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Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Canadian Nationals: I May Have Actually Learned Something

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Canadian Nationals. It’s over.

As you can tell, my initial goal of posting something every day failed massively. It was a pretty busy couple of weeks, that involved waxing a lot of skis, drinking a lot of coffee, and in general keeping things under control.

This was my first time at Nationals as a coach rather than an athlete, and I learned a whole lot about ‘the other side of the fence’ as it is called. And it’s pretty cool.

Just some of the things I noticed:

–          Feeding as a coach is just as important as feeding as an athlete. I forgot to make a lunch one day, and after 6 hours with nothing more than a granola bar and an apple, I was scraping about one ski every 20 minutes.

Best lunch of the week - burg and fries from the cafe at the Nordic Center. Made the afternoon survivable.

–          I appreciate the organizers decision to split the sprint day into Senior and Junior Men/Women, and then Junior/Juvenile Boys girls, because it meant that each individual day was shorter, but putting the three classic days in a row sucks for coaches.

–          Getting a sunburn at a ski race is possible. Getting sunburned every single day is impressive.

–          When I worked on a pipeline, you had to be clean shaven so if you had to put your oxygen mask on in a hurry, the seal would be tight. I’m pretty sure wax rooms should have the same rules, because my beard definitely made my mask no longer air-tight. You know when you can still smell wax remover through a mask, it’s not doing the right job.

–          Napping is crucial to success. Finding time to nap is nearly impossible.

–          Just about everybody has a different way to powder a ski. And they all think their way is THE way.

–          If you think it’s messy to klister one pair of skis, imagine klistering 23 pairs. With multiple layers. Three consecutive days

–          I don’t know who was doing the shopping for our trip, but I haven’t eaten as many Oreos and Nutella in my life as I have the past week.

–          The Alpine Club of Canada knows how to pack people in. And advertise for vehicles.

Probably the best advertising I have ever seen. They sure convinced me...

–          Honey Nut Cheerios are excellent for breakfast, but oatmeal takes you a lot further in your morning.

–          I would say well over 50% of the pictures I have from Nationals are of me eating, because that’s the only time when you could take out the camera for a leisurely picture.

–          Personal space was roughly non-existent. It now feels weird to do just about anything alone.

–          Standing around in the wax room does nothing to acclimatize you to altitude. I went out Friday and skied the 10 k that the Open men did 5 times for the 50, and about 2.5 k in I felt like puking my guts out.

–          Coaching is without a doubt harder than being an athlete over the course of the week, but when I saw my athletes suffering through the team sprint the first Saturday, it was tough to think of it that way.

–          When someone says “I bought laundry detergent, feel free to do some laundry” you can either interpret it as ‘you stink’ or a helpful suggestion. I assumed helpful suggestion.

–          The difference between looking badass in the wax room and looking like a moron is personal opinion.

–          When frustrated, throwing your sunglasses into a snowbank is a poor idea, but that’s a story for another day.

–          Using RaceSplitter makes giving splits easy, until you’re using it on a tiny iPod screen, you have 12 Junior boys around the same speed in an 85 skier field, doing 10 k in 3×3.3 k loops.

How you know I have no shame - I think I look good in this picture.

–          Showing up with 43 incredibly talented athletes means that you pretty much have a lock on the Club Aggregate. Which we did. But I can’ really brag – I scored zero points.

–          Semi-formal means jeans and a shirt, at least as far as I am concerned.

Canadian Nationals are awesome. Full stop. And now it’s time to gear up, set up, and figure out the next 11 months of cross country skiing.