Hello friends, it’s been a while.
You know, when I started this blog, I promised myself that I would never have to write a post that began with an absence apology. I would write every week, I planned, or at least every other week, to keep myself grounded, connected, thoughtful, whatever. That went really well for a while, until mid-this-winter I found myself adrift in a slew of tasks and passions that weren’t skiing (egad!). I got busy, worked hard elsewhere and the blog fell to the wayside. Life happened in a way that I did more than I said, moved from moment to moment while losing time to catch up and write and share.
I’m sorry, but I’m just not that sorry. I got to do some pretty cool things in my not-blogging.
Thus I stick to my original promise. This isn’t an apology. Rather, it’s a notice of return, because after a college ski season, semester sequestered in a thesis carrel, graduation and 51 hours four minutes of driving 3,156.7 miles to consider it all, I have A LOT to say.
So, without further ado, let the blogging commence!
Let’s start with something lite, shall we? Now that we’ve officially entered June, and with it the force of summer training, let us consider those months of nebulous self identity that brought us here.
The stages of the off season (which, I recognize, is technically over. Bear with me):
After 3-5 months of weekly racing, travel and the hots and colds of both the climate and your temperament, April often brings a welcome break. Rather than snow, hard exercise and travel, you prefer the acts of sitting, sleeping and the general eating of everything. You put your watches away, briefly close the window on your training log, and go entire days without wearing spandex. You start to wonder, without all those comforts, what is life?
- Nordie Rumspringa
No parents, no rules! After a week or so of sleep, you gain some energy back, as well as your dancing/adventuring/shenanaganing legs. Without the constraints of training schedule that either requires or restricts exercise, you do what you want, when you want, in whatever volumes you please. Sleep, exercise, food, drink, and socialization tumble in a twirl of priorities as you test the limits of your freedom. You begin to wonder, can you ever go back?
And then everyone else does. Blogs start popping up (ahem), alongside a slew of neon-clad Instagrams, snaps and Facebook posts. It’s only mid-April, you think to yourself, should I be training too? What is right? What is wrong?
- Light, uncomfortable training
And then there comes a day when you, too, don your spandex once more. They fit about the same, except for the places where they don’t. Pulling your socks up, tying your laces, you embark into days to weeks of physical discomfort. You understand why America has an obesity problem, when you’re even slightly out of shape, exercise hurts. Until it doesn’t. Training turns into adventure, soreness into strength, and you start to feel it again, that burn, that desire that…
In my book, June might be the best possible time of year to be training. Far enough away from the end of last season, and the start of the next, a sense of newness, of potential, fills each session. With an (alleged) six or so weeks of solid training under your belt, you’re fit enough to train hard, but haven’t done so much that you feel tired. Mentally and physically, this is when we burn like hot fire, the kind strong enough to stoke all the way into the cold.
It’s nice to be back. Happy new year, everyone.