A skier is like a caribou, always on the move.
Take the Porcupine caribou herd: each year they embark on an epic trek. They fight the heat, the mosquitoes, the wolves, the hunters and whatever else gets in their way. They’ll do whatever it takes to reach their goal: the calving grounds.
Maybe they wont cross the Dempster Highway and reach the Promised Land this year but they’re still headed in the right direction.
Here’s where I’m going with this…
Every day I think about what I have to do, where I have to go to be where I want to be. If I’m not racing, I’m training to race faster — always on the move. Every winter, I hike my own migration path (figuratively of course), traveling to the next race site, trying to move up in the ranks. I fight injury, sickness and sometimes my bank account, but like the caribou, I find a way around my problems.
Already this year I feel like I’m getting closer to where I want to be. I raced my first World Cup this past December. It wasn’t a breakthrough performance, but no doubt a step in the right direction. I’ve had posters of these guys in my room and now I’m racing with them. Breakthrough or not, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.
It felt good to come home for Christmas, even if it was -30ºC. The trails at Mount Mac were perfect – and with the cold weather I had them almost to myself. Christmas being the gregarious festivity it is, there’s no coincidence that it coincides with flu season. It’s starting to become tradition for me to pick up some sort of illness over Christmas.
I kicked my cold just in time as I flew to Thunder Bay, Ontario on December 31. No News Years party for me; these were the trial races for the World Juniour and Under 23 Championships.
Last year Yukon sent a whopping five people, myself included. This year wouldn’t be so easy for me. I was fighting for one of four spots with guys two years older than myself.
However, I consistently place near the top of the under 23 category. I didn’t have to have stellar races to qualify, so I thought.
Unluckily for me, while I pulled off a decent weekend of races, some other guys had the race of their lives and I was the odd man out.
While I have cut my losses, my friend and teammate Colin Abbott had some great results and will be representing the Yukon, traveling with team Canada in Czech Republic.
So I won’t go to the Under 23 World Championships this year. So the caribou didn’t cross the Dempster. They’re still headed in the right direction, and so am I.