Monday, October 19, 2009

Ferienwohnungen (Aka Fire Wan Nungan Nungan)

So.. I am finally home after a 6 hour drive to Munich and a 9 hour flight home. To update everyone, we stayed in Pitztal for 4 days. One of those days was a scheduled day off, the other 3 it was not possible to ski because of too much snow, or wind, or both. The third day of waiting, we decided to go up and see if anything could be done. And let me tell you... Pitztal is worse than I remember. We did 3 slip runs, which took about 3 hours. Going up for our 3rd run, I looked above me in the tightly packed gondola line, caught Tim's (my coach's) eye and saw him mouth... angrily "We are leaving". Enough said. After those runs, we were all tired of pushing and waiting and small children leaning their full body weight on us.
From Pitztal we drove 9 hours to Wittenburg, Germany to ski slalom... INDOORS.
We had our first night session after getting in at 2:00pm. As we were walking to the entrance of the skihalle we were told that it was pure ice.
Pure ice was putting it lightly. Tim agreed as he slid down the entire training hill without gloves or skis on. But it was very cool to train indoors. While it was rainy and windy outside, it was always a constant -5 indoors and given the ice, the snow didn't change either.
We decided that there is a new kind of Yedi/Gorbe/beginner skier, within the walls of the "Snow Fun Park". I will say no more, but you can imagine. I will tell you that one boy did a box
(rail) on his stomach.
All seemed to be amazing in Wittenburg as people throughout Europe waited out the snow. We didn't even step outside the 3 days we were there because inside there was all we needed. A wee station, restaurants, internet, video games, and of course... training.
However, we soon learned that when it comes to indoor skiing, it is not only a race against the clock and your competitors, but more importantly against the gates. The gates would hit the ice and rebound so quickly that they would come back and hit us in the arms, the hands and any other body part you can think of... especially the ones you can't even imagine.
Needless to say. I left indoor skiing... feeling "top shelf". I'm sure the flight attendants thought I was in an abusive relationship. Maybe that's why the older man beside me seemed to want to look after me.
All in all it was a very productive three days as we learned how to ski on a skating rink, avoid penguin like boys sliding on the rails and the extent of padding that can be shoved down a suit to protect an arm.
I'll leave you with a few pictures as I repeat over and over... I am not in an abusive relationship.
The view from the window of our start ramp.

And a few picture of our makeshift family.
From the left: Aaron Speeden aka Speedy, Elli, Britt, Eve, Steph, Me, Walter, Tim

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Beat of My Heart

The last few days have been fairly uneventful. The glacier has receded a little more everyday.

So far we have skied four days and while the snow melted I progressively got sicker. There is something uncomfortable about not being able to get enough oxygen in when you are doing anything that makes you slightly out of breath; such as walking up a flight of stairs.

Yesterday was our first day of gs since New Zealand. The snow was amazing where we could ski. However, the grey dirt of Solden keeps continuing to win the fight against the snow. In the morning the T-bar couldn’t open because there wasn’t enough snow on the track. For the first few runs we would free ski to the bottom of our course, change to the rental skis (aka life savers) and ski to the bottom of the t-bar. At that point I would impatiently put on my cat tracks, pick up both pairs of skis and walk to the mid- station of the gondola where I would fight through the line to squeeze onto a gondola. Needless to say, one run in my haste I forgot my rentals on the gondola.

After ten runs I was pretty beat and tired, so I was happy for the day off today. However, by the end of the day the coaches realized I probably lose about 4 tenths off my start because I regularly trip the wand. So I am excited to address that tomorrow. Typical Erin move; being way too excited and opening the wand before I even leave the gate.

We will be moving to Pitztal sooner than planned because the snow seems to be a bit better there. Pitztal is a whole other story, which I will describe at a later date.

Well I will leave you all to your everyday activities. Where people walk dogs instead of cows and there are not poo flingers driving down the road.

- Here is a new band I found... okay Ellen found and they were featured on One Tree Hill

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Waving Flag

Currently, I am in Solden, Austria.
I flew here on October first and arrived on the second. The plane ride was highly uneventful, which I am not going to complain about. I put on my eye mask
and ear plugs and got my beauty sleep.
The night we got here, I thought I would sleep like a baby because of the long travel day. I went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up after a sold 2.5 hours of sleep. My body was tired, but my brain refused to let up. I tried everything to get back
to sleep, using some of my grandpa's techniques. Finally, I had to take a strip of melatonin. Melatonin is usually a naturally occurring hormone in thebody which helps regulate the body's 24-hour clock.
The strips are used to mimic that hormone, making your body think that it is time to sleep. All in all, it worked like a charm.
We had our first day of slalom the next day. Driving upto Solden, I couldn't believe we were at the same place. The World Cup GS is in less than three weeks and it would be a miracle if enough snow fell before then.
I don't know if global warming has made it's mark this year, or whether it is just a bad year for snow. However, it was white and powdery when we were here last year and this year it is a sand pit. Most runs our coaches bring down rental skis, so we can ski from the course to the t-bar on them. There are deep holes in the snow surrounded by ice, that we try to avoid standing on at all.
However, our training lane is actually very good. We have had two really good days in a fairly long slalom course. We are hoping that the temperatures fall, so they can blow some snow!!