Why “I love skiing” isn’t the (only) reason I race

I’m sitting at home in Canmore, looking at the snow outside. The first few weeks of September flew by, with lots of good training and some solid intensity sessions. I got in some fun workouts with AWCA and a couple rounds up Sulphur with the NST women!

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Happy skiers after Z3 up Sulphur

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Fall leaves!

Unfortunately the second half of September has dragged by as I haven’t been able to train much. I came down with a cold leading into the Thunder Bay camp, so instead of flying out east, I stayed home in Canmore to rest. Getting sick isn’t the worst thing to happen when you’re a skier, but there’s no getting around that it sucks. It pretty much always means time away from training and many days feeling frustrated.

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Canmore is kinda pretty 🙂

When I’m motivated, even really tough training is satisfying in a type-2-fun sort of way. However, no training session is as hard as when my body won’t let me train. That’s when the tough choices come in. This week, I was really excited to go to Thunder Bay and especially stoked to get in a sprint rollerski race. The decision to stay home wasn’t a fun one, even if it was the right call.

When I have to make these difficult choices, I’m reminded that I don’t ski race only because “it’s fun” or because “I love the process”. When things get tough, I need more than that to stay motivated. To be clear, I DO generally have fun, and for the most part, I love the process of training and racing. But that doesn’t mean I love it all the time. I think that would be a pretty unrealistic thing to expect – like expecting to be happy all of the time! It’s ok to be really motivated to ski race (or study, or work) even if you don’t always enjoy it.

If “I love the process” was the only reason I raced… well, for me, trying to race at this level wouldn’t be very realistic. If loving the process was all I wanted, I’m sure I’d still be skiing lots and probably doing some races, but I wouldn’t be going out rollerskiing in the rain, or pushing so hard in intervals that I can’t move anymore, or making those not-so-fun decisions when the process sucks. Like when I’m sick and can’t train. Or like when it’s -18 and blowing cold snow during sprint heats.

So for weeks like this, where I’ve been sick, I’m glad that “I love the process” isn’t the only reason I’m pursuing this ski dream. The reasons aren’t always the same – some years I’m motivated primarily by results, and some years I’m motivated more by the process. Both are always there, and which ones I draw on can change depending on the situation. But to push those limits, to reach for goals that seem crazy, I need to be motivated regardless of whether or not I’m enjoying the moment. And in the end, working through challenges makes reaching those crazy goals even more rewarding. The process just won’t always be fun.

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Snow! But a few more warm days before real winter, please 🙂

 

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