July 19, 2017

You know what I love?

Waking up early in the morning for dryland, coming back home and napping for 5 hours, then going to another dryland session in the afternoon. Not having school is the nicest thing ever when the only thing you want to do is eat, sleep, and be an athlete.

Last year was difficult for me in terms of my confidence in skiing. I wasn’t performing consistently, and it seemed as though I was experiencing failure after failure with nothing good enough to balance my results out. It became really hard to believe in myself by the end of the season, and I was actually quite skeptical about continuing skiing based on the path I seemed to be on.

When I was invited to the Alberta Ski Team training camp, I decided I was going to try and give one last shot to getting my groove back. Even if it was just the slightest feeling that I could succeed in this new environment, I would take it.

I didn’t want to stop skiing, I love it so much, but at that point I felt like I was no longer progressing enough to continue pursuing it.

And so, I went to the camp. Despite only performing two out of the three days (because there was so much snow), I was able to realize that I actually had more potential… that I could achieve so much more if I stayed with skiing.

Specifically, if I stayed with skiing and moved to AST.

Having a few new perspectives on my skiing from coaches who I had never been coached by was the biggest thing that made me realize there was so much more room for me to grow. I received productive feedback from all the coaches, and in just two days I had the motivation I needed and the confidence I was missing to keep pushing me forward.

I was so excited to start on this new path, and It all started to really settle in when I got the phone call that I had made the team, and that dryland would be starting within the next week. I was officially going into my first year as an Alberta Ski Team member.

At first I was a little intimidated by having dryland twice a day, but after getting through the first few sessions I immediately fell in love with the program; it got me into such a good daily rhythm, and I could truly feel myself getting stronger. Dryland became something that I actually felt was working for me rather than just another thing on my schedule that I was supposed to do, which is what it had tended to be in the past.

When I woke up in the morning feeling every burning muscle in my body from the day before, It motivated me to push myself to the fullest extent the next day. I grew to love the feeling of having my body beaten down so much because I knew that feeling meant I was getting stronger. Each time I was almost in tears because of doing my 5th set with the prowler, or when I felt like the oxygen was physically being pulled from every cell in my body after the intense running laps, I could embrace the pain of being broken down and know that I was going to be more ready than I had ever been to conquer the season with the rest of the team.

The people I get to ski with this season are also who I have to thank for being able to make it through dryland some days. After my 4th set of mountain squats, when my legs were on fire and I was drowning in the regret of adding more weight, the cheers from my teammates were what allowed me to push myself to the limit.

I actually do feel a bit overwhelmed (in the best way) to know that I have such a solid support system going into this next season. I am confident that i’ll be able to go into each race with the kind of positive mindset I need to succeed.

I am ecstatic to see what this next year has in store for myself and my new team.

And so, here’s a little video featuring Claire Timmerman that gives a look into the best kind of atmosphere to train in, along with a few exercises that come with the program. It’s always good to have a motivator by your side to keep you alive through it all. Even the dead lifts. Exciting things are ahead, and i’m excited to continue to share my experiences with my supporters.

– Ab

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