Walking The Fine Line

Since high school, I have been bouncing back and forth between doing a full term at Dartmouth while training, and solely focusing on skiing. These two lifestyles fall on opposite side of the spectrum—when I am in school I am wishing I had more free time and while when I am just skiing, I have too much free time to fill.

My frustrating season last year didn’t discourage me, it actually did the exact opposite—it made me want to be “all in” this year and set really big goals. Ironically, I came to conclusion that being “all in” for me meant not just focusing on skiing, but rather, it meant the opposite—that I would go to school and train with the Dartmouth team while taking a full course load in the spring, summer, and fall (a full year of school).

Focused and “all in” at training camp (Pat).

Growing up, I always had a fast and busy lifestyle, running from school straight to practice, and then onto another practice or game, not getting home until 10pm when I would eat dinner and start my homework. In the fall I would be playing on 2 different basketball teams, 2 soccer teams and running on a cross-country team. In the winter I would be on 3 basketball teams, an indoor soccer team, an indoor track team, and a swim team.

Although the student-athlete lifestyle is hectic (and I probably complain about being busy way too much), being busy is how I am wired. When I was younger, I could not sit still; my grandpa used to secretly time me to see how long I could sit still because my family thought it was hilarious (I think it was something like 2 minutes). This year I wanted to channel a little bit of 9 year old me and get a little sendy with training while keeping myself busy and distracted with school.

Getting out of my comfort zone in a speed session (Pat).
..and also on my mountain bike, chasing after my boyfriend Max.
I  helped out at a Little Bellas event (empowering young girls to get out and ride mountain bikes) and they rubbed off some of their young energy and enthusiasm!

I am REALLY excited to be healthy for once, training pretty much unrestricted! These past two training blocks have been the most fun I have had in training, not only because I am healthy enough to train, but also because I am pushing the limits on what my body can handle, instead of taking my usual conservative approach when I am dealing with injuries/ illnesses. The cherry on top is that I am surrounded by incredible teammates on both the SMS T2 team and Dartmouth team who want to work together to push each other, support one another, and battle it out through the tough days together.

I skipped a few days of school to go to our U.S. Ski Team women’s camp and it was inspiring to train with so many fast women (PC: Matt).
Learning from the best by following (PC: Matt).
Our great training group this summer at Dartmouth!
Digging deep in a team sprint simulation at camp (PC: Matt).
And of course, always keeping things fun and goofy (PC: Matt)!

Training full time while being at school full time requires a lot of balance, something that is always a work in progress for me. I want to give 100% in everything I do, torn by when I cut a little slack in one direction and give slack in another direction. This summer I have found myself trying to walk the fine line between the “4 S’s”: skiing, school, social, and sleep. I am pushing the line on how much training I can handle, the minimum sleep I need, the amount of work I need to put into my schoolwork, and the time I want to have with my friends to feel happy and balanced. Although balancing everything is difficult and is far from perfect, I have had SO much fun training hard with my teammates, going on adventures with my friends, and learning a lot in my classes!

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
I skied Tucks (Mountain Washington) for the first time this spring!
And I ran Mount Washington this summer as part of our presidential traverse run!
First ever sunrise hike/run and first time up Mossilauke…it was absolutely beautiful.  
Goofing off on the slackfline with Jessie at training camp. 
In my element 🙂 


Published by juliakernski

U.S. Ski Team Cross Country Skier

One thought on “Walking The Fine Line

  1. Great to see you are having fun testing the limits. It shows. I have never seen you that fit. Keep doing it as long as it is fun!


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