Sunday, February 7, 2010

Outdoor Nation

I've been given the incredible opportunity to become an Ambassador for Outdoor Nation - a community that encourages youth to become involved with the outdoors. This association is one that I feel really good about. Getting more teens active and passionate about their natural surroundings is an exceptional undertaking, and one that I have personally believed in for years. To support the nation, and their mission, please join the online community at*:
*and if you wouldn't mind, in the box asking for which organization referred you to Outdoor Nation, please choose 'Other' and enter: HThompson
Along with Outdoor Nation's good vibes, I'm gearing up for Canoecopia 2010! Canoecopia is a fantastic event in Madison, Wisconsin, held from March 12-14 at the Alliant Energy Center. Canoecopia is sponsored by Rutabaga Paddlesport Shop, and is one of the world's largest canoeing expos. Speakers, vendors, and paddling movie premiers are all a part of this fun-packed three-day weekend. If you have never experienced a Canoecopia before, you may want to pencil this into you calendar.

The Winter

Abby Devita, Olivia Steinmetz, Hailey Thompson, Chase Benzine, and Gibson Hladky
Skating up a hill at the Iola Norseman...

My wonderful ski team....

Skiing in my backyard....

Winter has always been a season for me to contemplate my past season, and plan for my next, but it is also a time for me to savor living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. I love everything about this season, from the quiet peaceful snow that covers the woods to the way the sun rises over the frozen lake. Not only do I love this season for the serenity it brings, but also, the opportunity. I find my life to be consumed by paddling in the spring, summer, and fall (not that I'm complaining), but the winter brings me the chance to swap my paddle for poles, and my boat for skis.
So, in addition to dedicating myself to my school work, I've been skiing up a storm. I am a member of the Iola-Scandinavia Nordic Ski Team, where I Skate ski and Classic Ski three times a week, and race for on weekends at State-wide Highschool competitions. Nordic Skiing is an incredible sport - not only for the enjoyment I find in it, but for the intense dedication and endurance it demands. Nordic is a gift. I have the opportunity to really enhance my strength and endurance, while enjoying the company of other teens on the team who love the outdoors.
As well as Nordic Skiing, I have been weight training. I had to make the difficult decision of working with a new trainer this season. My former trainer, Jennifer Dombrowski, is a wonderful woman, without whom I never would have gotten to where I am. The decision was made by the fact that the Lake Placid Strength and Conditioning Coach for Canoe and Kayak works in my home town. Kevin Ebel is his name, and he has had a lot of experience training Elite-Level Canoe and Kayak athletes. I realized that I would be able to attain a high level of performance working with Kevin, and working with him has been very rewarding so far.
On top of all of these activities, I've still been getting in a little time on my Telemark Skis. I've telemarked since I was ten years old - skied since I could walk - and I love it. I still dream of that 'someday trip' out West, floating through 6-foot-deep powder...but that will have to wait.
I hope all of you who read this have the opportunity to get outside and savor the winter!