By: Julia Kern
The most important thing I learned in my 4 weeks of international racing is that things are not always going to go as planned; you have to be flexible and always keep a positive mindset. The last month has been an incredible experience and I have never learned so much about myself as an athlete and about racing.
In these past 4 weeks here are some of things that did not go as planned, which I either personally experienced or one of my teammates did…
- Courses changed 1 hour before the race
- Race starts moved back an hour before the race
- Race days completely changed
- Luggage lost
- Leg bibs stuck in the klister on race skis 5min before start
- Broken equipment during a race/crashes/trips
- Trouble breathing due to smog (even people without breathing issues normally)
- Flights cancelled
- No on-snow warm up opportunities
- Bad races
Don’t see this list as a negative thing though. With changing weather and travel to foreign countries, there is something bound to not go as planned; it is part of racing. You have two choices. Either you 1) let these hiccups hold you back or 2) keep a positive mindset and overcome these hiccups. The athletes who are able to overcome these obstacles while keeping the mind in the right place, succeed in the end.
I myself did not race quite as well I had hoped in Kazakhstan. Things did not go as planned, but instead of being down and not enjoying the experience, I looked at the positives from the trip, learned from my mistakes, and moved on to the next races. The following 5 races in the last two weeks were some of the best races I’ve ever had!
Here are some photos from my last two amazing weeks in the Czech Republic and Switzerland!
|Our Ski Hotel in the Czech Republic, right on the ski trail!|
|My grandparents came and watched my races in the Czech Republic!|
|Women's Junior Podium in the 10k Classic.|
|Overall Women's Podium in the 10k Classic.|
|Highway was closed so we did Yoga and played Soccer.|
|Not a bad place to ski, does it get any better?|
|The town we lived in while in Switzerland.|
|The beginning on the long climb.|
|Homework in this setting isn't too bad :)|
|A view from my afternoon jog.|
|A snow storm overnight buried the team vans at the venue.|
|The dark area/snow on the right is the avalanche that went over our warm up loop from the day before!|
|I guess I love skiing :)|
|One of our wonderful wax techs, Jason and I after my race discussing my fast skis!|
|Zurich on the last night before flying home.|