• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Spring & Summer 2014 Super Update!

      July 31, 2014

      Heading up Mera Peak, Nepal - Photo by Devon Kershaw
      God, it’s been a long time. Why is that a familiar refrain with me regarding the frequency and consistency of website blog updates in my time? I could cowardly hide behind any number of reasons – my old age/general luddite-ness (what’s a “snap chat?”), poor internet connections, a ton of travel, racing below expectations, and thus a bit too down to write about it, or just plain old I didn’t think I had anything interesting to say – but that would probably be stretching it. Not the fact that I don’t have much to say, but perhaps more along the lines of what I have to say may not be interesting… I digress… Either way, it’s late July… 2014. The last update was back in October of 2013. As the adage goes, “my record speaks for itself.” There will be no promises this year, no “weekly blog goals,” or the like. Instead, it will be more like those flowers your boyfriend/husband gives you randomly; impossible to predict, perhaps a little too infrequent for your liking, but heartfelt and exciting when it happens nonetheless.

      To begin, I’ll breeze through the 2013-2014 season. Those of you who read this already know what happened and odds are you’ve spoken to me personally with regards to it (I know the extent of my “reach”). In a word it could be summed up as: disappointing. There were some highlights – most notably the 2ndplace finish in Oberhof at the Tour de Ski when Alex and I went 1-2 for the first time in Canadian men’s World Cup cross country ski history (that’s a mouthful). That was more than cool. Then, you all know how the Olympics went for our whole team. No need to beat a horse that has already been processed into glue – so I’ll just say, “yeah, that happened.” We are all motivated, (hopefully) learned from our mistakes, and have made some changes this season moving forward to get back to where we belong/expect as a team – international success.

      So with that out of the way, I am happy to report that this spring has been exciting on a few fronts. I will really blast through some of the highlights in the most boring and predictable way possible: chronological order.

      Spring 2014
      It was a big one. Not the actual spring itself, instead the “life monuments” that occurred. In bullet point form this is what went down.
      • Dream trip realized to Nepal with Kristin and a group from “the North Face” for some trekking and climbing
      • Made it to the summit of “Mera Peak” a 6476m mountain with spectacular views. * side note: above 6000m you body seems to feel like total ass.
      • Asked Kristin to marry me near above stated summit – taking advantage of her hypoxic state. She said yes, we both cried a bit, then had some rock-hard frozen Freia chocolate in celebration. The ring didn’t get stolen or lost – so in addition to the “yes” answer the verdict was all positive.
      • Made it safely down, then Kristin got quite sick – and really, really toughed out some miserable days of climbing and trekking under major stomach troubles. *side note: not sure if this was an adverse reaction to her realizing she indeed said yes to spend her life with me…  I blame the bug she caught. Perhaps best not to think about it.
      • We cut our trip a couple days short and I headed back to Canada for the next bit of exciting news
      • I got to move into my very own house! I had bought a half duplex in Canmore last fall, but it was right before traveling for the racing season, so I did not move in until I returned from Nepal in late April.

      Life lesson(s):
      • My friends are fantastic.
      • Moving multiple times in the short span of 1.5 years is not recommended for awesomeness.
      • Having my own place again is a fantastic feeling.
      • Painting takes longer (I feel) than it should
      • I wish I had the man-skills of my dad, or at least I wish that my dad didn’t live 3000+ kilometers away (in Canmore, as a ski racer, you aren’t getting a “new house” let’s just put it that way).

      So – in conclusion spring of 2014 was big, exciting, energy giving, awesome, busy and a great way to kick off the next season – which while we will have to wait some years before any Olympic-redemption, the next best thing  - ie. The World Championships (this year in Falun, SWE) are on deck and we are in two words: stoked/motivated.

      Professionally speaking - I come back to that one “change” that was made this spring. The hiring of a new coach – Tor Arne Hetland, or TA as the nomenclature will be known as hence forth - a Norwegian ex super-boss (Olympic champion, World Champion, Sprint Cup winner, Top 3 Overall etc…), and ex coach of both Germany and Switzerland. He has been a great addition to our team - great guy (so far, haha), and works really well (again, so far) with our current coaching staff (Justin and Louis). We’ve changed our philosophy slightly moving forward – but I’m trying to keep this somewhat digestible, so let’s just say athletes are happy and from an athletes perspective coaches seem to be happy (on the World Cup Team level).