It was a sunny morning on January 26, and we participated in the relay race at Fraser. This competition made me very excited, because this is the first time that our SUS team has participated in the relay race. It is different from previous competitions. This relay race is 1.8km x 9 laps of skate skiing. There are three people in a team, one lap per person and then the next person. My teammates are Fredy and Dreak, we warm up together, and then carry our bags to the race venue. When we arrived at the venue, we saw that the women ’s relay race was about to start. Watching a tense and exciting game was really exciting. Maddy, Kat, and Ella were a very strong combination. They worked hard to make the game I see the blood boiling! Cowgirls are so cool! In the end they won first!
Okay, let's start our cowboys performance. I am the second player of the team and Dreak is the first player. When I saw him sliding towards me, my adrenaline soared and I went all out. Slippery, I can also see later that I tried my best on the first lap, because I was super slow LOL in the next two laps, and with Fredy's final sprint, we ended the relay race. But we did not leave, but gathered at the finish line to cheer for the last skier. After he crossed the finish line, the whole audience cheered him! I think this is the charm of sports!The team game feels different from that of the individual game. It's not so nervous, it's more exciting and happy! An unforgettable game!
The first time I felt the power of team working is in the Tetonia，1/10/2020. That's the first long distance race we attend，15classic skiing race. The weather makes the race become special and petty cold. I'm really afraid of cold. But that day I am not aware of it. When we ready to start，it began to snow，and it got bigger and bigger. The big snowflakes made us lose the direction. At that time I try to find the right track，and I heard Mei shout at me，"I can't see the track，the snow is so big". I'm ahead of her，and I shout"follow me，Mei，I can find the track". And then we skied together，when we met our coaches，Christi and Rachael，they said"good job，girls，work together". And then we know our did are right. After 5k，the snow stopped，Bur I feel pretty terrible，because my legs are so weaken. Mei said "follow me，Simona，we can do it". "Yes，I said" I just follow her，keep the same pace with her… When we finished the race，I feel very cold，and I realized the cold feeling disappear when we did the race. That's so amazing. When I follow her，I only think how to follow her，how to defeat the race. After I finished all the race，I try to recall this memory，I feel very happy，and it also make me so warm. That experience let me know the importance of team working. I think I will bring it to the career of my sport. Try to spread it with my team and my athletes. Try to let everyone had own good memory. Let them warm.
During the Thanksgiving camp in Leadville, the team had many interesting things to remember. The best memory for me is that I and the coaches have finished the 21km long loop. I was shocked and I felt funny and ridiculous. Because when I saw someone, I just blindly followed. Because I waxed my skis very late, when I finished waxing and was going to catch up with the SUS teammates, I couldn’t find them, but I saw the coaches across the street, I quickly caught up and joined their team.
I started skiing with the coaches. But I didn’t know it was 21 km and I really hoped to find my teammates after following the coaches. Afterward, I found out my SUS teammates didn’t participate in the 21 km loop. They practiced classic techniques in the streets of Leadville and returned home early to rest. The next day we still had a 5 km classic race.
Recalling the weather that day, it was very cold and the wind was very strong, like a blizzard. This is the first time I have skied this long a distance since I learned to ski and this was even farther than I have ever ran in the past. I didn’t prepare for such a long training time, I did not bring a water bag backpack. Earlier, Christi was always by my side and encouraged me, I just followed the pace of Christi. I had been trying hard to follow the big team. During the break, Ben, one of the UW skiers, approached me and handed me his water to let me drink and told me there was still a long way to go. The coaches and Ben always looked back at me, afraid I would get lost, encouraged me and asked about my physical condition. In the later period, I couldn’t keep my physical strength and fell behind, Ben let me ski in front of him, he followed behind me. He made me feel pressure behind me, I was afraid to reduce his speed, so I tried to go too fast and accidentally fell down when I increased the speed. Also Ben was tripped by me. Then I let Ben ski in front of me, he always stopped and waited for me when we are far apart. I said, “I am coming!” Ben turned around and said to me, “I know.” We kept going and met the coach who was waiting for us and we finished the 21 km together.
When I returned to the room to check the phone message, my teammates discussed me in the Nordic group, worried about where I went all morning. I felt guilty and made them worry about me. But I still think this team is very lovely and warm. This experience really made me realize the importance of communication.
Time flies, I have been here for 8months . But I still remember every happy moments with teammates, coaches in here ,especially the first camp in Nebraska. We stayed in Nebraska three days , everyday was amazing. The first day We driven about 5hours to three . it was really long for me , but not boring at all . We talked each other, watched the scenery on the rode. When we got there, there was a beautiful snowing lawn near our house . we did classic skiing, which was very important day for me . I leaned how to stride in that day. After training, we cooked together, had dinner together. It really helped team building . The second day , we did intervals uphill training ,which was very hard . Because the uphills are pretty steep, and with snowing,also we have to do 45min without stop. But everyone did their best to make it, I proud of them . In the afternoon, it was rest time ，but actually it was homework time for my American teammates, they had so many homework in college ， that’s different from Chinese college. In the night, I fished one of my goals in here. Arm wrestling with teammates :) I like arm wrestling when I was a little. In that time , my roommates were Nathan K, Trevor harry Fredy. It was fun to live with them for two nights. The third day , we did a combined race . We ran 3k and then rolled skiing 5k . For me the running part was nice , but the roller skiing part was terrible.I too nervous to use V2 . I used double pole whole race ，which was much slower than V2 . Also , in that downhill, it was super scary for me , I almost fall . But anyway, I finished the race . After race , we driven back to Laramie. From now to Review the past , it was impressive ， those moments, they will live in my heart forever
, thanks for my coaches ，teammates , everyone.
Being in UW's homecoming parade was something that previous generations on the ski team used to do, but I hadn't gotten to be a part of it yet. This year, with our ever-growing team, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to showcase who we were. Waking up the morning of the parade it was a little chilly and we stood in the parking lot decorating our van, Zima. We'd bought window makers the night before, possibly testing them out on a few of our teammates cars just to make sure they worked, and we wrote all over the windows. Lydia, one of the SUS skiers, wrote snow in Chinese on the back just to add a little touch for our SUS skiers. To be as festive as we could I ran around giving sparkles to anyone that wanted them. Nordic skiers often put sparkles under their eyes by applying chapstick to our faces to stick on the cheap glitter. I was excited at the reaction that I was getting from the SUS skiers as I was doing this. They were all giddy as they asked me to put glitter on their faces, even the boys. I'd been so used to watching my previous male teammates run from me the second I got my glitter bag out, and I was happy for the change. I felt as though I was growing a little closer to my new teammates, literally and figuratively, as I gave them glitter. Nothing bonds you better than touching each other's faces.
As the parade started we put on our roller skis and proudly circled Zima down through the main streets of Laramie. We seemed like kids in a candy shop as we zipped around on such smooth asphalt. That feeling is something that makes nordic skiers' weak in their knees, and our SUS skiers were starting to feel that as well. We weaved in between our teammates all laughing as we thought about how funny we must look to the parade patrons. We did a few little sprints down the street to catch up to the floats in front of us if we fell behind receiving cheers from the viewers watching from their camping chairs. Looking back on this memory makes me think about how important it is to have those days where you just are goofy and you soak up the time together seeing everyone's' smiles. I'm grateful for this time that we got to share and it still brings a smile to my face to think about that chilly homecoming morning.
The big thing to do if you live in Laramie is to climb Medicine Bow Peak. From the top, on a clear day you can look all the way from the Snowy Range to the town of Laramie. With an elevation of 12,000ft the climb to the top of Medicine Bow Peak can be straining to some, especially for our new SUS friends that came from basically sea level. The base our team has always been adventure training. Being able to get out, climb mountains, swim lakes, bike to another town, anything with a large goal that sounds like fun. Every previous year that I'd been on the team we'd run up around and down Medicine Bow Peak, once even in a blizzard. Even it sometimes it was type two fun, I always enjoyed climbing mountains with my team. The day that we drove the SUS skiers up to the Snowy Range I think there was some apprehension from all of us. They were still adjusting to our high Laramie altitude, and we were about ready to make them go even farther.
Our goal was to get everyone to the summit, and we made a game plan to make sure no one was left behind. The abilities of the people the UW team has always spanned a wide range, now more than ever with our new teammates. We planned to go up separate ways dropping our SUS skiers off at a parking lot closer to the summit so they wouldn't have to do the full loop. While they struggle, strained, and breathed hard to make it to the top they all did it. It's one of the things that I love most out this team. We want to make sure that everyone is included in the goal of our adventure. While I may take being able to run up Medicine Bow Peak for granted, it's not that easy for all. It was amazing to see all of our new skiers in the parking lot at the end of our adventure. We all sat and ate out snacks and stretched together smiles on our faces because we call had accomplished something great that day. That day I was really shown the grit that our whole team had. Today we were climbing a mountain, tomorrow we'd be skiing a marathon, and in just a few short months we'd be on our ways to Nationals
Before snow session,we have a super fun adventure in Happy Jack every Wednesday
,it’s usually about one and half hours or two hours.It’s really different from run in the track.Meanwhile,it’s different from run in sea level.I still remember my first time run in Happy Jack,it’s also my first cross-country running.Before running,I felt exciting and looked forward to it,because it was new thing I have never tried before.After our coach Christi told us we have two groups to follow,one faster,one slower.Of course,boys should take the faster group.Although I knew my aerobic capacity is not as good as other teammates,I still wanted to try.Finally I found out that I was wrong.The boys are so fast from beginning to end,especially when they went down the hill,I couldn’t keep up with them, my heart rate are really high and I had to slow down.I told my partner Bryan about my situation and he told me I should keep my intensity below zoom 3.At that moment I wasn’t understand zoom very clearly, I still believe training hard and gain more.Bryan asked me to slow down and follow him.I felt much better.He explained reasons to me during running,because we want to develop our aerobic capacity,we need to keep our running long duration and low intensity,if I run in high heart rates,I can’t hold on for so long.In the future training,I never run as that fast,I keep my own pace because I know training smart is more important than training hard.
As school had began to pick up and our new SUS skiers and American teammates began to be more intergraded into the team they were introduced to our weekly Wednesday adventures. It was a time during the week that we could go for longer runs or skies together. This Wednesday we went to the upper parking lot of Happy Jack and when we arrived there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky. It made me think, as I looked at this huge team that surrounded me, I was grateful to share this beautiful view with them and all the views that were to come. As we began to run that day we were still trying to work out some bumps in the road with our adjustment to having our SUS teammates there. We didn't want them to get lost as we set them loose into the woods that I barley knew myself. We began to settle a little as all of the SUS skiers grouped up with someone that knew where they were going and we all slowly jogged along... or most of us went slowly. There was some small communication errors as one of the SUS boys, Harry, ran off with some of our fastest Americans. While he was running, with his heart rate probably a little too high, I was running with a small group of girls and one our our coaches, Christi. As we ran along, we'd stop every once in a while to grab a drink and chat about how we should be feeling and where our heart rates should be. I don't know if any of the SUS girls understood a thing that we said, but they still followed us blindly. Looking back I now see how much their language skills have grown since we first met them. We finally ended our run tired but happy and we started to wait for some of our boys that had ran a little further. Harry was with those boys and I think we were all a little nervous about his well being. Many minutes later we saw heads bobbing up over the hills. Harry was trailing behind a little. When they reached the parking lot he admitted that he had chosen a group that was a little too fast for him and he wasn't in the correct heart rate zone. I think that day there were a few things learned about how to train smarter not harder.
This story is the process from learning Roller Ski to participating in the national competition. Recalling the first time I learned roller ski and skiing, everything seemed to be yesterday. In these experiences, I was very impressed that I went to snow for the first time to learn to ski. I always wrestled without taking a few steps. Every time my wrestling, my teammates laughed. It always feels easy to watch others skiing, but it feels not so easy when skiing on your own. Whenever training is tiring, everyone creates some fun. Whenever I see the smiling face of a teammate, I always think that no matter who he meets, he should be the one who should appear in your life. It is no accident that he will teach you something. Therefore, I believe that wherever I go, that is where I should go, experience what I should experience, and get to know the people I should know.
Every great story has to begin somewhere. While I could have pick the moment when we first found out we would be adding ten athletes from the Shanghai University of Sport (SUS) to our team, or when we first saw pictures of them all, or when we met for the first time, I want to choose the moment when we put them on roller skis. Our ten new teammates had quite the athletic pasts at SUS, but they had no knowledge of Nordic Skiing. They had bravely decided to devote a year of their life to learning everything that they could about the sport, and me and the rest of the team was there to support them. The first day we all met we made quick work of getting them on roller skies, a ski roller blade hybrid that Nordic skiers use to train when there is no snow. That day I found myself literally supporting my SUS ally, Murong, as she wobbled on our strange equipment. Being a Nordic skier myself for almost ten years now I was scared for my new teammates. The majority of the Nordic community sees rollers skis as an evil necessity. We need them to keep our training going in the summer, but the taste of pavement in a crash is a lot worse than snow. Even with the nerves that I had for them they showed none as they took their first strides and falls on roller skis. I ran next to Murong as she quickly progressed past my expectations with a smile on her face. After that day I was scared that we wouldn't get them to do it again, but there they were happy as ever the next day at practice.