What a year… and more than that, what a whirlwind past two weeks. Given the current global pandemic, the uncertainty and hardship so many people are facing, and the perspective that brings, it feels somewhat ridiculous to be writing a blog post about nordic ski racing, but here goes.
It’s strange to think that, had March gone as planned, today we would have been midway through National Championships, feeling that bittersweet mixture of satisfaction and exhaustion that comes at the end a race season. Instead, the season ended in Quebec City, with the World Cups getting cancelled the day before they were scheduled to happen.
Mentally, that race week in Quebec was surreal. The rapid shift from managing the intense pressure and excitement of World Cup racing, to trying to keep focused on my job while changes were happening every hour, to finally having the races cancelled and jumping straight out of the sport ‘bubble’ and headfirst into a global crisis – I’ve never experienced anything like it. Not to mention this was all happening in a big hotel with athletes and staff from around the world trying to get home as international borders closed.
Like many skiers, I’ve been self-isolating since I got back to Canmore. Although this isn’t the season ending I wanted, there are far more important things than sports to deal with right now. I’m grateful that we are working together – *while staying physically apart* – to support each other and prioritize lives.
The upside of this has been having time to evaluate the ski season and put in some fun go-with-the-flow training. Some winters I end the season feeling burnt out, but this year I finished with a lot of unused motivation. It’s been great to put that to use.
As far as this season goes, I’m disappointed I didn’t reach all my goals. That being said, it felt great to hit some big milestones like racing a World Cup classic sprint heat and to have consistency when I needed it most.
I’m also excited about the progress I made off the results list. The challenges this year forced me to ask tough questions and to be honest with myself. Uncertainty opened doors for curiosity, learning, and opportunities to make daring choices. Dream goals that were ridiculous 12 months ago don’t seem quite so crazy anymore.
And that’s a wrap on the 2019-20 ski season. This year in particular, I want to thank my family, boyfriend, friends, and coaches for challenging me and giving me the support I needed to chase after new goals. Thank you also to my sponsors and community for your support and encouragement. Ski racing is individual, but it takes a team to get to the start line.
For the next while, I’ll be training and spending time at home with my family. We’re lucky to have great skiing in Athabasca right now, and it’s hard to find a better place to isolate than home at the farm. I’ll be keeping things simple, putting in some good hard work, and taking this one day at a time along with the rest of the world.