Personal Wins

*Sorry for the long break in between blogs, it has been a busy fall…but that is no real excuse. This is a blog I have wanted to post for a while, and now more than ever, is it a good reminder to myself.

Winning isn’t necessarily about crossing the line first. You can cross the line in first, yet be very disappointed in your race…or you can finish last and feel like you won the race (yes, this happens). The more I got my butt handed to me in intervals and time trials this summer, the more my confidence could fade. Year after year I catch myself getting caught up in training results and I have to remind myself that in training, it is all about the personal wins. This reminder came to me during the last U.S. Ski Team training camp in Park City, Utah. We were doing a rollerski time trial at the end of camp, which also happened to be my first classic rollerski intensity all year. I was so excited to be skiing with two poles again that I didn’t really care that I was getting my butt kicked. That was because winning the time trial that day didn’t matter to me, I was trying to win on a personal level; I wanted to finish a time trial where I went as hard as I could with two poles strapped to my hands.

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We started off camp by running in snow!
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One pole classic intervals on the treadmill in the beginning of camp when I still couldn’t use my arm.
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Bounding intervals up the mountain with poles!
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And finally a sprint simulation at the end of camp with two poles!

It seems uncharacteristic as athlete to not to care about winning, but I have found that feeling like you put your best foot forward every day is far more important than getting gold. And of course, if you give it your all and you win, that is even better! However, there can only be one winner every race so all you can focus on is your personal wins, and hopefully if you focus on your personal goals day to day, you will win one day.

I have now completed my first full weekend of European World Cups. My personal goals for these World Cup races are to gain experience, learn as much as I can, and give it my all every race. Although I am not happy with my first three races and I feel like they did not show what I know I am capable of, I achieved my personal goals. It is frustrating to not feel as fit as a hoped and find myself further back than I expected, but I am trying to remind myself it is only November and only the first races of the season in one of the most competitive World Cup fields all year. I am channeling my disappointment into motivation to work even harder and be ready to go for the next race!

Here are a few photos that recap my busy fall and the start of racing season!

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I got back on my mountain bike…
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…and it was quite exciting!
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I reunited with my fellow guppy Hannah 🙂
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I caught up with my friend Mariah that I hadn’t seen in a long time!
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Fast and Female event in Park City: I ran the basketball station.
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Sophie and I teamed up for workouts in the late fall. 
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A part of our SMS T2 team headed up to Canada to get on snow for a few days.
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Which included wood fires and bannagrams. 
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Our SMS T2 team had our annual team send off dinner/party. Photo featuring the Kern + Odgen family. 
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Right before I headed off to Europe, I lead an EMBK practice. It was so inspiring to work with the next generation of skiers from the Boston area!
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And finally I joined a CSU practice the day before I left!
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Training in Rovaniemi, Finland at sunrise/sunset since the days are so short at the arctic circle.
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Cold but exciting pre race prep. (Photo: Zach Caldwell who is also helping Bryan Fish with waxing my skis!)
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Enjoying my afternoon (looks like night time) ski under the lights.
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With a short break to watch the jumping competition. 
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And finally our beautiful new wax truck, which everyone is very excited about! 

Look out for more blogs to come about being on the road on the World Cup!

-JKern

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