Saturday, November 21, 2015

Resting up in Gallivare

The race season officially started for our team today in Gallivare, Sweden.  I had been looking forward to this date for quite some time and it was hard to mask my disappointment and frustration this morning when I woke up sick with a sore throat.  There wasn't anything I would rather have done than put on my new stars and stripes race suit with a bib on top and hammer til my lungs burned.  It didn't seem fair that I got the achy lungs without the satisfaction of a hard effort.  I longingly looked out over the fresh snow which had fallen over the last several days and settled into perfect ski conditions.  As a ski racer, everything seems to revolve around the delicate balance of staying healthy.  Colds or other bugs which would be minor to most quickly turn devastating to Nordic skiers.  My mind started to wander toward the what ifs and worries from missing races and training. So I spent the day coming up with ways to stay busy and happy in a lonely European hotel room far from home.  Here's a list of some of my top activities from the day
  • Organizing my email inbox
  • Reading Shantaram, a 946 page novel that I highly recommend
  • Coloring in a coloring book- surprisingly soothing and healing
  • Seeing how slowly I can chew raw garlic
  • Drinking cup after cup of tea
  • Researching online graduate school classes
  • Short walks
  • Yoga 
  • And of course.... blogging!
I have my fingers crossed for a fast recovery so I can be back on the ski trails soon!  Here are some pictures of Gallivare from earlier in the week and from a walk earlier today.

Skiing!  So much fun to be back on snow in winter and can't wait to get out there again!
The Hellner Stadium in Gallivare on a snowy day!  Swedish skier and Olympic Champion Marcus Hellner lives and trains in Gallivare

The stoke level is high for the start of the season.  Here are Erik Bjornsen, Tim Baucom, and Caitlin Gregg

Smiles and warm hands with my new TOKO mittens

Arctic sunrise (and sunset as my brother-in-law Linden pointed out) one morning at our hotel

Dr. Seuss looking trees

Looking down on the mining town of Gallivare from our hotel

Dundret, the alpine resort where we are staying

Alpine ski trails I found on a walk

The view from North of the Arctic Circle

Coloring book art
My room at home :) My parents put a new mattress in my bedroom at home and sent me the picture of my room which stirred up some strong feelings of homesickness.  Time to focus on the good adventures ahead!