There wasn’t much to eat (besides blueberries) in my coach Zach Caldwell’s house this morning. Zach and his wife Amy don’t eat much breakfast. They’re more interested in coffee. I wanted to make Zach’s famous crepe (Zach calls them pancakes, but they’re not American style pancakes.) recipe, but we didn’t have all of the ingredients. I made a quick run to the general store; the small village of Putney, Vermont was going off.
Today was the second day of a short (three-day) technique training camp with my coach Zach Caldwell in Putney, Vermont.
I woke up (sort of) at 8 this morning, went downstairs, sat down on the couch and stared into space for a while. It felt like the middle of the night. Clearly I’m not fully adjusted to this time zone after travelling back from New Zealand on Monday (and Tuesday). Zach walked in, took one look at me and told me to go for a 30 minute run to wake up before breakfast; obediently, I headed out the door.
Zach and his wife Amy have developed an impressive trail system on the public land that sits adjacent to their property. The access bridge seems to be in the midst of repairs. I was a little nervous about balancing my way across it in my jet lagged state. Luckily, I made it.
My coach Zach Caldwell had a busy day planned. He was going to drive to Hartford, Connecticut, an hour and fifteen minutes south of his house in Putney, Vermont, to pick me up at 8:30 this morning. He was then going to drop me off at his home before driving to Auburn, New Hampshire, an hour and a half east of Putney, to pick up the skis he ordered from the Fischer warehouse for his business, Caldwell Sport.
My early flight from Newark, New Jersey to Hartford was overbooked. United was offering a $300 travel voucher to anybody who was willing to take a later flight. I was frantically texting Zach to see if it would help him if I came in later. We decided it would not and that getting in later would make his day more crammed.
There aren’t any airports really close to Putney, but there are many airports within two hours. I asked him whether I could fly to another airport to make his day easier. He said the Manchester, New Hampshire airport is 10 minutes from Fischer. So, I went to the gate agent at the Hartford flight and said I would relinquish my seat if I could get to Manchester instead. She looked it up and there happened to be a flight for Manchester leaving in an hour that had open seats. She re-booked me on that flight and gave me the $300 voucher. It was perfect, I paid for part of my next plane ticket and saved Zach two and a half hours of driving in one fell swoop.
The gate agent went out to get my bags off the Hartford flight. She came back and didn’t say anything more about them. I assumed they’d been pulled and re-tagged for Manchester.
The flight to Manchester was on a small prop plane.
I’m back in the U.S.! It’s wonderful. My long flight from Auckland was easy. I had an aisle seat, watched three movies and slept for 4 or 5 hours.
I have been here in Los Angeles for six hours and I’ve had a wonderful layover. As soon as I cleared customs and rechecked my bags I walked out of the airport, headed to the beach. LAX is located on the ocean, but it’s on the other end from the terminals. I had to walk the entire length of the airport to get there.
The title of this blog would suggest that skiing for 16 days in sunshine and perfect conditions is somehow challenging. I don’t think I can make that argument. But I am tired…and ready to get back to civilization.
It was tough to go back out for an hour double pole (arms only) session yesterday afternoon after four hours of classic skiing in the morning. However, it was a beautiful evening.
I have two more training sessions here at the Snow Farm in Wanaka, New Zealand. I think I’m going to make it. I’m definitely going to miss this place when I’m gone.
Canadian Paralympic gold medalist Brian McKeever sent me some pictures of he took of my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Friday. Here’s the before:
Things just keep getting better here at the Snow Farm in Wanaka, New Zealand.
Yesterday evening I skated for two hours. There’s a new tent on the Hanging Valley trail.
Last night I got nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by Chris McCullough, the head of U.S. marketing at my ski company Madshus. Of course I have seen videos all over social media for weeks of people completing the challenge, but I haven’t been involved and didn’t know much about it. I also didn’t know anything about ALS, so I spent a little time yesterday evening doing some research. I soon realized I knew ALS by it’s other name, Lou Gehrig’s disease. Reading about the effects of the disease was disheartening. It is awful. I’m glad Chris nominated me so I was motivated to educate myself. I made a contribution to the ALS Association.
I am extremely impressed with the success of the ice bucket challenge as a marketing strategy. It is a brilliant awareness and fundraising campaign. I am happy to participate. My video is below. Thanks again for the nomination Chris!
I am three quarters of the way through my solo camp here at the Snow Farm in Wanaka, New Zealand. I have completed three out of four three-day training blocks. I have seven training sessions remaining, six in the three-day block beginning tomorrow morning and a bonus session on Monday morning before I start the long travel home. I’m counting down the sessions because I’m getting tired and I’m missing home. However, this has been a fantastic camp. I had another great session yesterday evening.