Happy New Year!

You’d better get started on those training resolutions, because the skiers’ new year has arrived!  Actually, for APUNSC it was last Monday, a little before the traditional May 1st.  This means my training log is done for the 14-15 season, and I have a new one.  It also means that it’s time to get that nose back to the grindstone in earnest.

Over the past few weeks I took my training down a notch, but still tried to do something active every day.  My main goal was to come into May with a good pair of running legs that I could do some quality training on.  That meant an awkward progression of 30 to 40 to 45 to 50 to 60 minute runs, and lot of rolling and stretching.  I was still putting on training gear every day, I just wasn’t doing much in it.  

Since I am at school for the spring term at Dartmouth, I have also been kicking my brain into gear.  When you’re only here for a few months a year (more like two, to be exact) it’s a pretty specific progression of adaptation.  For the first few weeks of term you’re remembering how to read papers that have a little bit more nuance and vocabulary than your average mentalfloss.com article.  You’re also learning to focus on something for longer than it takes to read your average mentalfloss.com article (2 minutes and 50 seconds).  And for me, I’m a wide-eyed outsider watching the song and dance of college social scenes.

A couple of weeks in, you realize that you may have overcommitted yourself during the easy life of week 1.  Arriving on campus before school starts is the easiest way to get excited and start projects:  I had an ambitious woodshop schedule that was aimed at making awesome stuff for the APU fundraiser.  A week later when you actually have homework, you have to knuckle down and finish all the fun projects that you started!

A handmade cutting board, drink coasters, and cuff bracelet.  The wood products are laser-engraved with the APUNSC logo, so they're one-of-a-kind auction items.  Make sure to check them out on May 8th at the APU Atwood building, where they will be available to bid on!  Those cuff bracelets are also definitely unique because no oxidation pattern is ever the same, so if you like it you'd better put a bid on it... just saying.

A handmade cutting board, drink coasters, and cuff bracelet.  The wood products are laser-engraved with the APUNSC logo, so they’re one-of-a-kind auction items.  Make sure to check them out on May 8th at the APU Atwood building, where they will be available to bid on!  Those cuff bracelets are also definitely unique because no oxidation pattern is ever the same, so if you like it you’d better put a bid on it… just saying.

Midterms and the beginning of the training year happen at the same time.  This is an unfortunate coincidence that should be remembered when planning things during April!  Hearing about all the awesome and dedicated training that my Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center teammates are doing in Alaska makes this even more intense.  I know they’re skiing, I know they’re putting in lots of good quality hours, and I can only do my best to work hard here.  

Managing sleep and stress is one of the most important things I can do… and I didn’t succeed very well this week because I also managed to get into a digital arts show that was exhibited Tuesday.  It’s something I signed up for during my first week of school when I wanted to jump into things.  While I don’t regret it now, it made for an interesting few days.  I took my architectural pavilion from last spring, which represents a photosensitive building material which responds to the light environment, and motorized it.

The Giraffe pavilion, all glammed up and looking spiffy in the spotlight!

The Giraffe pavilion, all glammed up and looking spiffy in the spotlight!

One of my stepper motors, I attached them to the frame so they could pull the existing drawstring by winding it onto a spool.

One of my stepper motors, I attached them to the frame so they could pull the existing drawstring by winding it onto a spool.

It was a bit of a stretch, having never coded something, to get motors to respond appropriately to a photoresistor.  With a lot of help from Carlos from Digital Musics I was able to pull it off, and I learned a whole lot!  The black spandex would successfully pull aside after the photosensor was exposed to intense light, minimizing the black surface area.  This would work indoors as a way to minimize heat retention in the summer, or with reverse programming, outdoors as a way have more shade when the sun is more intense. Also, the lighting was very dramatic in the show and it was great to see the pavilion looking so spiffed up.

So my art life is going pretty well.  In my ski life, I am really trying to get focused and train.  The end of my racing season was a little rough: I was sick for most of the OPA trip in Europe and was only able to race one of four weekends.  It was disappointing to say the least, especially because I seemed to be getting into good form at the end of the SuperTours in Craftsbury.  After having some time to process the last few months and start looking forwards, I am fully focused on getting into the best shape of my life and killing some awesome domestic World Cup races.  I have a lot of areas where I can improve, and a great chance to prove those skills late in the season.  Don’t forget, there is a big string of World Cup races in Canada next year and it’s a huge opportunity for a Continental Cup/World Cup bubble skier like myself.

I’ll be a more consistent blogger in the summer, when I get out off the school-crazy schedule and into some semblance of a training routine.  I’m looking forward to making a big jump in hours, and taking this show to the next level!

Onwards to summer training!! (throwback image from Wolverine peak in 2010... I can't wait to do some awesome Anchorage mountain running!)

Onwards to summer training!! (throwback image from Wolverine peak in 2010… I can’t wait to do some awesome Anchorage mountain running!)