I suppose that one perk of being in a very small sport (relatively speaking) is that we have an easier time controlling our exposure to each other and to the Coronavirus in general. Compared to a soccer team or a football team with dozens of athletes, our team currently in Park City includes 6 athletes and 2 coaches. Our small size has allowed us to function surprisingly similar to the way we would in a season without the Coronavirus while still taking the measures necessary to stay healthy. These past few weeks of training have been productive and hard, but to be able to train with the team has been great.
As you can expect, we haven't done any traveling yet this summer which has meant lots of training in Park City and at Soldier Hollow in Midway, UT. Our team hired (or re-hired?) a new jump coach, Chris Gilbertson, and he has been with us since the middle of July. Chris (aka Gilbo) was the US Nordic Combined jump coach in the era of Bill Demong, Johnny Spillane, Todd Lodwick, and the Fletcher brothers when they had a lot of success at the World Cup and Olympics, so Gilbo knows what it is like to taste victory and wants this era of athletes to be even better than our predecessors. So far, I have really liked Gilbo's coaching style and I think with the necessary work this summer and fall he can help us all jump at a much higher level next season. We've started making changes and I really like the direction that our whole team is moving in with a new coach.
On the cross country side of things, we've been able to train as a team together for most of our intensity sessions while still doing most of our easy workouts on our own to try and keep ourselves healthy and limit our exposure to the Rona. We've done a few time trials (TTs) down at Soldier Hollow and I was happy to see improvements between our first TT and the second. My teammate Taylor Fletcher, who is known for being one of the fastest skiers out there, is skiing insanely fast at the moment, which is motivating myself and my teammates to step up our game. It still is only August so even though I'm not feeling like I'm skiing at my top level now, I've still got a few months to improve before the winter season starts again.
And that's about it for now! Without travel or any major training camps, life has been pretty calm compared to a normal year of competitions and trips. But being in Park City for the summer definitely has its perks! We've spent a lot of time jumping at home, which gets a bit boring, but I'm still grateful that we're able to jump as much as we have been. And I've been able to do a lot of training in town roller skiing, running, and biking, which is always fun. I have avoided almost all public places and events this summer, which has allowed me to prioritize staying healthy and making sure that I can train without putting myself at risk. My biggest exposure to possible Rona has been going to work, but I view that as necessary because I still need to pay for this sport. I'd love to be a fully funded athlete with sponsors and organizations funding my training, but for now I need to work in order to compete, but hopefully that will change soon.
Stay tuned for more updates!
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