A New Understanding of the Name ‘Medicine Ball’ + A Brand New Sponsor!

So its becoming well known that when we use the local Gym in Bright, we make a lot of noise! With the last few weeks consisting of max strength sessions in the gym combined with the gym currently being refurbished and the floors not really enjoying heavy weights being dropped on them, we tend to struggle in terms of keeping the noise down. Ok, the grunting could be reduced somewhat – I first realised I was getting slightly carried away when I was in the final part of a tough ab workout. The music stopped mid-song and was replaced by my far from pleasant groan as I strained to complete the last few cruches. Perfect timing – and its actually the lack of this ‘perfect timing’ that resulted in our latest hospital visit!

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For the Love of Spring!

With a return in health comes a distinct rise in personal self value. One thing that I have learnt from deferring from university for this semester is that if you can’t train, you have very little to be satisfied with in your life as there is very little else to work on. So during this week of sickness, people with a close insight may have noticed a good few changes such as; my car is washed, serviced and vacuumed, I have written amazing amounts of sponsorship proposals and letters, my bike is fixed and serviced, an even larger focus has been placed on cooking delicious food. We even helped out the elderly next door neighbours by cutting and splitting a massive trailer load of wood, doubling as a sun absorption / light strength workout.

In other words lots of things that get neglected due to a busy and tiring schedule are now completed. So here’s my question; was sickness developed to get us athletes back on track in everyday life? Probably not, but it certainly has had its effect on me and now that I’m getting healthy again, the burning design to train has definitely been douse with a large amount of fuel!

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Northern Hemisphere Outline and Sunny Spring Training

So if you have found yourself somewhat jealous of some of my previous International escapades, then you’d better brace yourself as this next season’s plan trumps them all!

  • 20th October – FLY TO USA – to Tahoe and train for around 3 weeks in Truckee.
  • 12th November – 2 weeks in West Yellowstone and Race season opener of US SuperTour
  • 26th Nov – >1 week in Canmore, Canada for Haywood NorAm
  • 6th Dec – 5days on Quebec for our 1st round of World Cups
  • 10th Dec – Back to Canmore for 1 week for our 2nd round of World Cups
  • 17th Dec – Back to Truckee for just less than 2 weeks of training to prepare for US Nationals
  • 30th Dec – Soldier Hollow, Utah for 2 weeks and race in US Nationals
  • 10th Jan – FLY TO EUROPE – arrive in Davos, Switzerland  for 1 week of training
  • 16th Jan – Travel to La Clusaz, France for my 3rd round of World Cups
  • 21st Jan – Back to Davos for 1 week
  • 28th Jan – FLY TO RUSSIA, train and Race in Olympic Qualification World Cups in Sochi
  • 4th Feb – Return to Davos for a 2 weeks training Camp followed by Davos World Cup
  • 18th Feb – Travel to Val de Fiemme, ITA for the World Championships
  • 4th March – FLY TO SCANDINAVIA – to Lahti, Finland for another round of Olympic Qualification World Cups
  • 12th March – Fly to Oslo for Drammen and Oslo World Cups
  • 19th March – FLY BACK TO USA! Return to Truckee for 2 week training block
  • 3rd April – Compete in US Spring Series!
  • 13th of April Relax/Time off for 1 week
  • 20th April – Maybe fly home…..

Lots of destinations, countries, flights, driving and of course general shenanigans however it is planned out in a way so that there are some big blocks of training to ensure there is time for the body to recover and get back into shape. Let’s just hope we all stay away from the hospitals this year. For Pk last year, it was almost classed as his 2nd home! Really just got to make use of that Travel Insurance!

For the last week, I have struggled with health somewhat, however have steadily eased back into to the training to ensure that I can make the most out of the spring snow while it lasts. Check out this little interview taken by Pk as we climbed Mt. Buffalo on the roadies today.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFvitzt3jRE&feature=plcp]

Whilst trying to get healthy I have been training down in ‘the valley’ and have been lucky enough to be given some amazing warm weather. For one of the session we went to the local gym and straight away struggled to handle the gym supervisor who repeatedly gave false tips to everyone in the gym. When she came around to us, I almost couldn’t contain my laughter as she tried to ensure us the exercise we were doing was incorrect and as a result I may have made slight mockery of the poor lady that happened to be caught on film. To check out the clip go to Pk’s blog; www.pkovacsxc.wordpress.com

On a slightly more serious front, check out this clip of our rollerskiing specific strength session that we enjoyed in the sun! (turn up the volume and you may be able to hear some slightly humorous comments…)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj78mrfiN90&feature=plcp]

2012 Australian Winter Wrap Up

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So another busy and eventful Australian Winter has just come to a close. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, however every year it seems that the Australian Winters are just that little bit more demanding than one would expect. When racing and training overseas, we don’t fully appreciate the ability to simply walk, usually at most, a couple of hundred metres to get to a large system of trails. Living here in Australia, I usually have to drive around 1hr 15min to get on snow. Whinging! I can hear most of you already screaming in reply and yes in the past I think I have just accepted this as it was the norm, however now that I generally spend more time skiing in the Northern Hemisphere, I have noticed just how long the days can get! With some days consisting of 5hrs of training, and more than 2.5hrs of travel, there is not really much time left for anything else. The reason for going through all of this is to hopefully pre-convince you all that I am not slack, lazy under motivated etc, etc when I spiel off this next piece of news…. Yes, I have deferred from University once again! I feel very good about this decision, as I firstly don’t believe that I would have passed such a demanding course with my limited attendance during Winter and also I have another level of motivation to jump up to a new level with my skiing. I believe it is important to chase after that thing that drives you the most and that is exactly what I am doing. For all of those concerned about my academic progress, or lack thereof, I will be enrolling in an online subject over summer to keep my studies progressing.

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The Australian race season was the most competitive we have ever seen with several Russians, including No’s 4 and 8 in the World; Legkov and Chernousov, along with their team mates and also the return of Valerio Leccardi from Switzerland. This resulted in FIS races with a minimum penalty of 15 which has never been seen in Australia ever before. I managed to take out 2 of the 4 Australian Championship titles this year, both of which were part of the AUS/NZ Continental Cup Series. I then placed 3rd Australian in each of the other National Championship events, and placed 7th overall (2nd Australian) in the 42km Kangaroo Hoppet. With strong competition from team mates Alex Almoukov and Phillip Bellingham this year, I was very happy to have skied well enough overall to take out the AUS/NZ Continental Cup for the 3rd year in a row.

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It is now Spring and with a huge snow-base from the recent heavy snowfalls, Spring skiing will prove to be incredibly useful in the preparation for the Northern Hemisphere Winter. We have already had some quality dry-land training down in ‘The Valley’ (in Porepunkah, which for those who are a little unsure, is realistically just a suburb of Bright – Paul Kovacs will beg to differ) and it has been great to get in some good hours in the warmth!  With a new level of motivation and with no other major commitments I am able to place full focus towards becoming a faster skiing. Paul and I have created our own ‘anti-faff’ lists which are designed to keep us focussed outside of training to ensure that we are doing all the correct stretching and rehab routines along with lots of paper-work in an effort to try and attain more sponsors.

As a result of having a schedule completely focused around skiing, it has been decided that I will leave on the 20th of October to train with team mate Paul Kovacs (check out his blog!) in Tahoe California to prepare for the early season races. Effectively it will be the longest Northern Hemisphere trip to date as it is not planned for us to return until the 20th April 2013. I will post another blog soon with all the Northern Hemisphere races and training plans so you can see just how exciting this next season will be.

Hope it’s been an awesome winter for all and enjoy Spring