I figure that if I'm going to be writing on this blog all season long, surely I must introduce the Lobos Ski Team.
Johan Eirik Meland:
aka "Johnny", aka "Johnny Bravo".
Johan's biggest problem in life is being too damn pretty. He claims that he has good luck but nobody has THIS GOOD of luck. His ignorance is surely endearing. The first week Johan was in Albuquerque, he had to take a bathroom break during a rollerski. He knocked on a random door in a random neighborhood. Let me make one thing clear, Albuquerque isn't the type of place where you go door knocking for a bathroom. In fact, this is something I've never even considered doing in my small hometown of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Johan then proceeded to explain to the poor house tenant that he had to take a shit. Not only did they let him, it seemed they were ever grateful for that shit he dropped in their toilet.
When you ask Johan how his day was, it usually sounds like this. "I got my bike stolen so I was going to walk home. Then these girls drove by, so I smiled and waved. They gave me a ride home. They also gave me a bike. I have a date with one of the girls tonight. Then my tutor came over and she brought me cookies."
This is obviously where I interrupt.
"Wait wait wait, your tutor bakes you cookies?"
"Yeah," Johan replies, as if this is the norm.
In addition, Johan consistently orders the same size clothing as me. I keep trying to convince him that he is not a small but he refuses to agree. So, we mostly wear the same size clothing. Here is Johan and I standing next to each other. Now that I look at the picture, he doesn't really look much bigger than me, just fifteen shades darker than me.
Aka "Big Fudge", "Korn", "Korn Dog", "Kelly Slater", "Slenderman"
Kornelius is taking a break from his doctoral studies back in Norway to race for the Lobos. It's nice having a doctor on the team. All questions regarding health get directed towards Kornelius. He has a weakness for American fast food and Mr. Pibb soda. Whether or not those weaknesses correlate to the gas that comes out of his ass, that's yet to be determined. A few weeks ago, we went to go see the new Mission Impossible movie on campus. Brenna sat right in between Kornelius and I. This was a decision she later regretted after two hours of non stop farts. Don't sit in between the two of us, I feel as if people on the team should know better by now.
Kornelius is tall but not that tall. He actually looks taller than he is because his arms and legs never end. This dude is seriously gangly thus the nickname "Slenderman". During our team soccer games Kornelius just stands in front of the goal and waves is limbs around in all directions making it impossible to score a single goal.
Kornelius kept showing up to training in a Quicksilver rash guard. This was the beginning of the "Kelly Slater" nickname. I loved it so much that I created this.
Aka "Ricky", "Slick Rick"
Ricardo is a training god/fitness legend. This dude trains in his sleep I swear. A few weeks ago we had a 12X400 meter track workout. Ricardo ran his twelfth 400 meters of the day in 56 seconds. For those unfamiliar, this is stupid fast. We have decided that Ricky could probably be on scholarship for the track and cross country running teams as well. Slick Rick also set the new course record for the infamous Sand Hills time trial. (running up and down hills of shin deep sand). This record has been intact for six years. More recently, Ricky also broke the UNM Ski Team record for the 3,000 meter on the track. He ran it in 8:56, a whopping thirty seconds faster than the last record which was set seventeen years ago.
Sure this is all great but I do need to boast a little. I set the school record for pull ups. Exactly one minute later Ricky did one more pullup than me, record gone. Come on man. The former UNM Nordic Coach Fredrik Landstedt kept a very meticulous excel spreadsheet with every time for every time trial since about 1996 (one year after I was born). By the time Ricky leaves, his name will be at the top of almost every list.
We've also decided that when picking up girls, Ricky should just be French- not French Canadian. Canadian just isn't foreign enough for American girls.
Sidenote: I've decided that French Canadian is my favorite accent because it's a combination of two very polarizing things.
aka "Dasha", aka "Dash"
Somewhere in Russia
Also Steamboat Springs
Dasha is from Russia. She moved to Steamboat Springs a few years ago to finish high school. I plan on adopting Dasha someday because I love her so much. Dasha chews 6 pieces of gum at once: Three pieces of mint flavored gum, and three pieces of fruit flavored gum. As Dasha puts it, "Mint gum is too minty and fruit gum is too fruity." Honestly, that's pretty damn logical. As if a Russian accent isn't thick enough, don't expect to understand a word Dasha says when trying to communicate to you with six pieces of gum in her mouth.
Dasha is also an incredible artist. She only draws and sketches in black because Dasha says, "I don't like colors." She has started to print her drawings on t shirts. Here is one of the t shirts. If you are interested in buying one, let me know. I named the little guy on the front Leroy. As you can see Brenna completely destroyed her shirt for the sake of fashion. In fact, it looks more like a rag than a shirt. If you like, you can leave the sleeves and belly of the shirt intact. Your call.
Julie Stendahl Spets
We are currently teaching Julie how to wax her skis. How a 22 year old Norwegian skier doesn't know how to wax skis, that is beyond me. However, in typical Julie fashion, she has been incredibly shameless about the whole thing. Big kudos on this because I probably would have just lied to everyone then tried to watch some youtube tutorial videos on the matter. She is really taking a liking for waxing skis. In order to give her more practice, I'm going to ask her if she would like to wax my skis for the rest of the season.
Julie adds a lot of laughter to the team. You never know what laugh you are going to get from her either. She has three laughs: evil, over the top, and creepy.
Julie and Johan take home the award for best Instagram profiles. Also in Brenna's words, "If our team was in a scary movie, Julie and Johan are the two pretty ones who would be making out in the woods, and obviously get killed first." This is very dark Brenna, though I couldn't agree more.
Park City, Utah
Considering that Savanna was training in her puffy coat a month ago when it was still fairly temperate in Albuquerque, makes me concerned about how she will fair when the weather actually gets cold. Everyone will be doing intervals in shorts and t shirts meanwhile Savanna will be in long pants and a ski jacket.
Savanna may take home the prize of hardest school schedule. When I hear tales of the quantity of math and science homework she puts up with on a daily basis, I thank the liberal art gods. In addition, it turns out that Savanna is WICKED on cross country skis. She placed 11th in last weekends races in West Yellowstone, Montana.
The funniest part about this, a week ago Savanna was convinced our training plan wasn't working for her and she needed to write her own plan. Last weekend she was the fastest girl on the team and undoubtedly had the race of her life. I think our coach Christian Otto was loving this.
Savanna is one of two "foodies" on our team (Brenna is the other). You may ask, what does it mean to be a "foodie"? Well Savanna defined this for me just a few weekends ago. When tasked with cooking spaghetti out of the box, she needed help from the boys. We were pretty proud to be needed because truth is, we aren't needed for much. But, if there is one thing us boys know how to do, it is cook spaghetti out of the box. When I asked her, "you don't know how to cook spaghetti?" Savanna replied, "I've only made it from scratch before." BOOM! "foodie".
Park City, Utah
Brenna is my girlfriend. If I'm being totally unbiased, she is the hottest girl on the circuit by far. Also, without her existence in my life, I would have never been apart of this team. In fact, without her existence many things would be different:
1. I still wouldn't make my bed.
2. My cooking would mostly consist of nachos and quesadillas.
3. I wouldn't know the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon.
4. I would spend far more time unknowingly walking around with food on my face and in my teeth.
This may sound fairly pathetic on my part but I look around at other gross, messy college aged boys and know that the only thing separating my world from theirs, a cute girlfriend.
This is Brenna's seventh semester on the UNM Ski Team. The next most tenured athlete is Ricardo who has been on the team for two semesters. Brenna is the rock on this team as the rest of us have basically no experience on the college skiing circuit. It's fair to say that Brenna has seniority around these parts.
Brenna is currently binging the show "Vampire Diaries". The plot isn't too hard to explain, it's about a bunch of sexy vampires. I think she feels guilty by sitting on the couch and watching a tv show so instead she is always multitasking. I've learned that four episodes usually equals one loaf of beer bread or one batch of cookies. How a show with such a basic plot has eight seasons, I have no idea, however I'm very okay with this show never ending.
Brenna usually listens to podcasts during her workouts. This means that after every session, she has a million fun facts to share with the team. Brenna is going to graduate in the spring with a Bachelor's in Environmental Science, then she is going to go change the world and ride her mountain bike a lot. Brenna shreds on a mountain bike. Don't ever let her catch you drinking out of a plastic water bottle or putting recyclables in the trash, she will kill you.
I've had coaches from Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Austria before. However, I must say that having a German head coach is unlike all of the above. There are a lot of stereotypes out there about Germans. Coach Otto seems determined to cement them all.
Christian is the most organized person I know. I receive more emails from Christian than I do from Pizza Hut, and Pizza Hut sends me a lot of emails.
In addition, the training log which he created on excel spreadsheet is so detailed and elaborate that it sometimes represents a maze which has no exit. Considering the amount of time it takes to fill out, I can't even imagine how much time it took to create.
Coach Otto has a very direct style of communication. There is no sugar coating. If he is unhappy with something, he says so. For the first few weeks this was unsettling because I'm very used to a lot of sugar on top (My mom is way too nice to me).
Coach Otto hates our roads and the way people drive in our country. He informs me of this frequently while reminiscing about the ease of the German Autobahn. "In the US you just seal the cracks on roads, in Germany we build a new road."
After every session in the weight room, Christian makes us take part in "mental toughness pushups". We are all convinced that he picked up this cruel torture in the German military. "Mental toughness pushups" consist of twenty pushups. This sounds easy except for the fact that Coach Otto makes us hold the pushups down at the bottom for five seconds. If anyone raises their butt we have to start over. This is also the kind of thing that never gets easier. I thought I would just get stronger but it actually just sucks every single time. Everyday we hope he forgets. He never does.
Before Christian joined the team as Head Coach, he was actually one of my best friends. I'm proud to say that we are still very close and having him consistently semi disappointed in me hasn't affected our friendship. He is doing a great job.
aka "Praznik", "AP", "Aljaz" pronounced "Alhaz", "Jersey"
Aljaz is from Slovenia and is a former Lobos skier. We have the perfect good cop, bad cop scenario on our team. Christian is the bad cop and Aljaz Praznik is the good cop. We aren't allowed to eat chips, however Aljaz will always get us chips. It's kind of like if you have one parent who says no to everything and one who always says yes. As a kid, you always knew which parent to ask if you wanted to have a sleepover. I think everyone on the team knows who to ask when we want chips.
Aljaz probably should have had ten years of eligibility. This dude is an athlete for life. He probably trains more than most of the athletes on our team. You can always find him doing pushups somewhere. He is notorious for trying to do intervals with us. This consists of him starting way too hard on the first interval and blowing us all up. Then he takes a break the rest of the intervals session while we are all dying. At the end, he hops in for the last interval and goes all out again. This tactic basically defeats the point of doing intervals in the first place so I've learned, "don't follow Aljaz."
Aljaz is known for always wearing tank tops. This is the right move because the key to any good wardrobe- clothing which shows off your best features. The tank tops really show off one of Aljaz's best features, very hairy shoulders.
So these are the Lobos. Maybe later in the year I can introduce our Alpine team as well, they are surely not lacking in personalities either. Thanks for reading. Cheers. - BB