Wolf Versus Owl

Wind Ridge - Mt. Lougheed in background

The season of fall in the Bow Valley - blue skies, golden larches and summer temps. Just a couple of reasons why it's my favourite time of the year to train in the Bow Valley. Which made it all the more difficult to watch it pass by as I rested on the sidelines!

Before I get into that - I want to acknowledge and send out my gratitude to the Bow Valley and beyond for the support of the Trail to Sochi fundraiser that my family held at Ticino Restaurant last month. For me, it was the definition of community on so many levels. The ski community, the Bow Valley community, my family, the staff at Ticino's, local businesses and the supporters from near and far. Money isn't everything and by now it's obvious I'm not in this for the bling, but it really helps make things easier!

A special thank-you to the staff and my family at Ticino's. Fantastic meal (I know this doesn't just come together the day of) and the service seemed pretty nice too ;). To Ian Brown, Globe and Mail correspondent for hosting an entertaining interview post-lunch. Can be viewed here! To Mike, Bonnie and Michelle of Mike Wiegele's Heli Skiing for donating the 'drool inducing' 3 day all inclusive heli ski trip in their world famous powder skiing.

Thank-you to those who helped make the raffle draw packages a hit!

Assiniboine Lodge 
Baker Creek Mountain Resort
Buff Canada
Cross Country Canada
Chic Scott
Lake O'Hara Lodge 
Mike Wiegele Heli Skiing 
OneWellness + Spa
Paradise Lodge and Bungalows
Paintbox Lodge 
Ray Seguin
Susan Kun Jewellery
The Juniper Hotel and Bistro
Ticino Swiss-Italian Restaurant 

As for the update from the sidelines, here's a little background info. In September of 2010, I crashed classic rollerskiing and it left me without any recollection of the event and looking like Kanye West after his car accident. That is actually what I said to myself as I laughed in the mirror the first time I saw my banged up face.
So that's Kanye on the left, and me on the right. Just to keep it clear.
 The concussion from this crash meant that my brain is extra sensitive to anything crash related. This past September when I was out training at the nordic centre, I crashed again classic rollerskiing but it was OK! I did the 'ol superman into the ditch, didn't hit my head and was more concered from my teammate, Marlis, who took it all out on the pavement thanks to me. Aside from a couple scratches on my elbow, I thought I was just fine. Really, the crash was a bummer but I didn't think it would affect me more than the next couple of hours. Within a few minutes of crashing, I felt some pressure in my head and after cutting the workout, I went home to wash the dirt and pine needles off. 'Good move, Heidi' I thought. 'You're so smart, taking the symptoms in your head seriously so that you don't have to deal with it long term'. I thought I was off the hook.

After a rest day I continued to train normally for the rest of the week, but the symptoms came running back full-force attack mode with more headaches and that constant pressure in the back of my head.
No need to panic, I'll just take a couple of rest days and this will sort itself out. Treat myself to some September sunshine, yoga in the park and massage.

A more recent photo. Again, that's Kanye on the left and me on the right in case you're confused. Enjoying the rest in the fall and letting my brain heal. Little did I know, I had a lot more confusion and rest headed my way. 
I thought I would be cured in a couple of days. It turns out that a lot more rest was needed and six weeks later I am only now returning back to intensity. Little bit by little bit with lingering symptoms that I'm working on eliminating. In the rear view mirror - a couple of weeks doing completely nothing, followed by easing into Z1, easing into Z3 and I hope to be back into full intensity by the end of the month. My progress has been on an upward trend but it's been about the same upward grade as a metre stick on a table elevated by a marble. Trending up - but taking it's sweet time. 

It has been a frustrating, confusing and enlightening journey that isn't over yet. A mind versus body battle. It's Wolf versus Owl. My athlete life and body works best when it's constantly being challenged, on-the-go and hunting in the forest like a wolf. Then there's the Owl that is my head. It's just chilling in the tree. Observing, contemplating and waiting for the right moment and telling the wolf to wait to pounce until they're on the same page. I'm really flattering myself here, comparing myself to a wolf and an owl, but I feel they both have potential to be my power animal. I've learned a lot from the Owl this month. Don't rush it, become wiser from the experience and that a diet of mice and ground squirrels is the worst. The wolf is a pretty smart one too and I trust the body will be back up to speed in no time. And once Owl and Wolf are working together? A solid relationship of wisdom and will.

I've just started a Canadian Women's Training camp and am skiing on Frozen Thunder (the snow loop of preserved snow from last winter) on the daily. Coming up in November, I will head up to the North for another on-snow camp in Yukon and before I know it it's time for even tighter spandex and race wax. 

Here are a couple photos from the past month of rest, getting back into training and a Fast and Female event from last weekend. 

Ciao for now.

She's a beauty. Kiska and Fall go together like chocolate and more chocolate.
In my rest time, I headed to Nipkia Resort recharge. Kate and Blitz!
September and October were packed with birthdays
Climbing rope floor mat for my Phil's birthday present
Pig roast from Valbella's! Celebrating Phil and Matti's birthdays.
Getting back into training. Believe it!

Julia Ransom giving the low down on biathlon and winning some hearts along the way.

Chargin' with Zoe! The Fast and Female event last weekend was a great success under the sunshine and on snow!