The weeks seem to be flying by! After my last blog post I spent a couple very productive weeks training in Park City. We had an intensity week with no ski jumping then a recovery week with lots of ski jumping. The intensity week consisted of about 15 hours of endurance on my bike, rollerskis, and running. One of my main focuses in training has been my technique on rollerskis. This is my biggest weakness and my coaches and teammates have been very helpful. I have already made some big strides and I look forward to really becoming confident in the way I ski. It helps that my teammates are some of the fastest Cross Country skiers in the sport of Nordic Combined. My favorite thing is to ski behind Taylor Fletcher and just mimic the way he skis.
By the end of the intensity week I was ready to put some jump skis on and fly. We started out on the K90 in Park City then moved our way up to the K120. Before every session of ski jumping I have a goal in mind. This goal is something I want to accomplish on that day. I like this way of thinking and recommend it to any athlete or non athlete. I’ve learned that short term or daily goals keep me living and training more in the moment. I also believe that accomplishing all my short term goals will lead to accomplishing long term goals. During the recovery week I accomplished almost all my goals on the jump hill. This gave me a lot of confidence going into the 4th of July competition in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Another thing about me is I love being the underdog. All my top performances have come from an underdog mentality. Over the last few years I have become very strong in the Ski Jumping and being the underdog is no longer possible. When the pressure is on and there are expectations, I sometimes buckle under the pressure. I have been working on putting pressure on myself in training and in small competitions. That way when I’m on the big stage and the pressure is shooting through the roof, I will be prepared and confident. I put a lot of pressure on myself during the 4th of July competition in Steamboat. I came into the day with the mentality that I had to win. I ended up having two solid jumps that got me the win. This was a huge stride mentally and I’m becoming more adept at handling pressure.
During our week in Steamboat, the Nordic Combined team participated in the Fish Creek Time Trial on rollerskis. This is one of my favorites because it gives me a good idea of my improvement year to year. Last year I finished the race in 28:40. This year my time was 27:52. I’m still much slower than my teammates Adam Loomis, Michael Ward, Brett Denney, Bryan Fletcher, and Taylor Fletcher. They all had awesome races and are looking very strong. The important thing though is I’m getting faster and with patience and more hard work the trend will continue.
After Steamboat, I was fortunate enough to go to Beaver Creek for an awesome bike camp/fundraiser with Olympian Tours. Bill Demong, Taylor Fletcher, Bryan Fletcher, Carl Van Loan, Jed Hinkley and I got to ride bikes with some unbelievable supporters of our sport. The first day we rode 80 miles from Minturn-Leadville-Copper-Vail-Minturn. It was a brutal loop at very high altitude and everyone was cooked. Afterwards Bryan showed me how to fly fish on a beautiful pond above Wolcott. The next day we drove to Aspen, rode up Independence Pass, then over the backside into Leadville. This ride was only about 60 miles but the climbing was significant. Now my team and I are headed back to Park City, Utah to keep plugging away at training. Thanks for all the support!