Spring time is that one month of the year that I get to do just absolutely whatever I want. If I am burnt on ski racing... I can take up video games. If I have a need for speed.. I can pull out my alpine skis. If I am fairly motivated... I can go on adventure mode.
|Having fun regardless!!|
I think the mixture between my motivation at the end of the year mixed with Alaska's sweet weather this spring... combined with some well motivated friends put me in "full sadie bjornsen adventure mode". I began to plan my day's around A)getting my homework done and finishing off strong with school, B) catching up on life as far as all my taxes, thanking the people who helped me, following up on missed emails, etc C) getting in some community service work and D)adventuring.
|Catching up with Sponsors- Harry and Peggy of Carlile|
Failing to take advantage of my three months of sleeping in (april)... I often set my alarm for six in the morning- at which time I would jump up, grab my skis, check the weather for "crust conditions", meet up with my buddies, and head for the mountains.
|Pete Kling and I with Spencer Glacier in the background|
|Inside of an ice tunnel up on the Glacier... one scary moment- all for the picture!!|
Last year I left the season with little motivation and spent most of the month of april resting and resting my head.... which meant that I haven't gotten to see some of Alaska's greatest adventures. So... this year I had some catching up to do. Glaciers, lakes, climbs into hidden passes, animals, crevasses, you name it.... I was going to find it. Due to the pure fact that many of my buddies that were up for adventuring where male members... I was on the chase constantly.
|Top of Skoocum Glacier... chasing with the boys|
|Some good mountains and some great sunshine|
|Chilly little glacier lake right there.|
I had tons of fun though and even managed to fit some of the "downhill style" in as well. My boyfriend, who is a frenchi, is way into the backcountry skiing- so I took a short trip down to Valdez. I have to say- if there is one place in the world to go in your lifetime- that is Valdez!! That place is unreal, its like the "magic mountains" you see in the ski movies; the ones that you always look at and wonder where the heck those are, and if they are even real.. or photoshopped. So, after some much needed backcountry, I got to enjoy some nice turns.
|Road tripping... got all the necessities for a good time! Nordic, alpine, sleeping bags and fuel!!|
|Driving into Valdez|
|Getting in some turns|
|"The Books" in the background... Jo's home!|
|The Wrangles... maybe next years adventure zone.|
In the meantime, I was working hard on three separate things that were consuming most my time. First, school. After falling behind a hair bit this spring during racing- I had to work extra hard to keep my solid 4.0 status :) Somehow I managed. Only two more years and I am finally going to have my accounting degree.. yehoooo!!
|Annual Beer Relays- Pete and I were Power Rangers this year.|
Second, I have been working with ARISE, a non-profit organization that was incorporating an athletic lifestyle into the recesses at one of the underprivileged schools in town, Tyson Elementary. Every tuesday and thursday for four weeks, I would head to Tyson and run 20 minutes with each of the grades, K-5. It was incredible how many students would participate and enjoy the athletic lifestyle. The coolest thing about this project though was the outcome within school. Not only did the students run about 1,300 cumulative miles between the whole project, but their behavior in school increased as well. There was a 70% decrease in office referrals. It was so fun to see this effect and watch how excited these kids would get while learning to be healthy and enjoy the outdoors at the same time.
|Running with one of the young boys|
I look forward to participating in some more of these programs in the future. Now that I have seen the effect, and gotten to experience how neat it is to involve yourself as a leader- I look forward to more to come.
|Doing an interview with one of the young girls on the team, Katja about Olympic Ski racing and what it takes to get there.|
The third thing that was consuming my time was the APU Fundraiser. Each year, the Elite Team puts on an silent and live auction to raise money for our travel budget in the previous year. As always, this is a lot of work- but there are an incredible amount of generous people who participate by either donating items, and coming to the event and buying items. We had a very successful event though, so thanks to everyone for helping out and participating.
|APU Fundraiser Crew|
After my three week break, we hit it hard back into training last week with the APU annual start up camp. This is one week of 3 intensity sessions, 2 track workouts, lots of skiing... and about 20 hours of great fun. Depending on what you did for the past three weeks... this is either a rude awakening, or just a painful experience.
|Our newest workout... ski to the top of the ridge, throw on your shoes and then run across the south faces to a new valley... fun stuff!|
|Erik and I mentally getting ready for the icy decent on nordic skis with no medal edges... eek!|
|APU ladies stoked to be back at the training again.|
Following that I traveled down to Park City two days ago, where I am now doing treadmill testing along with all the other fun tests we run every spring and fall on the US Ski Team athletes. More on that to come soon!