Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Winter!

Ski racing in Rhinelander, WI, at the Hodag Challenge!

With my skiing buddy, and one of my best friends, Lily Kraft on New Years
This was a very important event for me this winter: Saving Auto (Pronounced Otto), the
Barred Owl. He had a horrible accident with a car, and is getting better at Raptor Rehab!
Racing at 2011 State Championships in Wausau, Wisconsin.
My incredible parents with me after a race - so much love!
The Tutu Trio: Ski Teammates Jessica Timmerman, Hailey Thompson, and Lily Kraft, all decked out for our last race of the season, the 25 kilometer Lakeland Loppet.
To say I've been remiss about my posts would be an understatement. I have been absolutely pathetic. But I have been pretty busy with other things - let me tell you about my winter!
Well, after Worlds (man, that was ages ago!) the Fall came, and hit me with the full force of Wisconsin's natural beauty. With the golden leaves and crisp mornings came my junior year of highschool, the advent of a whole slew of new classes and friends, ACT and SAT tests (my absolute favorites!), the beginning of college searches, dry-land training (essentially, running up lots of big hills) for my upcoming ski season, and weight training for this upcoming paddling season.
Winter took it's own sweet time arriving. For a person who lives to ski in this season, it was infuriating. But by the time soft snows started falling in December, I was absolutely thrilled to hit the trails. My ski team is rather like my family - after school, just about every day of the week, my team mates and I would head out to the ski lodge, and lay down between 8 and 20 kilometers. The beauty of nordic skiing is that not only does it make winter bearable, it makes winter lovable. I can't even tell you how much I cringe when I hear complaints about snowy precipitation.
Then, on weekends, we skiers and our incredibly supportive parents would make the trek to all corners of the Northwoods, to attend races with names like "The Hinder Binder" or "The Hodag Challenge" or "The Snekkevik" or "The Lakeland Loppet"...definitely a predominantly Scandinavian sport, hahaha.
Skiing has infected my family - both of my parents have taken to hopping on a set of skis in the evenings, and wandering around the woods that surround our house. My dad has even figured out a way to groom our own set of trails (His real name is MacGyver). My mom loves nothing more than to go out to Iola (our local ski area) and spend hours skate skiing. It's phenomenal to have a family passion that keeps us in shape and in love with the snow.
My Competitive Ski season wasn't too bad either - I made it onto Varsity this season, which was pretty exciting, and our Girls Varsity took 4th at state! I'm hoping to get some better individual rankings next season - but that is for the future to determine.
Speaking of the future! Canoecopia is this upcoming weekend! YAHOO! Canoecopia not only means attending an awesome expo put on by Rutabaga the Paddlesport Shop, listening to some incredible speakers, and getting to hang out with a host of cool paddlers - it means that the paddling season is about to begin!
This season is looking exciting already! The U.S. Open, National Team Trials, and an International Canoe Federation Camp in July in France are on the schedule for the season, and depending on whether or not I make the National Team this Year, I may or may not be adding World Championships in Slovakia to that list...holy guacamole!
So, if you get a chance, swing by Canoecopia this year. It's in Madison, Wisconsin, and the Alliant Energy Center from March 11 to 13. I'll be giving a talk at 11:30 on Saturday at the expo, so stop by if you have the time and want to visit (although I give no assurances of the speech itself...public speaking, the fear of all teenagers!), but I'd love to meet you, and see where paddling and the outdoors has taken you in your life.

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