Almost everybody arrived on Sunday, and we headed out for a long-ish classic ski, with several speeds. The highlight for some groups might have been the discovery of wild strawberries along the bike path, and sometimes you just need to extend those recovery sections by a bit so that you can pick more strawberries. Priorities. That night, we played some get-to-know-you games, and skiers got fully moved in/exploded into their dorm rooms.
Morning comes early here, with a jog on the shaded back roads and some sort of dynamic stretching, mobility, yoga, or breathing exercise, to get us primed for a full day of activities. First up were some really hard uphill skate intervals, under a hot sun. Everyone practiced using different mantras or other techniques to eke out more speed, and we saw a ton of really hard efforts. Great stuff.
After lunch and a nap, it was time for the afternoon workout, which started with some really intense ultimate frisbee. Can you put skiers into any competitive environment and expect them not to play hard? After that, we did a great strength workout using Winchendon's fancy gym, which may have made us a little late for dinner, but luckily there was still food. After dinner, Victor gave a nice presentation on exercise science, and the various energy systems that we use. I followed that up with a brief review of goal setting, and skiers got the chance to work on their goal pyramids for a bit, before the ever-exciting fire drill.
This morning dawned bright and sunny again, and we headed out for a distance run on the Wapack trail, with some groups going point-to-point and some doing a more controlled out-and-back. The blueberries were in fine form, so if you want a nice day out hiking and picking blueberries, we highly recommend the Wapack. After lunch and a nap, our afternoon workout was an agility course by the field house, which looked like a ton of fun. Limited bandaid use this year!
Taking in the view of Boston skyline from the overlook over Binney Pond
Results from the timed portion of the agility
After dinner, it was time for mini golf. In bad news, we had to go somewhere other than Tweedos, because they were closing early tonight, but I'm sure we'll be back to Tweedos next year, because that's an integral part of ski camp.
The next day was our adventure triathlon day. Victor led the morning jog with some swimming drills, so that we'd be ready to go when we hit the water, and then we divided into groups and took off. Everybody started with a nice rollerski on some beautiful pavement, up from Bonds Corner to Dublin. From there, it was into the lake, and everyone managed about 20-25 minutes of swimming. Victor set up a shorter lap in shallower water, and a longer lap that went into the deeper water, and he and Cate lifeguarded. No rescues required! I tried the swimming too, and it was definitely one of the hardest things I've done in a loooong time.
On top of Monadnock, there were a ton of people, as usual. Alex Burt had run out of water, so here you see a photo of him paying some random kids to take some of their water. He then managed to convince them that he was on the US Ski Team, and that they were giving water to a future Olympian. He and Devin have some new Instagram followers, now.
Some rollerskiers before the adventure triathlon
Candid skits photo
Coaching staff, missing Ursula
CSU goes swimming. Nobody drowned!
The whiteboard was crucial
After the swim, groups headed out on various different lengths of hikes. One group did a full monty over the top of Monadnock, about three hours, and others did out-and-back excursions on the Pumpelly trail. It was a long day, and we all enjoyed our ice cream at Kimball's after the adventuring.
That night, Amie, Kathy, and Cate led a listening session for that athletes to have some input on how CSU should be run in the future. It was a very productive session, and a lot of good stuff came out of it. After that, Ethan presented a little bit about skiing in college, how it works, who are the players, and how to get involved. Interesting stuff, and nice to hear from the horse's mouth!
Thursday morning it was time for some hillbounding. Unlike past years, we eschewed the dusty eroded trail up Watatic, and stayed on the golf course, where we set up a loop, with different cones indicating where you had to put in an attack. Athletes did a certain number of loops as a hard effort, with several attack sections, focusing on pace change and good bounding/ski walking technique. It was nice to not have to drive too far, and then in the afternoon we had another strength workout in the beautiful Winchendon School gym. That night, each fire team group did a skit, which brought a lot of laughs.
It was hard to believe that Friday was already our last day. We loaded up the vans and headed out to the NH border for a beautiful rollerski, doing the traditional "lollipop" loop. Quick lunch and wrap-up meeting, and then just like that, camp was over. Huge thank you to Mona, Robert, and all the coaching staff for another wonderful week at summer camp!