Iím back home in southern Ontario for Christmas! Although anyone who will listen to me speak for more than 10 seconds knows that I think Ottawa is absolutely the best place in Canada to live as a skier, it definitely feels good to be home!
Given that some of the biggest races of the season are being held at nearby Duntroon (Highlandís Nordic) just after new yearís, Iím excited to spend my break at home getting ready to race and just generally chilliní out.
While most of my Hardwood teammates went to race the Yuletide blast at Highlands on Saturday morning, I opted to sleep in after getting home late Friday night. Instead, my holiday started with some skating intervals at Hardwood. At 5 degrees above zero, I got a very literal warm welcome back to the south. Skiing in tights and a single layer on top rocks!
Sunday was a nice zone 1 skate ski with the team. Christmas break is fun at Hardwood because all the teammates who have gone away to school are back and we have a chance to catch up and just ski together, which is often hard to do at races. I spent most of the morning in a train with some of my longtime ski pals Mary Thompson, Julia Winter and Erin Tribe. Mary and Julia are now both studying and skiing at Laurentian in Sudbury and Erin is going to Georgian College in Barrieand continuing to train at Hardwood. At some point in the ski we were joined by Jack Sasseville, one of our coaches and he made an interesting observation. He remarked that ten years ago this never would have happened at Hardwood, here we all were in second and third year university and we were still out skiing with him and the rest of the team. I would venture to say that this is because we get it. We get what skiing is about. We do it because itís fun and because we like to be outside. We do it because we like to work hard and because our friends are our there doing it too. We all have goals and talents outside of skiing but keep working away at it, making improvements every year and continuing to have fun.
My holiday is off to an awesome start and I'm already looking forward to seeing all my XC Ottawa teammates again as we test ourselves against some of the fastest in Canada at Duntroon in less than 2 weeks!
Happy Holidays and Happy Skiing!!
Pictures: Erin Tribe and I out skiing, my cat Winks with our favourite boots and working on some core strength at home after a ski!