The Diagnosis and the Cure
Wow, its done! Today was the last World Cup before the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Just typing that statement gets me excited, nervous, nauseous, afraid, and pumped. Fourteen months ago I gave up my job and each day seemed like it was longer than the last. Training until I couldn’t stand up, and then making one more repetition, jumping til. . . well, I could jump til forever on a good day. There just is nothing that can match the euphoria of flight.
The long days seemed to be replaced by flashes of time represented numerically on the calendar as the days of January 2010. Our training camp at New Years in Whistler was the first insight into the impending hype. Ever since that training camp each day seems shorter than the last and by no means am I referring to the amount of daylight, which, coincidentally, seems to be following a similar pattern. Contrary to our ability to determine tomorrow’s sunrise and sundown, I can’t predict how tomorrow will feel. However, I’m confident that it will fit somewhere within this realm of mixed emotions that seems to be flooding over me each day.
After a very successful training camp in Whislter I failed to put together one solid competition that I was proud of in the month of January. I’ve been trying various schemes to win the battle with my head that would enable me to produce equivalent jumps in competition as those in training. However, I’ve yet to win that battle. On the plus side, I know it there and I BELIEVE. Why else would I continue each and every day if I didn’t believe that tomorrow would be better than today?
Thankfully, I’ve managed to jump myself into a position where I could at least compete for World Cup points with great cross country racing on a couple of occasions. In the last couple of events I’ve managed to put together decent races to ski into 30th place, which earned me exactly one world cup point on each occasion. So, although my jumping hasn’t been quite meeting my expectations, my cross country racing is at a level that can bail me out with less than mediocre jumping. As an athlete that is significantly heavier than my competition, its critical that my technique and timing are perfect on the jump hill in order to be successful. Its been close, but close just doesn’t cut it for me. I’m about to race against the top 50 athletes in the world on my home soil and I really want to show them what I’ve got, not what I almost have.
So, the world cup competitions are done. Now I have three days to train, relax, and hopefully not think too much. That’s definitely the toughest part for an independent, intense and neurotic athlete. However, the fact is that the training is done, everything is in motion, stay healthy and let it happen. Easier said than done since in the end I am ultimately responsible for my performance, I find it extremely difficult to shut off my brain at a time like this. However, I have the perfect cure in mind.
Seefeld, Austria is absolutely one of the most beautiful towns in the world. Situated high atop the Austrian Alps, the village somehow manages to have perfect sunshine and an abundance of white fluffy snow that all of us winter enthusiasts crave. What sets Seefeld above the others, in my opinion, is the Olympic Zentrum Sauna. This place is massive with several saunas of various temps, steam rooms and pools with waterfalls. Midwinter the place is absolutely packed. Between all of the hot and cold therapy and relaxation surely I can manage to escape for awhile. Cheers,