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Athlete Diary: Optimism.
By:  Karl Saidla   (2007/03/07)

Karl Saidla What is great about ski racing is that there is almost always another opportunity coming. Right now, the opportunities would seem to be at the National Championships in Mt. St. Anne (not to mention the races at Nakkertok this weekend!) I am optimistic about my chances for improving on the last few National Championships, and not just because I am SURE that my string of bad luck at those races will finally come to an end (in the last three Nationals I have broken two skis, two poles, and one boot, all during races).

Because of the way things worked out with respect to work (yeah, I have to do some of that, but fortunately not too much) I wasn't able to do as much racing and traveling during the early part of the year. While I missed that, it does mean that I am feeling a little more energetic now than I usually am at this time of year. There are other things that I have really enjoyed about staying home a bit more. I really like skiing at Nakkertok and in Gatineau Park, and I was able to do a lot more of that this year. Finding skiable snow in December when nobody thought it was possible was also a fun challenge. People who know me will also understand that I also relish the quiet skiing life that is easier to do from home. Skiing from my door in Gatineau Park on a sunny warm day, followed by a relaxing lunch, sleeping a bit, reading the newspaper and drinking coffee…that's about as good as it gets if you ask me. I actually feel cheated when I have to go to races every weekend and don't just get to enjoy skiing without all the hype.

That being said, racing still has that magnetic pull. Satisfaction that is better than crossing the finish line of a tough 50k race is hard to come by. Feeling more alive than at the start of a short mass start race is also difficult to find. I am looking forward to the rest of this year, and next year, and the one after that...

Interesting Reading. . .
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