Wild Rumpus Sports
 

The Pre-Season Mix

Everyone from New England knows that the weather in last few weeks leading up to the racing season is as unpredictable as it gets. One day you might be wearing a tank top and shorts, and the next you are bundled in your mid-winter ski outfit. This year the weather gods decided us New Englanders had gotten soft so they wanted to ensure us New Englanders are tough come the race season.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I didn’t see the sun for 3 weeks straight. On top of that, many of those cloudy days included freezing, cold rain. Oddly enough, with one rainy day after the next, it started to be just another normal day in the east and each rainy day felt less dreary than the last. Maybe part of my reaction was due to the fact that I was at Dartmouth this fall, and regardless the weather, training was my study break so it is something I always looked forward to; it was always the best part of my day.

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It may have been dark and grey all fall, but we made up for the darkness with bright clothing on Halloween at Dartmouth! 

I think the peak dreary New England weather came for the NENSA Trapps rollerski race. We showed up and it was 32 degrees and pouring rain, with 50 mph wind gusts, and the rain was turning into sleet. In the coaches meting, the coaches and organizers decided to go ahead and hold the race, and it was one of the most brutal rollerskis I have ever done weather wise, but I finished feeling a little tougher and stronger for the race season two short weeks away. Most importantly, I finished with a huge smile across my face, which might sound crazy but to me, some of the most satisfying and motivating workouts are the ones where you just have to have some grit, dig deep, and see the tough conditions as a way to make you that much stronger.

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Charging through the tough conditions at the NENSA Trapps Rollerski Race (PC: Dave Prignac)
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Deep in the pain cave as the rain turned into snow (PC: Reese Brown).

After a bit of toughness training, the weather rewarded us with some incredible early season snow, making for some of the best skiing conditions in the country, if not in the world. During finals, I was extra determined to be productive so that I could take skiing study breaks!

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Perfect skiing at Crafstbury during finals!
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Great skiing at Greens with Max!

I decided the changes in weather weren’t crazy enough for me, so I headed out to San Diego to join my family for thanksgiving! The weather was 60-70 degrees and sunny everyday…you could say I soaked up all the sunshine I could get! Although it may be unusual to go on a beach vacation right before the season, it is exactly what I wanted to do before the racing season. Each person has their own way to prep for the race season and for me, that meant quality family time, sunshine and vitamin D, unwinding from finals, and having some fun (by going surfing and playing beach volleyball) and to relax before heading into the race season! The last two weeks before the season is usually stressful for most athletes, because you start to wonder, “have I done enough?”, “am I ready” , “I have worked so hard all year and now it is time to see how fast I am”.  Hanging out with my family and surfing and playing beach volleyball was the perfect way to clear my head and relax before heading back to winter conditions in West Yellowstone.

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Family time ❤
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Sister time ❤
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Dialing in my balance by doing some surfing! 
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Working on my explosivity and power.
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SUNSHINE!

I am now out in West Yellowstone, MT with our U.S. half of the SMS T2 Team for the first weekend of Super Tour races. After the toughness training this fall in the New England, we are ready to go! You can follow along with the live video coverage at https://usskiandsnowboard.org/events/supertour-1and live results at http://www.skirunbikemt.com/supertour.html.

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Alayna making the first tracks out here in West Yellowstone!
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Game/intimidation face on, or really just protecting my lungs…or both 🙂

Lets get this season started!!!

-JKern

What My Teammates Have Taught Me

Upon returning from our last U.S. Ski Team camp of the year in Park City, Utah back to Dartmouth to finish up fall term, I have been thinking a lot about how I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by incredible teammates wherever I go. Each team and individual teammate has taught me something different, and I know I wouldn’t be nearly as fast or have nearly as much fun without them! For starters, I am very appreciative that each of my teams support me to pursue both my skiing and academic pursuits.  The past few years I have been hopping between the Dartmouth, SMS T2, and the U.S. Ski Team and the amount I spend with each team has changed every year. My teammates on all three teams have been extremely supportive and understanding as I phase in and out (for example leaving Dartmouth for a U.S. Ski Team…

Walking The Fine Line

Since high school, I have been bouncing back and forth between doing a full term at Dartmouth while training, and solely focusing on skiing. These two lifestyles fall on opposite side of the spectrum—when I am in school I am wishing I had more free time and while when I am just skiing, I have too much free time to fill. My frustrating season last year didn’t discourage me, it actually did the exact opposite—it made me want to be “all in” this year and set really big goals. Ironically, I came to conclusion that being “all in” for me meant not just focusing on skiing, but rather, it meant the opposite—that I would go to school and train with the Dartmouth team while taking a full course load in the spring, summer, and fall (a full year of school). Focused and “all in” at training camp (Pat). Growing up,…

Finishing Strong

If your parents were anything like mine, then you were probably tossed into the deep end and had to learn how to swim from there. You could say that is what it felt like to jump on the World Cup circuit for the first time, spend 4 straight months in Europe (which is my longest streak yet), and travel across 10 different countries. I am going to admit, the first few weekends on the World Cup were really tough. I had some expectations and goals based off the end of last season, but I fell short of what I had hoped for—not just in results—but in my general form as well (unfortunately in part due to being injured the 5 months leading up to the season). Fortunately, just like your parents are there to help you learn how to swim, I was surrounded by teammates, coaches, family, and friends, who…

Blank Slate

Once again, my bags have been packed and unpacked too many times to count since my last post. After Zwiesel, I headed to Obsertdorf for a German Cup with Hannah, which was our last stop on our Germany tour. After taking 3 full off days in hopes of kicking my illness for good (but really this time), I had my head up and eyes looking forward. I was ready to put my illnesses behind me and just go out and race hard. The sprint day was shock to the system and gave my body the wake up call it needed to get back in gear and fired up again. I put my “Darth Vader mask” on at the start of the 10k skate mass start, told myself it is a new day and put my sensations from the sprint behind me, and was ready to charge (I mostly wore it…

Turning Things Around

*Sorry for the long hiatus mid season, my computer was broken all of January, and it is hard to get a new one when you are in Europe all winter. I am going to be brutally honest and say that the past 7 weeks have been really hard for me. I usually try to see the positive side of things and can deal with setbacks pretty well, but that gets really tiring after a while. 5 days ago I was ready to book a ticket home—that is when things turned around (once again)… Rewind 7 weeks ago. I kicked off the New Year by coming down with a bad cold, leaving me lying in bed for 7 days and not even training for 10 days. I was bummed to miss some OPA Cup races, but kept my mind focused on resting a lot so I would be ready for my…

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 … More Little Fish, Big Pond

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…

Personal Wins

*Sorry for the long break in between blogs, it has been a busy fall…but that is no real excuse. This is a blog I have wanted to post for a while, and now more than ever, is it a good reminder to myself. Winning isn’t necessarily about crossing the line first. You can cross the … More Personal Wins

Personal Wins

*Sorry for the long break in between blogs, it has been a busy fall…but that is no real excuse. This is a blog I have wanted to post for a while, and now more than ever, is it a good reminder to myself. Winning isn’t necessarily about crossing the line first. You can cross the line in first, yet be very disappointed in your race…or you can finish last and feel like you won the race (yes, this happens). The more I got my butt handed to me in intervals and time trials this summer, the more my confidence could fade. Year after year I catch myself getting caught up in training results and I have to remind myself that in training, it is all about the personal wins. This reminder came to me during the last U.S. Ski Team training camp in Park City, Utah. We were doing a…