Lessons from Lake Placid

9.Oct.2009 by Hannah Dreissigacker

Several of us just wrapped up a week-long training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid.  The place was packed with some of the top skiers in the country, with groups from NENSA, Sun Valley, CXC, and the U.S. Ski Team.  Tim and Ida were also here, along with Craftsbury Junior Kaitlynn Miller, and Lauren for the second half of the camp.

It was a pretty solid week of training, with two hard days of bounding and rollerski intervals that left my hips and hip flexors feeling really sore.  Just in time for the Climb to the Castle 5-mile rollerski race up Whiteface!  The race went surprisingly well though, and Ida and I stuck with the lead pack until the final stretch, finishing 3rd and 4th overall.  I actually had fun, which was the last thing I was expecting.

I’m definitely glad to be wrapping up this camp and heading back to the kingdom though! Life at the OTC is quite dull.  I’m sure that to some extent having fewer distractions is good for training, but that can be taken too far.

Training camps like this are always good to do occasionally, because they help to remind me of a few important things:

  1. The food at Craftsbury is VERY GOOD, and I should not take it for granted! I should make sure to compliment the kitchen staff more.
  2. The best skiers in the country are not training particularly different than I am, and they are not out of reach.
  3. Having meaningful projects to work on outside of skiing is very important.  I feel best when I can keep my mind and body reasonably active between workouts.
  4. Craftsbury is not a boring place.  I can stay busy all day, and go to bed thinking of things that I didn’t have time to do and should do tomorrow.
  5. I need to work on how I am going to keep busy and sane while travelling for races and camps.  I believe that boredom is usually a sign that I’m being a boring person, and that a creative person can keep busy and entertained pretty much anywhere reasonable.  I like to think that I’m not a boring person, but I definitely suffered from bouts of boredom in the OTC.
  6. I still need to constantly remind myself not to hold my head up when I ski.  I’ve known this for a long time, but habits are hard to break.  It takes focus, which means actually keeping my brain turned on while I ski.  I’ve realized that I’m used to using my brain and my body at different times—skiing has generally been a respite from schoolwork and other stresses and a time to let my brain wander aimlessly while my body does the work.  I think that it could be good for my skiing to maintain more control over my brain, and therefore over my body, especially when it comes to improving my technique.  Zen and the art of Nordic skiing
  7. A lot of Chick Flicks are really bad.  But every now and then you get a good one.
  8. You can play scrabble with other people online through iGoogle.  I named a game “boredom buster” and it kept me going through those long OTC afternoons.