Roots.

*Due to the lack of Internet, I am making a blog on the past two weeks since I had trouble uploading photos last week.

The holiday season is often times associated with going home to family and/or spending it with close friends. Since I am not in school right now, I was able to go to Germany for 2 whole weeks to see family and friends. I was able to compete in 3 races, see the majority of my family, and I even got the chance to reunite with some friends. The only thing I was missing was the snow, but that seems to missing in quite a few locations right now!

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I spot a happy skier. (Photo Nadja)
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Family photo in Austria at the races.
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All of us racers gathering around a computer to watch the World Cup.
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Thank to my #1 fan, my sister Nadja.
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Classic 10km in Austria.
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Scenic skiing.
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The view from the hotel was incredible!
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Skate 5km, with the green grass in the background. Man made snow is pretty awesome.(Photo Nadja)
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My Dad/Wax tech! Thanks for the skis Dad πŸ™‚
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Sprint heats in the deep slush. (Photo Gunther)

My training consisted mostly of running and bounding on dirt trails through scenic forests. Often times IΒ had company from my dad, mom and sister, which I enjoyed. Recovering from the races in Austria and U.S. Nationals approaching, my shorter workouts left a lot of time to spend with family and to do activities I enjoyed as a kid.

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The Christmas Market in Germany. This is one of my favorite thing about the holidays!
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Met up with two of my long time friends Phillip and his brother Florian at the Christmas Market.

My sister and I crafted origami stars and other decorations. My little cousin and I wandered to a creek and built a bridge and played in the forest. My whole family and I went on long walks through the woods. My grandfather showed videos he filmed from previous years, such as my race in the Czech Republic where my grandparents came to watch last year. Activities like these reminded me of the social and fun things I did as a kid, instead of sitting on my computer or watching TV for example. I found it refreshing to go back to my roots and simplify things. It is easy to fall into the β€œrushing from one thing to the next” lifestyle, instead of taking the time to stop for a moment and really enjoy yourself. If you are always rushing to get to the finish, you won’t enjoy the best part, the journey (but that topic is for another time and another blog). I have found this particularly meaningful recently. Looking back on the past four years, it is crazy to me how fast my high school journey went by, including all of the ski trips I have experienced. My take away from the last two weeks is that time is precious (especially with family or snow right now with this crazy weather)!

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Winter or summer?
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Full moon.
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A walk in the woods.
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Delicious German food.
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Playing with my cousin in the woods.
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My cousin decorating the tree.
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Coffee time in my family is very important.
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Evening fire.
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On a sunset walk with my sister and Grandma.
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My Grandma, my second cousin and cousin.
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My uncle the “feuermeister”.
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My sister and I.
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Coffee and cake time.
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Family photo with my grandparents.
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I am going to miss my sister.

Now that I am home for about a day, I had fast enoughΒ Internet to upload my video from my four weeks out west skiing on snow so here is the link! Enjoy!

Up next: Flying to Michigan for Senior Nationals!

-JKern

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