Friday, January 28, 2011

The Forerunning Experience

I found out only yesterday that I would be forerunning the final day of the Intercontinental Cup races today.

To be a forerunner is a big honor, especially for a new slider. It gives the athlete the chance to slide in front of spectators, as well as in front of athletes and coaches. While the forerunners don't have an official time, it's a great opportunity.

The job of a forerunner is to slide the track before the competing athletes. Contrary to popular belief, forefunners are not the "guinea pigs" of the race. They don't slide to check the safety of the track. They slide to test the timing eyes that are set up throughout the track, making sure the computer and timing systems are up and running correctly.

Actually, the only job of a forerunner is not to steer into Curve 1. This allows the competing athletes to see the line that the sled takes into the first curve, so allows them to decide which groove to use.

For an international race, women race their first heat, and the men follow with their first. Then there is a 25ish minute break, before the women do their second and final heat and finally, the men complete their second heat.

I foreran in between the women's and men's first heats, and then was the "after-burner", the final athlete on the track to close it out.

Getting prepared to run (I did a full warmup because my hamstring has been tight the last two days), Don was holding my sled for me while I stripped out of my warmups. He was examining my sled and before he gave it back he said, "This is a fast sled." I replied, "Well, I like it!" and he said again, "Yep, this is a fast sled." That's always good to hear!

I've heard that it's a great rush when you sprint down the start ramp and have cowbells ringing in your ears and dozens of people yelling at you. But I wouldn't know. I didn't hear anyone. Leisl says it's because I'm so focused. I volunteered that it might be that I hear the bells and yells, but I don't remember after the run. This is also highly possible, considering a hell of a lot goes on between the start ramp and the out-run.
On my first run, I did hear the spectators standing at the beginning of the out-run. I came around Curve 20, and heard a big "Wooeeehhooo!" and saw a line of red out of the corner of my eye. It was a great feeling being cheered on, even though I wasn't competing.

I had to wait about an hour and a half until I slid again. I warmed up a bit before my second slide. I think they forgot I was forerunning, because when I went there with Savannah (another development athlete who also foreran), a track worker saw me and said, "Oh! There's one more!!"

It was also really cool that I was the last sled. I don't mind coming down last, and had a great time listening to our commentator make some comments about the "afterburners" being new sliders who are working their way up the ranks.

My second run was pretty good. Not quite consistent with my first, faster run, but the track was slowing down, and I had tripped a little bit on my start. I actually laughed out loud when I was clumsily loading on my sled because the start was so bad. Several of my development teammates were on hand to cheer us all on, and they managed to get some video of me through our "straightaway", the Chicane.

I'm glad I got the two runs in, even if they weren't quite as fast or clean as I thought they would be. Any ride on the track is a learning experience, and each ride brings me closer to gaining the confidence and precision I need to move up in this sport.

On another note, we had our second Lake Placid Cup Series race yesterday (Thursday). While I didn't slide very consistently, I placed fourth. There were more sliders this week than there had been last week, but still placing that close within the top three was great. I finished the first heat in sixth of seven sliders, and made up a little bit of time with a faster run on the second to jump two places. I'm excited as anything to slide next week! I just need to get through two days of work (uug).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Big day of learning!

Today's sliding session was chock-a-block full of learning!

We slid earlier than we have in the past, from 3-5. The Intercontinental Cup is here this week, so they had their ice time earlier in the day. A couple of us went down to the track to watch. I stood at curves 11, 12 and 13 to watch the entrance and exit of 12, which I've had a problem with in the past.

It was great to watch the international sliders and see everyone's technique. I will say the US sliders hit a great line in 12, while some of the internationals dropped out of 12 too late.

Leisl and I hit the gym after we got back from the track to work on treadmill pushes. To remind y'all, we set up the treadmill so the belt on the treadmill moves under your own power. A block is set up to hold on to, so you bend over and run like you're on the track with the sled. It's great for form!

A US ICC athlete, Caleb Smith, who I met at my first combine, helped us out with our starting technique. His advice helped a LOT, and as a result, I'm really feeling my hip flexors and quads tonight! I pushed up to a speed of 7.2, which is not too bad.

The track when we slid was slower than it had been on Friday, but still it was fast enough to learn a lot on.
My task Don gave me to focus on was to up steer in Curve 10. I was to up steer, hold it, go neutral, and then as soon as I saw the exit, down steer hard (don't worry, it makes sense to me!).

My first slide felt pretty good. I was consistent in my times (59.80) but my start time was still pretty bad (5.88). But I felt like I did 10 right, because 11, 12 and 13 felt great. My start in Lake Placid

The only couple of things that went wrong was skidding before curves 2 and 3, and then something happened that was really scary: I skidded in Curve 17. Not before, not after...IN. I entered it on the left side of the track, and as a result, my head went up "to the right" (not really, but in that direction) and the bottom of my sled went down "to the left". Kinda scary, and as a result, I got in 18 weird, and it spit me out hard into the wall. By the time I passed the finish eye, I was as slow as if I had been on the out-run. Despite the skid, I had a fairly consistent time (1:00.93).

Needless to say, I was pumped and ready to get back on the sled for my third run. Before that, we took a short track walk down to the middle of Curve 1 and took a look at where we were supposed to drive. Don told us to look at him when he stood at the corner of Start 1 and look at him. This would turn our shoulders into our sleds enough to steer it correctly out of the curve. If it sounds confusing, you'd be right, but it makes sense when you're on the sled.

Well, I saw Don and I looked at him, but I looked at him with my eyes. I didn't actually turn my head to look at him. So, of course, I didn't steer the sled and I skidded into 2. Oh well.

This third run was a lot cleaner. I steered 10 well, and the lower part of the track also went smoothly. I came in with a 59.81, and if you look in the paragraphs above, you'll see this time is only 1 one-hundreth of a second slower than my first. Talk about consistency!
Sliding Curve 10. Note: My head is DOWN!
I may not have PRed today, but I was happy with my performance. I love this sport because there are SO many things to work on! I love the technicality sliding, and love challenging myself to perfect every little move.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the week. Our second Lake Placid Cup Series race in on Thursday instead of Friday, which is awesome because I work Friday morning, and I hate working before competing. I hope I continue to be consistent in my times and my performance, all the while improving on my times.

To reiterate, my goal is to compete in America's Cup in late March. To get a competition under my belt before the season ends would be fantastic, and would also help to rank me as an international athlete.

I also hope to be invited to the FIBT (the Federation Internationale Bobsled and Tobogganing) Driving School. This is a driving school that only a couple elite athletes (per country) are invited to. It would be an amazing learning experience, one that would help launch me onto the international stage.

Finally, there is the US Championships in March. These are open to all American athletes, and to compete against them and see their skills would be fantastic.

Of course for now, I will be focusing on myself, my fitness level, my strength, and my performances on the track. I will continue to be a sponge and learn all I can about sliding.

There are many goals ahead to work towards, and I'm excited to do it. The last several days of sliding have confirmed to me that this is where I'm supposed to be. My experiences here have been some that I will remember for the rest of my life, and am so happy to share it all with you!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sub-Minute Club

Yes, I am now part of the most sought-after club with new sliders! Thanks to the introduction of my "new" sled, and a little bit more confidence on the track, I've now slid the 1,455meter track in under 60 seconds...five times. These five times have also been consistent, so since I slid my first sub-60 second (59.99 sec) on Thursday, I've slid each following run under a minute. As you will soon find out, we have lots to talk about since my last post! The excitement started during my first run (of three) on Thursday, where I skidded (and also got the living daylights hit out of me by Curve 18) to my first sub-60 second run. I was extremely excited, and even though my start was awful, I managed to PR. The hit I got from 18/exit 19 managed to be directly on top of the same bruise I had received on Tuesday. Needless to say, it hurt. Even going that fast, the hit was the only thing I was thinking about on the final curve.
The rest of my sliding on Thursday was fine. The middle run was just as exciting as I PRed again (59.81) and this time, I did't skid as much. My final run of the night was a 59.97.

Friday morning, I worked my second shift ever at the Crowne Plaza Resort and Golf Club of Lake Placid. I'm a server, but I've been starting as the "floater" and a busser. After the adventure of GETTING to the hotel (located on top of a very steep hill with a very steep street leading up to the snow...on the a Honda Civic) I was able to settle in better today. I finally got my "code" that enables me to put in orders, so I served for the first time. Well, I served for a bit in high school. But by a bit, I mean for two weeks.

I only served about 5 tables today, but it was still kind of crazy! Hopefully this weekend I can do better!

The upside of working is, of course, money. It's not as much as I'm used to (the whole tip thing throws it off, since breakfast doesn't tip as well and I only had the five tables) but still, it's valuable funds that will go mostly towards skeleton, the rest towards my car.

The downside is being on my feet for 5-6 hours straight in the morning, then coming back to the OTC and having to work out, then slide later that night. I will be honest, I did not do a workout yesterday or today, since I was pretty exhausted and my feet hurt, but I need to tough it up and get to my normal workouts.

Friday was another busy day at work, but I left at noon. Since I hadn't had much to eat since 5:30am, I stopped immediately in the cafeteria at the OTC to scoff some lunch before I donned my spandex shorts for a dip in the ice bath. Let me tell ya, sitting for 14 minutes in sub-50 degree water might sound miserable, but it's glorious on the legs! I took a hot shower immediately after, which helped immensely with getting my core temperature back up, and also helped to relax my muscles again.

I had to finish sanding my runners, since I only sanded two grits the night before, but as I was starting, not only did I notice a painful hotspot on my palm from the rubbing, but Leisl (my roommate, should you recall) reminded me that the Freestyle Skiing World Cup was going on in Placid, and the Aerials competition was finishing this afternoon. It's not an opportunity one should miss.

For those who don't know, Aerials is like gymnastics, but instead of running across a floor and doing some leaps and bounds, the athletes ski down an extremely steep hill, get launched into the air by their own momentum, and then perform a series of twists, flips and turns before landing on both their skis, hopefully solidly. It was a cold afternoon, but about 8 of us went to event, which was taking place just a short ways away from the OTC. We stood at the bottom of the hill, looking up at the ramps the skiers jump off of, and watched as athlete after athlete did their stunt. The women started it off, but we arrived to see only the last 5. Ashley Caldwell, a 17-year-old Olympian (she was 16 at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and made the finals in that competition) was third jumper from last, meaning she was ranked in 3rd entering that final heat. I can't describe her jump. So you'll just have to watch it (below).


With that amazing jump, she held off the last couple athletes and finished first, her first World Cup title of her career. It was a pretty sick competition. There was great pump-up music blaring the whole time athletes were jumping, and announcers were shouting into their microphones. We were very close to our fellow athletes as they finished too. This is a great event to watch on TV, and even more fun to watch in person!

After returning to the OTC to grab our sliding gear, we headed to the track for our first race of the season. Throughout our training, we'll be competing in the "Lake Placid Series," basically a competition between the development team. But the marks we gain from these races will rank us nationally, leading to the National Championships, and the America's Cup in the coming months.

I started my warm-up with about 30 minutes to track time, before I was told that the women were competing first. I had looked at the start list and saw that I was the second slider of the women, but neglected to see that the women were going first. Oops! Luckily, I had timed my warmup perfectly. I was warm and my muscles were (surprisingly) loose when I took my place at the starting line, dressed in my super swank, one-piece speedsuit.

As I shed my jacket and warm-up pants, Don reminded me to explode from the blocks, and relax on the sled (sounds kind of oxy-moronish, right?) and helped me to brush my spikes clear of snow to get more traction on the ice. Finally, I got my start off, and jumped on the sled, a little too far forward. As a result, I skidded a little bit, but not badly.

My run was very clean, compared to what I've been doing recently. I went straight through the Chicane, hugging the right wall (I remember being astonished I wasn't skidding over to the left, like I usually do) and slid cleanly through Curves 18 and 19 (the ones responsible for my bruised leg). I looked up upon sliding the out run (the finish straight-away that goes uphill so we can stop our sleds) and saw my time flash across the clock: 59.4?. Woo! PR by almost a half-second!

I was psyched! I returned to the start house, and then winced when I found out my start time. But, I was pumped and ready for the next heat! I warmed up again (shorter warmup than the first, but the same elements were involved), stretched, and was ready at the starting line when my name is called. I pulled off a quicker start this time, though it was still not nearly my best, and slid another clean run. I wrote this in my sliding journal: "You know it was a good run when you "WOOHOO!" at the end!"

When I looked up at the end of the out run, I saw 1:58.something, which was my combined time of the two runs. I knew I had run another sub-60 second, I waited outside of the (heated) finish house to hear my time: 59.2! Another PR, another clean run! This race day went very well for me. I got some good words from Don, and left the track very happy.

Awards are presented on Monday, so I'll see where I ranked with my fellow athletes! If I placed in the top-three, I'll be getting an award (don't know if it's a medal or what!). Finally, I photographed my other two good bruises for your enjoyment, all from the last couple of days of sliding. I know it's the last couple days because I got them when I started using my new sled!

This weekend, I will be working tomorrow and Sunday mornings (6am-noonish), then recovering. Actually, today I'm taking a Canadian "teammate" back to the border so she can go home, THEN I'm relaxing. Sunday I'm thinking of heading to Whiteface Mountain to watch the Moguls finals (another freestyle skiing event!) More to come, as usual! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First-Day Jitters

It feels so good to be back in this environment. I can't even tell you just how much it helps my drive just being here. To begin the day, my roommates and I all woke up around 8am. Actually, I had been tossing and turning most of the night, and mainly between the hours of 5am and 8am. I think it has something to do with the fact that my bed here is not against the wall...which I might change since I'll be here for a while. We had breakfast in the cafeteria (when I say "we" from now on, I mean my fellow sliders. We tend to do things in a pack) after which I returned to my room with the USA Today. When I'm at the OTC, I read the paper! Actually, I browse the headlines, and then attempt (and fail) at the crossword before embarking on the sudoku. A couple athletes had to head to the track in the morning to get their sleds, but since I had mine taken care of, I stayed at the OTC. Savannah and Charmaine got back from the track around 11, so we went to do our sprint workout shortly after. I haven't sprinted in close to a month, so I had a little bit of trouble adjusting. I didn't warm up enough, so during the last sprint, felt my hamstring (the same one I pulled in the first combine) twinge a bit, so slowed down in the sprint and finished the workout at that. Nevertheless, I still sprinted well, and was glad I got it done. After a bit of lunch, I headed out to town to look for a job. Since I only had a couple hours, I planned on looking into only a couple places and then returning tomorrow. I applied at the Courtyard Marriott, the Downtown Diner and asked at a couple other places, before I came across the Crown Plaza Resort and Golf Club of Lake Placid. It was basically the quickest job I've ever gotten. I asked about an application, and as I was filling out said application, a manager came over and asked how long I'd be here. I told him until April 3, but it wasn't until he gave me a look like "Oh, well, that's too short" that I mentioned that I was an athlete at the Olympic Training Center, to which he replied, "Oh! You're an athlete! Well, that's different! We like to treat our athletes well here." So, I was brought in for an interview with the Food and Beverages dude within the next five minutes, filled out human resources stuff, and voila! Hired as a server for the breakfast shift! I start Thursday, and will work 6am-noon. I have no trouble waking up in the mornings, which the manager loved to hear (he was also impressed that I graduated from college). With that HUGE weight lifted off my chest, I returned to the OTC, ate a little bit, and headed to the track with my roommate, Leisl. We both had to go early to pick up our runners from Don. Unfortunately, my runners weren't with him, so I used a school sled for the night. I think a lot of the development athletes had butterflies in their stomachs today, because it was the first day back. I certainly was very nervous most of the day, and had "game stomach" all night. The bathroom was overused by me alone I'm sure. I have a very annoying habit of keeping my head and shoulders up as I am sliding. It's something that I really need to work on if I'm going to get comfortable on the sled. The first run, wouldn't you know it. My head was up the entire time. Oy. It wasn't until my third and final slide of the evening that I felt like my head was down more than 40% of the time. I know for sure it was down on Curves 1, 5-14, and 17-20. Which, I guess is more than 40% of the track (there are 20 curves on this one). My second run was my fastest start time (5.76) and my fastest downtime (1:04:something...not a fast track day for all since the ice was slow), but my third felt the best. Thus is the way in sliding! I got a great kiss off of the Chicane during my first run. I actually skidded a LOT through my first run, and in doing so through the Chicane, I hit hard on my left side. I now have a rather tender left arm and lower leg. Again, such is the way with sliding. I also got a little carsick on the van drive from the finish line back to the top of the track to get my stuff. It got worse on the drive back down to the bottom of the track (in those vans, the only thing you see is the way you just came, so you can't see the road ahead). I got back to the OTC, lay down for a couple minutes before attempting dinner. The only thing that was remotely appetizing, surprisingly, was the herb-roasted trout that was one of the options. I look forward to tomorrow! I have my first weight training workout here, which means REAL Olympic lifting for the first time since early December! I love lifting, and I love lifting with athletes who push me to lift my best. I also look forward to using my own (my very own!) sled! I am using an old sled of a veteran athlete, Rebecca Sorensen. She said it was a great sled, so I'm happy about that. It's weighted for me, and will be all set for me to slide on it tomorrow (skeleton gods willing!). Oh! That reminds me. As I was getting my school sled to use for the evening, Don was checking my balance point (basically where my weight is on the sled) and as I say on the sled, he said, "Do you have ANY weight in your legs??" I couldn't believe it. I looked back and, knowing full well that it was kind of odd to say, I replied, "Don, have you SEEN my ass?" He laughed and said that I was still top-heavy and I should work on that. Basically, squat and do leg work a LOT. Enough of my blabbing. I'm off to bed! This is another thing I need to work on: routine, and routine bedtime! It'll come! Good night, and that's all for now...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Time to shop!

Thanks to the help of my aunt and uncle, who sent me a Sport's Authority gift card for Christmas, and a contest I won at work that awarded me a gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods, I have added to my clothing for sliding at last!

I've been sorely without proper sliding clothes for a while. Well, I have them but not enough. So basically, I've been using the two pairs of sprinting tights that I got from being an athlete with NAU (dated from 2006 and 2009 respectively) and one UnderArmour top that I got from relatives Christmas 2008.

This past time in Lake Placid, I went to the local Eastern Mountain Sports store and got an EMS brand long sleeve base layer shirt (which is NOT warm enough, but I made-do) that I started wearing as well. I also was able to buy my first speedsuit (brand: adidas), that is old, but still works.

During the past two days, I went on a "shopping spree" (so to speak with my meager-to-nonexistent income).

Let me start off by saying, 1) I can't make decisions, 2) I love sports stores, so will stay there for hours, and 3) I can't make decisions in sports stores to save my life.

I began by tackling Sports Authority. I knew that Dick's here is bigger than Sports Authority as far as variety, so though I'd try on some stuff at Sports Authority to make my venture to Dick's a little "easier".

UnderArmour makes great cold gear. I've had an infatuation with the brand since high school soccer, when ALL the girls (except me until junior year) had UnderArmour long-sleeve tops to wear under their jerseys during the cold weather. When I got my first UnderArmour top from my parents, I was over the moon! Actually, my FIRST UnderArmour experience was a loaned top from my mom's best friend's daughter, who went to college as I stepped up to Varsity.

So anyway, they make a great mock turtleneck cold weather, long sleeve shirt that is terrific. I tried a couple on, and finally decided on my size (oh, that's nothing...wait 'til I get into pants) and color (Carolina blue) and ended up spending my gift card, plus some.

Sounds simple. And it was, until I turned to the tights. I am notorious for being unable to fit into pants. If you haven't noticed, or if you're blind, I have a rather substantial derrière. Thus, women's cut pants do NOT fit. At Sports Authority alone, I tried on UnderArmour, adidas, and Nike tights, none of which fit. This surprised me because, as I said above, my college tights were Nike.

I managed to make it to Dick's about 30 minutes before it closed, but since I can't make decisions, I didn't get anything. I also tried on all the women's tights they had, in UnderArmour, Nike, adidas, and Reebok. And...NOTHING.

It was only later that night when I understood that my Nike tights from NAU were MEN'S size. And they had a drawstring. AHA!

So, I entered Dick's with newfound determination this morning. I tried on a few women's tights (apparently I didn't learn my lesson) and those all failed me, so I hunted down the only size small men's tights I could find, also UnderArmour. And, lo and behold, they FIT! Score!

Dick's was ALSO having a huge sale: 50% off the lowest ticketed price of selected items. You know the round clothes racks that are always in stores that you used to hide in while your mom was shopping (you all did it, so don't pretend otherwise)? They had, kid you not, about 30 of them spread around the main floor of the store, chock-a-block full of clothing.

To make the long story short, I was in the store for about two hours, and picked up tights, and two pairs of adidas soccer shorts, that I'll use for lifting or sprint training (soccer shorts, mercifully, fit). I used the other gift card, chatted to the cashier about skeleton (after explaining that, no it's NOT like car racing on ice), and took my purchases home.

So I have at least one more set of clothing I can use for sliding, and can mix and match better now that I have a pair of black tights! Yes, I do think about what I'm wearing and if it matches...not as much as some, but there you are. I almost picked up a pair or two of mix-and-match long socks to wear, but withdrew my hand, reminding myself that, until I find a job in New York, I have no income.

I'm sorry that this entire post is regarding clothing, but it's something! Starting Monday, I'll be able to (and will) update MUCH more frequently, as I will be in Lake Placid, uninterrupted, until April 3!!

First, another long drive to New York, but this time, I'll be stopping to visit Lauren (a soccer friend) at Rutgers University and staying with her on Sunday night. Then, I'll be finishing the drive, stopping at Albany Airport to pick up Sam on the way. If I get there early enough, the job search will begin immediately. If not, maybe we'll get there in time to slide. Who knows?

For now, I'll cease my prattling and let you all go back to your lives. To quote a favorite NPR show, "You've now wasted a perfectly good half-hour listening to us".

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Yep, winter is here

No, there's no snow here in Northern Virginia (yet) but it is cold as anything! Actually, according to the thermometer it's not "cold" like it is in other parts of the country (*cough Lake Placid cough*)! It's hovering around the 30s, maybe high 20s and I am freezing my tail off!

Since I don't quite have all the winter clothes that I need (I really need a nice down jacket) I have to layer with pretty much summer clothing, a few sweatshirts, and a semi-heavy snow jacket.

This cold also makes it virtually impossible to do sprint training. Since I don't exactly have the best base layers for sub-freezing temperatures, I'm a little nervous to do full sprint workouts at any time of the day. That being said, my sprint speed is probably way down.

I have been lifting every other day, and have been improving on my weights. This is my down week, so the weight is 80% of my max, which doesn't sound like much, but it is. Often during a down week, I get the feeling that my muscles aren't doing anything since the weight is lighter, so I slack. I have to remind myself that even a light weight works, and tell myself that the down week is primarily for recovery so my body is ready for the next session of heavy lifting.

I am very excited to get back to Lake Placid in a little less than two weeks. It'll be nice to have a gym to sprint in, even though in that gym, the most an athlete can sprint is 30 meters before she has to slow down for risk of slamming into the wall. Still, 30 meters over and over is better than not sprinting at all.

What I'm also excited for is the treadmill in the weight room that can be self-propelled, thus makes a terrific push-start training tool. I'm excited to work on my start and drop the time! I haven't chosen a goal for that yet, but by the first week or so in New York, hopefully I'll have one.

I also have a sled waiting for me (I might have mentioned this in a previous blog). It's weighted to me, and I will be measured for the saddle when I arrive in New York. The sled isn't paid for yet, but I'm hoping to yet get donations or sponsors from some of my hometown friends and businesses.

I'm a little tight for money right now, but as soon as I arrive in Lake Placid, I'm going to get a job and hopefully start right away. The biggest concerns at the moment are my car insurance and cell phone bills, but I'll make it work somehow.

I can't wait to see my "teammates" again (I don't really know what to call the folks I train with since sliding skeleton is co-residents, maybe). It'll be so nice to be in that competitive environment again. I thrive off of that. It'll also be really nice to be in a lighted, heated building with dozens of other people to talk to (it's kind of creepy at camp right now. Even though there are 5 of us living within walking distance of each other, there are no outside lights being the woods, so it's pretty spooky).

My company is keeping me busy with hourly projects. Since we're closed down for the winter, it's really slow, but housekeeping and data entry is not beneath me! It's not my preference, but someone has to do it, and it keeps me from worrying about other issues!

I have noticed that I haven't been sleeping well, and I attribute that to not being busy enough during the day, physically. Sure, I plug numbers for hours, but it's sitting at a computer all day. An hour-ish weight room session is not enough to get me exhausted. But I guarantee that the first week I'm in Lake Placid, I'll be so exhausted at the end of the day form lifting, sprinting and most of all sliding, that I'll sleep straight through the night again!

This is mostly a rambling post, but it helps me get things out of my brain!

As always, I welcome donations and the opportunity for sponsors! There is a link on the right side of my blog (it says DONATE in big can't miss it!) that will link directly to a PayPal account (so your money is safe) or you can visit to make a donation through the USBSF.

Thank you to my grandparents, Ken and Marilyn Salter, our family friends Heidi and Mike, and my aunt and uncle, Nancy and Bill, for their contribution and support for my goals!

Take care, stay warm, and keep on sliding!