Since my family moved back to Australia (seven years ago now, yikes!), the holiday season has felt increasingly less traditional each year. Part of it comes with age- no more leaving out rum and carrots for F. Xmas and his reindeer- but most of it stems from the fact that I rarely spend it with my family anymore. Although they did come to Bozeman two years ago to rip up the Nordic trails after a four year hiatus…
Unfortunately, the pursuit of racing fast is definitely not aided by a 3 week vacation in Perth mid-season… so heading home to soak up some sun and salt isn’t an ideal scenario. But for my super speedy brother (you can check him out here: http://joshyeaton.blogspot.com), it is the perfect place to train, and I certainly don’t blame him for heading home! For those of you who know me well, you know that I would like nothing better than to be at the beach in the heat of the summer. However, my dedication to the sport trumps my love for the beach. So I stay in the Northern Hemisphere and train, spending it with wonderful people and having a new, unique Christmas experience each year.
(Flashback: Xmas 90-something spent almost exclusively in my bathers. Scored a Boogie Board!)
This year I stayed in Bozeman, where we had a very white, wintery Christmas. It has been dumping snow and skiing conditions everywhere have been amazing, which has made for some awesome training!
(Bluebird Days at Bohart Ranch- photo cred to my extra artsy and talented roomie Casey Kutz)
(Way up Sourdough Canyon/ Bozeman Creek; The Beautiful Bridgers)
(Lindley Park, I can WALK here from my house. Livin’ the dream 🙂 )
Luckily I had quite a few friends in town this year, so on Christmas day we celebrated Friendsmas, which went a little something like this:
Opened presents with the Kitty; my wonderful parents sent me so many gorgeous things like this scarf and hairclip!
Festive folk were skiing down the road:
Went for an Xmas ski with the Galpals:
Made mimosas and crepes for a casual brunch:
Consumed large quantities of cookies- my fabulous teammates Chelsea and Rosie from APU Nordic Ski Center BOTH sent me packages of Christmas cookies.. so we had a lot to get through.
(Casey and I made all of these without the help of cookie cutters; I was especially in love with the dolphin cookie)
Xmas Dinner followed by a mini White Elephant Gift Exchange:
I had an absolute blast on Christmas and loved spending it with my friends. As much as I wish I could have spent it with my family, I truly appreciate the experiences I have each year. Spending Christmas with different people in new places has given the day a whole new meaning than it used to have. I get to create a new version of Christmas each year, mixing new traditions with my own while surrounded by wonderful company 🙂
I arrived in Minneapolis two days ago to spend some time with my good friend and teammate Rosie (aka DJ Franks) before US Nationals. It was bittersweet leaving Bozeman, but I am excited to explore Minneapolis for the next couple days with her! An update on that next time, but here’s a sneak peak of what we have been up to so far!
(We picked out new race hats for Houghton- watch out world!)
Roller Ski Australia: It is crazy to think that while I am skiing through powder on one corner of the globe, this crew is roller skiing in the heat of Perth summer.
Last year, two awesome Norweigan ladies living in Perth who share a passion for Nordic Sking founded Roller Ski Australia- the only distributors of Swenor Roller Skis and KV+ Poles/Active wear in the country. By marketing roller skiing as a great total-body workout, they have managed to get locals who haven’t necessarily been on real skis to start roller skiing! I got the chance to roller ski with Elisabeth and Vibeke while I was home last and had so much fun; there is actually great terrain (and weather!) in Perth for roller skiing. I think it is awesome that an awareness for Nordic skiing is being spread in a place where most people probably haven’t even heard of the sport!
Be sure to check out Roller Ski Australia at: https://www.facebook.com/rollerskiaustralia
(Elisabeth, Vibeke and I cruising around the river; I got to take home a new pair of hot pink Swenor roller skis, which I love!)
My Rally: Yesterday marked the one week countdown to the end of my Rally to help me raise money for my training/racing/travel expenses this year. If you still happen to be in an extra giving mood, please check it out and contribute or share with your friends.
Anything helps and I am so thankful and flattered by all the support I have received so far. Thank you!!