Update+ The topic of choice: Mistakes

Update:

And just like that, it’s December! Luckily for me, I have been able to make the full transition to winter, meaning coooold temps and some bomber ski conditions. I know that at home in CO, they’ve had the longest period without the first real winter snow in history, so I’m grateful to be in a place where I can ski! Since I returned from my October altitude camp/ trip home, I’ve been able to, more or less, settle into a nice routine, training in the morning and the afternoon, with school related endeavors in and around that. At the end of October, training conditions were pretty crazy, as we had roller skiing in Anchorage, and on snow skiing up at Hatcher pass. This lasted for about 2 weeks, and then in an answer to prayers, we received well over a foot of snow in one night! This meant we could skip the nasty shoulder season conditions and get right to the good stuff…Skiing! With early snow in Anchorage, I’ve been able to get a lot of skiing under my belt in the past 4 weeks. Originally, I had planned on racing at Period 1 Super Tour in Duluth MN, and Cable WI which took place last weekend and this upcoming weekend, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go. I was super bummed given the lack of national level racing last season. The upside is that the skiing in Anchorage is probably the best in the country right now, which has enabled me to invest more time into training.

Mistakes:

First off, I’ll say thanks for writing in with your input on what you would like to hear! Today’s blog topic is “mistakes”. As a noun, a mistake is defined as an action or judgment that ended up simply being wrong. Reading that you would think, “Ah well then mistakes are bad…” While in a lot of cases it’s hard to argue with that, there’s something to be said about the upside of mistakes. It is in this perspective that I will focus on.

In my opinion, the biggest mistake of all is not learning from your mistakes. In fact, I would say that is just plain dumb. It seems that a lot of people/athletes live in fear of making mistakes, whether it be with their training, diet, life choices, etc. However, it is in my estimation that if you make a decision by using all the information that you have at that time, with sound judgment, and that decision ends up being a mistake, all you can do is take note, learn what you can from it, and move on. Mistakes are how we learn, and how we grow.

Here are a couple examples. Last season, as I’ve written about in a previous blog, I pushed my training a bit too hard leading into the first big races of the season. I ended up anemic, low on vitamin d, and overall just flat and run down. This season, I learned from that mistake. I made sure that the training I’ve been doing has not been overdone, and I’ve stayed on top of blood testing so that there aren’t any surprises. After having low Vitamin D last year, I thought, well I better start upping my dosage, right when I get back to AK from CO. I was determined to avoid the big mistake I had made last year, that it ended up leading to another, yet different mistake, one of lesser consequences. I ended up having too much Vitamin D!

Likewise, over the last many seasons, there have been times when different variables on my skis have been altered in a way that hindered performance. Some examples: bindings not being on the same/ proper setting, kick zone being applied too long or short, or even having structure put into a ski backwards. Now, I always check my skis, bindings, wax job, etc before a race, and carry a cork, scraper, wax, etc in case of an emergency. On a relevant side note, this is why knowing how to wax skis for both classic and skate, and having other general knowledge of what it takes to make a fast ski is very important. This will help enable you to recognize flaws when they arise.

The important part in both of these examples is that I learned from my mistakes, have not made the same mistake twice, and have applied the knowledge gained from my mistakes to other scenarios.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is looking forward to Christmas and the rest of the Holiday season! I know I am! Stay tuned as I will be sending out information regarding races as it becomes available, so you can stay as up to date as possible.

Until next time,

Garrett Butts