Family First

As i have grown older, I have started to appreciate many of the things that I never took the time to as a kid. One of those things is my incredible family! Everyone is incredibly supportive, caring, and we all enjoy to do many of the same things.  I have one heck of a crazy travel and training schedule as an athlete, so every small break I get, I often jump at the opportunity to spend some time with my amazing family. 

A rare time, we are all together!

A rare time, we are all together!

Spending the day outside together.

Spending the day outside together.

Checking out the Butte and Knick Glacier.

Checking out the Butte and Knick Glacier.

Bjornsen trio-double means business! You can tell there is a small variation in temperature perception.... I think Jo and I have converted to AK weather. The others... not so much.

Bjornsen trio-double means business! You can tell there is a small variation in temperature perception…. I think Jo and I have converted to AK weather. The others… not so much.

I am also lucky in that my two siblings are some of my best friends, and my biggest supporters. I get to spend the majority of my training and racing around my brother, which seriously helps during homesick times throughout the winter, but I don’t get to see my sister nearly as much. I have been harassing Kaley and her husband, Tyler, for years now to come visit during the 4th of July, and this year it finally happened! With the three of us siblings together, and our significant others, we got to explore Alaska as if we were young kids all together again. It was so nice to share our “training playground” with them, and introduce them to the world of “the last frontier”.

Erik and Jo taking a trip down the river on paddle boards.

Erik and Jo taking a trip down the river on paddle boards.

Wouldn't be a proper Alaskan adventure without a few clay pigeons, and a group of boys that love to hunt.

Wouldn’t be a proper Alaskan adventure without a few clay pigeons, and a group of boys that love to hunt.

Kaley, keeping me company, and getting a tour of the city at the same time.

Kaley, keeping me company, and getting a tour of the city at the same time.

I even got the opportunity to drag my sister and her husband up the intimidating Mount Marathon. In my mind, hiking this mountain carries a lot of “pride”. Because of the challenge, and the fact that there is a race on it on Independence Day… you just feel like you have accomplished something special when you complete it. Kaley and Tyler were champs though, and made it all the way up the halfway point, which meant coming down the most challenging part!

Yipeee, made it to halfway point!

Yipeee, made it to halfway point!

A little sore, a little tired, but she is still stoked!

A little sore, a little tired, but she is still stoked!

"Hey mom, look what I did"!

“Hey mom, look what I did”!

I am back into the normal swing of training for our US Ski Team Camp here in Anchorage, which just started today. It will be great to get the entire team back together, and share this wonderful Alaskan summer with them. We have our annual “foreign guest” this year, Virginia De Martin Topranin, from Italy. I am looking forward to getting to know her better, and learn more about the Italian way of training. We also have the men and women’s team together, which is the first time we have done that in Alaska. The second week, we will be headed up to Eagle Glacier for a week on snow together as well. More fun to come!