Erik Bjornsen (my teammate and roommate) and I just woke up in Obertsdorf, Germany to this view: 

We drove here last night from Val Müstair, Switzerland after racing the second stage of the Tour de Ski. This is my fourth Tour, and the routine and venues now feel familiar. Erik and I lived in the room next to this one last year and woke up to the same view. 

Yesterday’s race, like all of them so far this season, was not the breakthrough performance that I dreamt about while training this summer. I simply haven’t had the energy and fitness and pop to ski with the fastest guys in the world. I have had great opportunities. Yesterday, like in La Clusaz and Lillehammer, I had no excuses. I was skiing in a good position early in the race with good skis and plenty of room to move and I simply couldn’t hang.

My coaches and I aren’t sure why I haven’t been performing at the level that I have in the past, let alone at the next level. Maybe I haven’t fully absorbed the increased training load from the summer and fall, or maybe I’m not as recovered as I feel. 

Regardless, I know that I’ve done great training this year, and I’m executing my races and my lifestyle as well as I know how. The only thing to do, in the middle of the Tour de Ski, is to keep taking care of the things that are in my control. The next five stages, without exception, are great opportunities for me to have the results that I’m looking for. 

In the past I have forced myself to be disappointed and sad after poor performances. I felt like I had to show that I was dissatisfied or people wouldn’t think that I cared enough or tried hard enough. I am now trying to do the opposite. Regardless of my results I am trying to live in the moment, be present and absorb all of my experiences. I am still doing everything I can to achieve my goals, but skiing does not define me and it doesn’t need to define my emotions and my mood. 

I went to breakfast in the middle of writing this post and I’m now basking in the sun as I finish. Here’s an updated look at our view:

Life is good.