June 23, 2009

Mourning One of Our Own

At this point, many of you have heard of the tragedy that recently befell the XC Skiing, Biathlon and Maine Winter Sports Communities. Willie Neal, a young, talented skier/biathlete and extraordinary young man, was killed Sunday while rollerskiing in Northern Maine. I will leave out the details, but you can find more information at fasterskier.com, in a blog from the editor and a press release.

This tragedy is a reminder to all of us that sometimes life is terribly short, and suddenly taken away for no reason at all. While there were a few factors that perhaps could have helped the situation, I am prone to believe that this was simply an unfortunate incident of a smart young man being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As you go about your life in the coming days and months, please remember the Neal family as they grieve. Also, as you head out rollerskiing or biking, please remember to be safe: stay on the correct side of the road, wear bright colors, use roads with good shoulders and avoid high traffic areas, and always wear a helmet! One tragedy for our small community is one too many.

RIP Willie. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

June 15, 2009

Women's National Team Camp

The women's team camp is getting underway here in Lake Placid, and day one was a interesting one. The weather here has been nothing if not interesting, so it was no surprise that the light drizzle that started after our morning workout quickly became a downpour that continued all afternoon. That made for a wet afternoon ski, but luckily it has been warm, so no one got too cold or miserable. Hopefully things only calm down from here...

Almost all the women who will be competing for spots on the Vancouver 2010 team are here this week training together. It's a great group, and a fantastic opportunity for us all to catch up. Skiing and shooting together as a big group is a great learning experience, and helps push us all to improve.

The plan is to be in Lake Placid until Sunday and then head up to Fort Kent, Maine for two more weeks of training on their roller loop and range. I've never been to Ft. Kent in summer, so it will be a nice change of scenery. It's going to be a tough few weeks, but as usual, I'm sure it will go by in a flash.

Scat work: dry-firing with a laser so you can get instant feedback.

Shooting at the "new" range by the ski jumps...new as in last August.

Mid-workout firing pin replacement.

Skiing in the rain...we've had a lot of these already this year.