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.