entirely new approach and did all the training plus more. With an increase in training hours like that it is not uncommon to see a weak season followed by then stronger ones. I don’t want to make excuses, but when I look back on my year thats all that I can really see. My technique has improved and my strength increased, but my fitness just didn’t follow. Throughout the season I was definitely lower energy and with a few sicknesses in between Eastern Cups I was out of the running. Looking at it now I see that it is really pretty insignificant in the long term, I mean I’m a 2nd year J2 in a sport where some people don’t hit their peak for another 10 years. Even though that is true its still always hard to not reach the goals you set for yourself and especially when its missed by that much. I’m doing what I can to stay motivated and continue training until the actual spring time here in Vermont. I’m still happy about my decision to come here for the year and wouldn’t change a thing, regardless of the results. I’ve learned so much and developed so many different abilities that the year has become invaluable.
To move on from the disappointing stuff, everything else has been going well! East Burke has been getting some snow, still no base but its something, and the weather has been significantly improved from earlier on. We’ve had countless bluebird days and have been using tons of Extra Blue kick. These are the days that I thought I’d never find here out East. I must say that now with my season being over I have a pretty big sense of relief and am beginning to enjoy the workouts again. I’ve gone on a couple of adventure skis and spent most of my time doing distance skis and catching up on homework. This past week Burke actually had a break, but the Nordic team opted to use it as a training block. Tara and Coach Kate are headed to Junior Nationals and Warren to Eastern High Schools. Since I’ve decided not to do Eastern High Schools or J2 Champs I’ve had ample time to get in some alpine skiing and re-settle in. Many hours have been dedicated to catching up with recent events and following the current #ForwardonClimate campaign. I’m looking forward to getting in some good turns up on the mountain and enjoying the rest of the year. HUGE shoutout to all the skiers at WORLD CHAMPS! Kate and I were up at 6:45 this morning watching the feed. Still plenty more races for the Stars n Stripes and for you Petter Northug. I have faith.
I’ll probably start resuming my posting more frequently now that I’m on better terms with things and maybe start taking a few photos. Until then, Enjoy the Snow!
October 5th, 2012
Turns out all this school stuff is getting pretty taxing on the body. For the past 5 days, and then the next 3, we’re on Fall Break! After 3 weeks of rough ski school life, I got to relax and hangout. Unfortunately, my parents don’t love me enough to actually fly me home for the week so I had to schmooze around and bum a place for the week. Luckily, my dad just so happened to be at Middlebury visiting the other siblings so he headed up for Parents Weekend just before the break!
After Parents weekend the Lorenze Family, Paige Lorenze’s Family, was gracious enough to take me in for the week. What a week it has been! The daily grind down here in Guilford, Connecticut has consisted of sleeping in late, eating crepes, rallying their go kart, eating food, going in the pool, doing nothing, going in the hottub, watching a movie, going to bed. Sometimes training could be thrown in. *Thumbs up Kate*. The only time we wavered from this plan was 1.) We took a day trip over to Boston and Nobles Academy. And 2.) Our most recent trip just today into the Big City, NEW YORK CITY. And 3.) I occasionally messed around on my SAT Question of the day app. Makes me feel way smarter than I am. If the questions on the SAT are like those on the app, I’m going to Harvard baby!
Yeah, I’m a country boy, what can I say. Having never seen NYC before I was stoked to say the least. It was fun, even though majorly condensed. We took a train from New Haven down to Grand Central Station(SO AWESOME!), then we walked up and down the streets for a while until we somehow ended up on an American Eagle Mega Screen right in Times Square!! I’m not going to elaborate much on that so that people don’t quit assuming I’m America’s Next Top Model. Regardless, we eventually made it to SoHo, not Soldier Hollow?!?!, for a short few minutes and had to rush back to catch the train home. I didn’t really buy anything other than a few minutes on a payphone,we even got lunch at Hard Rock for free!, but you can bet I’ll be ordering up some packages to be shipped to me at Burke in the next couple days.
Well, that pretty sums up the recent happenings and what not. Obviously missed quite a bit, but I must get back to the much less strenuous life style I’ve come accustomed to. Too much typing, too much work.
September 16th, 2012
Although school has started and Pete Phillips is my English teacher, don’t let the title fool you into thinking this post is going to be anymore intellectual than the others. The Winston Churchill quote I’m referring to is, ” I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”. That was a pretty accurate description of my most recent rollerski up Whiteface Mtn in Lake Placid for Climb to the Castle. Unfortunately, I don’t think that that was enough for that particular race. C2C was brutal to say the least. I’d vouch for 9k of consistent uphill being one of the more frustrating races there is. Marred by some shoulder muscle cramping pretty early on, I ended up skiing one-armed for the last mile or so. Regardless, I was happy to have finished it after realizing that I don’t even race 9k races as a J2 yet.
That’s been one of many physical challenges so far at Burke. Some of the others include some strength testing, gymnastics, 2 3000s(one on the track and one on a road), biking, and many more. The ones mentioned are worth elaborating on a bit. In fact, Gymnastics could probably be put on a similar level as C2C. My extreme lack of flexibility/agility was definitely a disadvantage for that. At Burke they’ve decided we should go to a gymnastics gym once a week and work on things like rolls, balance beam, rope climbing, trampoline, and a couple of others. The rolls were killer, so painful. I swear I may have dislocated my shoulder and relocated it several times doing side rolls. Next up are the 3000s we did. The first one was just the Nordic team, 3 strong, on a local track. I ran a 10:46 I believe it was which was a solid 20second improvement from my last run. The other 3000 was a much more fun, alpiners and Nordics, race on a nearby dirt road. This is the time you gotta really lay it down, impress the ladies at school and show the alpiners how awesome nordies actually are. Neither of those are easy feats, but I think I made some progress. Given the course was mostly flat/downhill the times were much faster, and much closer.
I ended with a 9:46+/- a few seconds, which is much faster than the track. In the race I was genuinely worried/impressed with the alpiners though. I wasn’t able to actually break away from the front group of them and get the W until we hit the sole hill on the course. Since coming to Burke my respect for the alpiners has definitely grown exponentially. The ones here work a lot harder than I expected, but then again these are many of the best in the country. School has been pretty sweet in general. It’s been super weird starting pretty much fresh somewhere new. Definitely gone through a few periods of homesickness, but luckily there’s not much to be bummed about out here. I’ve spent probably 90% of my free time in the library, but doing almost no work. I’d be quick to call the library my main social scene.
Take a seat on the couch, make yourself look like somewhat of an intellectual, and the ladies will flock(eventually). That last part has yet to happen…but eventually! It’s getting colder here and I’ve heard rumors of snow back in Jackson(along with a constant flow of photos and facebook statuses about a pretty scary fire there). I’m stoked for the winter to come and our recently confirmed 1 month Sun Valley trip to happen. We’ve got a week long fall break right off the bat here at the end of September so I’ll have to coax one of my newly made friends into letting me stay with them.1 comment
September 2nd, 2012
Since my last post life has been pretty sweet. I spent until the 24 in Jackson training with the team and enjoying the last of Jackson until I returned from school. All was well until my jaw started to hurt. I was puzzled for a few days trying to figure out what it was. Finally I connected the dots. Earlier in the year I was told I had to get my wisdom teeth removed soon, but I had ignored the warning and forgotten about it. At least I had forgotten about it until now, when it started hurting, 2 days before I was flying out east. So quickly we made the call and scheduled the appointment for Thursday with us flying out on Friday. Seemed like a pretty reasonable plan, I mean how bad could it really be?
Well I found that out pretty soon. After coming down from the ridiculous high associated with the drugs used to knock me out, the discomfort kicked in. I wouldn’t say that flying was a breeze considering it was my mother, who just got her rotator cuff fixed and can’t use that arm, 4 very large bags, a few carry-ons, and then my wisdom teeth-lacking self. Fortunately, we made it. My Mother and I then continued to hangout around the East Coast with friends and family for a few days. We went to Boston for a day and then headed over to my Aunt’s house on Nantucket for the rest. Minus my eating disabilities it was awesome. I haven’t spent much time out here, but so far it has been quality. Since the 29th I have just been trolling around the “bustling metropolis” of East Burke, VT with miss Kate Barton and Mitch Prevot waiting for school to start.
Some of the activities of East Burke can, but not necessarily, include long hours spent trying to rebuild a shipped bike, mountain unicycle rides (this really deserves more of an explanation, but that would be a whole new post. Let’s just say it was lots of walking for me and Kate while we watched Mitch shred the mountain bike trails with only one wheel), some nice grilling, and more. Kate and I actually drove down to GMVS to join them for a Classic Sprint simulation which was super fun. Unfortunately for me, that whole day wouldn’t be constituted as “the best”. I woke up a little later than intended, my boot slightly broke, I forgot and had to borrow a helmet, I lost a bolt on one ski, I broke the fork on the other ski which ended my skiing, and on top was just a tad tired. Nevertheless it was a great experience!
I’m now on to the start of school. Today was orientation and moving in so it was mostly filled with just hanging around and meeting new people. Tomorrow will be the first day of actual classes so we’ll see how that goes, but I assume it’ll be solid. So far I’m loving here. The campus is incredible. Just minutes away from the mountain, a couple seconds from the food and weight room, classes all in walking distance, and the place is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. Everyone I have met has been super nice and excited. I’m looking forward to be living with and going to school with 100% skiers, even if 98% of them are alpiners. My room is a bit cramped, but totally manageable. I must say though looking at the other rooms ours is comparable to Harry Potter’s little staircase abode. I’m looking forward to getting classes started and getting more situated with the school. You’ll be hearing much more about it soon enough, but until then I’m going to go try and make some friends. Hope everyone else is easing into fall and, if applicable, school easily. Post Soon,
August 15th, 2012
As J2 camp has wrapped up, I am beginning to see the end of the summer fast approaching. J2 camp was awesome with lots of new training tips and facebook friends. When I last posted on site in Craftsbury we had just finishes our harder 2 days. After those days the camp got more focused on technique and training skills rather than where you were at physically right then. I was happy to hear some new perspectives on training from various coaches and get some time to ski with some of the best J2s in the country. It was cool to put a face and personality to the people I was racing at JNs.
Before they were just some random person that I was bummed beat me, but now I realize that we’re all pretty much in the same boat. It was pretty motivating to be around the whole scene and be working my way through the pipeline. Hearing Bryan Fish talk about how some of the best skiers in U.S. were in our same spot back in the day was pretty cool as well. It made me really think a bit harder about not only my short term goals for this next year, but also my long term goals and what I really wanted to get out of this. With Junior year coming up this year college is going to start becoming a much more common topic which really just translates into some larger decisions that need to be made.
I’ve already had to start making some very difficult decisions in this past month. I’ve been debating whether or not I would go to Burke Mountain Academy for this upcoming Fall Semester. Fall Semester does seem to be a strange time to go to a ski school, but because of their schedule and setup there are times that I could use to make the most out of my Fall. It’s been a super tough decision mostly because what I realized is that there aren’t really cons to either decision. Jackson is such an amazing place and our team is doing really well, but on the flip side Burke is also a pretty cool place that really supports skiing. I have come to realize that either way it would have been a winning situation. Having said that I have made the decision to go to BMA this Fall. It was a pretty late decision so I have to cram a few books in real quickly, but I’m pretty excited. It’s going to be an awesome experience living and training out East in Burke. I’ve been a West Coaster all my life so this can give me a small insight into what I could expect from the East. Until Sep. 1, however, I will be out here in Jackson training away and enjoying the rest of the summer.
Today we had a 5k Classic Rollerski Time Trial which happens to be my favorite TT of all time. I wasn’t feeling super hot in the morning, but with a pretty brisk morning and a small tailwind it turned into a pretty great day. Nick Lovett has had the Course Record on it for a while now, being something like 45 seconds ahead my time, but it’s been my goal to finally catch and beat it. I expected it to take a bit longer, but today I finally surpassed his time, I think(Still haven’t seen an official email with times, but I’m maybe 98% sure), with a 15:15. I am still ecstatic about it and celebrated after practice with some good ‘ol french toast. Awesome day with a break this afternoon. T-15 days until I have to worry about school, but it is coming fast. No huge plans in between now and then, but I’ll make sure to update some. Thanks for reading!
August 6th, 2012
So far so good here on site in Craftsbury, VT. I left Jackson on the 3rd flying into Burlington where I stayed with The Hegmans for the night. Big thanks to them for picking me up at the airport and then letting me hitch up a ride with Bill and Ben the next day since Ben was headed up here toJ2Camp as well.
The camp has started off pretty well with some brutal workouts and an unruly amount of Lion King watching and references. The strength test was quite the time. It’s a minute on minute off doing as many pull-ups, sit-ups, pushups, box jumps, and then dips as you can in the given minute period for each. I would be lying if I said I was the strongest, or really that strong at all. I started off with a PR of 14 pull ups, but things went a bit downhill from there. I ended with my score being 186 total with pull ups weighted x3. For those who don’t know, that’s not a very substantial score putting me (tied for) second to last. I was pretty exhausted and a bit disappointed afterwards, but (luckily?) there was plenty of time for some redemption this morning.
This morning was a time trial run up Elmore’s hill, or mountain depending on where you’re from. It started with an easier road section, but quickly progressed into a pretty steep single track. I felt as if I could’ve gone a bit harder on the road section, but overall thought it went well. My two goals for the run were to 1. Not walk any of it and 2. Not reverse podium again. The first goal I was stoked to have succeeded with. There were definitely a few parts that I think may have been faster with a quick walk, but I didn’t cave and made it through with no walking. The second goal I cruised through coming in 7th. I was pretty content with that considering there are some pretty talented 20-something athletes here. The times ranged a pretty big gap from 16:00, being the new record set by one of the Craftsbury Green Team members that came along, to about 28:00. Jericho tomorrow and much more to come. That’s all for now with an easy double pole workout in a couple of hours. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week and there’s bound to be some more post-worthy events you’ll be hearing about. Adios till then and check back later for some more exciting J2 camp updates.
Here’s a quote from another J2 camper that I am really enjoying to keep you occupied, “I don’t like to read news online…because I just don’t really like to read.”