June has proven to be a typical June month- full of adventures and full of fun activities all packed into one short month.
Here is a sneak peak into some of the activities that I have been up to for these past four weeks of June
1. Methow- A short, brief trip home to see my family and celebrate Fathers Day and my Dad's birthday- all a few days early.
2. Being an Alaskan- being an Alaskan means spending a few days of the year fishing. I have fished a few times in the past few years- but never have I caught a fish that I would bring home and put on the dinner table. I have caught my fair share of Humpies- so I was pretty excited to pull in my first Red Salmon down on the Kasilof RIver. The boyfriend of one of the girls on our team, Corey Hetrick, owns a fishing company called Chugach Backcountry Fishing. Corey is one of the happiest, kindest dudes out there- so fishing with him is always a ball. We were on a mission to find some Kings- so that meant driving down to the Kenai through the night and getting on the river first, around 4AM. Corey is the "fish whisper", so we had a good morning of learning some tricks from the best! My brother and Jo have spent a few more early mornings on the river, so I am happy to say my freezer is full of the very freshest and best fish in the world!
|There it is! Thanks Corey!!|
|Eating some Sushi with our fresh fish|
3. Bear Hunting- The woods of Anchorage have been more populated than ever with furry black and brown animals. The theory is that with the warmer and "easier" winter- the bears were able to survive better than in the past. There has been more than a handful of "running in's" with the bears in our usual training locations- so I am always on the watch. Every day I head out the door for my training I feel like I am out on my bear hunt… but managed to forget my weapon at home. If you want a mental picture of what this looks like.. imagine a girl running through the woods screaming at the top of my lungs every two minutes "hey bear". One tourist was so confused by this he kept asking me "where's the bear", "did you see a bear". I kept trying to explain to this nice foreign man that I hadn't seen the bear, I was just warning mr. bear I was coming, "hello bear". After trying to clarify his confusion for two minutes, I ended up taking off, leaving him probably a little frazzled… whoops.
|Learning some biathlon from the Frenchi's|
4. Testing my limits- as with every athlete, and many of my past summers… I get a little excited and test my limits a bit… leaving me a little achy for some days. Early this month, I managed to strain a disk in my back- literally the exact same thing my brother had done in Bend. After a week of spending my days walking, getting help from Zuzana, and laying on heating pads… things finally turned around. I have had some problems with my back in the past- but this was a little bit different. It was a great little "check in" to remind me that all the hours of the year that we spend skiing means constant stress on our bodies. I haven't taken the time yet to step back and analyze my technique and think about if I am really skiing with the best form for continued health. Well, this little bump forced me to. I am now thinking more than ever about the position of my pelvis, the way my vertebra and disks are stacking up as I am applying power with my skating and striding… and I have come out a smarter woman. Nice- isn't it how those little "testing of limits" is supposed to work?
5. Training with a new Group of younger girls- APU has put together a University Team this year with a bunch of young, excited girls. Since joining the APU Team, I have always felt like the younger generation… but four years later, I have now started becoming one of the "older girls". With Kikkan and Holly gone for the past month and Fitz retiring- training has had a bit of a different feel. I have had a ton of fun though. These young girls are super fired up and excited about the training sessions that I am used to doing for the past four years- so it has helped keep me fresh and excited! On that same note- I have definitely been missing some of my usual training buddies as well!
5. Glacier Days- The end of the month was filled with 7 days of Glacier Skiing. This Glacier Camp was very different than my previous 10 camps I have spent up on the Glacier. Every morning we woke up with buckets of fresh snow… and it just didn't stop. We spent six days of "playing hide and go seek" out on the Glacier… skiing laps around in a constant white out. It was often hilarious as we squeezed our eyes together trying to figure out where was the next wand? We often found ourselves wondering…which direction is up, which was is North, where in the world am I at this moment? Fortunate for me I don't get very bad vertigo… but it took "white out" to a whole new level for me. Finally, on the last day- just to put some icing on the cake- the sun popped out and we had an awesome rocket day of skiing with the usual beautiful views!!
|The boys- appearing from the mist|
|Our newest girl member- Rosie Frankowski- otherwise known as Franki... because now there are two Rosie's.|
|Strength time on the Glacier|
|Our gym- at 5,700 feet|
Flora put in a new course on the Glacier this year that was more exciting than ever. He put in a set of S turns throughout each of the three little loops. Corners are something that are always good to work on as an elite athlete… so we were forced to overcome some of our fears as we bombed around the tight turns… often with no idea when the next one was coming.
|Rosie and I fueling up before some good k's|
|Our little special friend and Bobcat, D.Norris|
|Thanks Flora for putting on such an awesome camp!! Little Coda- our new glacier dog|
|My Glacier Team-Sprinting partner, and one of our new boys, Scotty P.|
|Woman's Team- post Team Sprint Time Trialing|
|With three feet of new snow this week... hiking out wasn't safe enough with the Avalanche danger- so here we are, waiting for the helicopter.|
|Masters coming in for a camp as we come out. Awesome to see Gill Lund, one of our biggest fans from back home.|
|Alpine Air flying us up and down and setting all of us up with some awesome new socks!|
|The most exciting mode of transportation!!|
6. Getting School Done- two more classes finished, four more to go before I have my degrees. I have just started my Senior Project this summer, which I will finish in the fall- so it truly feels like things are beginning to wrap up. I am doing a research project on turning Fast and Female into a US Nonprofit. The course I just finished last week was my Literature Review where I did all the research on similar nonprofit organizations such as Girls on the Run, Woman's Sports Foundation, and a Norwegian based organization, Sunn Jenteidrett. I looked into how these organizations are run, what are their missions, where do they get their funding from, etc. I then did some research on the nonprofit market in Alaska as well as the US. I learned that there is a nonprofit for every 90 people in Alaska, WOW! I started to look into the steps and procedures of starting a nonprofit- and what it entails. The class that I just started this week will be a little bit more of the research piece. I will develop my research question and begin doing interviews. Through talking about my project with a collection of people in the past few months- I have put together a great group of resources and people to interview and gather information from. Because I am doing a double major; Accounting as well as Nonprofit Business Management- I will also be doing a cost analysis project of the financials that the Canadian Fast and Female is using - and trying to put together the best way to operate the US version. It has all been really fun for me since I have such an invested interest in this awesome program I have been involved with, and helping lead for the past 8 years.
That about wraps up my adventures of June- and what it has entailed. Next up, July, which begins with the US Ski Team Woman's Camp in Alaska. As usual, we will be doing one week dry land training, and then another week on the Glacier… so back up on the Glacier in two weeks! Hopefully the sun might make more of an appearance for this one. I will also be spending next week adventuring down to Seward for the 4th of July- but more importantly, to watch Mount Marathon. This is one of my favorite things in the World to watch… truly incredible! Holly just announced she will be racing- so I get to cheer on my some of my teammates including Holly, Lauren Fritz, Forrest Mahlem, and Ann Spencer. Can't wait!