We all need time to heal.  Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.  We build rest right into our training cycles. We tax ourselves for three weeks.  Lots of hours of shooting, skiing, running, biking, strength…  I used to resist resting.  I thought it would make me week.  That others would be training when I wasn’t.  That how could I possibly get better doing nothing!?!?  Right?  Well I’ve given in.  I’m embracing it.

I sleep better.  I can breathe and know that my body is getting stronger, my mind is getting ready for the next period of focus.  The quality of my training is improving dramatically.  Things are moving in the right direction, and I know this even when I feel like I’m stuck in one place.  Under it all, I know it.  Tough times come and go.  Training is not only something I love but its my job and to be honest…I have the best job in the whole wide world.

I’m learning to listen to my body.  To give it what it needs…even if that’s ice cream for lunch.  Sometimes its good for the heart and soul to induldge.  No guilt.  No shame.  I’ve got fresh air and sunshine.  I’ve got good people around me.  I can breathe easy because I know that I am where I am suppose to be.  No control, no worry…okay minimum worry (I’m a work in progress). But I have to believe that I am going to be okay, that everything will be okay…so I might as well roll with it.

Its another gorgeous day and I’m taking my rest in stride.  Tomorrow we start back up again but compared to normal weeks training will be pretty mellow. Lots of shooting looms in my future. Good things to come.


Dear Friends

Friends are very much like scattered little rocks, so that when you lose grip on your boulder you have something else to hold onto.  There to encourage.  To tell you to keep your chin up.  To give you a hug when you’d rather crumple.  To pick you up when you finally do crumple.  Crumple to that all to familiar…all to comfortable fetal position.  Big (soft?) rocks to catch you when you crash and burn…

A dear friend of mine shared this with me earlier.

“May today there be peace within.  May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.  May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.  May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.  May you be content with yourself just the way you are.  Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.  It is there for each and every one of us.”

It is a golden little paragraph that made me feel like everything was going to be okay.

Thank you

Step by Step.

I’ve made it through my first week in Lake Placid!  And for what its worth it was a good week.  It’s easy to put in long days if you have people to take on the hours with you.  I put in some of my first shooting sessions of the year, there were good days on the range and there were bad days on the range…but despite getting frustrated or a little angry with myself I know that I am slowly making progress.

That’s why I’m here.  To take steps forward.  One day at a time.  We’ve already changed my standing shoot position two or three times and I’m sure there will be many more adjustments as we move forward into the summer and fall months.  We’re going over the basics with seemingly mind numbing reptition…but that’s exactly what this part of the training season is about.  Lots of drills.  Lots of, “Yes good…again!”  Lots of promises that I will eventually catch on.  That something will click and I’ll improve.

Sometimes progression is slow.  sometimes its tedious.  But I know the hours I put in now will be the foundation for this upcoming season…that being said I’m all for it!  I’m hungry for improvement.  So bring on the repetitions because I have a long way to go.

In other news I’ve done a ship-shape job of banging myself up.  Promptly after our 4 hour ride last week my left calf started complaining.  A little stiffness when I walked turned into a nagging tendon.  We’ve kept him relatively under control for now… it hasn’t gotten any worse but it hasn’t gotten better either.  Its inflamed and making itself known.  For now they’ve kept me training, icing, stretching, and slowly working on the soft tissues that seem to want to call it quits.  We’ll start working on it more aggressively on our off week with all my fingers and toes crossed that it will make a turn around soon.

Here’s a tidbit from the first week!

Big Kids

My first national team camp started yesterday!  That’s right, officially one of the big kids!  …words like professional and grown up are coming to mind…but I’m still definitely the bouncy distracted boisterous youngster of the bunch.  Get one little smidgen of refined sugar in me and its a disaster!

Its suppose to be a rainy week here in up state NewYork.  Its the east, humid, wet, and virtually everything rusts.  But what can you do about it?  Its my new home for now, best start loving it.

Most of us are living in the Olympic Training Center.  We’ve got big dormitory style rooms (my mystery sports medicine intern room mate doesn’t get here until the end of the month at which point I will commence calling her MY intern) which have seen some upgrades over the past couple weeks.  New carpet? check!  New full sized beds?  Yes please!  Sure my shower doesn’t drain real well yet (bring it on drainO!) and my radiator still isn’t in commission, I think I will like it here.  We have tons of resources at our fingertips!  The food has been fine so far, the greens are green and the grains well prepared.  and my favorite of all…the sports med center!  The place is amazing.  And since its mostly odd winter sports here the trainers are stoked to work with us.  A jumbo ice bath big enough for plenty of company and massages to slowly work out all the built up tension in my body.  HOORAH I say to you HOOORAH!

My drying rack is covered in slooooowly drying bike clothes and my stinky wet shoes have been assigned their very own stinky corner of the laundry room.  Thank goodness, those things are stinky.  Like…embarassingly stinky.

I’m stoked to have coaches and what seems like a great group of women to train with.  Training is so easy when you aren’t alone all the time.  They will definitely help during our 4 hour bike ride tomorrow!  I’m really excited about having such a great opportunity here and to have a supportive group working to help me reach my potential and my goals.

We’ve got shooting practice this afternoon and I’m nervous…not only will it be my first time shooting in quite a while but it will be my first bullets I shoot through my brand new barrel!  I should never miss another target again…right?  Wish me luck!

I’ll try to keep you updated regularly and if it ever stops raining I’ll make sure to have my camera along to share pictures of my new home with you.

Finding Focus.

We’ve discovered a major problem with my skiing.  (I know there are many) …so I suppose saying we made a discovery into a major flaw with my ski training would be more suited.

What is this significant discovery you might ask?

Well turns out I don’t think when I ski.  and when I say don’t think…I mean I don’t think about skiing!  Or atleast very rarely.

Its great, I can go on 3 or even 4 hour workouts and be content, no ipod hanging from my ears.  Just me and my wandering mind.  I’ll think about barns I see and how cool it would be to live in a barn.  Turtles and how neat they are as I dodge pieces of the unfortunate ones on the road.  I’ll think about the books I’m reading.  An assignment that is due.  The money I don’t have. I’ll think about mountains I want to hike and if its hot I’ll obsess about water.  If I’m hungry my thoughts turn to food which always leads to an odd intense craving for sprite and popsicles.

I let my mind roam as I breeze along only to look at my watch and discover that I’ve already been moving along for an hour.  Great right?  ….guess not.

I’m spending all this effort into training.  Into getting better, faster, fitter, stronger, tougher… and I’m missing a key component thats screaming at me.  I don’t think.  Atleast not about the right things. I lack focus.  A focus that I need to find if I want to make the improvements I so desperately seek.

I was told recently, “Corrine I’m just asking you to think about skiing for two hours!  You have another 12 hours in a day to think about turtles and pie!”  Yep. I need to find my focus.

I’ve found that I focus really well in training sessions that are broken into sections.  Combos, intervals, strength specific skiing.  Built in focus, I manage to think about my arms and legs and core and ankle bend until I get distracted by the next shiny object.

It might seem small. or obvious. you might be fighting the urge right now to shake me and scream “WHY HAS THIS TAKEN YOU SOOO LONG!?!?!”  but I swear I’m working on it.  I’m trying.  I’m using my mind for good.  and hopefully, slowly, it will get easier for me to stay focused through out my work outs and really benefit from this new found concentration.

I ask you to kindly remind me every once in a while. To focus.  To ask what I’m thinking about when my technique gets lazy.  Prompt me back to focus, and I’ll do my best to install the blinders.

April Showers bring May Flowers?

The grass is getting greener.  Slowly.  Oh sooooo slowly.  The trees are fitting to bud and some of the really strong plants are starting to push their way up through the soil.  The fighters, they’ll make it.

Spring is a tease.  One day you’re in shorts and t-shirts soaking in the rays and the next you’re getting pelted with hail on your run.  I’ve woken up to snow on the ground on more than one occasion… and even though I’m a skier and I love winter right?  ….It kills me.  I feel akin with the robins, they’re looking around at the snow wondering what the heck is going on too!

But we are all fighters. And we too will make it.

The weather is gloomy on yet another day.  glum. saddening.  But maybe its the wet cold start to the new training season that tests our desire and passion for the sport.  Our will to go and run in the pouring rain and freeze.  To get pelted by hail.  To fight against the wind.  And to live for those sunny days…is the strength and want we have for our sport.  My job.  I guess some days at the office are nicer than others.