Below is an article I wrote recently for the Bogus Basin Junior Nordic Team newsletter. I wanted to talk about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, in hopes of inspiring some of the Juniors from my junior team to realize they can also get to where I am. Hopefully it will at the very least explain what has motivated me to get to where I am.
When you go away to ski camp, you spend the time training, eating, sleeping and relaxing. It is an enjoyable time, but also some of the most focused and intense training of your season. Now, imagine that you never leave ski camp. That’s my life now. After my graduation from Dartmouth College in June, I moved to the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY as a member of the US Biathlon Development Team.
I always knew I wanted to continue my ski career after college, however, I was not always sure that would be in the cards for me. As a junior racer, I had a lot of success, but in college, I had a couple of tough seasons. I kept at it, though: training hard and staying confident in my abilities. My senior year, after a summer of training and assistant coaching with BBNT, I made my goal to finish in the top ten of every Eastern Collegiate Circuit race (commonly referred to as carnival races). But after early season successes, I began to realize I could do more than finish in the top ten. I decided I wanted to make the NCAA Championship Team, and to my excitement, I did. The season ended with an invitation to apply for, and eventual acceptance to, the US Biathlon Development Team. Acceptance meant free room and board at the OTC, coaching, partial funding for summer and fall training camps, and nearly full funding for winter competitions domestically and internationally. All of this made skiing full time possible, since holding down a job during a 20-hour training week can be a difficult task.
Now, training and nearly beginning to race full time, I am realizing that hanging onto my goals, even through the tough times, was important. I plan on training hard and staying focused on my goals for as long as I have this opportunity. I am glad that I went to college and had that experience. I know now that I can always fall back on my education and other passions when I am done racing. This opportunity fell into my lap in part because of timing and luck, but mostly it was because of years of hard work and never giving up on my goals.