To have a great race weekend, the night before, you have to be burned by a careless mother and on the last day, your ski coach has to accidentally ski off with your perfectly prepared race skis. Yes, Friday night while helping my mom apply base green klister to her skis for the Craftsbury 25k, she touched a heat gun to the bare skin on my arm. It hurt but it was a must.
Saturday morning, we showed up at eight something in the morning at the waxing area, a 200 sq ft patch of frozen ground walled off on one side by college vans and on the other by ice that no one could see. Fun. I personally got lost trying to get in and out of the area several times. But, after making an emergency trip to the ACE to get some triple taps, everything went smoothly. Our skiers did very well. Lewis got 4th! Max passed Tim Reynalds! How cool is that! Tons of other people did well, but I would die of old age before I finished listing them. Outside of the lakes of frozen ice, the conditions were great, quite fast to say the least.
That night at the team dinner, we had a blast. Max got ambitious with the nail polish and showed off his feminine side. Jacob got a haircut from Julia. What else is needed, other than Lewis giving us his daily routine down to the minute. The food was great, mostly due to the fact that it was an all you can eat buffet of simple comfort food. Everyone who spoke, by the way, did a great job.
If you thought that the first day went really well. Umm… the second one didn’t… at all. For some people, they might have personally done well, but I saw some solid chaos. However, I think that the chaos is what builds character and makes us so resilient and in the end is why we have such a good time, even while hell is freezing over. So we arrived at the same place on day two. Some of the ski waxers were doing pushups but that wasn’t a huge problem. I noticed that something was wrong when everyone was talking and no one could even hear anything I had to say over the commotion. I am used to that, though, being a quiet person from a somewhat loud (major understatement) family. It started to get a little bit tense when some of the skis weren’t ready quite as early as people wanted. However, all the J2’s made their start.
It was tough later also. There was a group of us who were watching from inside of one of the turns, and one of the things that we noticed that the skiers were using a more unconventional way of descending around the first turn. We saw a lot of snow plows. In my head, I was thinking “Oh we don’t need that snow. Yeah, just push it under that fence where we can’t use it. Thanks.” Luckily, no one from CSU did a snow plow (or that I saw). The snow plows told us about the conditions better than any words could. When we got out there to warm up, we were on the trickiest course by far. Everyone had plowed it clean and everyone had somehow hidden the ice, so you would be stepping along the berm entering the turn, and then almost eat it as it turned to ice. Not fun.
For me, the race was trickiest twelve minutes before my start. My black Fischers, which of course, no one else has, went missing. Ten minutes to go, Doro, Gunther and Julia came to the rescue and offered up a pair of skis that they had prepped for the race but hadn’t used. I didn’t want to use someone else’s skis, in fear that I would damage them on the perilous course, but my only other option was my enormous practice skis, so I took the offer. I tested the skis and I didn’t need to add wax. How perfect was that. I made it to the start with plenty of time. The only shock to me was how fast they were. After about five double-poles, I almost landed on my back as the skis slid out from under me. In the end, the race went well. The kick was good. More of the course was in the sun than I thought, so it wasn’t perfect, but for receiving them within ten minutes of the start, they were great. Afterwards, the skis were found. Guess who had them. ROB. King Rob had grabbed the skis to use to ski out on the course, and he never notices that my name was written on them. He never saw my name on the work order stickers. No. It wasn’t until he was looking at the tv screen that I was able to see the name on them. When I pointed it out to him, he looked like I had just slapped him. His expression was a mix of confusion and pure terror. Needless to say, he will be doing pushups for life.