Things aren't always as they seem

Winter Break has been super busy. We spent a lot of time skiing at Hyland Bloomington. Right after Christmas we went up to the Birkie trail and they got a lot of fresh snow. When we woke up there were 5 fresh inches on the ground, approximately 4.5 more inches we had at home. It was Ben, my dad and I and we ended up doing some old fashion skiing, trekking through the woods, making our own path. It was a nice change of pace, and we even got into the local newspaper!

Front Page of the Hayward newspaper!
After we came home, we suffered a cold break and kept up our skiing. Then the last weekend, I had one of my biggest races of the season...... Senior Nationals! It was pretty cold, and the sprint race got delayed, so I couldn't race in it, but I had a good skate 10k that was a lot of fun despite the cold, wind and blowing snow!
In the wind, snow, and cold
The course was an unique one. There was a  flat that lead into a downhill run right at the start. This was the only flat part of the course. After a sharp 180 degree turn you went up into a kilometer uphill. At the top you turn another sharp turn and tucked around sharp corners for an long downhill. Then you did another 180 degree turn and did another long climb. And again. You went down, around a 180 degree turn, and climbed until you popped up into the finish. There you could either lap, or finish. The course was two loops.
I lucked out because I started the interval start 30 seconds behind another Minnesota high school skier, Sarah Bez. I knew that I wanted to catch her, and so I did.... for a little bit. I ended up catching her on the very first climb, but when I was conservative on the first downhill, she got away. I was a little mad at myself, but I knew I couldn't let it affect the rest of my race. I really pushed it everywhere trying to get back up to her but I didn't. 
Smiling gives you PMA- Positive Mental Attitude
When I finished, I was a little upset about my race. One, because I couldn't catch Sarah, and two, another Minnesota hs skier had almost made up 45 seconds to get right behind by the finish. I had thought I had done poorly, my cheeks were windblown, and I couldn't feel my toes. I rushed back to the car, and took off my boots right away, barely letting my dad and my little sister catch up to me. I was pretty bummed. My dad was looking at his iPad and then he started laughing. At that moment, with about 3/4ths of the skiers in, I was in 40th place! It was amazing because we had predicted a super good day would result with me in around 90th. I did move back into 45th, but I was still super surprised and happy!
Sarah and the other skier, Nicole had gotten in the mid-20s, which is fabulous for 2 U-18 skiers. I ended up getting 1st in my age group (U16) and would've been the 6th U18! I was also the 4th Minnesotan hs skier, and it really shows how strong the Midwest girls looked out there! I was suppose to race in the classic race the next day, but as I said before, it got postponed because of the cold. So as Monday morning arrived, my dad and I went on the Michigan Tech trails one more time before leaving. And I should just brag about the trails for a moment. They had so much snow and the trails were awesomely maintained. It was so even, not a rut anywhere, and when we skied Monday morning after a night of snow, the trails were already groomed and the groomer was still out, going over trails as the snow fell continuously! 

It was a fun race, and I definitely learned a lesson. You can't always hold your successes off of someone else's performance.
My goal was to beat someone else and that was probably not a good idea. I was bummed even though I had a really good race. I had known I had worked my hardest and I should've been proud of that and the fact that I never gave up. And now, I am. 


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