The weather report is forecasting wind, rain, snow, sleet, hail, sunshine, cloud cover and rainbows in the upcoming year. I can liken the recent unpredictability of the weather to my ski racing as of lately. As much preparation and planning as I’ve done, the only thing you can prepare for is the unpredictable. My season started well with a strong sprint race in West Yellowstone and a tough 10km skate race. I felt relaxed, confident and positive going forward. My immune system had other ideas. Although it was only about a 5/10 on the Richter scale of colds, it was a cold nonetheless. Despite the ‘incredible pain’ athletes can tolerate on the racecourse, we have little tolerance for the sniffles. That left me sitting out last weekend (December 6/7) in Bozeman, Montana and I’ve made the decision to not race this weekend in Rossland, BC as well.
The weather as of late has been far from predictable as well. Normal December temperatures and snow cover that keep the skiers happy have been incredibly hard to come by across North America and in Europe as well. The Bow Valley struck gold with a massive snowfall at the beginning of December that covered our mountaintops and valley bottoms, followed by a cold snap that setup shop and secured a decent snow cover. For the time being at least. In the past week, the Chinook winds, rain and warm temperatures have rolled in. Winter sweaters off - it feels tropical out! There may not be any meatballs falling from the sky, but the NorAms scheduled for Whistler, BC have been rescheduled for Vernon, BC due to lack of snow and the expected tarantula downpour (#rickyism). The conditions in Rossland can barely fall under the winter category but the race organizers have worked hard and managed to secure the races for this weekend. Organizing staff in Davos, CH have done an incredible job and scraped together enough snow to host a race, despite dismal conditions. La Clusaz, FRA were forced to cancel their World Cup weekend due to lack of snow and FIS is currently researching alternate venues. Mother Nature seems to be having a hot flash and the effects are showing up everywhere. It is a heavy thought. I’m no scientist, but the reality of climate change drastically altering global weather patterns within my generation is a hard fact to ignore.
The decisions I make in training and racing are ultimately my own, but there are many factors to take into account and can make the whole process confusing. Am I healthy? What is there to gain or lose? Over thinking is the worst. This little monkey in your brain just goes to town with the synapse connections and it all gets cloudy. I have a positive and supportive network around me to make the decisions that will be best in the long run, but at the end of the day, I have to be the one to make the decision and be confident in it. That’s where simplicity comes in. Do I want to race fast? Yes. I’m confident that this decision to recover 100% will provide the best opportunity to race fast for the rest of the season.
In the meantime, I will be getting back to training normally and preparing for the races in Silver Star, BC, working away at a correspondence Linguistic Anthropology course and doing some Christmas crafting! No complaints about training in Canmore, we have the best conditions in the world – but actually.
Look out for raining meatballs and happy trails!