Whether reading the news, weather forecast or analysing race results, relativity and trends reveal the most relevant data. Since my last post from mid-November, the season has taken me from a definite low (read: low energy and fatigue in November!), followed by my first race of the year and podium in the Swiss Cup in Goms, a close shot in the Davos World Cup (read: knapp verpasst! 32nd position) to a heavy-legged haul around the Val Müstair course for the start of the Tour de Ski on New Year's Eve. However disappointed I was to have missed the heats in the Davos World Cup and Val Müstair, the trends are good and the winds are fairing in my direction.
As much as I like to think that I am becoming a more mature and well-rounded person and athlete, I still experience times of immature and disproportionate disappointment, where I think the world turns on the success or failure of this one event. I was incredibly nervous and had a lot of positive energy and excitement going into this season as I have trained harder, seen bigger gains and pushed myself to new limits this training season. The pressure I put on myself to perform better than ever is an incredible motivator, but without the perspective and relativity of these expectations in the big picture, can hinder my performances. So, putting my first chunk of December racing into big-picture trends and perspective, I'm on the right track!
After the first two weekends of December (in Goms for the Swiss Cup and the Davos World Cup), I had some congestion come to visit and left me sitting on the couch for a few days. Thanks to some rest, friends, a visit from my boyfriend for Christmas and lots of laughter, I have realigned for the next part of my season. Having only raced four races in December, two of which being World Cups, I am in need of some race bib fever and season rhythm. I will be heading to Planica, Slovenia this weekend to race in the Continental Cup circuit. The dream of qualifying for the World Championships in Lahti in February is still alive and fully attainable. The tools I have in my belt at the moment to get me from how I felt on Saturday (slow, heavy and no snap) to where I've been and know I can be, include rest and focus on the high end speed.
What brings me motivation in times of frustration, is a look back on the positive trends, the people around me and gratitude for the life I'm living. This Washington Post article highlights the upward trends in the past decade and progress humanity has made. What else gives me motivation for the upcoming chapters in 2017? The fact that my teammate and friend, Nadine Fähndrich, whom I've trained with the past two training seasons with, is reaching next level results (finishing 4th in the 5km Classic on the Tour de Ski stage in Val Müstair, the day before qualifying in 3rd position). Our team had three women in the top-20 this past weekend in a distance event, a first ever! That is some positive energy to be around in my team at the moment.
More motivation and excitement is given and reciprocated for my boyfriend, Keith, and brother, Matt, as they open the doors to their distillery and new business, Wild Life Distillery. Being part of others' journeys and having them be a part of mine is so gratifying and allows me to dig deeper and dream bigger.
There are times when the life of an athlete is this curled up bundle of self-absorption. Ok, more than a little bit, a lot of the time! However, when I feel that I have no impact, powerless or overwhelmed with guilt that I'm not contributing to anything bigger than myself or causing more harm than good by skiing around on a man-made snow loop in a drought infested Europe, it makes me so happy to know that others take joy in my journey and that, what I really hope and wish for each and everyone in 2017, is to dream, explore, push your limits and dive into the unknown. If there's even a spark of inspiration I can give to you, that lights a flame of energy and passion towards a dream, an idea, a new career, uncharted terrain, unfinished business or a previously unattainable peak - then the future is even brighter.
The cycles of energy that inspire and are inspired spin on. My sincerest gratitude for your support and being part of my journey. Happy New Year and here's to 2017!