I was recently prompted by a fellow full-timer to really look at what I do. To write about what happens behind the glorious trips to europe. To dive bellow the surface of my rollerski rotted hands… To explore how I make my dream job happen. To devuldge what its really all about.
So here I go.
I’m a biathlete. Thats my job title. Professional. with a not so professional salary. I dropped out of school to take a chance on a sport most Americans have never even heard of. Someone said, “Hey you can ski, think you can shoot?” That was it. The first race I did was the summer running sister verison of the sport. I missed 16 out of 20 targets. Ran an extra 2.5 km’s in penalties. But I was hooked. hooked on this red-headed step child of a sport.
I drove my beat up, green box on wheels across the country to Northern Maine to join Maine Winter Sports Center in hopes that I might play catch up to a sport I was already way behind in. I spent the summer seeing more moose than people. Living in spare office space in the upstairs of the ski lodge at the race venue. A single room for four girls. We affectionately called the room the second sauna of the building during the hot summer months. When it got too hot to sleep upstairs we would drag cot mattresses to the basement of the lodge to sleep on the tile floor. I spent a good month sleeping on the ground there, in a public building, spending mornings waking up to people coming to venue to get in a walk before work. It was glamorous.
I spent the season wondering if I would do well enough to move up. I had my heart set on making the national team. There was NO plan B. I guess you just have to believe right? It was a stressful, anxious spring.
I knew I was lucky. My parents supported my decision to put my education on hold and pursue my passion. I’m still lucky. Although after a year of no school work, exams, finals, papers part of me did miss it… and I knew I needed a little something to balance the athletics in my life. So for now I’m taking one to two classes a term. I was actually giddy when I ordered my text books a few weeks ago, and I’m thrilled to have work due! Nerdy I know.
This spring I moved again. This time to the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York. I’m currently a member of the US national biathlon team, and for this oppurtunity I am incredibly grateful. Because I am a resident athlete here I have virtually no living expenses. Its a life saver. …because I have virtually no money. I spent most of my bank account buying a new rifle this spring. So we live frugiley.
My car has a rear brake light out…its been that way since christmas. Yes I’m poor and a threat to society.
So for a post labeled reality… my life is anything but real. I live in a very surreal world. Back in bozeman at school I was one of the crazy student athletes that spent time running in the woods and skiing in the mountains. Back in Wisconsin I’m that crazy girl who is always out training, always at a racing event, always somewhere else. But here in Lake Placid…at the training center. I’m normal. So very normal. We all wake up, train crazy amounts of hours, eat odd quantities of food…its surreal. Its home. …even if it is far from the real world. Its my world.