Sometimes you get kicked off the national team… and that’s okay.

I could write words and words about the relatively wonderful end to my season.  How it poured on us for days in Whistler and I discovered my love and admiration for a good pair of rain pants… Or how I raced really well, hitting more targets than I ever have ever.  How the competition was great and the camaraderie better.  How Mammoth Lakes treated us to amazing generosity, sunshine, and smiles…. How a bear crashed our race, and how I crashed on my face.  How I managed to break my hand and within what seemed like hours also make a very good attempt to hack my trigger finger off.

Ladies Podium

Ladies Podium

….But that’s all said and done and great, and I’ve got this massive elephant in the room that needs to write it’s way out.

As of April 3rd I am no longer a member of the national team.  BOOM! …the thing is, as much as I sensed this coming a long ways off, it still feels like I got punched in the soul.  You know that feeling you get in your throat when you are trying to keep it together, grating down towards your lungs, like you’re trying to fit a square through a circle?  It hurt.  It felt personal.

Then the questions started rolling: What are you doing next season?  What do you want to do next season?  Do you want to join a nordic team?  Will cookies make this all feel better?   No?  Chocolate?  No?  Chocolate cookies!?   Do you want to join our nordic team?  Can you classic ski?   You can classic ski can’t you?   What do you want?  Oh my goodness you don’t have a coach! What do you want?  Ahhh!  What do YOU want?  Screw it, just switch back to running!   No, seriously what do you want? Help!?!? (wow… you do not want in my mind)

I’ve worked through many of these questions over the past couple of weeks.  Ironing out the seemingly logistical mess and putting together something meaningful.  And you know what?  I think I can do this.  I recently wrote to a former coach of mine and told him getting kicked off the national team felt an awful lot like getting tossed in the ocean, and realizing that I can swim.

It’s not going to be easy but for the first time in two years I feel like I have a handle on my life and my happiness.  There are days when I’m still not sure which way is up but I have the most incredible support system put in place that I could not be more thankful for.  I’ve got incredible friends and family to keep me grounded and a community behind me.  (So very many shoulders!)

As spring slowly moves into Bozeman I can feel my fledgeling of a self grow stronger roots and boy is it an exciting conclusion to begin with!