Monday, July 4, 2016

Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club Training

Being home for a significant portion of the summer this year has allowed me to be involved in coaching with the junior practices which is very fun for me and a blast from the past to return to my junior days with the club and see the enthusiasm and drive of these kids as they train hard and have fun.  It is also impressive to see how the club has grown over the years and to see the momentum which our tiny little ski club from 20 years ago has now gained!

Last weekend I was helping junior coaches Anna and Jake with a rollerski practice.  I arrived at the Center a little before practice started and the parking lot was full of cars as everyone was here for Masters training, Junior Practice, yoga, mountain biking, and all of the other summer offerings.  When I walked into the clubhouse, Anna was going a mile a minute outfitting everyone with rollerskis and poles while simultaneously throwing out reminders for sunscreen, helmets, snacks, and water.  We had two vans ready to load up, taking kids to two different locations depending on their rollerski experience level.  With over a dozen kids already there and more arriving, I made a comment about it being a big showing for practice but Anna looked kind of confused with my statement and replied that actually that a lot of people couldn't make it on that day.  This was even more shocking to me as I was already blown away by the size of the group.  Things sure had come a long way from the days when there were only a few of us at workouts and we would load up the back of Pepa's black Camaro and  race down the road towards North Craftsbury Road or East Albany with Bulgarian music blasting.  Back in those days the club consisted of a handful of families with dedicated parents and kids of similar ages and was led under the very watchful eye of Pepa who had recently arrived in the United States from Bulgaria.  We had practices at the Center a few times a week which consisted of rollerskiing on the Creek Road in East Albany and the North Craftsbury Road, lots of running intervals around Lemon's Haunt and Race Loop, rowing and swimming in the lake, sweaty circuits in the little rooms in the basement of Cedar which are now used as the TV room and Pepa's testing lab, jumps up the hill followed by pushups to exhaustion, and a variety of other weekend hikes and group family adventures.  The rest of the time Pepa gave us a training plan which we viewed as ridiculously hard and just assumed it was a joke which was impossible to actually complete.  But despite Pepa's craziness, spending time training with my CNSC teammates was often the highlight of my summer and developed friendships as well as a love for being active and outside which I still cherish today.

Being part of the club today constantly reminds me of my time as a Craftsbury junior and BKL athlete and also amazes me with how much the club has grown and flourished!  The kids are still out training hard and doing many of the same workouts that we used to do.  They unfortunately cannot buy Biggy Iggy ice cream sandwiches and Doritos in the Touring Center after practice but now they have a whole clubhouse to themselves after the addition of the new Touring Center.  The ski trails all have same names but now there is access to homologated loops with snow-making in the winter time and so many more kilometers of singletrack to escape onto in the summer.  In addition to Pepa's coaching there are a three junior coaches, a masters coach, and GRP athletes helping out.  Every week there are 10-12 separate training sessions going on as well as two BKL day camps, and several overnight junior camps.  It makes me incredibly proud to see the success of CNSC skiers in the winter as well as the energy and excitement which buzzes around the Outdoor Center throughout the year!

Here are a bunch of photos from CNSC from the past and the present.

CNSC Juniors rollerskiing for summer training!

Before the days of neon rollerskiing shirts but we were still looking pretty flashy!

But maybe still using the same skis?  I found my old Ski Skett Fire rollerskis with the ripping fast green wheels in the pile of club rollerskis.
Junior practice earlier this summer

Jumps up the hill are still a staple of junior training

But closer look shows that Anna and Jake are leading the way and most likely are still masters of this workout after the time that we did jumped, hopped, and bounded up the hill 90 times in one of Pepa's crazy workouts 

CNSC training on the hill before the wood chips were laid down and it was named Chip Hill

A big group before the start of summer training with Pepa (from L-R Alex Schulz, Sten Kaeding, Ethan Dreissigacker, Isaac Noyes, Emily Dreissigacker, Hannah Dreissigacker, Anna Schulz, Ida Sargent, Elsa Sargent, Kit Wright, Pepa, John Brodhead)

BKL Devo practice in the gym with Audrey last week
Good friends on a summer training camp in Italy (Ida, Elsa, Hannah, Emily)

And happy junior girls skipping down the dirt roads (Callie, Avery, Phoebe, Ani)

A new addition is Mountain Bike Club which Ollie started this summer and over 30 kids can be found riding bikes on the Center trails every Monday afternoon.  

Pepa was always convinced we would get injured biking and we were thus not encouraged to ride so it's great to see these kids ripping the trails and learning skills.
Video review in Pepa's house.  Pepa used to live above the old Touring Center which is now the coaches office in the clubhouse so once again training and club activities have come full circle.



Taking our Nordic skis up to Tuckerman Ravine in 1998 (and also proof that I was once taller than Ethan)
The snow-making system at Craftsbury has made skiing at home possible so the juniors don't have to travel for early skiing but that unfortunately makes the Silver Star training camp non-existent now.

We had training camps a couple times a year where we would spend a few days at the Center eating lots of dining hall food,  raising terror in Cedar, and training more than we thought was imaginable, Here's a photo from a Christmas training camp.
The end of the season CNSC potluck this year which took place in the new AC was a lot bigger and more elaborate than this one from many years past taking place in the dining hall but it was fun to be able to attend this spring and connect with so many community members that are excited about Nordic Skiing!

Craftsbury Nordic trading cards featuring Elsa, Kit, Isaac, Emily, Hannah, and I rollerskiing in East Albany.   It's great that they finally repaved sections of that road that were previously paved when we started rollerskiing there circa 1998 or so
 
The gang after running a 3000 meter TT on the Peoples Academy track.  

The current stars of the Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club!  It's very exciting to have another fast group of juniors, racing fast at Junior Nationals, highlighting the podium at the Eastern REG camp time trials, and just generally having fun and training hard.  

2 comments:

  1. 4 Wheel Parts coupon codes
    Check out all the latest 4 Wheel Parts coupon codes, promo codes & discounts for 2017. Remember: Check Couponsshowcase.com First.
    4 Wheel Parts coupon codes

    ReplyDelete
  2. 24 Hour Fitness No Initiation fee
    Health Club & Fitness Center Membership Offers at 24 Hour Fitness. …Payment Memberships get * $0 * Initiation Fee Pay first and last months' dues at time of enrollment. One year commitment required for Commitment memberships. Monthly dues range between $29.99-$79.99 per month, depending on club location and type.
    Check out all the latest 24 Hour Fitness No Initiation fee coupon codes, promo codes & discounts for 2017. Remember: Check Couponsshowcase.com First.
    24 Hour Fitness No Initiation fee

    ReplyDelete