Athlete's Diary: P-O Dorego - Doing it Differently
By: P-O Dorego (2006/02/09)
This year I decided Iíd do things differently, and by differently I really mean DIFFERENTLY. First, instead of training alone, which I have done for most of my ski career, I joined XC OTTAWA. Then I decided to not go out west in the beginning of the year (this didnít go as planned!!) And finally, I decided not to put any pressure on myself for the year, this season is more for fun and to decompress after my stressful junior years.
Well first, the part where I were to stop training alone and join XC OTTAWA went fairly smoothly. I do find it really hard to not always train at my own time and place. I did miss a lot of the training sessions because of that. I do try to go to as many practices as possible.
The benefits from training with other serious athletes are numerous. First, they know their game. Thereís always something to learn from someone on the team. Second, is that they have a pretty laid back attitude on everything from training to racing. This really helps me with my new approach of stress free skiing. Third, training in group really makes the time fly!! Itís crazy how a 1h30-2h00 ski feels like a half hour ski and thatís true on the mental and physical side. Fourth are the technique benefits. Emulating the technique of the other athletes as really made me work on mine. I know theyíre probably fed up with me stepping on their poles and skis, but then again, Iím not as bad as Tom! All these things are true when it comes to our coach John. John has an approach to skiing way more relaxed than some of the coaches I used to work with. He doesnít put unnecessary stress on us, and you know you donít have to worry about your skis with his VAUHTI skills. The way he coaches remind me of my first coach when I was younger, the coach that made me love skiing and that is probably still responsible for me still skiing, Suzanne Trudeau.
Now for the second part, not going out west for the early season races. This didnít go as according to plansÖ I actually went to theses races. But I didnít take it as I usually do. They were just training races for me, more like a vacation away from school. I have to say I really needed it. Iím pretty satisfied with my overall experience, I did some good skiing, some decent racing and I didnít get sickÖ
Now for the last part, no putting any pressure on myself. This too didnít go as planed. I know that Iím pretty bad with putting pressure on myself, but itís mostly when I talk or write about it afterwards that I realize it. For racing, I think I did a pretty good job, but for training, I give myself a C-. I tend to stress too much about missing a XC OTTAWA, or any training at all because of school. All this stress usually takes a toll and I get sick. This year I didnít really get sick but suffered a lot of stress. I didnít make good school related decision and paid for it, so for that part I hope my second part of the season is going to go better.
All in all, I think my new perspective on skiing and racing is going to pay off, if not this year, next year.
Follow-up note: This was written a few weeks ago. I did end up being sick for about two weeks, lost some fitness and strength and most of all missed the biggest set of races of the season. :(
Tony (CNEPH) taking it less seriously at Sovereign Lakes.