|Shooting work at the CVA shooting range|
Happy Monday everyone! The crew has just returned from an adventurous week down in the mountains of Western Maine. Last Tuesday we all piled in the MWSC vans and headed downstate to Carrabassett Valley. Once there we unloaded into the dorms at Carrabassett Valley Academy, our home for the next five days. The camp is the first of a series of summer training camps put on by MWSC for qualifying Maine junior skiers. I think that these camps are a very valuable opportunity for younger skiers to experience a training lifestyle and learn from the wealth of experienced older athletes and coaches. Even though I am myself not a junior any longer I was still able to take a lot away from this camp that I can apply to the weeks of training going forward.
|Photo of a happy Kelsey from the top of the Bigalows|
photo cred: Kat Howe
Summer training camps have always been the highlight of my summer. I can still remember being a wee first year J2 headed down to southern Washington for the iconic Trout Lake training camp put on by the PNSA. There’s something utterly fulfilling about the sheer exhaustion at the end of a hard week of training that I’ve always loved. I can still remember long OD adventures bushwhacking to the top of mountains and repeatedly jumping off the Trout Lake Bridge. I forged friendships with other skiers that I still keep in touch with today. We would emerge from the weeks spent off rural Washington, Oregon and even California bruised, battered and yet utterly content with ourselves. From there we would already be looking forward to the next camp - the next adventure. Training camps help make up the skeleton of the skiing community. They help promote the reasons that we are all here in the first place - uniting around a love of skiing, training, and being active and healthy people. The winter racing season is so short and focused that often times we don’t find ourselves connecting with our competitors. These camps allow athletes to come together in a non-competitive atmosphere and create the relationships that will help carry this sport forward.
|Hiking in the Bigalows with a great group of girls|
That being said, this week was certainly very memorable. I was going through a spell of mountain deprivation and so I was absolutely giddy for the extent of our 5hr OD (over-distance) hike in the Bigalow Mountains. We also fit in some great rollerskiing, bounding and strength sessions. I still feel like there is plenty of technical and aerobic work to be done in the meat of our volume training these next few weeks, but it’s empowering to have my highest volume week so far this summer in the books.
|Pano from the Bigalows|
|Having my first Moxie after the OD hike|
|So happy to have Kat as my awesome training partner for these big volume weeks!!|
I think everyone’s favorite workout probably had to be the Adventure OD on the final day of the camp. Coach Will Sweetser put together an orienteering adventure with points spaced out in the wilderness around CVA. Each point had a question that ranged from Bill Sweetser story problems to SAT vocabulary questions and were worth points based on the difficulty of the question and the difficulty of the location. I teamed up with Katrina Howe and Nate LaTourette and we found ourselves doing everything from wading down the river, running to the top of a mountain, bushwhacking through pucker brush in a dry stream bed, and getting mucky in a leech filled bog. The bog was probably the most memorable part of the adventure. Toward the end of the allotted time we found ourselves with the task of plunging and wading to the middle of a sizable bog to read a question stapled to a stick. I was first out into the mucky mess, shortly followed by my two teammates. We quickly realized we were not alone in the pond, which was also the home to the biggest leeches I have ever seen in my life (6 inches would probably be a conservative estimation). This prompted a very quick exit with lots of yelling before anyone even had time to write down and answer the question. However we weren’t about to leave empty handed and I returned once again to the mucky water. Despite the leeches I could feel swimming around my legs, I managed to write down the question and then we were out of there, hauling our soggy tails back to the start point. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to make it back before the time limit and were disqualified. I still rode home in the van very thrilled with how the day had turned out, full of adventure and good, mucky fun.
|I wanted to feel taller than Kat for once.|
|Swimming with the leeches|
|One of the bog questions|
But above all of this high-quality training I think that what I am probably most excited about is that this camp helped me feel just that much more a part of the Maine skiing community. I loved getting to connect with the junior athletes and spend more time with my MWSC teammates. Everyone here has been so welcoming to me since I’ve arrived in the state and I hope to give some of that back while I’m here and help support all of these wonderful athletes.
Until next time!
|After our bounding intervals up Sugarloaf Mountain|
|Some post-camp van serenading from the MWSC junior boys|